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Tuesday, January 23, 2018

2019 Hall of Merit Ballot Discussion

2019 - (December 2018) - elect 3

Top 10 Returning Players

Luis Tiant (240), Sammy Sosa (238), Kenny Lofton (236), Andruw Jones (220), Jeff Kent (207), Ben Taylor (197), Johan Santana (186), Buddy Bell (139), Bobby Bonds (124), Jorge Posada (105)

Newly eligible players

Roy Halladay	64.7	225.5	50.6	57.6	127	45
Todd Helton	61.2	316.5	46.4	53.8	175	59
Andy Pettitte	60.8	228.7	34.1	47.5	128	44
Mariano Rivera	57.1	272.5	28.9	43	214	30
Lance Berkman	51.7	310.7	38.9	45.3	98	44
Roy Oswalt	50.2	175.3	40.1	45.1	59	34
Miguel Tejada	46.9	278.6	36.5	41.7	149	44
Placido Polanco	41.3	215.4	32.2	36.8	42	26
Freddy Garcia	35.7	136.4	28.3	32	38	23
Derek Lowe	34.5	175.6	28.4	31.4	51	19
Kevin Youkilis	32.7	144.3	31.2	31.9	29	23
Vernon Wells	28.7	186.6	26.2	27.4	52	19
Ted Lilly	27	114.3	24.8	25.9	12	16
Travis Hafner	24.8	142.5	24.6	24.7	31	19
Jason Bay	24.3	162.5	24.5	24.4	47	21
Michael Young	24.2	231.2	21.1	22.7	112	36
Darren Oliver	22.6	119.3	17	19.8	20	9
Jon Garland	22.4	117.5	19.5	21	17	9
Ramon Hernandez	21.6	156.7	18.7	20.2	43	26
Ryan Dempster	19.3	133.7	23.8	21.5	26	12
Juan Pierre	16.9	178.2	16.4	16.7	63	23
Octavio Dotel	15.4	95.5	14	14.7	25	13
Jake Westbrook	13.3	78.4	14.6	13.9	14	3
Jose Contreras	13.2	67.8	13.3	13.3	17	7
DL from MN Posted: January 23, 2018 at 12:35 PM | 134 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   101. DL from MN Posted: February 06, 2018 at 12:43 PM (#5620351)
Is anyone else using a JAWS-like system? If so how do you rate Hilton Smith, Ben Taylor, Dick Redding? My guess is Ben Taylor would be around Eddie Murray or Helton.
   102. Michael J. Binkley's anxiety closet Posted: February 06, 2018 at 02:00 PM (#5620446)
I use a JAWS-like system as one of the inputs for my player calculations. The one difference is that unlike JAWS, I don't divide the value by 2. So in my system, using Dr.Chaleeko's MLE's, I have Taylor at a JAWS value of 114.12 (I do include a slight defensive regression to the mean for the NeL players). For comparison (and these are the value using my WAR calculations, not bWAR):

Palmeiro - 119.96
Murray - 119.86
Sisler - 113.79
Easter - 113.74
Hernandez - 113.46
McCovey - 111.81
McGwire - 111.52
Killebrew - 109.30
Terry - 101.92
Beckley - 101.36
Giambi - 100.75 (will make my PHoM soon after eligible)
Helton - 100.11

I have Hilton Smith at 113.82, just below Coveleski, Bunning, Drysdale and just above Haladay, Sutton, Shocker.

I have not run Redding yet because I'm waiting for Dr. Chaleeko to publish MLEs for him later this year.

And speaking of Dr. Chaleeko, I believe he votes now on a JAWS-like system based upon his own WAR calculation, but he indexes all of his numbers on a 100 scale, like Hall Rating at The Hall of Stats, which gives him a final CHEWS+ number.
   103. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: February 09, 2018 at 05:49 PM (#5622800)
Yes, that's correct. JAWS-like, but also Hall-Rating-like with a dash of my special sauce. One of the big things I'm learning in doing this new round of MLEs is that the Dick Redding fans out there are onto something. Though not a guarantee, it is a strong likelihood that I'm going to include him on my ballot. He appears to me like a superior candidate than Hilton Smith.

One thing, though. Redding couldn't hit the floor if he fell out of bed. Doesn't end up mattering much, but, for a Negro Leagues pitcher, it's fairly unusual. I'll be setting his MLEs out for your review later in the year, probably late Spring/early summer.
   104. Kiko Sakata Posted: April 20, 2018 at 10:09 PM (#5657342)
I thought maybe it was time to get a bit more active here and maybe activate this thread a bit.

(note: I didn't actually see this thread on the HOM main page; I got here by clicking the 2018 Discussion Thread and changing "2018" to "2019" in the link name.)

I've been busy with other things lately, including my second book, which I decided to self-publish on Amazon, where it's available in either paperback or for the Kindle (I don't know what the deal is with my first book not having a Kindle version - sorry to those of you who asked for one). Here's an article describing my new book for anybody interested - it looks at the top 150 players (based on my player won-lost records) for the first 50 years since MLB expansion.

Anyway, some thoughts on the 2019 ballot. First, big thanks to Dr. Chaleeko for his new MLE numbers. I have not had a chance to fully absorb them although I feel more comfortable that Ben Taylor will make my ballot. I'm also inclined to give a closer look to Dick Redding and maybe Bus Clarkson. And I need to read through Dr. C's posts on his website more systematically to see who else I might need to look more closely at.

Here's what spits out of my system at the present moment. This only includes guys whose careers fall in the years covered by Retrosheet - basically, 1925 - 2017, with some games missing before 1941.

1. Mariano Rivera
2. Roy Halladay - Mariano and Roy are a clear 1-2; I could see flipping them, though.
3. Tommy John
4. Jorge Posada
5. Andy Pettitte
6. Vern Stephens
7. Dizzy Dean - I'm missing some games during his prime seasons, so may be inclined to dig a little deeper into his numbers
8. Dwight Gooden - I mentioned on the previous page - the fact that my pHOM would have a LOT more pitchers really shows up in this ballot, which is excessively pitcher-heavy - perhaps too much so
9. Jeff Kent
10. Orel Hershiser
11. Johan Santana
12. Luis Tiant - that's 9 pitchers in my first 12
13. Toby Harrah - without adjustments, I'm pretty sure we're down to the point where guys from outside the years of my system will push everybody from here down off my ballot
14. Jim Kaat
15. Dave Concepcion
16. Roy Oswalt
17. Schoolboy Rowe - same caveat as Dizzy Dean (and Rowe's longtime teammate who gets more love here in HOM-land - Tommy Bridges)
18. Gil Hodges
19. Curt Simmons - honestly, I'm as surprised as you are
20. Lance Berkman
21. Bert Campaneris
22. David Wells - this one surprises me a bit too (or did the first time I saw him pop up fairly high on one of these lists - he's in my book)
23. Dennis Martinez - I zero out negative WOPA and WORL numbers, which I think may be overly generous to Martinez, who had a couple of really bad seasons in what should have been his prime that I'm not dinging him for.
24. Darryl Strawberry - speaking of positional balance, I have only 2 OF in my top 25, basically for the same reason I have 17 pitchers - I think the HOM has way too few P and offsettingly, too many OF
25. Dutch Leonard (the one who pitched from 1933 - 1953)

Retrosheet should do another release in June. As of now, I'm sure this will include deduced games for 1940 - we're finished with them. It might also include deduced games for 1939 - we're at Labor Day in deducing them. Dave Smith suggested that he's hoping to release the missing seasons back to at least 1921 and possibly 1920. So, some of these numbers may change later in the year and some earlier players may bubble up as I get more data on them.

Guys I'm particularly interested in seeing what additional data may tell us would include Wally Schang, Kiki Cuyler, Urban Shocker, Dave Bancroft, maybe Pie Traynor. And we'll see who else might pop out. I'll still be missing a lot of the careers of Schang and Bancroft, who began their careers in the Deadball Era. So, it may take a few more years for Retrosheet to get back to their rookie seasons.

I'm also leaning toward including Johnny Evers on my ballot this year based on the discussion we had on him near the end of the last page of this thread.

Okay, mostly this was an excuse to mention my new book to y'all. But I am hoping to dig into putting this ballot together over the next few weeks, so I thought it'd be good to organize my current thoughts.
   105. Jaack Posted: April 21, 2018 at 11:10 AM (#5657476)
Taking a look at your ballot Kiko, what's your thought process for Hodges over Berkman?

I have their careers as pretty similar except that Berkman was just a substantially better hitter. I don't see how Hodges can make up the gap in hitting on his relatively advantages (slightly longer career, a bit better in the field).
   106. Kiko Sakata Posted: April 21, 2018 at 06:31 PM (#5657692)
Taking a look at your ballot Kiko, what's your thought process for Hodges over Berkman?

Positional averages.

Gil Hodges was the best first basemen of the 1950s - with the caveat that this is because the better hitters were playing more important fielding positions: Stan Musial, for example, would have crushed Hodges in value if he'd just been an everyday first baseman for the entire decade.

I calculate positional averages empirically every season. This can lead to quirks. Gil Hodges' best season was probably 1952 or 1953. In 1953, first basemen had a lower overall winning percentage than third basemen or any of the three outfield positions.

Berkman kind of suffers from the same thing in reverse. He played in an era where there were a ton of good to pretty good first basemen and corner outfielders - think guys like John Olerud, Carlos Delgado, Moises Alou, Greg Vaughn, to name a few guys who weren't as good as Berkman and don't show up in my (or many other peoples') consideration sets, but were better than the non-Hodges, non-Musial first basemen of the 1950s (Mickey Vernon, Ted Kluszewski, Earl Torgeson, et al.).

So, Hodges' positional average in 1953 is .514 which is low for a first baseman in a non-DH league. For his career, Hodges' positional average is .518. Berkman's positional average in his best season (2008) is .524 (also as a first baseman). For his career, Berkman's positional average is slightly greater than Hodges' (.520) despite Berkman having played a lot of outfield (including a couple of seasons' worth of games in center field).

The numbers in #104 just fall out of my system. So, I'm not necessarily defending it so much as explaining it. I go back and forth on whether it's a fair way to rate Hodges and Berkman. If you dropped Berkman's positional average (and his replacement level, which is keyed off of positional average) by, say 0.01 (the gap between he and Hodges in 1953/2008), that would give Berkman an additional 2.4 WOPA and WORL (1% of his career pWins, which were about 240) and I'm pretty sure would push Berkman ahead of Hodges (you'd get the same effect by raising Hodges' positional averages by .01, which probably would make more sense as an adjustment).

My system also really likes Gil Hodges' fielding and he looks a good bit better in context (pWins) than out of context (eWins) although the latter is also true of Berkman, just a little less so (and my system doesn't HATE Berkman's fielding; it just sees him as average). But mostly it's the positional averages.
   107. Jaack Posted: April 22, 2018 at 01:11 PM (#5657983)
Hmmm... would it possible to do your positional adjustments treating 1B/LF/RF as one position? It seems like the best of the bat first players in Hodges' era were in corner OF as opposed to 1B.

If Ted Williams or Ralph Kiner had played a lot of 1B in the 50s (not a stretch in anyway) I'd guess Hodges would look worse despite no change in his own value. The weakness of 1B in the 50s doesn't seem to be a institutional issue like the weakness of shortstops in the 60s or 3B in the 20s.
   108. Kiko Sakata Posted: April 22, 2018 at 02:49 PM (#5658020)
That makes some sense Jaack. The 1950s were an odd time. There are several years where CF has a higher positional average than LF or RF because outside of Williams and Musial, the best hitting outfielders all tended to be center fielders - Mays, Mantle, Snider, Doby. The 1950s also see a bit of a quirk at catcher with Berra and Campanella. With 16 teams, 1 or 2 or 3 guys can really throw things off (I use means, not medians - I could try to shift to medians, but I'm not entirely sure how to do that taking into account backups in a way that maintains my ties to actual wins).

In some theoretical sense, the replacement pool for a position includes everybody at a defensive position higher along the spectrum (i.e., a more valuable defensive position). So, Eddie Mathews and Willie Mays and Ralph Kiner and Ted Williams and even Yogi Berra are potential first basemen. While Gil Hodges is not so much a potential third baseman or center fielder (although from what I've read, Hodges himself could have probably been a decent 3B).

One thing I've definitely thought about was trying to smooth out the positional averages, either use averages across all seasons I calculate or even do something like 10-year moving averages to allow for some shifting but of a more gradual nature. That makes all the sense in the world to me in calculating eWOPA and eWORL. But for pWOPA and pWORL, where I'm tying to actual wins, part of me feels like single-season empirical averages is the obvious "right" answer. The key to a team winning is to be better than its opposition on a position-by-position basis. One of the advantages of the Dodgers of the 1950s was that they were better than everybody else at first base (and second base and catcher and shortstop and, except for the Giants in the NL, in center field).

This is on my list of things I want to play around with. Maybe I'll push it up toward the top of the list.
   109. Kiko Sakata Posted: April 22, 2018 at 02:54 PM (#5658022)
Actually, thinking about it, I think I know theoretically how I'd shift to medians. I'm just not entirely sure how to write the program to do it. But that may be the direction to go here.
   110. Bleed the Freak Posted: April 23, 2018 at 08:35 PM (#5658757)
Thanks for posting Kiko, I'm in the process of folding in your updates from new Retrosheet data and p/e wins.

Maybe I will have something soon to discuss, biggest winners and losers in the old vs new, etc.

I don't see how you are getting Concepcion > Campaneris, although reviewing your numbers, I see them as close but a flip the other direction?

I am getting Rowe and Leonard much lower than you have him reviewing your W-L records, and that's with extrapolating for missing games, and Simmons a bit lower.

Other guys I see doing quite well in your recent update, from your raw figures, do you adjust 20/30s OF lower?
Kiki Cuyler (still missing a couple of years)
Tommy Henrich (Even with moderate WWII credit)
Bob Johnson (minor MLE credit)

Sammy Sosa
Vladimir Guerrero
Larry Jackson
Don Newcombe (although quantifying his non-MLB career is prickly)
Andruw Jones
Dolf Luque (how do you view his Negro league career/integration credit)
Dale Murphy
Johnny Pesky (with peak/prime MLE/WWII credit)

A big glut starts to form after this that includes the guys you show in your top 25, sans Rowe, Simmons, and Leonard
   111. Kiko Sakata Posted: April 24, 2018 at 02:31 PM (#5659183)
I don't see how you are getting Concepcion > Campaneris, although reviewing your numbers, I see them as close but a flip the other direction?

I tend to see Concepcion, Campaneris, and Toby Harrah pretty similar in my system. By pWins, they go Concepcion, Campaneris, Harrah; by eWins, I think they go exactly the reverse. Basically, Harrah's the best hitter, but worst fielder and played the least SS. Campaneris is the best baserunner; Concepcion is the best fielder. I'm pretty sure that I could tweak my weights in such a way to put those three in whichever order I'd like. So it's entirely possible that I'll change my mind by the time actual voting rolls around. But one of the things that I like about my system is that it's comprehensive enough that it doesn't automatically spit out a single set of "right" answers: it's perfectly reasonable to me to look at the numbers and declare Campaneris clearly better than Concepcion.

Speaking of tweaking my weights, I need to re-evaluate my weights, because I think I may want to try to get a few more outfielders closer to my ballot - probably at the expense of fewer pitchers. I think for the most part you've identified the outfielders who my system likes - although I would add Darryl Strawberry. Actually, another guy who popped up in the top 150 list I did for my book who really surprised me was Jose Canseco (he's #102; Strawberry is #82 in my Top 150 from 1961 - 2010). I think the weights I used there ended up being pretty peak-heavy and both Strawberry and Canseco had pretty strong peaks in the late 1980s (which was also a pretty low run-scoring environment relative to what came later, which I think masks some of their value). Anyway, I may re-work my weights somewhat and end up with a list that's a bit less pitcher-heavy.

Another thing that I have not done is work out WWII credit. I'm deducting value for players who played in the war years (which hurts Bob Johnson, for example), but I'm not giving extra credit to guys who are missing seasons there. At this point, I think the only two players for whom it might matter would be Henrich and Pesky (I've looked at Rizzuto and he's too far down in my system to be helped enough to put him on-ballot). But I should definitely try to figure out exactly how much they would benefit.

Cuyler should get an automatic re-evaluation when I incorporate Retrosheet's summer release. And, as I said, I still need to figure out where to fit Negro Leaguers and pre-1925 players (Schang, Shocker?, Evers?) into my consideration set / ballot.
   112. DL from MN Posted: April 25, 2018 at 10:24 AM (#5659797)
Look at WWI credit in addition to WWII credit. Urban Shocker gets WWI credit from me.
   113. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: April 27, 2018 at 01:04 PM (#5661662)
Just an FYI that Sammy Bankhead is worth your review. The MLE I’ve worked up paints a strong picture of his career value, and next week you’ll see that Bankhead is as strong a candidate as Buster Clarkson. There are many others who are worth a new look as well but because Bankhead’s discussion page was thinly populated, it seemed important to mention.

Generally, I’m about halfway through my position by position MLEs. There are a number of candidates whose cases merit a lengthy review. Either my MLEs are poorly calibrated (possible!), the NLDB stats paint a different picture than previous stats had, and/or our previous MLEs and qualitative assessments weren’t quite accurate. All those things are possible and even likely. We have much more and better info now, after all. PS: Gary Ashwill should win the Nobel Prize or something.

I’m not looking right at my numbers this second, but OTTOMH in addition to Bankhead, we may want to look closely at Taylor, Redding, Newcombe, Byrd, Dandridge, Serrell, Marv Williams, Marrero, Hilton Smith, Pettus, Silvio Garcia, maybe Rev Cannady, maybe Carlos Moran, maybe Julian Castillo. That’s before we even look at the outfield and half the remaining pitchers.

So I just want to say this because we are going to need to have a robust discussion of these Negro Leagues stars, and there are not only allvthe questions about the Negro Leagues in general, ther s also going to be questions about fairness to certain eras and positions.
   114. theorioleway Posted: May 16, 2018 at 11:22 PM (#5673958)
Dr. Chaleeko - thanks for your work on this - it's really great stuff! I'm looking forward to see how the baserunning adjustments work out. Did I miss Perucho Cepeda in all that you've done, is he still coming, or is there just not enough info on him?

In regards to your last paragraph - I feel like you posted before your calculations on how many players should be inducted per era - can you remind me where you posted that?

Thanks again!
   115. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: May 17, 2018 at 05:44 PM (#5674572)

Somewhere in the last three years. Prolly in the discussion thread not the ballot.
   116. Bleed the Freak Posted: May 20, 2018 at 11:30 AM (#5675946)
Oriole, 2018 ballot discussion thread, posts 261 and 264 look at positional and era balances:

261. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: December 03, 2017 at 01:48 PM (#5585129)
I've updated my position counts for the HOM. It now includes all appearances data from the NLDB, as well as some from select players' minor leagues time (Campy, Jackie, Irvin, Grant, Minoso, and Trouppe). I've seen a couple different ways that people prefer to assess position, so here's a few ways we could look at it. The totals below are all rounded.

PRIMARY = The position the guy played the most (i.e.: Ernie Banks is at 1B)
SUM ALL = The sum across all HOMers at every position of the percentage of appearances (i.e.: Ernie Banks counts 51% toward 1B, 45% toward SS, 3% toward 3B, and 1% toward LF)
SUM 33%: Similar to SUM ALL but only counting positions where a player made at least 33% of his appearances (i.e. Banks only counts 51% toward 1B, 45% toward SS, and everything else is ignored)
SUM 25%: Ditto but with a 25% threshold

PRIMARY 20 29 22 17 26 24 25 24 3 69 4
SUM ALL 18 29 22 20 23 27 26 24 5 58 12
SUM 33% 17 23 20 15 21 20 21 18 2 57 4
SUM 25% 18 24 20 16 22 22 21 18 2 57 6
AVERAGE 18 26 21 17 23 23 23 21 3 60 6

Based on any of these means of reckoning position, we remain well short at catcher and third base, and mildly so at second base. If we were to elect Chipper, Rolen, and Thome as three of our four, which seems pretty likely, it would have a very positive effect at 3B, of course. Here's how it would play out by each of the four methods above:
-PRIMARY: Adds 2 3Bs, total of 19 3Bs
-SUM ALL: Adds 2.02, total of 22
-SUM 33%: Adds 1.82, total of 16 (rounding error, goes from 14.6 to 16.4)
-SUM 25%: Adds 1.82, total of 18

I've also now updated my figures for comparing eras to one another. What I do is for every season, I determine what percentage of players' careers fell into that season. Then, I compare that to a theoretical "ideally balanced" HOM in which ease season has representation in proportion to the number of team-seasons played that year vs the number of team-seasons in all of history. But I also back out some career percentages from this theoretically balanced figure from recent seasons to account for the fact that some HOMers are still playing now. I base that on active players who already have a very strong chance (IMO). Finally, I subtract the actual career percentages that we've elected from the theoretically balanced figure to determine whether a given season are over or under the theoretical balance. Once that's done, I gang together groups of seasons that have a representation trend. Here's what those look like.

1871-1875: -0.90 vs theoretical balance, 83% of theoretical balance
1876-1890: +0.98, 105%
1891-1908: +6.04, 123%
1909-1921: -2.64, 89%
1922-1942: +9.46, 122%
1943-1945: -2.39, 60%
1946-1960: +3.54, 114%
1961-1968: -0.61, 96%
1969-1990: -9.28, 84%
===includes allowances for not-yet-eligible players===
1991-1998: -1.59, 92%
1999-2008: -1.02, 92%
2009-2011: -1.28, 24%
   117. DL from MN Posted: May 21, 2018 at 10:12 AM (#5676337)
Thanks for reposting. "Need a catcher" lines up really well with "Need a player from 1909-1921" for Wally Schang. I also think the past elections have us short on pitchers.
   118. Kiko Sakata Posted: May 22, 2018 at 09:35 PM (#5677736)
A few semi-random comments (all related to the 2019 Hall-of-Merit ballot, so not entirely random).

Thank you very much, Dr. C. I love the new work on Negro Leaguers. I could very easily see myself including 3 - 5 Negro Leaguers on my next ballot (at this point, I'd say Ben Taylor and Bus Clarkson will definitely be on my ballot, just not sure how high yet and who might join them).

Returning to my conversation with Jaack in #105 - #107, I took a look at what would happen if I shifted my positional averages from means to medians and, as best I can tell, at least for the years I examined (which were focused specifically on Gil Hodges), the answer is, "Nothing; it barely changes anything." There's still a case to be made that positional averages should be "smoothed" by perhaps averaging across multiple seasons. For pWins, which tie to team wins, I think what I do is correct: tie to actual results within the specific season, if we're interested in actual wins, we should look at actual results. But for eWins, it may make sense to do some kind of multi-year average. That said, I think if your result is suggesting that the average third baseman is above average (as, for example, BB-Ref's WAA says for the 1970s) then you're probably doing it wrong.

Looking at the weights I used in #104, I modified them for two reasons. First, I adjusted them to tie to what I did in my newest book, Baseball Player Won-Lost Records: 150 Players, 50 Years. That still leaves the problem that I pointed out in #104 - it produces an EXTREMELY pitcher-heavy ballot, because my pHOM would probably have an additional 20-25 pitchers who would replace 20-25 first basemen and outfielders, mostly. So, for example, I think Sammy Sosa is a perfectly cromulent HOMer, and he'd probably be in the lower levels of my personal HOM (he's #146 in my top 150 players from 1961 - 2010 in my book), but he ends up below 20 or 30 pitchers who I would have had in my personal Hall of Merit years ago, but who are still hanging around taking up space on my ballot - most prominently Tommy John (who turns 75 today - Happy Birthday!), but also Dwight Gooden, Orel Hershiser, and several more. I don't REALLY want to vote for 12 pitchers on my 15-player ballot, so I bumped down pitcher values by about 10% just to let a few non-pitchers bubble up. To be perfectly honest, I'm not sure if this falls entirely within the spirit of the HOM rules. So, if somebody objects and says, "No, no, you really should vote for 12 pitchers" I might do so.

Anyway, here's what I came up with for players who fall entirely within my system (since 1925, with some data extrapolated between 1925 and 1940). Rivera and Halladay are a clear top 2, with the order debatable, I think. Other top pitchers who show up, then, include:

Tommy John (really, guys, he was great; y'all need to jump on the Tommy John bandwagon)
Dizzy Dean (he will, admittedly, only appeal to peak voters; I try to think of myself as open-minded on that topic - Tommy John is mostly a career candidate, after all - although he also had an excellent extended prime)
Dwight Gooden
Andy Pettitte
Johan Santana
Luis Tiant
Orel Hershiser

All of these guys seem well qualified for the HOM and I'd kind of like to include them all, but I suspect space considerations will bump at least one or two of them off the end of the ballot. You can tweak the weights to get these guys probably in whatever order you'd like depending on how you feel about pWins vs. eWins and career vs. prime vs. peak.

Non-pitchers who show up well in my latest weighting (since 1925 with no additional credit for missing time):

Jorge Posada
Vern Stephens
Jeff Kent
Dave Concepcion
Darryl Strawberry
Gil Hodges
Lance Berkman
Bert Campaneris
Toby Harrah
Andruw Jones

Again, I'd be fine with all of these guys in the Hall of Merit, but almost certainly won't have room for all of them on my ballot.

Finally, I modified one of the player pages on my website, the Value Decomposition table. I wrote a little article about it here.

Basically, I added a table at the end of this page that breaks down my "key stat" (the stat in my link above with the various weights) by season. The first link in the last paragraph is to Tommy Henrich, who is missing 3 seasons due to World War II. It's a little hard to know how much credit to give him for those seasons. His years immediately before and after (1942, 1946) were okay, but not great, whereas his 1941 and 1947 seasons were two of the top three seasons of Henrich's career. If you just take a simple average of those four years, that'd be a key stat of 17 per season, times 3 would bump him up from a "Key Stat" of 140 to 191, which would put him about even with Jorge Posada as the top non-pitcher on my ballot. I'm not sure I want to go that high, but certainly that suggests that Tommy Henrich is a definite candidate in my system.

Other guys who are worth looking at this table for to try to fill in some gaps in my data would include Kiki Cuyler, Urban Shocker, maybe Johnny Pesky (I think you'd have to be very generous w/ WWII credit to get him on-ballot), perhaps Pie Traynor to address era and positional issues (although I don't see enough there in the seasons that I have), and, since I think he's a required disclosure, here's Phil Rizzuto.

For now, this only works on the default weights, but I thought people might still find it useful. I'm also going to try to modify my player pages either tonight or in the next couple of days to make missing seasons more obvious for people who want to try to eyeball their own missing-game credits.

I think that's all for now. I'll wait until Dr. C. finishes his Negro League MLEs before I comment on them. And I'll probably wait until after Retrosheet's June/July release before talking about players who pre-date my system, just to see if the next Retrosheet release picks up any more seasons for any of them.
   119. Kiko Sakata Posted: May 29, 2018 at 02:19 PM (#5681462)
Hi, guys, I have a self-serving request for which I apologize if anybody finds it tacky.

At least two or three people on this side mentioned that they were hoping to buy my (first) book on the Kindle but it hasn't been released in that version yet. I talked to McFarland about this and their story is that they gave the relevant file(s) to Amazon and it's the latter's decision when to make the Kindle version of a book available. I don't understand what goes into this, but on the Amazon page for the book - here - about halfway down the page on the right is a little box that says "Tell the Publisher! I'd like to read this book on Kindle". If you have a minute, could some of y'all please click through to the page and click there? Hopefully that will lead to the Kindle version of the book being released.

Thanks! And again, my apologies for the self-serving tackiness of this post.
   120. Howie Menckel Posted: May 29, 2018 at 02:55 PM (#5681516)
in case anyone wonders, I saw no 'catch' there

I clicked the button, and a "thank you" etc came on the screen. ballgame over
   121. Bleed the Freak Posted: May 29, 2018 at 08:23 PM (#5681782)
I don't own a kindle, but clicked and had the same result as Howie:

"Thank you for requesting Player Won-Lost Records in Baseball: Measuring Performance in Context by Tom Thress (Author) in Kindle Edition. Our goal is to make every title available for Kindle. We will pass your specific request on to the publisher."
   122. theorioleway Posted: June 22, 2018 at 07:34 AM (#5697644)
For anyone not paying attention to Dr. C's work on Negro Leaguers (and why aren't you?), Dick Redding is now a very serious candidate. By Dr. C's system, Redding is the top Negro League player eligible on the ballot, and by a fair margin.
   123. Rob_Wood Posted: June 23, 2018 at 01:07 PM (#5698384)
Could someone summarize the case for Redding here? (Just a very high-level summary would suffice.)

The thread is going to have a zillion more posts in the next six months and I fear that few people will go back and visit a different thread in search of info on Redding. But if a summary case for him is presented herein, everybody will read it and Redding will be on everyone's radar.

Thanks much.
   124. Mike Webber Posted: June 27, 2018 at 12:23 PM (#5700673)
@ Kiko - Joe Dimino and I were glad we at least got to shake hands with you at the SABR convention. We were with a group of about a dozen headed to lunch and didn't have time to stay and chat. Plus, I knew that technically you were presenting your poster and doing a book signing at that time. I tried to find you again later, but unfortunately I whiffed. Hope I get a chance to see you at a convention soon when I can buy you a beer and chat all things HOM.
   125. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: June 27, 2018 at 05:20 PM (#5701052)
Here's where to find Redding's MLE.

A quick user's guide:
a) Trust the career line more than any given season line: There's a ton of rolling averaging and regression-ish stuff happening behind the scenes.

b) If something looks fishy, first check on the background data, all of which is based on the Negro Leagues Database and nothing else because that spot gives us league- and team-wide information. PS: That data does not always precisely match previous iterations of data we've seen and sometimes varies by a lot!

c) Check out the primer on how I do the MLEs if you have any specific questions. I know, it's a slog...but it may have the answer in it do why something looks funny. PS: I don't use component stats AT ALL.

d) Innings estimates are based on what a #1, #2, #3, #4, or #5 starter would throw, and if he isn't one, then he basically just gets the innings he throws.

e) It is ALWAYS possible that I have incorrectly entered a piece of data that is skewing things.
   126. Kiko Sakata Posted: June 27, 2018 at 08:55 PM (#5701165)
Mike, it was great to meet you and Joe! Would definitely love to have a chance for a longer chat over a beer (or two or three).
   127. Kiko Sakata Posted: July 14, 2018 at 06:45 PM (#5709954)
FYI, I've updated my website to incorporate Retrosheet's newest release. We now have complete play-by-play (counting deduced games) back to 1939 (Ted Williams's rookie season) and partial play-by-play for all seasons back to 1921. Here's a description of the data I have and games that are missing from 1921 - 1938: Seasons.
   128. Bleed the Freak Posted: July 15, 2018 at 10:25 AM (#5710156)
FYI, I've updated my website to incorporate Retrosheet's newest release. We now have complete play-by-play (counting deduced games) back to 1939 (Ted Williams's rookie season) and partial play-by-play for all seasons back to 1921. Here's a description of the data I have and games that are missing from 1921 - 1938: Seasons.

Thanks Kiko, Retrosheet and the group continue to enrich our lives.

I wanted to highlight some of the article:

"Overall, play-by-play data for 3,445 new games were released by Retrosheet in its latest update. These data have been incorporated into my Player won-lost records as of July 14, 2018."

"Second, as of Retrosheet's previous update (in December 2017), Retrosheet was missing play-by-play data for 441 games in 1940 and 419 games in 1939. Those numbers have been reduced to zero. But of the 860 games added for these two seasons, only 202 of these games ended up being classified as "deduced games". The other 658 games (76.5% of the total games added) are straight event files. In some cases, Retrosheet had scorecards which had not been entered just yet last year. In some cases, in working through deducing the missing games, play-by-play data was found in some newspapers. And in some cases, in working through newspaper stories to deduce a game, it was discovered that filling in everything explained in newspaper stories left no uncertainties: some newspaper stories are detailed enough to place every baserunner in a game, sometimes multiple newspaper stories complement each other in a way that leads to all baserunners being covered, sometimes a few baserunner uncertainties are left that turn out to only be able to fit together in one possible way. It is impossible to say with certainly exactly how subsequent seasons will go, but it is quite plausible that additional historical seasons may one day have fewer than 100 deduced games (perhaps, in some cases, far fewer)."
   129. Kiko Sakata Posted: July 21, 2018 at 09:44 PM (#5713634)
If anybody's interested in using my Player won-lost records in putting together their Hall-of-Merit ballot (and, really, you all should be, it's a great stat!), I created a modified version of my Uber-Stats page that allows people to create their own Hall-of-Merit ballot. Here's the page where you can enter your weights and get a table of players. And here's an article describing it with some caveats and explanation of the various weighting options.

I'll probably post some comments over the next few days on a few specific players who I think warrant some discussion based on their won-lost records.
   130. Kiko Sakata Posted: July 22, 2018 at 04:47 PM (#5713851)
I wanted to talk about a few players. I'm going to divide this into five messages. This first message is just to set things up.

To review, I use my own statistic: Player won-lost records, which is calculated from Retrosheet play-by-play data. Retrosheet has complete play-by-play data for the American and National Leagues since 1939, In addition, they've released incomplete season data for these leagues for 1921 - 1938. Which leaves no data for anybody prior to 1921 or for any other leagues (Negro Leagues, minor leagues).

I construct my ballot by taking a weighted average of various measures based on player won-lost records. See message #129 for both a copy of these weighted averages (based on the data that I have) and a link to a discussion of these weights. Given my weights, depending on how many Negro Leaguers end up making my ballot, it will probably require a "Key Stat" of 160 - 165 to make my ballot and maybe 150 or so to be an "interesting" candidate. The "Key Stat" is based on a bunch of statistics all denominated in "wins" although I'm not sure that it really makes sense to think of my "Key Stat" as having any specific denomination. It's mostly just a number although I think the relationship between players is probably fairly linear in it - i.e., if three players have "Key Stats" of 180, 160, and 140, the middle player is as much less valuable than the best player as he is more valuable than the worst of these three players.

Anyway, this is a predicate to my next four messages, which are divided based on the information that I'm missing in these players' cases. I apologize in advance that I think at least my next three comments are going to be pretty long.
   131. Kiko Sakata Posted: July 22, 2018 at 04:47 PM (#5713853)
First up: players potentially deserving of non-MLB credit.

1. Tommy Henrich. Henrich shows up in the top 50 in my table that I link to in #129 with a "Key Stat" of 132.4. But Henrich missed three full seasons due to World War II. Henrich's "Key Stat" year-by-year is as follows:

1941 - 23.7
1942 - 9.8
1946 - 12.0
1947 - 18.2

He's about 30 "points" or so from ballot level or about 10 per season, which is pretty close to the simple average of 1942 and 1946. Henrich was actually much better in 1941 and 1947 than in 1942 and 1946, though, and if you base his WWII credit on the former seasons, you could potentially get his "Key Stat" up to 190 or so, which would probably push him up perhaps as high as top-5 on my ballot.

For now, I'm thinking of probably splitting the difference - simple average of the four above numbers is 15.9, times 3 plus 132.4 would be about 180 which definitely puts him on my ballot, probably in the 8 to 10 range.

2. Phil Rizzuto. Rizzuto has a "Key Stat" of 95.1 with the same three missing seasons as Henrich. Rizzuto's 1942 season is worth about 16.6 "points". Multiplying that by 3 would push Rizzuto's "Key Stat" up to about 145 or so. Which is probably off-ballot but is at least borderline interesting.

The problem is that Rizzuto didn't match his 1942 performance until 1950 and he had especially poor seasons his first three years back from the war. His 1946 - 1948 seasons add up to only 13.2 "points" or just over 4 per season.

It looks to me like World War II not only cost Phil Rizzuto three full seasons but it also affected the quality of his performance for at least a few years after he returned from the war. I think he had malaria or some such in 1946 so maybe he deserves a bit of credit there too.

Anyway, I can imagine constructing a hypothetical alternate universe where World War II doesn't happen and Phil Rizzuto makes my HOM ballot. But that feels too speculative for me. So, for now, I'm inclined to keep him off my ballot.

3. Johnny Pesky. The only other player who I think is close enough to a Hall-of-Merit career who might be worth looking at for World War II credit is probably Johnny Pesky. I show Pesky with a "Key Stat" of 85.2 with three full seasons missed. Pesky had pretty similar seasons right before and after the war (1942, 1946) with an average of just under 19 "points" per season. Multiplying that by three and adding it to his 85.2 puts him somewhere in the low-to-mid 140s, which is pretty solid, but not enough to make my ballot this year (or any time soon).

There is, then, one other player who intrigues me based on non-MLB credit.

4. Luke Easter. Based on his MLB performance, Luke Easter is far from making my ballot - Key Stat of only 26.2. But Easter's MLB performance is primarily his age 34-36 seasons (24.5 of his 26.2 falls in those three seasons). And Easter is intriguing because he is potentially deserving of "extra" credit on both ends of that. He played in the Negro Leagues in his 20s (and also I think lost time to World War II) but also played well in the high minors into his mid-40s.

In his three full MLB seasons, Easter earned about 8 "points" per season. Thinking very crudely, to get to my ballot, Easter would need about 20 years at 8 points per year. Which, depending on when we start giving him Negro League credit and when we stop giving him minor league credit could be plausible. Not to mention, he almost certainly had his best seasons before he hit MLB - a couple of 20 "point" seasons (which are plausible) would be the equivalent of five 8 "point" seasons. That said, if I look at the players most similar to Easter from age 34 to 36, the top 5 players who pop up are guys who are well outside of my consideration set (Norm Cash is #1 - Cash is outside of my top #100).

For now, I think Easter is going to stay off-ballot for me, but he's a guy who intrigues me and I'd be open to persuasion that I should be rating him more highly.
   132. Kiko Sakata Posted: July 22, 2018 at 04:48 PM (#5713855)
Next group of players: Players who played 1921 - 1939, so I have all of their seasons, but am missing games within those seasons

1. Tommy Bridges. Tommy Bridges has done much better in HOM balloting than he does based on Player won-lost records. Bridges has a "Key Stat" of 121.8, which places him between John Candelaria and Claude Passeau, both of whom were fine pitchers, but neither of whom has gotten Hall-of-Merit support that I recall.

Bridges pitched for the Detroit Tigers of the 1930s, who I think have the most missing games from Retrosheet for any team in that decade. And looking closely at Bridges' record, I think there's pretty solid evidence that he pitched better in the games that I'm missing than he did in the games that I have, at least in some seasons. I actually wrote about this a bit in the second link in comment #129. The biggest discrepancy seems to be 1932. I think I'm going to hold off on putting Bridges on my ballot just yet, but will definitely be keeping a close eye on him as Retrosheet releases more data.

2. Kiki Cuyler. I am missing about 200 games of Kiki Cuyler's career (out of 1,800 - Retrosheet has really good coverage of the Pirates in the 1920s). He ends up with a "Key Stat" of 130.0 which puts him somewhere in my top 50 - 75, depending on how many Negro Leaguers and pre-1921 guys I push ahead of him.

He looks quite good in Player won-lost records and, if I were to go back and construct my own personal HOM, he might well be in it. I think he mostly suffers here from the fact that my pHOM would be much more pitcher-heavy with fewer outfielders, so my ballot ends up very pitcher-heavy. I could conceivably push Cuyler up a few slots if I damped down my stats for pitchers, although he's still behind several outfielders - Tommy Henrich, Lance Berkman, Andruw Jones, Jose Canseco, Amos Otis, George Foster, Fred Lynn, and Dale Murphy - so I don't think I'm being unfair to outfielders by leaving him off my ballot.

3. Pie Traynor. Like Cuyler, I'm only missing about 200 games of his career. He has a "Key Stat" of 117.6. That puts him smack dab between Jim Fregosi and Robin Ventura, which seems like a good position: a good, solid player who's a clear step below the Hall of Merit. I had been curious if he'd benefit from my positional averages being calculated empirically every year - i.e., if the average third baseman was pretty bad in the 1920s, Traynor deserves some credit for not being so. There are definitely guys who benefit from this - Gil Hodges (best 1B of the 1950s), Concepcion - Campaneris - Harrah (the only SS worth much of a damn in the 1970s). But Traynor isn't quite one - he's similar to Fregosi in this regard too (Fregosi was the best SS of the 1960s). Anyway, he's off-ballot and I can't see how that's likely to change.
   133. Kiko Sakata Posted: July 22, 2018 at 04:48 PM (#5713856)
Next group of players: Players who debuted before 1921 but played at least some seasons for which I have Player won-lost records

1. Wally Schang. Schang has a "Key Stat" of 62.0 from 1921 onward. Baseball-Reference says he earned about 46% of his WAR and 38% of his career WAA over this time period. Based on how BB-Ref views Schang, I'm missing 8 seasons that probably look on average similar to Schang's 1922 or 1926 season. If I take his "Key Stats" for the 1922 and 1926 seasons (average, 9.9), multiply by 8 and add to his 62.0, that's about 140, which would put him off-ballot. But my Key Stat calculation likes a great and an average season better than two good seasons, so that my be underselling him. I also would expect him to benefit from having been the best catcher in baseball in the 1910s.

If I had to guess, I think Schang will eventually show up in my system as HOM-worthy. But it is still a bit speculative. He may make my ballot, but probably toward the bottom.

2. Urban Shocker. Shocker has a "Key Stat" of 112.6. I'm missing the first 780 innings pitched of Shocker's career (about one-quarter of his total) plus perhaps one season of World War I credit. Eyeballing Shocker's career, I'm missing one season similar in value to 1922 (1920), one season similar to maybe 1926 (1919), a couple half-seasons that add up to the equivalent of maybe 1927 (1916 - 17), and a 1918 season that, with WWI credit is maybe in line with 1919. That would get his career "Key Stat" up to about 161.5. Eyeballing the seasons of his that I do have, I wouldn't be surprised if he was better in games I'm missing than in games I have, especially as a Brown.

I wouldn't be shocked if he didn't eventually get to a "Key Stat" over 170. He'll probably make the back-end of my ballot.

3. Sam Rice. Dr. Chaleeko observed last year that Sam Rice looks very good in baserunning and fielding metrics based on play-by-play data for the seasons for which we have such data. And indeed he does.

Overall, I have Rice with a "Key Stat" of only 52.6, but Retrosheet is missing over half of Rice's career games, including his first three full seasons (plus a year of WWI credit?). Retrosheet's first season, 1921, was Sam Rice's age-31 season. Given that baserunning and fielding are mostly young men's games, I suspect we're missing Rice's three best seasons - BB-Ref has 1920 as Rice's best season and 1917 and 1919 similar to (but slightly below) 1921, 1923-25, and 1930. But BB-Ref suffers from the same problem as I do for these seasons: their best source for baserunning and fielding is Retrosheet.

If I give Rice four seasons (1917 - 1920, giving him WWI credit for 1918) as good as the best season which I already have (1925), that pushes his "Key Stat" up to 99.5. Which is still well short the 150 or so needed to make his case "interesting". But eyeballing the seasons which I have, I might be under-valuing him in some of the other seasons of the 1920s.

I think my weighting system also likes players with a stronger peak/prime, whereas Rice had a fairly flat career - and a bit short of a career for a pure compiler (he made his MLB debut at age 25, his first full season was his age-27 season). For those who are less peak-heavy in their evaluations, Sam Rice may be a player worth taking a look at. He certainly has a case.
   134. Kiko Sakata Posted: July 22, 2018 at 04:49 PM (#5713857)
Finally, this comment will be shorter than my last three ("thank God!" says everybody; sorry). To be fair to all eras, I have to also consider players whose careers ended before 1921, for whom my Player won-lost records have nothing at all to say. Here are a few such players who I find potentially intriguing.

1. Johnny Evers. This is probably the only pre-1921 guy I might vote for (excluding Negro Leaguers). I wrote about him on the first page of this thread (see comments #61 - #72). Basically, his teams seemed to consistently out-perform their bWAR in a way that I wonder if he deserves credit for. I'm not sure exactly how to quantify that in terms of a ballot ranking, but I may throw him at the end of my ballot depending on how many Negro Leaguers end up taking up spots.

2. Vic Willis. He made my ballot a couple of times, as he had some support from others and seemed like the kind of player my system would like (my system likes above-average "inning eater" starting pitchers). I've become a bit less of a fan and he probably won't make my ballot. But with permanent eligibility, eventually Retrosheet will get back to the turn of the 19th/20th century and I'll have a better feel for how good Willis really was.

3. Joe Tinker and Frank Chance. I think Evers is probably the most deserving of the "trio of bear cubs, fleeter than birds", but I'm really curious what Player won-lost records will have to say about these two as well when we finally get back to the early 1900s.
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