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Monday, March 02, 2009

Edgar Martinez

Eligible in 2010.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 02, 2009 at 05:00 PM | 44 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 02, 2009 at 05:07 PM (#3090175)
Greatest-hitting Martinez of all-time (no, Reggie doesn't count :-)
   2. DL from MN Posted: March 02, 2009 at 05:21 PM (#3090195)
He's close without minor league credit but borderline. Giving him minor league credit is an open question with no easy answer. If he hadn't been able to stand at 3B for a few seasons he's clearly out.
   3. Juan V Posted: March 02, 2009 at 05:28 PM (#3090207)
   4. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: March 02, 2009 at 05:57 PM (#3090255)
I think Edgar's candidacy is dead for two reasons--lack of counting stats (I don't expect the writers to give him a break on the M's stupidity) and Frank Thomas was better. There's no denying Edgar's awesomeness, though.
   5. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: March 02, 2009 at 05:57 PM (#3090257)
Oh yeah. That's my take on his HOF chances. He's pretty clearly a HOMer.
   6. Nasty Nate Posted: March 02, 2009 at 05:59 PM (#3090260)
Where can I see Edgar's minor league stats?
   7. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: March 02, 2009 at 06:04 PM (#3090268)
Where can I see Edgar's minor league stats?

There's a B-Ref relaunch coming soon - Sean posted a link to Shoeless Joe's minor league stats that will accompany it. I would hope that it would also include minor league numbers from less than 100 years ago...
   8. RJ in TO Posted: March 02, 2009 at 06:08 PM (#3090272)
Oh yeah. That's my take on his HOF chances. He's pretty clearly a HOMer.


If you're a big peak guy. In terms of negatives, he's got limited to no defensive value, limited to no baserunning value, a short career (just over 2000 games), and a lot of in-season durability issues.

By the way, I completely agree with you about the Hall of Fame candidacy. I can't see him getting in without assistance from the VC.
   9. RJ in TO Posted: March 02, 2009 at 06:11 PM (#3090277)
Where can I see Edgar's minor league stats?


Check here.
   10. OCF Posted: March 02, 2009 at 06:27 PM (#3090304)
Just as a reminder about the terms of discussion: this is a Hall of Merit thread. Speculation about the HoF and what the BBWAA will or won't do is all pretty much beside the point - the voters that count here are the 40 or 50 of us who post and vote here.
   11. Nasty Nate Posted: March 02, 2009 at 06:36 PM (#3090316)
Check here.


Thanks.

Since bbref added some minor league stats, i forgot about ole baseball cube.
   12. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 02, 2009 at 07:01 PM (#3090364)
Just as a reminder about the terms of discussion: this is a Hall of Merit thread. Speculation about the HoF and what the BBWAA will or won't do is all pretty much beside the point - the voters that count here are the 40 or 50 of us who post and vote here.


Agreed. Of course, any non-HoM voter is more than welcome to post anything that will help us evaluate Gar's candidacy better.
   13. DL from MN Posted: March 02, 2009 at 07:23 PM (#3090385)
> anything that will help us evaluate Gar's candidacy

Should my post have been titled "Close, But No Edgar"?
   14. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 02, 2009 at 07:53 PM (#3090417)
Well played, DL. :-D
   15. OCF Posted: March 02, 2009 at 09:07 PM (#3090501)
Of course, any non-HoM voter is more than welcome to post anything that will help us evaluate Gar's candidacy better.

To more fully explain the terms of the debate to newcomers here:

The argument is not an argument about absolute standards. It's a comparative argument. The argument is not "Should Edgar Martinez be in the Hall of Merit?" The argument is, "Is Edgar Martinez more or less qualified for the Hall of Merit than Fred McGriff?" Or Robin Ventura. Or Norm Cash. Or Bob Elliott. Or ... OK, let's put in the list of both top eligibles and top returnees:

Roberto Alomar
Barry Larkin
Fred McGriff
Edgar Martinez
Robin Ventura
Phil Rizzuto
David Cone
Gavy Cravath
Tommy Leach
Bucky Walters
Luis Tiant
Dick Redding
Kirby Puckett
Bob Johnson
Rick Reuschel

and a lot of other people who poll below them.

You can make comparisons to, say, Mark McGwire or Paul Molitor, but since McGwire and Molitor are already elected, that isn't decisive. You can make comparisons to Frank Thomas or Jeff Bagwell, but since Thomas and Bagwell aren't eligible yet, that doesn't entirely tell you who to vote for this time.
   16. DL from MN Posted: March 02, 2009 at 09:34 PM (#3090525)
Throw Reggie Smith, Graig Nettles and Andre Dawson in the mix, since they are recently elected contemporary "offensive" players with marginal support.
   17. Jarrod HypnerotomachiaPoliphili(Teddy F. Ballgame) Posted: March 03, 2009 at 12:34 AM (#3090726)
Off the cuff, Alomar and Larkin are ahead of Martinez, but I don't think any of the others are obviously above him. Cravath and Bob Johnson might have better cases, I could argue for Cone and Tiant--it's an interesting list.

This is an elect-three year? If so, maybe Edgar's got a HOM shot, but with the other names becoming eligible in the next few "years," if he misses now, he probably waits a long while.
   18. DL from MN Posted: March 03, 2009 at 03:58 PM (#3091157)
Next year has Bagwell, Brown, Walker, Palmeiro (great head-to-head comparison) but the year after that is WIDE open. I'd like to see 3 pitchers get elected in 2012 but Edgar is going to have his best shot in years then.
   19. Cblau Posted: March 05, 2009 at 04:04 AM (#3092989)
There's a B-Ref relaunch coming soon - Sean posted a link to Shoeless Joe's minor league stats that will accompany it. I would hope that it would also include minor league numbers from less than 100 years ago...


My understanding is he licensed the SABR Minor League database, so he'll have everything we've got in that.
   20. Howie Menckel Posted: March 05, 2009 at 06:24 AM (#3093067)
Yes, elect-3 in 2010.

We have a small class of players from recent years who have gotten elected with 25-35 pct of the vote - meaning, really, that we generally agree that we don't belong, but well, we had to pick somebody.

Edgar's goal will be to get in, AND be above that hold-your-nose line (plenty of squeakers in earlier years, too, but in many cases they eventually would have been seen as superior to the dwindling backlog, I think).
   21. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: March 05, 2009 at 07:29 AM (#3093082)
A question that I hope doesn't sound too stupid: how does one qualify oneself to cast a ballot for the HOM? I'm aware that technically speaking anyone can do it, but I'm also aware that you damn well better have sound reasons for your ballot or else you'll devoured by several of the more jackal-like HOM voters in these threads.

The thought terrifies me, and I honestly feel like I'm too ignorant right now to vote intelligently. But I also have no idea how to go about acquiring the necessary knowledge. I'm not a math geek or a stat geek (although I hew to modern sabermetric notions of value, of course), so I'm not going to be coming up my own personal "system" for ranking players like so many here do. Where to start?
   22. Howie Menckel Posted: March 05, 2009 at 07:36 AM (#3093086)
Lights Out,
It's not quite as bad as you fear.
Others will explain better, but roughly speaking.....

There are many accepted approaches to evaluating the qualities of player careers.
I've voted in every single election, still feel that Win Shares are intriguing but need work, I snarkily note the "Loss Shares" of players like Pete Rose, and yet have not been devoured yet.

Ideally one would research all current candidates with any sort of SABRmetric system new or old. Then supply a tentative ballot on ballot discussion thread, and go from there.

The philosophy one takes is not as "devourable" as a lack of explanation for rankings would be, or lack of explanation for not voting for the top 10 holdovers (the latter isn't a "why don't you go with the flow" mentality at all - it's just a way for us to know that you didn't accidentally overlook someone....)
   23. Home Run Teal & Black Black Black Gone! Posted: March 07, 2009 at 05:00 AM (#3095092)
It's a fantastic project; just funny that it runs into the same problem that the HOF does: Timing. The HOM wasn't designed to compensate for that, of course, but as someone earlier pointed out: Guys who aren't really that deserving get it because you happen to be in a lull, eligibility-wise.
   24. Howie Menckel Posted: March 07, 2009 at 05:59 AM (#3095116)
Well, that's because the concept wasn't "How big a Hall should it be" but more "If that's the right size, who are the best picks?"

We aren't as dainty as the HOF when it comes to discussing which player we really aren't very enthused about, as I noted above.

More importantly, perhaps, we clarify which HOFers are no-brainers for the HOM, which we are comfortable with, which are borderline, which are questionable but not insane, and which are batshit-crazy.
   25. Jeff K. Posted: March 07, 2009 at 06:33 AM (#3095138)
Uh oh. This one has been targeted for years. Is it really 5 years since that thread, and the other one about Edgar, and the other one? Wow.
   26. Paul Wendt Posted: March 07, 2009 at 04:31 PM (#3095299)
It's a fantastic project; just funny that it runs into the same problem that the HOF does: Timing. The HOM wasn't designed to compensate for that, of course, but as someone earlier pointed out: Guys who aren't really that deserving get it because you happen to be in a lull, eligibility-wise.

The Hall of Merit was designed to compensate for Timing. First, that is the point of perpetual eligibility. If there is relatively a lull in the stream of newly eligible candidates then everyone from the past is eligible. There have been windows of opportunity but when they open they open for everyone. Second, that is one point of increasing the annual numbers to be elected.

One thing the record shows is that the designers did backload the schedule amply on the whole. Candidates long in the backlog remained challengers for election throughout the process. Charley Jones from the original "Class of 1898" was elected recently. So were Pete Browning (eligible 1899) and John McGraw (elected this year, his 100th anniversary).

There are timing effects. The electorate changes in its composition, time available for study, knowledge, indoctrination, and so on. Whey are not much like timing effects in Cooperstown and, whatever they may be in substance backloading the schedule makes them generally seem to be differences on the good side --from this perspective necessarily looking backward.
   27. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: March 07, 2009 at 04:44 PM (#3095308)
Also not having the 5% rule helps lost causes like Dickey Pearce.
   28. bjhanke Posted: March 08, 2009 at 10:15 AM (#3095808)
The Light asks, "A question that I hope doesn't sound too stupid: how does one qualify oneself to cast a ballot for the HOM? I'm aware that technically speaking anyone can do it, but I'm also aware that you damn well better have sound reasons for your ballot or else you'll devoured by several of the more jackal-like HOM voters in these threads.

The thought terrifies me, and I honestly feel like I'm too ignorant right now to vote intelligently. But I also have no idea how to go about acquiring the necessary knowledge. I'm not a math geek or a stat geek (although I hew to modern sabermetric notions of value, of course), so I'm not going to be coming up my own personal "system" for ranking players like so many here do. Where to start?"

I've only voted in one yearly HoM election, but I've also spent a lot of the last year doing the internal positional rankings (the HoM taking all the first basemen that they have already voted in and ranking them, etc.). So I was a beginner with a lot of votes to cast. Here's what I tried that seemed to work:

1. Get a basic set of research materials. BB-Ref for a web site, Win Shares and the Bill James Historical (all three editions are helpful in different ways), Total Baseball, a copy of Neft & Cohen's yearly encyclopedia. That should be enough for a start. I haven't used much else so far.

2. Figure out who in the HoM is an expert on what. If you need a hard math result, Dan R's systems are good, as are others. If you need to know about someone from the 19th century, especially before 1870, ask Paul Wendt. There is no shame in using someone else's work if they've put in many multiples of the time you have. Some of the people in the HoM are REALLY on the ball in a specialty. Use them. They are happy to answer questions, as long as you're willing to do your share of the work, too. This also goes for the ballot lists. As I said, I've only done one yearly, and I admitted that a lot of it was a "culled" ballot, meaning that I put down what appeared to be the group's leading candidates, sorting them out as best I could. Not only did no one complain, but I was told that a culled ballot was fine, especially since the ramp-up effort for your first ballot will be huge because of the enormous number of candidates. They even put up with my Deacon Phillippe obsession.

3. Don't be afraid to make a mistake. I've made a couple of real howlers, but the HoM is not filled with trolls or "jackals." It's filled with gentlemen. They'll forgive an honest mistake from a hard worker.

4. If you have spent a lot of time on a particular area, contribute. I've sort of staked out a territory on comparative career lengths in different time periods. Sometimes, this seems to have made a difference in a ranking (Jimmy Collins) and sometimes the group just doesn't go along with me (Harry Heilmann), but they know I can be asked to do this sort of thing and I know how, at least to some extent. If you say something that people don't know (I happened to stumble onto something about Fred Clarke's managing that was new), you'll get praise and ballots may even change.

5. Be consistent. If you rank Ed Delahanty highly because his rate stats are so good as to overwhelm his short career, apply the same logic to Joe Jackson. This is probably the one thing that will get you into trouble here. People pay attention to what each other say. If your rankings are not consistent, you'll get some flak. And you deserve it. If you are consistent, then you have a systematic opinion, and people will respect that. There are people here who are known for ranking peaks highly compared to career lengths. There are those who are known for going the other way. No one objects to either approach, because the people are consistent.

6. Be polite. As I said, this group is gentlemen. No one here does flame wars, which is why I've thrown myself into this project so relentlessly.

One piece of advice that I think would be a good part of any starting point would be to look at those "positional" rankings I mentioned above. The threads are comparatively clean, because the number of candidates was limited to those already in the HoM, so the discussions are focused. You'll get an idea of who is who and where the dividing line is between HoM in and out. So when you're looking at, say, Tommy Leach for your yearly, you'll know that the consensus here for the worst third baseman actually in the HoM is Ken Boyer. Do you think that Leach was better or worse than Boyer? That will tell you a lot about where you want to put him on a yearly ballot. I'm not sure how influential this was, because there was a lot of discussion, but I got some compliments for looking at Reggie Smith and Larry Doby and noticing that they are reasonably good comps. Since Doby is clearly over the HoM borderline, Reggie looked to me like a real good candidate. And he got elected. I don't know that my comparison changed many votes, but I moved his ranking up into the top three, and ended up being part of the consensus. In short, if you want to know who to try to vote into the HoM, look at who is already in and see if any of them is comparable to the guys you are thinking of voting for.

I hope that helps, and I'm sure it will get corrected and added to,

- Brock Hanke
   29. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 08, 2009 at 10:50 PM (#3096109)
Well, that's because the concept wasn't "How big a Hall should it be" but more "If that's the right size, who are the best picks?"


Exactly. If the HOF had half the number of inductess that it currently houses, we would have followed suit.
   30. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: March 08, 2009 at 10:55 PM (#3096111)
As I said, this group is gentlemen.

I would mildly dispute this characterization. I have been tracked down in other threads and had several-year old discussions tossed in my lap with convenient cut/pastes to alter the original meanings.

But that is my experience.

I am sure the regulars treat one another quite differently.
   31. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 08, 2009 at 11:47 PM (#3096138)
We're certainly not perfect, Harveys, but I do think we tend to treat regulars and non-voters with a little more respect as a whole here than you will find outside of the HoM. Of course, I'm 100% biased. :-)
   32. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: March 08, 2009 at 11:49 PM (#3096142)
John:

The bulk of you and your brethren certainly are a solid sort.
   33. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 08, 2009 at 11:58 PM (#3096152)
Thanks, Harveys. We try to follow the Golden Rule around here. Makes for less headaches. :-)
   34. Mike Green Posted: March 11, 2009 at 08:14 PM (#3100269)
It is interesting that Sean Smith's WAR has Martinez (and Larry Walker and Jim Edmonds) ahead of Alomar. All four are qualified, with Alomar well over the line despite being below-average defensively according to Total Zone.
   35. Paul Wendt Posted: June 08, 2009 at 02:07 PM (#3209962)
El Hombre on Lankford, "Ray Lankford" #7
His value was tied up in walks (which people still undervalue though they are much better about this today I'd say), non-HR extra-base hits (quick - name the single season records for doubles and triples) ...

That's easy for me yet I agree. In the Year of the Hitter, 1996, Edgar Martinez was on pace to beat the doubles record badly and "no one" knew.

He hit 29 in 54 team games, one-third of a full season (and end of a Seattle homestand); 41 in 81 games, halfway.

doubles by month, Edgar 1996
13 Apr (includes Mar 31)
16 May
10 Jun
05 Jul (injured Jul 20)
04 Aug
04 Sep
--
52

He hit 52 doubles in 1995 also, when he played every game. If we pro-rate that season --add 1/8 or 6.5 doubles for Edgar-- he be tenth on the single-season list behind eight different players 1923 to 1936 and Todd Helton, 59 in 2000.

Martinez never hit triples like Ray Lankford ;-)
and he hit fewer doubles, more homeruns as he aged.
   36. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: June 08, 2009 at 03:34 PM (#3210038)
Beyond some of the excellent tips offered in this thread for HOM newbies, is there a Primer somewhere on participating in HOM elections? It's always been something that has interested me, but I've always felt unworthy or whatever to partake in (or actually I may have submitted a ballot a few years ago and I think perhaps on one or two of the position threads).
   37. Paul Wendt Posted: June 17, 2009 at 03:50 PM (#3222187)
I recall reading that some people said Earl Webb stopped at second on should-be triples. He finished 1931 with 67 doubles and 3 triples (67-3), in contrast to 30-6 and 28-9 in 1930 and 1932.

Had Edgar Martinez taken the record in 1996 he would have been above any such suspicion, following 52-0 in 1995. For lifetime he resides at 514 doubles and 15 triples, ratio 34:1.
   38. Howie Menckel Posted: November 10, 2009 at 02:48 AM (#3383645)
bump
   39. Howie Menckel Posted: November 10, 2009 at 03:08 AM (#3383664)
Almost 30 pct of Edgar's playing time was at 3B. 147 OPS+ in 8672 PA, even though first full MLB season was at age 27.

Compare to Willie Stargell, 147 OPS+ in 9026 PA; he ranked 11th of our 22 HOM LFs.

Sherry Magee, 136 OPS+ in 8546 PA, he's 12th.

But they played the field all the time, and they aren't on the ballot, of course.

Bob Johnson, one of the top sluggers left on the ballot, was a 138 OPS+ in 8047 PA.
   40. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: December 06, 2009 at 06:05 AM (#3404718)
My thoughts on Edgar: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/06/sports/baseball/06score.html.
   41. Jarrod HypnerotomachiaPoliphili(Teddy F. Ballgame) Posted: December 06, 2009 at 06:44 AM (#3404740)
And interesting thoughts they are. The opening caught my eye, though:

Ever since the designated hitter was introduced in 1973, the role has vexed baseball purists, who complain about its babying effect on pitchers . . . .


Yeah, I guess they're babied by not having to swing the bat, but that hardly compares to the very grownup beating they take by having to pitch to a real hitter instead of another pitcher.
   42. Paul Wendt Posted: December 06, 2009 at 04:24 PM (#3404855)
It's a good presentation with the sabrmetrics primarily on the scale of career hits for Martinez, and then as follows.

Concluding,
After adding on the minor league years and four seasons of credit for playing third base, Martinez winds up with the same value as an average defensive first baseman with 9,141 plate appearances and an O.P.S. 44 percent above average. That translates to one notch below Harmon Killebrew (9,830 plate appearances and an O.P.S. 43 percent better than average) or Willie McCovey (9,686 plate appearances and an O.P.S. 47 percent better than average) — or near the bottom of deserving Hall of Famers but worthy of induction. Analysts who do give extra credit for the D.H. penalty would see Martinez as a peer of those sluggers, and an obvious selection for Cooperstown.

Was Killebrew or McCovey an average defensive firstbasemen (I think not), or immobile and oafish, or somewhere between? They called McCovey "Stretch" but Killebrew did a split on national TV. If Killebrew was an average firstbaseman, maybe he falls to one notch below McCovey along with Martinez, by accounting for his play at third.
(Like Pedro Guerrero, Killebrew played more outfield than I remember. In his case I have the excuse that it was entirely before my time. The record shows that LF Killebrew remained in place and former RF Bob Allison played mainly first in 1964, the rookie season of "career RF" Tony Oliva. Next year they switched Allison and Killebrew. Except Killebrew's final year all three were career Twins or Senators/Twins.)

Standing before the Hall of Merit voters at firstbase, I'll take a guess, Martinez would contend with Keith Hernandez for the 16 slot between Suttles and Sisler. At thirdbase he would contend with John McGraw for #17 between Hack and Nettles. (Those were two big gaps in the ranking election scores, one inhabited by Hernandez and one empty.)
   43. BDC Posted: December 06, 2009 at 04:59 PM (#3404868)
Was Killebrew or McCovey an average defensive firstbasemen

For their era, they might have been. There were a couple of excellent glove men (Wes Parker and George Scott), and then guys like Mike Hegan who were defensive specialists, and Danny Cater, who I remember had a good reputation, but the other durable regulars at 1B were Norm Cash, Boog Powell, Don Mincher, Orlando Cepeda – none of them is going into the Leather Hall of Fame, either.
   44. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: December 07, 2009 at 03:03 AM (#3405166)
Note that I did not say they were average defensive first basemen. I just said that Edgar had the same value as an average defensive 1B with 9141 PA@144 OPS+, which is one notch below Killebrew and McCovey. That sentence could be true even if Killebrew and McCovey were shortstops. :)

The numbers say Cash was a pretty good fielder, no?

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