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Sunday, September 03, 2006

Lou Brock

Eligible in 1985.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: September 03, 2006 at 11:42 PM | 233 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   201. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: September 30, 2006 at 01:45 PM (#2192226)
Woudl Augie Galan count as a top of the line leadoff hitter outside of those eras? I guess his time at the top was pretty short. Stan Hack?
   202. jingoist Posted: September 30, 2006 at 04:53 PM (#2192339)
I live outside Washington DC and have become a bit of a fan of the Nationals (now that we finally have a local team). I traditionally follow my beloved Buccos and the close-by Orioles and have decided to add yet another struggling team to my fandom.
Its truly rare when I get a "trifecta" of these three teams all winning on same day!

That said, I have watched with great interest the struggle Frank Robinson has had trying to bat Soriano in any position other than lead off.
I do not have the actual game-by-game stats for Alfonso but I can tell you he stinks it up whenever he bats 2nd, 3rd or cleanup; he destroys opposition pitching if Frank moves him to the leadoff spot.
I'd guess 90% of his HRs and RBIs have come at leadoff and almost all his HRs are bases-empty types (duh).
His plate discipline is truly horrible; he's not anything you'd call a classic leadoff type hitter but he falls into a complete funk at bat when Frak tries batting him elsewhere.

About a dozen games ago Frank moved him to the third spot and he is in a complete hopeless slump. Frank put him there to increase his RBI opportunities and it has failed miserably.

Sorry, this was a bit off subject - great leadoff hitters- but an interesting first hand observation of a guy who seemingly only hits well when leading off.

ps I sure hope the nationals send Frank Robbie away with a nice farewell celebration as he deserves it for his past 5 years shepherding the Expo/Nats.
   203. Paul Wendt Posted: October 01, 2006 at 01:32 AM (#2192938)
Robinson was my favorite player and I hope for the same. During the radiocast in Boston today, whether pregame or ballgame I don't recall, someone said that they want to get the franchise off to a good start (in its third Washington season) by hiring someone from the Braves organization. And someone said that some Braves players will be available, led by Andruw Jones.
   204. Paul Wendt Posted: October 01, 2006 at 01:56 AM (#2192950)
One 1900-1901 article on the rule change named Thomas, Slagle (teammates) and Burkett as experts whose fouling of pitches would be curtailed. McGraw, Jennings (teammates) and someone I don't recall were to be hampered by the repeal of first base on hit by pitch, but the NL restored HBP at the last very minute.

In seasons I have known :-) Burkett and Clarke have been star batters in the leadoff spot, Burkett always and Clarke frequently.

Burkett and Childs played eight seasons together, 1891-1898? How often did Childs bat first? Not in 1897, but that is my earliest season.
   205. Paul Wendt Posted: October 01, 2006 at 02:18 AM (#2192960)
Returning to the the matter of #154 and 157-158, spot on the Lou Brock topic (not).

Now based on 10% of the season --four series for each team, spaced about two months apart-- here is the distribution of batting and fielding positions in the starting lineups. Rows and columns sum to 150.

bat    fielding positions 2-9
Bat    C  1B 2B 3B SS LF CF RF
1     5  5    22  1 48 47 22
2       10 24  3 26 16 26 45  
3        5 25 28 40 22 23  7
4    16 37  5 22  9 32 11 18
5     6 38 17 19 23  4 11 32
6    20 27 36 14 12 15 14 12 
all eight positions 
7     2 25 39 23 26  6 15 14
8   13    91  3  4 19 10  7  3  
9  137    10           3 

The pattern is not strong. Except 9-1 and 8-2, no batting and fielding position are paired even one-third of the time, nor is any field position matched with consecutive batting positions more than half the time (1B 4th or 5th; 2B 6th or 7th). Only the leadoff batting position (LF or CF, 63%) is matched with two field positions half the time.

Cap Anson's catcher bats ninth in three of the four series. The catcher is Kittridge or Anson himself in the opening series; Kittridge or Donahue in August and October.
   206. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 01, 2006 at 02:46 AM (#2192980)
Long-time lurker Dave Johnson (no, not that one :-) sent me this a few weeks ago. With my real estate studying, I forgot to post it for him:

Lou Brock creates an interesting dilemma. Some base stealers
(Aparicio, Wills) don't have enough to make HoM, so I never played
with their credentials at the time. Others (Mays, J.Robinson) had so
much that they didn't need any fussing over, either. Brock is a

I'm sending this to you as you may know how to play with the concept
to make it valid. I don't. But here's the idea. I remember vividly
in 1962 how Wills would "turn a single into a double with a stolen
base." Now, counting a single as an added base in terms of SLG, and
counting a CS as 2*AB -- I figure the loss of one out plus the loss
of a baserunner is the equivalent of two unproductive ABs -- I've
created the following formula:

------------- = SLGsb (or whatever you want to call the damn thing)
AB + 2CS

My problem is that I've not been able to correctly refine this into
*OPS+. I'm obviously doing something wrong, as OPS/*lgOPS isnt't
getting me to *OPS. (I'm using the stats from BRef.)

In any case, here are the SLG and SLGsb comparisons for the batter
inductees of the last 11 years (plus top-10 from 1984 excepting Cupid
Childs with no CS info):

SLG SLGsb net gain
Willie Mays .557 .578 .021
Mickey Mantle .557 .570 .013
Henry Aaron .555 .567 .012
Ralph Kiner .548 .552 .004
Frank Robinson .537 .549 .012
Dick Allen .534 .546 .012
Eddie Mathews .509 .513 .004
Harmon Killebrew .509 .509 .000
Ernie Banks .500 .499 -.001
Billy Williams .492 .496 .004
Al Kaline .480 .487 .007
Roberto Clemente .475 .479 .004
George Sisler .468 .498 .030
Joe Gordon .466 .471 .005
Ron Santo .464 .464 .000
Minnie Minoso .459 .472 .013
Joe Torre .452 .452 .000
Joe Sewell .413 .415 .002
Bill Freehan .412 .413 .001
Lou Brock .410 .473 .060
Brooks Robinson .401 .402 .001

Luis Aparicio .343 .382 .049
Maury Wills .331 .387 .056

It may not be enough, but it puts Brock's stolen bases into a batting
context. It certainly enhances his standing, moving him from the
BRobby-Freehan-Sewell class to the Clemente-Gordon-Minoso group,
while leapfrogging Santo and Torre.

If you want to use this, be my guest. And if you know how to fix it
to *OPS+, I'd love to learn!
   207. Chris Fluit Posted: October 01, 2006 at 02:51 AM (#2192983)
Interesting. However, I'm not sure I buy the rationale for doubling up the ABs for each CS so I'd love to see the numbers with 1 AB instead of 2.
   208. Paul Wendt Posted: October 01, 2006 at 02:53 AM (#2192985)
(Rows 8 and 9 are distorted by TABs.)

Even in 11-14 games, the full distribution of batting and fielding positions for a player may be complicated.
Here I will simply focus on assignment of HOM-interesting players to batting positions.

1 Hamilton, Burkett, Clarke, Van Haltren, McGraw
and significantly jones, griffin
2 Keeler, Childs, Tiernan (Tenney, Hoy)
and significantly jones, griffin
3 Jennings, Delahanty, Long
and significantly davis, lajoie
4 Kelley, Anson, Lajoie, Duffy,
and significantly wallace, delahanty, beckley, werden
significantly ryan, werden
significantly collins, beckley (lowe)

Player lists of batting positions during four series played Apr, Jun, Aug, Oct

6 (NY), 6 (Cin, 8th in one game), 4, 4

Childs, Cle
2, 2, 3, 2
   209. Paul Wendt Posted: October 01, 2006 at 01:10 PM (#2193219)
Looks like I spent two hours here last night, poking my data for some text reports. Meanwhile Secy Murphy thought he could return to the subject of Lou Brock. OK,

On the simple adjustment of OPS for base stealing:
Consider the simple interpretation that on-base average concerns reaching base oneself and slugging average concerns advancing baserunners.

A stolen base does not improve upon reaching base once but the caught stealing does undo the gain from reaching base once, so the base-stealing adjustment of on-base average is
where Num is numerator and Den is denominator.

A stolen base is advancement of oneself, akin to the difference between a double and a single or a double and a walk. But it does not advance other runners as the extra base on a hit commonly does. Therefore the base-stealing adjustment of slugging average should be smaller than

Although this pair of adjustments is favorable to the base-stealers, Dave Johnson's is more favorable, working through slugging alone and accounting for caughtstealing by adding two at-bats to the denominator.

Unfortunately, the reaching and advancing interpretation of O and S is shaky, maybe too shaky to support any such effort as this.
   210. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: October 01, 2006 at 01:34 PM (#2193237)
Robinson was my favorite player and I hope for the same. During the radiocast in Boston today, whether pregame or ballgame I don't recall, someone said that they want to get the franchise off to a good start (in its third Washington season) by hiring someone from the Braves organization. And someone said that some Braves players will be available, led by Andruw Jones.

Speaking of Dave Johnsons, the Nats hired one as a special consultant a couple months ago, and I have an inkling his name will be prominently mentioned among the managers in consideration. To which I say, good news for Nats fans.
   211. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 01, 2006 at 02:14 PM (#2193270)
Looks like I spent two hours here last night, poking my data for some text reports. Meanwhile Secy Murphy thought he could return to the subject of Lou Brock. OK,

That wasn't my intent, Paul. I'm just trying to get things back in order since my studying is now over. Posting Dave's study was near the top of my list, that's all. I actually enjoyed your latest posts, BTW.
   212. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: October 01, 2006 at 07:59 PM (#2193644)
Question for lurkers in the crowd: do any lurkers keep a pHOM parrallel to this project?
   213. DavidFoss Posted: October 01, 2006 at 11:08 PM (#2194038)
------------- = SLGsb (or whatever you want to call the damn thing)
AB + 2CS

The 'break-even' SB% point for this is SLG/(SLG + 0.5).
Break-even-SB% of 50% for .500 SLG guys
Break-even-SB% of 44% for .400 SLG guys

That's a bit too generous. As Paul said, OBP would have to be adjusted down strongly due to the loss of a baserunner and the increased out (perhaps lessening your SLG adjustment).

The only metric I've seen that incorporates SB and batting slickly is Total Average:

[TB + HBP + BB + SB -­ CS]
[AB - H + CS + GIDP]

With a 'break-even' of 67% for inner circle (TA = 1.0) guys and a bit lower for everyone else.

Baseball Prospectus's EQA looks slick, but I believe its empirical (no logic behind it, it just 'fits' the data). Plus I'm seeing two contrasting definitions for it (scales as SB/(CS+0.333SB)) and scales as 1.5SB/(CS+SB). I don't know which one they actually use.

Anyhow, rather than trying to fudge a correction for OPS, I usually revert to the advanced metrics for the SB specialists. (RC, linear weights).
   214. Mike Emeigh Posted: October 02, 2006 at 01:51 AM (#2194127)
Question for lurkers in the crowd: do any lurkers keep a pHOM parrallel to this project?

I don't. If I had the time to do a pHOM, I'd have the time to participate in the voting.

-- MWE
   215. djrelays Posted: October 02, 2006 at 08:00 PM (#2194765)
I've been outed as a lurker!

I played with the SLGsb chart while on the road for much of the last three weeks, expanding it to include OPS and far more inductees and batters currently under consideration. But in expanding the chart to include OPS, I discarded it when it turned out that Brock's OBP was SO low that the steals didn't compensate for his not being on base sufficiently. I had feared that he might not be getting a fair shake, but indeed he seems to have shaken out perfectly.

The ultimate frustration in this little study was not being able to transform the numbers into career OPS+; without that the cross-generation comparison was lost. Still, what it did show me was relative standing among near contemporaries, and what non-sluggers like Brock, Rice, Minoso, Roush and Rizzuto added to their value, while ping hitters Fox and Maranville (whom one would hope would convert middle infield quickness into stealing ability) did so only marginally, if at all.

In any case, my thanks to David Foss for pointing me in a better direction with Total Average. I'd read it so long ago that it slipped past as a means of incorporating base stealing. I see that my own formula should have been (TB + SB - CS) / (AB + CS).

But the Total Average equation presents something I don't understand regarding GIDP. GIDP represents an extra out created (expressed in the denominator), but it also represents a base runner eliminated. Shouldn't the TA numerator also include a negative GIDP (as it does with the CS), thus expressed as (TB + HBP + BB + SB - CS - GIDP) / (AB - H + CS +GIDP)?

I'll go back to lurking, except to say thanks for the discussions - not just of players but also of the theory and debates as to how to go about putting a workable, transparent process in place to make the HOM work (the reason I came here in the first place). Visiting the site is a delightful diversion from work. And no, if there were time to maintain a pHOM, there'd be time to think and vote on all of this.
   216. Guapo Posted: October 02, 2006 at 08:21 PM (#2194797)
Question for lurkers in the crowd: do any lurkers keep a pHOM parrallel to this project?

I do, although I don't know if I qualify as a lurker. As some may remember, I was an active voter, back in the "1930s," and used to regularly record the lowest consensus score. I dropped out because I wasn't entirely comfortable that I knew enough about the Negro Leaguers to vote intelligently. I eventually went back, started from the earliest threads, and constructed my own pHOM from the first year.

Eventually (in the last couple of "years") I caught up with the project and I've been thinking about trying to submit a ballot again, but haven't gotten around to putting one together.
   217. progrockfan Posted: December 26, 2012 at 07:37 AM (#4332384)
I’d like to prompt a re-consideration of Lou Brock’s worthiness for the Hall of Merit. (Is such a thing allowed? It ought to be.)

I don’t necessarily expect your ultimate conclusion to change. Being a small-Hall person myself, I’m not sure I think he belongs. But there are a few points I didn’t see made that really should be part of the discussion.

1. Historic base stealing.

Brock’s dominance as a base stealer was, I think, dismissed a tad too readily in this thread. 938 steals at a 75% clip is, by any measure, a devastating offensive performance.

Brock is by far the most dominant base stealer in National League history, holding NL records for career steals, single-season steals, and stolen base titles.

I would argue that Brock wielded the stolen base as a primary weapon more consistently, year after year, than any player before or since. He holds the Major League record with twelve consecutive seasons of 50+ steals; Rickey! is next in line with seven.

Brock is the greatest World Series base-stealer of all time, with 14 steals (tied for the record with Eddie Collins) in just 21 games (Collins took 34) at an 88% clip (Collins clocks in at 82%).

It’s possible. I think, to construct an argument that Brock’s historic base-stealing prowess, in and of itself, justifies his admission to the HoM. Fortunately for his case, there are other pluses on his resume.

2. Extreme durability and superior value for a multiple pennant-winning team.

Lou Brock had a long career, but was not merely a compiler.

From 1964 to 1974, Brock played 1719 of a possible 1774 games, or 97% of his teams’ contests. Over this 11-year span, which included three Cardinals pennants, he averaged 194 hits (including 51 XBH), 50 walks, 105 runs, 65 steals, and just 6 GIDP per year. Brock was the offensive mainstay of the great Cardinals teams of the 1960s.

3. Good-to-excellent hitting.

Brock’s low OBP and OPS do not allow him to be classed as an excellent hitter – but he was more than good. Eight times he hit over .300, plus marks of .299, .298 and .297; eight times he topped 190 hits, three times over 200; six times he reached double digits in triples, leading the NL in 1968; in 1967 he became the game’s first 20 HR – 50 SB man; all while averaging just 7 GIDP per 162 games.

4. Over-criticized fielding.

Brock was not a wonderful fielder – we can all agree on that. His numerous errors (NL leader in left-field errors an eye-popping nine times) were however offset to some degree by his excellent range and, when he was younger, by his willingness to charge the ball for the quick infield throw – which of course led to many of his errors.

1963 – 2nd-t in RF (266)
1964 – 3rd/2nd in RF/LF (266) *
1965 – 2nd in LF (264)
1966 – 2nd in LF (216)
1967 – 1st in LF (276)
1968 – 1st in LF (269)
1969 – 1st in LF (253)
1970 – 2nd in LF (237)
1971 – 3rd in LF (264)
1972 – 3rd in LF (250)
1973 – 2nd in LF (310)
1974 – 3rd in LF (277)

1963 – 2nd in RF (17)
1964 – 2nd/1st in RF/LF (15) *
1965 – 1st in LF (11)
1966 – 3rd in LF (7)
1967 – 2nd in LF (12)
1968 – 2nd-t in LF (9)
1969 – 2nd-t in LF (7)
1970 – 3rd-t in LF (9)

* In 1964 Brock split his time between RF for the Cubs (51 G) and LF for the Cards (99 G) – and still placed 4th in LF putouts and assists. His combined OF totals would rank as shown among NL right- and left-fielders.

Brock’s high putout totals were not merely a product of durability and innings fielded; various metrics show him as a defender with superior range, especially when young.

Range Factor per Game
1963 – 2nd in RF (2.021)
1964 – 3rd in LF (1.806)
1965 – 1st in LF (1.846)
1966 – 1st in LF (1.828)
1967 – 1st in LF (1.834)
1968 – 1st in LF (1.782)

Range Factor per 9 Innings
1963 – 1st in RF (2.124)
1965 – 1st in LF (1.892)
1966 – 3rd in LF (1.884)
1968 – 3rd in LF (1.787)

Total Zone Runs
1963 – 2nd in RF (8)
1965 – 1st in LF (8)
1966 – 1st in LF (9)
1967 – 3rd in LF (4)
1968 – 1st in LF (5)

I stand with Bill James on this one: Range tops errors. I’d much rather have an erratic, rangy outfielder than a more consistent but less mobile outfielder – especially when that outfielder brings his fair share to the plate, the basepaths, and the post-season.

5. World Series dominance.

Lou Brock was the premier World Series offensive force of his time. In 1964 he hit an empty .300 – three XBH, no walks, no steals – but in the 1967 Series, and again in 1968, he was his generation’s Mr. October:

14 G, 14 R, 25 H, 10 XBH, 5 BB, 14 SB, .439 BA, .484 OBP, .754 SLG, 1.238 OPS

6. Career comparisons to other HoM enshrinees.

Are there any eligible players with similarly gaudy offensive counting statistics who are not enshrined in the HoM?

One player is ahead of Brock in steals, and Rickey! holds a well-deserved plaque in the HoM – as do the next three players down the list.

21 of 22 players ahead of Brock in hits are enshrined in the HoM (the exception being Biggio, who drew 91% support on the 2013 ballot) – and the next four players below him are in as well.

The principal offensive statistics, roughly speaking, are at-bats, plate appearances, runs, hits, doubles, triples, home runs, RBI, steals, walks, strikeouts, batting average, OBP, slugging, and OPS. Every eligible player who holds the AL or NL record in any of these categories is enshrined in the HoM – excepting, of course, all-time NL steals leader Lou Brock.


Lou Brock is, I think, that most curious of combinations: perhaps the most overrated player in Major League history, and perhaps the most underrated player in HoM discussions and balloting.

I began this discursive not knowing where I’d come out; but at its end, I conclude that Mr. Brock is more than deserving of enshrinement in the HoM.
   218. Howie Menckel Posted: December 26, 2012 at 07:56 AM (#4332386)
"I’d like to prompt a re-consideration of Lou Brock’s worthiness for the Hall of Merit. (Is such a thing allowed? It ought to be.)"

Absolutely allowed - and it has gotten a few guys in many years later. all info appreciated, and eligibility is perpetual.

that said:

"938 steals at a 75% clip is, by any measure, a devastating offensive performance."
not as much as you may think; he's no Tim Raines

- durability indeed a plus
- not sure how much credit we give him for Gibson's pitching, Cepeda, etc
- WS performance duly credited, he was great
- I'd have to look closer at the defense issue
- You forgot to list that Brock is 17th all-time in Outs Made, trailing only Aparicio and Maranville among eligible for HOM but not elected. Rusty Staub is next at 27th.

I think we found at least 24 guys in the HOF who we consider worse picks than Brock, who still gets some votes. But Lou can't be credited just for counting stats like hits and SBs; Outs and CSs also matter, and he made tons of both...

   219. progrockfan Posted: December 26, 2012 at 08:09 AM (#4332389)
For some reason I can't edit - my comment was submitted in draft form (sigh)- so, a small emendation:

All 22 players ahead of Brock in hits are in. I looked only at 2013 percentages and assumed the usual elect-3 rule, thereby missing Biggio.
   220. progrockfan Posted: December 26, 2012 at 08:36 AM (#4332394)
@Howie Menckel: This is precisely the sort of critical response I was hoping for.

"You forgot to list that Brock is 17th all-time in Outs Made, trailing only Aparicio and Maranville among eligible for HOM but not elected... Lou can't be credited just for counting stats like hits and SBs; Outs and CSs also matter, and he made tons of both."

No, I didn't forget - and these points are germane - but they have been made already in this thread, and I tried to concentrate on presenting the argument for Brock from a fresh perspective.

The Outs Made comment is valid - but Aparicio and Maranville are not true comparitors in my view, as Brock tops them in EVERY offensive counting stat (and calculated stat), usually by hefty margins. Brock was also more durable, better on the basepaths, better at avoiding the double play, and better in the post-season.

As to CS, the top two guys - Brock and Rickey! - are also the top two guys in steals; whereas the next eight places on both lists are occupied by wholly separate groups of players. You takes your chances and you pays your price.
   221. DL from MN Posted: December 26, 2012 at 10:22 AM (#4332414)
If Lou Brock had been a good fielding CF he would have been elected by now. It's not the offensive numbers that are holding him back.
   222. progrockfan Posted: December 26, 2012 at 11:51 AM (#4332459)
Agreed, DL. That's why the longest section of my discursive focuses on Brock's defensive range, and to a lesser extent his ability to convert assists despite a below-average arm.

My central thesis is that Brock's offense was good enough that his defense would have to be truly dire to exclude him from the HoM - and I don't think the evidence, taken in its totality, supports that conclusion.

Perhaps Ted Simmons is an adequate comparitor: a good-to-excellent hitter with a (possibly exaggerated) poor defensive reputation. Simmons had more power and a higher walk rate, Lou had better baserunning and superior avoidance of the GIDP; Simmons gets the positional bonus, Lou gets bonuses for durability and clutch play. Personally, I see both as HoM'ers, with an edge to Simmons, who was a better hitter vs. other catchers than Lou was vs. other corner outfielders.
   223. progrockfan Posted: December 26, 2012 at 04:18 PM (#4332618)
There's another factor for Brock detractors to deal with also:

The top 5 players in steals are in the HoM - except Lou Brock.

The top 28 players in hits are in the HoM - except the still-active Captain, and Lou Brock.

Every AL and NL career offensive record-holder is in the HoM - except the still-active El Hombre, and Lou Brock.

Didn't Mr. James have some words on this subject...?
   224. DL from MN Posted: December 26, 2012 at 05:54 PM (#4332663)
It's the Left Field part of that that doesn't help him. I realize he had Curt Flood in CF for part of the time but playing LF doesn't give him a whole lot of positional value.

The other half is his relatively low OBP. You have a player who was in the top 10 in batting several times but never in the top 10 for OBP.
   225. progrockfan Posted: December 26, 2012 at 06:12 PM (#4332669)
"Never in the top 10 for OBP"

Brock placed 9th in 1971 with a .385 OBP.
   226. DL from MN Posted: December 26, 2012 at 06:27 PM (#4332675)
Okay once. It's still a problem for a leadoff hitter and great basestealer to have that kind of allergy to walks.
   227. progrockfan Posted: December 26, 2012 at 06:35 PM (#4332679)
"Playing LF doesn't give him a whole lot of positional value"

True. He did lead in LF putouts three times and LF assists once – and I concede that this holds less than half the value it would have coming from a CF slot. Still, I contend that as long as he wasn't mauling his team in left, his total offense more than compensates for shortcomings in positional value.

"His relatively low OBP"

You have placed your finger unerringly on Brock's central weakness as a hitter. You have to decide if the total package comprises adequate compensation. It did for Andre Dawson, with his still lower OBP; but Dawson is an outlier with numerous secondary positives. Does Brock also enjoy sufficient positives? That's for the group to say.
   228. DL from MN Posted: December 26, 2012 at 06:43 PM (#4332682)
You're talking to the wrong guy. I didn't vote for Dawson either.
   229. OCF Posted: December 26, 2012 at 08:03 PM (#4332702)
It was really the Cubs who decided that Brock wasn't a CF. They tried him there, and then they moved him to RF. For most of the 60's, the Cubs had a conspicuous hole in CF. Had it seemed at all likely that Brock could have filled that hole, they wouldn't have considered trading him. Yes, after he got to St. Louis, the issue of CF would never have arisen. But the choice was made before then.
   230. Howie Menckel Posted: December 26, 2012 at 09:11 PM (#4332731)

"The top 28 players in hits are in the HoM - except the still-active Captain, and Lou Brock."

This reminds me of the Gwynn vs Raines comparison - walks are very useful, ESPECIALLY for a leadoff man and/or speed guy. Raines drew a ton, Gwynn fewer, and Brock too rarely.

Raines had 2605 hits and 1330 walks in 10359 PA.
LBrock had 3023 hits and 761 walks in 11240 PA.

maybe raw "hits" isn't the category we should be most focused on.

   231. theorioleway Posted: December 26, 2012 at 09:51 PM (#4332749)
Focusing on Brock's offense... here is his wRC+ and PA compared to OF in the HOM and those in the hunt for induction. Brock has a 109 wRC+ @ 11235 PA. Now, HOM LF:

Williams, T.: 188 wRC+ @ 9791 PA
Bonds: 172 wRC+ @ 12606 PA
Musial: 158 wRC+ @ 12712 PA
Keller: 152 wRC+ @ 4604 PA
Kiner: 146 wRC+ @ 6256 PA
Stargell: 145 wRC+ @ 9026 PA
Delahanty: 141 wRC+ @ 8389 PA
Burkett: 140 wRC+ @ 9605 PA
Magee: 134 wRC+ @ 8546 PA
Jones: 134 wRC+ @ 4009 PA
Clarke: 133 wRC+ @ 9819 PA
Minoso: 133 wRC+ @ 7710 PA
Henderson; 132 wRC+ @ 13346 PA
Williams, B.: 132 wRC+ @ 10519 PA
Medwick: 132 wRC+ @ 8142 PA
Simmons: 131 wRC+ @ 9515 PA
Yastrzemski: 130 wRC+ @ 13991 PA
Stover: 130 wRC+ @ 6832 PA
Wheat: 129 wRC+ @ 9996 PA
Kelley: 129 wRC+ @ 8120 PA
Irvin: 127 wRC+ @ 2893 PA
Raines: 126 wRC+ @ 10359 PA
Goslin: 126 wRC+ @ 9822 PA
Sheckard: 121 wRC+ @ 9118 PA

Not good for Brock, as the worst, Sheckard, is still way ahead Brock, and is also possibly the finest defensive LF ever. How about RF?

Ruth: 197 wRC+ @ 10616 PA
Jackson, J.: 165 wRC+ @ 5690 PA
Ott: 156 wRC+ @ 11337 PA
Aaron: 153 wRC+ @ 13940
Robinson: 153 wRC+ @ 11743 PA
Heilmann: 144 wRC+ @ 8960 PA
Flick: 144 wRC+ @ 6414 PA
Walker: 141 wRC+ @ 8030 PA
Jackson, R.: 139 wRC+ @ 11416 PA
Crawford: 138 wRC+ @ 10594
Smith: 137 wRC+ @ 8050 PA
Waner: 135 wRC+ @ 10762 PA
Kaline: 134 wRC+ @ 11597 PA
Thompson: 133 wRC+ @ 6502 PA
Gwynn: 132 wRC+ @ 10232 PA
Kelly: 130 wRC+ @ 6455 PA
Evans: 129 wRC+ @ 10569
Clemente: 129 wRC+ @ 10212
Winfield: 128 wRC+ @ 12358 PA
Slaughter: 126 wRC+ @ 9084 PA
Keeler: 124 wRC+ @ 9594 PA
Rose: 121 wRC+ @ 15861 PA

Again, Brock doesn't compare well. Clearly, playing corner OF really hurt his chances. What about CF?

Mantle: 169 wRC+ @ 9909 PA
Cobb: 165 wRC+ @ 13072
Speaker: 157 wRC+ @ 11988 PA
Mays: 154 wRC+ @ 12493 PA
DiMaggio: 152 wRC+ @ 7671 PA
Browning: 148 wRC+ @ 5315 PA
Hamilton: 140 wRC+ @ 7584 PA
Snider: 139 wRC+ @ 8237 PA
Pike: 138 wRC+ @ 2032 PA
Doby: 137 wRC+ @ 6302 PA
Wynn: 130 wRC+ @ 8010 PA
Averill: 130 wRC+ @ 7215 PA
Gore: 130 wRC+ @ 6104 PA
O'Rourke: 127 wRC+ @ 9051 PA
Roush: 127 wRC+ @ 8156 PA
Hines: 126 wRC+ @ 7470 PA
Dawson: 117 wRC+ @ 10769 PA
Ashburn: 115 wRC+ @ 9736 PA
Carey: 110 wRC+ @ 10770 PA

Brock's offense is practically a dead ringer for Carey, as they both stole a ton of bases as well as hitting at roughly the same clip. Carey, however, gained induction because of his brilliant defense in CF--if he'd been just average, he most likely doesn't get in. The same holds for Ashburn. As for Dawson, he benefited from the 80s being a low standard-deviation era and the fact that there weren't any other great CF in his he still has almost a +10 wRC+ advantage on Brock. Finally, the OF closest to HOM induction, along with two others I specifically thought of and included:

Cravath: 150 wRC+ @ 4645 PA
Bonds: 130 wRC+ @ 8090 PA
Sosa: 123 wRC+ @ 9896 PA
Cedeno: 122 wRC+ @ 8133 PA
Duffy: 117 wRC+ @ 7827 PA
Lofton: 110 wRC+ @ 9234 PA
Davis: 105 wRC+ @ 9822 PA

Again, the guys Brock fares most favorably to offensively were great defensive CFs, and Duffy was known to be very good defensively as well, plus has a decent wRC+ advantage over Brock. Not included in this, but also profiling similar to Brock is Cool Papa Bell, but he also (reputedly) played a great CF defense and also ran a ton. So basically, Brock had to play CF, and a great one, to get consideration. Davis didn't make a ballot this year, Lofton finished 15th and 500 points below what he would have needed for induction, Duffy has been on the ballot almost forever, and Dawson, Carey, and Bell are probably considered by many to be some of the weakest HOMers. So even if he'd done so, there's no guarantee he'd be in anyway. As for his defense, it seems generally agreed upon that he started out good, but declined in the second half of his career...not what he needed to help his candidacy.
   232. Bleed the Freak Posted: December 28, 2012 at 06:20 AM (#4333497)
223. progrockfan Posted: December 26, 2012 at 05:18 PM (#4332618)

The top 28 players in hits are in the HoM - except the still-active Captain, and Lou Brock.

A similar counting stat is times on base, where Lou Brock finishes 58th:

A number of other long-career, low peak, limited defensive value players hit the list that have been excluded from the hall of merit:

43. Rusty Staub (23) 4050 L
44. Rogers Hornsby+ (23) 4016 R
45. Manny Ramirez (19, 40) 4012 R
46. Tim Raines (23) 3977 B
47. Tony Gwynn+ (20) 3955 L
48. Jesse Burkett+ (16) 3954 L
Omar Vizquel (24, 45) 3954 B
50. Harold Baines (22) 3942 L
Rank Player (yrs, age) Times On Base Bats
51. Bobby Abreu (17, 38) 3926 L
52. Nap Lajoie+ (21) 3892 R
53. Dwight Evans (20) 3890 R
54. Darrell Evans (21) 3863 L
55. Luis Gonzalez (19) 3857 L
56. Jeff Bagwell (15) 3843 R
57. Fred McGriff (19) 3834 L
58. Lou Brock+ (19) 3833 L
59. Johnny Damon (18, 38) 3822 L

Staub and Baines have no support while McGriff is struggling.

Johnny Damon might be a reasonable comp for Brock.
Damon has a plus on playing center field and power.
Brock wins in stolen basis and post season credit.

Do you like Damon's chances?
   233. Chris Cobb Posted: December 29, 2012 at 09:49 AM (#4334126)
Do you like Damon's chances?

No. He's ahead of Brock, but he would have had to have been an excellent defensive centerfielder to be a serious HoM candidate at this level of offense. Kenny Lofton is the player who fits that profile. He has a bit less career than Brock and Damon (3405 times reached base), which makes him a borderline candidate rather than an obvious HoMer, but otherwise he's a reasonable offensive comp (hitting plus baserunning) for Brock with outstanding centerfield defense added.
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