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Monday, June 27, 2016

Most Meritorious Player: 1994 Ballot

For 1994, each voter should rank the top 14 players from all leagues combined.

Balloting is scheduled to close at 4pm EDT on 6 July 2016.

Anyone can vote, even if you do not normally participate in Hall of Merit discussions. If have never participated in an MMP election, just post a preliminary ballot in the discussion thread by 5 July 2016.

For detailed rules see one of our previous ballots.

DL from MN Posted: June 27, 2016 at 11:50 AM | 22 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. DL from MN Posted: June 27, 2016 at 03:46 PM (#5253213)
1994 Ballot

1) Greg Maddux - Best pitching performance since Gooden 1985
2) Jeff Bagwell - Just slightly behind Maddux
3) Barry Bonds - Another top performance from Bonds
4) Kenny Lofton - Outstanding baserunning, very good glove in CF
5) Frank Thomas - 2nd best hitter behind Bagwell
6) Albert Belle - Not terrible in LF this year
7) Ken Griffey Jr
8) Randy Johnson - Johnson and Clemens are basically tied for best pitcher in the AL
9) Roger Clemens
10) David Cone
11) Paul O'Neill - Must be a down year for LF at the bottom of the pool
12) Moises Alou - good glove
13) Matt Williams - very good glove this season
14) Tony Gwynn - 5th best bat

15-21) Mike Mussina, Kevin Mitchell, Barry Larkin, Bret Saberhagen, Larry Walker, Craig Biggio, Mike Piazza
   2. Chris Fluit Posted: June 27, 2016 at 11:26 PM (#5253621)
1994 Ballot

1. Greg Maddux, P, Atlanta Braves: absolutely dominant; 271 ERA+ is 92 better than second place in the NL
2. Jeff Bagwell, 1B, Houston Astros: leads the senior circuit in OPS+ and RC (213 and 137)
3. Frank Thomas, 1B, Chicago White Sox: leads the junior circuit in OPS+ and RC (212 and 145) but doesn't have as good a glove as Bagwell (+5 for Jeff, -8 for Thomas)
4. Albert Belle, LF, Cleveland Indians: 194 OPS+ and 131 RC, though -10 fielding
5. Ken Griffey Jr., CF, Seattle Mariners: 171 OPS+ to go with +11 fielding in centerfield
6. Barry Bonds, LF, San Francisco Giants: only a 183 OPS+ and +5 fielding (Griffey is ahead due to position)
7. Kenny Lofton, CF, Cleveland Indians: 145 OPS+, +9 baserunning and +13 fielding for the most well-rounded player in the majors this season
8. Kevin Mitchell, LF, Cincinnati Reds: 185 OPS+ is second in the NL
9. Paul O'Neill, RF, New York Yankees: the great seasons by outfielders keep coming
10. Fred McGriff, 1B, Atlanta Braves: top five in NL OPS+ and RC, with +5 fielding
11. Tony Gwynn, RF, San Diego Padres
12. Roger Clemens, P, Boston Red Sox: best pitcher in the AL with 176 ERA+
13. Craig Biggio, 2B, Houston Astros: the best of the "glove" positions with a 138 OPS+
14. David Cone, P, Kansas City Royals

15. Moises Alou, LF/RF, Montreal Expos
16. Mike Mussina, P, Baltimore Orioles
17. Matt Williams, 3B, San Francisco Giants
18. Larry Walker, RF/1B, Montreal Expos
19. Wade Boggs, 3B, New York Yankees
20. Bret Saberhagen, P, New York Mets
   3. bjhanke Posted: June 28, 2016 at 03:56 AM (#5253654)
This is Brock Hanke’s final ballot for 1994. This being a weird year to analyze, because of the short season, I didn’t do much to the average of Win Shares and WAR that I use to start out with. I do have a couple of notes about individual players.

As I mentioned in the discussion thread, Greg Maddux, in 1994-5, had tremendous ERA+, but with low workloads. It was pointed out that Maddux didn’t know that there would be a work stoppage in 1994, and so couldn’t have been just pushing himself extra hard because he knew he wouldn’t wear out in September, but I have grave doubts about that. I knew there was going to be a work stoppage, unless a miracle occurred, and I was, from the point of view of MLB, just some weekly sportswriter. In any case, Maddux did have tremendous ERA+ in 94 and 95, and it shows up in the rankings here. His gain in ERA+ was great, and the workload drop was not a huge amount, so he ends up at the head of WAR’s rankings, and third in Win Shares. That’s probably fair in this year. What I wonder is whether it was an indicator that workloads for aces were too high at that time. Roger Clemens also had a great ERA+ (176) in 1994, but only pitched 170 innings. I think (I’m not sure) that Roger got hurt in1993, when his IP went below 200 in a full season, and his ERA+ was 104, which is nothing for Clemens. Next year, 1995, he will be down to 140 IP, and his ERA+ will only be 117. He won’t fully recover until 1997. In any case, he has so few IP this year that he doesn’t make the ballot, despite the very high ERA+.

I had a tie for 7th place between Ken Griffey, Jr. and David Cone. I split the tie in Griffey’s favor because I think that WAR overrates pitchers, but there’s something else I want to say about David Cone. Some years ago, I wrote that I remembered Cone just blowing up in games, losing all control, and thereby losing some games that he really had won until he came unglued. Some KC and NY fans were really irate about this, saying that they had seen nothing of the sort when he was in the AL, with their teams. In the New Historical Abstract, in the Orel Hershiser comment, Bill James came up with something that he called “The Index of Self-Destruction.” This is a count of things like wild pitches and HBP. The worst Index in history belongs to Nolan Ryan, which makes sense. But the #2 spot belongs to David Cone. I checked out the specific stats that make up the index, and what I found out was that Cone was historically wild and self-destructive while he was with the Mets, early in his career. However, when he moved back to the AL, with KC and the Yankees, he didn’t do that any more. My guess is that he just grew up; he was young when he was with the Mets. But in reality, your memory of Cone will depend on which league you watch. If you are a NL guy, you’ll remember him as crazy. If you’re an AL guy, you won’t have seen that. So both I and my critics were right.

My only changes from the WS / WAR average were to drop Frank Thomas one place, split a tie for 5th in favor of Barry Bonds over Albert Belle, and to sort out a 3-way tie for 13th place in favor of Matt Williams and then Mike Mussina. I listed Marquis Grissom as a 15th man, because he’s the third man in the tie for 13th.

1. Jeff Bagwell
2. Greg Maddux
3. Kenny Lofton
4. Frank Thomas
5. Barry Bonds
6. Albert Belle
7. Ken Griffey, Jr.
8. David Cone
9. Moises Alou
10. Craig Biggio
11. Larry Walker
12. Fred McGriff
13. Matt Williams
14. Mike Mussina
15. Marquis Grissom
   4. caiman Posted: June 30, 2016 at 10:11 AM (#5255441)
Here's my RPA results showing the number of runs produced above the median:

1. Frank Thomas 56.89 runs
2. Jeff Bagwell 47.33 runs
3. Albert Belle 47.12 runs
4. Barry Bonds 41.34 runs
5. Greg Maddux 39.21 runs
6. Paul O'Neill 37.00 runs
7. Ken Griffey, jr. 35.73 runs
8. Fred McGriff 27.10 runs
9. Kenny Lofton 26.89 runs
10. Craig Biggio 25.55 runs
11. Kevin Mitchell 25.11 runs
12. Roger Clemens 24.71 runs
13. David Cone 24.29 runs
14. Moises Alou 24.07 runs
   5. Tubbs is Bobby Grich when he flys off the handle Posted: July 03, 2016 at 11:39 AM (#5257680)
The discussion thread would not allow me to comment but here is my final ballot for 1994--no postseason bonus (obviously) but some small credit for playing on a contender :

Longer comments at the bottom

1. Maddux
2. Bagwell
3. F Thomas
4. Griffey
5. Lofton
6. Bonds
7. Belle
8. Cone
9. McGriff
10.Gwynn
11.L Walker
12.Alou
13.O'Neill
14.Saberhagen

1. Maddux--just over Bagwell. In a close battle like this I often favor position players over pitchers but at the last minute I selected Maddux's pitching dominance in a hitters year over Bags bat.
2. Bagwell--Yes, Bagwell's injury would have had missing lots of time in a 162-season but the reality is he got "lucky" with when his injury happened, similar to Bobby Grich in 1981
3. Thomas--overall dominance of bat & playing for contender just pushes him past Junior for AL MMP
4. Griffey
5. Lofton #5 through 7 were very close
6. Bonds funny to see him so low, what a player
7. Belle
8. Cone AL pitching MMP-back then I was mad he beat Key out for CY, quite a ways behind Maddux though,also KC was decent & he was a big part of that
9. McGriff--Crime Dog's last dominant year in what was a great mid-93 through 94 start to his time in Atlanta
10.Gwynn--I'm surprised he's so low, I moved him past Walker & Alou by taking away some of his negative points on defense, near .400 likely would've still hit in .370-80
11.Walker
12.Alou
13.O'Neill--he drew lots of early season attention for hitting .400+
14.Saberhagen--just past Randy Johnson's mullet. I took Sabes' W/L record and ridiculous BB/IP over Unit's K rate

Honorable mention
Key--as stated I wanted him to win the CY & was surprised (back then) his W/L record & playing in NY didn't elevate him over Cone
Mussina--probably just over Key in a close calls for making the ballot
Matt Williams --hit a ton of HR but wow his OBP was bad in a pure hitters year
   6. Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: July 03, 2016 at 12:51 PM (#5257705)
I knew there was going to be a work stoppage, unless a miracle occurred, and I was, from the point of view of MLB, just some weekly sportswriter.

Did you also know it would result in the final 30% of the season being canceled rather than a handful of games? Because that's what's required to validate your argument in the slightest.
   7. bjhanke Posted: July 04, 2016 at 11:42 AM (#5258083)
Lance - Actually, yes, I did know that timeline. Here's a quote from Wikipedia (Donald Fehr article) "The final straw came on June 23 when the Senate Judiciary Committee failed to approve an antitrust legislation by a vote of 10–7. According to Fehr, the action left the players with little choice but to strike. 'We felt in '94 we were pushed into it', he said." At that point, in late June, I got told by some of the local beat writers that this was very serious. Neither side was going to back down, and neither side had even a draft of a proposal that would appease the other side. The strike was set to occur in mid-August, and did so. Commissioner Bud Selig announced that September 9 would be the day when he would declare the season completely over, including the World Series. The players made a proposal on September 8, but it had no chance. There were a couple of futile meetings later, but the 94 season was finished.

One important thing that I remember, although without complete certainty, is that the players chose to strike late rather than early in the season because players get paid by the month or some other small time period, whereas the owners made a large percentage of their money on ticket sales at the end of the pennant races and, of course, the Series. In other words, the players were already preparing themselves for a strike at the beginning of the season. They wanted to make enough money before the strike that no player would be broke. When you're doing that kind of preparation, you expect to have to strike. Greg Maddux had to have known this as it unfolded, day by day. Fehr was very good at communicating with his players, just as Marvin Miller had told him to be. By no later than June 23, Maddux knew that the season would be over in mid-August. Realistically, he probably knew earlier. Surely he knew earlier than I did. - Brock Hanke
   8. DL from MN Posted: July 05, 2016 at 11:37 AM (#5258588)
Only 5 ballots so far and the deadline should be tomorrow. I can extend if needed.
   9. Michael J. Binkley's anxiety closet Posted: July 05, 2016 at 02:13 PM (#5258767)
I may or may not be able to get my ballot up today, but I will definitely be able to post it before the deadline tomorrow (I only have a couple of very minor tweaks from my prelim, anyway).
   10. EricC Posted: July 05, 2016 at 06:21 PM (#5259001)
1994 MMP ballot.

1. Greg Maddux. Off-the-charts type season, leading in IP and ERA+ by significant margins.
2. Jeff Bagwell. Top MLB hitter and position player.
3. Albert Belle. Top LF.
4. Frank Thomas. Top AL hitter.
5. David Cone. #2 pitcher in both systems.
6. Craig Biggio. 2B who could hit a little and play a lot were in short supply in 1994 (see #14 below).
7. Barry Bonds. Along with O'Neill, corner outfielders among top MLB hitters, with Bonds more deserving.
8. Paul O'Neill. Top RF.
9. Roger Clemens. Beats Cone in ERA+ and nearly equal in IP, but comprehensive systems favor Cone.
10. Mike Mussina. Next best P.
11. Kenny Lofton. Top CF.
12. Mike Piazza. Top C.
13. Ken Griffey Jr. Not far behind Lofton amongst CF.
14. Chuck Knoblauch. (See #6 above.)
   11. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 06, 2016 at 09:18 AM (#5259269)
Only 5 ballots so far and the deadline should be tomorrow. I can extend if needed.


If you could, Dan, that would be great. I apologize for my tardiness.
   12. Michael J. Binkley's anxiety closet Posted: July 06, 2016 at 10:10 AM (#5259327)
1994 Final MMP Ballot:

My methodology: I use an average of bWAR, fWAR (using the average of FIP and RA-9 numbers for pitchers), gWAR, DanR WARP (substituting BP for pre 1893 and post-2005 years), and Win Shares (crudely adjusted to a WAR-like value) . For catchers post 1948, I use Max Marchi/BP game-calling numbers for defensive values. I also believe the DH penalty is too harsh, so I split the difference between DH replacement level and 1b replacement level.

For each player's average WAR (mWAR for Michael WAR, or Mengel (my last name) WAR or just My WAR)I then plug it into a DanR-style peak-rate salary estimator (the Sfrac for all pitchers is 1). I don't give an additional catcher bonus since most don't play a full seasons worth of games, and the missing games are already built into the rate part of the salary estimator (note: this hurts catchers like Bench and Berra who did tend to play full seasons since they played their "off" days at positions other than catcher). I do not include a post-season bonus except as a final tiebreaker.

1. Greg Maddux (8.54 mWAR (12.13/162g) / $36,203,621)
2. Jeff Bagwell - NL MMPosition Player (8.02 mWAR (11.30/162g) / $31,934,579)
3. Frank Thomas - AL MMP (6.51 mWAR (9.33/162g) / $21,586,560)
4. Barry Bonds (6.11 mWAR (8.60/162g) / $19,466,036)
5. Albert Belle (5.80 mWAR (8.31/162g) / $18,403,485)
6. Kenny Lofton (5.95 mWAR (8.53/162g) / $18,327,743)
7. Ken Griffey Jr. (5.76 mWAR (8.33/162g) / $18,127,333)
8. David Cone - AL MMPitcher. ( 5.64 mWAR (7.95/162g) / $16,643,141)
9. Bret Saberhagen (5.23 mWAR (7.49/162g) / $14,964,438)
10. Roger Clemens (5.28 mWAR (7.44/162g) / $14,752,453)
11. Randy Johnson (5.02 mWAR (7.27/162g) / $14,160,429)
12. Mike Mussina (4.97 mWAR (7.19/162g) / $13,893,727)
13. Paul O'Neill (4.58 mWAR (6.56/162g) / $12,544,568)
14. Craig Biggio (4.84 mWAR (6.82162g) / $12,304,267)

15-20. Moises Alou, Kevin Mitchell, Larry Walker, Matt Williams, Pat Hentgen, Fred McGriff.
   13. DL from MN Posted: July 06, 2016 at 10:19 AM (#5259337)
Extending a week by request. Close election so I would like to get as many ballots as possible. Extending the ability to post a prelim ballot to next Tuesday also.
   14. ThickieDon Posted: July 06, 2016 at 11:06 AM (#5259392)
Had trouble logging in from work. I wanted to get my votes in before it was too late. I'll post details later.

1. Greg Maddux
2. Jeff Bagwell
3. Frank Thomas
4. Kenny Lofton
5. Ken Griffey, Jr.
6. Barry Bonds
7. Albert Belle
8. Bret Saberhagen
9. Moises Alou
10. Fred McGriff
11. Craig Biggio
12. Paul O'Neill
13. Larry Walker
14. Kevin Mitchell
   15. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 06, 2016 at 01:38 PM (#5259531)
Extending a week by request. Close election so I would like to get as many ballots as possible. Extending the ability to post a prelim ballot to next Tuesday also.


Thanks, Dan! I'll have it posted no later than tomorrow.
   16. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 06, 2016 at 06:24 PM (#5259954)
Official 1994 MMP Ballot (no postseason bonuses):

1) Jeff Bagwell: Best ML player (comfortably) and first baseman.
2) Greg Maddux: Best ML pitcher - no one else even close.
3) Craig Biggio: Best ML second baseman.
4) Barry Bonds: Best ML left fielder.
5) Frank Thomas: Best AL first baseman.
6) Albert Belle: Best AL left fielder.
7) Paul O'Neill: Best ML right fielder.
8) Mike Piazza: Best ML catcher.
9) David Cone: Best AL pitcher.
10) Moises Alou:
11) Ken Griffey, Jr.: Best ML center fielder.
12) Fred McGriff:
13) Mike Mussina:
14) Kenny Lofton:
   17. DL from MN Posted: July 11, 2016 at 11:33 AM (#5262781)
If there are no prelim ballots by 15:00 tomorrow I will close.
   18. Yardape Posted: July 11, 2016 at 01:48 PM (#5262939)
I thought I'd missed this vote, but I see it's been extended. Whew! Here's a prelim ballot. It was strange putting this ballot together and realizing that I did not have to factor in any postseason credit...

1. Greg Maddux. Best ML pitcher. Terrific season, edges Bagwell for the top spot.
2. Jeff Bagwell. Best hitter in baseball.
3. Kenny Lofton. This is the poster season for Lofton HoM supporters. AL MMP
4. Ken Griffey, Jr.
[Suzuki Ichiro. His breakout season in Japan. An amazing year.]
5. David Cone. Best AL pitcher.
6. Frank Thomas. I'm actually a bit surprised, I thought he would have been right up with Bagwell and the AL MMP, but Lofton and Griffey had great seasons at a tougher position.
7. Barry Bonds
8. Rogers Clemens
9. Bret Saberhagen
10. Albert Belle
11. Randy Johnson
12. Mike Mussina
13. Pat Hentgen
14. Moises Alou. Tops among a great Montreal outfield that year.

I have a pretty big gap between Alou and Matt Williams for the next spot, although if Japanese players were eligible Etoh Akira might have been competition.
   19. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 11, 2016 at 03:14 PM (#5263007)
5) Frank Thomas: Best AL first baseman.


I should have mentioned he was my pick for AL MMP, though not by much.
   20. Yardape Posted: July 11, 2016 at 03:18 PM (#5263008)
Here's a prelim ballot


Whoops, I posted this in the wrong thread...
   21. DL from MN Posted: July 13, 2016 at 09:59 AM (#5264249)
Balloting closes today. If Yardape says that ballot is final I will post results.
   22. DL from MN Posted: July 13, 2016 at 04:00 PM (#5264588)
Ballot is closed

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