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Thursday, August 17, 2017

Arthur: Buster Posey Has Quietly Become A Lock For Cooperstown

The Giants’ record might make Posey easy to overlook, but his combination of hitting and defense makes him almost a lock to one day join the Hall. In fact, despite being only 30 years old, Posey might already have a Hall of Fame résumé if he retired today.

538’s baseball coverage hasn’t been great, has it?

Baldrick Posted: August 17, 2017 at 03:57 PM | 114 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: buster posey, fivethirtyeight, hall of fame

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   1. BDC Posted: August 17, 2017 at 07:31 PM (#5515795)
Oy, yes, well, even if we overlook the hasn't-played-ten-seasons thing, the most similar comparable complete career is Al Rosen's:

Player         dWAR   PA OPSRbaser  HR RBI  BB   BA  OBP  SLG      Pos
Buster Posey    7.8 4130  135    2.0 128 578 396 .308 .376 .475   
*23/HD
Al Rosen        0.4 4374  137    0.0 192 717 587 .285 .384 .495 
*5/3H647 


Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 8/17/2017.

Posey is a little better, of course, 37 to 32 WAR largely because of position: both were MVPs. Rosen is a HOVG ballplayer, for sure.

Similar batters through age 30 is basically the HOVG: Larry Walker, Fred Lynn, George Foster, Tony Oliva, Wally Berger, etc. Posey tops them all by position and defensive value, though.

Similar catchers through 30, naturally, the situation gets a whole lot better:

Player            dWAR   PA OPSRbaser  HR RBI   BA  OBP  SLG         Pos
Carlton Fisk       8.9 3483  131   10.0 134 464 .285 .362 .486      
*2/HD7
Buster Posey       7.8 4130  135    2.0 128 578 .308 .376 .475      
*23/HD
Bill Dickey        3.9 4411  129   
-1.0 127 784 .323 .379 .503        *2/H
Mickey Cochrane    3.4 4861  129    3.0 108 680 .321 .412 .490       
*2/H7
Roger Bresnahan    2.3 3916  130   
-6.0  20 383 .286 .389 .383 *28/5937461 


Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 8/17/2017.

So he's got a fine start on a HOF resumé, but let's just leave it at that.

In terms of WAR by catchers through age 30, Posey is ahead of Dickey and Fisk, but behind Torre, Simmons, Mauer, and Munson, and about even with Bill Freehan. Again, a great pace, but the pace can be interrupted (though hopefully not by a Munson-level event).

There was some clickbait thing on my FB the other day with "mortal locks" for the HOF like Andrew McCutchen and Paul Goldschmidt, which was basically "if these guys keep playing at their best for a lot more years, they will be first-ballot" yeah whatever.
   2. Walt Davis Posted: August 17, 2017 at 07:39 PM (#5515802)
Yeah, it's sill to think he might be in if he retired today. The man's barely got more than 4000 PA (and only 9 "seasons"). Maybe if he literally got hit by a bus they'd overlook the short career.

He's on pace but there's still a long way to go with just 38 WAR. It's pretty clear a C has to distance himself from Simmons, Freehan, Munson to get in and he's got a bit to go to catch up.

First 10 seasons, at least 800 games at C (Posey one to go, will be at 800+ games by end of this year):

Bench 54
Piazza 51
Carter 48
Cochrane 45
Mauer 44
Munson 44
IRod 42
Berra 38
Torre 36
Fisk 36

So clearly on an HoF track but Torre, Mauer and Munson are examples of getting stuck on that track. He is 6 WAR ahead of Freehan and 7 ahead of Simmons so he has early separation. Importantly, he also has a MVP.

If instead we look at it through age 30 rather than first 10 seasons, things look less rosy. Catchers can have weird careers -- somewhat like pitchers, having relatively few ML innings at younger ages might help them age better. Anyway:

Bench 64
Carter 56
IRod 51
Torre 48
Simmons 45
Mauer 44
Piazza 42
Cochrane 41
Munson 40
Berra 38
Freehan 36
Dickey 36
Fisk 35

Same suspects but no separation vs Torre, Simmons, Munson, Freehan. He probably needs 3-4 more good seasons at C then possibly enough PA as a mediocre 1B to pad out the PA to get towards 8,000.

Piazza's probably the closest comp with 4100 PA, 900 games caught and 41 WAR through age 30. He had 2.5 Posey seasons and 2 good seasons left. That was about 700 games caught, 3700 PA, 18 WAR. Of course Posey probably doesn't need to be quite as good as Piazza to make it.
   3. Sunday silence Posted: August 17, 2017 at 07:42 PM (#5515807)
if Posey was a mortal lock at this point, would it make Munson one as well? I dont know I am just asking rhetorically.
   4. Chokeland Bill Posted: August 17, 2017 at 07:58 PM (#5515819)
He's probably going to get extra credit for being seen as the face of 3 world champions.
   5. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: August 17, 2017 at 08:02 PM (#5515822)
Of course losing 100 games and 3-4 WAR from that cheap shot that broke his leg when he was 24 doesn't help. He had a 4 WAR rookie season, the lost season, then a 7 WAR season so it's not a stretch to assume he be over 40 WAR by now. Not a huge difference, but still it all counts. He really needs to keep ticking over 4 WAR seasons for another 4 years or so, keep the BA above .300 and then I think he'd get in fairly easily. The MVP is a big factor, as well was "3 time WS champion."

He also seems really well respected around the league, so that will help also. He's one of those guys where if the numbers are near enough, the narrative will push him in quite easily.

Similar batters through age 30 is basically the HOVG: Larry Walker,


No. Walker was a HOF caliber player, had a long enough career, had a good enough peak and deserves to be elected. He is not like the others in your list.
   6. cardsfanboy Posted: August 17, 2017 at 08:13 PM (#5515829)
You can't quietly be a lock for the hof. Let's get that bit out of the way.

As far as the Torre and Simmons comparisons, Buster has the benefit of being thought of as a good defensive catcher, something that Simmons and Torre don't have on their resume. I don't think war is a good tool for evaluating how the electors in the past have voted for catchers, and I'm not sure how much it's going to matter going forward. (note: I'm not saying that they used war or not in the past, I'm saying that war , when it comes to defense for catchers, doesn't accurately reflect the consensus value of defense by the voters--at the same time, I'm pretty sure war is going to be tweaked plenty enough between now and when Posey becomes eligible, that catchers defense will be better reflected in it's numbers beyond what it currently accounts for.)

There was some clickbait thing on my FB the other day with "mortal locks" for the HOF like Andrew McCutchen and Paul Goldschmidt, which was basically "if these guys keep playing at their best for a lot more years, they will be first-ballot" yeah whatever.


Yep, I clicked on it, and the list was over populated with guys who didn't have 10 years in.... or guys like Goldschmidt who have already past the point of being a serious candidate for the hof, and would need basically to have no decline for at least another five years, to even begin to enter the conversation of a mortal lock for the hof. (I can't remember if Cano was on that list)
   7. zachtoma Posted: August 17, 2017 at 08:52 PM (#5515869)
Yeah, I think the hardware - the RotY, the MVP, and 3 Championships - will help his HoF voting outstrip his numerical achievements. He's the best player on what is, well, one of the weirdest "dynasties" in baseball history, but you can't deny that they got 3 rings in 5 years. If he has two more good seasons, he's a lock. He doesn't have to do anything after age 32.
   8. PreservedFish Posted: August 17, 2017 at 09:27 PM (#5515882)
The Giants’ record might make Posey easy to overlook


Is this fellow aware that the Giants have won the world series like 6 times in the last 8 years?
   9. Walt Davis Posted: August 17, 2017 at 09:44 PM (#5515884)
He's probably going to get extra credit for being seen as the face of 3 world champions.

Was he? I think of Bumgarner as the "face" of at least the last one and probably the most famous Giant during this run. Posey also doesn't have good postseason numbers while Bumgarner's are crazy good, especially in the WS. Still it's a fair point that 3 WS will help Posey, especially as a C.

I don't think war is a good tool for evaluating how the electors in the past have voted for catchers,

Disagree. Except for the special case of Campy, the WAR list and the HoF list ... and the relative ease with which they got there all line up pretty well. Carter is really the only odd one out -- and that's because WAR does a better job of recognizing his combo of offense and defense than the voters did. It was the under-rating of Carter's relative offensive value that held him out, he was considered excellent defensively and won 3 GG. (As always, there are questionable VC decisions but those generally have very little influence on the voters.)

You do have to adjust a bit for pre- and post-integration. Virtually no C made it far past 1500 games in the olden days, the HoF types sail past that these days. Piazza as we know had a bit of a hard time, hard to know to what extent that was the result of roid rumors, but he needed to be the best-hitting C ever to get there on so few games.

Yadier has a very good shot and he'd be the first low-WAR C since Campy. Certainly if Yadi makes it, Posey will probably have an easy time of it. Or Yadi will be the Rice/Puckett/whoever of Cs.

Posey is considered pretty good defensively by smarty-pants like us but he has just one GG (Yadi). He throws out a few more runners than league average but I've never heard anybody rave about his arm like they did IRod, Bench, etc. If Posey makes the HoF, he's making it on being an excellent-hitting C (and the MVP and 3 rings).

   10. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: August 17, 2017 at 10:23 PM (#5515899)
I think of Bumgarner as the "face" of at least the last one and probably the most famous Giant during this run. Posey also doesn't have good postseason numbers while Bumgarner's are crazy good,


I can see that, but who do you think will get credit for calling a solid game, keeping Bumgarner and staff on point and generally keeping the Giants focused whilst on the diamond during those world series wins? A good catcher seems to always get some positive feedback when the team is successful. How he handles the staff? Helps control the running game? Keeps the team focused?

I've no idea how good Posey is at these things(would appear to be pretty good), but he'll get credit for it nonetheless at voting time.

As you said, I think the response from voters will be "pretty darn good catcher, team leader, etc. but look at that bat! For a catcher, he sure could rake."

Zach said 2 more years and he's a lock. I think a bit more then that will be required(unless the 2 years are like 7 WAR seasons). I see him needing 4 more 3-4 WAR type of seasons, then I think he'll be comfortably be in.
   11. Rally Posted: August 17, 2017 at 10:37 PM (#5515903)
I think Mauer is the best comp. Posey is 30 and having another great year. When Mauer was 30 he hit .324, was an all star and silver slugger, and caught in more than half of his games (though less than half of his team's games). Mauer played 113 games and caught 73, Posey right now at 108 and 83. Their age 30 seasons look very similar right now, though Posey could stay healthy the rest of the year and surpass Mauer on volume.

For sake of argument, what f Posey gets hurt in the next week and is unable to play catcher again? Next year he comes back as a first baseman, still able to get on base but diminished power, and turns into a 100 OPS+, 2 WAR guy for the next 4-5 years.

Is he a hall of famer still? Is Mauer a hall of famer?

Personally I think Mauer should get in, because he is past 50 WAR and very few catchers have gotten to that point. The only other catcher past 50 WAR and not in the HOF is Ted Simmons, and I think Simba should be in. Mauer's peak was great. He's got an MVP and multiple batting titles. Still, I'm not 100% confidant that the HOF voters will agree and put Joe in. As far as what he does as an average 1B, I dont think it matters to his case whether he plays one more year or 5, his HOF argument is the seasons he put in behind the plate.
   12. The Duke Posted: August 17, 2017 at 11:15 PM (#5515925)
Posey needs to retire before Molina. One of those two will get in and he other may not. Like Henderson and Raines dynamic.

Verducci dropped by the St. Louis broadcasting booth and when asked if Molina gets in said that many writers believe he is a hall of famer and is known in the game as the best defensive catcher of his generation and perhaps ever.

My view is that they both are HOFs already based largely on how well their teams have performed. Both have instrumental in getting their teams to the WS. Molina would have even more were it not for Posey and the Giants. Posey will have world class offense and Molina will have durability and defense. Both have had big injuries that have held down their WAR.

Both deserving in my opinion
   13. LA Podcasting Hombre of Anaheim Posted: August 18, 2017 at 03:13 AM (#5515965)
Mauer's peak was great. He's got an MVP and multiple batting titles. Still, I'm not 100% confidant that the HOF voters will agree and put Joe in. As far as what he does as an average 1B, I dont think it matters to his case whether he plays one more year or 5, his HOF argument is the seasons he put in behind the plate.
My problem with Mauer's HOF argument is that he's not an average 1B. In the four seasons he's played exclusively 1B/DH since 2014, he's been below average every year — in 2015 and this season, he's been significantly below average. (This season, the second-lowest homer totals by 1Bs who qualify by PA is 13, and that's more than twice as many as Mauer's six homers.) Mauer was great, but he wasn't Albert Pujols. Pujols can be this horrible for the rest of his career and still breeze in to the Hall. Mauer doesn't have that kind of resumé.

I'm a Big Hall guy, and even I'm no on Mauer. He's Catcher Mattingly in my mind. His MVP, three batting titles, three Gold Gloves, and five Silver Sluggers at catcher are good mainstream arguments to make.
   14. Walt Davis Posted: August 18, 2017 at 03:29 AM (#5515966)
Mauer's problem is that he's not a catcher. He's got fewer than 900 career starts at C and may finish with more starts elsewhere. The voters do seem to like thinking of a guy as one position but I don't think 900 games is going to cut it. He's got the 300 BA and MVP but still looks more like Torre than an actual HoF catcher. We'll see. Certainly if Mauer gets in then Posey will be slam dunk very soon. But similarly, if Posey only has about 100 more games behind the plate, I think he's gonna have to be a pretty darn good 1B (or last forever) to get in.

While it's true that only Simmons (and Torre) has 50+ WAR and not made it, it's also true that most of the guys who made it had a pretty tough time of it (only Bench and IRod are 1st ballot, Fisk probably would have been in a different year). Also all the guys who made it with less than 59 WAR were pre-WW2. And all those guys who didn't make aren't far shy of 50 (45-46 WAR). If Piazza and Carter had made it easily, we could probably say that high 50s is near-automatic so low 50s is borderline. Or if Torre had made it (as a player) with fewer than 900 games caught, then Posey would be in real good shape no matter how long he can last back there. I just don't think the voters see it that way.

Mauer is essentially Ernie Banks. Barring a major resurgance, his resume is simply a great peak as a C. But it's only the 5th best WAR7 of any C and he's got nothing to add really. Ernie has the 4th best WAR7 of any SS but importantly hung on long enough to pass 500 HR, 1500 RBI, 2500 hits to go with his 2 MVPs. And made 4 AS teams as a 1B and got a few MVP votes. Mauer probably won't break 2200 hits, probably won't break 1000 RBI ... but was a C. From a saber perspective they're quite close; from a traditionalist perspective, not really.

he'll get credit for it nonetheless at voting time.

Agreed ... why I wrote "it's a fair point that 3 WS will help Posey, especially as a C." :-)

BTW, I think of Bumgarner as "the face" only in the sense that I think writers, casual fans, traditionalists, etc. think of him as "the face." I have no concern over who is or isn't "the face."

   15. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: August 18, 2017 at 04:20 AM (#5515969)

"Honey, you're embarrassing me in front of Buster Posey."


(I don't really have anything to add to the statistical discussion above; I just love that line.)
   16. Chris Fluit Posted: August 18, 2017 at 09:53 AM (#5516028)
My problem with Mauer's HOF argument is that he's not an average 1B. In the four seasons he's played exclusively 1B/DH since 2014, he's been below average every year — in 2015 and this season, he's been significantly below average.

In the last four seasons, Mauer has put up WAR of 2.1, 1.5, 2.3 and 2.0 (so far) for a total of 7.8 and WAA of 0.3, -0.8, 0.3, 0.5 (so far) for a total of 0.3. That's not what you want from your first baseman but it is, by definition, average, not below.
   17. dlf Posted: August 18, 2017 at 10:22 AM (#5516051)
if Posey was a mortal lock at this point, would it make Munson one as well?


Well, Munson clearly proved that he was mortal.
   18. DL from MN Posted: August 18, 2017 at 10:39 AM (#5516061)
Mauer might win the gold glove at 1B this season. His glovework has kept him productive at 1B despite his mediocre hitting. Average Joe keeps contributing. His complete lack of postseason success might be what keeps him on the wrong side of the line.
   19. Batman Posted: August 18, 2017 at 10:51 AM (#5516068)
A month ago, Aaron Judge had noisily become a lock for Cooperstown.
   20. BDC Posted: August 18, 2017 at 11:13 AM (#5516077)
Was going to compare Mauer to Banks but hadn't read Walt's comment :(
   21. Booey Posted: August 18, 2017 at 11:15 AM (#5516078)
"Honey, you're embarrassing me in front of Buster Posey."


Great line. Equally unrelated to his HOF worthiness, but Posey will always be one of my favorite players for one important personal reason - his name helped me bond with my son. A few years back, I was looking at various player profiles on my laptop with my then 3 year old son and each time I'd pull up a new player, he'd ask, "Who's that guy, Daddy?" When I said, "Buster Posey" he started laughing hysterically and repeating the name over and over again as if it was the funniest thing in the world. Ever since then it's become an inside joke of ours, and even 2 years later whenever one of us wants to make the other laugh we just randomly yell "Buster Posey!" and it works every time. My son loved that commercial referenced above, and sometimes calls him "Doctor Posey" because of it.

So yeah, I'll always root for Buster. And I plan on telling him this story if I ever meet him. I assume his response will be something along the lines of, "Who the hell are you and what are you doing in my home?!"
   22. Khrushin it bro Posted: August 18, 2017 at 03:01 PM (#5516319)
A month ago, Aaron Judge had noisily become a lock for Cooperstown.


He's not even baseball's home run king anymore.
   23. Ithaca2323 Posted: August 18, 2017 at 04:59 PM (#5516413)
his HOF argument is the seasons he put in behind the plate.


Which is ridiculous, considering he caught 100 games in a season all of five times.
   24. LA Podcasting Hombre of Anaheim Posted: August 18, 2017 at 07:22 PM (#5516524)
That's not what you want from your first baseman but it is, by definition, average, not below.
A first baseman whose value rests on his defense? That's not a Hall of Fame argument, and it's barely an argument for starting him.
   25. Walt Davis Posted: August 18, 2017 at 07:27 PM (#5516528)
BDC, don't let that stop you. I repeated your #1 in my #2 and repeated #13 in #14. It's what all the cool kids are doing these days.
   26. Baldrick Posted: August 18, 2017 at 07:55 PM (#5516551)
A first baseman whose value rests on his defense? That's not a Hall of Fame argument, and it's barely an argument for starting him.

"Yep, I overstated the point. I meant below average on offense, which is what people tend to focus on for a first baseman."

Is that really so hard?
   27. LA Podcasting Hombre of Anaheim Posted: August 18, 2017 at 08:07 PM (#5516556)
"Yep, I overstated the point. I meant below average on offense, which is what people tend to focus on for a first baseman."
You're comparing him to the league. I'm just looking at other full time first basemen.
   28. QLE Posted: August 19, 2017 at 01:23 AM (#5516757)
Entering this discussion a little late, but.....

At the moment, Posey's career WAR is at 37.5. In raw total, this might not be much (there are twenty-two active position players with more). However, this does not necessarily mean as much, as he is a catcher, and there are limitations to how high catcher WAR gets. My personal rule of thumb is that it seems catchers have about 80% of the playing time (both in-season and in terms of career) that regular position players do, and that their value should be calculated with that in mind.

So far, Posey's career can only be considered in terms of peak, as it is only nine seasons in length (and that is counting seasons of 7 and 45 games). Where does his WAR rank among the ten best seasons by his fellow catchers?

Johnny Bench: 61.4
Gary Carter: 60.8
Mike Piazza: 53.9
Ivan Rodriguez: 50.7
Carlton Fisk: 47.8
Mickey Cochrane: 47.6
Yogi Berra: 47.1
Joe Mauer: 45.7
Thurman Munson: 45.6
Ted Simmons: 45.4
Bill Dickey: 44
Gene Tenace: 43.1
Bill Freehan: 40.1
Jorge Posada: 40.1
Buck Ewing: 40
Gabby Hartnett: 39.2
Jason Kendall: 37.7
Buster Posey: 37.5
Roger Bresnahan: 36.1
Jim Sundberg: 36.1
Ernie Lombardi: 36
Darrell Porter: 35.9
Charlie Bennett: 35.5
Lance Parrish: 34.5
Roy Campanella: 34.2
Wally Schang: 33.6

Obviously, Posey is ineligible now (he needs to play one game in a season after this one). How well would he need to do in order to, firstly, be someone who deserves induction, and, secondly (and more importantly), be likely to be inducted?

In terms of the first: If he has one more season of 4.1 WAR (what he has done so far this year, in other words), he will be at 41.6 WAR10. At this level, there would be only thirteen catchers better than him, and I am inclined to think that the four below (Freehan, Posada, Ewing, and Hartnett) also merit induction.

The problem with this? Note that, on this last year's BBWAA ballot, Posada was one-and-done, in spite of the advantage of being the catcher for the Yankee teams of the late 1990s. Freehan did worse, and both Hartnett (because of how long ago his induction was) and Ewing (as a nineteenth-century player, he was substantially better than his raw WAR suggests) are poor examples for comparison. Of those that would be above, Tenace (who I don't think is a valid comparison because of how much first base he played, especially in his prime years) and Simmons went nowhere, Munson hung on but never really got any traction, and Dickey was both a long time ago and associated with Yankees powerhouse teams. There will be items to aid Posey (namely, it seems increasingly likely that, if he doesn't make it, no Giants from the championship seasons will), but, given the example of Posada, there are limits to how that would help him.

So, what would it take? Let us give him yet another 4.1 WAR season in 2019, replacing the 2009 season when he had -0.1 WAR. This adds 4.2 WAR to his WAR10, moving it up to 45.8. Here, a lot depends on what the HOF thinks of Mauer, who almost certainly will face them before he does, and who at this point is not likely to add much to his peak WAR. Posey has rings, but I'm really not sure how much of a difference that will make, especially if there is substantial turnover as expected.

If, however, he has yet another 4.1 WAR year, replacing the 1.4 WAR one he had in 2011? That would put him at a WAR10 of 48.3, which would be fifth all time. Of the four folk that would be ahead of him, two were first-ballot inductees, and the other two were either victims of limitations to statistical knowledge and a BBWAA that cast smaller ballots than they have been lately (Carter) or had steroid rumors and the image as one-dimensional sluggers who couldn't field their position (Piazza) to deal with. Similarly, of the three players immediately below him, two were second-ballot inductees (Berra and Fisk), and most of the delay with Cochrane was due to factors (not meeting annually, not coherently having the rule requiring five years of retirement before consideration, having to sift through all of baseball history) that are not the case now.

In all, then, I suspect he will need three more above-average years before becoming a likely inductee- and, even then, I have the feeling that his having a gradual decline from there will also help, as his counting stats will be low by recent HOF standards.
   29. Chris Fluit Posted: August 19, 2017 at 10:44 AM (#5516808)
A first baseman whose value rests on his defense? That's not a Hall of Fame argument, and it's barely an argument for starting him.

Did I claim that it was? No. You said he's below average. I countered with stats that demonstrate he's exactly average.

Or, in other words, carbonated beverage to Baldrick in #26.
   30. TDF, FCL Posted: August 19, 2017 at 11:09 AM (#5516812)
There is still absolutely no evidence that more than a handful of voters seriously consider advanced stats when voting for the HOF. Voters will change, and the new voters seem to pay more attention to such things, but right now that's the reality.

With that out of the way, Mauer right now looks like a better HOF candidate than Posey. Thru age-30, he was as good of a hitter, but with 900 more PA (by the end of the season, it'll still be a more than 700 PA difference). Posey has both fewer games at C (again, over a season's worth of defensive innings) and only 31 fewer games at 1B/DH despite Mauer playing in a DH league. And while defensive metrics think Posey's better, Mauer has 3 GGs vs. 1 (remember, not enough voters really care about advanced stats).

Now Posey hasn't had a post-30 career yet, so we don't know the way it'll end up; also, as stated, the voting body will change by the time either of these guys become eligible. But right now, "hit by a bus today" Posey isn't nearly the HOF candidate "hit by a bus at 30" Mauer was let alone "hit by a bus today" Mauer.
   31. djordan Posted: August 19, 2017 at 12:00 PM (#5516819)
Posey is well on his way, with the 136 OPS+, the MVP & the rings, just not there yet. Beyond not achieving the 10-year requirement, he only has one of the seven Hall of Fame Metrics (as listed on B-Ref) under his belt (7-Year Peak.) Tony Perez was the last player elected to the hall with less than one metric, and before that was Puckett. Wake me up when his WAR passes 45.

That said, if(heaven forbid) he had to stop player after this season for whatever reason, like Campanella, I think he would fall under that Campy/Puckett umbrella and probably be elected.

#12, yeah, based on sentiments like this, Yadi might have an easier time getting in than his pure numbers suggest he should.

   32. BDC Posted: August 19, 2017 at 01:07 PM (#5516832)
Actual active "locks" for the HOF – guys who would be first-ballot inductees if they quit tomorrow – are always relatively few. At the moment, who would they be? barring any weird character problems cropping up:

Adrian Beltre, Miguel Cabrera, Clayton Kershaw, Albert Pujols, Ichiro Suzuki.

That would seem to be the "mortal lock" list. Obviously it's really conservative, and there are a lot more active HOFers than those five. But if you're going to say "lock," the lock has to be bolted home.

And note the current status of the locked guys: Ichiro and Albert are on their last legs, Cabrera is in decline, and Beltre, incredibly not in decline, missed much of this season to an injury he would have bounced back from more quickly in his youth. Kershaw is a lock because he's essentially Sandy Koufax. That kind of player is exceedingly rare. Mike Trout will be similar when he gets to ten years.

Other cases and trajectories look good, or have probably already crossed the Hall of Merit threshold, like Mauer (and Posey, when he gets to ten years). Carlos Beltran and Chase Utley are mortal locks for the Hall of Merit. Robinson Cano continues to compile a case, and is probably already in the HOM as well; but if he quit tomorrow, he's just shy of 300 HR and not as impressive to HOF voters, I'll bet, as even Jeff Kent. Joey Votto is on a very good track, as noted recently in Votto threads.

Most of the top veteran pitchers are below the line: Verlander, Sabathia, Felix Hernandez. The HOM may look well on them too, but they need some late-career excellence to make the HOF, or in Sabathia's case compiling long enough to get to 250 wins or more.

This is really off the top of my head and I have no doubt left off obvious names that should be in the discussion. Molina, for instance. Yes, he has a fine case, but an odd one.
   33. BDC Posted: August 19, 2017 at 01:12 PM (#5516836)
Just to complete my own afterthought: Yadier Molina has a slightly better career OPS+ than Rick Ferrell, and his career is not as long as Ferrell's. He would be a very unusual pick for the BBWAA, but as people have been saying, he's got a lot of intangibles and quasi-tangibles going for him.
   34. LA Podcasting Hombre of Anaheim Posted: August 19, 2017 at 02:22 PM (#5516879)
Did I claim that it was? No. You said he's below average. I countered with stats that demonstrate he's exactly average.
League average, sure. I'm just saying that among first basemen, he's not. You're not wrong, but neither am I, and since we're having a Hall of Fame discussion here, I do think it matters that he's probably going to be below average for his position for the rest of his career.
   35. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 19, 2017 at 03:40 PM (#5516917)
That would seem to be the "mortal lock" list. Obviously it's really conservative, and there are a lot more active HOFers than those five. But if you're going to say "lock," the lock has to be bolted home.

Robinson Cano is approaching lock or near-lock territory, although I suppose there is enough to quibble about if one assumes that his reduced output this year is a harbinger of greater decline next season and thereafter. On the other hand, a solid 2018 & 2019 could make the remainder of his career a well-paid victory lap on the way to Cooperstown.
   36. The Duke Posted: August 19, 2017 at 04:19 PM (#5516928)
The thing that really hurts Yadi is TLR retiring. They likely would have made it to at least one more WS ( which would have come out of Poseys total), and they may have won the one they did get to. The cards also have pulled the bait and switch on him with Carson Kelly. After signing him for a long term contract, they now plan to start playing Kelly more. With his numbers, Yadi needs to play a lot in the next 5 years to bolster his case.
   37. Booey Posted: August 19, 2017 at 04:25 PM (#5516933)
Molina, for instance. Yes, he has a fine case, but an odd one.


He would be a very unusual pick for the BBWAA, but as people have been saying, he's got a lot of intangibles and quasi-tangibles going for him.


Molina is the catcher version of Vizquel. His argument is mainly "count da gold gloves." It's not really a strong case, but those gold gloves will get him a lot more support than his actual value suggests he should.
   38. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: August 19, 2017 at 04:33 PM (#5516940)
The thing that really hurts Yadi is TLR retiring. They likely would have made it to at least one more WS ( which would have come out of Poseys total), and they may have won the one they did get to.

How can you possibly feel so confident about that?
   39. cardsfanboy Posted: August 19, 2017 at 04:42 PM (#5516946)

How can you possibly feel so confident about that?


Because he's an idiot.
   40. BDC Posted: August 19, 2017 at 05:11 PM (#5516965)
Molina is the catcher version of Vizquel

Yes, that's an excellent parallel.
   41. Lars6788 Posted: August 19, 2017 at 05:20 PM (#5516970)
I guess you can't take away what he did as a hitter when he was a catcher, but the problem with Mauer is he's hit like Doug Mientkiewicz as a first baseman and that may drag his accomplishments down a little bit since it seems like a long time since he's been a regular behind the plate.

If Posey has to move off catcher permanently, I feel like he can still pad to his HOF credentials over the next five years as sort of an Edgar Martinez or even Paul Goldschmidt - guys with gaudy on-base skills and ability to hit for power as opposed to a straight up singles hitter [like Mauer has turned out to become].

   42. cardsfanboy Posted: August 19, 2017 at 05:27 PM (#5516973)
Molina is the catcher version of Vizquel

Yes, that's an excellent parallel.


In some ways I can see that, but unlike Vizquel, Molina does have a legitimate argument as the best defensive catcher of all time. I think Molina's better comparison is Mazeroski.
   43. Wahoo Sam Posted: August 19, 2017 at 05:28 PM (#5516975)
Robinson Cano is approaching lock or near-lock territory, although I suppose there is enough to quibble about if one assumes that his reduced output this year is a harbinger of greater decline next season and thereafter. On the other hand, a solid 2018 & 2019 could make the remainder of his career a well-paid victory lap on the way to Cooperstown.


I suggest this might come from bias. How can you be sure Cano is a "lock" when HOF voters have exhibited a reluctance to support many obviously qualified candidates over the years? See Bobby Grich, Lou Whitaker.

Cano is Al Oliver for me. He's an impressive player, often been one of the best hitters on his team, but not THE MAN most of the time. He's flashy and looks great playing the game, but he's not accumulating the milestone stats and he's not an MVP player. Oliver's career OPS+ was 121. Lazy Robby is at 126+ and will decline to about 120+ or lower. I think unless Cano can ramp it up and get to 400 homers, he's not getting in. Not even really close.

He trails Grich by 6 WAR right now and Sweet Lou by 10. He's at best probably a 2-3 WAR player now, if that lasts long. Second baseman age very quickly after 32. He'll be 35 in October and the Mariners might move him to a less demanding position. Like so many others (Whitaker and Utley noticeably) it appears that Cano is in his platoon phase decline. He has no power against LHP and probably shouldn't be playing against them much going forward.

YMMV, but I don't see Cano as anywhere near a lock.
   44. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: August 19, 2017 at 05:49 PM (#5516982)
Grich and Whitaker aren't the border for 2B. Their skillsets were undervalued by the voters at the time, but I think they'd both get in within a few years if they hit the ballot for the first time today.

Cano's career is already on par with recent HOFers Alomar, Biggio, and Sandberg. He's been appreciated as a great player in his time. I bet he gets in pretty easily, unless he spends the rest of his career reducing his overall value.
   45. cardsfanboy Posted: August 19, 2017 at 05:51 PM (#5516983)
He's at best probably a 2-3 WAR player now,


How do you say that with a straight face? He's at 2.4 war this season with about 30% of the season remaining, so roughly at about 3.2 war this season, a year after a 7+ war season. He looks like a 3-5 war player right now.

As far as either Lou or Grich, that is an argument for stat guys, not traditional guys. (all three of them are hall worthy)

Cano has a .305 career batting average, compared to Lou's .279, and Grich's .266, he's going to finish the season with 300+ career homeruns, and probably his career over 400 if not 450.... compared to both of Grich and Lou with less than 250, and it's not like those guys have the stolen bases to make up for the lack of power, add in the 8 time all star. Grich and Lou might be more worthy than Cano, but he's more likely to do better than them on the voting.
   46. John DiFool2 Posted: August 19, 2017 at 05:51 PM (#5516985)
Cano is not a lock, yes. It pretty much boils down to whether he reaches 3,000 (or gets close), but that's essentially only 4 (mediocre) seasons away for him (not sure why you overlooked that to be honest). 5 straight top 6's in the MVP voting. He'll probably get a lot more attention than Whitaker or Grich did. Not sure how many 2B cleared 1000 xbh but it can't be many.
   47. cardsfanboy Posted: August 19, 2017 at 05:57 PM (#5516987)
Not sure how many 2B cleared 1000 xbh but it can't be many.


Biggio(1014), Hornsby(1011)..... Kent ended up with 984, Gehringer ended up with 904.
   48. Lars6788 Posted: August 19, 2017 at 05:58 PM (#5516988)
I feel Cano has been underrated for years [even though he's been a longtime star] under the 'Chase Utley is so much better at their peak' tag but as far as counting numbers, Cano looks to be on his way to surpassing Utley's career totals.
   49. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: August 19, 2017 at 05:59 PM (#5516989)
It pretty much boils down to whether he reaches 3,000 (or gets close), but that's essentially only 4 (mediocre) seasons away for him (not sure why you overlooked that to be honest).


Four mediocre seasons when he's signed for six. Unless he starts getting injured regularly, or suffers the rare cliff dive, he's almost certain to reach 3,000. I don't think he necessarily needs it to get in the Hall, but it would obviously grease the skids.

   50. cardsfanboy Posted: August 19, 2017 at 06:04 PM (#5516993)
Cano is not a lock, yes. It pretty much boils down to whether he reaches 3,000 (or gets close), but that's essentially only 4 (mediocre) seasons away for him (not sure why you overlooked that to be honest). 5 straight top 6's in the MVP voting. He'll probably get a lot more attention than Whitaker or Grich did. Not sure how many 2B cleared 1000 xbh but it can't be many.


Right now, the only "locks" playing mlb is Pujols, Beltre, Cabrera and Ichiro... There are plenty of other players on a path or deserving that might not get the love they deserve but those four are the only "true" locks currently playing baseball today. They aren't the interesting conversation of course, it's the Kershaw's, Beltran, Trout, Cano, Pedroia, Molina, Mauer, Posey etc... that is the interesting conversation.

Of course having said that, there are players who are clearly on the path, and just need to avoid ishting the bed over the rest of their career (Kershaw, Cano, Trout etc.) and then there are players who just need to reverberate with the electorate like Beltran
   51. cardsfanboy Posted: August 19, 2017 at 06:13 PM (#5516997)
Assuming that the voters look at any numbers, Cano will probably easily sail into the hof when his time comes up for many of the reasons mentioned, it's very likely when he retires he'll have 400+ homeruns(the record for a second baseman) he'll have 3000 hits... I mean he's at 2332 right now, and is signed until 2023, even assuming they release him after the 2021 season for sucking, (which seems unlikely for a guy who is a 3+ war player right now) he will still have 4 seasons as a starter, which is good for easily 150 hits with his style of offense.

Of course that is different from my comment in 50, which is what I call locks, which to me are guys who do not die, who basically from today until the natural end of their career produce zero or negative value while still accumulating at bats. Cano doesn't need to accumulate WAA, but he does probably need to play well enough to generate about 5 war over the rest of his career to make it to the hof.
   52. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: August 19, 2017 at 06:15 PM (#5517001)
Of course having said that, there are players who are clearly on the path, and just need to avoid ishting the bed over the rest of their career (Kershaw, Cano, Trout etc.) and then there are players who just need to reverberate with the electorate like Beltran


Assuming he gets his third Cy this year, Scherzer will join them. But I don't think it even matters whether Trout or Kershaw #### the bed (and maybe Scherzer) at this point. Their peaks are high enough to get them in regardless what they do the rest of the way.

   53. John DiFool2 Posted: August 19, 2017 at 06:21 PM (#5517005)
Pedroia is the more interesting case anyway. Has the MVP, 2 championships, but these injuries might derail his counting stats and thus his chances.
   54. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 19, 2017 at 06:24 PM (#5517007)
Robinson Cano is approaching lock or near-lock territory, although I suppose there is enough to quibble about if one assumes that his reduced output this year is a harbinger of greater decline next season and thereafter. On the other hand, a solid 2018 & 2019 could make the remainder of his career a well-paid victory lap on the way to Cooperstown.

I suggest this might come from bias. How can you be sure Cano is a "lock" when HOF voters have exhibited a reluctance to support many obviously qualified candidates over the years? See Bobby Grich, Lou Whitaker.

Cano is Al Oliver for me. He's an impressive player, often been one of the best hitters on his team, but not THE MAN most of the time. He's flashy and looks great playing the game, but he's not accumulating the milestone stats and he's not an MVP player. Oliver's career OPS+ was 121. Lazy Robby is at 126+ and will decline to about 120+ or lower. I think unless Cano can ramp it up and get to 400 homers, he's not getting in. Not even really close. . . .


There may be some bias here, but I don't think it's my own, To begin with, I said Cano was "approaching lock or near-lock territory", while acknowledging one could quibble if you thought Cano's drop-off this year was harbinger of thinks to come. That's not quite the same as saying I'm "sure" Cano is a 1st ballot cinch.

As others have noted, it's far from certain that Cano is only a 2-3 WAR player going forward. He's on pace to exceed that this year, and as recently as last season he put up 7.3 WAR. A couple of 4 WAR seasons in 2018-19 puts Cano at ~ 74 WAR, with a chance of finishing up around 80. That ought to be good enough, and the fact that the Hall electorate treated Whitaker & Grich poorly shouldn't control future elections, as there are at least a few reasons to think the voters have wised up a bit. More generally, IIRC, Walt Davis, has demolished the thesis that 2nd basemen age particularly badly when the question has come up before.
   55. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 19, 2017 at 06:33 PM (#5517013)
Pedroia is the more interesting case anyway. Has the MVP, 2 championships, but these injuries might derail his counting stats and thus his chances.

When he started rather slowly this season, I thought the HoF window might be closing on Pedroia, but then he came on pretty strong, although he has again missed time with injuries. The gap with Cano is growing, but Pedroia looks like he can still add to his case if he can stay healthy - a Big If. Can't see how Pedroia would make it if the voters reject Cano, though.
   56. cardsfanboy Posted: August 19, 2017 at 06:42 PM (#5517015)
Assuming he gets his third Cy this year, Scherzer will join them. But I don't think it even matters whether Trout or Kershaw #### the bed (and maybe Scherzer) at this point. Their peaks are high enough to get them in regardless what they do the rest of the way.


They would probably get my vote, I don't think that means they get in though. I've mentioned Kevin Brown plenty of times on these discussions, and it just seems you need more than just a peak other than a guy like Koufax.

The way I look at these discussions is
1. Locks---guys who will get in, no matter what happens over the remaining time of their career (barring Pete Rose, or roid issues)
2. Borderline locks....guys who just need to stay alive and produce at a poor level relative to expectations(this is Cano level)
3. Should be's... these are guys who I think are hof worthy, but don't think the voters will see it that way, or at least not as obviously....this is Beltran, Utley.
4. Peak guys already worthy.... I think this group is guys that if it wasn't idiots making the vote, that they would go in, simply because of their peak, but because the writers are idiots, they still need to do something, most of these guys are guys who just need counting stats...Kershaw is the leader of this group among active players.
5. Well on their way.... Trout is of course the leader of this group. I know most people around here would put him in, in a heartbeat, but he really does need some more career, regardless of his greatness so far....
6. Young guys who it doesn't seem unlikely based upon normal age projections... Harper is the leader of this group.

Then you have three categories of veterans who aren't there but who might be if they age right.... Goldschmidt needs to not age for another 3-5 season, then age gracefully, others need to just age gracefully, and then others have done alright up to now, but they need to age better than expectations ---these are the surprises--this is where David Ortiz came from type of player, who at age 30 had zero chance of being a hofer, and now is very likely.
   57. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: August 19, 2017 at 06:57 PM (#5517021)
Mike Trout could drop dead tomorrow and get an Addie Joss exception to get in the HoF.
   58. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: August 19, 2017 at 06:59 PM (#5517023)
Mike Trout could spend the next decade playing like Bill Bergen, and I'd still support him for the HOF. 5 straight years of being the best player in the game is enough for me.
   59. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: August 19, 2017 at 07:02 PM (#5517024)
They would probably get my vote, I don't think that means they get in though. I've mentioned Kevin Brown plenty of times on these discussions, and it just seems you need more than just a peak other than a guy like Koufax.


I recall, and it doesn't become a better argument with repetition.

Kevin Brown didn't have the peak, or perceived peak, of Kershaw or Scherzer. And they didn't have the prominent place in the Mitchell Report that Brown did.

His case has almost no relevance to theirs.

   60. cardsfanboy Posted: August 19, 2017 at 07:05 PM (#5517025)
Mike Trout could drop dead tomorrow and get an Addie Joss exception to get in the HoF.


I agree there. But that isn't the category I put him in, if he does what 58 talks about, then I think he has issues making it into the hof...
We like to think that there is a peak performance level that once reached, makes the hof forget about career, and I'm not certain that is the case, we have never had a guy who accumulated 54 war after 7 seasons, and then had a 15 year career with less than 60 total war. But if that happened, I'm not sure Trout gets in as easy as people around here thinks he would.
   61. cardsfanboy Posted: August 19, 2017 at 07:13 PM (#5517029)
I recall, and it doesn't become a better argument with repetition.

Kevin Brown didn't have the peak, or perceived peak, of Kershaw or Scherzer. And they didn't have the prominent place in the Mitchell Report that Brown did.


I repeat it, because I don't see it.. Until Halladay's vote happens, nothing is going to change my mind on this. (the Mitchell report is of course a thing, but not enough of an argument)

Yes he did, that is the thing, people argue that he did it in an era where there were other greats, and that he is diminished because of that, but then those same people argue against someone like Jack Morris who did his thing when there were no great pitchers....

Kevin Brown ten year peak.... 145-86 record, 2166 ip, 140 era+... Kershaw 141-62 record, 1901 ip, 162 era+.... Kershaw has been better relative to his peers, but hasn't been exceptionally better than Brown to the point that he is already a first balloter, while Brown is one and done...

I just do not see, if Kershaw plays for another 5 years, putting up 80 era+ over 1000 innings and posting a record of 50-70 going into the hof at the end of that time... I just don't think the voters look at it, the way people with brains would look at it. Writers by definition are one of the lower iq people, barely above lawyers on the intelligence scale, and two tiers below McDonald workers. (sorry, don't mean to insult McDonald workers, fine people who unlike writers and lawyers doesn't deserve any scorn of any kind)
   62. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: August 19, 2017 at 07:15 PM (#5517032)
But if that happened, I'm not sure Trout gets in as easy as people around here thinks he would.


Griffey was a below-average player for the last 11 years of his career. He got 99.3 percent of the vote.
   63. cardsfanboy Posted: August 19, 2017 at 07:20 PM (#5517034)

Griffey was a below-average player for the last 11 years of his career. He got 99.3 percent of the vote.


and if Trout makes it to 630 homeruns for his career, then he goes in pretty easily also. No matter how he gets there.

(of course before that Griffey was a 10 time gold glover, mlb player of the decade, and had 76 war)
   64. BDC Posted: August 19, 2017 at 07:20 PM (#5517036)
Molina's better comparison is Mazeroski

I can see that too.

Maybe I'm just feeling agreeable today :) But yes, Molina has benefited from recent sabermetric focus on and measurement of catcher defense. Is he actually better than Campanella or Bench, or lesser hitters like Jim Sundberg? That may remain unknowable.
   65. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: August 19, 2017 at 07:21 PM (#5517037)
Kevin Brown ten year peak.... 145-86 record, 2166 ip, 140 era+... Kershaw 141-62 record, 1901 ip, 162 era+.... Kershaw has been better relative to his peers, but hasn't been exceptionally better than Brown to the point that he is already a first balloter, while Brown is one and done...


Kevin Brown's peak was tremendously unappreciated, both while it was happening and after. He was in the Mitchell Report, which means he's not getting many doubt benefits. He wasn't perceived to have been successful in his two big market stints (he was actually quite good in LA, but the team went nowhere while he was the game's highest-paid pitcher, and he fizzled out rather spectacularly in New York). He was a legitimately tremendous a-hole. And he wasn't nearly as good, in reality or, more important, by perception, than 3-time Cy Young Award winning, MVP-capturing, consensus best pitcher in the game for half a decade Clayton Kershaw.

There's just a huge chasm between their Cooperstown cases. That you don't see it doesn't mean it's not there.
   66. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: August 19, 2017 at 07:24 PM (#5517041)
and if Trout makes it to 630 homeruns for his career, then he goes in pretty easily also. No matter how he gets there.


Griffey didn't need 630 homers to get in. He was in when he left Seattle, and the 11 years of mediocre and injured play in Cincinnati and elsewhere didn't do a damn thing to change that.
   67. cardsfanboy Posted: August 19, 2017 at 07:31 PM (#5517045)
If Trout over the next 11 seasons repeated Griffey's last 11 years, he ends up with 60.3 career war, 384 hrs, 1120 rbi, 1907 hits, roughly .284/.380/.584/.964 143 ops+ line.... and of course he would be 16 years removed from his last good season when the vote took place. That looks an awful lot like Larry Walker to me, minus about 1000 pa and 7 gold gloves. (and yes I get the peak argument, but still that seems like expecting an awful lot of credit/remembering of a group of people who are lucky if they can tie their own shoes in the morning)
   68. cardsfanboy Posted: August 19, 2017 at 07:34 PM (#5517051)

There's just a huge chasm between their Cooperstown cases. That you don't see it doesn't mean it's not there.


There isn't a huge chasm, there is a perception issue of the perception of the two players.... And people around here are giving way too much credit to the voters who are pretty ####### stupid and have short attention spans, and will forget about Kershaw greatness if he becomes just a slightly below average pitcher over the next 10 years... if he died today, he has a better chance than if he goes the next ten years throwing an 80 era+....

The way I look at it, is if the guy becomes a 1 war player or less, but sticks around the majors until he turns 35 years old, what would the voters think.... This is why I don't as easily give "locks" to players who are still young.
   69. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: August 19, 2017 at 07:52 PM (#5517067)
There isn't a huge chasm, there is a perception issue of the perception of the two players...


Between their Cooperstown CASES, there absolutely is no matter how much you want to ignore it.

And it's the perception that matters when we're talking about what the voters will do. And guys like Kershaw, the consensus best pitcher in baseball over a half-decade plus, are Hall of Famers. They always have been, and there isn't a shred of evidence to support the idea the voters will stop believing that way. And Kevin ####### Brown isn't that evidence.

And people around here are giving way too much credit to the voters who are pretty ####### stupid and have short attention spans, and will forget about Kershaw greatness if he becomes just a slightly below average pitcher over the next 10 years...


But they don't with the guys with truly great perceived peaks. Griffey was that guy in every way, and it cost him absolutely nothing.

There are three ways his career can go. He suffers a career-ending injury, and he sails into the Hall as a peak player and a what-might-have been (see Koufax at the ultra high end, Puckett at a lower level).

He plods along adding counting stats but little else to his greatness case for anywhere from 5 to 10 years. The Griffey or Banks path. Unlike them, he might have to wait a few ballots due to some injuries and modern usage holding his WAR down, but he's still going in.

Or he keeps adding to his case, and the only question is what circle he winds up in.

All three end in Cooperstown.
   70. cardsfanboy Posted: August 19, 2017 at 08:01 PM (#5517073)
But they don't with the guys with truly great perceived peaks. Griffey was that guy in every way, and it cost him absolutely nothing.

There are three ways his career can go. He suffers a career-ending injury, and he sails into the Hall as a peak player and a what-might-have been (see Koufax at the ultra high end, Puckett at a lower level).

He plods along adding counting stats but little else to his greatness case for anywhere from 5 to 10 years. The Griffey or Banks path. Unlike them, he might have to wait a few ballots due to some injuries and modern usage holding his WAR down, but he's still going in.

Or he keeps adding to his case, and the only question is what circle he winds up in.

All three end in Cooperstown.


Don't agree... I think all three of those points are more likely than the situation I'm talking about, but when I'm talking locks, I'm talking about guys who can't hurt their case going forward... And I think Trout and Kershaw both could...

Roughly speaking (this isn't a science, it's a feel type of thing) but imagine if the pitcher finishes his career at age 35, and from today going forward, he pitches 160 innings per season, at a 9-12 record with an 85 era+....this is enough to keep him on the field, it's roughly a 1 war pitcher.... Or as a position player, he spends from now until his age 35 season putting up the equivalent of 1 war (-1 waa roughly) season at about 140 games per year and getting no 'extra acknowledgements'(like mvp votes, all star or gold gloves) . And you acknowledge that the further away from greatness, the more likely the voters aren't going to remember it, and are going to look at career numbers....
   71. cardsfanboy Posted: August 19, 2017 at 08:04 PM (#5517075)
This does not mean I think Kershaw or Trout won't easily make the hof, nor do I think that there is any real chance of the option I posited above, of actually happening, it's just that to me a lock means a guy who cannot hurt their chances of making the hof through the ballot on the first or second vote...and neither Kershaw or Trout really cross that line for me.

As I said, the only locks(in my opinion--and this doesn't include hit by bus candidates which is a bit different, the standards are actually lower for those....see Kirby Puckett and even Dizzy Dean, two guys who were "hit by bus"---Kershaw goes in easily if he is hit by a bus, Trout probably also...heck even Cano. ) currently playing is Pujols, Beltre, Cabrera and Ichiro.... there are no other "locks" out there (and again, acknowledging that roid taint could hurt even those four "locks" if something appears in between now and the vote)
   72. Jeff Frances the Mute Posted: August 19, 2017 at 09:12 PM (#5517117)
There isn't a huge chasm, there is a perception issue of the perception of the two players.... And people around here are giving way too much credit to the voters who are pretty ####### stupid and have short attention spans, and will forget about Kershaw greatness if he becomes just a slightly below average pitcher over the next 10 years... if he died today, he has a better chance than if he goes the next ten years throwing an 80 era+....


For some reason you don’t think Cy Young awards or MVPs matter, but everyone else on planet earth thinks they matter a lot.
   73. cardsfanboy Posted: August 19, 2017 at 09:53 PM (#5517127)


For some reason you don’t think Cy Young awards or MVPs matter, but everyone else on planet earth thinks they matter a lot.


Nope, please post anywhere on this thread where I said what you think I said that...

Johan Santana has two Cy Youngs, and nobody thinks he's a serious candidate for the hall of fame when he becomes eligible, and is more likely to be one and done. The point is that Kershaw is a great pitcher, nobody is arguing that, I just think people around here are giving too much credit to peak, when it's fully possible for that peak to disappear under certain "unlikely" circumstances. (Johan Santana 2000 ip, 2 cy Youngs, 2 other top 3 finishes, 12th all time in Cy Young shares... 2025 ip, 136 era+, 139-78 record, 50.7 war, compared to Kershaw who, according to people on here is a lock, 1900 ip, 141-62 record, 3 Cy Youngs, 162 era+, 57.3 era....)

I'm not arguing likely, I'm not talking about probables, I'm not talking even hit by bus.... I'm talking about being a lock for the hall of fame today no matter what they do going forward...That is the definition of a Lock. (and I'll ignore any possibility of roid taint or betting as a disqualifier) .....my point is that a great start to the career can be wiped out by a pretty poor but continuing performance of play.....
   74. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: August 19, 2017 at 09:59 PM (#5517129)
Nope, please post anywhere on this thread where I said what you think I said that...


The part where you think Kevin Brown's Hall case has any resemblance to Clayton Kershaw's.

when it's fully possible for that peak to disappear under certain "unlikely" circumstances.


Disappear? Do you mean get obscured? Because you can't make it disappear.

.....my point is that a great start to the career can be wiped out by a pretty poor but continuing performance of play.....


With this kind of peak, it hasn't yet.
   75. cardsfanboy Posted: August 19, 2017 at 10:15 PM (#5517135)
whatever, a few of you seem to think that the writers will put a guy in the hof with a 57 war career over 1900 ip, but will one and done a guy with a 50 war career over 2000 ip...

The fact that Halladay has moved from a lock the year before he retired to iffy now is somehow ignored by you people... A lock is a lock. this is a guy that is going to go into the hof no matter what...and Kershaw is not a lock, he's a very very likely, so is Cano even....but neither one of them are locks.

You really think that if Kershaw plays another six years, and in that six years throws 1200 innings at 80 era+, and finishes his career with a 195-140 record, with a career era + of 130.... and a war of 65....then more power to you, but I think that it is a stretch. At least by what I consider a lock(which is in the first two or three votes depending on the competition)
   76. cardsfanboy Posted: August 19, 2017 at 10:17 PM (#5517137)
With this kind of peak, it hasn't yet.


No clue what that means... I thought I have made it perfectly clear that my argument is that the term lock, means that it's more or less impossible for the guy to not make it to the hall of fame... (again ignoring Pete Rose and roid issues) It's not a hit by bus argument, it's a is there any way this guy, in a reasonable situation, could not make the hall of fame.

   77. Sweatpants Posted: August 19, 2017 at 10:20 PM (#5517138)
Santana is actually a really good player to bring up to support your point, better than Brown in my opinion. Santana was legitimately considered the best pitcher in baseball from 2004 or 2005 through 2008. Then he fell off the face of the Earth, and no one really seems interested in banging the drum for his HOF case. Even there, though, Kershaw's been the consensus best pitcher in baseball for about the same amount of time (since about 2013), and he's felt like a much bigger star, really the first pitcher to reach the Clemens/Maddux/Johnson/Martinez level since those guys. He also has a lot more to offer outside of his best-pitcher-in-baseball window.

I wonder what the hit-by-bus level is, though. Like, at what point in Greg Maddux's career could he have had nothing but awful seasons from there on out and still made the Hall of Fame? 1995, when he won his fourth straight Cy, or at some point after that?
   78. cardsfanboy Posted: August 19, 2017 at 10:25 PM (#5517140)
As I said, the level required for hit by bus is lower than "lock" in my opinion....Kershaw and Trout are hit by bus guys right now....there is no denying that in my opinion.. People are going to project at minimum, a traditional decline phase for both of those guys, and a traditional decline is well beyond the hof... But hit by bus is about the lost future as much as the past.
   79. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: August 19, 2017 at 10:29 PM (#5517142)
whatever, a few of you seem to think that the writers will put a guy in the hof with a 57 war career over 1900 ip, but will one and done a guy with a 50 war career over 2000 ip...


I think they'll put the guy who won three Cy Youngs, an MVP, and was universally regarded as the best pitcher on the planet for more than half a decade in the Hall. That's what they do. If , however, that guy was a roiding ####### who was underappreciated in his time with no major hardware and who didn't shine in the World Series and #### the bed in his last time on the big stage and had an inferior peak to the original guy, well that guy might get one-and-doned.

The fact that Halladay has moved from a lock the year before he retired to iffy now is somehow ignored by you people...


Forgive me for ignoring something you just made up.

I don't believe Halladay was ever the lock Kershaw is, nor do I know how exactly how he'll fare (my guess is he makes it on the fourth or fifth ballot. In his case, the length of time he's on depends on Moose/Schilling).

At least by what I consider a lock(which is in the first two or three votes depending on the competition)


I don't know why that's a condition. The whole point of the question is whether Player A can do anything on the field (which takes out roiding or kiddie diddling) between now and then that would keep him from being elected. If it takes four votes to get there, that hasn't changed the fundamental question.

   80. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: August 19, 2017 at 10:32 PM (#5517143)


No clue what that means...


It means just what is says. Players with Kershaw's peak have not been kept out of the Hall of Fame, regardless what happens next. Ken Griffey had a tremendous peak, was a mediocre player for 11 years after, and got in with 99.3 percent of the vote. Nothing he did after he left Seattle was going to keep him out of the Hall of Fame, and the nothing he did didn't.
   81. cardsfanboy Posted: August 19, 2017 at 10:39 PM (#5517147)
It means just what is says. Players with Kershaw's peak have not been kept out of the Hall of Fame, regardless what happens next. Ken Griffey had a tremendous peak, was a mediocre player for 11 years after, and got in with 99.3 percent of the vote. Nothing he did after he left Seattle was going to keep him out of the Hall of Fame, and the nothing he did didn't.


Ken Griffey had 74 war before those 11 years....his peak was a tad bit higher than what Kershaw has done. I've already listed two pitchers within 7 war of his "peak" who either didn't make the hof, or who won't be taken seriously (with Brown and Santana--and you can add halladay to that list)

Kershaw is not comparable to Griffey, and it's ####### silly to pretend that he is.
   82. cardsfanboy Posted: August 19, 2017 at 10:47 PM (#5517150)
Just as another reminder, Halladay in his ten year peak put up 2194 ip, 148 era+, won two Cy Young awards, put up 62.4 War(Kershaw has only 57 over his ten year peak), had a record of 170-75.... and again, I'm not hearing much mention of him as a lock. Time kills those attitudes. He was a lock in 2011 around here, and now he isn't supposedly according to post 79.
   83. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: August 19, 2017 at 10:54 PM (#5517152)
Kershaw is not comparable to Griffey, and it's ####### silly to pretend that he is.


He's a hell of a lot closer to Ken Griffey than he is to ####### Kevin Brown. Griffey was regarded (wrongly, but that's not that important) as the best player in baseball for six-plus years. Kershaw has been regarded as the best pitcher in baseball for about six years. Kevin Brown was never thought of that way (even if he might have warranted it for a year or two), and none of your nonsense has changed that basic fact. Santana is a better comp, but he probably held that distinction for about half as long, and that was more of a best in the AL thing. I don't think he was necessarily regarded as Randy Johnson's better, for example).

   84. cardsfanboy Posted: August 19, 2017 at 11:01 PM (#5517154)
Really.... Griffey 74 war before his decline phase, Kershaw 57 war, Brown 50 war........ yep, he's much closer to Griffey than Brown.
   85. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: August 19, 2017 at 11:03 PM (#5517155)
He was a lock in 2011 around here, and now he isn't supposedly according to post 79.


I don't speak for everyone.

Halladay is an even better comp than Santana, but he's still short of Kershaw's peak in terms of dominance (his edge is in IP, which mean a lot when it comes to absolute value and WAR, but not as much when it comes to perception - as we saw with Pedro compared with his contemporaries). It's the element of this that you're missing. And Halladay's 10-year peak was kind of split into two periods, rather than the run Kershaw's been on. All of that matters in terms of perception, even if you want to pretend it doesn't.

Really.... Griffey 74 war before his decline phase, Kershaw 57 war, Brown 50 war........ yep, he's much closer to Griffey than Brown.


If this were a ####### WAR-off, you'd have a point.
   86. BDC Posted: August 19, 2017 at 11:08 PM (#5517156)
I did have Kershaw as a lock, above. It seems like a trivial difference, but winning three of a big award (MVP or CY) as opposed to winning two is pretty much the difference between being overqualified for the Hall and maybe not making it at all. Most double winners are in, and many are very great players, but there are several who have no chance. Absent steroids, though, all the three-time winners are HOFers. The "weakest" among them is probably Jim Palmer, who is your basic Hall of Famer.

Max Scherzer winning a third CY would be an interesting case. He won both of his CYs with ERAs at about 2.90, more than a run higher than Kershaw's last two. I don't think he's been quite as highly regarded as Kershaw so far, but he's having his best season so far and just turned 33, so he's clearly got quite a good chance at the Hall of Fame.
   87. cardsfanboy Posted: August 19, 2017 at 11:14 PM (#5517160)
I did have Kershaw as a lock, above. It seems like a trivial difference, but winning three of a big award (MVP or CY) as opposed to winning two is pretty much the difference between being overqualified for the Hall and maybe not making it at all. Most double winners are in, and many are very great players, but there are several who have no chance. Absent steroids, though, all the three-time winners are HOFers. The "weakest" among them is probably Jim Palmer, who is your basic Hall of Famer.


I agree with the general point, but generally three peaters have more of a career than Kershaw does have right now... if someone asked me to make a bet right now on whether Kershaw would make the hall of fame or not, and gave me 100 to one odds that he doesn't, vs 1-1 odds he does.... I'm taking the 1-1 odds that he does...I'm not saying that I think Kershaw won't make the hof... I'm saying that there is a world where I can envision he doesn't make it (and again, as always, not including pete rose or roids in that world) And to me, a lock is a guy who exists in a world where there is no possibility of him not making it.

I don't think Kershaw has reached that level yet.
   88. Baldrick Posted: August 20, 2017 at 12:55 AM (#5517177)
Scherzer winning a third probably puts him into the 'future HOFer' category (he might already be there, but it would make it a definite thing), but I think both on narrative and on the numbers he'd still need to do more. A Scherzer who wins the CYA in 2017 and then goes the full Johan might not make it.
   89. djordan Posted: August 20, 2017 at 07:26 AM (#5517192)
Cano, with his 126 OPS+, close to 65 WAR, already passed three of the seven HOF metrics,if you want to say he needs one more great season for lock status, fine, but he's really close.
   90. PreservedFish Posted: August 20, 2017 at 12:22 PM (#5517259)
I don't understand if CFB is arguing about what the writers should do or what they would do.
   91. cardsfanboy Posted: August 20, 2017 at 01:19 PM (#5517281)
I don't understand if CFB is arguing about what the writers should do or what they would do.


I'm arguing about the terms we use to describe players future chances for the hall of fame, and mostly arguing whether or not some people who are being called "locks" are actually locked or not. In a 'worst case' scenario, would these locks make it into the hall of fame?

Hit by bus is different than being a lock... A hit by bus candidate will have voters apply some type of assumed remaining career performance while a lock to me, means no matter what happens(and as always, not including roid or Pete Rosing their career) they will make it into the hof....and generally the worst case scenario would be a guy doing what Albert Pujols is doing right now, playing poorly but for whatever reason continuing to get playing time for a significant time period (as I said above, assume that they play until age 35 or so)

Pujols can't hurt his chances, but I do think that some of the other great guys who we are talking about, absolutely can hurt their chances just by putting up seven or so years of poor play, to the point that their greatness has diminished in memory.
   92. bookbook Posted: August 20, 2017 at 02:00 PM (#5517295)
Max Scherzer winning a third CY would be an interesting case. He won both of his CYs with ERAs at about 2.90, more than a run higher than Kershaw's last two. I don't think he's been quite as highly regarded as Kershaw so far, but he's having his best season so far and just turned 33, so he's clearly got quite a good chance at the Hall of Fame


We live in a world where Schilling and Mussina are far from sure things to make the HOF. Scherzer's third cy young won't seal the deal. It's quite conceivable that Kershaw craters and doesn't make it.
   93. LA Podcasting Hombre of Anaheim Posted: August 20, 2017 at 02:33 PM (#5517314)
We live in a world where Schilling and Mussina are far from sure things to make the HOF. Scherzer's third cy young won't seal the deal.
This thread has me thinking about Tim Lincecum. He only had four good seasons, but won a CYA in two of those and was a major contributor to one of his three WS rings. If we give him one more 2008-2009 season, that'd be three CYAs and five good seasons... and he still wouldn't get into the Hall.

Kershaw's got nine top-flight seasons; he's basically already in. Scherzer's peak is much shorter so he's still got some work to do, but I like his odds. Several two-time CYA winners aren't in the hall. Every pitcher with three or more, except Roger Clemens, is in.
   94. BDC Posted: August 20, 2017 at 02:51 PM (#5517328)
Hit by bus is different than being a lock... A hit by bus candidate will have voters apply some type of assumed remaining career performance while a lock to me, means no matter what happens

That's an interesting contention, and probably has some validity, though I'm having trouble coming up with an example on one side of the ledger. Kirby Puckett might be the best example of someone who was a bus candidate but maybe not a lock, had he played on for a while undistinguishedly (and the character element being out of the picture).

Are there good examples of someone being good enough to plausibly "bus" in, but then playing his way out of lock-hood? Kenny Lofton, maybe? But I think a lot of Lofton's case is his sheer longevity. I don't think he gets a second look if he dies at age 33. On the whole I think he's probably happy about the way that worked out :)
   95. Sunday silence Posted: August 20, 2017 at 02:55 PM (#5517329)
how can you win 3 world championships and not have a position player in the HoF? That would be very odd, no?

One team that comes to mind is the 67-68 Cards, who won two pennants/ WS but of course even they have Brock. Not everyone is sold on Brock as HoF but he was a top player in those years. They also had Cepeda for one season but he wasnt the younger version of himself.

Actually the 90-92 As might be a good comparison. They won 2 WS and another pennant; Mcguire is probably deserving enuf to get in but may not. That leaves Canseco, Dave Henderson, Carney Lansford they arent HoF. Of course their manager is almost certain to get in.

The 80s Cards has Ozzie so I guess that's enuf for them.

The 77-78 Dodgers won 2 pennants w/o a HoF. Their 78 teams probably has more 3 WAR or better players then I can recall on one team (maybe a Yankees team?). Garvey Lopes Cey, RegSmith, D.Baker, B Russell, Hooten, Yeager(?); Bob Welch etc. Cey is almost always very underrated, and in terms of WAR I think he's close; the problem at 3b is there's a logjam of contenders w/ Bando, Boyer, Buddy Bell, Darell Evans, possibly Nettles if you squint. And Reggie Smith(OF) gets mentioned a lot here as a guy who has not been given much consideration. so they have two near HoF but not any.

The mid 65-66 Dodgers (1 WS) dont have one. Obviously its a pitching heayy team in a low scoring era. Most of the pitching corps is 3 war guys. Lefebvre is maybe the best position player, Maury Wills was very good in 65.

the 39-40 Red have 2 pennants/1 WS.They have Lombardi. In a perfect Sabermetric world he probably doesnt get in. I mean just looking at WAR you wouldnt think he's a major star; I dont think he's a major contributor to the '39 team. Its pitchers Derringer/Walters (neither is I dont think?) and infielders F McCormick, B Werber etc. ANd none of them are really dominant.

That's about it, I went back to the 30s from memory and used baseball ref. maybe some team I am missing.

its hard to imagine 3 WS and no position HoFer. As an aside: which of these teams most resemble the latter day Giants? The old Reds? they had a couple dominant pitchers and no other real stars. And Lombardi at C. Maybe the 80s Cards with a couple good pitchers and no especially great position players.
   96. cardsfanboy Posted: August 20, 2017 at 02:59 PM (#5517331)
Are there good examples of someone being good enough to plausibly "bus" in, but then playing his way out of lock-hood? Kenny Lofton, maybe? But I think a lot of Lofton's case is his sheer longevity. I don't think he gets a second look if he dies at age 33. On the whole I think he's probably happy about the way that worked out :)


Hard to say, Dale Murphy was pretty close to that level I would imagine. If he ends his career after the 1988 season because of Lupus or some other reason, I think he gets a bit stronger consideration for the hof.
   97. Covfefe Posted: August 20, 2017 at 03:01 PM (#5517332)
Back to Mauer for a minute. Does he get injury credit? I'm agnostic whether he should or shouldn't, but he was moved off catcher because of the concussions not because his defense made him a liability. One could certainly make the case that there shouldn't be much of distinction between bad knees or a cranky back and a concussion, but I have a feeling a lot of voters are going to give him extra catching credit.... and vote based on 2/3 to 3/4 catcher credit hypothetical rather than the inverse reality.
   98. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: August 20, 2017 at 03:04 PM (#5517336)
Actually the 90-92 As might be a good comparison. They won 2 WS and another pennant; Mcguire is probably deserving enuf to get in but may not. That leaves Canseco, Dave Henderson, Carney Lansford they arent HoF. Of course their manager is almost certain to get in.


Rickey was there for the last two WS appearances.
   99. cardsfanboy Posted: August 20, 2017 at 03:06 PM (#5517338)
its hard to imagine 3 WS and no position HoFer.


How many position hofers played as a starter on all 3 of those Giant teams? You have Buster Posey, and Sandoval.... But going forward, Brandon Crawford and Brandon Belt were on two of those teams.... neither seem like likely hofers, but it's not out of the question.
   100. Booey Posted: August 20, 2017 at 03:26 PM (#5517343)
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