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Thursday, September 14, 2017

Chase Utley on Hall of Fame: ‘Something that I don’t really focus much on’

The 38-year-old Utley is a famously tough interview, well-known among media members for his unwillingness to say much. Some players and coaches hold court in the clubhouse before games, happy to expound when approached. This isn’t Utley. He has all the joy answering questions of a person giving a deposition.

He admits only sparingly, for instance, that people sometimes talk about him as a future Baseball Hall of Fame candidate.

“I mean, you hear it once in awhile but it’s something that I don’t really focus much on at all to be honest with you,” Utley told Sporting News on Monday, hours before the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants were set to face one another at AT&T Park.


Asked if he’s heard breakdowns of his value by sabermetrics, which have painted him throughout his career as a superb all-around player, Utley offers a quick no. He’s either unaware or selling himself short.

Dennis Eclairskey, closer Posted: September 14, 2017 at 11:01 PM | 101 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: bobby grich, chase utley, hall of fame, los angeles dodgers, philadelphia phillies

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   1. Scott Ross Posted: September 15, 2017 at 07:36 AM (#5532243)
The Bobby Grich tag is a nice touch, he sprang to mind as I was reading the blurb.
   2. Ithaca2323 Posted: September 15, 2017 at 09:01 AM (#5532270)
Utley's going to be a very interesting litmus test for how voters view the advanced stats. Advanced metrics love his baserunning, but he only has 150 steals. They *really* love his glove, and he has zero Gold Gloves. But it is really hard to get elected to the Hall of Fame today (as a non-catcher) with fewer than 8,000 PAs. Utley may limp over that line next year, but he's got a tough road.
   3. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: September 15, 2017 at 09:06 AM (#5532273)
I think he's deserving, but that he's not going to be picked by the voters for the reasons that #2 said. Which is a shame.
   4. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: September 15, 2017 at 09:22 AM (#5532280)
Reflection on the Phillies' championship and overall run is going to help Utley considerably. Howard and Rollins won the MVPs, but I think even non-sabermetric oriented fans and writers now acknowledge that Utley was the greatest player on those teams. Hamels looks like he will fall a little short and Halladay arrived the pennant seasons. This doesn't happen with every championship team (like the '84 Tigers), but I'd bet that Utley will benefit from a movement to get someone from those Phillies teams in the HOF.
   5. Heart of Matt Harvey Posted: September 15, 2017 at 09:27 AM (#5532283)
Chase Utley is my favorite player, and there's no close second. Watching him play every day makes it clear that he's everything saberheads say and more.

Like Utley, I'm not hung about the HOF.
   6. BDC Posted: September 15, 2017 at 09:35 AM (#5532289)
Comps for Utley by OPS+ and PA, complete careers (to date) at SS, 2B, and CF:

Player              dWAR   PA OPSRbaser  HR  RBI  SB   BA  OBP  SLG       Pos
Chase Utley         17.8 7643  118   42.0 258 1008 150 .276 .359 .469   
*4H/3D5
Bobby Doerr         13.6 8028  115   
-8.0 223 1247  54 .288 .362 .461      *4/H
Chet Lemon           8.3 7874  121   
-7.0 215  884  58 .273 .355 .442 *89/HD547
Jim Fregosi          7.8 7403  113    9.0 151  706  76 .265 .338 .398 
*635H/D74
Tony Lazzeri         5.3 7315  121    5.0 178 1194 148 .292 .380 .467  
*45/6H73
Curtis Granderson    4.3 7498  115   12.0 316  861 150 .252 .339 .472   
*89H/7D 


Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 9/15/2017.

I think Doerr and Lazzeri are pretty good comps. They came up younger and faded older than Utley, but are in his vicinity in terms of career length. Even if we don't credit Utley for being much better as a fielder or baserunner (Ithaca's point), all three were outstanding players. Both Doerr and Lazzeri had to wait for the Veterans to induct them, and the Hall of Merit has apparently passed on Lazzeri (not enough defensive value, "short" career? But Lazzeri was an exceptional-hitting 2B, even given the c1930 context).
   7. Howie Menckel Posted: September 15, 2017 at 10:01 AM (#5532302)
"Chase Utley is my favorite player, and there's no close second. Watching him play every day..."

every day? any exceptions?
   8. RJ in TO Posted: September 15, 2017 at 10:17 AM (#5532314)
As far as I'm concerned, the best comparison for Utley would be Joe Gordon, as a power hitting, flashy gloved second baseman, with a short career, who played mostly on winning teams. Gordon missed the two years with the war, but otherwise would have had about 8000 PA, give or take a bit, and he likely would have won a bunch of gold gloves had he played in the era where they were handed out. Even without the war years, which happened in his prime, he had 57.1 WAR in 1566 games. Adding back in the war years, he would have been at about 67 WAR in about 1900 games. His raw lines are even somewhat comparable, as he hit .268/.357/.466 (120 OPS+), against Utley's .276/.359/.469 (118 OPS+).

With an MVP award in the trophy cabinet, as well as 9 ASG selections in his eleven years, and the association with the Yankees, Joe Gordon was only inducted into the Hall of Fame by the VC in 2009, 59 years after his retirement. I don't think Utley will have it quite that tough in the voting, but he certainly seems unlikely to just cruise in either.
   9. Heart of Matt Harvey Posted: September 15, 2017 at 10:22 AM (#5532315)
Every day is an exaggeration. I catch as many games as I can and watch the highlights, and he's a part-timer now. Splashing McCovey Cove and making plays at second are there, but it's the positioning, the baserunning, the business at all times attitude that you see inning to inning that most impress.

They kept him around this season for that stuff.
   10. Heart of Matt Harvey Posted: September 15, 2017 at 10:23 AM (#5532318)
Interesting Granderson shows up as a comp. I think of him in similar terms.
   11. BDC Posted: September 15, 2017 at 10:24 AM (#5532319)
Yes, Gordon is good too. He doesn't show up in #6 because he's about a thousand PAs short of Utley, but as you say there's 2 years' war credit due. (Doerr missed only one year to the war, which he partly "gets back" in quality because he really feasted on the lesser competition in 1944.)
   12. Howie Menckel Posted: September 15, 2017 at 10:25 AM (#5532320)
Every day is an exaggeration.

I guess I was being too subtle. My friend Ruben got me to ask that one.
   13. TDF didn't lie, he just didn't remember Posted: September 15, 2017 at 10:28 AM (#5532324)
Utley's going to be a very interesting litmus test for how voters view the advanced stats. Advanced metrics love his baserunning, but he only has 150 steals. They *really* love his glove, and he has zero Gold Gloves.
He's more of a litmus test for how many voters like the advanced stats. 75% is a pretty high threshold.

The 7 MIs since WWII who hit as poorly as Utley but are in the HOF all either won a significant number of GGs (Aparacio, Mazeroski, Ozzie, and Sandberg all won 8+) or played mostly before the award (Schoendienst, Reece, Fox (though even he won 3)). And even then, most of those players either won an MVP (Sandberg), were voted in by the Veterans' Committee (Mazeroski, Schoendienst, Reece), or both (Fox).

EDIT: All of those guys except Mazeroski were in 10+ ASG; Utley was only in 6.

Granted, only Smith and Sandberg have been in front of the voters in the past 33 years, but Utley still has a lot of voting history working against him.
   14. Ithaca2323 Posted: September 15, 2017 at 10:37 AM (#5532330)
He's more of a litmus test for how many voters like the advanced stats. 75% is a pretty high threshold.


Yeah, that's what I was going for, but yes, that's an important distinction.

I don't really see it for Utley. He's going to get a movement, I'm sure. It might depend on how long he can stay in the game, and thus delay being on a ballot. Every year, advanced stats become more and more ingrained, and every year, the ballot backlog is closer to being cleared.
   15. RJ in TO Posted: September 15, 2017 at 10:43 AM (#5532337)
The 7 MIs since WWII who hit as poorly as Utley but are in the HOF all either won a significant number of GGs (Aparacio, Mazeroski, Ozzie, and Sandberg all won 8+) or played mostly before the award (Schoendienst, Reece, Fox (though even he won 3)).
How are you measuring "hit as poorly"? Because Utley has a 118 OPS+, while Alomar had a 116 OPS+, as did Larkin. Are you using some sort of batting runs thing, rather than a rate thing? Or are you just using batting average?
   16. Swoboda is freedom Posted: September 15, 2017 at 10:58 AM (#5532352)
Chase Utley is my favorite player, and there's no close second. Watching him play every day makes it clear that he's everything saberheads say and more.

Like Utley, I'm not hung about the HOF.



Dear Chase, I feel like I can call you Chase because you and me are so alike. I'd like to meet you one day, it would be great to have a catch. I know I can't throw as fast as you but I think you'd be impressed with my speed. I love your hair, you run fast. Did you have a good relationship with your father? Me neither. These are all things we can talk about and more. I know you have no been getting my letters because I know you would write back if you did. I hope you write back this time, and we can become good friends. I am sure our relationship would be a real home run!


Mans Best Friend.
   17. Booey Posted: September 15, 2017 at 11:00 AM (#5532355)
Utley's going to be a very interesting litmus test for how voters view the advanced stats.


I don't think he's got a chance. His traditional numbers just don't look very HOF-ey. I won't be surprised if he's one and done.

Some voters have latched on to advanced stats of course (and it should be more by the time Utley hits the ballot), but I think the guys the SABR movement has helped most are those that have pretty solid traditional stats to go with their SABR case. Blyleven has 287 wins, a ton of innings and shutouts, and the 5th most K's ever. Raines is 5th in steals (and led the league 4 times), hit .294 with a batting title, and had 2600 hits and almost 1600 runs. Look at the results for the SABR darlings that didn't have the obvious traditional stats to boost their candidacy - Lofton, Edmonds, Brown, Olerud, etc. No one has gotten any traction yet based solely on "WAR says so"
   18. Heart of Matt Harvey Posted: September 15, 2017 at 11:03 AM (#5532359)
Too funny.
   19. PreservedFish Posted: September 15, 2017 at 11:03 AM (#5532360)
Yoenis Cespedes is my favorite player.
   20. Booey Posted: September 15, 2017 at 11:05 AM (#5532361)
If Utley DOES make the HOF though, his entire plaque needs to read like #16. That's an all time classic. What program was it where Utley actually answered Mac's letter?
   21. Swoboda is freedom Posted: September 15, 2017 at 11:11 AM (#5532367)

If Utley DOES make the HOF though, his entire plaque needs to read like #16. That's an all time classic. What program was it where Utley actually answered Mac's letter?


It says MLB Fan Cave. Not sure if it was just on there, or elsewhere.Chase response
   22. Hotel Coral Esix Snead (tmutchell) Posted: September 15, 2017 at 11:11 AM (#5532368)
Part of what hurt's Utley's HoF chances now is that he didn't get a full time job until a little later than most hall of famers do. Utley was a great prospect at 2B, but the Phillies at that time already had Placido Polanco, who was no slouch at the keystone himself (and could sing the Star Spangled banner or ump a game in a pinch!).

So they tried to move Utley to third and gave him a year at Scranton to try to learn the position, which he didn't (28 errors in 123 games). So they moved him back and promoted him. Why they didn't just move Polanco back to 3B, which he'd played and played well in St. Louis, and benched David Bell (one of the worst hitters in MLB in 2003, though he bounced back and then some in 2004), is beyond me.

But anyway, it probably cost Utley several hundred plate appearances early on. Obviously turning back into a pumpkin at age 36 isn't doing his HoF chances any favors either, but if he had a couple hundred MLB hits when he was 23, 24, it might not matter as much.
   23. Hotel Coral Esix Snead (tmutchell) Posted: September 15, 2017 at 11:18 AM (#5532374)
Also this: One of my favorite stats, the most steals in a season without being caught. At least since they started keeping track of caught stealings. Also led the NL in HBP that year. It's the little things. And also hitting 30+ homers. Just in case.
   24. Gaelan Posted: September 15, 2017 at 11:21 AM (#5532377)
Dear Chase, I feel like I can call you Chase because you and me are so alike. I'd like to meet you one day, it would be great to have a catch. I know I can't throw as fast as you but I think you'd be impressed with my speed. I love your hair, you run fast. Did you have a good relationship with your father? Me neither. These are all things we can talk about and more. I know you have no been getting my letters because I know you would write back if you did. I hope you write back this time, and we can become good friends. I am sure our relationship would be a real home run!


I stopped watching that show after the first few seasons, but at its best that show was brilliant, and that clip will never stop being funny.
   25. Booey Posted: September 15, 2017 at 11:31 AM (#5532382)
This might not actually be true, but to me it's always felt like a disproportionate amount of the biggest stars of the mid to late 2000's fell apart early - Utley, David Wright, Mauer, Halliday, Santana, Webb, Prince Fielder, Ryan Howard (yes, he was overrated, but he was still considered a pretty huge star), etc.
   26. Sweatpants Posted: September 15, 2017 at 11:42 AM (#5532387)
For Utley there is a pretty big discrepancy between the fielding numbers that B-R uses for WAR and other measurements of defense. If you use TotalZone instead of the Dewan metric, for instance, he goes from from one of the best 2B defenders of all time to a solidly above-average second baseman and loses about 8 WAR in the process.

Utley wasn't picked off in that 2009 season, either (I've never understood why those don't count as caught stealings). I agree with #23 about that year. It really does encapsulate what kind of a player the guy was, and I'd call it his finest effort. Then he added to that with a .296/.424/.648 line over three rounds of playoffs, tied the World Series record for home runs, and stole three more bases without being caught. If not for peak Pujols he'd probably have been my pick for MVP (not that I'm allowed anywhere near a ballot).
   27. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 15, 2017 at 11:50 AM (#5532392)
Utley is a perfectly good VC HoFer. Unfortunately, we don't have a functioning VC for players right now.
   28. Ithaca2323 Posted: September 15, 2017 at 11:51 AM (#5532394)
Look at the results for the SABR darlings that didn't have the obvious traditional stats to boost their candidacy - Lofton, Edmonds, Brown, Olerud, etc. No one has gotten any traction yet based solely on "WAR says so"


Here were those players' rankings, based on career WAR, on their own ballots:

Brown: 9th
Lofton: 10th
Edmonds: 12th
Olerud: 12th

A perfectly valid Saber-friendly ballot in 2016 could be: Griffey, Piazza, Bagwell, Bonds, Clemens, Mussina, Schilling, Edgar, Trammell, and Raines....leaving off not only Edmonds, but Larry Walker. And that's if you're of the inclination to ignore relief pitchers like Hoffman. The ballots are simply historically deep right now, and have been ever since Bonds and Clemens showed up.

And I'm not even sure WAR would put Olerud or Edmonds in. 58 and 60 WAR are nice, but they're hardly in lock territory, unlike say, Mussina
   29. TDF didn't lie, he just didn't remember Posted: September 15, 2017 at 11:51 AM (#5532395)
How are you measuring "hit as poorly"? Because Utley has a 118 OPS+, while Alomar had a 116 OPS+, as did Larkin. Are you using some sort of batting runs thing, rather than a rate thing?
Sorry, should've been clear. I used BBRef's Rbat.
   30. Booey Posted: September 15, 2017 at 12:02 PM (#5532405)
And I'm not even sure WAR would put Olerud or Edmonds in. 58 and 60 WAR are nice, but they're hardly in lock territory, unlike say, Mussina


Right, but that's not usually "one and done" territory either. And Utley is only at 65 himself; still on the borderline (he does have a more impressive 42 WAA).
   31. Greg K Posted: September 15, 2017 at 12:07 PM (#5532408)

So they tried to move Utley to third and gave him a year at Scranton to try to learn the position, which he didn't (28 errors in 123 games). So they moved him back and promoted him. Why they didn't just move Polanco back to 3B, which he'd played and played well in St. Louis, and benched David Bell (one of the worst hitters in MLB in 2003, though he bounced back and then some in 2004), is beyond me.


They eventually figured it out! From 2010-2012 the Phillies had a 2B Utley/ 3B Polanco deal going.
   32. Ithaca2323 Posted: September 15, 2017 at 12:37 PM (#5532426)
Right, but that's not usually "one and done" territory either.


Right, because the ballot was so deep. Utley's not going to be on a ballot that deep in all likelyhood.
   33. Booey Posted: September 15, 2017 at 01:09 PM (#5532444)
Right, because the ballot was so deep.


In part. Brown was one and done even before the ballot got crazy, and I think Olerud and Lofton would have been too. I think voters just plain didn't see them as HOFers (same way earlier voters dismissed Grich and Whitaker without needing ballot restrictions to do it). I think Utley might have the same problem.
   34. Hotel Coral Esix Snead (tmutchell) Posted: September 15, 2017 at 01:20 PM (#5532449)
This might not actually be true, but to me it's always felt like a disproportionate amount of the biggest stars of the mid to late 2000's fell apart early - Utley, David Wright, Mauer, Halliday, Santana, Webb, Prince Fielder, Ryan Howard (yes, he was overrated, but he was still considered a pretty huge star), etc.


I don't think it's disproportionate, at least not compared to the last half century or so. The propensity of stars of the early 2000s to flame out early is not too much different from those of recent previous generations. I guess this happens to most stars, most of the time, which is why there are only a couple of hundred guys in Cooperstown even though there have been thousands of MLB players.

Baseball Reference says there have been 125 guys to amass 35 WAR by age 31 who are not in the HoF (Utley had 42), though some of those will eventually be (Thome, Jeter) or would be already on baseball merit (Rose, Bonds, A-rod).

Distribution of great under-30 players not in Cooperstown.

The vast majority of those are recent players, since 1970. Whether that means that medicine and training only got good enough for those guys to be awesome in their 20's but not in their 30's, or whether scouting has gotten better to find the talent, but people still get hurt or flame out early, I don't know, but your perception is not far off.

Or, put another way, there has been a step change in the accumulation of folks like this since about 1970. Up to that time (and ignoring the 19thy century) the cumulative amount of them had a slope of about 0.35, which means there was one more every three years or so, on average. Since that time the slope is 2.2, which means we're adding 6 or 7 of them every 3 years. I don't really know what that means, but it's interesting.

Cumulative addiiton of 35+WAR, under age 31 players.
   35. BDC Posted: September 15, 2017 at 01:30 PM (#5532456)
Snead, is part of the trend in #34 that a higher percentage of earlier players have been elected to the HOF? I wonder if the picture changes if you use other criteria for eventual greatness.
   36. RJ in TO Posted: September 15, 2017 at 01:33 PM (#5532459)
Right, but that's not usually "one and done" territory either. And Utley is only at 65 himself; still on the borderline (he does have a more impressive 42 WAA).
In terms of one and done guys within the 55 to 65 WAR range, there's Reggie Smith, David Cone, Sal Bando, Jim Edmonds, Darrell Evans, Chuck Finley, John Olerud, Frank Tanana, Dave Stieb, Orel Hershiser, Will Clark, Robin Ventura, Jimmy Wynn, and Chet Lemon. Really, over the last couple decades, people in that band have been about 50/50 as to whether they'll be one and done - they really need some extra obvious hook (largely in terms of enormous traditional numbers) to get that extra consideration.

There's also Willie Davis, who was in that band but a none and done on the ballot.
   37. RJ in TO Posted: September 15, 2017 at 01:35 PM (#5532461)
In coming years, we'll also have Todd Helton, Andruw Jones, Bobby Abreu, Tim Hudson, and Mark Buehrle hitting the ballot within that 55 to 65 WAR band. It wouldn't surprise me if every one of them was also one and done.
   38. TomH Posted: September 15, 2017 at 01:44 PM (#5532469)
If Utley's AMAZING and CRUCIAL and BRILLIANT defensive play in the 08 World Series got as much press / video replay as the VERY GOOD and IMPORTANT and SMART play Jeter made by back hand flipping the ball, his chances would be stronger.
By that I mean he'd get *maybe* 25% of the vote instead of in danger of being one-and-done
   39. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: September 15, 2017 at 01:57 PM (#5532475)
Reflection on the Phillies' championship and overall run is going to help Utley considerably. Howard and Rollins won the MVPs, but I think even non-sabermetric oriented fans and writers now acknowledge that Utley was the greatest player on those teams.


Heck too many Philly yahoo sport talk hosts would say Utley was 3rd most important on those teams. "Ryan Howard is the most UNDERrated player in Phillies' history!"

Advanced metrics love his baserunning, but he only has 150 steals.

Utley was a FANTASTIC base runner. Didn't try to steal that much -- he batted in front of Howard most of the time -- but he hardly ever got caught. And he was just textbook perfect on 1st to 3rd, 2nd to home situations. Whether the fielding stats are right or not, he was pretty damn good at minimum. As perfect of a player as I have seen in my 60 years of following the game.
   40. Booey Posted: September 15, 2017 at 02:19 PM (#5532503)
36/37 - I don't think Helton will be one and done, but other than that, I agree. Most of those guys weren't just crowded ballot casualties. They were players that just didn't have the traditional numbers most voters associate with a HOFer. And I don't see much evidence that that mindset has changed much amongst the electorate. The SABR revolution seems to help those that are on the traditional stat borderline, but doesn't seem to do much for those below it.
   41. madvillain Posted: September 15, 2017 at 02:27 PM (#5532505)
As perfect of a player as I have seen in my 60 years of following the game.


Not picking on this particular quote out of malice, but what exactly IS it about Utley that leads to such praise? From a distance he looks like a very good player that couldn't stay healthy. A fine player worth celebrating but the man seems to have an almost mythical status among some.
   42. Ithaca2323 Posted: September 15, 2017 at 02:28 PM (#5532506)

I think voters just plain didn't see them as HOFers (same way earlier voters dismissed Grich and Whitaker without needing ballot restrictions to do it). I think Utley might have the same problem.


Probably. But your point was that these guys were SABR darlings who weren't elected. My point is that, if by the most traditional SABR stat (WAR), you're ranked 12th, and the voters can only pick 10 at most, even a SABR friendly voter might not have room for you.

I've said all along I don't think Utley will make it in. But I don't think Jim Edmonds' non-election is relevant to him
   43. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: September 15, 2017 at 03:03 PM (#5532529)
Scott Rolen is the obvious test case for Utley's HOF candidacy, right? He was a 3B rather than a 2B, but otherwise pretty similar careers -- loved by sabermetric stats, above average hitter, great glove, key part of a WS winning team, had trouble staying on the field, did not accumulate that much in the way of counting stats.

The main differences: Rolen played a bit more (as of today), won some serious defensive hardware, hit some offensive milestones (300 HR, 2000 H), slightly more WAR (again, as of today). If he doesn't get much support, Utley's chances are slim.
   44. Ithaca2323 Posted: September 15, 2017 at 03:45 PM (#5532576)
To my point about the crowded ballots. Here's the career WAR of the guy with the 11th most WAR on each ballot:

2000: 46.2
2001: 47.4
2002: 47.4
2003: 47.4
2004: 49.3
2005: 44.1
2006: 42.2
2007: 47.0
2008: 44.1
2009: 46.2
2010: 52.4
2011: 62.0
2012: 46.2
2013: 65.1
2014: 70.4
2015: 69.1
2016: 62.0
2017: 60.3
2018: 62.8

It's just getting harder and harder to have room for every single good Saber candidate, and that's if you're not into closers. You can easily go 11, 12, or 13 deep with viable candidates
   45. Dennis Eclairskey, closer Posted: September 15, 2017 at 03:47 PM (#5532579)
For Utley there is a pretty big discrepancy between the fielding numbers that B-R uses for WAR and other measurements of defense. If you use TotalZone instead of the Dewan metric, for instance, he goes from from one of the best 2B defenders of all time to a solidly above-average second baseman and loses about 8 WAR in the process.

Utley's HOF case relying on defensive metrics has always been an issue. During his prime years Orlando Hudson & Brandon Phillips picked up Gold Gloves. I'm a fan of Utley and would like to see him get in but it's going be difficult for him. The Rolen comp is a very good one
   46. Hotel Coral Esix Snead (tmutchell) Posted: September 15, 2017 at 04:12 PM (#5532605)
Snead, is part of the trend in #34 that a higher percentage of earlier players have been elected to the HOF? I wonder if the picture changes if you use other criteria for eventual greatness.


It could be. This was meant to be a measure of how many guys are awesome in their 20's but not awesome enough overall to get into the Hall. I could have used other benchmarks, of course, but if we're talking Hall of fame chances and guys who just couldn't pad their resumes enough (like Utley) to merit serious consideration, this seems like a good starting point.

I think part of it is that the benchmark for greatness has gotten higher over time, so players like Whitaker, Trammell, Dwight Evans, Greg Nettles, who might have been Cooperstown bound if their careers had occurred in the 30s and 40's, pale in comparison to some of the all time greats that just preceded them, and so they've been overlooked. Players who "only" amass an additional 20 or 25 WAR after turning 30 look lackluster compared to guys like Aaron and Mays who piled on 80, or whatever.

Maybe some of that is the huge influx of what would have been Negro League talent in the 1950's, all coming into MLB and dominating right away? Think about that, there's never been another time when there was such a huge change in the talent level all at once. So after Robinson, Mays, Aaron, Banks, etc, Greg Nettles and Dwight Evans don't look like much.

FWIW, I went back and took out all the guys who aren't yet eligible for the ballot, and I ended up with only 67 players from 1970 on, about 1.6 per year (up to 2011), still a much higher number than in the first 70 years of the decade. If you take out Bonds, Palmeiro, Canseco, Rose, Joe Jackson, and anyone else who might otherwise have been elected if not for non-stats things, it does change it much.

Going back to the beginning of the majors gave me 10 19th century guys, which changed the initial slope only slightly, to 0.37. (I used 1886 as the start, because that was the earliest ending date for someone amassing 35 WAS by age 31). It's worth noting also that there are a few guys in the data who are in Cooperstown because of their managing, like John McGraw and Joe Torre, but again, that doesn't skew the chart too much.



   47. Booey Posted: September 15, 2017 at 04:17 PM (#5532613)
It's just getting harder and harder to have room for every single good Saber candidate, and that's if you're not into closers. You can easily go 11, 12, or 13 deep with viable candidates


I get that, but I don't think it matters that much with guys who voters just plain don't view as HOFers. Those guys are gonna get hosed no matter what ballot they're on. And again, AFAICT the only players who seem to have really benefitted from a SABR campaign in their favor are those that already had pretty impressive traditional cases to begin with. We haven't seen a "pure SABR" guy get elected yet (or really even come close).
   48. QLE Posted: September 15, 2017 at 04:20 PM (#5532614)
And I'm not even sure WAR would put Olerud or Edmonds in. 58 and 60 WAR are nice, but they're hardly in lock territory, unlike say, Mussina


That, and there's another issue of some importance:

I feel that the obsession with career WAR can be somewhat misleading, as it doesn't consider how those WAR were compiled- given that it is a counting stat and that a season of average play is worth around 2.3 WAR, there are quite a few cases in the 50 to 65 WAR range of players who I'd argue are more "HOVG, but had career bulk" than "HOF/HOM".

Edmonds deserves to get in, but Olerud is short by my calculations (he, Texeira, and Giambi lead my parade of first basemen not quite deserving of the HOF/HOM). Similarly, of the other position players in #36: Bando, Smith, and Wynn deserve induction, but Lemon is heavily dependent on how much strike credit he gets, Clark strikes me as clearly not belonging (the evidence doesn't suggest he was substantially better than Tony Perez or Orlando Cepeda- and we regard their inductions, rightly, as mistakes), the same goes for Willie Davis (had he not had those four years in what should have been his prime as an average-at-best player, it might be a different story), and I deeply question Evans and Ventura (if them, why not Ron Cey?)

Mind you, none of this ought to apply to Utley- he may be an all-peak candidate, but he had quite a peak. The problem is getting the BBWAA to realize it....
   49. The Honorable Ardo Posted: September 15, 2017 at 04:40 PM (#5532644)
Utley and Lazzeri have remarkably similar career batting stats when you consider the eras in which each played. Utley, though, has a sharper peak, and (whether one thinks his defense has been great or merely good) ran and fielded much better than Lazzeri.

Lazzeri never really got onto the Hall of Merit's radar; conversely, I think Utley will be inducted. Our in/out line lies somewhere between the two...
   50. Ithaca2323 Posted: September 15, 2017 at 04:46 PM (#5532655)
And again...we haven't seen a "pure SABR" guy get elected yet (or really even come close).


But I mean, how many of these "pure SABR" guys have we seen over the past decade—the time in which these stats have become common? Lofton, Brown, Edmonds, Trammell, Walker...and? There's not much of a conclusion to be drawn from five guys.

I know we're sort of just going back and forth. To me, I just think it's impossible to isolate the degree to which those guys are hurt by an over-reliance on Saber stats from the effects of the crowded ballot.
   51. TDF didn't lie, he just didn't remember Posted: September 15, 2017 at 04:47 PM (#5532658)
#44: If you think 65 bWAR is a clear in/out line - the '10 ballot (the first with a big jump in WAR11) includes 6 such players, 4 in the hall and big mistakes Trammell and Edgar. After that:

2011: Walker, Brown, and Palmiero joined. Despite a strong WAR, Walker hasn't ever garnered much support, despite 7 GG, 5 ASG, and an MVP. Palmiero isn't in because of steroids. I think Brown suffers from so many truly great pitchers that played at the same time - "if he's just the 5th or 6th best pitcher in the league most of his career, how can he be a HOFer?"
2012: No 65+ players joined.
2013: Big class. Bonds and Clemens forever skew your list. Lofton is one and done because no one realizes how good he was - 47.4 WAR over just 8 seasons from '92-99. Biggio is elected 2 years later. Schilling gets Browned.
2014: Maddox and Glavin go in on the 1st try. Mussina gets Schillinged.
2015: Johnson, Pedro, Smoltz go in on the 1st try - despite the fact Smoltz (82.9% of voters)isn't better than Mussina (24.6%) or Schilling (39.2).
2016: Griffey Jr. goes in on the 1st try.
2017: Manny Ramirez and Pudge Rodriguez debut, Pudge getting elected and Manny having steroid issues.

The entire list of those with 65+ bWAR with no steroids issues and not elected in this time is:
Trammel (70.4 bWAR), but Larkin (70.2), Alomar (66.8), and Biggio (65.1) are elected.
Edgar (68.3)
Walker (72.6) and Lofton (68.2), but Dawson (64.5) and Raines (69.1) are elected
Mussina (83), Schilling (79.9), and Brown (68.3), but Glavin (81.5) and Smoltz (69.5) are elected

So "steroid cheats" and a bunch of "he just didn't look like a HOFer"s. The guys "we" like to think of as viable candidates still aren't, in the eyes of the actual voters.

   52. BDC Posted: September 15, 2017 at 04:52 PM (#5532661)
the benchmark for greatness has gotten higher over time, so players like Whitaker, Trammell, Dwight Evans, Greg Nettles

I think that's true. Each of those guys is better than several early/mid-20th-century HOFers.

And thanks to Ardo for a bit of the HOM's wisdom on Tony Lazzeri.
   53. Ithaca2323 Posted: September 15, 2017 at 04:58 PM (#5532667)
#51,

You're misunderstanding me.

My point was that, even if you're a voter who likes Lofton because of his career WAR, you might not have room for him, because when you look at the ballot, there are 11 guys who have a better WAR than him. From 2000-2009, you could easily fit everyone with 60 WAR onto a ballot. In 2015, 60 WAR puts you 15th
   54. TDF didn't lie, he just didn't remember Posted: September 15, 2017 at 05:57 PM (#5532736)

My point was that, even if you're a voter who likes Lofton because of his career WAR, you might not have room for him, because when you look at the ballot, there are 11 guys who have a better WAR than him
Lofton was actually 10th in WAR his one year on the ballot.
   55. Booey Posted: September 15, 2017 at 06:20 PM (#5532748)
Lofton was actually 10th in WAR his one year on the ballot.


And 20th in votes. Edmonds was 13th in WAR and 20th in votes. Brown was tied for 8th in WAR and 20th in votes. That's part of my point; these guys aren't just getting squeezed out by a crowded ballot. They're dropping off cuz voters aren't looking past the traditional stats and just plain don't see them as HOFers. That's what I fear will happen with Utley and why I don't think the ballot clearing up a bit will help him much.

Maybe without a crowded ballot Utley will get the Dwight Evans treatment (3 ballots) rather than sharing the Lofton/Brown/Edmonds fate, but I tend to think that guys who are in danger of dropping off a crowded ballot aren't going to go anywhere even on a less crowded one.
   56. Swoboda is freedom Posted: September 15, 2017 at 06:42 PM (#5532759)
I'm a fan of Utley and would like to see him get in but it's going be difficult for him. The Rolen comp is a very good one

Except Rolen won 8 Gold Gloves. He was widely seen as a great fielder. Utley, though he deserved some, didn't win any.
   57. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: September 15, 2017 at 06:59 PM (#5532766)

Kevin Brown was reputed to be an a-hole and he was named in the Mitchell Report. He was never going to be a first-ballot HOFer, but I think those are the reasons he was one-and-done and never got the chance for a Blyleven-like campaign that might have eventually put him over the line.

Except Rolen won 8 Gold Gloves. He was widely seen as a great fielder. Utley, though he deserved some, didn't win any.

Yep, as I noted in #43, if Rolen doesn't get voted in (which he almost certainly won't), then there's little chance for Utley barring a significant turnover in the voter base during the intervening years.
   58. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: September 15, 2017 at 08:06 PM (#5532797)

Kevin Brown was reputed to be an a-hole


Ken Davidoff: Ah, Brownie. How often do you hear that a guy is a big jerk, and then it turns out that he isn’t as bad as advertised?

Well, that wasn’t the case with Brown. Man, was he unpleasant.


And that was a guy who did vote for him.

He also pulled a gun during an argument with a neighbor.

   59. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: September 15, 2017 at 08:50 PM (#5532819)
As perfect of a player as I have seen in my 60 years of following the game.


Not picking on this particular quote out of malice, but what exactly IS it about Utley that leads to such praise? F


No malice detected. ;)
Perfect is probably the wrong word, but more like totally prepared and executed each and every play to his utmost ability. Every AB was a battle. He'd wait for a good pitch to hit. The compact swing was economy in motion. He was always in the perfect spot at second. Every DP with Rollins was crisp. He ran when he needed to, was hardly ever thrown out and didn't run when it wasn't the optimal thing to do.

His weakness was arm strength, in that he couldn't play SS or 3B, but he had plenty for 2B and got rid of the ball quickly. And later in his career, he did get an occasional case of the yips for a few games at a time. I guess he needed to show that he was not a robot (which is his baseball persona).
   60. Walt Davis Posted: September 15, 2017 at 09:23 PM (#5532832)
#22: It might be fair to say that Utley was a solid prospect but he was definitely not a great prospect.

21: 307/383/444 at A-
22: 257/324/422 at A+
23: 263/352/461 at AAA
24: 323/390/517 at AAA (makes MLB debut, loses rookie status)
25: 285/368/512 at AAA (just 33 games, back in majors)

He only made BA's top 100 once at #81 prior to that age 24 season. Pretty much any "great" prospect is in the majors by 23, full-time by 24 if not earlier. His A-ball performance at 22 is not promising. Obviously somebody in the Phils believe in him to jump him to AAA but a 263 BA at AAA is gonna translate as something like 235-240 in MLB.

Frankly I don't see how you can argue more than maybe about 80 extra games -- those 33 at age 25, maybe 50 the year before.

David Bell was a poor signing but he had 6.5 WAR across the two seasons before and, as you note, put up 4.4 WAR in 2004. He was a talented guy. And we don't want to extrapolate too much from 400 PA but in 2003-4, Utley did not hit well in the majors, his value came from his defense. But in 2003-4, Bell was credited with 23 Rfield and he added another 17 in 2005. It's far from obvious to play the below-average hitting, good fielding 2B over the weak-hitting, great-fielding 3B.

The best case I know of for arguing a substantially earlier promotion and longer career for Utley is that the Phils of that era seemed to promote players quite slowly, frequently giving players full seasons tearing up A-ball without a mid-season promotion. At least they also did that with Rollins and Howard. But he wasn't exactly screaming out for a faster promotion.
   61. stevegamer Posted: September 15, 2017 at 09:46 PM (#5532836)
I guess he needed to show that he was not a robot (which is his baseball persona).


The single most shocking thing about the World Series celebration was that the guy who exposed the lack of a delay was the one guy everyone knew wasn't going to curse. World ####### Champions
   62. ReggieThomasLives Posted: September 15, 2017 at 11:03 PM (#5532865)
When Chase gets passed over it will be one of the greatest oversights in HOF history. 43.3 peak WAA? I'm guessing there is less than a dozen players who reached a higher WAA total who have been passed over. The only ones i can think of are Grich, Walker, Rolen, Rose, Arod, Clemens, and Bonds. I'm assuming Musdina is in.
   63. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: September 16, 2017 at 01:00 AM (#5532888)
Personally, I hope Utley drops of the HoF ballot faster than a guy drops, who just got his leg broken on reckless takeout slide at second base.
   64. Dennis Eclairskey, closer Posted: September 16, 2017 at 06:17 AM (#5532899)

Except Rolen won 8 Gold Gloves. He was widely seen as a great fielder. Utley, though he deserved some, didn't win any.


What may hurt Rolen is his poor relationship with Philadelphia fans and his manager, Larry Bowa, as well as his difficult relationship with LaRussa in St. Louis. Utley, by contrast, was beloved by the notoriously tough Philly fanbase.

I believe most view second base as at least a slightly tougher defensive position than third. At 2B you have two seriously overlooked candidates in Grich & Whitaker and then also Kent. Hard to say if Utley will fall off the ballot quickly like Grich & Whitaker or age off as Kent likely will. At 3B, Beltre will breeze in which will satisfy the idea that more 3B are needed in the HOF. Sadly, being the best 3B not in the HOF didn't help Santo get elected while he was living

If you use total zone rather than DRS, Utley goes from a 65 WAR candidate to more like 58 which is less Grich/Whitaker and closer to Kent. Utley & Rolen are both borderline candidates (who I'd be fine with being voted in) but as stated by #56, Rolen has the (deserved) Gold Glove hardware while Utley does not
   65. RMc's Unenviable Situation Posted: September 16, 2017 at 07:51 AM (#5532909)
Why they didn't just move Polanco back to 3B, which he'd played and played well in St. Louis, and benched David Bell (one of the worst hitters in MLB in 2003, though he bounced back and then some in 2004), is beyond me.

Teams don't like to move a "proven veteran" off a position to replace him with an untested kid.

It's just getting harder and harder to have room for every single good Saber candidate, and that's if you're not into closers. You can easily go 11, 12, or 13 deep with viable candidates

Gee, it's almost like there are more teams and players than there were in the old days!
   66. DanG Posted: September 16, 2017 at 08:53 AM (#5532915)
Utley sims - 2B, SS, 3B, CF with similar WAR, PA, and OPS+:

Player        WAR/po OPS+   PA dWAR  SB From   To
Bobby Grich     70.9  125 8220 16.3 104 1970 1986
Scott Rolen     69.9  122 8518 20.6 118 1996 2012
Robinson Cano   65.8  126 8433  8.5  51 2005 2017
'Chase Utley    65.2  118 7647 17.8 150 2003 2017'
Lou Boudreau    62.9  120 7024 23.3  51 1938 1952
Andruw Jones    62.8  111 8664 24.2 152 1996 2012
Ken Boyer       62.8  116 8272 10.4 105 1955 1969
Sal Bando       61.5  119 8287  8.0  75 1966 1981
Robin Ventura   55.9  114 8271 17.1  24 1989 2004
Chet Lemon      55.5  121 7874  8.3  58 1975 1990 

The only one here in the HOF is Boudreau, who has a historic MVP season and manager credit on his resume.
   67. No longer interested in this website Posted: September 16, 2017 at 11:20 AM (#5532963)
I have Utley ranked 10th among second basemen, just behind Cano, who will get a lot of support for the Hall because his HR totals and batting average will look better. Of course that might change if the electorate becomes more "enlightened."

His WAR7 ranks 7th among players who were primarily second basemen, just behind Cano and ahead of Sandberg, Gordon, Frisch, and Alomar. He's well ahead of Whitaker, who had a low peak but many very good seasons. Utley's FIFTH-BEST SEASON according to WAR was 7.2, which is nearly what Alomar's best season was (7.4). But, Utley doesn't have enough 4-5 WAR seasons to fill out his credentials.

Utley is at a stage now where Whitaker was his last 2-3 years. He's doing only the things that he can do best, and minimizing his weaknesses. His problem is going to be that he's probably not playing enough now to get himself to even 2,000 hits and he's just barely crossed the 1,000-mark in runs and RBIs. Many voters will see his rate stats and like them but want to see better counting numbers. But he's only had six years of 600 PAs in his entire career. That's a remarkably low number for a Hall of Fame candidate.
   68. BDC Posted: September 16, 2017 at 11:29 AM (#5532964)
I reckon that the problems Utley faces in getting to the Hall of Fame go, if not double, at least some lower multiple for Dustin Pedroia. By age 27, Pedroia was certainly on a HOF track, but he has never played as well or as durably since. They're hardly identical players, but they share the problem of not being all that durable in mid-career, to second Walt's point. Pedroia has played 140 games six times in his career, Utley only five – each missed by a game or two one other time – but Roberto Alomar played 140 games thirteen times, Ryne Sandberg eleven, Robinson Cano ten so far (and he should get to eleven in a few days).

   69. No longer interested in this website Posted: September 16, 2017 at 11:43 AM (#5532968)
I reckon that the problems Utley faces in getting to the Hall of Fame go, if not double, at least some lower multiple for Dustin Pedroia.


Except Utley's peak was MUCH better and longer than Pedroia. And as good as any second baseman in the last 30 years (Cano is right there with him). Pedroia's best season (according to WAR) was 7.9. While Utley's third best was 7.8 and he has five seasons of 7 WAR. Pedroia's WAR7 puts him in Alomar/Frisch territory, and is only slightly better than Zobrist.

Utley's peak is better than Sandberg, Grich, Doerr. It's comparable to Carew's, and technically higher because Rod gets credit for a few years when he was really a first baseman.

Of course neither Utley nor Pedroia will get elected by the writers.
   70. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 16, 2017 at 06:27 PM (#5533138)
I'm inclined to support Utley. Great peak/prime, even if there was little outside of that. He didn't play a ton of games per season on average. So I can see if people don't support him based on short career and durability.

What I don't see is why we would compare him to SS/3B/CF.
   71. Walt Davis Posted: September 16, 2017 at 06:38 PM (#5533149)
By the way, I'm perfectly comfortable with Utley in the HoF ... not all that uncomfortable if he doesn't make it, will be annoyed if he's one and done. (Ballots should be in his favor.) Sandberg is an excellent comp, especially by WAR. Utley has a 2 WAR advantage in WAR7, Sandberg has a 2 WAR advantage in career WAR. Sandberg has about 2.5 seaosns more play. Utley does take a big hit if you sub TZ for DRS but his TZ is also equal to Sandberg's and his Rfield relative to his estimated TZ suggests he's more likely to have been better than his estimated TZ than the likelihood that Sandberg was better than his ... while Sandbarg's GGs suggest he was better than his TZ suggests (unless GGs are in the TZ model ... anybody know?)

Sandberg wins easily on the recognition of his fielding and has the MVP although that was one of those slightly flukey MVPs. They are quite similar in terms of WARpos peaks -- Sandberg finished 1st once and has 3 more 2/3 place finishes; Utley has 5 2/3 finishes. Sandberg leads easily on black ink, gray ink, HoF Monitor and Standards which is mainly a function of his better trad stats and career length which goes back to the question of what mix of "traditional" vs. "sabermetric" voters will we have by then.

Utley, at his best, was probably as good as any post-war 2B not named Morgan (or probably Robinson). From a career perspective, he's pretty much indistinguishable from about 9 guys, but most of them made the HoF too. In his ways, he's the exact opposite of Lou Whitaker and it seems unfair and inconsistent that both should be denied the honor.
   72. cardsfanboy Posted: September 16, 2017 at 06:49 PM (#5533160)
That is my thing, I get not putting people in who might be deserving, but I really hate the one and done guys who clearly deserve more conversation, if not outright inclusion to the hof. I get that some people argue it's a binary choice in/out, but I think the guys like Blyleven or Rice who are in, were helped by the fact that they didn't drop off the ballot and that people were allowed to reflect more on their case. There are a dozen plus players who were one and done, who deserved more of a look into their hof case than what they were given.

It's why I hate the 5% rule, at least as the starting point. I would support, a straight "if they get multiple votes for the hof, in their first year of eligibility, they remain on the ballot, then the percentage to stay on the ballot rises each year based upon whatever formula the experts thinks makes sense."
   73. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: September 16, 2017 at 08:13 PM (#5533201)
I get that some people argue it's a binary choice in/out, but I think the guys like Blyleven or Rice who are in, were helped by the fact that they didn't drop off the ballot and that people were allowed to reflect more on their case. There are a dozen plus players who were one and done, who deserved more of a look into their hof case than what they were given.


I think there's no harm in expanding the ballot eligibility for these types of guys for more than a single look, but it's important to realize that such second looks will result in zero elections through the BBWAA. Bert Blyleven had 6 times as much maiden support from the writers as the typical one-and-doner, and Rice was on almost 1/3 of the ballots. And it took Bert 14 years and a memorable campaign to make it (plus almost no Hall-worthy stating pitchers hitting the ballot after him), and it took Rice the full 15 to eke in, which is five more years than the current group of nominees are allowed.

Yes, a theoretical better showing could help with the Vets committee (though that better showing is overwhelmingly unlikely - instead of going one-and-done, the next group of Grichy Whitakers will be two and done). But that's always been a backward approach to the problem. Rather, it would be better to work to divorce the Vets Committee from following the BBWAA's lead and have the committee start entirely fresh.
   74. taxandbeerguy Posted: September 17, 2017 at 11:19 AM (#5533314)
Re #36,37, current second basemen on HOF track and recent SABR darlings.

Brown: Recent electorate is trending more SABR friendly, but Mitchell Report and being rather unpleasant made this decision easy. Still think he should've hung around, especially since the ballot wasn't super stacked in 2011. Don't know if there's also a case of being hesitant on first year guys, but if so that would certainly have hurt Brown.

Walker: Voters didn't know what to do with Walker. SABR stats say he very well qualify, but Coors Field, some durability concerns and the general underrating of all around great players (Utley is another) have made this hard for Walker to gain traction. Then of course the crowding of the ballots in 2013 - 2015 have exacerbated this.

Lofton: Underrating of all around talents, how good is his defense?, ballotgeddon 2013. Also probably 11-13 on many full ballots in 2013.

Edmonds: Over-crowded ballot. Following Ryan Thibs ballot tracker, there was a sense that with 12 slots (or even more slots) Edmonds would have made a lot more ballots. Probably 11-13 on a lot of full ballots.

E. Martinez: Hopefully getting the Raines treatment in the next two years setting up for election in 2019. What took voters so long to realize... well DH role and the realization that a 147 OPS+ in a long career is really hard to do... just look at the drops of Pujols and Miggy this year, they might finish with career OPS+'s less than Edgar.

Olerud: Just a little hsort for me across the board HOVG with two MVP type season's thrown in. The great glove gets him close, but others might not believe the SABR stats.

Helton: Should get consideration, but ballot may just be crowded enough in 2019.

Buehrle: Lots of good seasons, outstanding durability for the era, but missing an obvious Cy Young caliber season or three. Worth consideration, but just short and one and done I think.

Hudson: A moderately peakier, slightly less durable version of Buerhle, with the same results as Buerhle.

Abreu: A tricky case, but lack of high MVP finishes, big peak years (he doesn't really have a year that makes you think Wow! maybe other than the +28 in field in 1998 as a 24 year old per BR), the underrating of all around players (400 career steals), I think he is one and done and the definition of HOVG.

A. Jones: Would have benefited from a more graceful decline, and it all depends on how voters view the defensive numbers, taken at face value Jones may be in, but any demerits and he's short. Hopefully sticks around for a few years.

Rolen: Agree with him being a big test case for Utley, if he sticks around (he deserves to, but the ballot is still crowded). Also has in season durability issues, but very good hitter, brilliant fielder and even quality baserunner (if not in Walker or Utley's class). If he stays on ballot that bodes very well for Utley.

Cano: Should get in first ballot, as he's got a nice defined growth stage, perennial MVP status, big peak, hitting stats. A graceful decline could get him near inner-circle status.

Pedroia: I've always thought of him as a future HOF player. He's got the hardware (ROY, MVP, 4GG's, part of 2 WS champs -whether these were all deserved is up to debate) and the SABR stats back it up. He still needs a decent decline period, but feel like he's 85-90% of the way there. Also has the underrating of well rounded players aspect going on although the hardware and name recognition makes up for that.

Utley: Certainly deserving, the key piece to the great Phillies teams last decade. While I think he's over the line, he's certainly not a sure fire first ballot guy. Underrating of the baserunning and fielding hurts his case although he was great at both. Lots of parallels with Walker and Rolen.



   75. DanG Posted: September 17, 2017 at 01:19 PM (#5533342)
What I don't see is why we would compare him to SS/3B/CF.
Those are the positions with the closest proximity to 2B on the defensive spectrum. BB-Ref takes this into account when creating their sim scores.

Also, in Utley's case there are very few 2B who are very similar to him, so we get a better list of sims when including neighboring positions. YMMV.
   76. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 17, 2017 at 01:52 PM (#5533350)
At 2B you have two seriously overlooked candidates in Grich & Whitaker and then also Kent.

Willie Randolph had considerably more WAR (65.5) than Kent (55.2), although he trailed Whitaker (74.9) & Grich (70.9), but he was but one & done on the HoF ballot. Utley probably does better than that, but he'd be helped if a viable Veterans Committee process corrected some of the apparent errors at second base. Not that every voter would see a Veterans Committee selection as a rebuke of their own judgment, but it does get the conversation started in the right direction. Ballot glut will also have a big effect - Utley (and others) would get a fairer shake if there aren't a dozen or more folks deserving serious consideration competing for just 10 slots.
   77. cardsfanboy Posted: September 17, 2017 at 02:11 PM (#5533354)

I think there's no harm in expanding the ballot eligibility for these types of guys for more than a single look, but it's important to realize that such second looks will result in zero elections through the BBWAA. Bert Blyleven had 6 times as much maiden support from the writers as the typical one-and-doner, and Rice was on almost 1/3 of the ballots. And it took Bert 14 years and a memorable campaign to make it (plus almost no Hall-worthy stating pitchers hitting the ballot after him), and it took Rice the full 15 to eke in, which is five more years than the current group of nominees are allowed.

Yes, a theoretical better showing could help with the Vets committee (though that better showing is overwhelmingly unlikely - instead of going one-and-done, the next group of Grichy Whitakers will be two and done). But that's always been a backward approach to the problem. Rather, it would be better to work to divorce the Vets Committee from following the BBWAA's lead and have the committee start entirely fresh.


To me, that argument is not convincing in the slightest. Basically you are saying nobody who started out with a low total of votes, eventually got voted in, so nobody in the future who starts out with a low total of votes will get voted in. That is way too pessimistic of a take for me. I think that there is and has been a slow growing revolution among the voters and their willingness to look at more advanced stats. I honestly think that Blyleven was the first of more guys of his like to get in(Tim Raines was second), and that Jim Rice was the last dying bastions of old time thinking getting in. I fully think that Blyleven's increasing support created a backlash from the old farts to push for Morris and Rice, they succeeded with Rice and barely failed with Morris.

Of course I'm also a fan of unlimited number of spots per ballot and would have a bigger impact on whether or not people make it to the 5% threshold.



   78. cardsfanboy Posted: September 17, 2017 at 02:17 PM (#5533355)
Just looking at Jeff Kent's career and he was hammered defensively his last three seasons in the majors, he has -42 career rField, 2006-2008 he put up -41 rField, that alone is a 4 war drop from what he would have had, if he was his typical league average fielder. (not that I'm arguing really for or against him, just looking at the numbers) He still managed to put up 3.0 war during that time, nothing to write home about, but that was 3 more added to his career total(at -1.5 to his waa though)
   79. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 17, 2017 at 02:41 PM (#5533361)
<sorry, wrong thread>
   80. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: September 17, 2017 at 04:43 PM (#5533442)
To me, that argument is not convincing in the slightest. Basically you are saying nobody who started out with a low total of votes, eventually got voted in, so nobody in the future who starts out with a low total of votes will get voted in. That is way too pessimistic of a take for me.


It's not just low totals. It's obscenely low totals.

We've had one person since Hall voting stabilized who had vote totals in the teens who eventually got elected, and that person required a rather historic, and first, multi-year campaign to get him over the edge. And that person started with a level of support six times greater than Whitaker, Grich and the other one-and-doners. Bert Blyleven had the support of nearly 20 percent of the electorate when he hit the ballot. Lou and Bobby had the support of less than 3 percent.

There simply isn't a baseline constituency for someone to move from below 5 percent in Year 1 to above 75 percent in what is now five fewer years. It's a pipedream. Campaigns build, in large part, because writers see their peers supporting these guys, and start to re-evaluate. But they won't have cause to re-evaluate with the less than 5 percenters. Writers will see that their peers share the POV about these guys' Hall worthiness.

If you want to give them another crack in Year 2, it's pretty harmless, as long as you have a way of ridding them from the ballot at some point. But thinking it's an avenue to BBWAA induction is nuts.

   81. Walt Davis Posted: September 17, 2017 at 11:07 PM (#5533586)
Obviously lots of exposure via the circumstances of their reinstatement on the ballot but Santo went from 4% to 43% and eventual VC induction; Allen went from 4% to 19%. Those guys also easily outpoll Lofton et al so not that promising but still ....

Also the publicity around a change in the 5% rule etc. would make it clear to the voters that the HoF thinks they're being too hard on some good candidates. I suspect you'd see a lot more 10-player ballots .... which might still not help future Loftons very much but might help the next Larry Walker.

well DH role and the realization that a 147 OPS+ in a long career is really hard to do.

A 147 OPS+ over 8700 PA is impressive but 8700 PA is not a long career by HoF standards. There are only 16 integration-era HoFers with fewer PA (out of 65), I think it's 7 of them are VC candidates plus Robinson and Campy and war credit for Ted. Of the remaining 6, 3 were Cs. That leaves Kiner (7 straight HR titles), Puckett (well, yeah) and Snider (a good comp in his way for Edgar). The first guy ahead of him is Cepeda (VC) followed by another C followed by another pretty good Edgar comp in Stargell (147 OPS+, no defensive value to speak of).

I've written enough about Edgar over the years so no need to re-hash much. I will point out that Sheffield from 23-38 is 8900 PA of a 150 OPS+; Giambi from 24-40 is 8500 of 142 (or 7700 of 146 if you prefer); Berkman 7800, 144; Ortiz 27-40 had 8400, 148; (approximately) Dick Allen plus 1400 PA of 100 OPS+ equals Edgar in PA, OPS+ terms. I'm pretty sure those guys all look worse by Rbat or similar because of Edgar's superior OBP (which is downplayed in OPS+) but it's not an overly impressive set of contemporary comps (plus Allen).
   82. Booey Posted: September 18, 2017 at 12:42 AM (#5533595)
If we're including 3B as comps, one guy who hasn't been mentioned yet whose career reminds me somewhat of Utley is Josh Donaldson. Late start, great defense, probably too short peak as one of the best players in the game. Donaldson didn't debut until he was 24 (14 games), didn't play at 25, played half a season at 26, and then had his first full season at 27. Since then though, he's been one of the best players in baseball, probably 2nd only to Trout in the AL. His four full seasons produced WAR totals of 7.7, 7.3, 8.8, and 7.5. This season he missed a lot of time but has still put up 4 WAR in 100 games so far. Like Utley, I doubt that Donaldson will be able to last long enough to rack up the career stats the actual voters will want, but with a few more great seasons and/or a graceful decline he could finish with a pretty valid peak argument.
   83. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: September 18, 2017 at 01:28 AM (#5533596)
Obviously lots of exposure via the circumstances of their reinstatement on the ballot but Santo went from 4% to 43% and eventual VC induction; Allen went from 4% to 19%. Those guys also easily outpoll Lofton et al so not that promising but still ....


Except A) you're talking about two individuals who were specifically re-inserted on the ballot (which amounted to the Hall basically instructing the writers to take a second look at this small group of overlooked players) which is not what would happen with CFB's plan, B) they got to spend 15 years on the ballot, as opposed to the 10 for players now and, perhaps most important, C) neither of them came anywhere close to getting elected by the writers.

The best case scenario for this idea is, well, if we put all of the one-and-doners who got votes back on the ballot, maybe this deserving guy or these deserving guys who were almost unanimously rejected the first time by the exact same electorate will defy the odds and drum up a little more support the second time, which could possibly lead to induction via the Vets Committee decades from now, possibly a short time after they've died. That sounds like something in Manfred's wheelhouse, but the rest of us should know better.


   84. QLE Posted: September 18, 2017 at 01:41 AM (#5533597)

Willie Randolph had considerably more WAR (65.5) than Kent (55.2), although he trailed Whitaker (74.9) & Grich (70.9), but he was but one & done on the HoF ballot.


Considering them, and what they might say about Utley's chances.....

In Randolph's case, the issue probably was the exact same one that got Whitaker- the two of them had considerable prime, but not much in the way of peak. Whitaker clearly should be in (though I'm not quite as high on his position among his second base peers as many here- I consider Grich considerably better, for instance), but Randolph is more complicated- he's either the first one out or the last one in. As a result, I'm not sure that either of them are viable comparisons- Utley has had more or less the opposite career of the two of them.

Kent, on the other hand, I'm considerably more skeptical about- yes, his 2000 through 2002 were great, but I'm not sure that was enough for either the HOF or HOM, and he is more in a pack with Doerr, Herman, Fox, Knoblauch, and Lazzari. Doerr deserves it when war credit kicks in, and Herman has a similar war credit case that may be enough, but I'm not convinced any of the other four deserve it. Utley has a far better case than Kent, as does Cano, and as will Pedroia and Kinsler when they become eligible.

Of these, I suspect the closest direct comparison is Grich- and his time as one and done was so long ago that I am not sure how viable the comparison would be, given the massive changes in the BBWAA electorate since then and the changes in statistical analysis.
   85. Walt Davis Posted: September 18, 2017 at 04:01 AM (#5533602)
Is my writing really that unclear?

Except A) you're talking about two individuals who were specifically re-inserted on the ballot

Me: Obviously lots of exposure via the circumstances of their reinstatement on the ballot

neither of them came anywhere close to getting elected by the writers.

Me: Santo went from 4% to 43% and eventual VC induction; Allen went from 4% to 19%. Those guys also easily outpoll Lofton et al so not that promising

(which amounted to the Hall basically instructing the writers to take a second look at this small group of overlooked players) which is not what would happen with CFB's plan,

Disagree. Any change to the current 5% rule is a clear sign that the Hall thinks these guys are not getting enough consideration and the writers will likely respond. There'd be no other reason to change the rule.

<i>they got to spend 15 years on the ballot, as opposed to the 10 for players now


That's a good point. Technically Allen got 14 not 15 ballots (mysteries) ... and he also got to 16% by year 10 so ballots 10-14 didn't make any difference; Santo did get 15 ballots and was at 37% in his 10th so again not a big difference on ballots 11-15 except for his final year bump (which maybe he'd get anyway). Not that it makes any difference.

Where I suspect things might have been different then and would be different now is that should, god forbid, a genuine saber darling get a low enough vote total to risk elimination after their 2nd ballot, we'd whine, groan, maybe even kvetch ... maybe even organize to keep them alive and get them moving up. Blyleven wouldn't have made it without Lederer; I don't think Raines makes it without general saber moaning -- though I'm still surprised by his 2016 jump. We don't really care enough about Larry Walker for reasons I don't understand, much less Lofton or Edmonds. Maybe we care enough about Utley.
   86. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: September 18, 2017 at 08:00 AM (#5533609)
Is my writing really that unclear?


No, I just think people have pointed to Santo's climb as a point in its favor, when it really isn't.

Disagree. Any change to the current 5% rule is a clear sign that the Hall thinks these guys are not getting enough consideration and the writers will likely respond. There'd be no other reason to change the rule.


Except CFB's change would affect dozens of guys each election cycle. Without the specific direction they got last time by getting three or four guys handed to them by the BBWAA with the rather clear message to look again, why would they think the Hall wanted a longer look at Lou Whitaker as opposed to Eddie Guardado?
   87. Rally Posted: September 18, 2017 at 01:24 PM (#5533739)
Just looking at Jeff Kent's career and he was hammered defensively his last three seasons in the majors, he has -42 career rField, 2006-2008 he put up -41 rField, that alone is a 4 war drop from what he would have had, if he was his typical league average fielder.


Typical of an older player who loses a step and should be moved to an easier position, but for some reason stays at his typical position. Like Griffey (last 10 years of his career) or Jeter (last 18).
   88. Rally Posted: September 18, 2017 at 01:34 PM (#5533747)
Maybe without a crowded ballot Utley will get the Dwight Evans treatment (3 ballots) rather than sharing the Lofton/Brown/Edmonds fate, but I tend to think that guys who are in danger of dropping off a crowded ballot aren't going to go anywhere even on a less crowded one.


I think he's got a chance to do better than Evans. By the time he hits the ballot a lot of the internet writers who gained BBWAA membership will be able to vote. People like Cameron, Jaffe, Szymborski, Law. I think Utley (especially assuming the ballot is less crowded than what we've seen the last 4-5 years) will get a decent number of votes from this group. He's still a real longshot to get to 75%.
   89. TDF didn't lie, he just didn't remember Posted: September 18, 2017 at 02:10 PM (#5533779)
By the time he hits the ballot a lot of the internet writers who gained BBWAA membership will be able to vote. People like Cameron, Jaffe, Szymborski, Law. I think Utley (especially assuming the ballot is less crowded than what we've seen the last 4-5 years) will get a decent number of votes from this group
I really think this gets oversold.**

Some have said they wished one-and-done Jim Edmonds would've gotten a longer look on the ballot, because he's a "jack of all trades" type of guy that racks up quite a bit of value (60.3 bWAR) without being good enough at any one thing to really stand out. Edmonds got 11/440 votes last year; just to make it over the 5% threshold, he would've needed to double that.

Sure, many new voters are smarter than the general voters (at least, as "we" define "smarter"), but there's no guarantee these particular voters are smarter than the particular voters they're replacing (assuming it's a near 1-1 ratio if new voters to voters leaving/dying), let alone that all new voters are going to be saber-savvy. Plus, there's no reason to think every voter is comfortable with a 60-65 bWAR player as a HOFer - some may be small hall guys.

Don't just assume that as more voters that embrace modern stats enter the voting body that these types of players are going to get a longer look. It may take 20 years or more for there to be enough voter turnover to drastically change voting patterns.

**Yes, I know I left off your last sentence, but that's more WRT Utley and I'm talking more generally.
   90. Rally Posted: September 18, 2017 at 03:08 PM (#5533825)
Edmonds wasn't among the top 10 in WAR on his ballot. He would have needed something beyond WAR (a big round counting stat, being a catcher, a single-franchise beloved icon, etc.) to jump ahead of the players with more WAR.

If Utley reaches the ballot as say, the 7th highest rated player, I think he'll have enough supporters to stick around.
   91. Walt Davis Posted: September 18, 2017 at 07:30 PM (#5533990)
Yes, based on Ryan's HoF voting spreadsheet, there's not much evidence that new voters are radically different than the rest. Somebody can dig out last year's HoF posts but my memory is the new guys were always pretty supportive of Raines (eventually nearly everybody was) but they were also pretty supportive of Hoffman and not particularly supportive of Walker, Bonds and Clemens. And as 89 implies, it's usually something like 10 new voters a year so even over the 10 year voting period that would be a max of 100 vote swing in a player's favor -- and obviously in reality it's never going to be close to 100. And yes, the BBWAA made that push to add saber guys -- that one year. I don't think it's been a big push since then (maybe it just wasn't made a big deal) and I'm not sure how many of those guys have kept up their membership (didn't Neyer drop out?)

Realistically what you hope is that "smarter" voters in the next decade will be enough to get good but overlooked candidates off to a decent start and then new voters will give them some momentum and that momentum will push the wavering dunderhead old voters over the line, creating more momentum ... but realistically you're talking about hopefully getting them up to at least 25-30% in year 1 then building at 5% a year with maybe a big jump somewhere in there on a weak ballot. SoSH is of course right in that even getting a guy to the 5% threshold is at best rarely going to lead to eventual induction ... and even that very rare case would probably require special circumstances (becoming a WS-winning manager, dying heroically, becoming President).

Beyond that, we are playing the VC game -- hoping to get a vote total high enough for the VC to notice. But I'm not sure there are any sensible VC "rules" for us to play the game by. We couldn't even get Santo in before he died.
   92. Bote Man Posted: September 18, 2017 at 09:52 PM (#5534083)
Even at his advanced age Utley looks like he could still suit up and play a few innings.
   93. taxandbeerguy Posted: September 18, 2017 at 10:30 PM (#5534110)
Re #81

YMMV, but I guess it's just where everyone's line is drawn. I'd speculate that if you'd ask many readers / contributors / HOM voters here regarding Edgar it'd be this. Take the current Hall of fame size, divide it by 2. Raise your hand if you have Edgar.... Very few hands rise. If it's 75-80% of the size it is now. A few more hands pop up, but the majority have their hands down. If you are selecting the best 250 players in history... a fair majority of hands are now up. It's not whether Edgar is over the line, I think he is, but not by a huge margin. He's comparable to the players you mentioned, but a see a not so bright line with him and Sheffield over that line, they have a little more longevity and better rates through their best years than Berkman and Giambi, It's only 800-1000PA's and a few point of OPS+ (to simplify matters) but at the edges that's what separates the two groups. Allen might have gotten more votes with a more gradual decline. Sure He'd have a 147-8 OPS+ but with close to 9,000 PA's, he'd have a more "natural shape" to his career. Sheffield's got that nasty Rfield (if using BR) which drops him down at least two notches (Manny has the same issue), but part of me thinks if the last half of their career's if they'd been DH's their value would've had them clearly across that line (omitting any PED issues), instead of on it and barely over it (in Ramirez's case).

So I guess I'm saying I agree with your thoughts without saying it and since Edgar Martinez is in the bottom 25% of many HOM / BBTF readers eyes for the HOF, given he is a SABR candidate, he should be just over the line (i.e. bottom 10% of the HOF) for a majority BBWAA voters?
   94. Walt Davis Posted: September 19, 2017 at 03:08 AM (#5534175)
#93 ... perfectly fair points on the comparisons. I'm mainly just pointing out that "awesome OPS over 8000 PA give or take" is a fairly common characteristic for HoFers and HoVGers.

The issue with the rest of your argument in #93 is that a whole lot of those folks in the real HoF were VC mistakes. Dag or somebody knows off the top of their head but I think it's nearly 50% VC/old-timers, etc. selections. Obviously a good number of those belong but we could probably pretty easily whack out 25% of the HoF as undeserving. The HoM's mission was to take the size of the HoF as a given and then fill it with the best such players which, much as I love him, is how you get the induction of Rick Reuschel.

However, that's never been the BBWAA's standards. They've always had much higher standards than any of the various VCs. And there's little/no evidence that BBWAA standards shift in response to VC selections ... although of course an individual BBWAA voter will always pull out "my guy is better than these VC selections" as justification for voting for his guy. Barring 19th century guys and Negro Leaguers (I'm essentially ignorant), I ignore nearly all VC selections in these discussions other than Santo, Mize and a few others ... and I'm pretty sure the BBWAA voters ignore even more than I do.

Now over the last 20 years or so, the BBWAA have made a number of pretty borderline selections -- Puckett, Rice, Perez, nearly Morris, arguably Dawson. And it's clearly non-performance reasons that allowed Puckett in on first ballot while making Dawson and Rice wait so long. And the BBWAA has virtually no (baseball merit) consistency on which borderline candidates get in easily, which slowly progress, which stall out (Dale Murphy) and which don't even get a chance (Edmonds, et al). The current crop of voters clearly view Edgar as being closer to the HoF than Walker and even moreso Sheffield or Edmonds. That doesn't make sense to me but that's not the first time I have been flummoxed by their mysterious ways.

But I'm fine with your overall point. Edgar is somewhere near the borderline, even by my lofty standards. And at the border, things will inevitably get messy and there's no clean way to draw an in/out line. The presence of guys like Stargell, Killer, McCovey and Frank Thomas (not that Edgar is at that level but Thomas is way over the line) certainly speaks in Edgar's favor; the absence of the guys I mentioned (and Mize having to be selected by the VC) argue against it. I'm fine either way ... but until my dying breath will argue that Walker was the clearly superior player (which isn't Edgar's fault).

The other unspoken issue is that it's still far too common to read claims like "Edgar had a 147 OPS+ while Reggie Jackson had just a 139" (Reggie had a 151 in 8800 PA from ages 22-36) or the even worse "among players with 5000+ PA, my guy ranks ...." Not that you (or whoever started this) was doing that necessarily but I always like to make the point that if we're gonna compare two players (especially for HoF purposes), you have to control for playing time and make sure you're doing some sort of like-to-like comparison. After doing that we might still conclude Edgar belongs.
   95. Walt Davis Posted: September 19, 2017 at 03:45 AM (#5534176)
What the heck, gotta kill some time for traffic to clear.

"Modern" BBWAA "slugger" selections with an OPS+ kinda like Edgar's ... and how they did in about the same number of PAs.

Bagwell -- pass :-)
Kiner -- Edgar certainly had the better career
Stargell -- same OPS+, only a few more PA
Schmidt -- as a great-fielding 3B it's moot but 153 OPS+ in 9000 PA
McCovey -- 153 OPS+ in 8800 PA
Killer -- 149 in 8800, smidgen higher than Edgar
Mathews -- 147 in 9000, same but all at 3B
Reggie -- above
Griffey -- 146 in 8600 as a CF
B Williams -- Edgar wins this equalized comp
Winfield -- Edgar wins over 9000 PA
Yaz -- 141 in 9000

There are a number of others below this but, like Yaz and Winfield, they mostly have 3000 hits -- Brett, Carew, Kaline, Gwynn, Boggs, Murray -- or are Joe Morgan, Tim Raines or a SS, CF or C.

The top sluggers there slightly out-performed Edgar in OPS+ terms over the same PA stretch. Most then added many more PAs and passed thresholds. But he's also close enough to them over those 8500-9000 PA that it's not a big difference and his OBP edge probably more than makes up for it.

Still, for sluggers, it's mainly about whether Williams, Yaz and Winfield can make up enough ground in their extra PAs or defensive value. Generally not from a saber perspective but the BBWAA does love milestones. Still, it's hard to argue against "if Billy Williams then Edgar." As a Cub fan, I'll have to concoct something to maintain cognitive dissonance.

Arguably he is better comped to Brett, Boggs, Kaline et al -- high BA, lots of OBP, more of a doubles hitter than a true slugger. Then you've got 3000 hits to contend with plus Brett was at 147 in 8600 PA. Kaline is a really good comp as a hitter but you've got all that excellent RF defense to contend with.

Edgar did of course have those 3B years and I probably don't give him enough credit for those. But it's mainly the BBWAA standards I'm trying to bring out here. Fair or not, without milestone (or even with them) the bottom edge of offense-only standards for the BBWAA is somewhere around Edgar. After this you get into more defensive positions, the importance of milestones (which means long career) ... and of course Jim Rice. It wouldn't take much of a nudge in the peak/prime (vs. career) direction to put Edgar squarely in this class but the BBWAA ain't there yet.

Still, they might squeak him in. Only two ballots left and the next one will put in Chipper, Vlad and Hoffman so I don't think he'll make it that one. The important question for him is whether he'll be in front of or behind Thome. 2019 brings St. Mariano but if Edgar enters as the #2 candidate, he'll probably make it or be so close that even the current VC will wave him in.

Mussina and Schilling (if he keeps his mouth shut) seem to have a clear path to induction in 2021. By that time, the #3 candidate (assuming Thome's made it) will be ... Jeff Kent? Halladay? ... 2022 looks like clear sailing for Ortiz.

The HoF has some lean years coming up. We're either going to see some pretty undeserving back-loggers zooming up or each ballot is going to be (at best) one obvious candidate and a lot of one-name ballots.
   96. Ithaca2323 Posted: September 19, 2017 at 08:53 AM (#5534211)
#95-

Edgar seems pretty clearly on the path in. I think there's going to be such a push to induct Ortiz, because of rings and clutch and "our ****ing city", and curses. But with the statistical edge Martinez has, it's going to be very hard to justify a no vote for him and a yes vote for Ortiz. The tracker shows that for each of the past two years, his net gain among returning votes has been the highest of any player. I don't think it's a conspiracy theory, but I think voters are realizing a Hall with Ortiz but not Edgar just doesn't make sense.

The HoF has some lean years coming up. We're either going to see some pretty undeserving back-loggers zooming up or each ballot is going to be (at best) one obvious candidate and a lot of one-name ballots.


Yeah. Your top 2021 first-timers by WAR are Hudson, Buehrle, and Torii Hunter, and even 2020, you have Jeter but then Abreu, Giambi, and Cliff Lee.
   97. Rally Posted: September 19, 2017 at 09:58 AM (#5534245)
I don't think it's a conspiracy theory, but I think voters are realizing a Hall with Ortiz but not Edgar just doesn't make sense.


I'm not comfortable attributing that level of logical thinking to the HOF voting pool.
   98. Ithaca2323 Posted: September 19, 2017 at 11:01 AM (#5534309)
I'm not comfortable attributing that level of logical thinking to the HOF voting pool.


Me either, usually. But nothing else seems to explain Martinez. His first six years on the ballot weren't just stagnant, he went backwards, somewhat significantly. And then it's like, overnight, everyone just woke up and started voting for him.
   99. RJ in TO Posted: September 19, 2017 at 11:37 AM (#5534357)
Me either, usually. But nothing else seems to explain Martinez. His first six years on the ballot weren't just stagnant, he went backwards, somewhat significantly. And then it's like, overnight, everyone just woke up and started voting for him.

In 2010, Martinez finished 7th in voting, with only one person being elected (Dawson).
In 2011, Martinez again finished 7th in voting, with one new addition to the ballot (Bagwell) finishing ahead of him, and two people being elected (Alomar, Blyleven)
In 2012, Martinez again finished 7th in voting, with no new additions ahead of him, and one person being elected (Larkin)
In 2013, Martinez finished 10th in the voting, behind five new additions (Biggio, Piazza, Schilling, Clemens, Bonds), and no one being elected.
In 2014, Martinez finished 14th in the voting, behind the same group as last year, plus three new additions (Maddux, Glavine, Thomas), who were all elected.
In 2015, Martinez finished 12th in the voting, as Johnson, Pedro, and Smoltz all arrived on the ballot and were elected, as well as Biggio.
In 2016, Martinez was up to 9th in voting, with Griffey and Hoffman being the new additions ahead of him, and Griffey and Piazza getting elected.
In 2017, Martinez was up to 6th in voting, with I-Rod and Vlad being the new additions, and Bagwell, Raines and I-Rod being elected.

This seems to be less about individual voters reevaluating him, and more about them finally clearing out all the new no-doubters who had arrived on the ballot during the years of his percentage drop, so they again had spare votes to spread around, combined with the BBWAA purging the votes of those no longer covering the game (with a 10 year grace period) after the 2015 election.
   100. SoSH U at work Posted: September 19, 2017 at 11:53 AM (#5534370)

Edgar did of course have those 3B years and I probably don't give him enough credit for those.


It's his third base work that differentiates him from the Hall-consideration portion of Ortiz's career. Edgar 147 OPS+ in 8,677 PAs in Seattle. Ortiz 148 OPS+ in 8,398 PAs in Boston.

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