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Monday, July 16, 2018

Is Chase Utley a Hall of Famer?

Jumping ahead somewhat to the meat of the argument…

According to Baseball Reference, Utley’s career 65.6 WAR ranks 15th all-time at his position, and is higher than Hall of Fame second basemen Jackie Robinson, Craig Biggio, Joe Gordon, Bobby Doerr, Johnny Evers, Nellie Fox, Billy Herman, Tony Lazzeri, Bill Mazeroski, Bid McPhee and Red Schoendienst.

Using that measurement, Utley has been more valuable than 11 of the 20 second basemen already in the Hall of Fame. Lou Whitaker, Bobby Grich, Robinson Cano and Willie Randolph are the only four second baseman ahead of him on that list that aren’t in the Hall of Fame. There’s obviously been a strong push for both Whitaker and Grich in the past. Cano’s case seemed rock solid, but took a troubling turn this season with his PED suspension.

In terms of Jay Jaffe’s respected JAWS formula, which he uses to determine a player’s Hall of Fame value, Utley scores a solid 57.4. That’s 11th among all second baseman, and just about the average for all 20 Hall of Famers at his position.

QLE Posted: July 16, 2018 at 10:24 AM | 75 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: chase utley, hall of fame, jaws

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   1. Sweatpants Posted: July 16, 2018 at 10:38 AM (#5710486)
Utley's problems are that he is a peak player who was never thought of as a superstar, and that his case relies on outstanding defensive numbers even though he never won a Gold Glove and wasn't regarded (if memory serves me correctly) as an outstanding defender.
   2. McCoy Posted: July 16, 2018 at 10:48 AM (#5710493)
If Ryne Sandberg is a HoF'er then so is Chase Utley.
   3. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 16, 2018 at 10:52 AM (#5710498)
Only if they let Ruben Tejada kneecap him during his induction speech.
   4. Sean Forman Posted: July 16, 2018 at 11:00 AM (#5710504)
His oWAR is 16th among all 2Bmen, so I wouldn't say it depends only on his defense.

He's 18th in batting runs for 2Bmen
4th all-time in baserunning for 2Bmen.
4th in fielding runs for 2Bmen.

He's Bill Mazeroski with a bat.
   5. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: July 16, 2018 at 11:50 AM (#5710542)
Utley's problems are that he is a peak player who was never thought of as a superstar, and that his case relies on outstanding defensive numbers even though he never won a Gold Glove and wasn't regarded (if memory serves me correctly) as an outstanding defender.


This is going to be similar to Joey Votto's problem with the HOF. Thought of as a great hitter, but, never won a Silver Slugger award.

with no ww 2, Joe Gordon seems like a good match for Utley. excellent defensive numbers, fairly similar bats. With 1944 and 1945, Gordon would also have similar career PA.
   6. Zonk is One Individual Posted: July 16, 2018 at 11:51 AM (#5710544)
Yes, he should be.

No, he will not be.

That was easy.
   7. jmurph Posted: July 16, 2018 at 11:51 AM (#5710545)
Utley's problems are that he is a peak player who was never thought of as a superstar

Hmm this feels wrong to me. Three top 10 MVP finishes (two other top 15). Seems superstarish, at least.
   8. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: July 16, 2018 at 11:58 AM (#5710553)
He's deserving, but the performance of Scott Rolen on the most recent ballot shouldn't give him a lot of hope. Rolen has a similar case -- above-average hitter for his position, exceptional fielder (but Rolen actually has the GG hardware), won a WS, durability issues led to unimpressive counting stats (but Rolen's are better), clearly above the line by WAR. Will the electorate really change that much in the next 5-15 years?
   9. Man o' Schwar Posted: July 16, 2018 at 12:01 PM (#5710554)
This is going to be similar to Joey Votto's problem with the HOF. Thought of as a great hitter, but, never won a Silver Slugger award.

Votto has a lot going for him though that Utley doesn't. For starters, 1 MVP award, 2 other top-3 finishes, and then 3 more top-10 finishes on top of that. That's a lot of recognition of him (by the writers at least) as one of the best players in the game over a long period of time.

Utley had 3 top 10 finishes, but never higher than 7th. Also, Utley had a great 5-year peak (in the minds of award voters), and then fell off their radar. Votto's gotten top 10 MVP 6 times in a 9-year period (including last year, so he may not be done).

If you compare the two of them, Votto simply looks to have a higher peak and a longer sustained period of greatness than Utley does. Utley's entire case basically rests on how good you think his 2005-2010 performance was, because outside of those years he doesn't give you much.

(Yes, MVP voting isn't the best way to look at these things, but these MVP voters are often the same or similar people who will do HoF voting.).
   10. perros Posted: July 16, 2018 at 12:27 PM (#5710573)
Yes, he should be.

No, he will not be.


Concur. Nothing to get hung about. Except the agreeing with Zonk part, perhaps.
   11. DanG Posted: July 16, 2018 at 01:02 PM (#5710595)
Depending on your parameters, Utley may be one of the top ten position players of his generation. Leaders in WAA among position players who debuted after the 1994-95 strike:

Player         WAA/  WAROPSRfield    PA From   To
Albert Pujols  64.0 100.3  150  139.7 11556 2001 2018
Adrian Beltre  54.5  94.6  116  233.7 11910 1998 2018
Mike Trout     45.9  61.0  174    5.0  4493 2011 2018
Scott Rolen    44.1  70.2  122  175.4  8518 1996 2012
Chase Utley    42.1  65.6  117  141.0  7827 2003 2018
Joey Votto     38.3  58.0  157   40.0  6563 2007 2018
Robinson Cano  37.2  67.6  126   28.0  8662 2005 2018
Miguel Cabrera 37.0  69.3  151  
-93.0  9687 2003 2018
Andruw Jones   36.0  62.8  111  234.7  8664 1996 2012
Carlos Beltran 34.1  69.8  119   36.1 11031 1998 2017
Todd Helton    32.8  61.2  133   72.4  9453 1997 2013 
   12. dlf Posted: July 16, 2018 at 01:14 PM (#5710605)
It is several generations of players later, but he is Bobby Grich all over. Same basic offensive model: very good power for the position, gets on base a ton, decent but not great BAs. Raw hitting numbers favor Utley a little, adjusted ones favor Grich. Very good defender at second. Key role, but not considered the star of great but mildly disappointing teams. Pretty much the same length career. Grich had a better mustache.
   13. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: July 16, 2018 at 01:44 PM (#5710625)

Votto has a lot going for him though that Utley doesn't. For starters,

he is not retiring at the end of this season. Votto is ~1000 PA ahead of where Utley was at a similar point in his career, and he's under contract for another 5 seasons at $25m/year, so unless the drop in BA and HR power this season is the start of a real decline or indicative of health problems, he should finish his career with much more impressive counting stats.
   14. TomH Posted: July 16, 2018 at 02:05 PM (#5710645)
(Votto) how can you win an MVP based solely on your bat, and not win a silver slugger? Hmmm...
   15. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: July 16, 2018 at 02:17 PM (#5710650)
(Votto) how can you win an MVP based solely on your bat, and not win a silver slugger? Hmmm...


In 2010, Pujols was slightly better, but, Joey was the main guy on a surprise team.

Last year was the nutty one. Goldschmidt won the SS. Votto played more games, had 60ish more PA. Had higher BA, OBP (much, much higher), SLG% and the same number of HR and doubles. Goldschmidt had better teammates so scored and drove in more runs.
   16. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: July 16, 2018 at 02:32 PM (#5710652)
(Votto) how can you win an MVP based solely on your bat, and not win a silver slugger? Hmmm...

The SS awards are voted on by the managers and coaches, not the writers, I believe.
   17. Ithaca2323 Posted: July 16, 2018 at 03:53 PM (#5710702)
Echoing 6 and 10.

The Votto comp makes no sense to me, for reasons outlined in 9 and 13
   18. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: July 16, 2018 at 04:09 PM (#5710718)
Hmm this feels wrong to me. Three top 10 MVP finishes (two other top 15). Seems superstarish, at least.

How many position players regarded as superstars never led their own team in MVP votes? Utley received MVP votes every year from '05 to '09, but was outpolled by at least one other Phillie each year: Burrell and Rollins, Howard, Rollins and Howard, Howard and Lidge, Howard. He's 347th all-time in MVP shares.

That is to say, he was the best player on those excellent Phillies teams, but the writers at the time didn't think he was.

Actually, this will be an interesting test case for how much the Hall voters use modern statistics in a few years: Does Utley get more Hall votes than Jimmy Rollins? (With the caveat that their first appearances on the ballot will be separated by two years so they might not ever get voted on simultaneously.) Rollins won an MVP (Utley never came close), won 4 Gold Gloves as a shortstop (Utley played second and won none), and has higher career totals because he generally stayed healthy (Rollins had 10 seasons of at least 150 games; Utley only had 4, and only 8 years even playing 130 games).
   19. jmurph Posted: July 16, 2018 at 04:41 PM (#5710748)
How many position players regarded as superstars never led their own team in MVP votes? Utley received MVP votes every year from '05 to '09, but was outpolled by at least one other Phillie each year: Burrell and Rollins, Howard, Rollins and Howard, Howard and Lidge, Howard. He's 347th all-time in MVP shares.

That is to say, he was the best player on those excellent Phillies teams, but the writers at the time didn't think he was.

Huh, that's interesting. I wonder about your last sentence, though: I imagine if you asked writers "who was the best player on those Phillies team over the five year period" they'd pick Utley. At least hopefully?
   20. Zonk is One Individual Posted: July 16, 2018 at 04:53 PM (#5710757)
You know, Utley would actually be a good opportunity for the sabers to flash their sabers.

He's got six years before he hits the ballot.

When Grich fell by the wayside, you have nothing but a tiny handful - maybe even just really Bill James and a few people nobody ever heard of - promoting his candidacy. Whitaker was one and done in 2001... a full 10 years before a sustained effort on behalf of Blyleven yielded fruit.

That's a lot of time.

There are a lot more people who have columns, analyst jobs on TV, etc to get their ducks in a row. Getting Utley in doesn't mean going all in on the first ballot - that ain't gonna happen.

But - the goal is probably just to get him in the 10-15% and steadily build towards a last or two result getting just over 75%.

   21. Ithaca2323 Posted: July 16, 2018 at 05:10 PM (#5710764)
Hmm this feels wrong to me. Three top 10 MVP finishes (two other top 15). Seems superstarish, at least.


I mean, there's bias in MVP voting that makes these things tricky to flesh out, but that's significantly worse than Lance Berkman's four Top 5s, and six top 7s
   22. jmurph Posted: July 16, 2018 at 05:21 PM (#5710771)
I mean, there's bias in MVP voting that makes these things tricky to flesh out, but that's significantly worse than Lance Berkman's four Top 5s, and six top 7s

Berkman is an interesting point of comparison. He's probably pretty close to Hall worthy for a lot of people, and Utley's 7 year peak looks to be about 10 WAR better if my brain is adding right.
   23. Walt Davis Posted: July 16, 2018 at 05:37 PM (#5710780)
In addition to the Rolen comp, Utley is a lesser version of Walker who has been spinning his wheels for years with the BBWAA. Utley's advantage is that he'll be on some pretty weak ballots so maybe he can start off better than Walker and Rolen.
   24. Zonk is One Individual Posted: July 16, 2018 at 06:23 PM (#5710804)
In addition to the Rolen comp, Utley is a lesser version of Walker who has been spinning his wheels for years with the BBWAA. Utley's advantage is that he'll be on some pretty weak ballots so maybe he can start off better than Walker and Rolen.


I hate comparing position players like this, at least, i/r/t HoF ballots.

I think you've really got to carve out positions - both in real terms/value, but also in terms of the hazier voting predilections.

I mean, I'm not saying playing OF or 1B gives you a leg up - obviously, Lofton, Raines, Walker, etc would like a word about it being 'easier' as an OF... but I just really think you can't put Rolen or Utley in the same group as Walker.

I'm pretty on the fence about Walker - and I'm a Big Hall guy, through and through - for the simple reason baseball has had a lot of great OFers. Push comes to shove, unlimited ballots - I don't mind Walker getting in - but he's got a far easier BBWAA voting path than a 3B or 2B.

The OFs who get screwed are mainly the guys who provide a lot of added glove value - CFs in particular, but sure - give Walker some points there.

3B/2B - probably catchers, too - get screwed regardless.
   25. QLE Posted: July 16, 2018 at 07:13 PM (#5710847)
Some thoughts of my own:

He's deserving, but the performance of Scott Rolen on the most recent ballot shouldn't give him a lot of hope. Rolen has a similar case -- above-average hitter for his position, exceptional fielder (but Rolen actually has the GG hardware), won a WS, durability issues led to unimpressive counting stats (but Rolen's are better), clearly above the line by WAR. Will the electorate really change that much in the next 5-15 years?


I'm not sure they will be directly comparable, for two reasons:

1) The ballot should be far less congested for Utley than for Rolen- of the sixteen people who had more votes than Rolen, only Vizquel, Ramirez, Sheffield, and Wagner would still be eligible in 2024, and the ballots between now and then shouldn't produce that much an increase to the backlog.

2) So far, we only have one ballot's worth of voting history with Rolen- and that was a ballot where he had (among other competition) a superior player at the same position as a newcomer to the ballot. There will not be a better second baseman on Utley's ballot (unless Cano decides to quit this year too), so that shouldn't be an issue.

It is several generations of players later, but he is Bobby Grich all over. Same basic offensive model: very good power for the position, gets on base a ton, decent but not great BAs. Raw hitting numbers favor Utley a little, adjusted ones favor Grich. Very good defender at second. Key role, but not considered the star of great but mildly disappointing teams. Pretty much the same length career. Grich had a better mustache.


Not quite, in my mind- there's that element, but I'd also argue that it could also be a repeat of the Kevin Brown situation. The retirement thread here demonstrates how (even on a site dedicated to sabermetrics) a lot of fans hate his guts, and it could very well be that his poor MVP performances indicate similar thoughts from the BBWAA electorate.

The SS awards are voted on by the managers and coaches, not the writers, I believe.


Correct- and, given the poor Gold Glove choices made by the same electorate, we shouldn't really be surprised that their judgment on hitting isn't necessarily any better.

In addition to the Rolen comp, Utley is a lesser version of Walker who has been spinning his wheels for years with the BBWAA. Utley's advantage is that he'll be on some pretty weak ballots so maybe he can start off better than Walker and Rolen.


Not sure it's that close a comparison- on the one hand, Utley didn't have Coors as a home stadium and won't have that used against him, but he didn't have either the batting average or the isolated power that Walker did either and won't get any aid from the voters who focus on that.

3B/2B - probably catchers, too - get screwed regardless.


Not sure I agree with second basemen at this moment- there are 20 in the HOF (compared to 14 third basemen and 15 catchers), and the handful from the twentieth-century who should be in that aren't (Grich, Whitaker, and, if we're being generous, Randolph) seem to suffer more from the BBWAA not being a good judge of 1970s players (and the fact that the VC has yet to adequately consider that era) than a positional bias.

Where it could be more of an issue is the near future- there are four second basemen who I think merit induction, and there's a good chance now that none of them will get in.
   26. Zonk is One Individual Posted: July 16, 2018 at 07:30 PM (#5710864)
Not sure I agree with second basemen at this moment- there are 20 in the HOF (compared to 14 third basemen and 15 catchers), and the handful from the twentieth-century who should be in that aren't (Grich, Whitaker, and, if we're being generous, Randolph) seem to suffer more from the BBWAA not being a good judge of 1970s players (and the fact that the VC has yet to adequately consider that era) than a positional bias.


I guess it was in a different thread, but IIRC - this would be a generous reading of "2B".

I.e., I presume the 20 includes Rod Carew, right? Granted, he play more than 1000 games at 2B - but he had a wee bit more at 1B.

Of course, maybe you could also say that this is the mark of a "true" Hall of Famer... i.e., if you can't slide down the spectrum in the latter part of your career and still provide value, then you're not a "true" Hall of Famer... which is a point that just now occurs to me as I type it. Not saying I agree or buy it - but it might be a fair point.
   27. QLE Posted: July 16, 2018 at 08:49 PM (#5710914)
I.e., I presume the 20 includes Rod Carew, right? Granted, he play more than 1000 games at 2B - but he had a wee bit more at 1B.


It does- but, if we look at the eight seasons where he had 5 or more WAR (in other words, the ones where he actually was a HOF player), he was solely a second baseman in four of them and played 123 games at second base (and only 14 games at first base) in a fifth, so I'm inclined to keep Carew among the second basemen.

Having rechecked all twenty in question, the only other one on the list who did not have a considerable majority of his MLB career at second base is Jackie Robinson- and, even in his case, it's still the position he played the most and the sole position he played in the four best seasons of his career.

At any rate, I don't think it's a bigger issue for second base than many other positions- the third basemen I listed includes Paul Molitor (and, if he makes it this coming year, will also include Edgar Martinez), that for shortstops Ernie Banks (though only the most pedantic among us would consider him a HOF first baseman), and first base and the outfield can get really messy indeed (good luck coming to a consensus on where Stan Musial goes).
   28. there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135 Posted: July 16, 2018 at 10:17 PM (#5710966)
Is Chase Utley a Hall of Famer?
yes.
Actually, this will be an interesting test case for how much the Hall voters use modern statistics in a few years: Does Utley get more Hall votes than Jimmy Rollins? (With the caveat that their first appearances on the ballot will be separated by two years so they might not ever get voted on simultaneously.) Rollins won an MVP (Utley never came close), won 4 Gold Gloves as a shortstop (Utley played second and won none), and has higher career totals because he generally stayed healthy (Rollins had 10 seasons of at least 150 games; Utley only had 4, and only 8 years even playing 130 games).
rollins will be lucky to stay on the ballot for more than a year or two. his peak wasn't high enough or long enough, and he had too many shitty seasons as a hitter. 4 seasons under .700 OPS; 10 of 15 seasons under .750 OPS.
He's deserving, but the performance of Scott Rolen on the most recent ballot shouldn't give him a lot of hope. Rolen has a similar case -- above-average hitter for his position, exceptional fielder (but Rolen actually has the GG hardware), won a WS, durability issues led to unimpressive counting stats (but Rolen's are better), clearly above the line by WAR. Will the electorate really change that much in the next 5-15 years?

rolen belongs in the HOF, too.

i'm not sure how different the voter roll will be 10 years from now, but we've already passed the inflection point. between 2006 and 2015, there were an average of 553 ballots cast per year. since 2016, there have been an average of 431 ballots per year.

between 2006 and 2013:
sutter, ripken, gwynn, gossage, rice, henderson, dawson, blylevin, alomar, larkin.
8 years, 10 selections, 5 of whom barely got in; 5.6 votes per ballot.

since 2014:
thomas, maddux, glavine, smoltz, pedro, johnson, biggio, piazza, griffey, irod, raines, bagwell, thome, chipper, hoffman, vlad.
5 years, 16 selections, 1 barely got in; 8.3 votes per ballot.



the war is over, the battle is won. rolen will get in. utley will get in.
   29. Walt Davis Posted: July 17, 2018 at 01:21 AM (#5711027)
Utley-Walker: Both good all-around players, unimpressive counting stats in any of the important categories, short (by PA) injury-riddled careers, 66 vs 73 WAR, 42 vs 48 WAA, 0 MVP and 6 AS games vs 1 MVP and 5 AS games. Just how close do you want your "here's a recent example of this type" HoF comps to be? As to "lesser version", the WAR, the WAA, the MVP, the 300 BA, the 400 OBP, the OPS+ vs "played 2B." And I'll be darned if I can see how a supposed bias against 2B is a counter-point to "he's a lesser version of Walker and Walker didn't go anywhere." Yes, if he faced similar ballots, Utley would probably do worse. His advantage is weaker ballots.

#28: I don't have a clue what your point is or what you think you data shows. We have a weak set of candidates and voters weren't enthusiastic. The obvious candidates in the earlier period -- Ripken, Gwynn, Rickey, Alomar and Larkin -- all made it pretty easily. In the second period, faced with a ton of obvious candidates, they mainly voted the best of them in easily but made Biggio and Piazza wait and did an embarrassing job with Bagwell. I'll grant you, votes per ballot has stayed higher than I expected the last two years so if you mean that the writers will now just keep voting in 2-4 candidates a year no matter how borderline or worse they may be ... well I'll wait until I see it. I don't know how anybody could interpret the 2018 results as promising for Rolen -- behind Sheff and Kent, less than half of McGriff.

I assume you know the difference in ballots cast is due to "the purge" not a trend. The purge happened between 2015 and 2016, your cutoff dates tell us nothing other than 2014 was when some untainted all-time greats started entering the ballot.
   30. QLE Posted: July 17, 2018 at 06:20 AM (#5711042)
We have a weak set of candidates and voters weren't enthusiastic.


Quite- as an exercise a while back, I came up with theoretical ballots for the BBWAA votes from 1966 forward, and, for the whole decade of the 2000s, there was no year where I had a full ballot, only one where there were as many as nine people I could vote for, and three years where I would for no more than six players. Even as late as 2012, there were only eight players for whom I felt support was justified. Given that, it isn't a surprise that voting patterns were as they were- note some of the players you'd feel obliged to vote for if you felt obligated to always cast full ballots.

I'll grant you, votes per ballot has stayed higher than I expected the last two years so if you mean that the writers will now just keep voting in 2-4 candidates a year no matter how borderline or worse they may be ... well I'll wait until I see it.


The coming four ballots (especially that for 2021, where any BBWAA inductees will have to come from the backlog) will be the key- if they keep voting as they have the last five years, it may suggest a turn, but, if votes and inductees plunge, it suggests that the last five years were a reaction to a specific set of ballot conditions, and that, once conditions changed, so did their voting behaviors.

I don't know how anybody could interpret the 2018 results as promising for Rolen


In the sense that there were many here and elsewhere sincerely convinced he wouldn't make it to a second ballot, that not being the case has promise. Otherwise, any discussion will have to wait for the next few ballots- it's hard to make any real predictions on one data point, though induction via the BBWAA does not seem especially likely at this point.
   31. TJ Posted: July 17, 2018 at 10:57 AM (#5711135)
According to Baseball Reference, Utley’s career 65.6 WAR ranks 15th all-time at his position, and is higher than Hall of Fame second basemen Jackie Robinson, Craig Biggio, Joe Gordon, Bobby Doerr, Johnny Evers, Nellie Fox, Billy Herman, Tony Lazzeri, Bill Mazeroski, Bid McPhee and Red Schoendienst.


Any article using a player having a higher WAR than Jackie Robinson (color line) or Joe Gordon (WW II) as part of its argument has to be discounted more than just a bit. No one really doubts that Utley has been a better player than the lower tier of HOF second basemen. I have a hard time buying an argument that hints at Utley being better than Robinson or Gordon in any way, shape or form.

Using that measurement, Utley has been more valuable than 11 of the 20 second basemen already in the Hall of Fame. Lou Whitaker, Bobby Grich, Robinson Cano and Willie Randolph are the only four second baseman ahead of him on that list that aren’t in the Hall of Fame. There’s obviously been a strong push for both Whitaker and Grich in the past. Cano’s case seemed rock solid, but took a troubling turn this season with his PED suspension.


Has there really been a push for Grich and Whitaker in the past? There has been a SABERMETRIC push for Grich and Whitaker recently, but I have not seen the BBWAA storming the Bastille to get either of them on the VC ballot. Alan Trammell's induction might give Whitaker some push.

Personally, I find the debate between Chase Utley and Craig Biggio more interesting, as it strike me as the perfect peak vs longevity case. Utley had a much better peak- his entire HOF case is built on it. Biggio was the ultimate compiler who reached a magic number in hits. B-R has their WAR almost exactly the same - Utley at 65.6 WAR, Biggio at 65.5 (another specious part of this article. 1/10th of a point difference in WAR is a pretty weak reason to point out that Utley has more WAR than Biggio). Personally, I am a mid-size HOF guy and I can see both in. Not many second basemen were as excellent for as long as Biggio, and not many second basemen were as outstanding for as long as Utley. Just my opinion, of course...
   32. dlf Posted: July 17, 2018 at 11:35 AM (#5711160)
Personally, I find the debate between Chase Utley and Craig Biggio more interesting, as it strike me as the perfect peak vs longevity case.


The peaks between Utley and Biggio are, to me, awfully close. Utley's peak from 2005 to 2010 accounted for 869 games of 133 OPS+ with a slash line of 298/388/523, 1200 r+rbi and 90 steals. Biggio, over a six year period from 1993 to 1998 had 894 games (despite the strike) of 135 OPS+, slash stats of 304/399/476, 1132 r+rbi, and 209 steals. Utley has a slight lead in WAR at 38.2 vs. 36.2, but that is pretty much all defense and with the gold glove count for those years at 4-0 in favor of Biggio, I take that dWAR with a grain of salt. (Over the course of their respective careers, there are 240 defensive runs difference.)
   33. Jesse Barfield's Right Arm Posted: July 17, 2018 at 11:37 AM (#5711164)
rollins will be lucky to stay on the ballot for more than a year or two. his peak wasn't high enough or long enough, and he had too many shitty seasons as a hitter. 4 seasons under .700 OPS; 10 of 15 seasons under .750 OPS.


Too many "bad" seasons as a hitter?

If you exclude his rookie 55 PA year and the last two with LA and CHI, Rollins produced 14 *consecutive* seasons of 1.7 OWar or better, including 9 at 3 or over. The main reason he gets no respect around here is that his defensive numbers don't match his reputation. If you treat him defensively as a four-time GG winner, he is in the HoF conversation. If you go strictly by the numbers, then he isn't.

4 seasons under .700 OPS; 10 of 15 seasons under .750 OPS


This is just silly. He had a 743 OPS in over 10,000 PA, for a 95 OPS+. That's pretty damn good hitting for a SS.
   34. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: July 17, 2018 at 12:42 PM (#5711225)

The main reason he gets no respect around here is that his defensive numbers don't match his reputation. If you treat him defensively as a four-time GG winner, he is in the HoF conversation. If you go strictly by the numbers, then he isn't.

The advanced stats basically say that Rollins was a very good defensive shortstop in his 20s and got progressively worse from there. That's not inconsistent with a 4-time GG winner -- although Rollins did win a GG at age 33 when the number say he wasn't good.

If you believe Rollins was an average defender until he retired then he's a ~50 WAR player. If you believe he was still a GG-caliber SS that entire time then he's probably in the mid-to-high 50s, and that certainly gets him into the conversation, but he's still a relatively low-peak guy. He had 6.1 WAR in his best season, and only one other year above 5, and that's not because he had bad defensive numbers.

I mean, Alan Trammell also won 4 Gold Gloves, had a 110 OPS+ for his career, and won a World Series MVP, and still had to get in via the VC.
   35. Sweatpants Posted: July 17, 2018 at 04:48 PM (#5711427)
His oWAR is 16th among all 2Bmen, so I wouldn't say it depends only on his defense.

He's 18th in batting runs for 2Bmen
4th all-time in baserunning for 2Bmen.
4th in fielding runs for 2Bmen.

He's Bill Mazeroski with a bat.
It's not that his case depends only on his defense. His is enough of a borderline case that his defense needs to rate as outstanding for him to be on the good side of the border. If you use TotalZone instead of the Dewan stat, which would drop his defense from terrific to merely very good, then he's on the wrong side of the 60-WAR mark that a lot of people list as their starting point. This isn't to say that 60 WAR is a proper standard or which is the right stat for measuring defense, but I'm generally skeptical of cases (Lofton's and Andruw Jones' are two others) that tend to involve taking the most charitable possible interpretation of a player's defensive value.

Edit: Jim Edmonds fell off the ballot in his first year, and I don't really remember anyone being all that upset by it. I'm not sure if I'd rate Utley over Edmonds, and I'm not sure if I'd rate Utley's 2005-2009 peak over Edmonds' 2000-2004.
   36. QLE Posted: July 18, 2018 at 05:24 AM (#5711790)
Any article using a player having a higher WAR than Jackie Robinson (color line) or Joe Gordon (WW II) as part of its argument has to be discounted more than just a bit. No one really doubts that Utley has been a better player than the lower tier of HOF second basemen. I have a hard time buying an argument that hints at Utley being better than Robinson or Gordon in any way, shape or form.


Quite, and, interestingly enough, this shows in terms of peak (which is what Utley has)- Robinson, even unadjusted, is more impressive than Utley (adjusted to a 162-game schedule and with MLEs, and the only second baseman post-WWII with a better one is Morgan), and Gordon, if he played to his 1939-1943 level in 1944 and 1945, would surpass him as well.

with the gold glove count for those years at 4-0 in favor of Biggio, I take that dWAR with a grain of salt


Mind you, given that many of those same voters gave Palmiero a Gold Glove for a season in which he was largely a designated hitter just a couple of years later, this should be taken with a grain of salt.....

I'm generally skeptical of cases (Lofton's and Andruw Jones' are two others) that tend to involve taking the most charitable possible interpretation of a player's defensive value


I'm not convinced that Utley and Andruw Jones are comparable with that as an issue, for two reasons:

1) If we take the calculations for Utley at face value, they make him roughly 75% of the defensive player Mazeroski was, 90% of Willie Randolph, and close in value to quite a few middle infielders. This seems plausible.

2) If we take those for Andruw Jones at face value, they make him leaps and bounds better than any outfielder in MLB history. This is more obviously suspect, especially since an adjustment to the Lofton level of defensive is enough to keep him out of the HOF.

Jim Edmonds fell off the ballot in his first year, and I don't really remember anyone being all that upset by it.


Depends on who we mean by "anyone"- there seem to be quite a few people in online sabermetric circles annoyed, given how many of them have placed them into their alternatives to the HOF.
   37. bjhanke Posted: July 18, 2018 at 07:00 AM (#5711804)
Using career WAR, or Win Shares, or WAA, or whatever, is always wrong, because it doesn't cover peak, prime, or rate per season The only system I know of that still does all that is The New Historical Abstract Rankings system. Anything else I've seen, including JAWS, is just not up to snuff - and I mean 18-OLD-YEAR snuff. It's not that it would be hard for a site that calculates WAR to do this. You take the career WAR, divide by ten, and find the harmonic mean between that number and 8.5. Then you find the player's three best seasons, according to WAR, and average them to represent Peak. Then you find the five best CONSECUTIVE years, and average those, to get Prime, And then you just take his career WAR and divide it up into "per 162 games" to get Rate. These are the first four concerns of the New Historical's system. You can add in a timeline, if you want, and a section for subjective boosts or busts, but it's not really necessary in a Hall discussion. It is necessary to get beyond a career WAR or you start losing Sandy Koufax and Dizzy Dean and Al Rosen and a lot of other guys. So, has anyone computed the stuff out for Hutley? - Brock Hanke
   38. kubiwan Posted: July 18, 2018 at 08:57 AM (#5711836)
how can you win an MVP based solely on your bat, and not win a silver slugger?


My favorite case of inconsistency between various awards is Derek Jeter in 2006 and 2009. In BOTH years, he won the Hank Aaron Award, meaning he was the best hitter in the league (not "best hitter for his position", just "best hitter, period") and won the Gold Glove at shortstop (which, given the importance of the position, generally means the best defender in the entire league, or at least very close to it), but in neither year did he win the MVP.
   39. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: July 18, 2018 at 09:22 AM (#5711850)
It is necessary to get beyond a career WAR or you start losing Sandy Koufax and Dizzy Dean and Al Rosen and a lot of other guys. So, has anyone computed the stuff out for Hutley? - Brock Hanke


I would think Utley would look tremendous by that. He has 5 great seasons (all in a row). His top 3 seasons are in a row. He fits into those peak and prime perfectly. Why is 5 seasons a magic number, though?
   40. Howie Menckel Posted: July 18, 2018 at 09:33 AM (#5711854)
Jeter had OPS+s of 132 and 125 (granted in 700 PA or so) in 2006 and 2009. did not finish in the top 10 in AL OPS+ in either season.

forgive me for doubting you, but I had to look it up. holy smokes.
he was 34-for-39 and 30-for-35 in SBs, I'll give him that.
2nd and 3rd in MVP voting.
   41. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 18, 2018 at 09:45 AM (#5711861)
It is necessary to get beyond a career WAR or you start losing Sandy Koufax and Dizzy Dean and Al Rosen and a lot of other guys. So, has anyone computed the stuff out for Hutley? - Brock Hanke

Is it necessary? I could see a perfectly good set of HoF criteria that don't lead to Koufax and Dean being inducted. I'm fine with them being in, but it wouldn't be some great injustice if they were out.

The distance between Koufax and Jason Giambi or Johan Santana is not all that great. He's a little peakier, but not that much.
   42. DavidFoss Posted: July 18, 2018 at 10:17 AM (#5711880)
If you have to ask whether someone passes the 'Koufax test', then the answer is no. Koufax paired Kershaw-like regular seasons with Bumgarner-like postseasons in both 1963 & 1965. If you can do that, then HOF-voters will give you a pass on career length.
   43. Ithaca2323 Posted: July 18, 2018 at 10:28 AM (#5711886)
My favorite case of inconsistency between various awards is Derek Jeter in 2006 and 2009. In BOTH years, he won the Hank Aaron Award, meaning he was the best hitter in the league (not "best hitter for his position", just "best hitter, period") and won the Gold Glove at shortstop (which, given the importance of the position, generally means the best defender in the entire league, or at least very close to it), but in neither year did he win the MVP.


But plenty of people thought he was the MVP in 2006, at least. He earned 12 first place votes
   44. Ithaca2323 Posted: July 18, 2018 at 10:54 AM (#5711901)
Is it necessary? I could see a perfectly good set of HoF criteria that don't lead to Koufax and Dean being inducted. I'm fine with them being in, but it wouldn't be some great injustice if they were out.


Dean's peak has the distinction of being not as good as Dave Steib's. He's a terrible HOFer.

Koufax at least has those two seasons with 10.3 and 10.7 WAR, and a great postseason resume.
   45. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: July 18, 2018 at 11:59 AM (#5711943)

My favorite case of inconsistency between various awards is Derek Jeter in 2006 and 2009. In BOTH years, he won the Hank Aaron Award, meaning he was the best hitter in the league (not "best hitter for his position", just "best hitter, period") and won the Gold Glove at shortstop (which, given the importance of the position, generally means the best defender in the entire league, or at least very close to it), but in neither year did he win the MVP.

How about A-Rod in 2002, when he won the GG at SS and the Hank Aaron Award, but lost the MVP award to another shortstop (Miguel Tejada)?
   46. Booey Posted: July 18, 2018 at 01:08 PM (#5711993)
Edit: Jim Edmonds fell off the ballot in his first year, and I don't really remember anyone being all that upset by it. I'm not sure if I'd rate Utley over Edmonds, and I'm not sure if I'd rate Utley's 2005-2009 peak over Edmonds' 2000-2004.


I do think people here were a bit miffed (but not surprised) at Edmonds' poor showing on the ballot, but yeah, I think he's a decent Utley comp. Helton is another - legitimately one of the best players in the game for a 5 year stretch (2000-2004, same span as Edmonds), then merely good for several more years and ending up with an overall career resume that looks more borderline-ish than surefire.

I'd be fine with all of Utley/Edmonds/Helton getting in. Or none of them. Or any 1 or 2 of them. I guess that's pretty much the definition of borderline, isn't it?

If I had to rank them by preference of election, I'd probably go:

1 - Edmonds (CF's tend to get overlooked too often)
2 - Utley
3 - Helton (too many better or equal 1B from his era)
   47. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: July 18, 2018 at 01:16 PM (#5712002)

There are bigger omissions from the HOF, but yeah I think Edmonds should be in and I was surprised/dismayed by his low support on the ballot.

And it's not like Edmonds' career numbers are buoyed by unbelievable fielding stats. If anything, I remember the stathead knock on him was that he won a bunch of GGs by getting bad jumps and then making relatively routine fly balls look difficult when he caught them.

The advanced stats seem to tell a similar story to Rollins -- good fielder when he was young, bad when he was older, overall above average.
   48. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: July 18, 2018 at 01:37 PM (#5712019)
My favorite case of inconsistency between various awards is Derek Jeter in 2006 and 2009. In BOTH years, he won the Hank Aaron Award, meaning he was the best hitter in the league (not "best hitter for his position", just "best hitter, period") and won the Gold Glove at shortstop (which, given the importance of the position, generally means the best defender in the entire league, or at least very close to it), but in neither year did he win the MVP.

Well yeah, but sportswriters never really did like his intangibles.
   49. SoSH U at work Posted: July 18, 2018 at 01:44 PM (#5712029)
Jim Edmonds was the 14th or 15th best candidate during his one year in front of the electorate. He's the guy stathead voters wish someone else would have voted for, though he wouldn't have appeared on the stathead's ballot.

   50. Ithaca2323 Posted: July 18, 2018 at 03:08 PM (#5712097)
Jim Edmonds was the 14th or 15th best candidate during his one year in front of the electorate. He's the guy stathead voters wish someone else would have voted for, though he wouldn't have appeared on the stathead's ballot.


Yeah. I mean, the description of someone who is going to have room for him on a non-strategic ballot pretty much has to be an anti-PED, anti-closer stathead. If you've got Bonds and Clemens on the ballot and have no objection to closers, you've got to bump a lot of guys of your ballot to find room for Edmonds
   51. BrianBrianson Posted: July 18, 2018 at 03:55 PM (#5712132)
How about A-Rod in 2002, when he won the GG at SS and the Hank Aaron Award, but lost the MVP award to another shortstop (Miguel Tejada)?


I mean, if you went 0-for-150 in stolen base attempts, that'd certainly be justified.
   52. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 18, 2018 at 04:06 PM (#5712139)
I mean, if you went 0-for-150 in stolen base attempts, that'd certainly be justified.

That would be an excellent "Operation shut down" strategy for a player trying to force a trade. You can't refuse to play, b/c you'll get suspended. If you stop hitting, no other team will want you.

But, if you just start to run wild on the base paths, causing dozens of unnecessary outs, your team is still screwed, but the others can see your talent in undiminished.
   53. QLE Posted: July 18, 2018 at 04:37 PM (#5712153)
It is necessary to get beyond a career WAR or you start losing Sandy Koufax and Dizzy Dean and Al Rosen and a lot of other guys


Agreed about the limitations of career WAR (especially for players in the 50 to 70 career WAR band), but I have to question these specific examples- others have already brought up Dean and Koufax, but I'd like to focus on Rosen, who:

1) Isn't in the HOF;

2) Only had three seasons of 5+ WAR;

3) Only had six season in which his play was above replacement level, and;

4) Whose peak (unless we limit it to 1953) isn't that dazzling- a lot of the people we regard rightly as mistakes (such as Chuck Klein, Jim Rice, Tony Perez, and Hack Wilson) have peaks similar to Rosen's, as do quite a few folk on the outside who we don't regard as viable candidates (Johnny Callison and Jim Fregosi, for starters).

The HOF would have to double in size- at least- before Rosen merits induction based on his playing career.
   54. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 18, 2018 at 04:37 PM (#5712154)
That would be an excellent "Operation shut down" strategy for a player trying to force a trade. You can't refuse to play, b/c you'll get suspended. If you stop hitting, no other team will want you.

But, if you just start to run wild on the base paths, causing dozens of unnecessary outs, your team is still screwed, but the others can see your talent in undiminished.
Not really. If you keep ignoring the signs, you'll get suspended.
   55. Sweatpants Posted: July 18, 2018 at 04:38 PM (#5712155)
I'm not convinced that Utley and Andruw Jones are comparable with that as an issue, for two reasons:

1) If we take the calculations for Utley at face value, they make him roughly 75% of the defensive player Mazeroski was, 90% of Willie Randolph, and close in value to quite a few middle infielders. This seems plausible.

2) If we take those for Andruw Jones at face value, they make him leaps and bounds better than any outfielder in MLB history. This is more obviously suspect, especially since an adjustment to the Lofton level of defensive is enough to keep him out of the HOF.
I don't think that the +147 or whatever that Baseball-Reference gives Utley credit for on defense is implausible. The +59 from the other stat listed on the site is plausible, too. If B-R still used TotalZone for the fielding runs component of its WAR, and Utley ended up with 57, I'm not sure he'd have quite as heavy a backing for his HOF case, and I wonder how readily people would listen to arguments that he was actually being underrated by some 80 runs of value.

I like Helton as a comparison to Utley. Utley has strong hitting numbers that don't tell the whole story because of all of the other things that he did well; Helton has outstanding hitting numbers that don't tell the whole story because of where and when he played. Helton has the better case to me, but it could go either way. Who are the equal or better 1B from his era, though? Pujols obviously. The other guys I think of as Helton's contemporaries are Delgado, Sexson, Konerko, Giambi, and Derrek Lee. I guess Cabrera sort of counts, although he didn't become a 1B until well after Helton's prime.
   56. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 18, 2018 at 04:54 PM (#5712167)
Not really. If you keep ignoring the signs, you'll get suspended.

That would be a tough grievance for the team. I'm not saying you run at a 10% success rate, but at a 40-50% rate with tons of opportunities.
   57. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: July 18, 2018 at 04:57 PM (#5712171)
But, if you just start to run wild on the base paths, causing dozens of unnecessary outs, your team is still screwed, but the others can see your talent in undiminished.


But it would certainly reduce the number of teams willing to trade for someone who would pull this stunt, possibly to zero.
   58. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 18, 2018 at 05:01 PM (#5712176)

But it would certainly reduce the number of teams willing to trade for someone who would pull this stunt, possibly to zero.


Teams have traded for guys who've held out. Teams have traded for guys who committed felonies. Teams have traded for guys who punched out their manager. If you can get a quality player at a discount 95% of teams will do it.

It all depends on how sympathetic the player's position was vis a vis ownership. If his team is someone the other teams consider a joke organization, they might not hold it against him.

If JT Realmuto publicly demanded a trade, and then started doing wacky stuff on the bases, it wouldn't deter me from wanting him on my team.
   59. Booey Posted: July 18, 2018 at 05:18 PM (#5712184)
Who are the equal or better 1B from his era, though? Pujols obviously. The other guys I think of as Helton's contemporaries are Delgado, Sexson, Konerko, Giambi, and Derrek Lee. I guess Cabrera sort of counts, although he didn't become a 1B until well after Helton's prime.


Thome, for sure. His career overlapped Helton's for every season except for Todd's last.

What constitutes an "era" is debatable, of course, but Helton debuted just 6 years after Bagwell and 7 years after Thomas. Palmeiro - even though he debuted 11 years earlier - was still going strong for most of Helton's prime. You also had McGwire at the beginning and Votto at the end, but I agree that those 2 are pushing it a bit.

Edit: Overall, his career overlapped with these HOF or woulda-been HOF 1B for the following number of seasons (5+ years only):

16 years (1997-2012) - Jim Thome
13 years (2001-2013) - Albert Pujols
12 years (1997-2008) - Frank Thomas
11 years (2003-2013) - Miguel Cabrera
9 years (1997-2005) - Jeff Bagwell
9 years (1997-2005) - Rafael Palmeiro
7 years (2007-2013) - Joey Votto
5 years (1997-2001) - Mark McGwire

Again, you can put "era" cutoffs in a number of different places, but if you look at the players who played the bulk of their careers in "the steroid era" - say, anyone who debuted from the mid-80's to the mid-2000's - Helton doesn't stand out as being exceptionally dominant for a 1B.
   60. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: July 19, 2018 at 08:07 AM (#5712420)
With respect to Edmonds, while I get what you’re saying, there were at least 5 voters who voted for Edgar Martinez, Larry Walker and Tim Raines (safe to say those were analytically-minded voters) who didn’t have a full ballot. That’s only from the public ballots.

And of course, the average ballot only used 7.95 spots, and 21% of the electorate voted for Fred McGriff and 34% of them voted for Lee Smith. It’s not unreasonable to think 2.5% more of the voters (11 out of 440) could have found a reason to vote for Edmonds and at least keep him on the ballot.
   61. bjhanke Posted: July 19, 2018 at 08:47 AM (#5712432)
Don (#39) - Five years isn't a magic number. It's just the number for "prime" that Bill James picked to use in the only system that combines length, peak, prime, and rate. So, it's the only one I've got if I want to use a robust system. Assuming that your point about Utley's three and five year credentials are accurate (which they may well be), then Utley will look much better than his career WAR make him look. This is certainly possible.

Ithaca (#44) - I don't know what numbers you are using, but at least according to the Historical Abstract system, Stieb's peak and prime are nowhere near Dizzy Dean's. Dean's best three years (peak, don't require consecutive) are 37, 31, and 31 Win Shares, for a total of 99. This is one WS fewer than Sandy Koufax's peak, which sums to exactly 100. Dave Stieb's best three seasons are 25, 24, and 24. That's nowhere NEAR Dean or Koufax. That gap is so large that I actually would like to know where you found a system that overcomes that much differential. In terms of 5-year consecutive primes, Dean has a total of 145 Win Shares, which is a real good number. Koufax's are "only" 139 (it's really hard to get people to believe that Dizzy Dean had a five-year run that was better than Koufax's, but it's true; Dizzy Dean did not die the day the 1934 World Series was over). Dave Stieb's number is 113, again, nowhere near the other two. And remember, Win Shares includes a "timeline", which means that Stieb, playing decades later than Koufax, much less Dean, is getting a bonus from that.

QLE (#53) - First thanks. I have "known" for decades that Al Rosen was in the Hall of Fame. I have no idea where I got this from, but it's been there forever. Possibly it's because Bill has him ranked as the 14th best 3B ever, his peak three years are 42, 31, and 29, and his five-year prime is 154. These numbers are noticeably better than even Dean's or Koufax's. I can see, thinking about it, why he's not in the Hall. He only played ten major league seasons, so he is just barely eligible. My guess is that I kept on adding the three years he spent in WWII, like I do for Ted Williams, and all the other war credit cases, and forgot how short his actual playing career was. Anyway, thanks for the correction.
   62. Rally Posted: July 19, 2018 at 09:23 AM (#5712445)
I don't think Al Rosen should get MLB credit for WW2. After the war he was 22 and played mostly in the minors for the next 4 years. He got cups of coffee from 1947-1949. He had good minor league numbers but his MLB time amounted to 9 hits in 58 AB, with no homers. His major league HR rate in his 1950 breakout season is better than his minor league HR rate at any step.

It's possible that with an uninterrupted career he gets a big league chance sooner, but I think that's a real stretch, certainly not something we can take as a given. Maybe 10-20% chance of being true? With DiMaggio and Williams we can be mostly certain they deserve MLB credit for what would have happened in those years since they were already MLB stars and in their prime ages. Maybe 95-98% chance of having HOF seasons, with the most of the uncertainty being the chance of a major injury.

Rosen's record looks to me like a guy who turned a corner in 1950, maybe a swing change or something. He went from a .933 OPS in the PCL to a .948 in the AL. If he did that in 2018 he'd be Max Muncy. Muncy is only one year than Rosen was in 1950, and had a .905 OPS in the PCL last year.
   63. Rally Posted: July 19, 2018 at 09:37 AM (#5712454)
By WAR Koufax beats Dean in best 5 consecutive, but it's close.

Pitching only it's 40.8-34.5 in favor of Sandy. But you have to add hitting (which Win Shares includes). That makes it 39.1 for Sandy and 36.4 for Dizzy. Stieb is closer here than he is in WS, but at 33.9 still in third place. Stieb was a great athlete and almost certainly would have been on the positive side of the ledger (for a pitcher) had he not played in the DH league. As it was, the Jays did give an AB one year and he pinch ran on several occasions.

To put those in perspective, Max Scherzer in the last 5 years has 3 Cy Young awards and 2 5th place finishes. His 5 year war is 32.4, plus another 0.9 for his hitting. It's hard to imagine a pitcher being better than Max over the last 5 years but his value is limited by the lower innings workload of modern baseball.

Kershaw 2011-15 was 36.3 plus 2.1 for batting.
   64. DavidFoss Posted: July 19, 2018 at 09:48 AM (#5712466)
Al Rosen was simply blocked by Ken Keltner -- 7-time all-star loved by fans who had a great season as late as 1948. If Rosen had played for another organization, he could have had two extra seasons as a regular and he likely would have been a 4-5 WAR player from day one. HOF voters may give war credit, but they almost never give 'blocked' credit. That's the breaks sometimes. Kiner wasn't blocked and got a lot of playing time right away. Rosen was blocked and had to spend 2+ extra years in the minors.

Even if you do give Rosen a couple of extra seasons, that doesn't add enough value to a 32.6 WAR career.
   65. Ithaca2323 Posted: July 19, 2018 at 10:07 AM (#5712478)
Ithaca (#44) - I don't know what numbers you are using


I'm using baseball-reference's WAR and ERA+ numbers.

Dean's six years as a full-time starter have him getting the following ERA+s: 159, 147, 135, 124, 120, and 114
Steib's best six years as a starter have him getting the following ERA+s: 171, 146, 142, 140, 138, and 128

Dean's six years as a full-time starter saw him get 38.9 pitching WAR in 1,729 innings
Steib's six best years as a starter saw him get in 40.2 pitching WAR 1,550 innings

   66. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: July 19, 2018 at 10:32 AM (#5712493)
A stat that only looks at a player’s rate stats and 3 and 5-year peaks, while interesting, gives too much precedence to short career, peak candidates IMO. It’s interesting but I don’t think it’s the (only) way HOF voters vote. The electorate are notoriously inconsistent but they also sometimes find room for long career guys like Dawson or Aparicio or Billy Williams even when they don’t have super impressive peaks. It will be interesting to see how they treat a Helton or Utley, both of whom have a great 5 or 6 years but not the typical counting stars that voters look for.
   67. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: July 19, 2018 at 10:54 AM (#5712513)
Al Rosen was simply blocked by Ken Keltner -- 7-time all-star loved by fans who had a great season as late as 1948.

So he failed the Keltner test? Makes sense he's not sniffed the HOF then.
   68. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: July 19, 2018 at 11:01 AM (#5712520)
One thought about Utley and his generation - I wonder if Cano's PEDs suspension will have any impact on his (Cano's) HOF voting. Looking at 2B who debuted in the aughts, those two have the best cases. Pedroia looks like he'll fall a little short. Kinsler has kind of snuck up on people, but like Utley benefits from fielding numbers that don't seem to match his reputation. Anyways, I'm sure at least one of Cano or Utley will get voted in, and rightly or wrongly, I think Cano's suspension will lessen the gap between them in the voters' eyes.
   69. Ithaca2323 Posted: July 19, 2018 at 12:44 PM (#5712586)
I wonder if Cano's PEDs suspension will have any impact on his (Cano's) HOF voting


Have you seen what the writers have done to Manny? Even among first-time voters, he was at just 31%
   70. Rally Posted: July 19, 2018 at 01:46 PM (#5712622)
Utley is a +131 fielder by DRS. By UZR he is +90, by TZ +59. How much does his case depend on the fielding system that likes him the most? Would you give him a yes vote if his WAR was 60? 55? I think we can agree that despite no gold gloves, Utley was a good defensive player but exactly how good is debatable.

Looking at post-integration second baseman, Utley ranks 11th in oWAR (51.5). Guys ahead of him that are not in the hall are Whitaker, Grich, Randolph, and Kent, plus still active Cano.

The guys behind him that did get in are Fox, Maz, and Red S. Three players that would not be considered great picks by the numbers crowd.

Grich and Whitaker are in my opinion obvious mistakes, they should be in. Utley is kind of in the middle ground with Kent, Randolph, and soon Kinsler and Pedroia. They aren't as good as the best guys left out, and they are better than the worst group that made it in.

I'm on the fence between HOF and HOVG for Utley. Just depends on how big the hall should be.

   71. there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135 Posted: July 19, 2018 at 02:17 PM (#5712648)
Utley is kind of in the middle ground with Kent, Randolph, and soon Kinsler and Pedroia. They aren't as good as the best guys left out, and they are better than the worst group that made it in.
pedroia gets in. utley gets in. kinsler...meh.

kent: nah. he was a solid starter until he turned 30...in 1998...with the giants. i'm willing to give guys like bonds, clemens, manram and pettitte a pass because they had 2 decades of productivity, but kent isn't important enough for me to plug my nose. he can go in the pile with ken caminiti, lenny dykstra, jason giambi and luis gonzalez.

randolph: does the HOF really need more yankees?
   72. RMc's Daps of the Dope Artists Posted: July 22, 2018 at 08:02 AM (#5713722)
If Ryne Sandberg is a HoF'er then so is Lou Whitaker.

Fixed.
   73. Greg Pope Posted: July 22, 2018 at 09:55 AM (#5713731)
My favorite case of inconsistency between various awards is Derek Jeter in 2006 and 2009. In BOTH years, he won the Hank Aaron Award, meaning he was the best hitter in the league (not "best hitter for his position", just "best hitter, period") and won the Gold Glove at shortstop (which, given the importance of the position, generally means the best defender in the entire league, or at least very close to it), but in neither year did he win the MVP.

I don't know who votes on the Hank Aaron award, but what always seems to be lost in these discussion is that all of these are not the same pool of voters. Specifically for the Hank Aaron award, it's 30% fan vote.

For Cy Young and MVP, it's only 30 voters. And the voters change every year. It's just not the same group of people. And while the people voting for MVP and CY are also voting for the HOF, in any given year, it's a small subset.
   74. John DiFool2 Posted: July 22, 2018 at 10:21 AM (#5713741)
Checking out those late 40's Indians teams, I see near-replacement-level players at 1st and LF (they brought in Mickey Vernon in '49 to play 1st). If Rosen was that good, you'd think they would have found a place for him. On the surface his minors numbers look stellar but of course any MLE's at this date may be hard to derive, at best.
   75. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: July 23, 2018 at 03:10 AM (#5713937)
Utley is a +131 fielder by DRS. By UZR he is +90, by TZ +59. How much does his case depend on the fielding system that likes him the most?

It is obviously impossible to know which number is the "right" number. I usually average them, in cases where they diverge by this much. Seems the fairest approach, for better or worse. I don't think it is right to simply give the most or least favourable interpretation. And any other method makes it too easy to cherry pick the one that matches preconceived notions, and use it to support personal biases.

That said, even at 65 WAR, I would dock Utley about 10 WAR for each leg he broke by being a reckless ######. Character clause, not just for steroid users. So I will be quite content when he does miss on the hall of fame.

In summation: Boo, and fuck you.

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