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Monday, November 29, 2010

THT: Jaffe: When do we start taking Omar Vizquel’s Cooperstown case seriously?

Uhh…when the riot that just broke out within the Campy Campaneris camp is quelled?

The question

Questions started coming up: he’s never been anyone’s idea of a sabermetric darling—just the opposite—but at some point do we have to start taking Omar Vizquel’s Hall of Fame candidacy seriously?

Could he be a shortstop version of Nolan Ryan? In Bill James’ original Historical Baseball Abstract he wrote, “I may get kicked out of the sabermetricians union for saying this, but it seems to me that we’ve got to start taking Ryan a little more seriously as a great pitcher.” Is Vizquel, like Ryan, someone widely overrated by the masses but who is good enough long enough to become great?

Vizquel’s fundamental uniqueness

The above really makes two things clear. First is the fundamental weakness of Vizquel’s case. Should we take his Cooperstown case seriously? Nah.

However, there’s a second, subtler point to be filtered out from the info. There is really no good comparable for Vizquel’s Hall of Fame candidacy or indeed for his career.

Oh, there are plenty of gloves that are better regarded by the general public than the Big Defensive Metrics. Many long careers are stronger at quantity than quality. Numerous infielders survived for a long time on primarily on the strength of their glove. But who does all three?

Repoz Posted: November 29, 2010 at 11:53 AM | 57 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hall of fame, history, projections, sabermetrics

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   1. Juan V Posted: November 29, 2010 at 12:21 PM (#3698523)
If I let my nationalism trump my sabermetric cred, and give Vizquel Ozzie's defensive WAR (Chone/BBRef) per PA, that pushes him to around 56. Still a surprisingly small number. Later I'll try doing this with Rosenheck WAR.
   2. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: November 29, 2010 at 12:40 PM (#3698524)
This point from the article deserves extraction: "People seem to be more receptive to sabermetric arguments on behalf of something than against it."
   3. BDC Posted: November 29, 2010 at 03:09 PM (#3698548)
There is really no good comparable for Vizquel's Hall of Fame candidacy or indeed for his career


The closest guys in value are probably those who had an inordinate number of games at a key position, with excellent defensive reputations and not much (relative) case with their bats: Bob Boone, Steve Finley, Frank White. Gaetti or Nettles, perhaps, given that they played 3B well and forever but didn't have overwhelming offensive careers. Larry Bowa. Vizquel is that type of player; he's just had an even longer career. Aparicio is very much that type of player, with the caveat that he's actually in the Hall of Fame. Though he's not in the HOM if I remember correctly, and generally considered by statheads not to have compensated for a weak bat with his glove and his running.

My tendency would be to say that just as a few extra years of mediocrity can't hurt a candidate with a great peak, it can't help someone without it. If Frank White had hit .240 until he was 43 years old, he'd be the Vizquel of second basemen and his career would still be pretty underwhelming in Hall of Fame terms.

As Chris notes, fielding percentage doesn't tell one a great deal, but it's interesting to see Vizquel, even after all those games, second all-time (to Troy Tulowitzki, who has many years left to drop behind Vizquel). The career record for SS fielding percentage has behaved like a high-water-mark since the game began. When I was a kid, it seems to have been held by Lou Boudreau, and then (just barely) by Dal Maxvill; for many years by Larry Bowa and then by Mike Bordick, perhaps, yielding to Vizquel recently (and temporarily now, perhaps, to Tulo). When someone sets that high-water mark, he's on the leading edge of a development that (to maintain the metaphor) lifts all boats; but he's lifting himself a bit higher. Interesting, is all.
   4. Howie Menckel Posted: November 29, 2010 at 03:12 PM (#3698550)
"Though he's not in the HOM if I remember correctly,"

I don't recall Aparicio ever getting a single vote on our 'must vote for 15 players' ballot, but I could be barely wrong.
   5. AROM Posted: November 29, 2010 at 03:16 PM (#3698553)
Could he be a shortstop version of Nolan Ryan?


That's quite a stretch. Ryan: Leading the league in strikeouts and throwing no-hitters into his early 40's. Vizquel: Useful utility infielder and still strong with the glove into his early 40's.

The Bob Boone of middle infielders? Seems about right. Boone had a 110 OPS+ at 40 (only 5 off his career high) and won gold gloves each year from ages 38 to 41. Ozzie at 43: 82 OPS+, just 1 point off his career number.
   6. AROM Posted: November 29, 2010 at 03:17 PM (#3698554)
As Chris notes, fielding percentage doesn't tell one a great deal, but it's interesting to see Vizquel, even after all those games, second all-time (to Troy Tulowitzki, who has many years left to drop behind Vizquel).


This record might wind up being Tulo's eventually. As shortstops age, their range decreases but they generally make fewer, not more errors.
   7. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: November 29, 2010 at 03:42 PM (#3698562)
Not an advocate. Appreciate the defense. Appreciate the longevity.

But at his best he wasn't a Hall of Famer so what value is there in not being a Hall of Fame quality player for a long time?
   8. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: November 29, 2010 at 03:49 PM (#3698565)
However, there’s a second, subtler point to be filtered out from the info. There is really no good comparable for Vizquel’s Hall of Fame candidacy or indeed for his career.

Oh, there are plenty of gloves that are better regarded by the general public than the Big Defensive Metrics. Many long careers are stronger at quantity than quality. Numerous infielders survived for a long time on primarily on the strength of their glove. But who does all three?


I don't get this. Isn't Aparicio the perfect comp? Vizquel's got a couple hundred more games, but their careers look very, very similar.
   9. BDC Posted: November 29, 2010 at 04:08 PM (#3698575)
Isn't Aparicio the perfect comp?

Yes, I'm tempted to say something like "he isn't even the best Venezuelan shortstop to play 2,500 games!" :)

Aparicio, in his day, was seen as a much more valuable player than Vizquel; he got a lot more MVP votes over the years. And perhaps with some reason. In a lower-offense context, lots of writers and fans could remember a game where Aparicio had stolen a base or made a great play that was the turning point in a victory. (They'd tend to forget the caught-stealings and weak ground-outs.) By contrast, Vizquel was surrounded by those huge sluggers, and his contributions to the Indians champions were never salient.
   10. Freeballin' (Tales of Met Power) Posted: November 29, 2010 at 04:15 PM (#3698576)
I know a number of Venezuelans and they regard it as absolutely a given that Omar will be in the HOF some day. Granted, they typically mention the Aparicio precedent.
   11. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: November 29, 2010 at 04:24 PM (#3698578)
Could he be a shortstop version of Nolan Ryan?

That's quite a stretch.

Agree completely. Actually, the article largely makes that point shortly after that question.

What you're getting right there is my thought process when writing the article. Vizquel's been a guy who has always been in the background for me. I've had little more than a hazy sense that sabermetrics thinks he's overrated, and assumed that he'd decline and be out of baseball soon. Any year now. It's gonna happen, I tell you. But he keeps on going on and on and on and on and on . .. ..

This year, Vizquel made himself much more prominent in my consciousness by going to Chicago and winning defensive raves from all my White Sox fans relatives. Can this guy really be career-ing his way into a legitimate Cooperstown argument? This summer, I attended a baseball game at The Cell w/ some THTrs. During one point in the game, I asked somewhat randomly to Studes: At what point do we start taking Vizquel's Cooperstown candidacy seriously? He thought that was a good question. I put it down on my list of articles to write when I get around to it, and that happened to be this week.

I don't get this. Isn't Aparicio the perfect comp? Vizquel's got a couple hundred more games, but their careers look very, very similar.

Hmmmm.. . . . To me, the career length issue sets Vizquel apart. I know they both played very long careers and Vizquel is "only" 250 games ahead, but when you start getting that high up on the list of games played, having a 250 game edge (with at least one more year for Vizquel to play) is pretty impressive. This might be a personal fixation I'm overblowing, but I find Vizquel's career length to be the most impressive thing about him.

I definately should've mentioned that comparison in the article, or at least explained why I thought Vizquel was unique despite their similarities. Actually, looking at Aparicio's numbers right now, he seems a lot closer to Vizquel now than when I glanced at him last week when researching the article. I still find Vizquel unique for the rationale mentioned above, but Aparicio should definately be in the article.
   12. GregD Posted: November 29, 2010 at 04:42 PM (#3698587)
I think the article's conclusion is basically right: 1) should he go? No. 2) will he go? Probably. 3) Is that ideal? No. 4) Is it a big deal? Probably not. Vizquel is, as the piece points out, a highly unusual player, and you don't get the Why Rice and not Parker arguments. The Hall likes slick-fielding shortstops for whatever reason, and he's the next in line for that role. It's internally consistent (on measures most of us wouldn't use) so fits the piece's if you can't be right at least be wrong the same way measure.
   13. Loren F. Posted: November 29, 2010 at 04:47 PM (#3698589)
He's not a Hall of Famer. But the "best-fielding shortstop since Ozzie" meme that has been circulating for nearly a decade will help him an inordinate amount (Count the Gold Gloves!). Whether or not it's true.

What's interesting is that Vizquel has 2,799 hits. If he can duplicate his 2010 season in 2011 (obviously he won't replicate it exactly), that would put him at just 106 hits away from 3,000. Then, if Vizquel can drag his body out to the infield for 140 games -- and that's a big IF -- it's possible that some mediocre team might make him a starter in 2012 just to have a genuine 3000-watch bringing some attention to the franchise (besides the likely 60-70 OPS+ that would bring attention from BTFers). I'm not sure Omar has roughly 250 games left in him. But a Vizquel with 3,000 hits to go with his 11 gold gloves would spark some interesting BBWA voting.
   14. Kirby Kyle Posted: November 29, 2010 at 04:50 PM (#3698592)
I like the column a lot, but disagree that Vizquel will eventually get in.
   15. SoSH U at work Posted: November 29, 2010 at 05:15 PM (#3698613)
I can't help wondering if some future, refined defensive metrics demonstrate that Omar really was as good defensively as his reputation.

I think he will be inducted. And while I wouldn't necessarily vote for him, I don't have a problem with him going in. If he put up the exact same career he did but it started in 1969 instead of 1989, he'd be an easy choice.
   16. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: November 29, 2010 at 05:18 PM (#3698615)
One thing that jumps at me looking at Vizquel is how well 2010 fits into his career (rate-wise). I wouldn't think too many Hall of Famers had a 300+PA season above the age of 40 where they had an OPS+ that was almost right in line with their career mark. I'm normally a peak guy when it comes to the Hall because I think rewarding players for hanging around as a shell of what they were makes no sense. Vizquel is challenging that though by continuing to be useful. In the end he is probably the 2nd best shortstop of his type behind Ozzie and ahead of Aparicio since intergration.
   17. Chris Fluit Posted: November 29, 2010 at 05:34 PM (#3698629)
Howie Menckel
"Though he's not in the HOM if I remember correctly,"

I don't recall Aparicio ever getting a single vote on our 'must vote for 15 players' ballot, but I could be barely wrong.


Aparicio received Hall of Merit votes as recently as 2008, when he finished 75th. I don't know what his best finish is but he's certainly received a few votes here and there.
   18. Chris Fluit Posted: November 29, 2010 at 05:49 PM (#3698641)
Dag Nabbit:
Hmmmm.. . . . To me, the career length issue sets Vizquel apart. I know they both played very long careers and Vizquel is "only" 250 games ahead, but when you start getting that high up on the list of games played, having a 250 game edge (with at least one more year for Vizquel to play) is pretty impressive. This might be a personal fixation I'm overblowing, but I find Vizquel's career length to be the most impressive thing about him.


Vizquel's career advantage isn't as great as you make it seem. Yes, Vizquel currently leads Aparicio by 250 games (2850 to 2599). However, the advantage is only 438 by plate attempts (11,668 to 11,230) which isn't even a full season's worth (Aparicio had more than that in every season except '72 when he had 436). Vizquel played in more games than Aparicio, but he also spent much of that time as a part-timer or a defensive replacement.

Aparicio then has an advantage that Vizquel does not. Both of them were great defensive players (Baseball Reference has Aparicio with +149 fielding runs, Vizquel with +138). But Aparicio was also a great baserunner while Vizquel is not. I know that baserunning is generally derided in sabermetric/thinkfactory circles. However, baseball ref again gives Aparicio +95 runs for baserunning (plus another +28 for reaching on error or avoiding double plays). Vizquel is even in those categories (+7 baserunning, -18 reaching on error, +11 avoiding double plays). That distinction might be missed by traditional counting stats (Aparicio leads Vizquel in stolen bases by 506 to 400, with 27 fewer times caught) but it shows up in systematic stats (where Aparicio leads Vizquel in WAR 49.9 to 43.1).

Aparicio is ahead of Vizquel by a small margin, but still clearly ahead. They both have long careers and great defense. But Aparicio also has his baserunning.
   19. Cris E Posted: November 29, 2010 at 05:56 PM (#3698648)
... and you don't get the Why Rice and not Parker arguments. The Hall likes slick-fielding shortstops for whatever reason, and he's the next in line for that role.

The difference is in the expectations people have for corner OF vs SS. LF can be a feared slugger (like Rice) or something else (Lou Brock or Rickey Henderson or Marty Cordova) who may or may not field well but contributes something. SS comes down to fielding and whatever else you bring to the table, but you pretty much have to play defense. There's some agreed upon ground here, so when someone brings the defense for a really long time most people can agree on what they see.

Also, a lot of that 250 game gap between Aparicio and Vizquel is due to the 154 vs 162 game schedule. They're pretty darn close in a lot of respects. That said, he won't get in any time soon due to HoF traffic. There will be a lot of much clearer cases on the ballot for most of the coming years, and a case like his feels like something that comes in a lull year or from the veterans. Aparicio went in through the writers' door, but he had to wait seven years while his betters passed before him (Aaron, Robinson, Gibson, etc). Even after the "obvious" cases are handled in the next ten years, how's Omar going to fare when paired with names like Mussina or Sosa or even Jorge Posada? Count the Winzz, Homerzz, Ringzz and, um, gold glovezz? It might be a hard slog for Vizquel.. That said, he's no worse than Mazeroski or Aparicio or any other glove-first choices.
   20. bobm Posted: November 29, 2010 at 06:07 PM (#3698660)
TFA and some comments in this thread point out games played as being a good indicator of a player's greatness.

BB-REF lists the games played leaders. The non-HOFers excluding Pete Rose among the top 51 in games played are:

10. Barry Bonds 2986
12. Rusty Staub 2951
15. Craig Biggio 2850
15. Omar Vizquel (43) 2850
18. Rafael Palmeiro 2831
19. Harold Baines 2830
28. Graig Nettles 2700
29. Darrell Evans 2687
31. Ken Griffey (40) 2671
36. Dwight Evans 2606
38. Luis Gonzalez 2591
40. Steve Finley 2583
41. Gary Sheffield 2576
45. Julio Franco 2527
47. Bill Buckner 2517
49. Gary Gaetti 2507
51. Tim Raines 2502


80%+ of the top 51 in games played today will probably be in the HoF when eligible and voted on. It's a good indicator, but not support for a candidacy in and of itself. Vizquel probably will fare better than Harold Baines, IMO a similarly one-dimensional player (with a different skill obviously).
   21. DCW3 Posted: November 29, 2010 at 06:36 PM (#3698683)
Aparicio's thought of as a guy who's in the Hall just because of his glove, and I'm sure that's the main reason, but he also led the league in stolen bases for nine consecutive years, which probably helped his case quite a bit. Vizquel doesn't have anything like that on his resume.
   22. sunnyday2 Posted: November 29, 2010 at 07:12 PM (#3698727)
THT: Jaffe: When do we start taking Omar Vizquel’s Cooperstown case seriously?


After Barry Larkin gets in?

Sorry, Vizquel is nowhere near the best available candidate. You can argue anyone you want in isolation. But is he the best available guy? No.
   23. Kiko Sakata Posted: November 29, 2010 at 07:22 PM (#3698735)
But the "best-fielding shortstop since Ozzie" meme that has been circulating for nearly a decade will help him an inordinate amount (Count the Gold Gloves!). Whether or not it's true.


On the other hand, if you look at the "slick-fielding shortstops" who have made the Hall-of-Fame - Rabbit Maranville, Luis Aparicio, Ozzie Smith, I think what they have in common is that, at the time of their election, they were viewed (by many people) as THE BEST fielding SS of all time. In other words, if Ozzie came before Aparicio, I wonder if Aparicio would have been viewed a little bit worse (as it was, he was only elected with just under 85% of the vote on his 6th try). And NOBODY thinks that Vizquel was a better fielder than Ozzie Smith, NOBODY.
   24. Mister High Standards Posted: November 29, 2010 at 07:47 PM (#3698761)

at some point do we have to start taking Omar Vizquel’s Hall of Fame candidacy seriously?


I will take Omar Vizquel's Hall of Fame case seriously, when he has a second season where he is actually a star player. The only RULE I have when considering Hall of Famers, I need to see multiple seasons where the player was a STAR. Omar, has one. 1999.

I will consider all types of cases. Including cases where "extra credit" in the eyes of sabrists is given out. However, the to be even considered beyond a glance on my imagainary ballot is two seasons where the player is a star.
   25. The Most Interesting Man In The World Posted: November 29, 2010 at 07:56 PM (#3698770)
a) If he reaches 3,000 hits, he will be a first-ballot HOFer. Can you imagine what the MSM is going to say: "Here is a guy who didn't need to rely on steroids, who showed up every day, played the best defense of his generation*, AND GOT 3,000 HITS! How could you not vote for him?"

*His generation meaning post-1996, of course.

b) Without 3,000 hits, I think he goes in during the fifth or sixth year anyway, as his defensive rep will increase the longer he's away.

c) I wouldn't vote for him, although he'd be a prime Hall Of Very Good candidate.
d) But I'm not going to get my panties in a wad when he does get elected in.
   26. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: November 29, 2010 at 08:01 PM (#3698773)
Interesting:

You wear woman's undergarments??
   27. The Most Interesting Man In The World Posted: November 29, 2010 at 08:02 PM (#3698774)
Ever since Aubrey Huff made them fashionable.
   28. Walt Davis Posted: November 29, 2010 at 08:05 PM (#3698776)
Hmmmm.. . . . To me, the career length issue sets Vizquel apart. I know they both played very long careers and Vizquel is "only" 250 games ahead, but when you start getting that high up on the list of games played, having a 250 game edge (with at least one more year for Vizquel to play) is pretty impressive. This might be a personal fixation I'm overblowing, but I find Vizquel's career length to be the most impressive thing about him.

Others have noted this is closer than it looks. It's also really about games at SS, not elsewhere. Aparicio had the record until Vizquel broke it so you really can't get more similar than that. Aparicio never played a game outside of SS, he played 2581, 2539 starts. 130-140 of those 250 games for Vizquel are at non-SS. He's got a 109 game, 53 start edge at SS and that's not a big gap. (On the 162 vs. 154, Aparicio only played 5 seasons in the 154-game schedule so that's a relatively small part of the overall game gap ... but potentially a substantial chunk of the gap in starts at SS.)

As others note, Aparicio had the steals and, because of that, the MVP support (late 50s, early 60s voters loved SBs). Aparicio was 2nd in MVP voting in 1959 -- the Sox took the top 3 spots! Aparicio also had 10 AS games (not double-counting any of the years).

Still and all, I'm not sure you could find two closer HoF comps than Aparicio and Vizquel. Maranville and Ozzie fit in there quite well too. Concepcion isn't far off. For non-SS comps, Maz at 2B fits fine. Brooks fits too -- he had some good offensive years so the fit isn't perfect, but add up his career and he's not much above-average as a hitter for a 3B.

In the end, I don't think Vizquel will make it. Kiko makes a point I've made several times these last few years -- Vizquel is not viewed as the greatest defensive SS of all-time while Aparicio and Ozzie were. The lack of AS games hurts him. But I see no reason to think he won't do fairly well in the voting. Ozzie breezed in, Concepcion and Maz stayed on the ballot all 15 years and Maz peaked around 40%. Aparicio had one of the strangest patterns of HoF voting ever -- 28, 32, 12, 42, 67, 85 percent of the votes -- but was clearly gonna stay on the ballot for 15 years with solid vote totals if he hadn't been elected. If, by some miracle, Vizquel gets to 3,000 hits, he's in for sure.

What intrigues me is how differently we might view Vizquel had he been in the NL all those years. He made the AL all-star team only 3 times thanks to ARod, Jeter, Nomar and Tejada while he probably would have made the team for 10 straight years in the NL (b-r is not good at this). Ozzie's GG reign ended in 92 and Vizquel's AL reign began in 93 -- I suppose it's possible that Larkin or Rey Ordonez might have beaten out Vizquel in the NL but I doubt it (Ordonez's defensive rep was partly so strong because there wasn't much NL competition; if Vizquel had established himself with 5 straight NL GG, Ordonez wouldn't have gotten as much hype -- which is not to say Ordonez didn't deserve it).

Anyway, Vizquel with 11+ GG, a dozen or so AS games and "best SS in the NL for a decade" is a much stronger candidate than the equally good player he was in the AL.
   29. SoSH U at work Posted: November 29, 2010 at 08:16 PM (#3698792)
What intrigues me is how differently we might view Vizquel had he been in the NL all those years. He made the AL all-star team only 3 times thanks to ARod, Jeter, Nomar and Tejada while he probably would have made the team for 10 straight years in the NL (b-r is not good at this). Ozzie's GG reign ended in 92 and Vizquel's AL reign began in 93 -- I suppose it's possible that Larkin or Rey Ordonez might have beaten out Vizquel in the NL but I doubt it (Ordonez's defensive rep was partly so strong because there wasn't much NL competition; if Vizquel had established himself with 5 straight NL GG, Ordonez wouldn't have gotten as much hype -- which is not to say Ordonez didn't deserve it).


What intrigues me is wondering is what kind of impact the era he played in had on his numbers. With only 80 career homers, it doesn't appear he benefited much from the homer-happy years he played in (though he undoubtedly suffered in terms of OPS+). But did he benefit at all? Would he have been closer to his .273/.338/.355 line in a previous era, at which point he's an obvious Hall of Famer, or is it a case of rising tides and he'd have put up actual Luis-like numbers if he played in Aparicio's era?
   30. Bob Evans Posted: November 29, 2010 at 08:28 PM (#3698803)
Aparicio's thought of as a guy who's in the Hall just because of his glove, and I'm sure that's the main reason, but he also led the league in stolen bases for nine consecutive years, which probably helped his case quite a bit.

Aparicio's offensive impact on the AL game is quite similar to NL'er Maury Wills' in that respect. Wills, although not renowned for glovework, still has his HOF backers, and Omar will likely have his no matter what happens.
   31. Chris Fluit Posted: November 29, 2010 at 09:11 PM (#3698822)
Another difference between Aparicio and Vizquel, albeit a subjective one. Aparicio was, rightly or wrongly, considered the best shortstop of the 1960s. Vizquel was considered the best defensive shortstops of the 90s/00s but he wasn't considered the best shortstop, due to the presence of ARod, Jeter, Garciaparra, Tejada and others.

I think that Vizquel will get noticeable support for the Hall of Fame, but probably not enough to get him in. I suspect it will look like Aparicio's early years on the ballot- 28, 32, 12, 42%. Maybe not the same amount of deviation. But I doubt it will be enough to get him in.
   32. Chris Fluit Posted: November 29, 2010 at 09:13 PM (#3698823)
sunnyday2
After Barry Larkin gets in?

Sorry, Vizquel is nowhere near the best available candidate. You can argue anyone you want in isolation. But is he the best available guy? No.


Larkin should get in by 2012 (after Blyleven and Alomar go in this coming year) so that shouldn't be a complaint by the time Vizquel is eligible.
   33. SoSH U at work Posted: November 29, 2010 at 09:18 PM (#3698832)
Larkin should get in by 2012 (after Blyleven and Alomar go in this coming year) so that shouldn't be a complaint by the time Vizquel is eligible.


Hell, Larkin may be in before Omar is retired.
   34. DanG Posted: November 29, 2010 at 09:28 PM (#3698841)
Rk              Player OPS+  SB WAR   PA  From  To    G
15        Omar Vizquel   83 400 43.1 11668 1989 2010 2850
16       Luis Aparicio   82 506 49.9 11230 1956 1973 2599
17   Rabbit Maranville   82 291 38.2 11256 1912 1935 2670 
If Aparicio and Maranville are HOFers, then I guess Vizquel has to be as well. Although, Luis and Rabbit are not in the Hall of Merit.
   35. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: November 29, 2010 at 09:29 PM (#3698842)
Interesting comments around, espeically by Chris Fluit and Walt Davis. Apparently, Vizquel and Aparicio are closer than I suspected.

One thing I will say in response to post #28: yes, the time at SS matters most of all, but that doesn't mean the rest of Vizquel's career should be marginalized into non-existence, which you seemingly do there.
   36. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: November 29, 2010 at 09:57 PM (#3698869)
Another difference between Aparicio and Vizquel, albeit a subjective one. Aparicio was, rightly or wrongly, considered the best shortstop of the 1960s


1957-73 (Aparcio's career), SSs (35%+ of games)

WAR:
Banks 53.3
Aparicio 49.9
Fregosi 44.4

1960-69:
Fregosi 35.8
Wills: 31.7
Aparicio: 30.3
McAuliffe: 28.3

no one ever brings up Dick McAuliffe or Jim Fregosi for that matter- but if either man had just a handful more productive years they'd likely be stathead faves...

Aparicio is in, and in someways his selection is like the impending selection of Jack Morris-
Aparicio was seen as the best SS in baseball for a goodly span of time- just as many in the MSM perceive Morris as having been the best MLB starting pitcher for a good stretch of time (The 80s)

Both men had very weak competition for the "best man of his generation" title- and Aparicio really was in the running for that "title"- Morris really wasn't- but his MSM fanboys think he was.
   37. SoSH U at work Posted: November 29, 2010 at 10:01 PM (#3698872)
Aparicio is in, and in someways his selection is like the impending selection of Jack Morris-


Except for that minor difference that Morris is unlikely to get elected by the BBWAA.
   38. Mark Armour Posted: November 29, 2010 at 10:13 PM (#3698891)
I doubt Vizquel makes it via the writers. He will need 75% of the writers to support him, and there is no way that in 8 years (or whenever he gets on the ballot) that there won't be 25% of the voters that agree with what is the overwhelming consensus of this thread. That 75% is a ##### a world where there is an increasing difference of opinion as to how to evaluate players.
   39. LargeBill Posted: November 29, 2010 at 10:19 PM (#3698905)
To answer the title question, Vizquel will get serious consideration in 2017 or 2018 when his name appears on the ballot for the first time. Larkin will certainly be in by then. I wish I could same the same for Trammell because some voters will say no to Vizquel partly due to the lack of support Trammell got. Not that they had much in common besides position.
   40. The Most Interesting Man In The World Posted: November 29, 2010 at 10:22 PM (#3698912)
This might be a personal fixation I'm overblowing, but I find Vizquel's career length to be the most impressive thing about him.

I would almost go as far as saying Vizquel is the shortstop version of Jamie Moyer, although perhaps Tim Wakefield might be a better comp. But if Moyer were to approach 300 (which seems less and less likely now), there would be another interesting discussion.

And again, don't forget: Vizquel is only 201 hits away from 3,000 - I'd say there's about a 15% chance he gets it. But those listed above him who aren't in the HOF are getting fewer and fewer...
   41. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: November 29, 2010 at 10:55 PM (#3698953)
Except for that minor difference that Morris is unlikely to get elected by the BBWAA.


52.3%
how many players get that high and don't eventually make it? He's slightly behind where Jim Rice was at the same point- Rice didn't make it until his last year - plus Blyleven is the only pitcher outpolling him and Bly looks likely to go in real soon...
I also don't see his momentum getting derailed like Bunning's was at the end by the entrance of a wave of 300 game winners- though I suppose Glavine will get on the ballot before Morris'
eligibility is up...

The BBWAA HOF electorate is VERY different beat than those who vote on CY and MVP awards- it is changing- but at a very slow pace
   42. shattnering his Dominicano G Strings on that Mound Posted: November 29, 2010 at 10:58 PM (#3698955)
There is but one thing that baffles me a bit here in this thread or any time that Vizquel's HOF candidacy comes up and that is the utter certainty of folks here that Vizquel is not an elite defender or, for that matter, that even if he is an elite defender, he isn't the 'elitest of all-time' and/or putting up solid OBP-heavy batting numbers in tandem w/ being an elite defender is not enough to make him a star for more than one season of his career (at best.)

So, I'm curious, what is the 'Rosetta Stone' of defensive translation that reveals how Vizquel is lacking with the glove?

And how confident are we in valuing a player by contemporary 'uberstats' that boil value down to one number given all the extended talks of how unreliable they can be for defense that have occurred all over the webs but also a lot here on BBTF?

I'm not asking with any snark at all. I'm honestly a bit perplexed. I was a huge fan of those Indians teams that featured Vizquel at Short-Stop and I gotta say that I saw him make an awful lot of slick plays as well as rarely ever botching the routine ones. To me, he's a HOFer, though more on the margins and certainly not inner circle, so I'm curious to learn why it's such a unanimous and unquestioned notion that he isn't.
   43. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: November 29, 2010 at 11:00 PM (#3698956)
And again, don't forget: Vizquel is only 201 hits away from 3,000 - I'd say there's about a 15% chance he gets it. But those listed above him who aren't in the HOF are getting fewer and fewer...


201 hits 2008-2010
next 3 years he'll be 44/45/46

how many players had 201 or more hits after 44?
1- Julio Franco- a significantly better hitter than Viz

Viz may get the PT, but simply be unable to get the hits, I think Moyer's chance at 300 wins is higher
   44. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: November 29, 2010 at 11:09 PM (#3698960)
Except for that minor difference that Morris is unlikely to get elected by the BBWAA.

52.3%
how many players get that high and don't eventually make it?


Well, there's two different things going on here - going in via the BBWAA and going at all.

A bunch get to 52.3% but don't go in the BBWAA, but only ONE player not currently on the ballot has EVER gotten over 50% and not gone in: Gil Hodges. The Vets Committee historically shuttles in the highest voted of the BBWAA backlog and then random guys.

With the BBWAA voting itself, the trick is to get over 50%. A lot of players blunder around at 40-50% marker (as Rice and Morris both have done) but once they go over 50% they usually start moving upwards.

That said, I don't think Morris goes in via the BBWAA. Rice had a louder constitnuency arguing on his behalf (Boston sportswriters, giving talking pionts the BoSox put out for them), and the added bonus of some weak crops emerge at the end of his 15 year cycle. Morris's end time on the BBWAA coincides with more impressive crops of newbies on the ballot, IIRC.
   45. Voros McCracken of Pinkus Posted: November 29, 2010 at 11:53 PM (#3698978)
I'm not sure an argument centering around the lessened accuracy of defensive statistics helps Vizquel at all. Rationally, that sort of argument is much more suited to guys like Derek Jeter, excellent hitters particularly for a shortstop but with substandard defensive numbers. Omar's defenisve numbers are great as it is, and it's the lifetime 83 OPS+ that hurts his case more than anything else. It seems to me trusting the defensive numbers less gets him closer to guys like Tony Fernandez and Jay Bell (better hitters with worse defensive numbers) rather than the other way around.

I dunno. A hall which tries to take the same number of guys from each position (with possible exceptions for the corner outfield spots, I.E. RF>LF) definitely helps guys like Vizquel, but then it also helps guys like Trammell and Garciaparra who have stronger cases at the same position.
   46. Lassus Posted: November 30, 2010 at 12:02 AM (#3698986)
More semantically than sabermetrically, doesn't ANYONE's case that places them solidly in the HOVG need to be considered seriously for the HOF, even if that consideration places them securely out?

I'm not even sure what I'm asking. I guess I'd think that it's utterly justified to take Vizquel's case for the HOF seriously.
   47. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: November 30, 2010 at 04:13 AM (#3699006)
52.3%
how many players get that high and don't eventually make it? He's slightly behind where Jim Rice was at the same point- Rice didn't make it until his last year - plus Blyleven is the only pitcher outpolling him and Bly looks likely to go in real soon...
I also don't see his momentum getting derailed like Bunning's was at the end by the entrance of a wave of 300 game winners- though I suppose Glavine will get on the ballot before Morris'
eligibility is up...

The BBWAA HOF electorate is VERY different beat than those who vote on CY and MVP awards- it is changing- but at a very slow pace


My position has nothing to do with the changing/unchanging nature of the electorates and all to do with what Dag mentioned. To summarize, he's only got four ballots left, a lot of ground to cover, he's still got a better pitcher ahead of him who will take up the attention on the upcoming ballot and his last two years on the ballot will be absolutely choked with much better players with varying stories to pull support away from what remains a player who doesn't belong in the Hall of Fame.

It's possible he gets in by the writers, but I still find it incredibly unlikely that he'll make up the remaining 23 percent over the next four years. It took him 5 years just to climb from 41 percent to 52, so it's not like his momentum is runaway freight trainesque.

All that being said, I firmly believe that Morris will ultimately be ushered into Cooperstown by some future functioning Vet's Committee.
   48. Nolan Giesbrecht Posted: November 30, 2010 at 06:07 AM (#3699053)
Question: I've never heard any complaining about Ozzie's induction around these parts, but is his case THAT much stronger than Vizquel's? 83 versus 87 OPS+. Is the 4 points of OPS+ , better defence and base running worth enough to push him significantly past Omar?

Haven't really looked too closely at this, just thinking out loud.
   49. cardsfanboy Posted: November 30, 2010 at 06:44 AM (#3699065)
Question: I've never heard any complaining about Ozzie's induction around these parts, but is his case THAT much stronger than Vizquel's? 83 versus 87 OPS+. Is the 4 points of OPS+ , better defence and base running worth enough to push him significantly past Omar?

Haven't really looked too closely at this, just thinking out loud.


From memory, basically everything Vizquel did, Ozzie did better, running, fielding, hitting value relative to position. They are similar but one was clearly better than the other.
   50. PreservedFish Posted: November 30, 2010 at 06:49 AM (#3699068)
More semantically than sabermetrically, doesn't ANYONE's case that places them solidly in the HOVG need to be considered seriously for the HOF, even if that consideration places them securely out?

I'm not even sure what I'm asking. I guess I'd think that it's utterly justified to take Vizquel's case for the HOF seriously.


Yeah, it's semantics. And the object is raised constantly on this site.

Example:

Person A: I think Jared Weaver deserves some consideration for AL Cy Young.
Person B: Why? King Felix beats him handily in every category.
Person A: I didn't say he should win it.

Persons A and B might have exactly the same evaluation of Weaver. They just have different ideas about what "consideration" means.
   51. Mark Armour Posted: November 30, 2010 at 07:09 AM (#3699071)
Question: I've never heard any complaining about Ozzie's induction around these parts, but is his case THAT much stronger than Vizquel's? 83 versus 87 OPS+. Is the 4 points of OPS+ , better defence and base running worth enough to push him significantly past Omar?


The biggest difference between Omar's general reputation and the view in this thread is that many fans and media people consider him an Ozzie-level defender, while the people here (and all useful defensive metrics) consider him a very good defender but not in Ozzie's league. BRef has Ozzie as a 64 WAR player and Omar at 43, with the 20 win difference split between offense and defense.
   52. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: November 30, 2010 at 04:46 PM (#3699204)
The biggest difference between Omar's general reputation and the view in this thread is that many fans and media people consider him an Ozzie-level defender


I try to avoid MSM opinions, but my impression of the baseball watching public is that almost no one old enough to watch and appreciate Ozzie Smith in his prime thinks Viz is in the same zip code.
From memory, basically everything Vizquel did, Ozzie did better, running, fielding, hitting value relative to position. They are similar but one was clearly better than the other.

ditto, clearly the same "type" of player, much as Ichiro and Juan Pierre are the same "type" of players- except Ichiro does everything Pierre does as well or better.

Viz is/was a much better player than Pierre of course
   53. SoSH U at work Posted: November 30, 2010 at 05:10 PM (#3699224)
I try to avoid MSM opinions, but my impression of the baseball watching public is that almost no one old enough to watch and appreciate Ozzie Smith in his prime thinks Viz is in the same zip code.


My impression was that prime Vizquel was considered if not Ozzie's equal, then just a breath below. Which just goes to show the folly of trying to determine the general perception of large swaths of people we have no actual contact with.

I kind of suspect his actual defensive ability fits somewhere in between his multiple Gold Glove-winning reputation and one his lesser advanced metric numbers would suggest.
   54. bads85 Posted: November 30, 2010 at 05:47 PM (#3699255)
My impression was that prime Vizquel was considered if not Ozzie's equal, then just a breath below.


Well, that was sort of the consensus with the most rabid, but senseless Indians' fan boy types, but sionce Vizquel didn't do back flips, he couldn't have been as good as Ozzie. Of course, most of those fan boy types also thought that Vizquel was a scrappy, white player who just happened to be born in another country.
   55. Lassus Posted: November 30, 2010 at 05:55 PM (#3699263)
My impression was that prime Vizquel was considered if not Ozzie's equal, then just a breath below.

I'm old enough to have watched both in their primes, and I'd agree with this consideration, personally. I think it's reasonable to consider Viz to be a near-equal if far less-flashy fielder.
   56. cardsfanboy Posted: November 30, 2010 at 06:25 PM (#3699291)
I'm old enough to have watched both in their primes, and I'd agree with this consideration, personally. I think it's reasonable to consider Viz to be a near-equal if far less-flashy fielder.


I have to disagree, both were plenty of flashy in their prime, Ozzie just had better range. Omar was a fantastic fielder, but in their respective primes Ozzie was pretty clearly better. Omar had the bare handed grab thing down to a science, but Ozzie covered more ground, got a better jump on the ball than pretty much anyone.
   57. DCW3 Posted: November 30, 2010 at 06:49 PM (#3699319)
Question: I've never heard any complaining about Ozzie's induction around these parts, but is his case THAT much stronger than Vizquel's? 83 versus 87 OPS+. Is the 4 points of OPS+ , better defence and base running worth enough to push him significantly past Omar?

Well, not everybody is going to consider this a valid part of a Hall of Fame case, but shortstops for most of Ozzie's career were much, much worse hitters than they were during Omar's, so that 87 OPS+ looks a lot more valuable compared to what other teams were running out.

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