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Monday, December 05, 2016

2017 Hall of Merit Ballot

Welcome to the 2017 Hall of Merit Ballot thread. Balloting is open from now (December 5) through December 19, 2016 at 8 p.m. EST.

I’ve posted this the last several of years, but as a reminder:

“This has been an issue in the past, so I’ll repeat it now for clarification . . . the posting of the ballot to the discussion thread for new voters is not just a formality. With the posting of the ballot you are expected to post a summary of what you take into account - basically, how did you come up with this list? This does not mean that you need to have invented the Holy Grail of uber-stats. You don’t need a numerical rating down to the hundredth decimal point.

You do need to treat all eras of baseball history fairly. You do need to stick to what happened on the field (or your best estimate of what would have happened if wars and strikes and such hadn’t gotten in the way). You may be challenged and ask to defend your position, if someone notices internal inconsistencies, flaws in your logic, etc.. This is all a part of the learning process.

It isn’t an easy thing to submit a ballot, but that’s by design. Not because we don’t want to grow our numbers (though we’ve done just fine there, started with 29 voters in 1898, and passed 50 eventually), not because we want to shut out other voices. It’s because we want informed voters making informed decisions on the entire electorate, not just the players they remember.”

So if you are up for this, we’d love to have you! Even if you aren’t up to voting, we’d still appreciate your thoughts in the discussion. Some of our greatest contributors haven’t or have only rarely voted.

Chris Fluit posted this last month, also relevant and well said.

First of all, yes, we welcome new voters. If you have never voted in a HoM election before, you are invited to participate in this year’s vote. You’re asked to post a preliminary ballot in this thread and then defend your ballot. That last part sounds rough, but it doesn’t have to be. We don’t expect (or even desire) unanimity. But we do want your ballot to be internally consistent. We also figure that most members om this site will have at least a passing familiarity with sabrmetrics but that’s not written into any by-laws.

Second, new, newer and even some long-time voters may be wondering about the one-year boycott by-law. Basically, the founders of the Hall of Merit didn’t want a Hall of Fame style character clause that would leave some candidates in unofficial and perpetual purgatory. The Hall of Merit is about on-the-field contributions, period. However, the HoM recognizes that voters may sometimes have difficulty voting for players whose conduct was detrimental to the game in some way. The HoM therefore allows for a one-year boycott for first-year candidates.

To date, voters have exercised the one-year boycott for five candidates: Cap Anson, for his role in developing the color line in professional baseball; Shoeless Joe Jackson, for his role in the Black Sox scandal; Pete Rose, for betting on baseball; Mark McGwire, for his confessed use of performance enhancing drugs; and Rafael Palmeiro, for failing a test for performance enhancing drugs. In some cases, the boycotts meant that the player was inducted with a lower percentage than would have otherwise occurred. In other cases, the boycotts delayed the candidate’s induction by one year. It should be acknowledged that voters with a strong stance against steroids dropped out of this project after McGwire and Palmeiro were inducted over their objections. That’s why additional PED users and suspected users, like Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, were not boycotted.

However, it was their decision to leave and not one forced upon them by other voters. You are welcome to participate in this project even with strong reservations about PED users as long as you abide by our by-laws.

To get specific: Yes, you may boycott Manny Ramirez for failing multiple PED tests if you so choose. And, yes, you may even boycott Ivan Rodriguez for being a suspected PED user (although many observers would draw a line between those two categories). However, you must indicate on your ballot that you are doing so. In addition, if either of those candidates fail to be elected this year, you may not boycott them in their second year of eligibility. You may not boycott any other holdover candidates. It’s a one-year boycott only.


Voters should name 15 players, in order. Thanks!

Don’t forget to comment on each of last year’s top ten returnees. As a reminder those guys are:

Jim Edmonds, Sammy Sosa, Jeff Kent, Kenny Lofton, Ben Taylor, Luis Tiant, Buddy Bell, Vic Willis, Bobby Bonds, Tommy Bridges.

Phil Rizzuto, Gavy Cravath, Bucky Walters and Sal Bando were right there with the back end of this group also.

Newcomers on the 2017 ballot. Note, the WAR numbers below are a bit outdated. Generally they are a bit low.

2016 (December 14, 2015)—elect 3
WS  WAR  Name-Pos
394 69.1 Manny Ramirez-LF/RF*
338 68.4 Ivan Rodriguez-C
324 59.3 Vladimir Guerrero-RF
243 46.5 Mike Cameron-CF
258 42.7 Jorge Posada-C
245 38.5 Magglio Ordonez-RF
206 44.9 J.D. Drew-RF
170 46.0 Javier Vazquez-P
233 34.3 Derrek Lee-1B
236 32.1 Edgar Renteria-SS
176 34.6 Tim Wakefield-P
142 34.5 Chris Carpenter-P*
160 28.2 Melvin Mora-3B
197 21.4 Orlando Cabrera-SS
147 27.7 Carlos Guillen-SS
181 18.8 Pat Burrell-LF
141 24.3 Jason Varitek-C
138 22.3 Craig Counsell-2B/SS
116 24.9 Casey Blake-3B
124 20.8 Aaron Rowand-CF
158 14.3 Matt Stairs-RF/DH
124 13.6 Julio Lugo-SS
JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: December 05, 2016 at 05:53 PM | 61 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: December 05, 2016 at 06:05 PM (#5362937)
Just a reminder, try to keep this thread as clean as possible, i.e. only ballots and some extremely relevant things relative to the ballots (not the candidates, if that makes sense), etc.

Will the usual ballot counters be back? OCF, rwagman and Ron Wargo? Also Ron - the formatting you sent last year, if I'm reading my email correctly was essentially perfect and probably saved me an hour of work getting it that way. Is that something that is easy to replicate? If so, please do that again!

Thanks guys, and to everyone else who helps out.
   2. Qufini Posted: December 05, 2016 at 07:30 PM (#5362979)
2016 Ballot

1. Ivan Rodriguez, C (new): 106 OPS+ in 10,270 plate attempts. One of the greatest defenders of all-time with +146 fielding runs and seven seasons of +10 or better.

2. Manny Ramirez, LF/RF (new): 154 OPS+ in 9774 attempts. A beautiful right-handed swing that led his league in OPS three times (1999, 2000 and 2004).

3. Ben Taylor, 1B: (5): Imagine a player with Carlos Delgado’s bat and Mark Grace’s glove. That’s what Taylor’s estimates look like (138 OPS+ in 9091 compared to 138 in 8647 for Delgado and 76.5 fielding runs compared to 77 for Grace).

4. Vladimir Guerrero, RF (new): 140 OPS+ in 9059 attempts. A cannon for an arm but only +7 fielding due to some “creative” routes to the baseball.

5. “Cannonball” Dick Redding, P (6): Most career WAR and Win Shares Above Bench of Negro League players not in the Hall of Fame. #1 pitcher in 1914/15 (Cuban League), ‘17 and ’19. #1 player in 1917 (25.9 Win Shares). Top three in ‘12/’13, 1915, and ‘15/’16. Top ten in ’12, ’16 and ’21. Great peak, sufficient prime.

6. Sammy Sosa, RF (7): 128 OPS+ in 9896 plate attempts. Five seasons of 150 or better. +86 fielding runs thanks to a great glove when he was a young.

7. Jim Edmonds, CF (8): 132 OPS+ in 7980 plate attempts. +37 fielding runs. Not enough career to catch Sosa but defensive value pushes him ahead of Kent.

8. Jeff Kent, 2B (9): 123 OPS+ in 9537 plate attempts, with 1 season over 160, 3 over 140 and 5 over 130. Minus 42 fielding runs keep him from being an Inner Circle guy.

9. Sal Bando, 3B (10): The best third baseman available. 119 OPS+ at the plate and +36 fielding runs at the hot corner.

10. Vic Willis, P (11): Best pitcher in the National League in 1899 (1st in ERA+, pitching wins and WAR for pitchers). Second-best in ‘01, ’02, and ’06. Packed a huge career (3996 innings) into only 13 seasons.

11. Don Newcombe, P (12): Minor league credit during integration, military credit during the Korean War and 9.0 WAR at the plate on top of an already very good pitching career.

12. Kenny Lofton, CF (13): 107 OPS+ in 9235 plate attempts. +112 fielding runs.

13. Tommy Bridges, P (14): Top ten in ERA+ 10 times in 12 seasons. Top ten in innings pitched 5 straight seasons from 1933 to 1937.

14. Bob Johnson, LF (15): 13 seasons with OPS+ over 125, top ten 10 times in 12 seasons. Top ten in Runs Created 9 times.

15. Luis Aparicio, SS (16): +123 base-running (including reaching base w/o a hit) and +149 fielding. Does everything that doesn’t show up in OPS and WAR notices- his 49.9 beats Bert (45.3) and crushes Concepcion (33.6).

Required disclosures:
Edmonds, Sosa, Kent, Lofton, Taylor, Willis and Bridges are all on-ballot. Tiant and Bonds are both top 25. Tiant may make my ballot before he's inducted. I'm not a Buddy Bell supporter, preferring Bando and Elliott for their offense and even Traynor for his era.
Other notable newbies:
Posada isn't particularly close to my ballot. He has lower career WAR than Lombardi, Schang and Munson.
   3. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: December 05, 2016 at 09:22 PM (#5363003)
This formerly dedicated Win Shares voter now has a system that spits out docWAR:
• Based in BBREF WAR
• Includes DRA (2/3 strength) + rfield (1/3 strength) except for catchers where it’s 50/50 or anyone before 1893
• Adjusts for schedule, usage patterns for catchers, STDEV of league (WAA/PA or WAA/IP), usage patterns for pitchers, relief appearances pre-PBP, relief value during PBP era (via WPA integration), OF arms (which DRA doesn’t handle as well as BBREF does IMO), fielding in Coors, Old Yankee left field, and Fenway left field, and probably other stuff I’m forgetting, yadda yada yadda

I’ve taken a deep look at the HOM’s balance across eras and positions. It appears that that we could use a couple more guys whose careers centered in the deadball era, and whose careers got under way in the 1970s and 1980s. In addition, we are a tad shy on catchers and third basemen while over on first basemen. This is not information that makes my decisions, but if needed, I’ll find it useful as a guide.

I don’t really care whether there’s a whole mess of 1970s third basemen and no 1970s shortstops, just as I don’t mind that there were a mess of shortstops in the 1890s and 1900s…and almost no third basemen. Sometimes an era just tilts toward or away from a position.

With that said…, here’s my 2017 ballot, which is once again just full of CFs, Cs, SPs, 3Bs, and deadballists.

And I thank all of you for not pointing out that my prelim only had 14 names on it. ;)

Also, I changed it up a bit from my prelim. Just moving around a whole bunch of guys who are mostly interchangeable anyway. Splitting the hairs this way instead of that way.

1 Ivan Rodriguez: Somewhere near the fifth or sixth best catcher of all time. That’s more impressive to me than anything else on this ballot.
2 Jim Edmonds: Duke Snider’s peak + Kenny Lofton’s career = 11th best CF of all time or thereabouts.
3 Manny Ramirez: 13th best LF all time. His defense looks awful thanks to Fenway, whereas it’s merely below average if you adjust for the Monster.
4 Buddy Bell: Very similar career though not hitting style as HOMer Graig Nettles. Easily the best 3B not in the HOM.
5 Luis Tiant: Same exact peak/prime value as Reuschel but with less career value. He and Shocker are pretty close together, both just inside the top 3/4s of pitchers.
6 Kenny Lofton: A top-fifteenish CF. DRA actually dislikes him more than rfield, so this is more conservative than a straight WAR vote would deliver.
7 Bobby Veach: He’s the Jimmy Sheckard of the 1910s AL—a fantastic fielder in a time when LF was a much more important defensive position (more balls hit there, like a second CF in the sense that 3Bs were like second shortstops, see Wizardry for more on this), and his bat is strong as well. A top-15 or so player in LF for me.
8 Vic Willis: Easily within the 3/4s of all our pitchers, which makes him an easy vote for me.
9 Urban Shocker: Marichal with less peak…or Saberhagen with a little more.
10 Wally Schang: Not much in the peak department, but tons of career value for a catcher.
11 Thurman Munson: Brings the D, has a bat, hangs tough with the other 1970s catchers. I like him a bit more than HOMer Brenshan and significantly more than HOMer Freehan.
12 Tommy Leach: DRA loves this guy at both 3B and CF. In fact, all systems rate him as very good to outstanding. At 3B he’d be a top-15 among eligibles, nearly so in centerfield.
13 Art Fletcher: Defensive wunderkind of the deadball era. DRA digs him, rfield digs him, and I dig him.
14 Sammy Sosa: He and Bobby Bonds are extremely close in value and shape. I like Sosa’s peakiness a little more than Bonds’ steadiness. They stack up right on the borderline for me and could go either way, but they are currently behind these other guys in my pecking order.
15 Bobby Bonds: And so Bonds appears here.

Vlad Guerrero: I rank Vlad just below both Sosa and Pappy Bonds. I’d have him in the HoM eventually but probably not before both of those other two.

Jorge Posada: Max Marchi’s calling/handling data is wretched for Posada. As it was, I’dve had him off this ballot but potentially a votable later on. Probably not any more.

Rizzuto: I am applying war credit at the player's career average by season. Rizzuto ranks between Vern Stephens and Roger Peckinpaugh for me, which puts him below the line.

Taylor: I have never voted for Taylor even way back when. Just doesn't have enough peak for my tastes, though I respect his career length. First base is an area of un-need in my opinion.

Jeff Kent: Not as strong as I’d thought he’d be. Defense has something to do with that, but also he was rarely great. I’ve got two fringe-MVP years, 1 All-Star year, and one very-nearly-All-Star year then lots of 3 and 4 win seasons. This is similar actually to Finley and Orel, but we have more 2Bs than SPs.

Bridges: I’ve got him far lower than the consensus. He’s somewhere in the vicinity of 105–115 among all pitchers. Very steady, but never amazing and didn’t last long enough to make something of all those near All-Star years. So he’s not Red Faber (long and mostly low but with three great years) nor Don Sutton (longgggggggggg and low).
   4. The Honorable Ardo Posted: December 06, 2016 at 12:59 AM (#5363048)
2017 Ballot (2014-15-16 placement in parentheses)

1. Ivan Rodriguez (new) - The greatest defensive catcher of all time by most metrics, which concurs with my firsthand observations. Also had eight consecutive seasons (1997-2004) with 13+ batting runs.

2. Manny Ramirez (new) - was #2 on my 2016 prelim before we deferred his eligibility. Better than Gary Sheffield among corner bat candidates.

3. Jim Edmonds (debuted at #6 last year) - Extremely similar career arc and total value to Duke Snider; slightly worse hitter, but made up for it on defense.

4. Wally Schang (7-7-5) - A glaring Hall of Merit omission that we can still correct! Durability? 3rd all-time in games caught at his retirement (and still in the top 40 today). Career on-base percentage of .393, higher than Sheffield and Rod Carew - for a catcher who played half his career in the dead-ball era! Defense? Above the AL average in caught-stealing %, at a time when everyone ran. I outline in his player thread why his poor defensive "letter grades" are deceiving.

5. Dolf Luque (6-6-7) - It's uncertain whether his major league career was held back by racism (as I once believed unequivocally, even to the point of ranking him #1 once) or he was simply a late bloomer. His Cuban record is excellent, though a notch below that of Jose Mendez.

6. Vladimir Guerrero (new) - Basically Dave Parker if Parker could've kept himself on the straight-and-narrow. Parker's five-year prime is superior in context to Vlad, but Vlad has a consecutive ten-year prime while Parker has 1985 plus a lot of dreck.

7. Hilton Smith (10-10-10) - Excellent peak value and a good hitter too. I see his white contemporary Bucky Walters as the low end of his range. See post #88 in the 2016 ballot discussion thread for more info.

8. Sammy Sosa (12-9-9) - On hitting alone, he's a dead ringer for Chuck Klein, whom we're in no hurry to induct. His candidacy is almost entirely a question of whether his gaudy defensive WAR totals through 1997 can be taken at face value.

9. Ben Taylor (9-8-8) - Looks similar to John Olerud on paper: smooth glove, consistent line-drive bat, long career. The difference between them is in 1B's relative defensive value in their eras, which puts Taylor here and Olerud at about #30 or so.

10. Jorge Posada (new) - An offensive profile similar to Gary Carter and Ernie Lombardi among catchers. His defense wasn't as wretched as Lombardi's, and I take pitch framing statistics with a grain of salt, but it's a long way from Carter's.

11. Jeff Kent (14-off-11) - A great hitter for his position, and actually an average defensive 2B with the Mets and Giants. His "sieve" phase didn't begin until his move to Houston (and, of course, his late career is freshest in the electorate's mind).

12. Tommy John (8-8-12) - His statistics through his age-39 season are superficially similar to the careers of Rick Reuschel and Jim Bunning (and, of course, he pitched deep into his 40s), but he has virtually no peak value. I like his case less than I once did.

13. Nomar Garciaparra (new-15-13) - Played just long enough at a very high level: six 6+ WAR seasons at shortstop in a seven-year span. Very comparable to two high-peak, short-career HoM shortstops: Lou Boudreau [when the latter's 1943-45 are discounted for wartime competition] and Dobie Moore.

14. Luke Easter (1st-ever time on ballot) - Yes, we have a lot of first basemen in the HoM, but I really believe Easter has been overlooked. His three full-time seasons at ages 34-36 look a lot like "Fred McGriff the Devil Ray" (also in his age 34-36 years), despite foot injuries and the pressures of integration.

15. Johnny Evers (1st-ever time on ballot) - I've been inspired to take up his case by Bill James, who believes Evers was a worthy Hall of Fame choice. Very comparable to Willie Randolph, whom we inducted; take Evers's whole career against Randolph's through 1987, his last good season.

16-20: Kenny Lofton (was #14), Luis Tiant (was #15), Buddy Bell, Vic Willis, Tommy Leach.

21-25: Lee Smith, Thurman Munson, Fred McGriff, Bobby Bonds, Dick Redding.
   5. DL from MN Posted: December 06, 2016 at 10:14 AM (#5363159)
1) Ivan Rodriguez - in the lower half of the top 10 catchers with Bill Dickey, Gary Carter, Gabby Hartnett and Pudge Fisk. Behind Piazza in his era but close enough that the error bars in catcher defense make that placing uncertain. Top 75 player all-time.
2) Tommy Bridges - have been a supporter since 1970. He's a required disclosure now.
3) Manny Ramirez - takes over Sheffield's spot.
4) Jim Edmonds - Similar value to Duke Snider.
5) Phil Rizzuto - WWII credit
6) Gavy Cravath - minor league credit
7) Urban Shocker - gets WWI credit
8) Tommy John - I was overdebiting his hitting in previous seasons.
9) Bus Clarkson - NGL and Mexican league credit
10) Bucky Walters - another one who moves up due to pitcher hitting revamp
11) Bob Johnson - on every ballot since I started voting in 1968
12) Bert Campaneris - Not Buddy Bell, Dan R's WAR is giving more credit to SS and less to 3B.
13) Luis Tiant - strong candidate from the 1970s
14) Ben Taylor - how do we induct Palmeiro and Beckley but not Ben Taylor? Taylor has the advantage of being the best 1B in the league and they don't. Great fielder during an era where it mattered quite a bit.
15) Dave Bancroft - glove first SS with just enough bat

16-20) Brian Giles, Wally Schang, Norm Cash, Kevin Appier, Hilton Smith
21-25) Don Newcombe, JORGE POSADA, Johnny Pesky, JEFF KENT, Wilbur Cooper
26-30) SAMMY SOSA, Babe Adams, Burleigh Grimes, Dave Concepcion, Dick Redding

Schang versus Posada is an interesting comparison. Posada needs that full season worth of playoff playing time to get this high on the ballot. Even though Schang played some outfield he still stays ahead.

34) Kenny Lofton - I'm not as impressed with CF as the HoM voters are in general. About as good as Andre Dawson and Jim Wynn but they're not PHoM either. Behind Larry Doby and Earl Averill and they're the bottom of my PHoM CF.
38) Vladimir Guerrero - Mediocre fielder. Less WAR, WAA, Batting WAA, Fielding WAA than Bob Johnson. Not as good as Sosa or Giles among contemporary corner outfielders.
60) Bobby Bonds - compares to Kiki Cuyler and Chuck Klein
63) Buddy Bell - BBREF is wrong, those WAR should be apportioned to SS, not 3B. About even with Ron Cey and Robin Ventura. I like Leach, Williamson and Traynor better among 3B.
70) Vic Willis - 4000 innings but not that far above average
   6. DL from MN Posted: December 06, 2016 at 10:17 AM (#5363165)
Ardo, you are missing required disclosure Tommy Bridges
   7. karlmagnus Posted: December 06, 2016 at 10:26 AM (#5363173)
Manny an easy first, and a supremely attractive personality. Ivan Rodriguez sort of the Palmeiro of catchers, just below Joss but long career puts him ahead of above Cicotte and Kent. Guerrero nowhere near as good as Manny, and shorter career than I-Rod. So put him 4th, above Cicotte, though he might be 3rd or 5th. Cameron nowhere near good enough hitter. Posada ranks just below Lombardi and Nomar
Vazquez and Wakefield don’t make it, very regretfully in the latter case – only 43 and 48 pitcher points respectively ((ERA+-90)*IP/1000)

1. Manny Ramirez. An easy first. 2574 hits@154, TB+BB/PA .630 TB+BB/Outs 1.019. I’m not sure he was on roids, he didn’t look like it (unlike Barry Bonds or Ortiz) In any case, I don’t penalize for that; technically he should have some value back for the penalties exacted by MLB, which others such as Bonds did not suffer. Marginally better hitter than Frank Thomas, but he played outfield all his career because Ortiz blocked DH. High-fived spectator in middle of double play, 2008.

2. Addie Joss. I’m now even more convinced I missed him earlier, and that adjusting innings down for dead ball pitchers is illegitimate. 2327 IP at an ERA+ of 142. 160-97 by age 30. If you assume the rest of his career would have been 1800 IP, 120-90 with an ERA+ of 110 (somewhat conservative, assuming you boost his last sick season, though pitchers didn’t last as long as they did later) then 50% credit would put him at 3227IP, 220-142, with ERA+ of 130. 25% credit puts him at 2777 IP, 190-120, with ERA+ of 136. Substantially better than Koufax. OPS+20. Electorate needs to take him more seriously. 121PP.

3. Ivan Rodriguez. 2908 hits, normalized to 130 game seasons at only 106 OPS, but he was a catcher. TB+BB/PA .483, TB+BB/Outs .684, both pretty low in the steroid era. However he lasted a very long time for a catcher – 30% more hits than Piazza, for example. So he goes here. Ordonez just off the bottom of consideration set.

4. Vladimir Guerrero 2590 hits @140 ranks him pretty high. TB+BB/PA .579, TB+BB/Outs .874. Pretty similar career to Sheffield, a notch or two below Manny.

5. Eddie Cicotte. Only 208-149 and an ERA+ of 123, but 3223 IP, more than Waddell and should get about 25% of the bonus for the 300-win career he should have had (he was, after all, a knuckleballer, who tend to peak late.) Much better than the 20s glut – only loses to Welch on longevity – Newhouser a close comp, but Cicotte had a longer career. Successfully cursed Red Sox AND White Sox for over 8 decades! 106PP

6. Jeff Kent 2461 hits @123, but he was a 2B. Hence just ahead of Ernie Lombardi. TB+BB/PA .529 TB+BB/Outs .784.

7. Ernie Lombardi. Up a bit more; we’re forgetting him. Berra closely comparable. 2137 hits, normalized to a 130 game season, and an OPS+ of 125 makes him a little better than Schang, but some of it was during the war years and he fielded badly. TB+BB/PA .492, TB+BB/Outs .719., the ratio between the two very low because of strikeouts, I assume. Plus a great nickname!

8. Nomar Garciaparra Only 1747 hits, but at 124OPS+ and he was a shortstop mostly. TB+BB/PA .541, TB+BB/Outs .814. Statistically just ahead of Stephens, and will hopefully slip into the HOM in a quiet year.

9. Jorge Posada 1774 hits, normalized to a 130-game season, with OPS+ of 121. TB+BB/PA .535 TB+BB/Outs .817. Short career, even after normalization, so he’s just below Nomar and ahead of Stephens (Catcher and SS both worth about 25 points of OPS+ in my system.)

10. Vern Stephens. Short career – only 1859 hits, but comparing him to Reese he was much better, and not far short of Doerr. TB+BB/PA .508, TB+BB/Outs .756. OPS+ 119 Best season 1944, however.

11. Fred McGriff 2497 hits @134. TB+BB/PA .566 TB+BB/Outs .873 Slightly better than I had expected, and fully ballot-worthy, halfway up as we’ve cleared out the stronger backloggers.

12. Wally Schang. When you normalize his career to 130 game seasons for the first 18 years, as I do for catchers, he gets to 1941 hits, more than Groh at an OPS+ of 117, very similar. Furthermore, TB+BB/PA=.455, TB+BB/Outs=.728, also significantly better than Groh, over very close to the same period. And he was a catcher, more difficult than 3B.

13. Mickey Welch. UER were 43.37% of total runs allowed for Mickey, compared to about 40% with all his HOM contemporaries except Galvin (who started earlier, anyway.) Hence his ERA+, his weakness anyway, overstates his value; in spite of 307-210 he was primarily an innings-eater. 4802IP. Will now be on and off ballot. 115PP, which elevates him a bit

14. Tommy Bridges “Top-10” rule caused me to look at him again. 194-138, 2826IP, but at a very high 126 OPS+. 102PP, above John, Leever and Mays, so slots in here.

15. Tommy John 288-231, 4710IP@111. Infinitesimally below Sutton, better than Kaat. 99PP
   8. karlmagnus Posted: December 06, 2016 at 10:27 AM (#5363175)
2017 ballot (cont)


16. Sam Leever. Pity he wasn’t able to start at the normal time; 2 more years would have made him a NB. Only 2660 innings at an ERA+ of 123, but was blocked till 27 by the one-league 1890s and having a steady job as a schoolteacher. Believe he needs to be looked at seriously by others, and included in pitcher analysis. Mild plus for high level of moral probity. Only 88PP, which drops him a bit

17. Carl Mays Had slipped down too far. 3021 innings at 119, 207-126 and 83 OPS+ Others should look at him more closely. 88PP

18. Elmer Smith Deduct 10% from Elmer's Western League 1890 and 1891 batting and slugging percentages we get 301/461 and 284/431 respectively. Comparing against the PL of 1890 gives an OPS+ of about 130, against the NL of 1891 gives an OPS+ of about 139. That gives him 14 years of full-time play; adjust those to 130 game seasons (which I did for 19th century players) gives him about 2140 hits at an OPS+ of 128-129 plus a pitching record of about 1400IP at an ERA+ of 113 and a W/L of about 96-72. Elmer baby, you're on my ballot, albeit towards the bottom of it. Only 97 years late.

19. Sammy Sosa 2408 hits @128OPS+. Not as good a hitter as Piazza, and without the catcher bonus. Doesn't have Elmer Smith's pitching, but a longer career than Frank Howard (though not as good) so goes here, though this may be a few places too high. TB+BB/PA .569, TB+BB/Outs .830.

20. Carlos Delgado 2038 hits@138 OPS+ TB+BB/PA.587 TB+BB/Outs.925. With a longer career he's Sheffield or McGriff.

21. Jim Edmonds TB+BB/PA .598, TB+BB/Outs .895. 1949 hits@132 OPS+, and he was a center fielder. Almost exactly as good a player as Griffey, but for 2/3 of the time (actually Griffey much better in the first half of his career.)

22. Frank Howard Very slightly better than Kiner – significantly longer career. Underrated by history, but down a little when I look at Belle. OPS+ 142 for 1774 hits. TB+BB/PA .546, TB+BB/Outs .805 in a pitchers’ park and era.

23. Hugh Duffy. We don’t have enough Beaneaters! However he’s not quite as good as Elmer Smith.

24. Rusty Staub. 2716 hits at OPS+124. TB+BB/PA .484, TB+BB/Outs .724. Not quite as good as Beckley, for not quite as long.

25. George van Haltren. Had slipped too far at #44; we need more 90s stars, but he was significantly below Elmer Smith, either as hitter or pitcher.

26. Fred Lynn. Underrated, considerably better than Rice or Hernandez. 1960 hits at 130, but bonus for playing CF. TB+BB/PA .531, TB+BB/Outs .791. Lovely player to watch, and absolutely top-drawer at his best.

27. Bernie Williams 2336 hits @125. Needs either a bit more quality or a bit more length. Just a smidgen less than Fred Lynn, who was also a CF (and who I’d MUCH rather see in!) TB+BB/PA .533 TB+BB/Outs .815, in a harder hitting era than Lynn.

28. Albert Belle 1726 hits @143. Short career, not quite Frank Howard but Frank was a little high. TB+BB/PA .597 TB+BB/Outs .896

29. Luis Tiant 229-172. 3486 IP at 114. ERA+ a little low, but W/L good. He’s not top tier, but just a little better than Pierce. Big psychic plus for Red Sox affiliation. Looking at Reuschel, a little overplaced so have slipped him down. 84PP

30. Vic Willis Had slipped too far, but not better than those above him.

31. Gavvy Cravath 1134 hits@150. Add 50% to career and deduct 5 points for more years in early career makes him 1699 hits @145, still a very short career, but comparable to Hack. TB+BB/PA .527, TB+BB/Outs .835.

32. Hack Wilson. TB+BB/PA = .588, TB+BB/Outs = .954, OPS+ 144. (he does appear to have known about BB, unlike some others.) Very short career, but quality too good to ignore.

33. Chuck Klein. Shortish career but very good one. Similar player to Beckwith, beats Hack on career length, but Hack was better. TB+BB/PA .575, TB+BB/Outs .909, but only 2076 hits. OPS+137.

34. Indian Bob Johnson. Very similar career to Klein but infinitesimally less good. TB+BB/PA .569, TB+BB/Outs .890., only 2051 hits. OPS+138

35. Brian Downing. 2099 hits at 122 plus he caught about 1/3 of his games. TB+BB/PA.487 TB+BB/Outs.741

36. Julio Franco. Better hitter than I had remembered and long career, mostly SS/2B. 2586 hits @111 OPS+ TB+BB/PA .466, TB+BB/Outs .686. Just a smidgen better than Perez, I think.

37. Tony Perez. Close to Staub but below him. 2732 hits at 122. TB+BB/PA .502, TB+BB/Outs .731.
38. Bill Madlock.
39. Toby Harrah
40. Ben Taylor. Not all that far below Beckley and better than Van Haltren.
41. Jim Kaat 77PP
42. Orlando Cepeda
43. Norm Cash
44. Jim Rice
45. (N/A-12-12-14-N/A) Tony Lazzeri
46. Cesar Cedeno
47. Sam Rice
48. John Olerud With 2239 hits@128 playing 1B he’s somewhere about here.
49. Lou Brock
50. Mickey Vernon
51. Thurmon Munson
52. Sal Maglie.
53. (N/A) Burleigh Grimes.
54. (N/A) Heinie Manush
55. Mike Tiernan
56. Bob Elliott
57. Levi Meyerle.
58. Chuck Finley Obscure and slightly mediocre 200-173, but 3197 IP @115. Just below Reuschel and Tiant. Down a bit – I think 120ERA+ has got easier since ’90. 80PP
59. Jack Clark. As good as Reggie Smith but not for as long. 1826 hits@137OPS+, TB+BB .529, TB+BB/Outs .845
60. Harry Wright.
61. Harold Baines 2866 hits @120. TB+BB/PA .511 TB+BB/Outs .757. Lower than Staub and Perez.
62. Dennis Martinez 3999IP@106, 245-193. A lesser Kaat.
63. Jimmy Key
64. Dave Parker.
65. Jimmy Ryan
66. Gene Tenace
67. Kiki Cuyler
68. Deacon McGuire
69. Jerry Koosman.
70. Boog Powell
71. Ken Singleton.
72. Bucky Walters 198-160, 3104IP at 115 certainly doesn’t make the ballot, but should be on the consideration set, so here he is. Less than Tiant or Reuschel. 78PP
73. Sal Bando. 1790 hits at 119 Very short career, so even with 3B bonus he doesn't make it.
74. Jim Fregosi.
75. Jack Quinn
76. Juan Gonzalez
77. Tony Mullane
78. Ron Cey
79. Jose Canseco.
80. Pie Traynor
81. Jim McCormick
82. Dick Redding. My punt is 3200 innings at 114 ERA+ for a record of 207-159, i.e. same quality as Chris but a little shorter. About here looks right – a little below Grimes (longer career) and Maglie (better quality.)
83. Joe Judge
84. Spotswood Poles.
85. Buddy Bell. Nowhere near a good enough hitter
86. Larry Doyle
87. Kirby Puckett
88. Tony Fernandez. Turn him into an outfielder and he’s Kirby, so here he is. 2276 hits @101, TB+BB/PA .438 TB+BB/Outs .634
89. Ellis Burks 2107 hits @126; TB+BB/PA .548 TB+BB/Outs .820. Just within consideration set, rather than just outside it. Not that it matters.
90. Curt Simmons
91. Waite Hoyt.
92. Harry Hooper.
93. Vada Pinson
94. Gil Hodges
95. Jules Thomas.
96. Rico Carty.
97. Wilbur Cooper
98. Bruce Petway.
99. Jack Clements
100. Frank Tanana
101. Don Mattingley.
102. Orel Hershiser 204-150, 3130 IP@112. Not quite enough 69PP
103. Bill Monroe
104. Herb Pennock
105. Chief Bender
106. Ed Konetchy
107. Al Oliver
108. Darryl Strawberry.
109. Jesse Tannehill
110. Bobby Veach
111. Chet Lemon.
112. Lave Cross
113. Tommy Leach. Inferior to Childs, even if he’d played 3B his whole career, which he didn’t. Overall, Cross was better, too (2645@100 translates to 2645@ almost 120 with position bonus.) 2143 hits @109, which translates to at most 119 when you add say 50% of a 1900 3B bonus of 20. Not close.
114. Tom York

OFF: Phil Rizzuto. Not close—hugely overrated. OPS+ of 93, and not a particularly long career, even with war credit.

Lee Smith 71-92 +478 saves. 1289IP @132. Only 54PP so drops off consideration set.

Lofton just off the bottom of consideration set (even with a modest CF bonus, not quite there.)

Bobby Bonds very short career, at a level that keeps him just off my consideration set, though he could be ranked as high as #80 or so, but nowhere near top 15.

   9. The Honorable Ardo Posted: December 06, 2016 at 06:28 PM (#5363850)
Ardo, you are missing required disclosure Tommy Bridges

Nice catch, DL. I have Bridges maybe 40th or so. He wouldn't be a gigantic mistake, but I have three issues with him:

1) The Tigers had above-average defense in front of him; his FIP is quite a bit worse than his ERA.
2) His best bulk seasons and best rate seasons don't match up. His highest single-season finish in American League pitching WAR was 4th.
3) He played before integration (I penalize 1920's and 30's players more for this than their earlier counterparts, because by then the Negro Leagues were well-developed with a high quality of play).
   10. rwargo Posted: December 07, 2016 at 02:19 PM (#5364363)
Using an average of bbrefWAR (bWAR) and bgaugeWAR (gWAR) career and 7-year prime (JAWS formula - average of career and 7-year prime) to rank players. This formula seems to highlight missing players best. Among eligible players we have elected all non-catchers with a JAWS average over 50 except 10 players: 4 20th century SP, 2 infielders, and 4 outfielders. We have elected all but 2 catchers with a JAWS average over 40. Finally, we have elected all 19th century pitchers with a JAWS average over 65 except one. All of these players are on the ballot below.

The numbers in parentheses are averages of bWAR and gWAR (Career WAR, Prime (Top 7 nonconsecutive) WAR. JAWS).

1. C: Ivan Rodriguez (70.1, 37.7, 53.9) - #3 All-Time C. Pretty easy selection for the top spot on the ballot. Only Johnny Bench and Gary Carter have a higher JAWS number among all catchers. Rodriguez's prime is even #4 among all catchers, behind only Bench, Carter, and Mike Piazza. Career Value #2 only behind Bench.

2. LF: Manny Ramirez (69.3, 38.3, 53.8) - #12 All-Time LF. We have elected all LF over 50 except Manny. JAWS similar to Goose Goslin. Prime comparable to Joe Medwick and Minnie Minoso. Career value similar to Tim Raines.

3. 1B: Ben Taylor - Based on the Seamheads WAR data, I really think we missed him. The data is not perfect, but is fairly substantial. At all positions except 1B, we have elected the Negro League players with the most Seamheads annual All-Star selections to the Hall of Merit. More telling, there are 14 Negro League players who were selected as Seamheads All-Stars 7 or more times, and all but Ben Taylor were elected to the Hall of Merit within 1-2 years of eligiblity.

4. SP: Vic Willis (63.8, 51.7, 57.8) - #42 All-Time SP. We have elected everyone above him on the JAWS list except four purely 19th century pitchers (Bond, Buffinton, McCormick, and Mullane). Overall value about the same as Bob Feller, contemporaries Joe McGinnity and Rube Waddell, Juan Marichal, and Hal Newhouser. Nearly identical prime to contemporary Rube Waddell, and nearly the same prime as Warren Spahn and Bob Feller. Career value similar to Bob Feller, Juan Marichal, and Hal Newhouser and a bit better than Waddell (again).

5. SP: Luis Tiant (65.9, 44.5, 55.2) - #53 All-Time SP. After Willis, Tiant is the best remaining pitcher who did not play in the 19th century, actually by a significant amount (2.2 JAWS). JAWS similar to Coveleski, Smoltz, Griffith, Drysdale, and Bunning. Prime is on par with Drysdale, Glavine, Shocker, Stieb, and Kevin Brown. Career value is very close to Sutton and Lyons and a little better than Drysdale.

6. CF: Jim Edmonds (63.7, 43.2, 53.4) - #11 All-Time CF. We have elected all CF over 50 JAWS except Edmonds. Benefits from inconsistent results between the two different WAR metrics for other outfielders below him on the ballot. JAWS a bit higher than Richie Ashburn. Has a similar prime to Jim Wynn. Career value comparable to Richie Ashburn and Duke Snider.

7. SP: Eddie Cicotte (59.8, 46.1, 53.0) - #60 All-Time SP. I was surprised to see this result, but Cicotte is consistent over both WAR metrics. JAWS value in the middle of Dazzy Vance, Ted Lyons, (Cicotte), David Cone, and Rick Reuschel. Prime within 1WAR of Mussina, Johan Santana, Sandy Koufax, Kevin Brown, and Dave Stieb. Career value similar to Wes Ferrell, Bret Saberhagen, Joe McGinnity, Jim Bunning, and Dazzy Vance.

8. 3B: Buddy Bell (65.4, 39.9, 52.6) - #16 All-Time 3B. We have elected all 3B with a JAWS score over 50 except Buddy Bell. Better JAWS than Edgar Martinez and Jimmy Collins, Bell is just below Darrell Evans and Ken Boyer but within 1 JAWS of all. His prime is his weak point, only better than Darrell Evans, John McGraw, Paul Molitor, and Heinie Groh, but similar to Edgar Martinez and Jimmy Collins. Career value within 1 WAR of Darrell Evans (again) and Home Run Baker.

9. SP: Dick Redding - Based on the Seamheads data, Redding was a five-time All-Star. Among pitchers, only Joe Williams, Bullet Rogan and Ray Brown have more. Jose Mendez and Rube Foster also had five selections, and of our other Hall of Merit Negro League Pitchers, Satchel Paige has 4 selections and Bill Foster 2. Atain, 27% of our HOM selections are pitchers. If we elected another Negro League pitcher, we would have 8.5/31 Negro Leaguers, or a 27% ratio. If we elect Ben Taylor as well, we would have 8.5/32, about a 26.5% ratio.

10. SS: Joe Tinker (64.1, 40.2, 52.2) - #17 All-Time SS. We have elected all SS with a JAWS average above 50 except Tinker. We have elected all infielders with >50 JAWS except Bell and Tinker. Given the Cubs success this year, I don't mind the first member of the famous poem trilogy getting a ballot spot. Tinker's JAWS and Prime are nearly identical to Pee Wee Reese. Prime is identical to Reese and is better only than Glasscock, Jennings, Ozzie, and Sewell. Career is similar to Reese (again) and Boudreau.

11. SP: Urban Shocker (58.9, 44.8, 51.9) - #67 All-Time SP. We have elected all 20th century SP over 50 except Willis, Tiant, Cicotte, and Shocker. Shocker might be undervalued because he pitched during the dead/lively ball transition. Besides All-Time greats Johnson and Alexander, we have elected only Stan Coveleski, Red Faber and Eppa Rixey from that divide. JAWS very close to Cone, Reuschel, Faber, Saberhagen, and just ahead of Stieb. Prime on par with Koufax, Kevin Brown, Stieb, Tiant, Drysdale, and Glavine. Career is Shocker's lowest rating, but still close to Bunning, Vance, Ford, and Stieb.

12. C: Thurman Munson (46.6, 37.1, 41.8) - #11 All-Time C. We have elected all catchers with a >40 JAWS score except Munson and Rodriguez. JAWS on par with Hartnett and Cochrane. I was really surprised to see that Munson's seven-year prime (tied for 5th among catchers) has the same value as Joe Torre and Carlton Fisk, just ahead of Yogi Berra, and better than the primes of Cochrane, Dickey, and Hartnett. Career would be lower than any elected post-1920 catcher except Bill Freehan and Roy Campanella, but Munson has 2+WAR higher career than Freehan and Campanella has plenty of additional credit.

13. RF: Bobby Bonds (60.7, 42.6, 51.7) - #14 All-Time RF. We have elected all RF with >50 JAWS except Bonds and Sosa. JAWS within 1 of Flick, Sosa, and Reggie Smith, Bonds ahead of all of them. Prime nearly identical to Sosa and similar to Heilmann. Career value identical to Joe Jackson, and close to Winfield and Harry Hooper. 7 All-Star selections.

14. RF: Sammy Sosa (59.3, 42.7, 51.0) - #16 All-Time RF. Among all OF, we have elected all of them over 50 JAWS except Ramirez, Edmonds, Bonds, and Sosa. Flick is between Bonds and Sosa. JAWS similar to Bonds, Flick, Reggie Smith, and Gary Sheffield, Sosa is better than Smith and Sheffield. Prime similar to Bonds and Heilmann. Career not within 1 WAR of anyone, closest is within 2 of Winfield, Joe Jackson, Bonds, Flick, and Sam Rice.

15. SP: Tommy Bond (65.4, 68.0, 66.7) - #27 All-Time SP. There are 5 19th Century pitchers that show up relatively high in the pitching WAR rankings: Bond, Charlie Buffinton, Jim McCormick, Tony Mullane, and Mickey Welch. All but Bond are 1880s pitchers. If I just used bWAR, McCormick would be easily on the ballot. Using an average, McCormick (62.2) drops to 3rd below Bond and Buffinton (64.9). Bond's JAWS is similar to Amos Rusie. His Prime is similar to Keefe. His short career has a closer value to McCormick and Buffinton, but is above Caruthers. Given the position's importance to early baseball, I think we still need one more 19th century pitcher from the 1870s. Bond fits that bill perfectly. We have only elected Spalding from the 1st half of the decade, and Monte Ward and part of Pud Galvin from the 2nd half.


required comment CF: Kenny Lofton (61.0, 37.4, 49.2) - #16 All-Time CF. Using just bWAR, I had Lofton on my ballot. When I averaged bWAR with gWAR, Lofton drops off. Very similar to Max Carey, so Lofton's selection would not be horrible. If elected, Lofton would only rank above Carey, Larry Doby, Earl Averill, and Edd Roush among 20th century CF. His JAWS is within 1 of Willie Davis, Max Carey, and Tommy Leach. Prime is his downfall, in a big lower group consisting of Dale Murphy, Tommy Leach, Cy Seymour, (Lofton) Willie Davis, Larry Doby, Wally Berger, and Carey. Career value closest to Andre Dawson and Max Carey (again).

required comment 2B: Jeff Kent (56.7, 36.5, 46.6) - #18 All-Time 2B. We have elected all post 1901 2B with JAWS >45 except Kent. JAWS similar to Billy Herman and Bobby Doerr. Prime like that of Doerr, Herman, Whitaker, and Randolph. Career closest to Herman and Utley. Kent had better be elected soon, as he is probably already overshadowed by a plethora of solid 2B candidates (Cano, Utley, Kinsler, Pedroia) who will just keep increasing their career values.

required comment SP: Tommy Bridges (53.4, 36.1, 44.7) - #103 All-Time SP. Would be our lowest JAWS SP other than Eppa Rixey and Bob Lemon. Prime is the same as Ford, but better only than Sutton and Rixey. Career close to Pierce, but better only than Rixey, Koufax, and Lemon. Contemporary Bucky Walters has the exact same JAWS average, a better prime average but lower career average.

newcomer RF: Vladimir Guerrero (57.0, 38.8, 47.9) - #22 All-Time RF. I really thought Vlad would make the ballot, but he has a relatively low career value and not an outstanding prime. JAWS within 1 of Dwight Evans, Winfield, and Harry Hooper and would only be better than Slaughter among 20th century RF. Prime is comparable to Tony Oliva, Crawford, Brian Giles, Reggie Smith, Gwynn, and Sheffield. Career comparable to Flick and Sam Rice. He is clearly below both Bonds and Sosa, but is just ahead of upcoming Abreu and Ichiro.

newcomer C: Jorge Posada (44.0, 32.7, 38.3) - #17 All-Time C. Very close JAWS to Freehan. Prime again close to Freehan, better than only Campanella and Hartnett among post-1920 guys. Career is nearly identical to Freehan (again) as well as Lance Parrish.
   11. Willie Mays Hayes Posted: December 07, 2016 at 09:31 PM (#5364705)
I use BBRef WAR as my metric of choice. I lean peak, particularly the five consecutive year variety, though players who exhibit a consistent level of greatness, without too many "hanging on" seasons get their just due in my system as well.

1. Ivan Rodriguez - Even without a catcher bonus, still comfortably on top. Tremendous defensive catcher, really fun to watch.
2. Manny Ramirez - I'm surprised, but I probably shouldn't be. Boston sportswriters want to talk about feared hitters - Manny was a feared hitter.
3. Buddy Bell - Monster peak. I know there are some questions about the replacement level for 3B during his time, but even discounting a bit, he is comfortably here.
4. Kenny Lofton - Not as peaky as the next guy on the list, and its really splitting hairs between he and Edmonds, but this is the order my system spits out.
5. Jim Edmonds - Best non-Griffey peak in my consideration set.
6. Sal Bando - Great peak. Probably hung around too long, but he certainly belongs in. We really need a couple more third basemen.
7. Sammy Sosa - Slow start to his career hurts his case, as did the tail end. There really isn't too much more to Sosa other than the peak.
8. Vladimir Guerrero - Surprised by the relatively low placement here. Not much to the career outside the prime.
9. Vic Willis - His down year in 1900 hurts him in my system. If 1900 were say a 3.5 WAR year, he'd move up to #5.
10. Bobby Bonds - Has a bonafide case for selection. Not nearly as good as his son, obviously. Great player in the beginning of his career, before the booze and injuries took their toll.
11. Kevin Appier - Tremendous in Kansas City. Seemed to beat the Yankees anytime I saw him pitch in the Bronx growing up. Hurt a bit by the malaise at the tail end.
12. Luis Tiant - Very close to Appier in my system. Were he a bit more consistent year-to-year, he would fare better.
13. John Olerud - Just a consistent hitter who provided excellent defense at first base. Didn't have tremendous home-run power, but something of a Keith Hernandez-lite. Something of a late peak guy, which didn't jive with my memory.
14. Thurman Munson - We also need more catchers. Catchers require an adjustment in my system, and I might even be a bit conservative with it.
15. Jeff Kent - Excellent hitter, regardless of position. His peak preceded the defensive decline, which helps his cause.

Ben Taylor - The seamheads data does him no favors. On reputation, right with Olerud. I'm choosing to split the difference, as he is still in my top 25.
Tommy Bridges - Not enough peak for my system's tastes. In my top 30.
Phil Rizzuto - Deserving of war and malaria credit, but you need to be awfully aggressive with applying it to consider him worthy.
Gavy Cravath - Certainly deserving of credit, but even moreso than Rizzuto, you need to be really generous to make him a HOM'er.
Bucky Walters - Even with due hitting credit, he's short of Bridges.
Jorge Posada - Catcher adjustment doesn't account for the hit from framing data. In the top 40, but needs some new positive defensive findings to move up.

   12. rwargo Posted: December 08, 2016 at 12:26 PM (#5364976)
New Seamheads data still supports Taylor as the top unelected Negro League player, and Dick Redding looks even better. Taylor still has 8 All-Star selections, while Redding has 7. We have elected all players with 7 or more selections except Taylor, Redding, and Bingo DeMoss.

Redding is now tied for the most pitcher selections (7) with Bullet Rogan, Joe Williams, and Satchel Paige. He has the 2nd most All-Time pitching WAR.

Here is a summary of Seamheads data for Redding compared to other electees, ranked by innings pitched, and showing pitching WAR/162:

2139.0 - Redding - 3.7
1825.0 - Mendez - 4.2
1743.1 - Williams - 3.7
1279.1 - Rogan - 3.7
1101.1 - Brown - 4.3
953.2 - R. Foster - 2.6
862.2 - W. Foster - 4.6
848.1 - Paige - 6.9
370.0 - Dihigo - 2.4

Redding has the same pitching WAR/162 as Joe Williams and Bullet Rogan, with many more innings logged in the database.
   13. Howie Menckel Posted: December 08, 2016 at 01:55 PM (#5365061)
2017 ballot - our (and my) 121st since we began this version of the journey in 2003 (real time) with an "1898" ballot. Was the colonial Delaware of BBTF voters - in terms of "First State" vs "First Voter."

props to any other remaining "voting Ripkens" as well (I think there are a couple left).

I had 2016 electees Griffey-Mussina-Smoltz-Sheffield 1-2-3-5 on my ballot.

The annual fine print:

Overall, I think there is a bit too much slavish devotion in some quarters re WAR, WAA and an ever-increasing number of acronyms, which are intriguing tools but which I suspect still are not yet sufficiently mature (though they continue to improve). Once a player is in, we can't pull him out.

So my fondness (but not blind allegiance by any means, especially where durability is an issue) for ERA+ and OPS+ helps, I think, as a reality check even as fielding issues are quite significant for pitchers/team defenses and especially for hitters of course. Increasingly, I've had to adjust for PAs/IP per season - not really an issue in earlier years when nearly all the big stars played almost every day or pitched a ton of innings.

I tend to be mostly prime-oriented with hitters, and prime and career with pitchers. But a huge peak sometimes catches my eye, and a remarkably long, effective hitting career also works for me. Unlike a lot of voters, I've long ago run out of longtime "pet projects" to tout aggressively for the Hall of Merit.

I voted for Joe Jackson on his first try, and Pete Rose, and Mark McGwire - and that pattern will continue re new steroid/PED accusees:

1. IVAN RODRIGUEZ - I thought I'd have Manny first here, but this is the total package at C. Incredible, best-of-all-time defense and offense is underrated for two reasons: durability (qualified for an unheard-of 11 batting titles at C, reached 400 PA 18 times in 19 years, averaged a ridiculous 645 PA in 1996-99 with 114 OPS+) and he arguably played too long (almost 2000 PA 2007-11 in all below 90 OPS+ seasons). I say arguably because his defense and pitcher management forgives a lot of outs. Even better than I remembered.

2. MANNY RAMIREZ - Not quite as good as I remembered; Dick Allen smokes him on peak/long prime for instance, with Manny catching him on the back end. "Only" two OPS+ over 175; the six seasons of 144 to 153 OPS+ are really good seasons but defects on defense make those - well, just good seasons. But when your 7th-best full season is 159, well, here's your HOM card.

3. JIM EDMONDS - Funny that someone mentioned Duke Snider. best OPS+ comparisons:
DuSnider 171 69 65 55 43 40 39 35 23 18
Edmonds 171 60 58 49 47 37 37 29 23 23
And yes, same exact best OPS+ as Griffey. nice. Tough to compare defense a half-century apart, but I like Edmonds to top Duke overall - and that, my furry friends, is a HOMer. So is matching Vlad and McGriff hitting in their respective best-5 seasons - while, oh yeah, giving you that defense in CF. 132 career OPS+ with a 125 half-season at age 40. Skipped that ugly decline phase stuff, and prime just long enough.

4. VLADIMIR GUERRERO - Eerily similar offensive player to Fred McGriff, who people are ignoring. Best to worst, full seasons only:
Vladimir G: 162 160 157 154 150 147 146 139 138 130 119
Crime Dog: 165 165 157 157 153 147 144 144 125 120 119 111 110
Vlad seen as net positive defensive prime, though it is overrated by some.

5. JEFF KENT - Quiet start in his first six seasons - OPS+s between 101 and 111 each time, so he reaches age 30 with nary an All-Star Game selection. And then - 142-125-162 (MVP)-131-147-119-123-133-119-123 - with pretty good durability to boot in a "who saw that coming" decade of INF mashing. Yes, please.

6. FRED MCGRIFF – Liked him by a nose four years ago over Palmeiro, who has a weaker peak but a longer prime. McGriff 134 OPS+ in 10174 PA to Palmeiro’s 132 in 12046 PA to Sheffield's 140 in 10947 PA - and now Vlad's 140 in 9055. I really like the 157-166-153-147-166-143-157 peak from 1998-94, all in 600+ PA or equivalent. Would move up a spot or two if someone could convince me he was a better defender.

7. BOB JOHNSON - I like this sort of consistency over a long span, though I'd hardly say he's a 'must-elect,' ever. Sort of the Joe Gordon of OFs in career shape, or a slightly longer and flatter version of Kiner. Or McGriff without the tail, offensively. I am very concerned by 1944 being his highest OPS+; seems like he took advantage of the weak competition. But has more than a decade's worth of excellent hitting, for a prime that I like better than, say, most holdovers have.

8. BOB ELLIOTT - Good to see him at least mentioned in discussions starting about 10 'years' back, at least. Six seasons of at least 134 OPS+, ALL of them as a 3B (Ventura never had any that high, Bell had only one higher). Wish he'd played all 3B and not much OF, but c'est le vie - Sewell seemed to get treated as a full SS by some back in the day. Beats out HOMer Boyer and compares remarkably well with HOMer Santo as a hitter. Better than HOMer Hack as well, and better than HOMer DaEvans (see those guys' threads for details).

9. SAMMY SOSA - Here the big prime is 5 yrs, and it's more obvious because there wasn't a ton before or after. This is his case: Very durable with OPS+s then of 160-151-161-203-160. Enough to rank, thanks to the 203.

10. KENNY LOFTON - Up 5 slots this year upon reconsideration.The year of the CF! 145 OPS in star-crossed 1994 made him an incredibly great player, and anytime he put up 120+ it also would be pretty true. But he never did outside of a 121. He's a very good player in all 10 of these 100 to 119 OPS+ seasons due to defense, and it's difficult to say how many pts he can give up there and still be a better player than a slugger. Gets in with a shallower ballot.

11. JORGE POSADA - I know about the defense.I also know about OPS+s of 153-144-139-131-125 and career 121. Either the Yankees would won 115 games a year if Posada and Jeter could field, or we may be overrating the cost of Posada's defensive shortcomings. This guy had eight straight seasons of 540+ PA, which is amazing.

12. TREVOR HOFFMAN - A weird player no matter what your system, as are almost all of the modern closers. Consistency is a real plus, but what was he doing? Mainly allowing the Padres to avoid the part-season hiccups that rivals had when a closer spit the bit - costing those teams a couple of extra games sometimes. Rivera has the insane postseason stats; no such luck here.

13. VIC WILLIS - I concluded he's just ahead of Grimes and Walters many 'years' ago, with slightly more career than Walters and better peak than Grimes. It's close, but I'll stick with Vic for yet another year.

14. BUCKY WALTERS - Now only the 3rd pitcher on my ballot, so that's even more ok. Seemed to get Palmer-like defensive support, without enough super-stats to make that irrelevant. Proved his mettle outside of 'war years.' Lemon-esque, though I wasn't a big fan there.

15. TOMMY BRIDGES - Back on ballot due to reconsideration. Eight ERA+s in the 1930s and 1940s, which is solid even though there's no blockbuster season. Only top 7 in IP three times, which is low for that time.



BEN TAYLOR - His exit is only partly on 'era issues' - he also was going to be my 12th batter, and that's a little too much for me even though I love none of those pitchers. Long career, excellent fielder, consistent player. I'm not 100 pct sold on the hitting MLEs, but very good reputation and for sure a quality player. Will give him another look next year.

LUIS TIANT - Looks like he has the peak at first glance, but notice that the IP just aren't quite there. Plenty good when he did pitch, but with that lack of innings you have to be even more dominant. Maybe he winds up as the era's last P electee, but probably not.

BUDDY BELL - One of a number of 3B guys from this era, and I prefer Sal Bando (heck, I once preferred Ron Cey). Solid all-around player and 1980-84 peak is a very strong offense-defense case. I just don't see enough beyond that, but I appreciate why he gets some love.

BOBBY BONDS - 8090 PA, and best OPS+ is 151. A 130 to 143 six other times, which is nice but the strong is just not long enough. Compare to Posada.


BILLY WAGNER - Claim to fame is utter dominance - but of what? Instead of saving the vast majority of attempts with fewer Ks and the greater likelihood of a runner, he blew you away. But guess what, if you're down 1-2-3 runs against a well-rested good pitcher, you're usually dead either way. So longevity and consistency of Hoffman easily trumps Wagner's fewer key opportunities. Open to reconsideration on him in future years. Also postseason hiccups here.

DAVE CONCEPCION - Peak is as good or better than Nellie Fox's; not quite as consistent, but a slick fielder and a very useful offensive weapon many times. Not fully buying the "other teams were stupid enough to play ciphers at the position, so give Davey bonus pts" argument; that helped the Reds win pennants, but Concepcion can't get full credit for that stupidity. But he needs the modest credit in that regard to outlast Rizzuto on my list, as he does.

PHIL RIZZUTO - Have him in my top 25 still. I'll grant a lot of war credit and stipulate to the great, great fielding. But even 3 war credit years gets him only to 13 main years, and the fielding made him above-average overall but not excellent in most seasons. Yet at closer look, similar case to Concepcion when you cancel out the irrelevant parts.

DON NEWCOMBE – A passionate, detailed Newcombe backer might also get me there someday. I think he had the skills, but he didn’t quite actually produce quite enough. Prove me wrong next year.

BERNIE WILLIAMS - Didn't quite like him enough over this or even last top 15, but a serious low-ballot candidate and might tab him in the future. Feel like he had corner-OF D and CF-star stats, but overrated as a fielder. Lofton seems to -block him.

KEN SINGLETON - Bob Johnson-like, but not quite as good for quite as long. Equally underappreciated in his time.

DALE MURPHY - His modest fan club will be saddened that he fell off my ballot in recent years. A different peak-primieness than polar opposite personality Albert Belle - and a different fade as well.
   14. Howie Menckel Posted: December 12, 2016 at 10:57 AM (#5366818)
deadline is Dec 19
   15. DL from MN Posted: December 12, 2016 at 11:22 AM (#5366868)
OCF posted this in the MMP thread for 1999

Am I still an HoM voter? I guess so. I'm paying gradually less attention over the years, but I can still cobble together a ballot. The #1 principle is stare decisis - I'll start with the order from my last ballot, and not revisit any of those relative rankings. That means that for those who have been on the ballot and may now be on the "must comment" list - yes, I've seen them, and I've considered their cases, and I've commented in the past. I'm not moving them up or down.

Numbers with the pitchers are RA+ equivalent record with a big years bonus in brackets. New starting pitchers? Carpenter had three genuinely big years and a few other good years, but he’s too far short on career value to be worth considering all that seriously.

The toy system I’m playing with (basically WAR with some big year bonuses) winds up putting Manny Ramirez very close to Sosa and Vlad Guerrero very close to Bobby Bonds, with Sheffield in between the two clusters - but Sheffield is elected.. But I may be making too much of Sosa’s 2001 season - that is, I may be overdoing the big year bonus. And the system likes Lofton better than any of the corner outfielders, and I’m a little skeptical of that.

Posada didn’t look all that close.

1. Ivan Rodriguez I see him as a prime candidate - a lot years of 6-7 WAR strung together back to back. That puts him pretty far up on the list of catchers.

2. Manny Ramirez A hitter.

3. Jim Edmonds I'm also not sure of the right order between Edmonds and Sosa - I see them as very close.

4. Sammy Sosa A peak candidate. Was a wild swinger in the early part of his career, and he declined quickly once his peak was over. But that peak is enough to get him here.

5. Kenny Lofton OK, I've got a system for aggregating WAR with peak bonuses, and it likes Lofton better than it likes Edmonds. So what's going on? A significant part of it is that Lofton's peak lands right on the 1994-1995 strike seasons, and the system is projecting full seasons for Lofton for those - in particular a monster 1994 for him. Do I really think he should be ahead of Edmonds? Umm, no. So some hand adjustments have been made.

6. Luis Tiant 224-164 [35] Was #1 on my 2012 ballot.

7. Vic Willis 248-196 [44]

8. Frank Chance Betraying my career voter leanings. Didn't play much, but awfully good when he did play, and the best 1B of his own time. My new system gives him as much value above average as Palmiero.

9. Sal Bando

10. Buddy Bell

11. John Olerud

12. Bobby Bonds

13. Fred McGriff

14. Dale Murphy

15. Bob Elliott Resurfacing a favorite of my old system.

Others close to the ballot.

C: Gene Tenace
1B: Fred McGriff, Norm Cash, Orlando Cepeda (Note: for many previous years, I have not particularly seen the case for Ben Taylor. And the best 1B of the teens is still probably Sisler.)
2B: Jeff Kent, Larry Doyle
3B: Robin Ventura
SS: Phil Rizzuto
Corner OF: Rusty Staub, Jack Clark, Frank Howard, Ken Singleton.
CF: Cesar Cedeno, Hugh Duffy, George Van Haltren, Jimmy Ryan. I've supported the 1890's guys (particularly Van Haltren) for a long time, but I'm not all that sure any more that I'd take any of them over Cedeno and Murphy.
P: Lefty Gomez, Bucky Walters, Kevin Appier, Lon Warnecki, Jerry Koosman, Tommy Bridges, Ed Cicotte, Wilbur Cooper, Tommy John, Urban Shocker.
   16. OCF Posted: December 12, 2016 at 02:29 PM (#5367013)
Ack! Did I post that on the wrong thread? Sorry about that. Anyway, it's here now, and that is my ballot. DL: feel free to hide or delete the misplaced post.
   17. Rob_Wood Posted: December 13, 2016 at 01:04 AM (#5367361)
My 2017 HOM ballot (I am a career voter that can be swayed by a phenomenal peak and post-season performance):

1. Ivan Rodriguez - close number one on my ballot, great all-around catcher (as always and forever, I do not dock anything for PED use, rumors, etc.)
2. Manny Ramirez - could have been number one, great post-season performances give him a significant boost
3. Tommy Bridges - with WWII credit, please take another look at him
4. Jeff Kent - I saw him every day with Giants and his defense was decent
5. Vlad Guerrero - difficult to fairly evaluate since he is a very rare type (I imagine that he will have the "widest" voting profile)

6. Jim Edmonds - very good player for many years, will eventually make HOM
7. Bobby Bonds - never lived up to potential but had a very good career
8. Buddy Bell - moved up significantly due to my recent re-eval of his defense
9. Kenny Lofton - largely depends upon his defense eval (I say he was very good)
10. Bob Johnson - one year credit for being kept in minors too long (connie mack/al simmons)

11. Sammy Sosa - his early defense and base running were pretty good (bad late)
12. Fred McGriff - solid slugger
13. Sal Bando - the closer you look, the better he looks
14. Bus Clarkson - under appreciated negro leaguer
15. Tommy John - here is the career voter in me coming out


16-20) Bernie Williams, Jack Clark, Tony Perez, Bob Elliott, John Olerud

21-25) George Van Haltren, Luis Tiant, Rusty Staub, Ben Taylor, Jorge Posada

26-30) Rabbit Maranville, Chuck Klein, Luis Aparcio, Bert Campaneris, Tommy Leach

Last year's top ten returnees not listed above:
Vic Willis - around 75th

Other newbies seriously considered:
   18. theorioleway Posted: December 13, 2016 at 08:29 PM (#5367940)
For those championing Redding, how does the evolving data from Seamheads change the conclusions Alex King came up with using earlier Seamheads data?
   19. Patrick W Posted: December 14, 2016 at 01:11 PM (#5368219)
Compared to the electorate as a whole, I have to be considered a career voter. However, my vote does include an additional 5-year credit for a weighted average of peak seasons (3-Yr, 5-Yr, etc.). Ranking system is based off Davenport WARP components, with modified adjustments in the conversion from W1 to W3. I also review BB-Ref as a check but don’t use those numbers systematically.

I am up to 1035 players total included in my current ranking assessment, including 557 players under consideration for this ballot (less the 260 HOM members and actives or recently retired). I’m still not fully satisfied with the current weightings, based on some P-Hall players who would be left short in a revisionist P-Hall history, so I do expect more tinkering to come.

I did make adjustments in my reliever rankings this year. I decided to eliminate any closer bonuses for all relievers following the 2004 Eckersley class; I’ve also dropped my cap on closer bonus from 33% to 20%. The bonus seems to be already baked into the WARP numbers for the new generation (at least as compared with WAR-b), and any further bonus uncomfortably elevates the lesser class of closers and would make my ballot in 10 years nearly saturated by them. Hoffman is now a marginal HOM selection, rather than a sure thing (and just off the ballot this year). Rivera will still be #1 on the ballot he is eligible for, but would be a close call for #1 on this ballot against Pudge. Billy Wagner can be applauded for his career without worry of taking a ballot spot. Et cetera.

--- Top 10% of HOM Line ---
1. Ivan Rodriguez (n/a), Tex. – Detr. (A), C (’91-’11) (2017) – A catcher with more translated AB’s than anyone else on the ballot? That by itself might not make the top of the ballot, but it’s a really good first step. Even with my system tamping down on the fielding number extremes, I-Rod’s value manages to exceed Piazza’s, and Bench only exceeds him based on peak value. All-time great.
--- Top 25% of HOM Line ---
2. Jeff Kent (3), S.F. – L.A. (N), 2B (’92-’08) (2016) – Looks to rank comfortably ahead of Sandberg, and close to – but behind – Biggio, Gehringer, and Grich. Really surprised Houston wasn’t the second team listed here, but the DT’s love his 2005 season in Dodgertown.
3. Manny Ramirez (n/a), Bost. – Clev. (A) LF / RF (’94-’10) (2017) – Just a ridiculously talented player. It doesn’t take that much imagination to see a player who could’ve been atop this ballot with a little more discipline. But that’s just Manny being Manny.
4. Jorge Posada (n/a), N.Y. (A), C (’97-’11) (2017) – As with all players of this era, Posada gets a boost because of a more-difficult American League environment. This elevates him above the Ted Simmons class. The nicely sustained peak from 2000-2007 also raises his value in my book, into the lower reaches of the Fisk/Cochrane class. Pretty impressive resume despite the relatively low AB total.
--- Top 50% of HOM Line ---
5. Jim Edmonds (6), St.L. (N) – Calif. (A) CF (’94-’10) – As a fan, I wish my fielding adjustments weren’t helping to elevate the Sheffields and Mannys above one of my favorites. But as an impartial analyst, this current ranking feels right – trust the offense over the defense. A fairly low AB total for someone this high on the ballot, and I would think his FRAA value is a little low compared against other outfielders of the era, based on his highlight reels. All in all, just misses the upper half of the HOM, but solidly into the top 200 players of all time.
--. Curt Schilling, Phila. – Ariz. (N), SP (’90-’07)
6. Sammy Sosa (7), Chic. (N), RF (’90-’07) – These latest adjustments have put McGwire 158th on my list and Sosa 159th; that just seems appropriate to have these two together on the all-time list. Both worthy of election, just a fluke of timing that Sammy has to wait awhile for election.
7. Vladimir Guerrero (n/a), Mont. (N) – L.A. (A), RF / DH (’97-’11) – Early versions of the numbers suggested Vlad might struggle to reach my ballot; I’m happy to see revisions that raise him above much of the backlog. Sosa bests Guerrero on defense according to my rankings, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see other rankings come to other conclusions.
--. Sandy Koufax, L.A. (N) SP (’56-’66)
8. Orel Hershiser (9), L.A. (N) SP (’84-’99) – I swear, these adjustments have overall reduced pitchers in my rankings. A very odd combination I think, of a peak player (I show Orel as having a top 50% HOM peak score) who would be extremely hurt by a switch to a PRAA system over PRAR.
9. Luis Gonzalez (10), Ariz. – Hou. (N), LF (’91-’07) – A career candidate with a tent pole 2001 season that elevates all his peak scores. I don’t recall thinking of the ’91 Astros as a great collection of talent when I saw them in person at Wrigley, but quite a few of ‘em made careers for themselves, no?
--. Charley Jones, Cinc. (AA/NL) LF / CF (1875-1887) – My adjustments to be fair to all eras (a.k.a. adjustments to keep Lenny Dykstra & Jack Clark in the HOVG) have resulted in significantly tampering out earlier league adjustments between AA & NL. Thus Charley looks more like his 0.320 EQA1 and less like his 0.293 EQA2.
10. Bucky Walters (11), Cinc. – Phila. (N) SP (’35-’47) (1961) – Despite my dropping of pitchers in the overall rankings, I still think the HOM has collectively elected too few pitchers. I believe 30% pitching is an appropriate level to honor in the HOM – about 4 pitchers for every 9.5 players – and the HOM is about 6.5 pitchers short of that mark.
11. Ron Cey (12), L.A. (N), 3B (’73-’87) (2010) – I have found it necessary to give a 10 percent boost to third basemen scores, to keep their representation in the pHOM roughly equal to that of 2B & SS. A 10 percent reduction has been given to shortstops and 7 percent reduction to first basemen in my rankings for the same reason. Previously, only catchers had been the beneficiaries of a positional adjustment. These positional adjustments would have me electing a number of infielders to the pHOM equivalent to the group’s HOM choices (though not necessarily the same people); I am currently about 5 IF’s too light in my selections.
12. Frank Tanana (13), Cal. – Detr. (A) SP (’73-’93) (2000) – No longer seen as having a Koufax peak, but it is still one of the top 175 peaks of all time. Plus the ever- present 10 additional years of average / below avg.
--. Cupid Childs, Clev. (N) 2B (1890-1901)
--. John McGraw, Balt. (N) 3B / SS (1891-1902)
13. Luis Tiant (14), Bost. – Clev. (A) SP (’64-’80) (1988) – The league adjustments having been reduced, Tiant looks a lot better in the rankings.
14. Brian Giles (15), Pitts. – S.D. (N) RF / LF (’96-’09) – The peak score and fielding regression adjustments slot Giles in ahead of Reggie Smith and Bob Johnson in the pecking order.
15. Fred Dunlap (--), Clev. (N) – St.L. (U/N) 2B (’80-’90) – As you might suspect, a big winner in the system adjustments I’ve made to the WARP components over the past 4 years – see also comment on Charley Jones. Anything that moves the needle closer to W1 and away from W3 is obviously going to be a big help to the Union Association. Even without that though, the adjustment from FRAR to FRAA might’ve placed him in the PHOM a long time ago had the system been in place at the time. Great player for a short period.

--- I have 41 players ranked among the top 260 of all time who are eligible for this election, and an additional 10 previously elected HOM players awaiting induction for the pHOM. ---

Kenny Lofton – Really has no strong argument to speak in his favor, as far as my system can tell. An above average bat, but not elite. A slightly below average glove. His ’93-’94 peak is so short, he’s not really a peak candidate, and his career is not so long to accumulate value that way. Even if I needed to boost CF above the other OF positions, he’s pretty far behind Bernie Williams, Brett Butler, Kirby Puckett, Chet Lemon, and others. In the 40s just amongst ballot-eligible 1B/OF’s.
Ben Taylor (1938) – Just a little behind Bo.Bonds in my rankings, ranked in the low 40s on this ballot. I have him essentially tied with Tony Perez and slightly behind Orlando Cepeda among first basemen.
Buddy Bell (2009) – Has dropped below my pHOM line, primarily due to a regression of the fielding numbers. Bell ranks roughly in the 60s on this ballot.
Vic Willis – Mixed amongst a group of pitchers that I currently consider as just below the HOM line, although a number of this group are elected to the P-Hall. But with my placing a larger emphasis on peak over prime than before, Willis is barely ranked within the top 30 of eligible pitchers in my estimation. Besides those listed on the ballot above, I would suggest others consider Tommy John, Dutch Leonard, Jack Quinn, and Chuck Finley first.
Bobby Bonds (1987) – An arguable case as one of the best 260 players of all time; as I have it right now he is just barely inside that range, atop the very borderline of in/out in my system. But of course there are HOMers ranked below Bonds from earlier generations, so the in/out line for the current generation is actually higher than just making the top 260. In the P-Hall, and I’m always in favor of seeing those guys elected, but right now he’s in the 40s on my ballot.
Tommy Bridges – A quick search of the database has Bridges as the 18th best pitcher eligible between 1939 and 1959. He seems to match the career value of Bucky Walters (1961), Dutch Leonard (1972), and Eppy Rixey, but falls pretty far back once peak is weighed in. My ranking includes a 17% career bump for lost time due to the war.

Lofton, Taylor, Bell, Willis, Bonds, and Bridges were in last year’s top fourteen, but not in my top 15 this year.
   20. Mike Webber Posted: December 14, 2016 at 06:15 PM (#5368463)
Is Paul Wendt ever around anymore? I met him at a SABR convention or two and noticed his posts in Phil Rizzuto thread.
   21. Howie Menckel Posted: December 14, 2016 at 09:27 PM (#5368560)
Is Paul Wendt ever around anymore? I met him at a SABR convention or two and noticed his posts in Phil Rizzuto thread.

this is ballots only, Mike. I posted in the discussion thread.
   22. Bill Simon Posted: December 17, 2016 at 01:42 AM (#5370003)

This is my first post and ballot. I am a long-time follower of the Hall of Merit due to my disenchantment with the failure of the
Baseball Hall of Fame to elect some of the all-time greats. I favor a Big Hall and believe that the Hall of Fame is too restrictive
In particular, players since the beginning of the expansion era are under-represented in the Hall of Fame.

I believe that on the field merit should trump all else, and believe that a Hall of Fame without Pete Rose, Joe Jackson, Barry Bonds,
and Roger Clemens fails to reflect the greatest players of the game.

2016 is a great year for me, as I am a long-suffering Cubs fan since 1970 who watched them win the World Series on my 52nd birthday.

Since I first got my hands on the Bill James Historical Abstract, I have been fascinated with ranking the best baseball players of all time.
I have tried over the years to come up with my own rating system leveraging other stats. I am currently a huge fan of WAR and
in particular JAWS, since I like how it takes into account both career peak and career totals.

Although I think the JAWS is a great tool, as Jay Jaff himself noted, you cannot use only one measure to determine a players
career merit. Building on this concept from Jay Jaffe and his reference to other measures of merit set forth by Bill James, I have
developed a score that I will use to rate players on my ballot utilizing other Hall measures on the great Baseball Reference website.
Recognizing the site for keeping track of these metrics, I call my scoring system BRef.

My scoring system uses the following metrics and weights: JAWS (40%), Black Ink, Grey Ink, Hall of Fame Monitor, and Hall of Fame
Standards (15% each). For each position, I use the average of each of these metrics for hall of famers as 50% of the possible score.
Maximum value is two times the hall of fame average for each metric.

So, for example, if a player had exactly twice the average JAWS of other players at his position, he would get the maximum 40 out of
100 score for JAWS. I would then follow the same approach for the other 4 measures and add up the results.

With a score of 100 being the maximum, Babe Ruth not surprisingly scores the highest of any position player (96.85).

As it turns out, a score of 60 or higher represents an all-time great in my opinion, while a score of 40-59 would be a solid Hall of Famer
if the hall was actually based on Merit. Scores of 20-39 represent solid careers, with many of those players deserving of enshrinement.

While I have computed a score for every hall of famer and the top 80 JAWS leaders at each position for batters, I have not yet computed
pitchers scores. For the purpose of this ballot, I computed scores for each pitcher from last year’s ballot plus the new eligible players for this year.

I hope this isn't too long winded, and I fully expect that my system might be dismissed by true sabermetricians. I do like that it allows
to at least compute a players merit based on an objective rather than subjective metric. I realize the limitations of some of these measures
as noted on Baseball Reference, for example the fact that Black and Grey ink scores tend to favor pre-expansion era players when there
were less teams. This is one reason that I weighted JAWS higher than the other measures.

As such, my ballot is heavy with old timers, particularly some of the pitchers that are on the overall ballot.

Without further explanation, here is my ballot using BRef:

1) Jim McCormick 61.81 He represents the only player on the ballot with an all-time great level score, which
is not surprising considering he ranks 19th in JAWS for starting pitchers.

2) Manny Ramirez 59.69 As note previously, I have no need for the one year boycott. While I respect those who do
I believe that baseball was complicit in the steroids era. Man-Ram is as close to an all-time great
as you can get without scoring 60. He ranks 53rd overall among position players and 9th
among left fielders.

3) Sammy Sosa 55.32 It's a shame to me that Cubs fans have turned their backs on one of our greatest players.
Slammin' Sammy ranks 64th among position players and 16th among right fielders.

4) Tommy Bond 53.84 Bond joins Jim McCormick as the second 19th century pitcher on my ballot.
Bond is 32nd among starters in JAWS.

5) Mickey Welch 52.62 19th century pitcher number 3. 36th highest JAWS among SP.

6) Tony Mullane 52.37 The final 19th century pitcher on my ballot. 34th all-time in JAWS for starting pitchers.
My system isn't all about the 19th century. In terms of Merit, all 4 pitchers on this list
have a higher career JAWS than Jim Palmer. Of course it was a different era when these guys put up their monster pitching numbers.

7) Vlad Guerrero 51.29 Vlad checks in at #82 among position players and #19 among right fielders.
Clearly deserving of a plaque.

8) Ivan Rodriguez 50.51 Pudge is #86 among all position players and the fourth best catcher, trailing only Bench,
Piazza, and Yogi. A no brainer.

9) Hugh Duffy 49.81 Another player from the turn of the century, this hall of famer is #92 overall and 10th
best out of the center fielders.

10) Lou Brock 47.16 This would-be Cub great fleeced by the Cardinals checks in at #104 among position
players and #18 out of the left fielders.

11) Kirby Puckett 45.61 #111 overall among batters, he checks in right behind Duffy as the #11 centerfielder.

12) Dale Murphy 45.15 As a fan who grew up in the 70s and 80s, Murphy is criminally underrated. Tremendous
peak period in which he was truly great. Murphy is #115 and the #13 CF.

13) Dizzy Dean 42.79 Dean overcomes a JAWS score that is #114 among SP with solid scores on other metrics.

14) Eddie Cicotte 42.76 It's the Hall of Merit! Plenty of room for Joe Jackson's teammate. He would have likely
been a 300-game winner were it not for the ban.

15) Vic Willis 42.70 Another hall of famer and #47 in SP JAWS.

NOTE: This top 15 assumes that players who previously dropped off the hall of merit ballot are not eligible (since I am new, I am not 100% sure).
Jim Rice would
have been #6 on the list with a score of 51.42 and would have been joined by Tony Oliva who checks in at 45.94

Required Player Comments.

Sosa and Willis make the cut. In order by Bref the others:

Kenny Lofton 39.79
Luis Tiant 38.31
Jeff Kent 36.46
Bobby Bonds 35.90
Tommy Bridges 34.76
Jim Edmonds 33.36
Buddy Bell 31.11

Lofton, Tiant, and Jeff Kent should eventually get a plaque. The others may fall just short.

As for Ben Taylor, even the great Bill James did not attempt to rank the negro league stars among major league peers, so I don't feel too bad about struggling
here. That being said, his long career seems destined for a Hall of Merit plaque in the near future.

Well, there you have it. My first ballot/post, and maybe last due to how long winded it is.

Can't wait to see the results of the balloting.

   23. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: December 17, 2016 at 01:10 PM (#5370099)
Not many ballots in yet. Where is everybody!
   24. sfotk Posted: December 17, 2016 at 01:53 PM (#5370103)

As for Ben Taylor, even the great Bill James did not attempt to rank the negro league stars among major league peers, so I don't feel too bad about struggling
here. That being said, his long career seems destined for a Hall of Merit plaque in the near future.

Apologies for putting this here, but for some reason I can post here but not in the discussion thread.

This is blatantly untrue. James did this exact thing in 2001 with the New Historical Baseball Abstract (Oscar Charleston was the 4th best player of all time, in between Mays and Cobb), with much worse information (I believe) than what's freely and easily available now. Using a system that absolutely cannot be used to rank any NeL player shouldn't be acceptable to the HOM.
   25. Bill Simon Posted: December 17, 2016 at 02:34 PM (#5370116)
sfotk. Please see my response in the discussion thread, which I hope addresses your concern.
   26. Cassidemius Posted: December 17, 2016 at 04:57 PM (#5370188)
I am also unable to post in the discussion thread where I would like to put my prelim ballot. I guess if I can't figure it out I'll post one here.
   27. theorioleway Posted: December 17, 2016 at 05:02 PM (#5370191)
This is my sixth year voting for the HOM, and I thank you for letting me take part in this amazing project. I start with the Wins Above Replacement metrics from Baseball-Reference, FanGraphs, and Baseball Gauge. I start with the JAWS calculations Jay Jaffe made famous at Baseball Prospectus (career WAR + seven best seasonal WAR divided by 2). I then make adjustments based on timeframe, position, playoff performance, and any other important circumstances involving the player. The work you have done on players banned from MLB due to their race has been enlightening, and for this election I reconsidered how I looked at Negro League players. I give war credit and minor league credit when I think it is appropriate. Onto my ballot:

1) Ivan Rodriguez: A clear #1 on this ballot for me, even if you think his defensive reputation was overstated (which I don't think). I loved watching him play and his clear passion for the sport. I hope the Hall of Fame doesn't drag its metaphorical feet with him.

2) Jim Edmonds: Up two spots on my ballot from last year, as the three players I had above him last year were all elected into the HOM. A wonderful all-around CF who I loved watch make ridiculous diving catches. I'm not alone in finding him the equal of Duke Snider.

3) Manny Ramirez: Obviously, an upper-tier HOM-caliber hitter, and a solid HOM-caliber player once factoring in his bad defense and base running. Ultimately, for HOM purposes, I didn't deduct him for the suspensions and other shenanigans, but I would understand if people did, and certainly understand HOF voters leaving him off their ballot (assuming they're voting for 10 other qualified players).

4) Luis Tiant: Up six spots on my ballot from last year. I decided I was over-focused on the fact that he pitched in the same era as many other greater pitchers and not about his excellence in a time period we could use more representation in.

5) Don Newcombe: Up seven spots on my ballot from last year. Upon reconsideration, I was too harsh on him last year. Once you add up his MLB pitching career, his hitting prowess, war credit, and credit for the delayed start/stress of his career, I believe he really is a hidden gem of baseball history.

6) Sammy Sosa: Down one spot on the ballot as last year but not because of any new consideration of his career. A super peak and it's a shame people don't really remember the deep impact he had on the sport.

7) Kenny Lofton: Down one spot on the ballot as last year but not because of any new consideration of his career. Placed below Sosa as I'll take Sosa's power (and not bad defense) over Lofton's all-around game. The spark plug that got overshadowed by all the Indians sluggers who drove him in, he was very fun to watch and I hope he makes the HOM in the near future.

8) Bobby Bonds: Up 4 spots from last year, but more for moving players down the ballot rather than any particular consideration of Bonds. A great all-around players in an era (the 70s) that we could use a few more players for.

9) Buddy Bell: Up 4 spots from last year. This ranking factors in that 3B of the 60s and 70s might be getting too much positional credit in the WAR framework, but I still think he's a slightly lesser Nettles: Nettles has a career 111 wRC+ in 10,226 PA with excellent defense, while Bell has a career 108 wRC+ in 10,009 PA with superb defense.

10) Thurman Munson: Not on my ballot last year, I realize I was undervaluing him as a catcher relative to his 70s peers and his postseason work.

11) Vic Willis: Down two spots from last year, but still think he is worthy of the HOM. Would be quite the ballot journey if he ever makes it!

12) Vlad Guerrero: My favorite player on the ballot (and one of my favorite all-time). But for this ballot, the inconsistent defense and baserunning limit his value so that I can't place him any higher.

13) Bert Campaneris: Adjustments I've made in my system for 60s/70s SS gets him on my ballot for the first time. Was also not fully appreciating his playoff track record.

14) Ben Taylor: The same spot as last year, although tentatively. The more data we get about Taylor, the more he becomes confusing. I'm afraid, based on Chris Cobb's commentary, that he might not have been as valuable as I once thought due to his lack of foot speed, rather than his hitting skills. Still think he did just enough to be HOM worthy.

15) Hilton Smith: Down seven spots from last year, as I think I was overvaluing his pitching career. I think between his peak, hitting, and being another representative from the 40s that he still belongs, but his star has definitely dimmed in my system.

Other disclosures: Jeff Kent: Best 2B not in the HOM, and while a defensible pick, is not super-close to my ballot. For Bridges, even with his playoff success, I don't think he did enough to be HOM-worthy. Jorge Posada is very close to the ballot, but ultimately I think his defense was too bad to get him on this year.
   28. Kiko Sakata Posted: December 17, 2016 at 08:30 PM (#5370252)
This is my second year voting. I use Player won-lost records, which I invented and put up on my own website. I had a lot of discussion in the Discussion Thread including a preliminary ballot at comment #130. This final ballot differs somewhat from that for reasons discussed herein.

1. Manny Ramirez - He's clearly the best player eligible for but not yet in the Hall of Merit. I toyed with doing a one-year boycott of him - I really disliked both his failed test and his reaction to it in 2011 - but decided not to bother.
2. Jim Edmonds - Easily deserving of the Hall of Merit. Based on Player won-lost records, I could probably put one or two pitchers ahead of him, but I feel very comfortable with him #2 here.
3. Vic Willis - He pre-dates my system, but is the type of player who would look very good in my system: very good pitcher with large inning totals.
4. Tommy John - My system loves Tommy John.
5. Jeff Kent - My system gives less weight to fielding than most systems, so Kent's so-so fielding doesn't hurt him as much in my system. Player won-lost records also value home runs more heavily than other systems. Put it together and my system loves power-hitting, mediocre-fielding middle infielders. This is a theme that will repeat itself later on my ballot.
6. Wally Schang - Schang mostly pre-dates my system. He seems somewhat similar to Jeff Kent and Jorge Posada, both of whom make my ballot: big hitter at an up-the-middle fielding position on mostly very good teams.
7. Dwight Gooden - Dwight Gooden was truly great over his first five seasons or so and hung on long enough to amass good, if not quite great, career value.
8. Orel Hershiser - Similar case to Gooden.
9. Jim Kaat - Similar case to Tommy John.
10. Vern Stephens - This may be too high. I'm not sure how much to downgrade his 1943-45 seasons because of World War II. See my comment on Jeff Kent above.
11. Toby Harrah - see Jeff Kent and Vern Stephens
12. Bert Campaneris - A different kind of middle infielder. Positional averages are calculated empirically year by year. The result is that being the best at a position tends to play well, even during "down" periods for a particular position. This benefits, for example, Harrah, Campaneris, and Dave Concepcion - who was #15 on my prelim ballot but ends up just off-ballot here. Gil Hodges is another example of a player who looks good when compared to empirical positional averages.
13. Luis Tiant - I re-worked my system somewhat this past spring and Luis Tiant ended up looking much better. I gave him a slight bump to get him onto the ballot here, but he was certainly on the borderline regardless.
14. Jorge Posada - Posada's case is similar to Kent and Stephens - good hitter at a key fielding position. My system likes Posada more than Pudge Rodriguez. Rodriguez was the better fielder, but I don't take account of game-calling or pitch-framing (although I'm not sure that Pudge was all that great at those things anyway - although certainly better than Posada). I'm skeptical of the magnitude of the game-calling/pitch-framing numbers I've seen. In the specific case of Posada, he was the starting catcher for 6 pennant winners and 4 World Series winners, so I'm skeptical as to just how bad a catcher he really could have been. I slid Posada down a bit from my preliminary ballot and pushed Ivan Rodriguez on ballot at #15.
15. Ivan Rodriguez - I initially had him off-ballot. This still leaves him lower than on virtually everybody else's ballot. I'm 99% sure the reason for this is simply that I don't weight catcher defense as heavily. Rodriguez was great at controlling the other team's running game, but the fact is, basestealing is of fairly minimal value and part of the control of that falls to the pitcher. That said, I pushed Rodriguez up to a ballot slot as a nod somewhat to consensus and in acknowledgement that I could be under-valuing his defensive contributions. I decided to respect my system, however, in keeping Posada ranked just ahead of Rodriguez.

Just off-ballot / seriously considered: Ben Taylor, Bert Campaneris, Gil Hodges, Bucky Walters

Required disclosures:

Jim Edmonds - on my ballot
Sammy Sosa - somewhere around #50 or so; relatively short period where he was actually an elite player
Jeff Kent - on my ballot
Kenny Lofton - probably in the #60-70 range; I don't love his fielding as much as bWAR; I also value fielding less in general
Ben Taylor - I had him #15 on last year's ballot, largely because I didn't know what to do with him. I still don't, but from what I've read, he just doesn't seem like he'd rate all that well in my system. Although he might do well relative to "positional average" a'la Gil Hodges. Perhaps I could be persuaded to put him on my ballot. He's probably somewhere in the #16-#20 range in my current rankings.
Luis Tiant - on my ballot
Buddy Bell - Player won-lost records are not impressed. He's probably not in my top 200. A very good fielder, but, as I said above, fielding is less important in my system than in some others (e.g., bWAR). Not enough power for me to be overly impressed with his hitting and a lousy baserunner.
Vic Willis - on my ballot
Bobby Bonds - somewhere in the #70-90 range; similar to, but slightly below, Sammy Sosa
Tommy Bridges - he comes in #78 in my objective ranking that I used as my starting point although that probably under-rates him. I'm hoping to take an in-depth look at starting pitchers of the 1930's and 1940's before next year's election.

Notable new players:

Manny is on my ballot
Pudge is on my ballot
Posada is on my ballot
Vlad is probably top 40, at worst top 50
   29. theorioleway Posted: December 17, 2016 at 10:44 PM (#5370281)
Since I can't post this on the discussion thread...

Hi Bill, glad you've taken the plunge! As a relatively new voter, I know it can seem intimidating, but I've found it very rewarding. While I think you'll find most disagree with you in regards to your weighting of old-timer pitchers, if you've seriously thought about it and think it's valid, then that's ok! I know in my first ballot, I went out there on some of my choices relative to the rest of the voters. I did find their critiques very useful for me, so I hope you do at least consider any that pop up seriously, even if you don't end up changing anything. One thing I think you should clarify though is Jim Rice and Tony Oliva - as any player that is not already elected to the HOM is eligible, it's unclear from your ballot whether they should be on yours or not.
   30. Rob_Wood Posted: December 17, 2016 at 10:53 PM (#5370282)
Jeez, I tried to post this on the ballot discussion thread but the system would not let me. I apologize to Joe and the ballot talliers.

Welcome Bill to the group. Having said that, a voting system that significantly weights raw stat measures such as Hall of Fame Monitor and Hall of Fame Standards is highly suspect. All Hall of Merit voters agree to our precept that all eras must be fairly considered. I think that your system, however comprehensive and statistical-based, falls short on that front.

I cannot remember who it was, but Bill James rightly skewered some well-known sportswriter who clearly had many deadball pitchers (an era where it was "easy" to pitch tons of innings with low ERA's) ranked absurdly high on his all-time list along with several 1920's & 1930's hitters (an era when it was "easy" to compile very high batting averages and slugging percentages).

Your system is miles better than that sportswriter's rankings, but it reminds me of those pitfalls.
   31. Bleed the Freak Posted: December 17, 2016 at 11:56 PM (#5370292)
Chose a page that you don't want to post on and login from that spot...when I do this, I can't post to the initial page, but I am able to post everywhere else...looking forward to your ballot Yardape :)

Have been a lurker since the early days and a voter since the elections went annual, hope the turnout improves in 2017 versus 2016. My system incorporates for hitters: Kiko's Win-Loss Records, DRA/Baseball Gauge WAR, Baseball-Reference WAR, Dan R WAR, a reality check of Baseball Prospectus WARP, War Credit, MLE credit (mostly for pre-integration players), Negro League/integration credit, CSAA/catcher values from BP where available, and RE24 contextual value. For pitchers, I use the same systems, as well as Baseball Prospectus Deserved Run Average (although some of the guys at Tom Tango's blog don't think it's quite refined enough), FG FIP WAR, and a dose of WPA.

Ballot: Top 3 should be elected this year: Changes from prelim from Kiko sharing his methodology for position adjustments and Doc Chaleeko reminding us to be careful on fairness to position and eras.

1 Manny Ramirez - trumps Edmonds in all but Baseball Gauge.

2 Jim Edmonds - pushes top 100 status in all but Baseball Reference.

3 Ivan Rodriguez - poor showing in Kiko WAR, underwhelming advanced catching metrics from Baseball Prospectus and a classic Baseball Projection analysis

4 Urban Shocker - very strong showing across the board, deserving of WWI credit, too bad he passed away SOOOOOO young.

5 Bobby Veach - another in the Jimmy Sheckard/Harry Hooper section of fine hitter with high level defense in the corners that likely equates to a positive in centerfield. Was a stud for 3 seasons in the AA ages 38-40, in today's game, does he get a chance to pad some stats at the end of his career? A Dale Murphy level hitter with plus defense.

6 Bert Campaneris - a star in Dan R WAR, worthy in Kiko's and Baseball Gauge WAR, a tad post-season value add.

7 Bob Johnson - a top 150 type of hitter in all many metrics, includes only nominal PCL credit, also a fine postseason performer.

8 Tommy Bond - super peak 1870s, could be as high as #4 or not in the top 50, we need to be careful to consider him though.

9 Sammy Sosa - falls in the 130-170 range typically, even higher by Baseball Prospectus.

10 Jeff Kent - borderline in all but Kiko where he pushes top 150 level.

11 Vic Willis – Top 60 hurler with Baseball-Reference, 70 with Baseball Gauge, 90 with Fangraphs, endorsed by Kiko.

12 Art Fletcher - ok stick for a SS, depends on your valuation of defense, DRA shows as otherworldly, Baseball Reference merely excellent.

13 Don Newcombe – needs every adjustment (integration, war, low-standard deviation 1950s NL).

14 Joe Tinker - see Art Fletcher.

15 George Uhle - Top 70 pitcher with Baseball Reference, Baseball Gauge, and Fangraphs.

Moved off from prelim, awaiting full vetting by Kiko’s system on Cuyler:
10 Kiki Cuyler - short in Baseball Reference, a bubble guy in Baseball Gauge, the years that Kiko has available suggest that Kiki pushes top 140 hitter status, superb post-season career. Tore up the minors at 22 and 23, could have been an all-star at 24 but was left in the minors. Quarrel with manager sent him to the bench obscuring his 1927 campaign.

13 Bobby Bonds - Baseball Prospectus, Baseball Gauge, and Baseball Reference show him in, Dan R lukewarm, Kiko after the adjustment to right fielders shows Bobby short.

Guys who are close you could argue for at least a bottom half of the ballot spot:
Bobby Abreu, Babe Adams, Dave Bancroft, Bobby Bonds, Perucho Cepeda, Kiki Cuyler, Brian Giles, Dwight Gooden, Vladimir Guerrero, Gil Hodges, Harry Hooper, Tommy Leach, Kenny Lofton, Thurman Munson, Johnny Pesky, Sam Rice, Phil Rizzuto, Hilton Smith, Vern Stephens.

Required Disclosures (top 10 returnees) outside of my preferred consideration set:
Ben Taylor – I was leaning toward Chris Cobb's most recent assessment (please rejoin us Chris :)), fine player but short of this standard. However, Ron Wargo’s bold placement to #3 and recent seamheads data has me wanting to reconsider…fortunately, the 2017 election will only be taking 3 frontloggers.

Luis Tiant - bubble personal hall of meriter, killer Baseball-Reference and Baseball Gauge, enough WPA, just shy by Kiko, well short by Fangraphs and Baseball Prospectus.

Buddy Bell - buy in for Kiko's system, slam dunk by Baseball-Reference, Baseball Gauge, and Baseball Prospectus, borderline with Dan R WAR.

Tommy Bridges - after PCL and WWII credit, squeezes in by Baseball Gauge and Fangraphs, short by Baseball-Reference, well short with Kiko.

Vladimir Guerrero – I’ve warmed to him being HOM worthy, in a glut with Bobby Abreu, Brian Giles, and Kenny Lofton as intriguing modern era outfield candidates.

Jorge Posada - looks like a good choice before incorporating Baseball Prospectus defensive metrics, which show him as truly dreadful. Splitting the difference would still keep him off ballot.

Too difficult to place into the upper backlog:
Sal Maglie and Orlando Hernandez - what credit do these guys get for Mexican/Cuban leagues? The value they provided at the ages playing in MLB suggest lower tier HOM level or very close.
   32. dan b Posted: December 18, 2016 at 11:29 AM (#5370336)
I was here in 1898 when I was the only voter to pass on Ross Barnes and have missed once. I start with a half peak/half career WS system with tendency to favor peak. I have also been influenced by NHBA rankings and would like to see BJ do an update. Whereas James looked at 3 best years and 5 consecutive years, I also look at 8 best years and 10 consecutive years. I look for hitters who would be above the median of already enshrined HoMers and pitchers with strong peaks.

PHoM 2017 – Rodriguez, Ramirez, Posada

1. Rodriguez PHoM 2017. Not inner circle, but career value merits the top spot on this year’s ballot.
2. Ramirez PHoM 2017. 8 time WS all-star, above HoM median in career value.
3. Posada PHoM 2017.Important player on a great team. Compare to HoM catcher Bill Freehan.
4. Dean PHoM 1976. 1975 reevaluation of great pitching peaks put him on my ballot for the first time. 2 WS Cy Youngs, 1 runner up. Pitchers from the period 1934-1947 are under represented. Dean and Walters would help bring balance. NHBA #25 pitcher.
5. Guerrero Above the median for 10 year run.
6. Walters PHoM 1968. Nice peak – 3 WS Cy Youngs, 1 runner up. One more big year than Dean, but one of them was a war year.
7. Cravath PHoM 1967. With mle credit Gavvy is above the HoM median using 5 consecutive seasons, 10 consecutive seasons, 3 best and 8 best seasons.
8. Duffy PHoM 1912. Compared with the median level of already enshrined HoMers using WS, Duffy would be in the top half using 5 consecutive seasons, 10 consecutive seasons, 3 best and 8 best seasons. If WS overrate him, then so do I.
9. Edmonds Didn’t vote for him last year, my mistake.
10. Newcombe PHoM 1998. Thanks to Howie for posting the breakdown showing how few pitchers we have enshrined from his era.
11. Tiant PHoM 2012. NHBA #52.
12. Sosa It was quite a peak with just enough more to put him ahead of guys like Albert Belle, Al Rosen and Dale Murphy.
13. Murphy PHoM 2002. 4 consecutive seasons with 30+ WS. Above the HoM median for 5 consecutive years.
14. Rizzuto PHoM 1995. 1993 reevaluation moved him up. NHBA #16.
15. Burns, G. PHoM 1996. Above the HoM median in 5 and 10 consecutive peaks and 3 best years. As a peak voter, I could put him ahead of contemporary Max Carey and maybe Zack Wheat.

Of the top ten returnees from last year, Edmonds, Sosa and Tiant (PHoM 2012) are on my ballot. Willis (PHoM 1941), Kent and Bonds would be on a 20 player ballot. Lofton, Bell, Bridges and Taylor don’t have the peak I am looking for.
   33. bachslunch Posted: December 18, 2016 at 12:07 PM (#5370345)
Long time lurker, periodic poster. Have read these threads before but felt unsure about offering up a ballot before. Decided to give it a try this year. If eaten alive, so be it.

Disclosures: am going with Seamheads for Negro Leaguers. Preference for BBRef WAR with some influence of OPS+ and ERA+ for the rest. Am valuing hitting prowess at C, SS, 2B, CF a bit extra. Being best available candidate at your position helps also. Still trying to sort out peak vs. longevity, but often favoring the latter. Fine with giving Negro League credit, unsure so far on War or Minor League credit. Not docking for WW2 play as of now. Do not give postseason credit. Not sure how to evaluate 19th century pitchers, but for now tending to discount AA, NA, and UA stats as possibly suspect, with one exception. Not taken with giving relievers a lot of emphasis. Will dock 1st year candidates who bet on games, threw games, impeded players of color, were caught using PEDs post-2005 (Manny, ARod), and likely used pre-2005 if it looks like they'll get an immediate free pass by BBWAA HoF voters (IRod, Ortiz, Pettitte).

Will withdraw ballot if not up to par. Suggestions for changes welcome, but reserve the right to reject.

1. Jim Edmonds. Among best CF WAR, also hit really well.
2. Jim McCormick. Best WAR for starters not in by a mile. Short career, but played in NL except for one UA season.
3. Luis Tiant. Best WAR for non-19th century starters.
4. Buddy Bell. Best WAR at 3B. Currently inclined to trust the metric for him.
5. Vladimir Guerrero. Better WAR than I remember, thought he'd go lower.
6. Sammy Sosa. Again, better WAR than I remembered. Happy to give him some benefit of the doubt given his treatment by the BBWAA.
7. Bob Johnson. Best WAR among available LFs.
8. Wally Schang. Among best C WAR, also hit well.
9. Vic Willis. Good WAR.
10. Ben Taylor. Best NGL position player per Seamheads.
11. Dick Redding. Best NGL pitcher per Seamheads.
12. Vern Stephens. Among best SS WAR, also hit really well.
13. Kenny Lofton. Top CF WAR, wish he had more hitting value.
14. Bobby Abreu. Good WAR.
15. Tommy John. Good WAR.

16-25: Sal Bando, Urban Shocker, Thurman Munson, Tommy Bridges, John Olerud, Jim Fregosi, Bert Campaneris, Bobby Bonds, Fred McGriff, Bob Elliott.

Required comments for those outside my 25. Gavvy Cravath has an amazing OPS+ but less taken with his career brevity, might be swayed to move him up. Phil Rizzuto doesn't do much for me (low OPS+, low WAR, short career). Bucky Walters also doesn't sufficiently impress me (good but not top of the line WAR or career ERA+). Bad defense and play calling keeps Jorge Posada out of top 25 for me, though has good WAR numbers relative to position.
   34. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 18, 2016 at 04:06 PM (#5370419)
119th consecutive ballot since our inaugural election of 1898 for me.

I use Win Shares as the base for my ranking system, though I am now using a modified version (any negative values are converted into zeroes) of BRAR, FRAR and PRAR for the NA.

I am integrating the conclusions made by DERA with Win Shares for all pitchers.

I do place (to a certain degree) domination at one's position during the player's era. That doesn't mean that domination-by-default will necessarily help you though (Gil Hodges may have been the best first baseman of his era, but he wont make my ballot).

1) Ivan Rodriguez-C (n/a): Fine hitter at the toughest position, excellent defense, durable, and a long career. Easily worthy and stands out more among all-time catchers than any other eligible player in regard to their respective positions, IMO.

2) Manny Ramirez-LF/RF/DH (n/a): Flat-out great hitter. He'll go in this year.

3) Jim Edmonds-CF (2): One of those great players who wasn't that compelling, but great is still great.

4) Jeff Kent-2B (4): Kind of a jerk and not the best fielder in the world, but he could really mash the ball at a key defensive position.

5) Vladimir Guerrero-RF/DH (n/a): His offense can not be denied.

6) Bus Clarkson-SS/3B (7): Looks like the best shortstop of the Forties, which is surprising to me. IMO, Eric would have to be totally off with his projections for Clarkson not to be near the top of everybody's ballot. Shave off 50 WS from his MLE and he still comfortably belongs.

7) Lee Smith-RP (9): Having his career occur during a major rethinking of his position really distorts his true value, IMO. All things equal, Gossage was better, but not that much better. Never the best for any one season, but consistently among the best for many a year.

8) Billy Wagner-RP (9): Funny, but I thought I would have Hoffman here instead (and higher than Smith). Yet... that dominance more than makes up for the number of career innings.

9) Bucky Walters-P (10): The guy had a nice peak, fairly long career, and could hit. Even with a defense adjustment, he stands out. Best ML pitcher of 1939 (extremely close in 1940). Best NL pitcher of 1940 and 1944.

10) Mickey Welch-P (11): Like the hurlers of the 1970s, the generation from the 1880s was rich in talent. On that note, Welch deserves a HoM nod. Best major league pitcher for 1885.

11) Vic Willis-P (12): Willis pitched a ton of innings at an above-average rate for a long enough time for his era. Best major league pitcher for 1899. Best NL pitcher for 1901.

12) Gavvy Cravath-RF (13): I'm giving him MLE credit for 1908-11 (not full credit for '08, since he did play some in the majors that year). Possibly would have been the best ML right fielder for 1910. Best NL right fielder for 1913 and 1914. Best ML right fielder for 1915, 1916, and 1917.

13) Bob Elliott-3B/RF (14): Best third baseman of the Forties. The bridge between the Jimmy Collins-Pie Traynor types and the later ones that didn't have the same defensive responsibilities. He could hit, field, and didn't have a short career when compared to other third basemen throughout history. Best ML third baseman for 1943, 1944, 1947, 1948, and close in 1950. Best NL third baseman for 1949 and 1950.

14) Hugh Duffy-CF/LF/RF (15): Been on my ballot forever and haven't regretted it. "Only" the third best center fielder of the '90s, but that position was very strong for that decade. Best major league right fielder for 1890 and 1891. Best major league center fielder for 1892, 1893 and 1894.

15) Pie Traynor-3B (n/a): Back on my ballot - it was either him or Sosa. Best white third baseman of his time (though J. Wilson and Beckwith were better). Best major league third baseman for 1923 (Beckwith was better), 1925, 1927, 1929 (Beckwith was better) and 1932.

As for the other newbies, none of them are HoMers, IMO.

Sammy, Lofton, Tiant, Bell, Bridges, Bonds, and Taylor weren't that far away from making my ballot.
   35. bachslunch Posted: December 18, 2016 at 05:45 PM (#5370460)
Re my ballot, didn't realize Abreu wasn't eligible yet. Please drop him from my ballot, make Bando #15, and have players below move up a notch. My #25 for what it's worth would be Ernie Lombardi.
   36. Mike Webber Posted: December 18, 2016 at 06:27 PM (#5370468)
BBRef WAR heavy ballot, with emphasis on career, where a player ranks among his era peers, with big seasons as a boosting factor.

1) IVAN RODRIGUEZ 68.4 WAR 338 Win Shares – Easily one of the top 10 catchers of all-time, which makes him much the best on this ballot.
2) MANNY RAMIREZ 69.1 WAR 394 Win Shares – Exciting at the plate and in the field – though not in the same way. Top 15 left fielder of all-time.
3) JIM EDMONDS 60.3 WAR. 301 Win Shares – 5 times in the top 10 in player position WAR. Four MVP type seasons.
4) JEFF KENT – 55.2 BBref-WAR, 339 Win Shares one MVP type seasons, 9 seasons 20+ Win Shares. We share the exact same birth date, so bonus points for that. 20th round draft choice with the misfortune of being in the same organization as Robbie Alomar, who was exactly the same age. Never drew more than 31 walks in a season until he was 29, which limited him to being a solid player rather than an all-star.
5) LUIS TIANT – 66.1 BBref-WAR, 256 Win Shares – poor timing of his big years, but big years push him to top of pitchers currently on ballot. One spot behind Smoltz on the career WAR list for pitchers.
6) SAL BANDO – 61.6 BBref-WAR, 283 Win Shares, two MVP type seasons, 9 seasons 20+ Win Shares. I believe he was better than Ken Boyer, but his home parks helped disguise it.
7) Vlad Guerrero – 59.3 BBref-WAR, 322 Win Shares – 6 times in the top 10 of the league MVP voting, 3 29 Win Share seasons, 10 20+ Win Share seasons.
8) SAMMY SOSA – 58.4 BBref-WAR, 322 Win Shares – three 30+ Win Share seasons, 7 seasons 20+ Win Shares. Value wise very similar to Bobby Bonds.
9) TOMMY LEACH – 46.8 BBref-WAR, 328 Win Shares, only one MVP type season, 8 seasons 20+ Win Shares. Good peak, excellent defensive player at third and in centerfield.
10) FRANK CHANCE45.6 WAR 237 Win Shares - I’m a career guy, but this is the peakiest of peak guys.
11) KENNY LOFTON 68.2 BBref - 281 Win Shares – The reason I have him lower than others is I believe his Defensive WAR is overstated. Couple that with his lack of MVP type season’s and I
12) PHIL RIZZUTO – 40.6 BBref-WAR, 231 Win Shares, one MVP type seasons, 7 seasons 20+ Win Shares. With a conservative 60 or so win shares or 9 WAR during World War II, I move him to the top of the middle infielder group. Same arguments as Nellie Fox, only with a 3-year hole in his career at ages 25 to 27, plus a bad return to MLB in 1946. (No extra credit for 1946 – just noting it).
13) JOHN OLERUDE– 58 BBref-WAR, 302 Win Shares - 2 MVP type seasons, but only 5 other 20+ win share seasons. Also hurt by the large number of first basemen in his era that were clearly better.
14) BUDDY BELL 66.1 BBref - 301 Win Shares, ZERO MVP type seasons, 7 seasons 20+ Win Shares.
15) BOBBY BONDS57.7 BBref 302 Win Shares – Four 30+ Win Share seasons, at ages 23, 24, 25, and 27. After age 33 Bobby had 7 win shares, Barry had 286. Pete Browning without the fielding problems?

Next group of guys off the ballot grouped by position:
Dick Redding, Kevin Appier, Tommy John, Vic Willis, Gene Tenace, Wally Schang, Fred McGriff, Norm Cash, Orlando Cepeda, Johnny Evers, Larry Doyle, Bob Elliot, Ron Cey, Joe Tinker, Luis Aparicio, Dave Bancroft, Fregosi, Stephens, Kenny Williams, Bernie Williams, Bob Johnson, Sam Rice, Luis Gonzalez.

New Players not on ballot:
JORGE POSADA – Behind Schang, ahead of Gene Tenace. Would be in the group the ballot noted above. His 2 MVP type seasons help his cause.

Other required notes:

Vic Willis is in the just off the ballot group, but probably behind Redding and Appier.

Ben Taylor is behind the group of Olerude, Delgado, McGriff, Cash and Cepeda.

Tommy Bridges – 225 Win Shares – tied for 85th in career WAR for pitchers – pitched well in an era that was tough for pitchers, but others have stronger arguments.
   37. Bill Simon Posted: December 18, 2016 at 06:33 PM (#5370470)
theorioleway wrote:
One thing I think you should clarify though is Jim Rice and Tony Oliva - as any player that is not already elected to the HOM is eligible, it's unclear from your ballot whether they should be on yours or not.
I would like to leave my ballot at orignally submitted, since I believe there is stronger support here for the ones they would replace. I can revisit next year.
   38. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: December 19, 2016 at 09:05 AM (#5370598)
Cross posting this from the discussion thread.

I would add that
"I would like to leave my ballot at orignally submitted, since I believe there is stronger support here for the ones they would replace. I can revisit next year."

This is strategic voting and isn't allowed. We want each voter to submit the names of the 15 eligible players they think are most qualified. It's one thing to be convinced you had someone too high and drop him. It's another to vote for players because they have 'stronger support'. Does that make sense? Please submit the 15 names you believe are most qualified.

First, welcome to the new voters, it's great that we are still attracting new blood!

"That being said. this pretty much is the hall of stats. I mean, it's in the voting rules: "Voters are strongly encouraged to consider only a player’s on-field accomplishments and other factors which had an impact on the outcomes of the player’s baseball games.". It doesn't really matter how you value a player's career value, but you're expected to have some sort of system that considers all the eligible players which explicitly includes players who spent part of all of their career in the Negro Leagues. If you're unwilling to do the work involved in estimating their value, then you shouldn't vote until you have the time to do so. If you do attempt to vote without considering NeL players, then your vote (IMO) is one of the very few that should be considered unacceptable and should not be counted. To count it would be unfair to the NeL players who remain on the ballot, and it would be unfair to the voting members of the HoM who have done and continue to take the proper effort that's required to vote."

This pretty much sums it up. What I can't tell is if Bill Simon worked Ben Taylor (and others) into his system or if he's refusing to consider him at all. That makes all of the difference in the world here.

I also think he should reassess his system, especially the grey ink aspect for 19th century pitchers, as has been said, you basically get a lot of grey ink just for showing up. But that's probably not something that would cause a ballot to be not counted.

The not being fair to all eras, groups of players, etc. is though. So can you clarify Bill? Also, if you wanted to vote Jim Rice or Tony Oliva in, you can, please resubmit. No one ever loses eligibility.

Thanks again for joining!
   39. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: December 19, 2016 at 10:30 AM (#5370639)
As far as what I consider . . . I try to look at it all. I'm a career voter mostly - not because I have any bias towards it, but just because the numbers (and every study I've ever seen) tell me that peaks are overrated and 5+5 is only about 10-15% less valuable than 10+0. Check out “The Problem with Peak” article in the 2002 Baseball Prospectus, page 470 if you are interested in all the mathy type stuffs.

I give full war credit, and I think it's a major mistake not to when comparing players across eras. My biggest regret on this project is that we didn't require all voters to give war credit like we did with Negro League credit. I see no difference, both were a circumstance of the player's birthday that was beyond his control.

I've systematically worked this in for anyone that is a reasonable candidate, all the way down to guys like Tommy Henrich, Mickey Vernon and Dom DiMaggio. If you want a copy of my Rosenheck access database with these guys added, please let me know.

I think it's a cop out to say we don't know so it's a zero. If a guy was a 25 WS a year player before and after the war, a zero is a much bigger mistake than giving him three 25s. As far as injury risk, you just credit a guy based on his playing time before and after the war. There's no reason to assume he would have been any more (or less) injury prone during those years.

I also follow similar philosophy on strikes. I just prorate the season, since a pennant is a pennant.

I give catchers a 50% career bonus, above and beyond what Pennants Added they accumulate. If you don’t do this, Johnny Bench ends up in the neighborhood of Jimmy Sheckard, Dick Allen, Brooks Robinson and Home Run Baker. If you do give the bonus he ends up with Arky Vaughan, Luke Appling, Eddie Mathews and Jimmy Foxx. Which grouping seems more reasonable?

I'll give minor league credit for players trapped, or players that played in the old PCL and other AAAA leagues before cross-continental travel was relatively easy - once they've had a 'here I am, let me play!' season. There are surprisingly few of these guys after about 1920.

I've been much more hands on in rating the pitchers than the position players, for which I rely on DanR's WARP, though I weigh them based on Pennants Added, not his salary estimator. I'm very confident in my pitcher rankings, and I make a manual adjustment for the extended career length that started in the 1960s (not shown below). My position player rankings are based largely on DanR's numbers. I haven’t updated this in the last couple of years because the new pitchers hitting the ballot have been pretty easy to slot and it’s a lot of work.

After the player I’ll list his Pennants Added and the player above and below him at his position on the lists for the guys I have run the numbers for. I’ll give me educated estimate of similar careers between for the newbies. My general guideline is below .80 PA I consider a mistake election. From .80 to .87, I won’t lose any sleep even though it’s below my line. From .88 up are guys I actively support electing. If you are over about .93 I think it’s a pretty blatant mistake if you aren’t in. .88 is 15 years of 4.0 WAR … but it’s just luck that that’s where the line lands. I didn’t draw it there on purpose. That’s just where the bell curve starts to widen quickly. It’s also 12 years of 4.85 WAR or 10 years of 5.7 WAR. Note that the 15 year scenario adds to 60 WAR. The 12 year adds to 58.2 WAR and the 10 year 57 WAR. So you can see peak value creeping in and that’s about how important I think it is in the grand scheme of things. It’s a little bit more than a tiebreaker, but not much more.

I tried to proof all of the comments - if something seems inconsistent, that’s a carry over from last year (or 5 years ago) that I missed. That means I didn’t try hard enough I guess :-)

1. Ivan Rodriguez C (n/e) - .85 PA, (Gary Carter, Gabby Hartnett). With the 50% catcher career bonus, he’s a 1.27 PA, which puts him in the company of George Brett and Charlie Gehringer. Pudge II caught the most games of anyone in history. He was by all accounts a spectacular defensive catcher, with an amazing arm. As late as 2006, his 16th year in the league, he was still gunning down 51% of the runners who tried to steal on him. An easy 1st ballot HoMer.

2. Manny Ramirez RF/LF (n/e) - 1.09 PA, (Roberto Clemente, Billy Williams). Another easy HoMer. I think he was probably underrated. There aren’t a lot of career 154 OPS+ hitters out there. And it’s not a short career, we are talking 9774 plate appearances. Even in the Sillyball era, 555 HR, career .312 hitter, who also walked 94 times per 162 games. Just a monster hitter. The glove was bad, sure, but it’s not a deal breaker.

3. Phil Rizzuto SS (5) - 1.02 PA, (Ernie Banks, Bert Campaneris). Now that I've given him systematic war credit and adjusted his 1946, during which he was recovering from malaria (which also impact his projections for 1943-45, if you use 1946 in those), he shows up with Rafael Palmeiro as the best holdover position player by a substantial margin. The top 4 on this ballot are very close.

4. Jack Quinn SP (6) - 1.10 PA, (Eppa Rixey, Whitey Ford). I'm giving him credit for 1916-18 where he was pitching (quite well) in the PCL after the Federal League went belly-up. He gets a big leverage bonus for his nearly 800 IP of relief work at a LI of 1.26. Without any PCL credit I still have him between Bridges and Grimes.

5. Jorge Posada C (n/e) - .63 PA (Roger Bresnahan, Bill Freehan). The catcher bonus gets him up to .95 which puts him in as pretty easily electable IMO. I’ve got him a little bit ahead of Bill Freehan, who is the catcher that is just over the in/out line. Comparing the two, Posada played about half a season more, with a career 121 OPS+, including a .374 OBP, he is one of the greatest hitting catchers of all time. Freehan posted a 112 OPS+. Of course Freehan closes the gap with better defense. DanR’s WAR likes Posada a little better than Freehan, but they are very similar. I cannot see anyway that one should be in while the other is out.

6. Jim Edmonds CF (7) - .94 PA (Andre Dawson, Max Carey). He’s being pretty underrated by the BBWAA apparently, which is a shame. He’s a little better than Bernie Williams, and that’s a pretty terrific player. Dan’s WAR and BWAR agree, he’s about a 60-61 WAR player. That’s right on my bubble. Seems to fit well in this slot.

7. Bert Campaneris SS (8) - .93 PA, (Phil Rizzuto, Joe Sewell). .470 OWP, in an era where the average SS was at .372. Long (9625 PA) career as well, and a good fielder (62 FRAA). System says to rank him ahead of Concepcion pretty clearly.

8. Urban Shocker SP (9) - .94 PA, (Tommy Bridges, Billy Pierce). Vaulted in 1981, with 1918 war credit (he was having a great year), and an adjustment for the AL being much better than the NL during his time. He was a great pitcher, peak guys should really look closer at him. He'd be a no brainer without his illness, which should not impact a peak vote.

9. Sammy Sosa RF (11) - .92 PA (Willie Stargell, Goose Goslin). Sosa has an enormous peak - his 2001 is overshadowed by Bonds, but it was an incredible season - a 203 OPS+. But his peak was short, basically 1998-2002 as his only period as a great player. DanR's WARP is tough on corner outfielders, but not inappropriately so. He deserves to make the Hall of Merit, but he's not a slam dunk like the top 4 on this ballot.

10. Vladimir Guerrero RF (n/e) - .85 PA (Reggie Smith, Joe Medwick). He’s not as high as I would have thought. This is probably a slightly generous ranking. DanR’s WAR isn’t as high on Vlad as BB-ref WAR is. But the further we get from 2005, where Dan’s WAR ends, the more error we add by extrapolating the differences.

11. Brian Giles RF (10) - .92 PA (Will Clark, Sherry Magee, Willie Stargell). Dan R's WAR loves Giles. Through 2005, it has him with .77 Pennants Added, .88 is roughly my in/out line. If you use BB-Ref WAR for 2006-2008 (his 2009 is below replacement level, so I zero it), I get Giles at about .917 Pennants Added.

For perspective, Giles' BB-Ref WAR is 50.9, 52.8 if you zero out his 2009. Carlos Delgado is at 45.7 if you zero out his 1994-95. So Giles has a 16% edge in BB-Ref WAR.

But in Dan R's WAR, converted to Pennants Added, Giles has a much bigger edge, .917 to .675 - that's a 36% edge.

Dan gives Giles 49.9 WAR through 2005, compared with 43.3 for BB-Ref.

Dan gives Delgado 40.6 WAR through 2005, compared with 40.9 for BB-Ref (again zeroing out 1994-95). Just an example to show that Dan doesn't always differ by a lot.

So if anything, it looks to me like BB-Ref WAR may be underrating Giles, not overrating him.

Looking at it further for the 2017 ballot, it seems like, Giles defense, especially for 2004-05 is where DanR likes Giles better. I’m scaling it back slightly this time around.

12. Gavy Cravath RF (12) - .90 PA, (Andre Dawson, Goose Goslin). Either he was a freak of nature, or there's a lot missing. I vote for the latter. Check out his thread for deeper discussion of the specifics, including a great analysis from Gadfly. He's the kind of guy we were hoping to catch when we started this project. I'm much more comfortable moving him this high after seeing his latest translations.

13. Ben Taylor 1B (13) - Negro Leaguer, Chris Cobb's MLE from 8/25/2004 suggests 325 WS. Consider me convinced that he was really was a great hitter. The Hall of Fame's Negro League Committee had access to a lot of data, and they chose to include him, in a group that we generally agreed with. That counts for something with me. I would have much preferred his election to that of Oms.

14. Tommy John SP (14) - 1.00 PA, (Bret Saberhagen, Wes Ferrell). Tons of career value. I would probably be sick to my stomach if Jim Kaat (who did very well in the Veteran's Committee balloting) got in and John did not. On the surface (career W-L) they appear similar, but when you adjust for everything, they aren't close. I have John as similar to, but better than Burleigh Grimes - about 800 more translated IP, at a 106 rate instead of a 104 rate. That's more than enough to offset Grimes peak edge. I get John somewhere between Eppa Rixey/Red Faber and Grimes on the continuum. He's over the in/out line for me. I also give no extra credit for his pioneering the surgery - someone had to be first.

15. Tommy Bridges SP (15) - .94 PA, (Stan Coveleski, Urban Shocker). Unspectacular peak (although he would have won the 1936 AL Cy Young Award if it had been invented), but a lot of career value. War credit helps nudge him above Trout and Leonard. He could obviously still pitch when he left for the war, and was still good when he returned for a short time. I give him 2 years of credit at his 1941-43 level.
   40. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: December 19, 2016 at 10:30 AM (#5370641)
16. Dave Concepcion SS (16) - .88 PA, (Joe Sewell, Dave Bancroft). Better than I realized, and was really hurt by the 1981 strike, which occurred during his best season (and a season where the Reds had the best record in baseball, but missed the playoffs). Still no Trammell or Ozzie, but a very good player indeed. We could do worse than induct him.

17. Tommy Leach 3B/CF (17) - .88 PA (Stan Hack, Buddy Bell; Andre Dawson, Jim Wynn). I was a big fan of his awhile back, then he faded. He's back now, in no small part because of Dan R's work.

18. Bucky Walters SP (18) - .90 PA (Burleigh Grimes, Dwight Gooden). Johnny Pesky, Rabbit Maranville (with credit for a full 1918), Dave Bancroft, Don Newcombe, Burleigh Grimes, Edgar Martinez, Orel Hershister and Kevin Appier were top contenders for the last couple of spots in my top 20. Walters combination of big years, hitting, and playing in what I consider a very tough era (the late 30s, right before war depleted the ranks and after nearly 40 years without expansion) won him my final 6 points.

19. Bernie Williams CF (19) - .83 PA (Jim Wynn, Brett Butler). This number puts him a little below Dave Bancroft and Buddy Bell in the .85 range. He is right there with HoMers like John McGraw, Billy Herman and Hughie Jennings. Some of the guys in this range are in, some aren't. He's clearly in the gray area. I am a Yankee fan. Questions about his defense - I don't think it was quite as bad as the advanced metrics say - keep his value low. I'd love to do more digging on this - but I do feel like there are all sorts of goofy things with the fielding numbers for those Yankee teams. That being said, I'll err on the side of caution still.

Perpetual eligibility helps here - I don't have to worry about him falling off the ballot. Edmonds will end up placing higher. But any bump in Williams' defensive ratings would move him into the low, but clear HoMer range. Based on Mike Emeigh's comment on the ballot thread, I think this is reasonable and could bump Bernie next year. This evaluation gives him credit only as the numbers stand now.

Prominent newcomers:

20. Jason Kendall C (20) - .55 PA - .84 with the catcher bonus (Bill Freehan, Thurman Munson). That’s a really good career. He’s probably ahead of Munson as the best catcher not in the Hall of Merit. Anyone else realize Kendall is 5th all time in games caught? And this is no Bob Boone, he’s got a 95 career OPS+, that is OBP heavy. Any else realize he’s also 5th all-time in HBP? I didn’t know that either. He also stole 189 bases in his career, and from 1996-99 he stole 71 bases and was caught just 16 times. From 1996-2000 he had a 124 OPS+. For his career he walked more than he struck out. This guy was one heckuva player. I wouldn’t lose a wink of sleep if he were elected one day.

Billy Wagner and Trevor Hoffman - Here’s my thought on these guys … I would have no problem if they were elected. I’m a big (actual size) Hall guy, and I think there is room for the best relief pitchers ever in there. Even if they only throw one inning a game 60-70x a season.

But here’s the list of RPs with 23 or more WAR, zeroing out negative seasons, according to B-R WAR (I could have missed someone):

56.6   56.6 Mariano Rivera
50.7   50.1 Hoyt Wilhelm 
44.5   41.8 Goose Gossage
31.5   31.2 John Hiller
31.5   28.7 Lindy McDaniel
29.8   29.4 Lee Smith
28.9   28.0 Trevor Hoffman
28.5   27.3 Stu Miller (93 GS)
27.9   27.7 Billy Wagner
27.4   25.0 Rollie Fingers
27.1   26.2 Kent Tekulve
26.6   26.1 Joe Nathan
26.5   24.9 Dan Quisenberry
25.7   24.5 Bruce Sutter
25.7   23.8 Bob Stanley (85 GS)
25.5   22.9 Jesse Orosco
25.4   22.7 Don McMahon
25.2   23.7 John Franco
24.3   21.4 Dave Righetti (89 GS)
24.3   21.0 Tug McGraw
24.1   23.9 Francisco Rodriguez
24.1   22.9 Sparky Lyle
23.7   23.7 Jonathan Papelbon
23.7   23.1 Tom Henke
23.6   21.3 Doug Jones
23.0   21.3 Roy Face

Where do you draw that line? I mean, I could see Wagner and Hoffman in - and you could say it’s a different era, but Rivera shows a true great can still put up a reasonable Hall of Fame type total even in the modern era of closers. Personally I think we should give John Hiller a much longer look, especially with his off the charts 1973 season. For now Wagner and Hoffman sit out, but I’m open to considering them down the line. Should we give Hiller, Smith and McDaniel a better look if we think Wagner and Hoffman deserve to be in? Was Fingers a mistake? I don't have all of the answers, but I think they are important questions.

Troy Glaus - .51 PA (Ken Keltner, Bill Madlock). 4x All-Star. 2002 World Series MVP. One of the top 40-50 3B to play the game. That’s a nice run. Not a HoMer obviously, but still a really good career.

Other (including mandatory) comments:

Luis Tiant - .88 PA. Comparing him with Reuschel . . . I've got Tiant 54th amongst post-1893 SPs eligible. I give him credit for 3362.3 tIP, at the equivalent of a 112 ERA+, and he was +5 runs as a hitter. Reuschel I get at 3745.3 tIP, a 115 rate, and the same +5 BRAR.

Looking at their seven best seasons in terms of WARP, I see Reuschel at 8.7, 6.5, 5.3, 5.2, 5.1, 4.9, 4.8; Tiant at 7.7, 6.4, 5.2, 5.1, 4.9, 4.6, 4.5. Reuschel's top 3 consecutive were 18.8; Tiant's 16.4.

Using a Bill James NHBA peaky type system, with my wins, I get Reuschel at #55, Tiant at #100. Using a JAWS type system, I get Reuschel #39, Tiant #60.

I like Tiant. He’s closish to my ballot. I wouldn’t be bothered if we put him in. I just like the guys ahead of him here more.

Buddy Bell - A little below Tommy Leach. A little above Ventura. At .85 PA he’s in the big crowd below about .88 PA which is where my typical in/out line seems to have formed. He’s close. It wouldn’t kill me if he got in.

Bobby Bonds - I see him as comparable to Joe Medwick or Kiki Cuyler, I’ve got Bonds with .82 PA. I wasn’t a big fan of Medwick’s selection. He’s just below my in out line, but it gets crowded just below. Which is why the line is a little above that crowd.

David Wells - I kind of think of him as the Bobo Newsom of the 1985-2005 period. Bounced around and pitched pretty well wherever he went. I am a big fan of long career very good pitchers. I did not have time to run him through my system, but looking at his BB-ref WAR, his ERA+, IP and comparing him with others who I have run through, I think he's most comparable to Newsom and Newcombe.

Kenny Lofton CF - .80 PA (Dom DiMaggio, Larry Doby). DanR's WAR does not like Lofton nearly as much as BB-ref's. Big year in 1994 and a nice run from 1992-96, but he seems to me like a very good, not great player. The big difference here is defense. If I could be convinced his defense was better than DanR thinks, I could move him up a bit.

Jeff Kent Lands around .80 PA . . . this puts him very much in the HOVG for me. There are some HoMers here - Ken Boyer is probably the best comp. Nellie Fox, Bill Terry and Ken Boyer are examples of HoM players from down here, but non-HoMers are far more common. Between Boyer and Fox you have Fregosi, Cey, Bob Johnson, Jose Cruz Sr., Tony Fernandez, Chuck Klein, Harry Hooper, George Sisler, Ralph Kiner, Amos Otis, Chet Lemon, and Bobby Veach. I think Kent is in nice company there. Just not really close to getting on my ballot company.

Luis Gonzalez Similar to Kent, a hair behind at .79 PA. Was surprised that Dan R’s WAR likes him nearly as much as Kent.

Hugh Duffy - .72 WAR. Pretty cool that perpetual eligibility keeps guys like Duffy around. rWAR has him with .4625 from 1893 on, so I need to come up with some estimates for 1888-1892.

What I did was run a regression on Pennants Added using Dan’s WAR against Chone’s WAR. Then I used the resulting function to convert Chone’s WAR to PA for the missing years. The reason I did it this way was because I like Dan’s WAR better and if there were any differences between the two in terms of how they treat Duffy, I wanted to lean towards Dan’s method.

Amongst players that finished their career before 1920, the .72 PA number puts Duffy in the company of guys like Roy Thomas and Fielder Jones. He’s just not good enough for me.

Julio Franco 2B/SS - .68 PA (Joe Tinker, Jay Bell). This does not include any credit for 1998-2001. Even if I gave him credit for 1.0 WAR per year (his age 39-42 seasons) we are talking about him bumping up to the Art Fletcher/Dick Bartell class. He was an all-star caliber player from 1984-1991, but never an MVP candidate or anything like that. But he was a really good player, and a neat story playing as long as he did.

Dick Redding - He was good, but I think we are overrating him. I can't see how he's better than Grimes, who just misses my ballot.

Vic Willis - My system does not love Willis. He is not worse than the worst HoM pitchers we've elected (Bob Lemon and Joe McGinnity), but I have 20-25 pitchers ahead of him, ranging from those on my ballot, down through modern guys like Hershiser, Appier, Gooden, Denny Martinez, older guys like Grimes, Waite Hoyt, Bob Shawkey. This is a short career. This is not a knock, I just think he's in the middle of this glut. He was also a terrible hitter for a pitcher in his era, which costs him 28 runs compared with an average hitting pitcher for his time. Give him those runs back and I'd have him around even with Tiant.

Sal Bando - .67 PA. Using DanR's WAR he winds up in a cohort that includes Harlond Clift, Larry Gardner, Ken Caminiti, Art Devlin. I am not feeling this one at all. It's basically 11 years of very good. He's not close for me.

   41. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: December 19, 2016 at 10:31 AM (#5370642)
Non-Mandatory comments:

Robin Ventura is a tier below with .83 PA (yes, there are that many players at this level - which is one thing that suggests HoVG for both Edgar and Ventura). Norm Cash and Bobby Bonds are also here. Buddy Bell is right there, a little actually, at .85 PA.

Since he was discussed during the 2010 election a bit, Thurman Munson is close, but about a full season behind Bill Freehan. I give a 50% career bonus for catchers and with that, I get Munson at .79 PA. I have Freehan at .87. I draw the line at Freehan in, Munson (and now Kendall) out, but I can definitely see support for Munson (or Kendall, who was probably a little better) as a candidate.

Bob Johnson - .80 PA. He's in the mix - but slides down when you deflate his numbers from WWII. I see him in a group with Fregosi, Cey, Cruz and Schang. I don’t think Edgar Martinez was all that better than Bob Johnson.

John Olerud - .75 PA (George Sisler, Fred McGriff). Olerud was a really good player with a very nice split peak (1993/1998). rWAR shows him as deserving the 1993 MVP that most statheads think should have gone to Frank Thomas. But he only had 7 years with 3 or more rWAR. It wouldn’t kill me to see him elected. He was a more valuable player than Fred McGriff, Kirby Puckett, Jake Beckley or Charlie Keller, for example. But he’s doesn’t have quite enough to make my ballot at this point.

Fred McGriff is down there with guys like Roy White, Jack Clark, Dale Murphy and George Burns at .73 PA. Defense and base running count.

Kirby Puckett - .69 PA. Loved to watch him play, but there's just not enough there. DanR's numbers show him similar to Rizzuto - before giving any war credit. I've got him in a group with Ken Singleton, Bob Elliott, Fielder Jones, Joe Tinker, Harlond Clift, etc.. Very good player. A solid all-star in his day. But not a HoMer.

Mike Cameron .67 PA. Nice solid career. Puts him in the Willie Davis/Fielder Jones/Kirby Puckett level.

Carlos Delgado - .67 PA. Another good, solid career. Similar to Rocky Colavito or Mickey Vernon or George Foster.

Steve Finley CF - .65 PA (Willie Davis, Bobby Murcer). Really nice player. I drafted him for $3 in an auction league in 1991 during my freshman year of college and he was one of favorite players for ever after . . .

Nomar Garciaparra - .64 PA. I think Tony Oliva is his best comp, even though they played different positions. Great player, injuries keep him out of the Hall of Merit. Note I said Merit, because Oliva is very close to making the Hall of Fame. There isn’t any shortstop really close to Nomar on the list in terms of career pennants added who was nearly as good as he was at his peak. He needed 3 more years like he had from 1997-2003 (and not like 2001) to have made the bubble. Basically 2/3 of a Hall of Merit career. JAWS shows this. He’s basically got the 7 year peak of an average Hall of Fame SS (with only 6 great seasons BTW - his 6th best season was 6.1 WAR, his 7th was 2.5). I could see peak voters really liking Nomar, he’ll be on the also receiving votes list in perpetuity I’d imagine.
   42. bjhanke Posted: December 19, 2016 at 12:07 PM (#5370735)
I swear to St. Ruth that I only found this ballot thread today, and then only through a message Joe sent to the Yahoo Group for All-Star Baseball. Fortunately, the deadline isn't already past. So, thos is a copy of the comment I made back in the discussion thread - yesterday. I haven't had any time to change it. There are some small changes to the order of the holdovers, but I don't have time to write explanations. I did make comments about all the required disclosures, and boy, am I glad I did. Anyway, here it is, hopefully just in time. - Brock Hanke

1. Ivan Rodriguez
2. Manny Ramirez
3. Bobby Bonds
4. Babe Adams
5. Jim Edmonds
6. Lou Brock
7. Hugh Duffy
8. Sammy Sosa
9. Tommy Bridges
10. Hilton Smith
11. Don Newcombe
12. Big Jim McCormick
13. Luis Tiant
14. Ben Taylor
15. Kenny Lofton

Required Disclosures, copied over from last year, because I have to post them to have my ballot count, which is fair.

Jeff Kent - The New Historical Abstract's comment is "One of the best RBI men ever to play second base." I think that about covers it.

Buddy Bell - Sort of Ken Boyer lite. He has 19 more career Win Shares, but his peak, his prime, and his Win Shares per 162 games are lower than Ken's. I'm a Ken Boyer fan, and think Ken's a good bit stronger than the weakest of the HoMers. Bell is really close to the in/out line.

Vic Willis – I’ve commented on Vic before. He’s one of the pitchers I call the Pittsburgh Six, because they passed through the Pirate rotation right about the turn of 1900, when Frank Selee was revolutionizing pitcher usage. I prefer Deacon Phillippe (and Sam Leever) to Vic because Vic didn’t pitch much as an ace, while Deacon and Sam did (in different years). So his level of competition isn’t as strong as theirs were. But he did have a longer career.
   43. bjhanke Posted: December 19, 2016 at 12:19 PM (#5370752)
I want to explain the point about not seeing this until today. What I mean by that is that, if I login to BTF, I don't see this thread ANYWHERE. I do see the Discussion thread, and participated. But even now, the ballot thread is invisible to me. That doubtless needs to be fixed, if not for me, then for everyone else who might have missed the ballot thread. I literally only found out about it because Joe sent a reminder to this Yahoo group for this children's card game. I never saw it here on BTF itself. Somebody might try to see if there's a problem beyond me, and if there is, extend the deadline and get the Ballot Thread very visible. - Brock
   44. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: December 19, 2016 at 01:42 PM (#5370842)
Intersting Brock. It is stickied at the very top of the Hall of Merit's main page. Not sure of what you are missing.
   45. Al Peterson Posted: December 19, 2016 at 02:40 PM (#5370904)
2017 ballot thread entry. An exciting set of players come eligible three get onto the ballot. Minor movement elsewhere.

Methodology in brief: The system used for my ranking entails a little bit of everything including WS, WAR, OPS+/ERA+. Ratings include positional adjustments, additions to one’s playing record for minor league service, war, and NeL credit and for our real oldtimers some contemporary opinion thrown in. Even some of the discussions here can help move the needle with me. The results of this work tend to favor prime/peak players over career types but that is not 100% tried and true. Last year’s placement is in parenthesis.

1. Ivan Rodriguez (-).
Longevity, solid hitter, excellent glove, all at the catching position which is never easy to find and substain. Can’t go wrong with Pudge in this spot.

2. Manny Ramirez (-). Indifferent fielder who compensated by being one of the best RH sluggers and high average guys the game has ever seen. It’s fine by me, Manny can be Manny in the HOM.

3. Dick Redding (6).
Career was long – decent peak along the way. Outstanding fastball in his day according to James/Neyer book. So he didn’t get into the Hall of Fame; maybe the information collected by HOF committee wasn’t pertinent to Redding’s prime years. He deserves some WWI credit, thus patching up a bald spot in his prime years as 1918 and 1919 were affected. The last NeL pitcher I’d deem as worthy of induction.

4. Bobby Bonds (5). Even with the constant trades, drinking problem and whatnot his combination of speed/power made him a very valuable player. He wasn’t the next Mays, or as good as his son, but we’re talking about a RF who could steal bases and field his position. All five tools on display.

5. Tommy Leach (7).
Combination hot corner/centerfielder could field a little, hit a little. Second all-time in inside-the-park home runs to Wahoo Sam Crawford. Someone else stated he was uniquely valuable in his particular era and I agree he meant more in the particular era he performed in. Useless trivia: Still holds World Series record with 4 triples in a single series.

6. Vladimir Guerrero (-). Doesn’t surprise me too much Vlad comes in this high. The long prime candidate tends to do well in my system. Again an adventure in the field and the bases – those things along with the free-swinging ways made him a fan favorite.

7. Phil Rizzuto (8). I’ve done my minor league & WWII absence calibration so Scooter scoots to ballot position. Glove first but the offense during prime years was nothing to sneeze at either. Holy Cow!

8. Tony Mullane (9). Old time pitcher who threw plenty well, a good hitter to boot. Had some playing time issues since he missed seasons due to being blacklisted. He’s amongst the best of his era when accounting for the time outside of baseball due to conflicts with different leagues. Goes on the all-Nickname team as well.

9. Kenny Lofton (10). I’ve come around on Lofton some from earlier ballots. The defense and baserunning do add up over a long career and offset batting numbers that looks more mid-ranged. A well-traveled player who helped teams win.

10. Sammy Sosa (11). Peak power that was enough to make people start walking him. This increased his value as it upped his OBP skills, doubling the value added. Early in his career he had base stealing and defense as assets.

11. Mickey Welch (12).
300 game winner in the house. Was it due to luck, run support, bad opponents? Still a feat to accomplish, sometimes I need to remind myself that and not totally overlook Smilin’ Mickey. Seemed to pitch well against the other front line starters of his day.

12. Jim Edmonds (13). Probably him and Lofton should duke it out for pecking order. They are very close but I’ll drop him a couple notches. King of the diving grab.

13. Buddy Bell (14). The bat was sufficient but it was defense where he shone. Not overly praised in his time due to being on non-playoff teams. Sort of a Rick Reuschel type in that his build made you question ability to play. His reflexes were superior when it came to picking it at 3B.

14. Bob Johnson (15). Always a bit underrated in Win Shares due to quality of teams he played on. His career has war years that need discount. But also a couple years at the beginning of his career were in the PCL where he was more than major league quality. The tail of his career is nonexistent since the 1946 avalanche of returning War players pushed him back to the minors.

15. Luis Tiant (17). Maybe a tier below the other 1970s pitching HOMers but that is a pretty good tier to be near. Spread in some peak years, ineffective years, overall is a standard borderline case.

Next up, but off ballot:
16. Norm Cash
17. Jeff Kent. Might have a little too low since I’m heavy on outfielders. I’ll stash Mr. Carwash just off ballot for now.
18. Vic Willis. A lot like Tiant. Has seen my ballot before, could again. Think just want to get in the elite pitchers from the 1990s/2000s before the next tier from other eras.
19. Bucky Walters
20. Bus Clarkson
21. Ben Taylor – The numbers seem to indicate top 1B during dead ball era, either MLB or NeL. Not a horrible choice in anyone’s top 15.
22. Fred McGriff
23. Frank Chance
24. Bob Elliott
25. Tommy John
Newcomers – Jorge Posada: Probably going to need longer career and bit better defense to ballot. In 50-75 range.
Top 10 – Tommy Bridges: In the 26-35 range. In a similar place that houses the next group of pitchers. Is he much different from Willis/Walters/John? Value wise not much. Quality twirler…
   46. Michael J. Binkley's anxiety closet Posted: December 19, 2016 at 03:12 PM (#5370928)
“If we could reduce this entire excercise to one absolute exumenical equation considering every possible factor in evaluating each player(egs. parks, timelines, leagues, position, peak value, teammates, career value etc.) this project would be much less interesting.

That doesn't mean we should ever stop trying to create such statistical mechanisms for our own use.”

After lurking around the HoM since around “1930,” and not voting due to never being perfectly happy with whatever analysis system I was tinkering around with at the time, I discovered the above quote by Brian H. in the archives of the 1910 Ballot Discussion thread. Realizing that I would probably end up changing my system every year (and observing that behavior in a number of well-respected long-time voters), I finally decided to start voting five years ago.

For this reason, I also encourage any other lurkers who have considered voting but have so far refrained from doing so to give it a shot, even if you have differing opinions. Such opinions are always welcomed, as long as they are well-reasoned.

On to my ideology/methodology (and yes, I made another change to my system for this year – and already have another revision planned for next year.):
I am a peak voter at heart. I believe that a HoF/HoM should be a Hall of Greatness, not a strict Hallof Value. That said, I do take career into consideration.

For MLB players, on offense, I use BBRef WAA/WAR numbers. For defense, I average TZ/DRS and DRA, regressing the numbers slightly. I also include slightly regressed numbers of BP/Max Marchi catcher framing runs. For pitching, I average BBRef, BBGauge and FG WAA/WAR.

For Negro League/Minor League players, I use the WS and WAR estimates provided by Chris Cobb, Brent, Dr. Chaleeko, Alex King, DanR and others, making a crude conversion of WS to WAR where needed.

I give war credit (average of surrounding seasons if in prime of career, increasing or decreasing values if in early or twilight portion of career, respectively).
I adjust for standard deviation and average pitcher workload. And I believe the DH penalty is too much, so I value them the same as 1b.

After deriving these value for player seasons I rank the players by summing:

1. Career salary estimation using a peak-rate salary estimator, similar to that of Dan Rosenheck, divided by $100M (one-third bonus for catchers for the periods when they caught)

2. Postseason bonus – A players postseason WPA in years their team reached the World Series (overall negative numbers are zeroed out).
3. 7.5 (This basically makes it so that my eventual desired PHoM cutoff line is right at 100.

Onto the ballot:

1. Ivan Rodriguez (161.24) – Not quite inner-circle (approx. 175 in my system), but a no-brainer inductee.

2. Manny Ramirez (139.18) – One hell of a hitter.

3. Luke Easter (124.16) - An “integration squeeze” guy. He was the cleanup hitter for a factory team that had other NeL stars on it and was better than the actual NeL team that was located in St. Louis. He lost his war years working in military industry. And by then he was too old to be considered for the start of integration. When he did get his chance, all he did was produce despite injuries throughout almost all of his actual ML career. And his defense didn’t really grade out as worse than average, despite the fact that his knees were shot. Then he spent another few years still mashing in the minors well into his 40’s.

4. Thurman Munson (122.86) - Munson gets overshadowed by his more deserving 1970’s catching counterparts (Bench, Fisk), but he’s clearly a deserving HoMer. He was a good hitter and had above average defense (both conventional and framing) and excelled in the postseason.

5. Jim Edmonds (120.46) – As a peak-heavy voter, I love his 2000-2005. A shame he was one and done on the HoF ballot.

6. Charlie Buffinton (119.70) – The 1880’s pitcher that I believe this group is truly missing out on. He was never the best pitcher any single year, but had a number of excellent years (1884, 1888, 1889, 1891) as well as decent supporting years in 1883, 1885 and 1887. He does well in all the WAR systems (Digression – A number of BBRef-only supporters champion McCormick, but bWAR is the only system that finds him HoM-worthy. Neither gWAR nor fWAR like him as much adjusted for era, nor does WS, which I don’t even use). But back to Buffinton, he also often pitched slightly less innings per season than some of his counterparts, which yields better rate numbers, which my sytem likes.

7. Urban Shocker (118.01) – Pitched in an extremely low standard deviation era for pitchers, so his number appear worse than they actually were in context. Despite the low std dev, he still had a career 124 ERA+, which exceeds a number of our inductees.

8. Wally Schang (117.28) – Was just an above-average catcher for a very long time for his era. Excelled at OBP in the deadball era (Yes, I know slugging has extra value in those type of environments). Just a great player on a rate basis.

9. Gavvy Cravath (115.68) – As our founder has stated, he’s the type of player this project was designed to find. He had a 151 OPS+ in his time in the majors. Yes, the NL lacked hitting other hitting stars in that era, but it was also a low standard deviation era for hitters. Yes, he took advantage of his stadium, but so did a lot of players (looking at you, Boggs). I’m not going to penalize him because others didn’t do the same. Needs minor league credit to place here, but he’s deserving of it in my view.

10. Kenny Lofton (115.52) – He had a great early peak and was just solid for his long career.

11. Buddy Bell (114.55) – Almost all systems love his defense. And his hitting wasn’t that bad, either. One of the truly underrated players in history.

12. Art Fletcher (112.89) – DRA absolutely loves his defense, even regressed. Was also an average offensive player, which is above-average for a SS.

13. Eddie Cicotte (112.26) – No extra credit for post-1920, nor any deductions for his actions.

14. Don Newcombe (108.68) He requires a bunch of varying credit to get here (integration, war, hitting, low std dev era), but he deserves it and adding it all up makes him a HoMer.

15. Joe Tinker (107.75) – (See Art Fletcher). Also, it just seems weird to me that one of the greatest dynasties in history (the Aught Cubs), have only two HoMers – a pitcher who, strictly by WAR would appear to be a borderline HoM, but made it due to his excellent ERA+ - which was boosted quite a bit by his incredible defense behind him and a left-fielder who was well past his prime. I have Tinker as in, Chance just over the 100 line and Evers a little short.

Next on Ballot / Required Disclosures / Newcomers

16. Luis Tiant
17. Sammy Sosa
18. Gene Tenace
19. Ben Taylor
20. Ned Williamson
21. Vlad Guerrero
22. Dwight Gooden
23. Frank Chance
24. Bobby Bonds
25. Tommy Bond

All of the above are above my “100 line,” so most likely eventual, if not already PHoMers (I have to go back and retroactively backfill my PhoM), so I have problem with their votes.

Jeff Kent – Only had 3 seasons above 5 WAR in my system. Best seasons were in an expansion/high standard deviation era. HoVG.

Phil Rizzuto – Even with war/malaria credit, he falls short for me (his 1950 season isn’t as great in my system as I know it is in others).

Vic Willis – Only four seasons above 5.0 WAR in my workload-adjusted system. Even so, just outside (97.59).

Tommy Bridges – Very peakless, which doesn’t do well in my system, even with a good postseason bonus.

Jorge Posada – The pitch-framing thing, even regressed, kills him.

Sal Bando – Literally the first name outside the “100 line.”

Bucky Walters – Good peak, but not so great on a rate basis, which causes him to fall short.
   47. rawagman Posted: December 19, 2016 at 05:03 PM (#5371047)
Let's do this!
*Disclaimer* - A number of these comments are sorely out of date as I no longer have the free time to deal with all of the minutiae of this project.

I use a sort of prime>peak>career number with measurements including relative league standing by playing time with a strong preference for players who had good in-season durability (non-exclusive). Combined with rate stats and an admittedly subjective glove measurement, I feel this gives me both context for what the player actually achieved versus what the league around him was able to do. My general baseball philosophy may help in clarifying my rankings. I don't believe in the single stat theory of baseball, meaning I don't use WS or any flavor of WAR in my rankings, although I do lean towards the statistical bent of the BP catalog. Essentially, I follow this concept as I think a significant percentage of what contributes to winning baseball is not necessarily counted in box scores. This includes things like manager's prerogative (elective actions - steal signs, pinch hitters, batting order, pitching changes, etc.), and actions that would require a historical PBP analysis that is currently unavailable.

I also prefer what I consider "total ballplayers", guys who can do it all. I believe in positional representation and abhor the thought process that says that relievers were all failed starters and 2B are all failed SS, etc... A team cannot win without a 2B (Also not an easy position for longevity), nor without someone in LF. When I look at a player's career, I try to ask myself how I would feel about him as his manager/general manager - would his presence require special tactics to protect him, or is he completely reliable? I hope it can be seen by my rankings that the "reliable" players generally rise above the ones with clear holes in their games. There are always exceptions, but this is what I have. The stats I look at to get here tend to be traditional and rate, both offensive and defensive. Contemporary opinion also helps. I find comprehensive ranking systems to be exclusive of much of what I see on the field of play - that is, the narrative of the game. The stats for me represent measurements of aspects of the game, but beyond that, the narrative has to fill out the gaps. i.e. - Why was this number lower than expected and that number higher? Combining the stats with the narrative gives me a baseball world-view that I am happy with and feel qualified to discuss.

I fully credit military and Negro League time, but am very reluctant to provide minor league credit for anyone past the advent of the Live Ball era.

Thoughts on the 2017 newcomers. Ivan Rodriguez and Vladimir Guerrero are absolute no-doubt locks for the top of this ballot. Manny Ramirez would make it a clean sweep for first timers, but his two PED suspensions - both notably after the issue hit public consciousness, causes me to give him a one year boycott - my first. I am not a PED hard liner by any stretch, but a one year boycott seems reasonable for cases such as Ramirez'. Posada and Ordonez were both great, but not HOM great, in my view. Both debut in the 20s. Varitek comes out very close to a Thurman Munson. That is in the 90s for my counting. With Ramirez held back, my PHOM welcomes Rodriguez, Guerrero and Sosa.

1) Ivan Rodriguez - the ranking here combines what I am certain about (his longevity, hitting at his peak, what we can measure accurately about his fielding, with what I believe - the newer catcher defensive measurables that are less certain the further back we go. (PHOM)
2) Vladimir Guerrero - the type of player that can create a fan base.g](PHOM)
X) Manny Ramirez - giving him a one-year boycott for his transgressions occuring after the onset of PED sanctions. As a hitter, he was among the greatest ever. He'll get my vote eventually.
3) Jim Edmonds - A have him as very close - perhaps a modern day equivalent(?) to Hugh Duffy. Some might think that as crazy, but I ding Edmonds a bit for a relative lack of in-season durability. Still, he was a fantastic hitter and a breathtaking fielder. And the BBWAA will **** him. (PHOM)
4) Hugh Duffy - Super peak, wonderful prime. Amazing bat, marvelous glove. The epitomy of reliability. (PHOM)
5) Tommy Bridges - He was really very good. A summary of a reevaluation of some of our unelected pitchers in my high backlog (Bridges, Gomez, Redding, Walters) Of those four, the white guys were all regulars for 10-11 seasons. Bucky and Lefty both had immense peaks, but I think that Lefty's non-peak years hold up better than Bucky's. Also, Lefty does not get any war discount. Dick Redding seems more similar to Walters in that his non-peak was not so impressive. His peak was still enough to leave in him solid backlog country. (I even put him in my PHOM back when I joined the project.) But Tommy Bridges wins out. He had much greater consistency. He is to pitchers what Bob Johnson was to hitters, but more of a winner (No - I'm not giving him extra credit for that). A deserving recipient of WWII credit. We have been especially splintered as to the backlog pitchers, and I urge everyone to give Tommy Bridges a closer look. (PHOM)
6) Ben Taylor - Can't find the peak, but a better prime (through the roof), career and glove than Beckley. I think he may be the player most underrated by the electorate. (PHOM)
7) Sammy Sosa - Overrated by the money stats. Even so, a word-class peak. (PHOM)
8) Trevor Hoffman - One of the greatest relief pitchers in history. That qualifier in front of the word "pitcher" is a black mark. He is best remembered as a soft tosser (outside of Nolan Ryan/Randy Johnson, how many pitchers who pitched into their 40s were still fireballing?), he had great strikeout numbers in his early years.
9) Kirby Puckett - I have read that some HOM voters consider Puckett to be a mistake of the BBWAA. I see where that sentiment may be emanating from, but I do believe that his election was earned. A wonderful ballplayer. (PHOM)
10) Dale Murphy - A player that my system loves. At his best he dominated. That refers to the years between 1979-1988. That's a 10 year prime with a very high peak. Also demonstrated very good fielding ability. Could easily move up my ballot. (PHOM)
((10) Gary Sheffield))
11) Jeff Kent - Moved up two spots since I posted my preliminary ballot. I can only hope that the BBWAA doesn't "two-and-done" him.
12) Carlos Delgado - A fantastic hitter who probably falls on the all-time in/out line for inclusion here and in Cooperstown.
13) Lefty Gomez - looking at him in any single way hurts him. Looking at him kaleidoscopically has him as the one of the best available pitchers in my eyes (PHOM)
14) Billy Wagner - Dominant, but short lived career. Fully in the "3-out save guy" category. Hard to accrue enough value under that usage pattern.
15) Dick Redding - One of the toughest for me to accurately place. I now think his teens peak was all he needed. I want to be sure I am adequately valuating pitching, so Redding has moved up a few spots in my ballot. (PHOM)
16) Vern Stephens - Will we look at Nomar down the road like we look at Vern now? (look down two slots. This questions, asked in the "1970s" was answered for "2015".) Great bat, good glove. (PHOM)
17) Bus Clarkson - A new defensive readjustment moves to the cusp. (PHOM)
18) Nomar Garciaparra - One more healthy year would probably bump him up 6-12 spots, but he didn't have it. Such a shame.
19) Fred McGriff - He did not dominate as a bat to the extent of an Edgar Martinez, but consistent above-average performance and fielding that was moderate (I know that not everyone agrees), place the Crime Dog in the heart of my ballot. A better version of Jake Beckley. Here's hoping that it doesn't take McGriff quite as long to receive his dues. Recently dinged through new look at fielding. (PHOM)
20) Jorge Posada - A great hitter for any position, he is held back by a) very poor fielding reputation and measurables as well as a relatively brief career.
21) Magglio Ordonez - Pure hitter. Two more full seasons would have likely placed him on the ballot. Alas.
22) Gavvy Cravath - No longer the worst fielder in my top 120 candidates (Frank Howard). Probably still the most dominant hitter (as compared to his peers), though. (PHOM)
23) Bob Johnson - I don't know why it took me this long. Great all-round LF. Very durable. (PHOM)
24) Tony Oliva - Career not as short as I thought. Had solid durability for the seasons he was around for. A world class hitter. (PHOM)
25) Dizzy Dean - Diet Sandy Koufax. 0 calories (career), no sugar (prime).
((25a)Andre Dawson))
26) Orlando Cepeda - Going with my numbers. I support him, but the strength of many of the new guys as well as the recently dregded up arguments for others drops him off ballot.(PHOM)
27) Bobby Veach - He did it all well. As complete a LF as is available today. (PHOM)
28) Al Oliver - I was surprised by the similarities between Oliver and Reggie Smith. Very convincing peak and a glove that scores quite well. Career length is nice as well.
29) Don Mattingly - In the interest of my belief in a big hall for Cooperstown, I support Mattingly's induction. That said, for this project, he looks to be just the wrong side of the door. New look at fielding raises him up a few spots.
30) Albert Belle - Fits in rather nicely with the next three on this list.
   48. rawagman Posted: December 19, 2016 at 05:05 PM (#5371050)
31) Rocky Colavito - Good defensive showing moves him way up. I didn't expect that either.
32) Bobby Bonds - I may have been mildly underrating him before (very little gap between 25-150 by this point), but I don't see what truly separates him from a player of the ilk of a Colavito.
33) Jack Clark - Marvelous hitter who had his uses in the field as well.
34) Jim Rice - This is, more or less, where the in-out line can be found for the slightly bigger hall that I dream of.
35) Wally Berger - super-underrated
36) Ernie Lombardi - defense was below average, but not quite horrible
((36a) Jimmy Wynn))
37) Ron Guidry - I love a dominant pitcher. I don't think it's necessarily correct to view pitchers and hitters in the same light and I value a strong peak (I mean really strong) for pitchers more than for hitters (prefer a steady, all round type there). Similar to, but not quite the equal of, Lefty Gomez, one of my inner circle of best friends.
38) Luis Tiant - Undoubtedly a wonderful pitcher, but of the type who don't do that well in my system. I wasn't Billy Pierce's biggest fan, and I consider Tiant to be of a similar mold, so he slots in over here. With relatively few big inning seasons (only three top ten finishes), my system can only give him so much love. I prefer the shorter career with the higher peak in this type of case. (see Guidry, Dean, Gomez)
39) Al Rosen - One more season of prime, and he is top 10
((39a) Jim Bunning))
((39b) Billy Pierce))
((39c) Graig Nettles))

40) Luis Gonzalez - Outside of his mid-career explosion (I do not suspect, nor particularly care about the PED question), Gonzalez' case for the HOM is as a long career, low peak corner outfielder. I may be overrating him.
41) Lee Smith - He didn't have the stellar peak of the closers around him, but his prime outlasted them both. And his peak is really not that far below Sutter's, at least.
42) Lance Parrish - Solid all round catcher. Proud member of the HoVG. Not quite the HOM though.
43) Buddy Bell - Fits in rather nicely in this run of HOVG 3B. New look at his defense gives him big boost.
44) Norm Cash - Too much in one year - and that was not the best year for an everlasting peak, for a number of reasons. Excellent fielder, though.
45) Dan Quisenberry - I suppose I've decided that I value peak in a reliever over career totals. Mind you, if the guy has both...
46) John Franco - What can I say? All those LOOGY-moments...they added up. Not enough to get him in, but to at least be in the discussion.
47) Tony Fernandez - Mr. Blue Jay. Compares favorably to Rizzuto.
48) Bert Campaneris - Stupid me - I had somehow left him off my consideration set for years.
((48a) Dobie Moore))
49) Addie Joss - ERA/+ and WHIP are great, but why so little black ink?
((49a) Cupid Childs))
((49b) Roger Bresnahan))
((49c) Rollie Fingers))

50) Phil Rizzuto - Moves up a few spots with another look at his peak. Not as bad as I once considered.
51) Fred Dunlap - Very short career. Very good, too.
52) Tom Henke - Not a long career, but the Terminator was one of the best closers in the game at his peak. New DERA calculations boost him.
53) Tommy John - I think I like his overall picture just a smidgen more than Sutton's.
((53a) Don Sutton))
54) Don Newcombe - big beneficiary of pitcher's fielding analysis. Further slight bump this year this another look at his extra credit seasons.
55) John Olerud - Olerud playing first base with his batting helmet on was an iconic Blue Jays image in my youth.
((55a) Rick Reuschel))
56) Vic Willis - As a top ten holdover, I re-examined his case and saw fit to move him up over 35 spots. That said, his profile lacks the extended prime I like to see and I would be very surprised if Willis ever makes my top 15.
57) Bucky Walters - Very similar to Pierce in overall picture - but built differently.
58) Kevin Appier - Just ahead of Finley. I prefer the better rate to the longer career, but very, very close.
59) Chuck Finley - I remember being surprised when he didn`t come back for another season. I wonder what one more season of slightly above average performance would have done to his final ranking.
60) Mickey Welch
61) Bruce Sutter - Shorter career than the other modern closer candidates, but when he was at his best, he was the best. That works for me - to a point.
62) Fred Carroll - I give him around 1.5 seasons prime MiL credit. Better than Tenace. And maybe better than Bresnahan given the proper credit.
63) Larry Doyle - If only the glove were just a little better.
64) Cecil Travis - A very worthy extra credit case.
((64a) Jake Beckley))
65) Jimmy Ryan
66) Fred Lynn - Very similar to Duffy and Roush. Loses a lot of ground due to in-season durability concerns for an otherwise very strong candidate. Should be appealing to Browning/Chance/McGraw supporters who overlook that sort of thing.
((66a) Charlie Keller))
67) Bernie Williams - will ballot higher just for being a critical part of a dynasty. Had Williams spent his entire career with nearly any other team in the majors, he would not have made nearly the impact on the national stage.
68) Cy Williams
69) Brett Butler - Some are calling him an equivalent to Kirby. I'm not seeing it. At Kirby's best, he was the best. At Butler's best, he was very good. My system will always take the guy who was the best for a stretch.
70) Amos Otis - The end of the centrefield run.
71) Dolph Camilli - I give him a year of war credit, but he's still two more prime years away from making some noise. An underappreciated stud.
72) Kenny Lofton - I truly thought that he would have ranked higher than this, but with so much of his value tied to his baserunning and defense, I have a hard time putting him above players with similar overall value but more weighted to the offensive side. Hall of Very Good.
73) Fielder Jones - I was missing on him a bit. A very apt first name. Solid bat as well.
((73a) Pete Browning))
74) Mark Grace - It's always fun when a player's name can fit with his on-field ability/persona. A Graceful first-baseman, with the stick and with the glove. Splitting hairs betwen him and Garvey. I think Garvey stuck out just that much more among his 1B peers.
75) Tony Perez - No appreciable peak. As far as 1B go, I have Cepeda up higher because of his very nice peak and his not too short career as a regular. Ben Taylor suffers from a lack of documented stats, but the stats we do have show that he could flat out mash the ball by dead-ball standards. Contemporaries say his glove was the best they had ever seen at 1B. How much was a scoop worth? I think it's worth alot. I maintain that while a below average defensive 1B can cause little measurable harm, an above average glove at 1B will provide a hefty bonus to the team lucky enough to employ one.
76) Steve Garvey
77) Luke Easter
78) Jim Bottomley
79) Frank McCormick
80) Bob Elliott
81) Robin Ventura
82) Sal Bando
83) Ron Cey
84) Pie Traynor
85) Ed Williamson
86) Johnny Evers
87) Elston Howard
88) Joe Wood
89) Bill Mazeroski
90) Tony Lazerri
91) Tommy Leach
92) Thurmon Munson
93) Jason Varitek
94) Walker Cooper
95) Johnny Pesky
96) Hippo Vaughn
97) Dave Concepcion
98) Sparky Lyle
99) George Kell
100) Cesar Cedeno
101) Chet Lemon
102) Vada Pinson
103) Luis Aparicio
104) Tip O'Neill
105) Chuck Klein
106) Denny Lyons
((106a) John McGraw))
107) George Van Haltren
108) Rabbit Maranville
109) Matt Williams
110)Ellis Burks
   49. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: December 19, 2016 at 06:05 PM (#5371088)
Ballot coming before 8. (Just making sure posting works this year.)
   50. dan b Posted: December 19, 2016 at 07:26 PM (#5371110)
((64a) Jake Beckley))

Rawagman - I think you are overrating Old Eagle Eye. I hope you will reconsider and drop him lower next year.
   51. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: December 19, 2016 at 07:46 PM (#5371118)
Another year, another ballot.

My ranking system isn’t that specific. It’s based more on BB-ref’s WAR than anything else, but I still have WS and old WARP totals on my spreadsheet. I use Humphrey’s DAR in some cases, but I can’t say I’ve applied it systematically.

I also try to include both peak and career candidates, but tend to lean more towards the career when push comes to shove. When I talk about WS or WAR rate, that’s per PA.

I don’t do steroid-related boycotts.

Rodriguez, Ramirez and Edmonds make my PHoM this year.

1. Ivan Rodriguez (new) Health is a skill! One of the top all-time catchers, with a lot of defensive value, reasonably good hitting for a catcher, and he played quite a long time. A clear #1, but not miles ahead. Makes my PHoM this year.

2. Manny Ramirez (new) Hell of a hitter. His defense gave a good portion of that back, of course. Still, overall comes in ahead of the other OF candidates, if not by a huge amount. Makes my PHoM this year.

3. Jim Edmonds (5) Yeah, I did not appreciate how good he was. That said, for a HoM candidate he had a relatively short prime. Makes my PHoM this year.

4. Bus Clarkson (6) Parallels Elliot’s career, but with war credit he comes out ahead, and he presumably had more defensive value. (Quick comparison to Alomar – WS 344 to 376 in 1900 fewer PA, OPS+ 123 to 116, 3B/SS to 2B. Even deflating the MLEs a bit, that looks pretty close to me.) Made my PHoM in 1997.

5. Bobby Bonds (7) While Edmonds is clearly better, especially in the field, I think they are pretty comparable over all. More of a prime candidate than anything else, but his peak and career values aren’t bad either. Even with Smith’s election, I still think 1970’s OF are a bit underrepresented. Made my PHoM in 2008.

6. Luis Tiant (8) He had some outstanding years, and contributed long enough to build up a decent career value. There were a lot of great pitchers in his era, but that happens sometimes. Ahead of Redding because they’re very close, and I can’t ignore the argument that MLB info is more certain. Made my PHoM in 2005.

7. Vladimir Guerrero (new) He looks pretty similar to Bonds and Johnson to me. He played a bit longer, but their rates are a little better. Certainly a good candidate, and a highly entertaining player.

8. Dick Redding (10) Seems to have a pretty good peak, and also has somewhat of a career argument. I still tend to think he’s close enough to Mendez that they both should be in or out. Made my PHoM in 1973.

9. Ben Taylor (14) A solid candidate who might have been overlooked. 3rd-best 1B in the Negro Leagues, a good hitter with an outstanding defensive rep. (I do think I was giving him credit for his defense already, but a little confirmation certainly doesn’t hurt.) Also did some pitching early on. I have him as the best overall 1B of his era – Sisler was better at his best, but that just didn’t last long enough. Made my PHoM in 2009.

10. Phil Rizzuto (11) Accounting for the malaria as an effect of the war helped him move up a couple of spots. With war credit, it’s pretty clear he’d have more career value than Stephens. Peak is a different issue, but he’s not that far behind Stephens, and he did have a few excellent seasons. Might deserve Minor League credit for 1940 (I’m not counting it at the moment.) Made my PHoM in 1997.

11. Kenny Lofton (13) This is mostly because of his total WAR, but he does generally look better than the other CF candidates. I found it interesting that if you rank their seasonal WAR scores, Lofton beats Edmonds for Years 1-3, then Edmonds is in front for 4-10, and Lofton for the rest. I’d like to get some clarity about his defense.

12. Bob Johnson (9) I'm impressed by his consistency, he was an above-average player every year for 13 seasons, plus he got started very late in the bigs, so I will give him at least 1 year of minor league credit. I think the era considerations have been a little overblown, and I still don’t think Joe Medwick was any better than Bob. Made my PHoM in 1992.

13. Norm Cash (13) A lot of good years, but I really think he's the Beckley of the 60s, with a shorter career (although that's not really much of a criticism), and the fluke year. Even if you take 1961 out, he’s still clearly ahead of Cepeda and Perez in WS and WARP rate. He really does look pretty similar to Hernandez, and for some reason has 6 Win Shares Gold Gloves to Keith's 1. Made my PHoM in 2003.

14. Tommy Leach (15) Doesn’t do great by WAR, although a lot of the other 3B candidates are in the hard-to-differentiate 70s clump. Excellent fielder at important positions, OK hitter. One of the most complete players on the ballot. Made my PHoM in 1940.

15. Tommy Bridges (17) Very hard to differentiate between Bridges and Cone. Like Johnson, extremely consistent, which I feel is a strength. I am giving him war credit, but not minor-league credit.

16. Gavvy Cravath (16) With the basic 07, 09-11 additions, this is where I have him. A better peak than Johnson, but less consistent. WAR isn't quite as fond of him as WS, but he compares well to Kiner & Keller. Made my PHoM in 1987.

(16A David Cone, 16B John McGraw)

17. John Olerud (21) I understand the comment that McGriff looked more like a Hall of Famer, but Olerud was just perpetually overlooked. He clearly had significantly more defensive value than McGriff, and the offensive difference is not huge (OPS+ 134-128). Putting him ahead of Sosa may be pushing it, but maybe not.

18. Bill Monroe (19) Has dropped, partly because of new guys, but also because those 1912-14 numbers don’t look good. A good player at an important defensive position, with a great reputation for his fielding. People like to promote the 1890s as underrepresented, but that doesn't mean the 00s and 10s are overrepresented. (Well, maybe on my ballot, but not in the HoM.) Made my PHoM in 1939.

(18A Ralph Kiner)

19. Sammy Sosa (18) The more I look at him, the more “meh” I feel. The most recent version of WAR were kinder to Bonds and Johnson, who were more consistently good. Has a slightly higher peak, but he was also allowed to hang around longer. 609 homers are impressive, but a 128 OPS+ is not.

20. Don Newcombe (22) Basically the only pitcher candidate left from the 50s, and he has an interesting argument – see the discussion in the Belle thread about alcoholism. And he gets less attention from the HoF people than Gil Hodges or Allie Reynolds. Read about the Yankees and Dodgers in the 50s, and tell me who people thought was a better pitcher.

But I have to admit that even with all the extra credit, there isn’t quite enough to keep him ahead of Cone and Bridges.

21. Jeff Kent (26) A little lower than I thought he’d be, but he didn’t have that many great years. Seems pretty similar to Lazzeri to me. Kent & Olerud missed out on being a left side with both the Blue Jays & the Mets.

22. Vern Stephens (23) Close to Rizzuto, but with the wartime discount and the sudden dropoff after 1950, not quite there.

(22A George Sisler)

23. Thurman Munson (20) On the one hand, yeah, I probably have been underrating catchers, but when I look at the individual candidates, they still don’t seem ballot-worthy. Didn’t hit quite as well as Bresnahan, but Roger also accumulated a fair amount of hanging-around value, even by WAR.

24. Dizzy Dean (25) Does have a really good peak argument by some metrics, but he stands out less by WAR than he did by the other ones.

25. Cesar Cedeno (24) Outside of the big total WAR difference, I don’t see a lot differentiating him in value from Lofton. (Yeah, that’s a pretty big ‘outside of’)

26. Fred McGriff (29) I beat up on him a bit in the Olerud comment, but he still did have a long, consistent career.

(26A Roger Bresnahan, 26B Andre Dawson)

27. Tony Lazzeri (30) He was the best backlog MLB candidate at his position until Kent showed up. Compare him to Larry Doyle, who some people vote for. Their career lengths are similar, Doyle was a better hitter, but not much, and Lazzeri was a much better fielder.

(27A Sam Thompson)

28. Urban Shocker (27) He is a good candidate, but his career is a bit too short, even with the ½ year war credit.

29. Bernie Williams (32) A really good player when he was at his best, but everything says the defense was so bad in the second half of his career that it keeps him away from the ballot.

30. Jack Clark (28) An overlooked quality player.

31. Wally Schang (31) Yes, I was absolutely overlooking him. But I still don’t think he’s ahead of Bresnahan, and I don’t have Roger in either. The OPB is truly impressive, but a lot of it was accumulated in the ‘20s, not the ‘10s.

(31A Rollie Fingers)

32. Bob Elliott (34) I’m comfortable putting him ahead of the 70s group now. He’s got a case for being the best 3B in baseball in the late 40s, those guys simply don’t.

(32A Hughie Jennings)

33. Bucky Walters (33) Would be higher, but when you consider a wartime discount, his 115 ERA+ really isn’t impressive.

(33A Charley Jones, 33B Graig Nettles)

34. Tony Perez (37)
35. Kevin Appier (36)

36. Jose Cruz (39)
37. Jorge Posada (new) Pretty strong hitter for a catcher, but a lot of defensive issues. The amount of postseason experience helps as well. Possibly could rank higher, but I’m comfortable with this for now.

(37A Pete Browning, 37B Nellie Fox)
38. George Van Haltren (35) Wins the “Wait, why did I have this guy so high?” award. I don’t reject all peak arguments, but I’d take his consistency over Duffy’s big years. Made my PHoM in 1972.

39. Eddie Cicotte (38)
40. Vic Willis (40) I think he’s pretty comparable to Cicotte – he’s more of a prime/career guy, but the total is about the same. If we’re looking for pitchers, the 20s & 30s (Bridges/Dean) are the underrepresented eras. Willis isn’t a bad candidate, but I don’t see anything special about him.

Not in Top 40 (All I got to this year):

Elston Howard (43 Last year) WAR absolutely hates him, giving him almost no value outside of his 4-year peak. Even with credit for military service, the slow pace of integration & being stuck behind Yogi, you can’t get that record into a HoM-worthy career. Other metrics are not so harsh, but I can’t just ignore something so striking.

Made my PHoM in 2004. Have to admit I probably made a mistake here. Looking at my voting history, this probably would have wound up with Ralph Kiner in my PHoM.

Buddy Bell (53 Last Year) Like I’ve said, I definitely have a lower opinion of the gang of 70s third basemen than a good portion of the electorate. There’s already several enshrined, and then you’ve got Bando, Cey and Bell all at the same time. And even within that, I don’t see any particular reason to pick out Bell.

   52. Cassidemius Posted: December 19, 2016 at 07:52 PM (#5371120)
My ballot. I'll keep this short, but comments and required disclosures are on the discussion thread.

1. Ivan Rodriguez
2. Jim Edmonds
3. Frank Chance
4. Manny Ramirez
5. Vic Willis
6. Luis Tiant
7. Ed Williamson
8. Frank Viola
9. Davey Concepcion
10. Bobby Bonds
11. Vladimir Guerrero
12. Sammy Sosa
13. Jeff Kent
14. Ben Taylor
15. Dave Bancroft
   53. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: December 19, 2016 at 08:12 PM (#5371126)
OK fellas, the balloting is closed! We ended up with 26 ballots and the final tally wasn't too close, a pretty clear 1-2-3.
   54. Howie Menckel Posted: December 19, 2016 at 08:32 PM (#5371140)
26 is ok, and as you imply, another 35 wouldn't change much
   55. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: December 19, 2016 at 10:28 PM (#5371185)
Yep, same as last year.
   56. Bleed the Freak Posted: December 23, 2016 at 10:39 AM (#5373381)
Post mainly directed at Joe D, but anyone can feel free to jump in...

Kenny Lofton CF - .80 PA (Dom DiMaggio, Larry Doby). DanR's WAR does not like Lofton nearly as much as BB-ref's. Big year in 1994 and a nice run from[removed]nullo(); 1992-96, but he seems to me like a very good, not great player. The big difference here is defense. If I could be convinced his defense was better than DanR thinks, I could move him up a bit.

Hey Joe, I commented on this last election, but Dan had incorporated different advanced defensive metrics for 1987-2005 in his latest release of data, the result was a significant upward movement for Lofton, when Dan last voted he had Lofton #12 on his ballot...
15. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: December 04, 2014 at 05:55 PM (#4854788)
12. Kenny Lofton
My 1994 AL MVP—yes, above Thomas, Belle, and Griffey. Tremendous defense and baserunning value. Funny career shape—great ’93, amazing ’94 cut short by the strike, and then very, very flat. Played in the wrong era for his skill set—he would have been awesome in the 1970’s or 80’s, like a better-hitting Willie Wilson. You have to be a pure career voter to attach much value to his seasons from 2000 on, and I’m not. He’s Willie Davis with a brief, legit peak.

Jeff Kent Lands around .80 PA . . . this puts him very much in the HOVG for me. There are some HoMers here - Ken Boyer is probably the best comp. Nellie Fox, Bill Terry and Ken Boyer are examples of HoM players from down here, but non-HoMers are far more common. Between Boyer and Fox you have Fregosi, Cey, Bob Johnson, Jose Cruz Sr., Tony Fernandez, Chuck Klein, Harry Hooper, George Sisler, Ralph Kiner, Amos Otis, Chet Lemon, and Bobby Veach. I think Kent is in nice company there. Just not really close to getting on my ballot company.

Dan's comment for Kent jives with yours, but his ranking puts him in the lower quartile of PHOM selections:
21. Jeff Kent
I'm unimpressed--2B in the 90's and 00's was basically equivalent to 3B. I have Alomar and Biggio in the bottom 20% of my PHoM as well. And given the high standard deviation of the NL around that time, his offense "bought" far fewer pennants than it might appear--200 OPS+ seasons were commonplace when Kent was at 130-160.

5. Jorge Posada C (n/e) - .63 PA (Roger Bresnahan, Bill Freehan). The catcher bonus gets him up to .95 which puts him in as pretty easily electable IMO. I’ve got him a little bit ahead of Bill Freehan, who is the catcher that is just over the in/out line. Comparing the two, Posada played about half a season more, with a career 121 OPS+, including a .374 OBP, he is one of the greatest hitting catchers of all time. Freehan posted a 112 OPS+. Of course Freehan closes the gap with better defense. DanR’s WAR likes Posada a little better than Freehan, but they are very similar. I cannot see anyway that one should be in while the other is out.

How much value should we place with Baseball Prospectus new defensive metrics. Posada is awful by them. Kiko makes some reasoned arguments that the BP figures are overblown, curious on your thoughts as well as others. Also for Jorge, he has the worst post-season WPA of anyone and his RE24 contextual hitting is poor. Posada requires a hard look beyond the basic advanced metrics, how he falls with the electorate will be interesting.

Where do you stand on Negro/integration candidates Don Newcombe and Hilton Smith...they both intrigue me, could they place in the Tommy Bridges range for you?

As an electorate, I think it's important to take insights from the analysis you have on Vic Willis, why is he so mediocre in your PA analysis while he's a top 70 type of pitcher by Baseball-Reference and Baseball Gauge, and top 90 by Fangraphs.

Vic Willis - My system does not love Willis. He is not worse than the worst HoM pitchers we've elected (Bob Lemon and Joe McGinnity), but I have 20-25 pitchers ahead of him, ranging from those on my ballot, down through modern guys like Hershiser, Appier, Gooden, Denny Martinez, older guys like Grimes, Waite Hoyt, Bob Shawkey. This is a short career. This is not a knock, I just think he's in the middle of this glut. He was also a terrible hitter for a pitcher in his era, which costs him 28 runs compared with an average hitting pitcher for his time. Give him those runs back and I'd have him around even with Tiant.

Does Bob Johnson net any MLE credit from you, he's a tough place with the glut of 30s candidates, but had an impressive prime no matter the metric reviewed...
Bob Johnson - .80 PA. He's in the mix - but slides down when you deflate his numbers from WWII. I see him in a group with Fregosi, Cey, Cruz and Schang. I don’t think Edgar Martinez was all that better than Bob Johnson.

Would love your take on Baseball Gauge/DRA and the massive value that it shows for deadball era defensive candidates.
Bobby Veach, Art Fletcher, Joe Tinker, Harry Hooper, and Sam Rice become viable candidates, any thoughts on this?
   57. Bleed the Freak Posted: December 23, 2016 at 11:20 AM (#5373419)
Chris Fluit, Karlmagnus, Howie Menckel, and others, if you guys reference OPS+ as part of your rankings, do you also take a gander at wRC+ from Fangraphs?

Implications for backlog candidates:
Guerrero - 140 to 136.
Sosa - 128 to 124.
Kent - 123 to 123.
Lofton - 107 to 109.
Bonds - 129 to 130.
Bell - 109 to 108.
Posada - 121 to 123.
Johnson - 139 to 133.
Rizzuto - 93 to 96.
Schang - 117 to 120.
Bando - 119 to 121.
Duffy - 123 to 118.
Cravath - 151 to 150.
Campaneris - 89 to 90.
Aparicio - 82 to 83.
Lombardi - 126 to 125.
Stephens - 119 to 117.
No change for Munson, Nomar, McGriff, and Elliott.
   58. Bleed the Freak Posted: December 23, 2016 at 11:28 AM (#5373426)
Doc, what are your thoughts on Kiko's analysis, has huge implications for candidates like Buddy Bell and Kenny Lofton:

4 Buddy Bell: Very similar career though not hitting style as HOMer Graig Nettles. Easily the best 3B not in the HOM.
6 Kenny Lofton: A top-fifteenish CF. DRA actually dislikes him more than rfield, so this is more conservative than a straight WAR vote would deliver.

The defensive analysis shows Jeff Kent as a pretty intriguing backlogger.
   59. Bleed the Freak Posted: December 23, 2016 at 11:31 AM (#5373429)
Ron, you get my vote for best ballot/most transparent analysis, a great job done Mr. Wargo!

10. rwargo Posted: December 07, 2016 at 02:19 PM (#5364363)
Using an average of bbrefWAR (bWAR) and bgaugeWAR (gWAR) career and 7-year prime (JAWS formula - average of career and 7-year prime) to rank players. This formula seems to highlight missing players best. Among eligible players we have elected all non-catchers with a JAWS average over 50 except 10 players: 4 20th century SP, 2 infielders, and 4 outfielders. We have elected all but 2 catchers with a JAWS average over 40. Finally, we have elected all 19th century pitchers with a JAWS average over 65 except one. All of these players are on the ballot below.
   60. Bleed the Freak Posted: December 23, 2016 at 11:35 AM (#5373436)
11. Willie Mays Hayes Posted: December 07, 2016 at 09:31 PM (#5364705)
I use BBRef WAR as my metric of choice. I lean peak, particularly the five consecutive year variety, though players who exhibit a consistent level of greatness, without too many "hanging on" seasons get their just due in my system as well.

For those leaning heavily on baseball-reference WAR, any thoughts on incorporating Kiko Sakata, Baseball Gauge, or Dan Rosenheck WARP?
Defensive and replacement level valuation can have a huge effect on slotting backlog candidates, I've found reward in reviewing the swath of systems.
   61. DL from MN Posted: December 05, 2017 at 05:08 PM (#5586783)
moved comment

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