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Hall of Merit
— A Look at Baseball's All-Time Best

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

2020 Hall of Merit Ballot

Welcome to the 2019 Hall of Merit Ballot thread. Balloting is open from now (December 17) through January 9, 2020 at 8 p.m. EST.

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 at some point, 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 six 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 and Manny Ramirez 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 someone for failing PED tests in his first year on the ballot if you so choose. And, yes, you may even boycott a player for being a suspected PED user (although many observers would draw a line between those two categories), in his first year. However, you must indicate on your ballot that you are doing so. In addition, if such a candidate fails to be elected this year, you may not boycott him in his second year of eligibility. You may not boycott any other holdover candidates. It’s a first-year boycott only.”


Voters should name 15 players, in order. The top 4 finishers will be elected.

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

Luis Tiant (263), Todd Helton (251), Kenny Lofton (217), Andruw Jones (201), Ben Taylor (196), Jeff Kent (188), Johan Santana (176), Wally Schang (153), Sammy Sosa (148), Lance Berkman (135)

Newly eligible players
Player Name	HOFm	HOFs	WAR	WAR7	JAWS	Jpos
Derek Jeter	337	67	72.4	42.4	57.4	55
Bobby Abreu	95	54	60	41.6	50.8	56.8
Jason Giambi	108	44	50.5	42.2	46.4	54.7
Cliff Lee	72	30	43.5	39.8	41.7	61.7
Rafael Furcal	54	32	39.4	30.7	35.1	55
Eric Chavez	29	25	37.5	31.1	34.3	55.7
Josh Beckett	43	23	35.7	31.2	33.4	61.7
Brian Roberts	34	24	30.4	28.1	29.2	56.9
Alfonso Soriano	105	31	28.2	27.3	27.8	53.6
Paul Konerko	80	36	27.7	21.5	24.6	54.7
Carlos Pena	25	18	25.1	24.1	24.6	54.7
Chone Figgins	18	19	22.2	22.5	22.3	55.7
Marco Scutaro	11	19	22.1	20.9	21.5	55
Raul Ibanez	38	27	20.4	20.1	20.2	53.6
Brad Penny	23	11	19.1	21.5	20.3	61.7
Jason Bartlett	15	5	18.3	19.6	18.9	55
Adam Dunn	75	32	17.4	17.7	17.6	53.6
Lyle Overbay	12	13	16.8	16.7	16.7	54.7
J.J. Putz	25	17	13.1	12.9	13	32.7
Jose Valverde	51	13	11.5	12	11.7	32.7
Ryan Ludwick	13	14	11.2	13.5	12.4	56.8
Alex Gonzalez	11	19	9.2	12.8	11	55
Jamey Wright	10	2	9.1	10.1	9.6	32.7
Joe Saunders	10	3	8.6	10.1	9.3	61.7
Heath Bell	31	13	7.1	8.9	8	32.7
Nate McLouth	10	12	6.4	10.2	8.3	57.8
Kyle Farnsworth	22	4	6.2	9.3	7.8	32.7
DL from MN Posted: December 17, 2019 at 12:07 PM | 73 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. DL from MN Posted: December 17, 2019 at 12:33 PM (#5909294)
Balloting is open. The end date is flexible but similar to last year. I still need a couple more ballot counters.
   2. cookiedabookie Posted: December 17, 2019 at 03:10 PM (#5909345)
DL, I mentioned in the discussion thread, but I wanted to here as well, I can help with the ballot counting
   3. Qufini Posted: December 17, 2019 at 04:44 PM (#5909381)
2020 Ballot

1. Derek Jeter, SS (new): Considered putting “the Captain” behind Ben Taylor but couldn’t quite justify it. Despite the atrocious D, Jeter’s 115 OPS+ as a shortstop is worth 72.5 WAR for his career. An extra year’s worth of play in the postseason (734 plate attempts) easily pushes him over the top.

2. Ben Taylor, 1B: (4): 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). Taylor, like Redding, is long overdue induction.

3. Todd Helton, 1B (5): 133 OPS+ in 9453 plate attempts. Produced 1091 runs, 1076 RBI, a .332/.432/.585 slash line and a 144 OPS+ in a 10-year prime from 1998 to 2007. And, oh yeah, good for +72 fielding runs.

4. Sammy Sosa, RF (6): I’m surprised at Sosa’s fall in the standings. 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.

5. Jeff Kent, 2B (7): 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.

6. Vic Willis, P (9): 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.

7. Don Newcombe, P (10): 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.

8. Kenny Lofton, CF (11): 107 OPS+ in 9235 plate attempts. +112 fielding runs.

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

10. Andruw Jones, CF (14): +235 fielding runs supports the argument for Jones as one of the best defensive centerfielders of all-time. 111 OPS+ is pretty good for a defense-first centerfielder.

11. Luis Aparicio, SS (15): +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).

12. Andy Pettitte, P (16): 117 ERA+ in 3316 IP. Another 276 innings in the postseason of the same quality (3.81 ERA to 3.85 in the regular season). Better than Bridges relative to his era.

13. Luis Tiant, P (18): Erratic career resulted in very good final numbers, 114 ERA+ in nearly 3500 innings (3486).

14. Fred McGriff, 1B (17): 134 OPS+ in 10,174. Top five in OPS+ and Runs Created six times each category. -34 fielding runs.

15. Johan Santana, P (n/a): I’m not usually a peak voter but Santana’s prime from 2003 to ’10 is hard to ignore: 150 ERA+ in 1670 IP over 8 seasons.

Required Disclosures
Wally Schang: I have him third among eligible catchers, behind Munson and Lombardi
Lance Berkman: not enough peak, not enough career
   4. DL from MN Posted: December 17, 2019 at 05:18 PM (#5909393)
Thanks, you're hired. That makes 2 ballot counters (Binkley, cookiedabookie) which should be enough to make sure we don't make an obvious mistake.
   5. DL from MN Posted: December 17, 2019 at 05:41 PM (#5909398)
2020 Ballot

1) Derek Jeter - PHoM 2020, Not in first after just his regular season stats but makes it with his postseason value.
2) Tommy Bridges - PHoM 1958 - deserves WWII credit, strong PWAA
3) Luis Tiant - PHoM 1991 - hopefully this is the year for Tiant
4) Johan Santana - PHoM 2018
5) Roy Oswalt - PHoM 2019
6) Gavy Cravath - PHoM 1927, best available OF, 154 game seasons, low run scoring environment (low STDEV), several seasons minor league credit
7) Bob Johnson - PHoM 1986, PCL credit
8) Urban Shocker - PHoM 1968, WWI credit, good hitter for a pitcher
9) Tommy John - PHoM 1995
10) Phil Rizzuto - PHoM 1967, top backlog infielder available, gets 3 years WWII credit
11) Bucky Walters - PHoM 1972, very good bat for a pitcher
12) Bert Campaneris - PHoM 1991, I like him much better than the 1970s 3B group (Bell, Cey, Bando)
13) Wally Schang - best C available, PHoM 1987
14) Ben Taylor - PHoM 1973, moves down after latest MLE adjustments. He's Eddie Murray of the deadball era and the last obvious Negro League candidate
15) Brian Giles - PHOM 2020, more wins above positional average than Sosa, Abreu, Berkman or Vlad Guerrero

16) Dave Bancroft - PHoM 1976
17) Norm Cash - PHoM 1997
18) Kevin Appier - PHoM 2009
19) Don Newcombe - PHoM 2004
20) Bobby Abreu - PHOM 2020
21) Johnny Pesky - PHoM 2004
22) Jeff Kent - PHOM 2020
23) Andy Pettitte
24) Bus Clarkson - PHoM 1967, Mexican League, Minor League and Negro League credit
25) Jorge Posada

26-30) Wilbur Cooper, Sammy Sosa, Babe Adams, Burleigh Grimes, Dave Concepcion
31-35) Tommy Leach PHoM, Dizzy Trout, Dwight Gooden, Kenny Lofton, Gene Tenace

67) Buddy Bell
70) Cliff Lee
72) Todd Helton - similar to...
73) Jason Giambi - also similar to Jack Clark and John Olerud
79) Lance Berkman - he's not quite Chuck Klein
89) Andruw Jones - low wins over positional average, career value is not high. Dom DiMaggio is rated higher.
   6. The Honorable Ardo Posted: December 17, 2019 at 07:29 PM (#5909414)
2020 Hall of Merit ballot

Glad to see the project still going strong! We've had some thought-provoking research in the past year (thank you, Dr. Chaleeko, rwargo, and Kiko Sakata). 2017-18-19 ballot placement in parentheses.

1. Derek Jeter (new). Overrated by history, yet comfortably in the Hall of Merit. 10th in PA, 6th in hits, 11th in runs scored. 14 consecutive 3+ WAR seasons. Never played a single inning at a defensive position other than SS.

2. Wally Schang (4-4-3) The bandwagon is rolling! Career on-base percentage of .393, higher than Gary Sheffield and Rod Carew, as a catcher who played half his career in the dead-ball era. Defense? Above the AL average in CS% at a time when everyone ran. Durability? 3rd all-time in games caught at his retirement.

3. Adolfo Luque (5-5-5) It's uncertain whether his major league career was held back by racism (as I once believed unequivocally, even ranking him #1) or he was simply a late bloomer. His record in Cuban play, which I've seen quoted as 106-71 and 93-62, is good, but Jose Mendez and Martin Dihigo were better.

4. Todd Helton (debuted at #6) Arguably the best non-Bonds position player between 2000 and 2004. Played every day, 160 OPS+ (adjusted for Coors), above-average 1B defense. Then a long tail. A similar profile to inductees Will Clark and Bill Terry, with more PA than either.

5. Hilton Smith (7-7-7) Another pitcher, like Luque, with little early data. He emerged as a front-line starter in 1937, at age 30, and pitched in six straight East-West All-Star games. The Hall of Miller and Eric credits him with roughly 40 WAR for the documented portion of his career and 20 WAR for his missing 20's, which adds up to a solid Hall of Merit career.

6. Ben Taylor (9-8-8) Similar to John Olerud on paper: smooth glove, consistent line-drive bat, long career. Not quite as much offensive punch as Helton. 1B was a much more important defensive position in Taylor's time, though, which elevates him here.

7. Sammy Sosa (8-10-12) On hitting alone, he's a dead ringer for Chuck Klein, whom we're in no hurry to induct. Klein was a butcher in the field, so Sosa's candidacy depends on how much positive defensive value he provided as a young player. Some sources say a lot, others not so much.

8. Luis Tiant (off-off-11) Moved back onto my ballot when I did a head-to-head career retrospective of Tiant and his twice teammate Tommy John (in CLE and NYY). Tiant's peak mattered more to me than John's advantage in bulk.

9. Jorge Posada (10-9-9) 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.

10. Jeff Kent (11-12-10) The similarities to Lazzeri and Larry Doyle (great hit/poor field 2B candidates who didn't clear our threshold) are apt on a rate basis, but Kent has four more full seasons of production than those two: the Hall of Merit in/out line in a nutshell.

11. Kenny Lofton (off-off-off) Re-assessed and added. Like Dwight Evans, had his best season in a strike year. One of the most valuable players of the 1990's, with eight consecutive 5+ WAR years. Comparable, but superior to, Richie Ashburn and Max Carey.

12. Johnny Evers (15-15-13) 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, when season lengths are taken into account.

13. Johan Santana (new-11-14) He has Koufax's peak, but spread out into one more season; that's an advantage for Koufax. Santana is too close in my rankings to other short-career, high-peak pitchers (Dizzy Dean, Nap Rucker, Andy Cooper) to justify a top-of-the-ballot placement.

14. Luke Easter (14-14-15) We have a lot of 1B already, but I believe Easter has been overlooked. His three full-time MLB seasons at ages 34-36 look a lot like "Fred McGriff the Devil Ray" (also in his age 34-36 years), despite dealing with chronic foot injuries and the pressures of integration; McGriff isn't far off my ballot.

15. Bert Campaneris (off-off-off) Another new add. In a way, the antithesis of Jeter - a middling hitter with a lot of positive defensive value. He nonetheless put up 10 consecutive 3+ WAR seasons at SS (1968-77), a streak only four seasons shorter than the Captain's.

16-20: Bobby Abreu, Vic Willis, Buddy Bell, Thurman Munson, Nomar Garciaparra
21-25: Tommy John, Andruw Jones, Lee Smith, Gavvy Cravath, Andy Pettite
   7. kcgard2 Posted: December 17, 2019 at 07:30 PM (#5909415)
Qufini, you are working from old MLEs. The updated MLEs suggest that Taylor's value that you are quoting was inflated by about 25%, and that good offensive comps for Taylor are more like Darrell Evans or...Mark Grace. 244 rBat in over 10,000 PAs (down from the previous MLE of 367 rbat in 9,000 PAs). Taylor's defense also took a small hit. As a last point I will say that the new MLEs show over 20 unelected NgL hitters with arguably equal (or better) cases for HOM.

I don't know if you wish to revise your ballot, but probably? 60 WAR and 25 WAA in a very long career probably wouldn't grab a top spot on the ballot if I had to guess. Updated MLEs have been discussed extensively over the past year in the discussion thread.

As a clarification, is it out of bounds for me to question a ballot here?
   8. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: December 17, 2019 at 08:30 PM (#5909421)
I use BBREF WAR as my base recipe and then create a delectable melange of flavors by incorporating about three skillion little adjustments: catching bonus here, DRA there, some framing and handling plus outfield throwing, STDEV, WPA for RPs, schedule, and many other delightful additions to the pot. I serve over a bed of positional and chronological considerations to balance out the dish. It’s stunning and tastes even better the next day. Plus it all comes together in just a decade so you can have it on the table by the time you retire. Anyway, here’s this year’s batch.

1. Todd Helton: Best player on the board.
2. Andruw Jones: Second best player on the board.
3. Buddy Bell: Best combination of position, era, and performance on the 3B board.
4. Wally Schang: Strong combination of position and era with strong enough performance.
5. Bobby Veach: A little more wiggle room at LF than CF puts Veach over Lofton as well as stronger overall performance.
6. Kenny Lofton: Ranks 14th among CFs for me and has no hitches beyond what his performance suggests.
7. Luis Tiant: Highest ranking non-1890s/1900s pitcher on the ballot.
8. Johan Santana: Next highest ranking pitcher for me.
9. Kevin Appier: Appier is this close to Santana
10. Derek Jeter: I would have ranked him closer to fifteenth, but if I have a little bit of trepidation about the fielding of the best shortstops, I also need to exercise the same caution about the worst fielding shortstop of all time by far.
11. Art Fletcher: Like I was saying about Jeter, it's good to exercise caution about extreme fielders.
12. Harry Hooper: Missing value brings Hooper up considerably, and he helps out the Deadballers.
13. Thurman Munson: Good combo of position and era and a good performance record that's only missing, sadly, the decline phase.
14. Tommy Leach: Helpful in era and at 3B, plus a great CF to boot.
15. Sammy Sosa: Best RF on the board who doesn't have any missing value. Helps the modern eras.

I suspect that my ballot will be out of step with a number of ballots out there that feature Captain Jeter among the first several slots, and I suspect I'll draw criticism for "strategic voting." If voting my conscience about balanced eras and positions as is implored in our constitution is problematic for anyone, I would ask them to reread my comments about Vic Willis around post 270 in the. Allot discussion thread. I don't believe that anyone's rankings are close to absolute truth.

Ben Taylor: See my recent posts about Taylor's credentials. I don't think they are as good as Eddie Murray's, and that means he's off the end of the board at 1B for me.
Kent: He's way near the bottom at second base, and despite its need of bodies, I can't bring myself to vote for him above players with, in many cases, considerably higher rankings than his at their own positions.
Berkman: He's close! But nonetheless behind Clark and Olerud who both have the same peak and more career value than Sir Lancelot.
Abreu: Like Berkman, he's very close, but not close enough. He's Reggie Smith with less career value, and Smith is basically the bottom of RF for me.
   9. cookiedabookie Posted: December 17, 2019 at 11:49 PM (#5909444)
I use a combination of rWAR, fWAR, and gWAR, to go along with prorated seasonal WAR and WAA to give a boost to higher peak guys. I give an additional boost to catchers.

1. Derek Jeter - Yes, the defense was really bad. I'm not sure it's as bad as the stats say, though. Plus, I don't want to punish him too much for the refusal of his managers/team to move him to center field or first base. Elite offensive shortstop, and put up another season of excellence in postseason play. I had him at fifth before taking the postseason into account.

2. Andruw Jones - Same spot on my ballot as last year. I know people want to discount the defensive values for him, but he past my eye test, and the numbers seem right to me. Plus, he had an elite bat for one of the best defensive center fielders ever.

3. Andy Pettitte - Seen as a compiler, but he comes up as the best arm in my rankings due to a combination of longevity and surprising performance on a rate basis.

4. Kenny Lofton - Like Andruw, I've heard his defensive values are skewed. All I know is he was above average at every part of the game with which you can help a team win.

5. Buddy Bell - Reducing my emphasis on peak sees Bell jump up my rankings this year, to my top-ranked third baseman. He was just really good for a long time, and looks quite underrated to me.

6. Luis Tiant - Similar to Pettitte, with less consistency. My second ranked pitcher, and is in a no-doubt tier for me, along with Pettitte.

7. Thurman Munson - My top-ranked catcher, and I agree with others that we're light on catchers. Really stuck out in my system, and was tied with Tiant.

8. Bobby Bonds - My top-ranked right fielder, but fell two spots in my updated system. Still deserves to be in the HoM. Great all-around player.

9. Joe Tinker - Really shot up my list. If you do take Jeter's defensive metrics at face value, you could argue he's the top eligible shortstop.

10. Bob Johnson - He's always been a favorite of mine in these types of discussions, and comes out as the best left fielder in my rankings.

11. Sammy Sosa - By traditional stats, he should already be in. By advanced metrics, he looks like a good candidate as well, with a monster peak.

12. Chuck Finley - He came out on top of a dogpile in my tier two arms.

13. Bobby Abreu - A strong showing in my system pushed me to add a third right fielder to my ballot.

14. Vic Willis - Kinda surprised he hasn't been inducted into the HoM yet.

15. Urban Shocker - Another arm from long ago that seems ripe to be elected at some point. It was a toss up between Shocker and Kevin Appier here.

Required disclosures:

Todd Helton: He's twentieth in my rankings, essentially tied with John Olerud. I think he has a good case, but others performed better in my system.
Ben Taylor: I agree with Dr. Chaleeko. Given the recent updates, I'm not sure he was good enough, or that he's a necessary induction given his NgL rankings and those already inducted. I have him at #30 right now.
Jeff Kent - my top ranked second baseman, #24 overall. He doesn't do great in my system.
Johan Santana - dropped from 12 to 23 for me, due to reducing the focus on peak this year.
Wally Schang - my second-ranked catcher, 18th overall. He should be inducted into the HoM.
Lance Berkman - My second-ranked left fielder, #21 overall.
   10. bachslunch Posted: December 18, 2019 at 07:27 AM (#5909460)
Disclosures: am basing thinking on Negro Leaguers on the 2020 ballot discussion thread with a bit of Seamheads info. Otherwise, strong 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, especially the first of these (have moved up catchers a notch). 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, not presently giving credit or debit for war, injury, illness, postseason play, or minor league service. Not systematically adjusting for season length, but am giving minimal non-systematic extra emphasis for pre-1961 players. Am currently treating 19th century pitchers pretty much equally as post-1900, but for now tending to discount AA, NA, and UA stats as possibly suspect. 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).

1. Derek Jeter. Excellent WAR and hit well at a premium position. Yeah, he was darned near Dick Stuart at SS and overrated by many. Still doesn't change things for me.
2. Jim McCormick. Best WAR for starters not in by a mile; even removing all his UA-earned WAR leaves him a point up on Tiant. 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. Andruw Jones. Best CF WAR. Close between him and Bell for me.
6. Jeff Kent. Was best WAR at a middle infield position before Jeter came on the ballot and hit well, can't in good conscience rank him below Helton, Sosa, or Johnson.
7. Wally Schang. Among best C WAR, also hit well.
8. Todd Helton. Excellent WAR and the best qualified 1B.
9. Bobby Abreu. Best WAR among available RFs, better than Sosa.
10. Bob Johnson. Best WAR among available LFs.
11. Ben Taylor. Still appears to be the best NGL position player. And if he's at all equivalent to Eddie Murray, that's good enough for me. Likely will be the final NGL player I support, barring new information.
12. Vic Willis. Good WAR.
13. Sammy Sosa. Better WAR than I remembered. Happy to give him some benefit of the doubt given his treatment by the BBWAA.
14. Vern Stephens. I value hitting at a premium position highly, so I'm ranking him here.
15. Kenny Lofton. Not as much hitting as I'd like, but lots of WAR at a premium position.

16-40. Tommy John, Ernie Lombardi, Thurman Munson, Sal Bando, Mickey Welch, Urban Shocker, Tommy Bridges, Joe Tinker, Jim Fregosi, Bobby Bonds, Andy Pettitte, John Olerud, Luis Aparicio, Bert Campaneris, Johan Santana, Gavvy Cravath, Jorge Posada, Ron Cey, Tony Lazzeri, Jose Cruz, Jack Quinn, Harry Hooper, Brian Downing, Lance Berkman, Willie Davis.

1B. Helton, Taylor, Olerud, Perez, McGriff, Cash
2B. Kent, Lazzeri, Evers, Phillips, Myer, Pratt
SS. Jeter, Stephens, Tinker, Fregosi, Aparicio, Campaneris
3B. Bell, Bando, Cey, Ventura, Elliott, Harrah
LF. B. Johnson, J. Cruz, Downing, Berkman, J. Gonzalez, Veach
CF. A. Jones, Lofton, W. Davis, Lemon, Damon, Pinson
RF. Abreu, Sosa, Bonds, Cravath, Hooper, J. Clark
C. Schang, Lombardi, Munson, Posada, Tenace, Kendall
P. McCormick, Tiant, Willis, John, M. Welch, Shocker, Bridges, Pettitte, Santana, Quinn, Cicotte, Finley, Tanana, Powell, Hershiser.

All required disclosure players are on ballot or within top 40.
   11. DL from MN Posted: December 18, 2019 at 09:38 AM (#5909477)
As a clarification, is it out of bounds for me to question a ballot here?

In general it is better to ask on the discussion thread unless it is a ballot that is not following the rules. Speaking of - Ardo forgot to mention Lance Berkman and he is a required disclosure.

   12. rwargo Posted: December 18, 2019 at 10:53 AM (#5909519)
I'll count ballots again, just let me know where to send it if Joe isn't running this.
   13. rwargo Posted: December 18, 2019 at 10:55 AM (#5909522)
Because it seems to track our elections, I'm just using bbref WAA or Seamheads in the case of Negro Leaguers. Catchers and relievers get a 25% bonus. 19th century pitchers get a discount while hitters get a premium. I set negative seasonal numbers to zero. One weird thing I do is take the greater of the pure batting or pitching numbers vs. total numbers. (i.e. Dick Stuart would use his batting WAA not total.). It gets easier and easier each year to put a consideration set together with the available tools. All time rating is MLB only or Negro League only for now until the latter data is more fully fleshed out.

The numbers in parentheses are the Total WAA for each player.

1. SS: Derek Jeter (53.3) - #4 all time SS, remember, I'm using hitting only if the fielding enhanced numbers are lower. With fielding, WAR among SS is at #18, just higher than Reese, Jennings, Sewell, Ward (and Wright and Pearce).

2. CF: Andruw Jones (40.2) - #9 all time CF. Higher WAA than Snider, Hamilton, Edmonds, Dawson, Wynn, Ashburn, Doby, Browning, Averill, Carey, Roush, Hines, Gore, and Pike. Besides Jeter, only other player in top 10 raw WAA numbers.

3. CF: Kenny Lofton (39.5) - #12 all time CF. Higher WAA than Edmonds, Dawson, Wynn, Ashburn, Doby, Browning, Averill, Cary, Roush, Hines, Gore, and Pike.

4. SP: Luis Tiant (36.4) - #44 all time SP. Higher WAA than 27 elected pitchers. 16 contemporaries (debut between 1946-1970) have been elected, Tiant is higher than 7 of them, Bunning, Palmer, Drysdale, Marichal, Ford, Koufax, and Sutton.

5. 1B: Todd Helton (37.1) - #17 all time 1B. Higher WAA than Murray, Hernandez, Palmeiro, Sisler, Terry, W. Clark, and Beckley. Would be among the lower 1B elected, but would be a fine selection.

6. 3B: Buddy Bell (36.1) - #15 all time 3B. Higher WAA than Boyer, Darrell Evans, Groh, and Hack, plus 19th century guys.

7. RF: Sammy Sosa (36.0) - #16 all time RF. Higher WAA than Winfield, Dwight Evans, Guerrero, Flick, Kelly, Keeler, Slaughter, and Thompson.

8. 3B: Sal Bando (35.5) - #16 all time 3B. Higher WAA than Boyer, Darrell Evans, Groh, and Hack, plus 19th century guys.

9. C: Ernie Lombardi (35.5) - #14 all time C. Higher WAA than Torre (adjusted), Freehan and Campanella, plus 19th century guys not named Ewing.

10. SP: Vic Willis (34.9) - #54 all time SP. Higher WAA than 20 elected pitchers. 12 contemporaries (debut between 1896-1920) have been elected, Willis is higher than M. Brown, Waddell, McGinnity, Faber, and Rixey.

11. C: Wally Schang (34.7) - #16 all time C. Higher WAA than Torre (adjusted), Freehan and Campanella, plus 19th century guys.

12. SP: Johan Santana (34.1) - #59 all time SP. Higher WAA than 17 elected pitchers. behind only Halladay, Kershaw, Greinke, Verlander, Scherzer and Hamels among those debuting beetween 1996-2020 (for now).

13. C: Thurman Munson (34.0) - #18 all time C. Higher WAA than Freehan and Campanella, plus 19th century guys.

14. RF: Bobby Bonds (33.9) - #19 all time RF. Higher WAA than Guerrero, Flick, Kelly, Keller, Slaughter, and Thompson.

15. SP: Tommy Bond (39.2) - #36 all time SP. Higher WAA than 19th century pitchers Caruthers, Galvin, Radbourn, Griffith, Rusie, and Spalding.

Required Comments

2B: Jeff Kent (29.8) - #20 all time 2B. Higher WAA than Doerr, Herman, McPhee, Fox, Childs, Richardson, Barnes.
LF: Lance Berkman (32.6) - #13 all time LF. Closer to the ballot than I thought. Surprisingly Higher WAA than Magee, Goslin, B. Williams, Burkett, Minoso, Medwick, Wheat, Keller, Kiner, Storvey, Kelley, O'Rourke, Sheckard, and C. Jones. Would be a fine selection.
1B: Ben Taylor (19.2) - #3 all time first base in the Negro Leagues. Clearly below Suttles and Leonard, but in the running for possible election. Final numbers not as strong as I would have liked to see.

Other newbies

1B: Jason Giambi (31.3) - #23 all time 1B. Similar value to Bill Terry. However, only Will Clark, Jake Beckley and Joe Start have lower WAA among elected 1B.
RF: Bobby Abreu (31.9) - #22 all time RF. Higher WAA than Flick, Kelly, Slaughter, and Thompson.

Other MLB players over 32 WAA

SP: Jim McCormick (38.8) - #38 all time SP. Higher than 19th century pitchers Caruthers, Galvin, Radbourn, Griffith, Rusie, and Spalding.
SP: Charlie Buffinton (36.1) - #47 all time SP. Higher than 19th century pitchers Radbourn, Griffith, Rusie and Spalding.
SP: Tony Mullane (34.6) - #57 all time SP. Higher than 19th century pitchers Rusie and Spalding.
SP: Babe Adams (33.8) #60 all time SP. Higher than contemporaries Faber and Rixey.
C: Gene Tenace (33.5) #19 all time C. Higher than only Freehan and Campanella, plus 19th century guys.
CF: Chet Lemon (33.4) #17 all time CF. Higher than Doby, Browning, Averill, Carey, Roush, Hines, Gore, and Pike.
CF: Bernie Williams (33.0) #18 all time CF. Higher than Doby, Browning, Averill, Carey, Roush, Hines, Gore, and Pike.
SP: Roy Oswalt (32.9) #66 all time SP. Higher than contemporaries Hudson and Buehrle, below Halladay, Santana, and the current crop of Kershaw, Greinke, Verlander, Scherzer and Hamels.
SP: Kevin Appier (32.8) #69 all time SP. All 14 contemporaries (debut between 1971-1995) above him have been elected and none below him. He is the next best available pitcher from 1971-1995.
3B: Toby Harrah (32.6) #18 all time 3B. Higher than Darrell Evans, Groh, and Hack.
RF: Brian Giles (32.3) #21 all time RF. Higher than Flick, Kelly, Keeler, Slaughter, and Thompson.
C: Jorge Posada (32.3) #21 all time C. Higher than Freehan and Campanella.

Other Negro Leaguers over 16 WAA (through addition of 1926 data to NLDB)

3B: Carlos Moran (23.2) - #2 all time 3B, ahead of Beckwith, behind only Jud Wilson
SP: William Bell (21.9) - #7 all time SP, ahead of Dick Redding and Rube Foster
SP: Juan Padron (21.0) - #8 all time SP, ahead of Redding and R. Foster
SP: Bill Byrd (20.9) - #9 all time SP, ahead of Redding and R. Foster
SP: Nip Winters (18.8) - #10 all time SP, ahead of Redding and R. Foster
RF: Hurley McNair (17.7) - #2 all time RF, behind only Dihigo. Just ahead of Heavy Johnson, who has much less PA
RF: Heavy Johnson (16.7) - #3 all time RF, and a high rate comparable to Mule Suttles and John Beckwith
SP: Hilton Smith (16.3) - #12 all time SP. 400 IP would bring him in line with the Bell-Padron-Byrd-Winters group, but Smith's rate would put him at the top of that cluster.
SP: Carlos Royer (16.2) - #13 all time SP. Lower rate, more data may not help this deadball pitcher.

   14. DL from MN Posted: December 18, 2019 at 10:57 AM (#5909523)
Thanks rwargo, that makes 3
   15. cookiedabookie Posted: December 18, 2019 at 11:14 AM (#5909538)
@DL, where do we send the ballot count results?
   16. DL from MN Posted: December 18, 2019 at 12:21 PM (#5909577)
I was hoping Joe or John would still be interested. If not, you can direct message me.
   17. The Honorable Ardo Posted: December 18, 2019 at 12:42 PM (#5909590)
Ardo forgot to mention Lance Berkman and he is a required disclosure.

A bit pedantic, but OK. Berkman is somewhere around #30-#40 for me. Bat-only corner outfielders need to dominate their league to get much interest from me - I've never voted for Indian Bob Johnson, for example. In historical context he looks much like Sam Thompson, whom many have decried as one of our "mistakes". Sosa, Abreu, and Cravath are well ahead of him; Bobby Bonds is about even.
   18. The Honorable Ardo Posted: December 18, 2019 at 01:07 PM (#5909600)
SP: Hilton Smith (16.3) - #12 all time SP. 400 IP would bring him in line with the Bell-Padron-Byrd-Winters group, but Smith's rate would put him at the top of that cluster.
I'm extremely confident that an MLB eligible Smith would've accumulated those 400 (or more) innings. I think Cooperstown hit here and we're missing.

Smith, born in February 1907, came from an educated family and went to Prairie View A&M, an HBCU. His career looks like this:

Ages 21-23: college
1931 (age 24): semipro
1932-35 (ages 25-28): Monroe, LA (Negro Southern League)
1936 (age 29): Bismarck
1937-48 (ages 30-41): KC Monarchs. A dominant ace for six years, then a respectable decline phase for six more.

I see 1932-36 as five seasons of above-average starting pitching - more like 1200 innings - on top of his record in Kansas City. This is also why I don't support Tommy Bridges :)
   19. kcgard2 Posted: December 18, 2019 at 07:39 PM (#5909768)
In general it is better to ask on the discussion thread unless it is a ballot that is not following the rules

Thanks, this is what I would have expected. But Qufini didn't participate in the ballot discussion this year, though he has in the past.
   20. Jaack Posted: December 18, 2019 at 08:37 PM (#5909774)
Compared to the average voter, I don't have a strong lean towards peak or career - both impress me. I do like a nice extended prime, so players who fit that discription do better on my ballots. I use a combination of a number of different metrics, but my base is fWAR. For further commentary, see the discussion thread.

1. Lance Berkman - Berkman is my top returning player and it isn’t particularly close. His bat was consistently excellent, and while his career was on the shorter side, he sustained a pretty lengthy prime as an elite hitter. Defensively, while he wasn’t an asset, he wasn’t a problem either, and he even held down center field for a season. Overall, his case is quite strong, and I feel confident he is the best unelected player.
2. Kenny Lofton - Lofton was an elite base runner who added value with both his bat and glove. His best offensive year was unfortunately strike shortened, which makes his peak seem lower than it may have been. Still, he remained an all-star level cetnerfielder for much of his career, and is one of the best leadoff-type hitters in history.
3. Tommy John - John has taken a bit of a hit for me this year, but he is still overqualified. While no one would call his peak performance outstanding, he did have a few years as a legitimate ace to go along with his endless career.
4. Derek Jeter - An excellent hitter for a shortstop and a terrible defender. Just how terrible is the question. If he was mediocre, but viable there for a chunk of his career, he’s at the top of my ballot. If he was as bad as some of the most extreme numbers say, he’s a borderline candidate who may not make my ballot. As is, this is about as high as I feel comfortable placing him.
5. Babe Adams - He’s comparable to contemporary Hall of Meriters Stan Coveleski and Mordecai Brown before incorporating minor league credit, which he deserves for his excellent work in what was essentially a hyper-extended rehab stint. Lengthy career with good postseason work and a solid, although disjointed peak.
6. Jeff Kent - He’s not too different from Jeter in everything except career length. The best available second baseman by a rather large margin, Kent had a big bat and the glove was adequate for a while. His slow start keeps him from being a slam dunk choice, but he’s clearly a step ahead of all other available second basemen.
7. Mickey Lolich - I am, without a doubt, Lolich’s best friend. He does relatively poorly by bbref-WAR, but I’m not a big fan of that. By other metrics he looks pretty strong – solid both from a peak and a career standpoint. I give him a good amount of postseason credit as well.
8. Bob Johnson - There may not be a more consistent slugger in baseball history than Indian Bob. I do not debit WWII seasons for philosophical reasons, so I may end up being higher on him as a result, but even with a reasonible debit for those seasons, I still think he is qualified.
9. Kiki Cuyler - I’ve made the comparison to Carlos Beltran before, and I think it’s a good one. Both had significant skills at basically every aspect of the game. Cuyler’s era and position are a bit overrepresented, but I think he fits in above some of those guys already inducted, and I’m not keen on rejecting a player because we inducted worse contemporaries. Furthermore, the recent developments in his case point to him being more valuable than most metrics evaluate him as being. I'll be conservative for this year, but he may make a jump in future ballots.
10. Bert Campaneris - Probably the best shortstop of his era, particularly when you account for that position credit that Sal Bando snatched from him. Excellent base running and defense in an era that was tough on shortstops.
11. Roy Oswalt - Sustained a quality prime in a tough era to pitch in. Career length is rather brief, and an additional 3 WAR season would probably help his case, but as is, I think he’s the most overall impressive case for an unelected pitcher from his era.
12. Todd Helton - One of the risers onto my ballot – I feel more confident in some of the qualms I had with his candidacy. As I see it, he was a high peak first baseman, who played long enough as a quality hitter with good defense. That being said, I think his case has a high degree of volatility, particularly for his era. Coors Field and first base defense make him a little harder to feel confident in.
13. Jim Sundberg - Sundberg has been a big riser for me over the past two years. My first year as a voter, I’m not sure he would have made my top 200, but now he’s on my ballot. He’s pretty comparable to Yadier Molina – Sundberg’s bat was a bit more consistent in his prime, while Molina hit higher peaks. Most modern stats likely underrate Sundberg’s phenominal defense. An interesting comp is Ozzie Smith – their bats were pretty close, which Sundberg’s career 91 wRC+ being a dead ringer for Smith’s 90 wRC+. Both were elite defenders. Of course, Smith had quality baserunning and a lot more playing time, which is why he’s a slam dunk candidate, but the playing time gap should get made up at least a bit by Sundberg’s positional audjustment. That lands him right around the borderline for me.
14. Don Newcombe - I’ve ignored his case for too long. He has five or so elite years at the major league level. He missed two and a half seasons to Korea. When credited with just those, he’s got the makings of a solid borderline case. I’m not sure if he deserves much, if any segregation credit – its not unreasonible that he wouldn’t have made the majors until age 23 anyway, but at the same time, his immediate dominance implies he had been ready before. I’m crediting him with half a season of credit for his pre-49 career, but I also have pretty conservative estimates for his war years. Overall, it puts him around here, but there is room to rise.
15. Robin Ventura - He’s not too disimilar to a number of borderline third basemen – he is pretty similar to Buddy Bell and Sal Bando. His one advantage is being clearly the best third baseman of his era. Bell and Bando played in an era dominated by third basemen, which leads me to believe their ample positional adjustment is innaccurate. Ventura, on the other hand, was basically the only elite true third baseman of the 90s.
16. Trevor Hoffman
17. Dwight Gooden
18. Bobby Bonds
19. Joe Tinker
20. Willie Davis
21. Johnny Evers
22. Billy Wagner
23. Andy Pettitte
24. Hugh Duffy
25. Jim Kaat
26. Andruw Jones - I still don’t believe that Andruw Jones fielded circles around the other elite center fielders, I may have been regressing his defense a little much in previous years. Bat was good, but heavily reliant on power in a very power friendly era.
27. Johan Santana - FIP-WAR sees Santana as having a less impressive peak – still clearly an ace, but not exactly comparable to Sandy Koufax. My system still thinks he’s a viable candidate, but compared to someone like Oswalt, who has similar career length, but more value under other systems, ends up looking better.
28. Paul Derringer
29. Luis Tiant - Tiant is part of the glut of borderline pitchers for me, and I haven’t really been swayed to adjust him beyond that. I think he’s not quite what most other voters see of him, but I have no problem with what seems to be his imminent election.
30. Jerry Koosman

33. Ben Taylor - Recent MLE revisions have harmed him in my view. Looks a lot like John Olerud, who wouldn't be a terrible pick, but not a guy I'm jumping up to elect.
36. Cliff Lee - He's not that different from Johan Santana when you incorporate his stellar post season record.
49. Jason Giambi - Reminds me of Dolph Camilli. I like Camilli, but not enough to vote for him.
50. Sammy Sosa - Hit a lot of home runs in a very home run friendly era. I struggle to seperate him from a number of other outfielders.
70. Wally Schang - Good player, but doesn't quite do it for me.
77. Bobby Abreu - Another outfielder who seems more similar to guys on the outside looking in.

Eric Chavez is about a double and a walk away from making my consideration set. If I were a Hall of Fame voter and there were less than ten qualified players on the ballot, I might throw him a bone and give him a courtesy vote.
   21. Rob_Wood Posted: December 19, 2019 at 02:45 PM (#5910023)
I attempt to balance peak and career via a pennant-added approach with the caveat that I apply a sliding replacement level so that the "replacement level" gradually moves up over time until it reaches the league average in year 20 (and beyond) of a player's career. This approach attempts to capture the opportunity cost of being on a roster/lineup/rotation. I also look at my win values stat that estimates the number of wins a starting pitcher contributed to his team (on a game-by-game basis) by taking into account both the number of runs the pitcher allowed and the number of runs his team scored that day.

My 2020 ballot:

1. Derek Jeter
2. Luis Tiant
3. Kenny Lofton
4. Todd Helton
5. Tommy Bridges (with credit for WWII)

6. Johan Santana
7. Jeff Kent
8. Bobby Abreu
9. Sammy Sosa
10. Andruw Jones

11. Bob Johnson (with credit for minor leagues; was a 27-year-old rookie)
12. Phil Rizzuto (with credit for WWII)
13. Urban Shocker (with credit for WWI)
14. Ben Taylor
15. Tommy John

Comments on other top ten returnees:
Lance Berkman -- around 50th
Wally Schang -- around 100th
   22. caiman Posted: December 20, 2019 at 11:02 AM (#5910140)

I want to second "the Honorable Ardo" in regards to Luke Easter, and add some RPA facts:

At the age of 34-36 Luke Easter had an incredible .156 RPA rating for his three-year MLB career.

What does a .156 career RPA amount to?

Here are some career RPA's to compare Luke Easter's to:

Hank Aaron: .158 (would be higher if defense was included, but I do not have defensive ratings for that long ago. Regardless, I still have Aaron's career rated well above those listed below, due to career total quantity value. RPA is a quality rating, not a quantity, rating. For a quantity rating, I use the RPA rating x CPA, 'Computed Plate Appearances').

Here's the comparison for the .156 for Luke Easter:

Rickey Henderson: .162
Honus Wagner: .162
Mike Schmidt: .160
Willie McCovey: .159
Jeff Bagwell: .159
Gary Sheffield: .155
Willie Stargel: .155
Eddie Murray: .151
Carl Yastrzemski: .150

Here's my HOF list, in addition to Easter:

1. Barry Bonds
2. Roger Clemens
3. Manny Ramirez
4. Mark McGwire
5. Gary Sheffield
6. Jason Giambi
7. DICK ALLEN!!! He's been kept out of the HOF due to utter racism! This is a MUST HOF addition!
8. Norm Cash
9. Kevin Brown
10. Bret Saberhagen

I took the above list from their total career production in runs produced above the median, per RPA method.
   23. bachslunch Posted: December 20, 2019 at 12:58 PM (#5910181)
A request: can we keep this thread for ballots only and take discussion to the Ballot Discussion thread? Many thanks.
   24. Howie Menckel Posted: December 20, 2019 at 10:01 PM (#5910237)
2020 ballot - our (and my) 123rd since we began this version of the journey in 2003 (real time) with an "1898" ballot. Honored to be "The First Voter."

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

I had 2019 electees Chipper-Thome-Rolen-Vlad at 2-6-5 on my ballot - a little further "off" than usual, but maybe the HOM will do better this time ;)

Just got through the fine 2020 Ballot Discussion, and some players moved a bit so thanks to all for bringing additional context to so many.

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 still may not yet be sufficiently mature (though they continue to improve).

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.

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. I voted for Joe Jackson on his first try, and Pete Rose, and Mark McGwire - and that pattern will continue re any new steroid/PED/other history's greatest monsters accusees.

Jeter OPS+, high to low, as every-day player at SS:
153 132 128 127 125 125 125 125* 124 121 114 114 111 103 102 101 100 (090 076)
* - better than his AVG in postseason, so let's add another 125 for that

Compare to Trammell's offense (see 2020 new Ballot Discussion comment). 700+ PA 10 times, led AL 5 times. Charitably calling Jeter "gracefully slow" on defense. It was bad. But how many more games were those Yankees teams going to win if he was a better fielder? He was "good enough" five times. Resistance is futile - especially with these ballot rivals.

2. 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. His defense didn't help his team win games - directly. But his offensive output crushed most of the opposition thru the prime (shades of Jeter, sort of), allowing his team either to have a turbocharged offense or to be able to carry a great glove elsewhere and still have a competitive offense. That gets overlooked. These two woulda been a fascinating keystone combo!

3. ROY HALLADAY - Eight monster seasons is enough to earn this slot in another down year for candidates. Eight times in top 4 in IP; he wasn't babied to improve his surface ERA+.

4. ANDRUW JONES - Is 20th all-time in defensive WAR, with four "titles." Throw in 434 HR, and how is he not higher? He's a big star when he reaches 100 OPS+ - which he only did seven times. Plus only two more every-day seasons at all. 7599 PA is not a lot. Career WAR has him tied with Ken Boyer, which amazingly feels right. Needs to maintain his status defensively, as his career is further microscoped, to stay this high.


5. LANCE BERKMAN - Fascinating battle with Crime Dog and Helton, and the winner gets this slot again. Berkman a bit peakier.

6. FRED MCGRIFF – Liked him by a nose five 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 Berkman's 144 in 7814. I really like the 157-166-153-147-166-143-157 peak from 1998-94, all in 600+ PA or equivalent. Underrated.

7. JORGE POSADA - Moves up seven slots. My team will outhit your team (ballot!) I know about the defense. I also know about OPS+s of 153-144-139-131-125 and career 121. Either the Yankees would have won 115 games a year (at least) 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. Like Kent, in some respects.

8. BOB JOHNSON - I like this sort of consistency over a long span, though I'd hardly say he's a 'must-elect,' ever. Interesting over in 2020 talk if he got a slight career delay from native American status. Sort of the Joe Gordon of OFs in career shape, or a slightly longer and flatter version of Ralph Kiner. Or McGriff without the tail, offensively. I am concerned by 1944 being his highest OPS+; seems like he took advantage of the weak competition; talk of PCL credit reassures me. Has more than a decade's worth of excellent hitting, for a prime that I like better than, say, many key holdovers have.

9. BOB ELLIOTT - Good to see him at least occasionally mentioned in discussions starting about 10 'years' back, at least. A lost cause - but he's my lost cause - so I have to vote as long as I believe. 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 hitter than HOMer Hack as well, and better than HOMer DaEvans (see those guys' threads for details).

10. KENNY LOFTON - Back on ballot last 2 years upon reconsideration.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. It's difficult to say how many pts he can give up there and still be a better player than a slugger.

11. JOHAN SANTANA - THIS is why you have to reevaluate every top 10 returnee! Geesh, 182 166 162 155 148* 131 130 129 - and two 1sts and 2 2nds in IP to boot. Shot up the ballot a bit last year, but settles for here on my second look.

12. TODD HELTON - Couldn't quite hold up in the battle v Berkman and McGriff, but I like the 3 Gold Gloves - even if merely at 1B.

13. LUIS TIANT - Looks like he has the peak at first glance, but notice that the IP just aren't quite as much as I'd like. Plenty good when he did pitch, though with that lack of innings you have to be even more dominant. Best season AL IP finishes are just 6-7-8. He winds up as the era's last P electee?

14. TOMMY BRIDGES - Steals the Bucky Walters slot this year with some intriguing new info. Go 8 to 10 seasons deep, and he catches up to peakier rivals.

ERA+, full seasons
Pettitte - 177 156 135* 132* 129 112 112 111 111 111 (111) 110 106 104 100 097
ViWillis - 165 154 153 131 128 115 111 109 104 098 096 096 089
Walters - 170 154 146 146 141 131* 127 127 123 109* 107 103 094 092 090
Bridges - 146 144 141 140 139 139 137 133 119 118 115 111* 091

15. BEN TAYLOR - Drops a few notches in 2020. Long career, excellent fielder, consistent player. I'm not 100 pct sold on the hitting MLEs, but very good reputation and the reevaluation has made me comfortable enough to place him here. It is true we're not short on players from his era.



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. Bounced last year by new offensive blood, but remains in the mix, but not doomed for me yet.



BOB ABREU - RF, looong career, 128 OPS+. top 20 but only one Gold Glove. Baserunning really helps, hence he'll stay on my radar.

WALLY SCHANG - Some Schang backers this year got him close. Keep wooing me and you may just get your wish! Complex case for him.

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 prime is just not long enough for an OF.

ANDY PETTITTE - I didn't realize that he will have to be in my annual consideration, but turns out he earned it. Likely gets a low-ballot slot one year.

BUCKY WALTERS - Seemed to get Palmer-like defensive support, without enough super-stats to make that irrelevant. Proved his mettle outside of 'war years.' Bob Lemon-esque, though I wasn't a big fan there.

TREVOR HOFFMAN - He dropped off my ballot in 2018 - under 1100 IP, and table constantly set for 1-inning success. 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.

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. Also had those postseason hiccups.

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 points" 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 30 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 - there were some efforts on the 2020 chatter. I think he had the skills, but he didn’t quite actually produce quite enough. Prove me wrong next year. I almost buckled last year, too.

KEN SINGLETON - Bob Johnson-like, but not quite as good for quite as long. Equally underappreciated in his time.
   25. Esteban Rivera Posted: December 21, 2019 at 12:10 AM (#5910247)
Howie, just a heads up, you left Halladay on your ballot.
   26. Howie Menckel Posted: December 21, 2019 at 12:42 AM (#5910250)
thank you, Esteban.
weird that is the one line I didn't update - 2019 electees - and still deleted two of them.

apologies to the vote counters; everyone else moves up a notch and Schang gets the last slot.

I'm afraid that re-posting might cause a double-count, so I hope for that purpose it's easier to say that it's:
Jeter Kent Jones Berkman///McGriff Posada Johnson Elliott Lofton Santana Helton Tiant Bridges Taylor Schang

   27. cookiedabookie Posted: December 21, 2019 at 12:31 PM (#5910289)
I got you, Howie
   28. kcgard2 Posted: December 21, 2019 at 02:10 PM (#5910313)
3rd year voter, as stated last year, my criteria is a combination of bWAR/fWAR for pitchers, lean more towards fWAR for hitters, giving more weight to peak than longevity, but not super heavy, I think longevity is good too as long as there is *some* meat to speak of. My primary metric is weighted WAR invented by Adam Darowski. New for this year I use both bWAR and fWAR to create the wWAR cited below (50/50 average of the two). As a shorthand, over 200 is a slam dunk, over 150 is a solid HOM player, less than 120 may need to have some extra credit coming from somewhere. I also believe in slightly stronger position adjustments than WAR makes. I make a small mental adjustment to 1B/corner OF/DH in the negative direction (about -2 for modern players), a small adjustment to 2B/SS in the positive direction (+1 or +2), and grade catchers on a different curve because of the demands of the position. I would like to timeline, but don't for HOM purposes.

1. Andruw Jones - With another weak debut class for HOM, Andruw Jones makes the top spot on my ballot. I believe he was the best defensive CF of all time, and he also hit well. 166 wWAR is tops among all eligibles. 36 WAA is 2nd among eligibles and top 100 all time. 67 fWAR is #77 all time among hitters.

2. Derek Jeter - Extremely durable, offensively valuable, defensively the worst SS of all time, and overall a worthy induction into the HOM, though not inner circle, and depending on whose evaluations of defense you believe, perhaps not really all that close. 164 wWAR, 73 fWAR (#48), 31 WAA.

3. Kenny Lofton - followed Jones on my ballot each of the last two years, this year Jeter wedges between them. As always, this *feels* really high, but the numbers support it. 62 fWAR (just outside top 100), 38 WAA (top 100), 147 wWAR.

4. Sal Bando - 62 bWAR, 33 WAA (~100), 149 wWAR got bumped up a lot by inclusion of fWAR this year. More impressive given only 8300 PAs.

5. Tommy John - I think he might actually be underrated because he played so long. His peak wasn't huge with only one season notably better than 5 WAR, but a handful of 5 WAR seasons with a bunch of 3 WAR seasons is still quality. 4700 IP is a ton. 79 fWAR (#21 all time), 62 bWAR and 128 wWAR. The compiler label comes from 22 WAA which admittedly is not impressive. I bump pitchers a bit because I think they are slightly under-represented, so I place John #5.

6. Lance Berkman - Despite short career (7800 PAs) and not having an all-time peak (it was excellent, though), Berkman bleongs on the ballot. A good comp for Larry Walker, IMO. 144 wRC+ is fantastic, nearly .300/.400/.500 for his career. 56 fWAR is a bit light (top 150), 28 WAA is solid, but the 142 wWAR is what gets him onto my ballot.

7. Buddy Bell - I am moving Bell up from where I had him last year. 66 bWAR, 33 WAA, 148 wWAR are too much to ignore.

8. Bobby Abreu deserves more of a look, I have him as the last member of this top tier with a notable jump down to the next tier of candidates (where the huge glut starts to happen and you split hairs to differentiate candidates). 60 WAR and 28 WAA are solid, but 142 wWAR jumps him to this spot.

9. Kevin Appier - My go-to example of one of the most underrated players any of us might remember watching. Run prevention 17% better than avg, FIP 14% better than avg, 2700 IP. 31 WAA and 121 wWAR. 51 fWAR, 55bWAR. I like to repeat this point: six 5-fWAR seasons beats Willis, Bridges, Tiant, Santana, and Shocker. Since those pitchers receive a lot of support, I think it's meaningful.

10. Johan Santana - Jumps up a few spots from last year's ballot, because the peak is just undeniable. Run prevention 26%(!) better than league average, 33 WAA and 121 wWAR are ballot worthy.

11. Andy Pettitte - I feel like bbref and Fangraphs must have gone back and edited his career stats, because I just don't recall them being this good when it was said and done. 68 fWAR, 30 WAA, 133 wWAR, and his FIP actually outperformed his ERA, which was still 14% better than avg in a solid 3300 IP.

12. Todd Helton - I have a tough time with Coors hitters, but Helton's career belongs on the ballot, IMO. 61 bWAR, 33 WAA, 133 wWAR.

13. Bob Johnson - slowly creeping down my ballot due to newcomers, but still has a spot. 31 WAA and 127 wWAR are good, in only 8000 PAs, too. Era over-represented.

14. Luis Tiant - 3500 IP is good, FIP 8% better than avg is merely OK (for HOM discussion purposes). 55 fWAR (#65), 66 bWAR is quite good, 35 WAA, 129 wWAR. The peak isn't much to speak of, IMO. Tiant is very very close to my personal in/out line.

15. Mark Buehrle - I wonder if I am a little too high on Buehrle, but I think he's a defensible choice. 61 bWAR, 29 WAA, 113 wWAR, but 3300 IP bumps him up a bit. Run prevention 13% better than avg.

16. Roy Oswalt - Fantastic run prevention and FIP (21% and 22% better than avg), 32 WAA, 123 wWAR, he's surprisingly close to Santana.
17. Joe Tinker - short career SS but with a lot of value. 30 WAA and 113 wWAR in only 7100 PAs.
18. Sammy Sosa - 60 bWAR (~120), 124 wRC+ seems underwhelming, though almost 10K PAs is good. 30 WAA. But 137 wWAR thanks to those monster seasons in his peak.
19. Eddie Cicotte - 3200 IP of run prevention 18% better than avg, and he probably could have kept going. 28 WAA and 118 wWAR.
20. Vic Willis - 4000 IP, 36 WAA, 138 wWAR, but pitchers from his era are graded differently. Era over-represented.
21. Bobby Bonds - 57 fWAR, 33 WAA,, 130 wWAR. It seems that the offensive players the HOM is picking over are tightly bunched in these ranges.
22. Jeff Kent - Some narrative credit required to get him this high, as well as small bump for middle infield. 56 fWAR, 27 WAA, 119 wWAR.
23. Robin Ventura - 57 fWAR, 29 WAA, 123 wWAR are solid down-ballot numbers. Ventura is a good pick for one of the more underrated players of his generation.
24. Jerry Koosman - 63 fWAR, 24 WAA hurts, 125 wWAR.
25. Nomar Garciaparra - 24 WAA and 119 wWAR in only 6100 PAs as a SS is impressive. Career is just too short to ever get on a ballot though.

Ballot debuts and others of note:
32. Thurmon Munson - the closest catcher to my ballot. I don't think he had a lot left in the tank, or he'd rank a bit higher. 25 WAA is nice (no decline phase helps a lot), but 94 wWAR is short.
36. Jason Giambi - condensed a lot of value into his good seasons, 118 wWAR but only 50 WAR and 19 WAA.
64. Wally Schang - I think people see that OBP from a catcher and just go with it. My numbers say he's not even close, even with copious catcher credit. 23 WAA may be worthy of a look but 77 wWAR is nowhere close.
73. Cliff Lee - fine career. Currently in my top 100 eligibles.

NgL candidates:
38. Marvin Williams - IMO the best NgL player available based on latest MLEs.
50. Heavy Johnson
53. Sam Bankhead
60. Hurley McNair
70. Ben Taylor - in previous votes I have said Taylor was around 40-60, but that was before the latest MLEs.
102. Lazaro Salazar

Rafael Furcal - I felt like calling out Furcal because he was a unique player in a very enjoyable way. Bunting for doubles based on how the 3B played him was an actual tactic that Furcal used with great success. He also unleashed rockets across the infield all the time and was a good defensive SS, stole bases, and was just exciting and fun to watch.
   29. kcgard2 Posted: December 21, 2019 at 03:12 PM (#5910320)
Meant to mention Conrado Marrero with NgL players at #63.
   30. cookiedabookie Posted: December 21, 2019 at 03:18 PM (#5910321)
Kcgard, I think you are a year early on Buehrle
   31. cookiedabookie Posted: December 21, 2019 at 05:28 PM (#5910339)
   32. kcgard2 Posted: December 21, 2019 at 08:49 PM (#5910360)
cookie: You are right. My mistake. I always considered he and Pettitte to be virtually perfect contemporaries and comps, and didn't notice that he's not eligible until next year. Obviously just move Oswalt up one spot to take the last ballot slot for me.
   33. bjhanke Posted: December 22, 2019 at 08:03 AM (#5910391)
I've been working up a new method. Using the New Historical Abstract ranking system, because it remains the most robust and satisfactory of all ranking systems, I checked those rankings against who is in the HoM. This gives me a list of the highest ranking players in the New Historical who are NOT yet in the HoM, with only one surprise. In other words, Sal Bando is the highest-ranking third baseman who is not in the HoM. He's ranked 11th at 3B in the NHA. I realize that I will need to fold in players who played after 2000, and Negro Leaguers, but I think that this is turning out to be a great method. For one thing, no player in the top ten at his position according to the NHA is NOT in the HoM. That's credibility. We, in general, agree with the NHA. The only difficult position is pitcher, because we have many many more pitchers than we do at any other position. It turns out that we have 77 pitchers and 193 position players, including Edgar Martinez. So, what I did was divide the 193 by the 77, coming up with 2.506, just barely over 2.5. So, when I was doing the pitchers, I just took their raw rank and divided it by 2.506 , and rounded up to the next integer, to get the pitchers on the same scale as the other players. So, Walter Johnson, who is ranked #1 by the NHA, gets 1/2.506, which is a fraction, but I rounded it up to the next integer, which was 1. The #2 guy, Lefty Grove, got 2/2.506, which is still less than 1, so he ALSO gets a "1" when comparing him to position players. Cy Young, #3, gets 3/2.506, which is between 1 and 2, so he gets a 2, as do the fourth and fifth guys. So far, what it looks like is that there will be three pitchers at every rank except 1. In short, you can divide the pitcher's NHA ranking by 2.506 and get a ranking that works, placing the pitchers among the position players.

The surprise - the highest-ranking player not in the HoM - turns out to be pitcher Dizzy Dean. He is ranked 25th in the NHA, certainly a HoM rank, and I divided it by 2.506. This gives you a number just below ten, so I consider Dizzy to be equal with position players ranked 10th. That makes him #1 on my ballot. I will defend that in more detail when I get the whole essay done. What follows is a listing of the various positions (skipping pitcher for now), and, within the position, the highest-ranking non-HoM player, and the second-highest such, along with the highest-ranking player from the 19th century who is not in the HoM. This won't be my final ballot, of course, since I've not folded in the Negro Leaguers and the recent guys (not too hard, because we've already voted in Bonds, Clemens and McGwire). But it my preliminary list:

C - Thurman Munson (ranked 14th at C in the NHA), Elston Howard (15), Deacon McGwire (40)
1B - Don Mattingly (12), Tony Perez (13), Henry Larkin (69)
2B - Tony Lazzeri (19), Larry Doyle (20), Tom Daly (55)
3B - Sal Bando (11), Al Rosen (14), Lave Cross (33)
SS - Luis Aparicio (13), Jim Fregosi (15), Herman Long (34)
LF - Lou Brock (15), Frank Howard (19), Topsy Hartsel (47)
CF - Dale Murphy (12), Wally Berger (13), Hugh Duffy (20)
RF - Dave Parker (14), Bobby Bonds (15), Fielder Jones (41)

I skipped DH, because I have no idea who the highest-ranking DH might be. I, personally, think that putting Frank Thomas among the 1B, instead of the DH, is altogether wrong, but this is a ballot decision, not mine to make. I had to look over the outfielders three times to make sure we hadn't already elected Hugh Duffy. I will certainly have him on my ballot, along with a 19th-century pitcher or two, and at least one Negro Leaguer. Best I can say, right now. - Brock Hanke
   34. Howie Menckel Posted: December 22, 2019 at 01:43 PM (#5910455)
fyi, comments go in the comments thread. this is the ballot thread (reply if need be in the ballot discussion thread!)
   35. bjhanke Posted: December 23, 2019 at 03:11 AM (#5910533)
Howie - Thanks. I wasn't actually sure which thread to put this in. I have copied it to the ballot discussion thread. However, as I'm not just trying to make up a ballot, but actually describe a new system of approaching this, I want to keep it here for a few days, so people who are no longer reading the ballot discussion can see it. I'll take it off of here as soon as I get the finished ballot, with explanations, done. I do appreciate your comment; like I said, I wasn't sure how to handle this. - Brock
   36. Kiko Sakata Posted: December 24, 2019 at 09:25 PM (#5910898)
Copying this over from the discussion thread. For further discussion, see that thread, especially comments 278, 371, and 373.

1. Derek Jeter
2. Tommy John
3. Andruw Jones
4. Jeff Kent
5. Vern Stephens
6. Andy Pettitte
7. Luis Tiant
8. Lance Berkman
9. Jason Giambi
10. Darryl Strawberry
11. Wally Schang
12. Sammy Sosa
13. Jorge Posada
14. Tommy Henrich
15. Urban Shocker

Required disclosures:
Todd Helton - #70 or so in my consideration set
Kenny Lofton - #75 or so in my consideration set
Ben Taylor - the latest MLE's push him off-ballot. Maybe top 20-25-ish
Johan Santana - just off-ballot; probably top-20
   37. cookiedabookie Posted: December 30, 2019 at 02:38 AM (#5911675)
Just wanted to bump this, since you can't see this post on the home page. Hope it helps us get more votes
   38. DL from MN Posted: January 02, 2020 at 11:46 AM (#5912322)
1 week left
   39. progrockfan Posted: January 02, 2020 at 12:00 PM (#5912327)
My undoubtedly idiosyncratic top 25 for 2020, copied from the prelim thread.

1. Derek Jeter. 3400 hits from a middle infield position, plus 200 more in the playoffs. Played a key role on four Series-winning teams. A significantly minus defender with a remarkable collection of signature defensive plays. Not Inner Circle, but plenty good enough for #1 on this year's ballot.

2. Bobby Abreu. A durable five-tool player with broad-based offense: 8x 100+ runs, 7x 40+ doubles, 9x 20+ home runs, 8x 100+ RBI, 8x 100+ walks, 6x .300+ average, 8x .400+ OBP, 6x 30+ steals. Averaged 156 games played over a 13-year span, 1998-2010. Slightly minus overall defense is compensated by excellent range and a very good arm. My pick as the most underrated player of the new century.

3. Luke Easter. Having done quite a lot of research on him in the past year (which, due to the nature of my life, I simply don’t have time to write up at present), I’m more of a believer than ever. Poured out a torrent of home runs everywhere he played over a stretch of many years. I’m mindful of the MLE bumps against him, and still consider him more than worthy of an elect-me ballot placement.

4. Hugh Duffy. My research on Duffy, which I’ll post here when I acquire several more lifetimes, shows him as consistently well above average in all facets of hitting, year after year. The greatest defensive outfielder of the 1890s, and the greatest post-season hitter of the 19th century. I think the electorate is significantly under-valuing him.

5. Bobby Bonds. A masher with six 30-HR seasons, and a 73% base-stealer with seven 40-steal seasons. Decent plate discipline despite the strikeouts, with plenty of walks to boost his offense. Outstanding range on defense. The more I look, the more I like.

6. Ben Taylor. A significant drop from my initial ballot placement of him, prompted by revised MLEs; nonetheless, he was the top defensive first baseman in NgL history, is ranked 3rd all-time by James and Holway, and still places high on my ballot, albeit no longer in an elect-me slot.

7. Wally Schang. His .393 career OBP ranks second all-time at catcher. Good career longevity and brilliant defense in four World Series. Until Joe Mauer becomes eligible, I see Schang as the best catcher not in the HoM.

8. Bob Johnson. A teriffic combination of steady offense, above-average defense and tremendous longevity. Had substantial careers both before and after his MLB playing time; given the right opportunities he might well have been a Winfield-type 3000-hit man, with less basepath speed but more walks and possibly a bit more XBH power.

9. Johan Santana. The electorate has sold me on his greatness. Three firsts and a second in ERA, three firsts and two seconds in strikeouts, four firsts in WHIP. His career, while very short, was the very definition of ‘high-impact’.

10. Kenny Lofton. A monster center fielder with outstanding range and arm. A basepath blazer with 622 steals at a 79.5% rate and five stolen base titles. Not very durable, and couldn't maintain his initially very high levels of offense.

11. Phil Rizzuto. Great defense up the middle, an MVP, and a solid chunk of WWII credit – but as Bill James once wrote, “when you’re dealing with a New York player, you do have to let some air out of the press notices.”

12. Andruw Jones. Raw defensive magnificence has pushed him farther up my ballot. He's the anti-Ichiro, though, and charting his weight-induced collapse from 2007 onwards is like watching a stock ticker in October 1929: historic, mesmerizing, and deeply disheartening.

13. Jeff Kent: If he’d led the league in even a single major offensive category, a positional bonus would edge him into my top ten; as it is, there’s just not quite enough there.

14. Kirby Puckett: Five 420+ putout seasons in center, some nice World Series heroics; not the hitter that Twins fans thought he was, of course, but five 200-hit seasons, two titles in total bases and a rare right-handed batting title place him comfortably above the average.

15. Addie Joss: A sort of 19th-century Santana, among AL leaders in ERA and WHIP every year he was a regular; not nearly as dominant as Johan in my view, and therefore much lower on my ballot. The timeline mauls his candidacy – but the charter mandates that we fairly consider players from all eras…

* * *

16. Todd Helton. A .300-.400-.500 hitter, but home/road splits are very harsh, .345/.441/.607 vs. .287/.386/.469. Decent glove man.

17. Dolf Luque. Cuba credit pushes him ahead of Tiant for me; otherwise I see their candidacies as quite similar.

18. Luis Tiant. Two ERA titles, but lacking the consistency of a truly great pitcher.

19. George Van Haltren. A stubborn, idiosyncratic holdover for a long-time personal favorite. His runs scored stand out even in a high-scoring era. And 40-31 as a pitcher besides!- God bless you, George, you’ll probably always be somewhere on my ballot.

20. Thurman Munson. I suspect at least a partial illusion of context on his superficially excellent counting stats. A decent player – everyone on my ballot was a decent player – but many steps behind Mauer and Schang in my book.

21. Gavy Cravath. Despite his famous home run titles being largely a product of the Baker Bowl, Gavy was a truly great hitter for a relatively brief window, with MVP-quality seasons in 1913 and 1915. Deserving of substantial pre-career MLEs.

22. Lance Berkman: Seven consecutive seasons of .920+ OPS in a sub-2000 game career.

23. Andy Pettite. Above-average consistency, with year after year of the same basic solid value, is a valuable asset for a pennant contender, and is the best thing Andy's got going for him.

24. Buddy Bell: A good if not elite hitter, and a vacuum cleaner at third.

25. Sammy Sosa. Despite the corked bat, despite the multi-year clubhouse disruption, despite abandoning his team on his final day, despite being persona non grata with the team for which he won his MVP, he did hit a bunch of home runs, and therefore grudgingly makes the very lowest rung of my ballot.
   40. Patrick W Posted: January 02, 2020 at 12:11 PM (#5912330)
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 1,234 players total included in my current ranking assessment, including 729 players under consideration for this ballot (less the 270 HOM members and 235 actives or too-recently retired).

Work on a revisionist Personal Hall of Merit is well underway, but won’t be implemented until I reach the present day. Updates will be reflected throughout the ballot selections as appropriate.

--- Top 10% of HOM Line ---
--- Top 25% of HOM Line ---
1. Derek Jeter (n/a), N.Y. (A), SS (’95-’14) (2020) – I reduce all fielding numbers in my modified WARP system, but the damper on fielding runs below average is more severe. This is both as a hedge on the uncertainty of fielding numbers in general, but also an offset to avoid penalizing those actually playing the field. Let’s just say Jeter is a particular beneficiary of the choices inherent in my system. Good player for a long time.

2. Jorge Posada (2), 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.

--. Joe Start, N.Y. (NA) – Prov. (N), 1B (1871-1885) (2020) – Started going back through history this year updating info and adding about 150 new players to the system (up to 1900; this will take awhile). The adjustments I’ve made for pre-NA credit are speculative at best, but significant enough to give him a P-Hall slot above others on this ballot.

--- Top 50% of HOM Line ---

3. 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.

4. Todd Helton (5), Col. (N), 1B (’97-’13) (2020) – Looks to compare favorably with Keith Hernandez and Bill Terry for good bat, good field first-basemen, and he should join them in the HOM in short order.

5. Jason Giambi (n/a), Oak. – N.Y. (A), 1B / DH (’95-’14) (2020) – Straight WARP plus a peak bonus would have Giambi atop this ballot. Hence my need to making fielding adjustments to hinder the DH-types. But Jason’s peak is top 25% HOM worthy, elevating him to the upper reaches of the ballot muddle.

6. Bobby Abreu (n/a), Phila. (N) – L.A. (A), RF (’96-’14) – Similar story to Giambi. Longer career, but a much lesser peak and Giambi did more of his work in the stronger league.

7. Sammy Sosa (7), Chic. (N), RF (’90-’07) – McGwire’s up to 170th on my list and Sosa 182nd, so this old comment is no longer as cool as it once was. Both worthy of election, just a fluke of timing that Sammy must wait awhile for election.

--. Lip Pike, St.L. – Balt. (NA), CF / RF (1871-1878)

--. John McGraw, Balt. (N) 3B / SS (1891-1902)

8. Lance Berkman (8), Houst. (N) 1B / LF (’99-’13) – A significantly better bat than Helton, but no fielding value, shorter career, and less impressive peak all add up. Helton and Berkman are not that far apart in total value, but the difference seems likely to be significant, amounting to a much longer wait time.

9. Luis Gonzalez (13), 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?

--. Rube Waddell</B> (--), Phila. (A) SP (1899-1909)

10. Brian Giles (14), 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.

11. Lance Parrish (--), Detr. – Calif. (A) C (’78-’95) – Very low peak score, yet still way ahead of Schang. Career candidate with catcher bonus is enough to slot here. It’s also enough to question the value used for the catcher bonus (but not until next year).

--. Sandy Koufax, L.A. (N) SP (’56-’66)

12. Jim Whitney (--), Bos. – Wash. (N) SP (1881-1888) – I see no reason why we would elect any more pitchers from the 1880s, but my statistical updates suggest we maybe should have selected different ones; can’t penalize Whitney for past mistakes. Two really good seasons amongst six All-Star type years. The peak score elevates a possibly not-long-enough career to the ballot. Whitney definitely needs the help he gets from his offensive output – the pitching alone wouldn’t qualify him here.

13. Frank Tanana (6), Calif. – 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.

--. Charley Jones, Cinc. (AA/NL) LF / CF (1875-1887)

14. Bert Campaneris (--), Oak. – Tex. (A) SS (’64-’83) – Six seasons of 5+ WARP in a career is something of a sweet spot in the system I’ve developed, and Bert has that. Average bat and below average career length for a SS. But my peak score says he’s the 22nd best shortstop in history and one of the top 250 players all time. Bobby Bonds made the P-Hall on a lesser resume, so there’s a chance he’ll make it someday.

15. Luis Tiant (12), Bost. – Clev. (A) SP (’64-’80) (1988) – The league adjustments having been reduced, Tiant looks a lot better in the rankings.

--- I have 25 players ranked among the top 270 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.

Andruw Jones – I have found it necessary to regress the fielding value for my rankings, lest my Hall be filled with Dykstras and Lemons, but that choice just kills the scoring of a fielding first CF like Jones. There’s just not enough offense or career here for me.

Ben Taylor (1938) – I have him essentially tied with Tony Perez and slightly behind Orlando Cepeda among first basemen.

Johan Santana – Koufax-lite, which is both a tremendous compliment and - unfortunately - damning with faint praise on this ballot. I foresee Johan spending a long while in my backlog, but I suspect the modern HOM baseline is higher than this.

Wally Schang – I don’t see it. And I especially don’t see it with Posada also eligible. I have Schang as the 9th best catcher eligible, and carrying a worse peak score than anyone listed above him on my rankings.

Lofton, Jones, Taylor, Santana, and Schang were in last year’s top thirteen, but not in my top 15 this year.
   41. karlmagnus Posted: January 03, 2020 at 03:19 PM (#5912685)

Conscious that my evaluation techniques are behind the times but having submitted ballots since “1900” I believe carrying on is more helpful than stopping. Weaker year than some we have had. Jeter ranks top, largely for longevity. Abreu just above Sosa, below Helton and McGriff. Giambi just a touch ahead of Frank Howard. Cliff Lee only 60 Pitcher Points, so off bottom of consideration set. Tiant, Helton, Lofton, Jones, Taylor, Kent, Santana, Schang, Sosa and Berkman all commented on.

1. Derek Jeter. 3465 hits at 115, a very impressive total, especially for a SS. Not as good as Nomar’s peak but went on hugely longer, to an extent that became exceptional. Don’t entirely buy the “worst fielder of all time” hype – he always looked OK to me, albeit nothing special. TB+BB/PA .477 TB+BB/Outs .727

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. 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

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

5. 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!

6. 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.

7. 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.)

8. 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.

9. Lance Berkman. Short career, but very high quality. 1905 hits@144. TB+BB/PA .600, TB+BB/Outs .969. When you account for Houston vs Colorado, you can see he was considerably better than Helton, but not for as long. When you adjust for the different positions (25 OPS points) comparable to Garciaparra, Stephens and Posada; exceptional hitter for a short career.

10. 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.

11. Todd Helton 2519 hits@133. TB+BB/PA .575 TB+BB/Outs .978, which is better than McGriff, but Colorado and the sillyball era inflate him. Looks very comparable to McGriff to me; above the borderline for HOM but not by very much.

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 slips him on ballot this year.
   42. karlmagnus Posted: January 03, 2020 at 03:20 PM (#5912686)

16. Johan Santana 139-78. Only 2025IP but at 136 ERA+ Very short career but top quality 93PP slots him here

17. Andy Pettite 3316IP@117. 89.5 pitcher points. Will slip into the HOM in a weak year if others haven’t already elected him.

18. 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

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

20. 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

21. 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.

22. Bobby Abreu. 2470 hits at 128; TB+BB/PA .546, TB+BB/Outs .860. Statistically a smidgen ahead of Sosa, and known to be a better fielder.

23. 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.

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

25. Jason Giambi. 2010 hits@139OPS+. TB+BB/PA .575 TB+BB/Outs .926. Frank Howard looks a pretty good comp, though Giambi had a longer career.

26. 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.

27. Hugh Duffy. We don’t have enough Beaneaters! However he’s not quite as good as Elmer Smith – several of his years very mediocre.

28. 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.

29. 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.

30. 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.

31. Miguel Tejada. 2408 hits@108. Almost all career SS, so that pushes him up, plus it was quite a long career. Off the ballot but not too far off, might make it in a down year.

32. 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.

33. 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

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

35. 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.

36. 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.

37. 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.

38. 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

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

40. 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.

41. Tony Perez. Close to Staub but below him. 2732 hits at 122. TB+BB/PA .502, TB+BB/Outs .731.
42. Bill Madlock.
43. Toby Harrah
44. Roy Oswalt 2245IP @127, 83PP slots him here, not that far below Pettitte; distinctions are fine this far down the ballot.
45. Ben Taylor. Not all that far below Beckley and Van Haltren.
46. Jim Kaat 77PP
47. Orlando Cepeda
48. Norm Cash
49. Jim Rice
50. (N/A-12-12-14-N/A) Tony Lazzeri
51. Cesar Cedeno
52. Sam Rice
53. John Olerud With 2239 hits@128 playing 1B he’s somewhere about here.
54. Lou Brock
55. Mickey Vernon
56. Thurmon Munson
57. Sal Maglie.
58. Burleigh Grimes.
59. Heinie Manush
60. Mike Tiernan
61. Bob Elliott
62. Levi Meyerle.
63. 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
64. Jack Clark. As good as Reggie Smith but not for as long. 1826 hits@137OPS+, TB+BB .529, TB+BB/Outs .845
65. Harry Wright.
66. Harold Baines 2866 hits @120. TB+BB/PA .511 TB+BB/Outs .757. Lower than Staub and Perez.
67. Dennis Martinez 3999IP@106, 245-193. A lesser Kaat.
68. Jimmy Key
69. Dave Parker.
70. Jimmy Ryan
71. Gene Tenace
72. Kiki Cuyler
73. Deacon McGuire
74. Jerry Koosman.
75. Boog Powell
76. Ken Singleton.
77. 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
78. Sal Bando. 1790 hits at 119 Very short career, so even with 3B bonus he doesn't make it.
79. Jim Fregosi.
80. Jack Quinn
81. Juan Gonzalez
82. Tony Mullane
83. Ron Cey
84. Jose Canseco.
85. Pie Traynor
86. Jim McCormick
87. Joe Judge
88. Andruw Jones 1933 hits at 111, not enough quality even though he was a CF (and I don’t buy the “best ever” metrics.) TB+BB/PA.528 TB+BB/Outs .764, low ratings in juiced years.
89. Spotswood Poles.
90. Buddy Bell. Nowhere near a good enough hitter
91. Larry Doyle
92. Kirby Puckett
93. 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
94. 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.
95. Curt Simmons
96. Waite Hoyt.
97. Harry Hooper.
98. Vada Pinson
99. Gil Hodges
100. Jules Thomas.
101. Rico Carty.
102. Wilbur Cooper
103. Bruce Petway.
104. Jack Clements
105. Frank Tanana
106. Don Mattingley.
107. Orel Hershiser 204-150, 3130 IP@112. Not quite enough 69PP
108. Bill Monroe
109. Herb Pennock
110. Chief Bender
111. Ed Konetchy
112. Al Oliver
113. Darryl Strawberry.
114. Jesse Tannehill
115. Bobby Veach
116. Chet Lemon.
117. Lave Cross
118. 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.
119. 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.

   43. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: January 04, 2020 at 04:33 PM (#5912864)
122st 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) Derek Jeter-SS (n/a): As noted above, he was pretty overrated (could be the first HOFer to be voted by more than 100% of the writers :-)). Fortunately for him, that doesn't mean he wasn't still great, just doesn't belong with the top-tier legends.

2) Jeff Kent-2B (3): Kind of a jerk and not the best fielder in the world, but he could really mash the ball at a key defensive position.

3) Bus Clarkson-SS/3B (4): 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.

4) Lance Berkman-1B/LF/RF/CF/DH (5): Best hitter on my ballot.

5) Andy Pettite-P (6): More career than quality, but that's okay.

6) Bobby Abreau-RF/DH/LF (n/a): My pick for the best of the newbies not named Jeter.

7) Todd Helton-1B (7): Not as good as Berkman, IMO, but good enough.

8) Jason Giambi-1B/DH (n/a): The best hitter of the newbies, but not a lot of defensive value.

9) Lee Smith-RP (8): 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.

10) 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.

11) Johan Santana-P (10): Yes, I believe he wasn't as good as Wagner (but it's close). Not as good as the rate stats imply (since it's easier to attain higher numbers in recent years), but his peak can still be compared favorably with almost any other pitcher you can name.

12) Bucky Walters-P (11): 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.

13) Mickey Welch-P (12): 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.

14) Vic Willis-P (13): 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.

15) Gavvy Cravath-RF (14): 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.

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

Sammy, Lofton, Tiant, Schang, Taylor, and Jones weren't that far away from making my ballot.
   44. Carl Goetz Posted: January 04, 2020 at 08:45 PM (#5912906)
Ok, I've made some adjustments to my system, mostly to regress defense. For pitchers, I have started to use a half weighting of Win Share Above Bench along with my old system. Just feel like I want more different angles to look at pitchers from.
1) Thurman Munson - I rate him 12th at catcher. He's by far the highest peak rating of any eligible position player.
2) Wally Schang - Right behind Munson in my view and could be ahead next year if I tweak my system again. I realize I've got catcher 1-2, but these are the 2 biggest HOM misses in my book.
3) Luis Tiant - I've come around on Tiant thanks largely to adding WSAB to my system.
4) Buddy Bell - I regressed fielding 15% and I'm still probably Bubby biggest Buddy.
5) Johan Santana - I love peak from pitchers and I've come around on him being the Koufax of our age.
6) Andruw Jones - Even regressing fielding, he still looks great.
7) Todd Helton - About the same rating as last year for me.
8) Kenny Lofton - Same.
9) Vic Willis - I've been on and off the Vic Willis train more times than I can count over the years. Adding WSAB puts him back on.
10) Art Fletcher - He technically comes up about 5 spots higher even with my defensive regression. I'm slightly uncomfortable with Fletcher, Tinker and Dahlen coming up as 1,2,& 4 on DRA's greatest SS list and being rough contemporaries. That said, they were known as great SSs at the time so not pumping the brakes too hard.
11) Joe Tinker - See Fletcher.
12) Tommy Leach - I believe this is about where I had him last year.
13) Babe Adams - Another Win Shares add.
14) Derek Jeter - This is about as high as I've ever been on him. He's an "in" in my book (as are several who don't make this ballot).
15) Andy Pettitte - By my old system, he's the best pitcher, though barely. The others above him got there by WSAB help.

Ben Taylor - Pumping the brakes on him given Dr C.'s lack of support.
Jeff Kent - He's probably around 30ish and is my in/out line at 2B. I could go either way on him.
Sammy Sosa - He's not far off of my ballot; think lows 20s and I consider him an "in".
Lance Berkman - He's an out for me. Probably somewhere in the 40s for this ballot. Doesn't quite have enough on either peak or career score. I'm open to arguments.
   45. Bleed the Freak Posted: January 05, 2020 at 06:48 PM (#5913095)
I use Kiko's stats, Baseball Gauge, Baseball Reference, Matthew Cornwell's PARC-d (insightful for situational hitting, ballpark adjustments, post-season, other), and Doc and Miller's ratings from the HoME, Doc's MLEs on Negro Leaguers, I try to be as fair as possible on war and minor league credit, particularly in the pre 1960s expansions. I incorporate a small dose or gut check from FIP for pitchers and Dan Rosenheck for hitters.

1. Andruw Jones
2. Luis Tiant
3. Derek Jeter
4. Urban Shocker
5. Wally Schang
6. Lance Berkman
7. Todd Helton
8. Andy Pettitte
9. Johan Santana
10. Joe Tinker
11. Bobby Veach
12. Hurley McNair
13. Jason Giambi
14. Bert Campaneris
15. Bobby Bonds

Kenny Lofton and Jeff Kent personal hall of merit, but short of ballot.
Ben Taylor has fallen off by latest MLEs, vaulted Hurley McNair to my highest Negro League backlogger.
Sammy Sosa worthy in a context-neutral state, but a truly rally killer with all-time worst clutch figures moves him out of consideration.

Cliff Lee is just shy of hall level, great/understated career.

Close But Off Ballot: Tommy Bond, Tommy Leach, Joe Tinker, Vic Willis, Babe Adams, Harry Hooper, Dave Bancroft, Urban Shocker, Dizzy Dean, Bob Johnson, Sam Bankhead, Bus Clarkson, Vern Stephens, Marvin Williams, Don Newcombe, Willie Davis, Tommy John, Thurman Munson, Doc Gooden, Orel Hershiser, Dale Murphy, Kevin Appier, Kenny Lofton, Bobby Abreu, Jeff Kent.

Not PHOM: Ezra Sutton, Pete Browning, Bob Caruthers, Hardy Richardson, Harry Stovey, Jake Beckley, Clark Griffith, Joe Kelley, Sam Thompson, Heinie Groh, Edd Roush, John Beckwith, Dick Lundy, Alejandro Oms, Eppa Rixey, Joe Sewell, Earl Averill, Cool Papa Bell, Ray Brown, Willie Foster, Joe Medwick, Mule Suttles, Willard Brown, Stan Hack, Ralph Kiner, Richie Ashburn, Nellie Fox, Bill Freehan, Rollie Fingers.
   46. Bleed the Freak Posted: January 05, 2020 at 09:37 PM (#5913131)
As kcgard pointed out, please ignore Tinker and Shocker listed in the Close but off ballot crowd, thank you.
   47. Michael J. Binkley's anxiety closet Posted: January 05, 2020 at 09:39 PM (#5913132)
“If we could reduce this entire exercise to one absolute exumenical equation considering every possible factor in evaluating each player (e.g. 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, which I pretty much have done (and observing that behavior in a number of well-respected long-time voters), I finally decided to vote starting in 2012. (and yes, I tweaked my system again this year).

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, provided they are well-reasoned.

My ideology/methodology:

I am a peak voter at heart. I believe that a player should have some minimum degree of greatness to be a HoFer/HoMer and arrive there merely by extended slightly above average compilation (more details on that further on down).

I use my own version of WAR, which I refer to a mWAR (for “my,” because it’s mine; “Michael,” my first name; “Mengel,” my real last name, not the Bloom County name referenced in my BBTF handle; “median-replacement level adjusted,” or any other word that starts with “m” that might apply.

Position Players:

I start by using bWAR numbers for offense, and a two-thirds/one-third average, respectively, of bWAR (TZ/DRS) and gWAR (DRA) numbers for defense. I average in Kiko Sakata’s pWins for a player at a 20% bonus level if the player did better in his system (rewarding the player for context-dependent performance). For catchers, I add in ½ value of game-calling wins base on an average of available numbers from Max Marchi, Sean Smith, Baseball Prospectus, Fangraphs and Baseball-Refence for all applicable years.

I then reverse engineer the player’s WAA (subtracting 2.185 wins per a 162 game schedule’s full season of PA’s). The reason I do this instead of just taking the WAA numbers at BB-Ref, BBGauge, etc. is that while the WAR values at these sites are league-strength neutral, WAA values are league-specific, so that a player would have a higher WAA playing in a weaker league than he would in the same year in the stronger league given the same stats.
I then multiply the WAA by a league standard deviation derived from the WAA of player’s in that league compared to historical averages (I use the same method the Eric Chalek uses in his player evaluations at the Hallof Miller and Eric).

I then add back in the replacement level and then further adjust by a nine-year rolling average of a position’s median and “true” replacement level (bottom 20% of players at that position each year), analogous to Dan Rosenheck’s replacement-level calculations in his WARP system. The results I have found is that throughout most of baseball history, catchers, and even more so, shortstops, have been incredibly undervalued by the “traditional” WAR systems.

I then straight-line extrapolate that WAR number to 162 games for shorter seasons.


For pitchers, I average bWAR. gWAR, and FIP with respective weights of 45-45-10. For pre-1945 seasons, I add in a “relief bonus” for pitchers again similar to that used by Eric Chalek in his HoME evaluations.

As I did with position players, I reverse engineer WAA (subtracting 1 win for every 106.68 innings pitched) and multiply WAA by the league-year pitching standard deviation and then add back replacement level.

For seasons prior to 1920, I do not pro-rate pitcher seasons. Starting with 1920, I pro-rate all pitcher seasons to 162 games.

Negro Leagues:

I use Eric Chalek’s latest MLE translations for Negro League players. Although, unlike him, I do not project the players to what positions they hypothetically would’ve played in MLB – I rate them at the position they played in each year.

Minor League Credit:

I give applicable minor league credit for seasons prior to the end of WWII.

War Credit:

I give war credit by averaging the surrounding seasons and giving credit at a 90% level for position players and 67% level for pitchers due to their increased injury risk.

Salary Estimation:

For each player season, I assign them a fraction of season played (Sfrac – the same as Dan Rosenheck uses in his WARP). For position players, this is the players PA for that season divided by 1/9th the total PAs in the league divided by number of teams that year. For pitchers, I divide IP by the average IP of the top n pitchers in the majors that year, with n being the number of teams in MLB, and the weighted historical average seasonal IP of these “ace” pitchers, in order to account for shifting historical starting pitcher usage.

I zero out any negative seasonal mWAR numbers. I then input the seasonal Sfrac and mWAR values into the peak rate salary estimator used by Dan Rosenheck in his original WARP valuations. Formula = [(mWAR/Sfrac)^2*212,730+(mWAR/Sfrac)*402,530]*Sfrac. I give a 1/3 salary bonus to catchers for the fraction of playing time they spent each year playing catcher.

I then sum up a player’s estimated salaries over his career. I divide the total by $1M and then add to that the player’s postseason cWPA from the Baseball Gauge (if positive for his entire career) as a bonus for postseason play. This final number, given that it is derived from my version of WAR, I call it the player’s PEACE (Peak Excellence And Career Evaluation) number.

It works out perfectly that if a player has a PEACE value of 100 or higher, I deem them worthy of current or eventual induction, similar to Hall Rating for the Hall of Stats or CHEWS+ or MAPES+ in the Hall of Miller and Eric.

To demonstrate the peak nature of my system, assuming a player gets no cWPA postseason bonus, and a player has a Sfrac of 1.00 every season, the following is the number of years it would take a player to perform at that level to reach a 100 PEACE rating:

1 mWAR – 155.46 years
2 mWAR – 58.89 years
3 mWAR – 31.46 years
4 mWAR – 19.67 years
5 mWAR – 13.48 years
6 mWAR – 9.83 years
7 mWAR – 7.49 years
8 mWAR – 5.90 years
9 mWAR – 4.76 years (aka the Hughie Jennings path)
10 mWAR – 3.93 years
11 mWAR – 3.30 years
12 mWAR – 2.81 years

And so on, to the point where hypothetically, if a player earned 20.76 mWAR in a single season, he would be worthy of my PHoM base upon that season alone.
   48. Michael J. Binkley's anxiety closet Posted: January 05, 2020 at 09:44 PM (#5913133)
2020 HoM ballot (PEACE score in parentheses)

1. Derek Jeter (137.97) – A lot of people think he is an inner-circle HoFer. He’s not. Because of the defense, he’s actually bottom-half. That said, he’s still a clear HoMer.

2. Urban Shocker (135.86) – The 1920’s, particularly in the AL, were one of the lowest standard deviation periods for pitchers ever. He’s above 6 mWAR every season between 1919 and 1925 inclusive, with three seasons above 8 mWAR.

3. Wally Schang (129.46) – An OBP machine for a catcher. His seasonal totals don’t look impressive, but few, if any catchers played “full” seasons in that era. His rate totals are clearly HoM-worthy.

4. Tommy Bond (126.34) – Now we reach the pitchers-box portion of the ballot. Yes, he had great defenses behind him. But even accounting for that, he was the best pitcher from 1875-1879, and was no worse than the 2nd best pitcher in baseball any of those seasons. Just behind Radbourne in my all-time rankings and ahead of HoMers Caruthers and Galvin.

5. Charlie Buffinton (125.86) – The most underrated pitcher of the pitchers-box era. He was never the best pitcher in baseball in any single season, but I do have him as the best pitcher in the NL in 1888 and 2nd best in the NL (and all of MLB) in 1889, and the 3rd best in baseball in 1884 (behind Radbourne and Hecker) and in 1891 (behind McMahon and Stivetts). Doesn’t have the gaudy IP totals of some of the other pre-1893 pitchers, but he has the best rate stats of the lot.

6. Kenny Lofton (121.03) – Long career, but underrated peak and prime. 4.8 mWAR or higher every year from 1992 to 1999 (with another four 3.5 or higher in the back half of his career). Had a peak of 6.4, 7.0 and 9.8 from 1992-94 (1994 pro-rated).

7. Art Fletcher (119.84) – An average (99 OPS+) offensive player with historically great defense at one of two hardest positions to play. A two-time mWAR NL MMPosition Player (1916, 1918).

8. Don Newcombe (119.83) – He had everything working against him – integration, Korean War interrupting his prime, playing in one of the lowest standard-deviation eras for pitchers ever. Give him credit for all of those, as well as factoring in being one of the best hitting pitchers ever, he becomes an obvious selection. It’s a shame he never made this Hall or the other while he was still alive.

9. Eddie Cicotte (119.67) – I give him full credit for his entire MLB career. Only person not named Walter Johnson to win an mWAR AL MMPitcher between 1912 and 1919 (and he almost bested him in 1919 as well).

10. Luis Tiant (115.78) – An uneven career, but the requisite peaks and plateaus are definitely there.

11. Dave Bancroft (114.23) – As I mentioned in the description of my system, I believe for most of baseball history, shortstops have been undervalued by most WAR systems because they set replacement level for shortstops higher than the actual replacement level. Also gets a boost from beneficial numbers from Kiko’s system for the part of his career for which they are available.

12. Bert Campaneris (113.45) – One of the periods with the highest SS adjustment was the late 1960’s to the late 1980’s, with the largest adjustments coming in the late 60’s to early 70’s, where the adjustment was up to a full win per season. This just happened to coincide with Dagberto’s best years.

13. Dizzy Dean (113.39) – If Koufax and Johan Santana, why not Dean. All very similar short, high peak careers, but Dean pitched in a much lower standard deviation league for pitchers than Koufax or Santana.

14. Buddy Bell (113.15) – Decent bat, great glove with a definite, but not necessarily outstanding peak. Definitely not making the managerial wing of the HoM.

15. Andruw Jones (112.41) – He may not be the best defensive CF ever, but he is most certainly top ten. Add in the power and even though he ate himself out of the league, he has enough of a peak to be a HoMer.

Required Disclosures/Prominent Newbies

17. Todd Helton (111.58) – I don’t have the time to redo my PHoM with my new pitcher system before balloting ends, but safe to say he’d probably be PHoM this year or next.

28. Jason Giambi (105.14) – Great Peak is enough eventually.

30. Sammy Sosa (104.15) – Still over my eventually PHoM line with which I am comfortable.

31. Johan Santana (103.61) – Same as above.

41. Lance Berkman (100.88) – Would not be over my eventual line if not for his massive cWPA postseason bonus (8.38).

43. Jeff Kent (100.26) – Literally the last player that I would be comfortable inducting.

Ben Taylor (96.04) – Hurt by updated MLEs.

Bobby Abreu (88.89) – 7 seasons above 5 mWAR, but only one above 6. Not peaky enough for long enough.
   49. bjhanke Posted: January 06, 2020 at 01:52 AM (#5913157)
Hi. This is Brock Hanke’s ballot, unless he changes it in the next couple of days. As you can see in my essay earlier in the thread here, I am working with a new method that I really like. The problem with this is that it takes time. I’m not quite done with the essay describing the method, and I want to get a ballot in on time. So, here’s the ballot, with minimal comments and Required Disclosures. I’ll write longer comments on the people I voted for when I get the method essay under control. Until then, just accept that I like my new method, although I did not follow it exactly. Among other things, the method does not cover the Negro Leagues at all, so I had to fill those in as best I could. Anyway, here’s the list, with minimal comments, for easy of tabulation. I’ll be more thorough about it when I get the essay done.

1. Dizzy Dean (the new method has Dean as the best player not in the HoM at any position)
2. Sal Bando (and Bando as the best position player not yet in)
3. Hugh Duffy (and Duffy as the best 19th century player not yet in)
4. Lou Brock (the new method has him as the best LF not in, and doesn’t count postseasons)
5. Elston Howard (no team other than the loaded Yankees could have gotten away with sitting Howard on the bench for that long)
6. Tony Perez
7. Hilton Smith
8. Luis Aparicio (a surprise from the method, and I’m not a big Aparicio fan, but his defense was really good)
9. Al Rosen (very short career, but a great one)
10. Bobby Bonds (him, too)
11. Don Newcombe (and him)
12. Derek Jeter (no team other than the loaded Yankees could have gotten away with playing Jeter at shortstop)
13. Dale Murphy (I’ve wondered about Dale for a long time, and the new method says I should stop doing that and vote for him, already)
14. Luis Tiant
15. Ben Taylor (the hard problem with Ben is that he’s a dead-ball-era first baseman. We have NONE of those in the HoM yet. The best such in the white majors was probably Ed Konetchy. Dead ball era first base was a far different position than it is now. Everyone bunted all the time, so you didn’t have the great big power bruisers at that spot. You can sell me that Ben Taylor may have been better than Ed Konetchy. You will have a much harder time selling me that Ben Taylor was the best first baseman in all of baseball for a 20-year period.)

Required Disclosures:

Lance Berkman – A very good player, but not, I think, a great one. Just writing this, I realize that Berkman had a balanced skill set. It’s hard to think of any one thing that he did especially well, or especially badly.

Todd Helton – I am very leery of Colorado careers.

Andruw Jones – A very strange career. I do not understand it at all, and so I find it hard for me to rank it anywhere. I’d have him below Lofton, in any case.

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.

Kenny Lofton – I voted for two CF this time, and Wally Berger was not one of them. I do not think that Lofton was as good as Berger. He was a very good leadoff man.

Johan Santana – Borderline, hampered by a shortish career.

Wally Schang – I’ll hurt my head trying to compare Wally to Thurman Munson next year. Then I might vote for one of them.

Sammy Sosa – Of the following four players – Sosa, McGwire, Bonds, and Clemens – only one of them was ever actually caught doing anything that was, at the time, actually illegal. That would be Sosa’s corked bat. Sammy wasn’t great on defense. He didn’t take many walks, especially for a guy who hit that many homers. He didn’t start hitting homers like that until he came to easygoing Wrigley Field.
   50. Willie Mays Hayes Posted: January 07, 2020 at 11:03 AM (#5913494)
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. Todd Helton - If we called baseball players technically sound, Helton would be the platonic ideal. Sublime five year peak gets him to the top of my system...though not by much over:
2. Derek Jeter - Yes, he's overrated for all the reasons we don't need to rehash here. He is also a shoo-in for the HOM.
3. Andruw Jones - I'm a peak guy, and his was beastly, even if you regress the defense. An absolute joy to watch play center field in his prime.
4. 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.
5. Kenny Lofton - Not as peaky as Jim Edmonds, but more than enough consistent value throughout the career.
6. Johan Santana - Proof that you need more than a five year peak to score well in my system, but damn, what a peak it was.
7. Bobby Abreu - Loved to watch him play. Did a lot of the little things that go unnoticed. but the real story here is that he was GOOD. A seven year run with 42 WAR? That's a good peak.
8. Sal Bando - Great peak. Probably hung around too long, but he certainly belongs in. We really need a couple more third basemen.
9. Jason Giambi - Outstanding hitter. Controlled the zone remarkably, and when he did get a pitch to hit, he would hit it a mile. End of the career was obviously sub-optimal, but the high peak puts him here.
10. 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.
11. 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.
12. 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.
13. 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.
14. Luis Tiant - Very close to Appier in my system. Were he a bit more consistent year-to-year, he would fare better.
15. 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.

Ben Taylor - Sporadic peak and a general sense he was good, not dominant keep him off ballot.
Jeff Kent - Defense kills him here. Not far off ballot, due mostly to his insane offensive output.
Wally Schang - Had a good, not truly great career. I prefer Munson if you want another catcher.
Lance Berkman - The down-ish seasons during his peak hurt him in my system, another guy not far off ballot, could sneak in at the bottom in coming years.
   51. kwarren Posted: January 07, 2020 at 11:17 AM (#5913511)
1) Derek Jeter - 12th best SS of all-time (3rd best offensively behind only Wagner & Rodriguez), easy selection

2) Vic Willis - 48th best pitcher of all-time (ahead of 28 HOF pitchers including Drysdale at 51st, Jack Morris 168th, and Catfish Hunter at 169th)

3) Kenny Lofton - 10th best CF of all-time ahead of Ashburn & Dawson - defensive WAR of 15.5 compares well to Mays at 18.2 with only 3/4 of the playing time.

4) Luis Tiant - 57th best pitcher of all-time, ahead of 23 HOF pitchers

5) Andruw Jones - 11th best CF of all-time - best defensive CF ever leading Mays by 24.4 to 18.2 in 2/3 of the playing time.

6) Todd Helton - 15th best 1B of all-time. Only Pujols & Miguel Cabrera are not in the HOM of those ahead of him.

7) Buddy Bell - 15th best 3B of all-time. Only Brooks Robinson & Beltre are ahead of him defensively

8) Sal Bando - 16th best 3B of all-time

9) Sammy Sosa - 18th best RF of all-time, ahead of Winfield and Vlad Guerrero

10) Ben Taylor - 2nd best 1B to play in the Negro Leagues

11) Bobby Abreu - 20th best RF of all-time, slotted nicely between Winfield & Vlad

12) Bobby Bonds - 22nd best LF of all-time, border line candidate

13) Johan Santana - almost identical career to Sandy Koufax (at least for regular season), but leads him in ERA+ 136 to 131. It's incredible how they can be perceived so differently. Playing for the Dodgers instead of the Twins can do that I suppose.

14) Tommy John - 85th best pitcher of all-time, but solidly ahead of Sandy Koufax & Whitey Ford in JAWS, but not close in ERA+.

15) Bob Johnson - 18th best RF of all-time, but solidly ahead of Jim Rice in 27th place
   52. rwargo Posted: January 07, 2020 at 01:11 PM (#5913570)

Need comments on Kent (mentioned in your prelim), Schang, and Berkman, or we can't count the vote.
   53. Chris Cobb Posted: January 07, 2020 at 02:37 PM (#5913607)
2020 Ballot

I cast my first ballot in 1903 and voted in each election through 2010. I missed 2011 and 2012, voted in 2013 and 2014, then missed 2015-19.

Brief recap of system. To rank players, I begin by calculating and summing three factors: career WAR, career WAR above average (retrofitted for league quality and rewarding in-season durability by subtracting 2 WAR from each season rather than using straight WAA), and WAR rate over 5 best seasons x 5. Over the years, I have found this system strikes a fitting balance between peak and career and produces few idiosyncratic results. For position players, I average bWAR and fWAR, with a career fielding adjustment applied based on DRA. For pitchers, I use bWAR only. I season-adjust position players for cross-period comparisons and in periods when season length is variable. I give war credit, work stoppage credit, and, if appropriate, minor league credit. I have used my own MLEs for Negro-League candidates. Since those are win-share based, I now use Dr. Chaleeko’s so as to have WAR-based MLEs. I haven’t done an exhaustive comparison, but so far the findings of the MLE systems seem pretty similar. I recognize that there are issues with the position adjustments made in bWAR and fWAR, but I don’t fully accept the alternative of setting replacement level using lowest 20% of position players: that puts too much trust in the strategic acumen, player evaluation skills, and capacity to acquire talent possessed by the management apparatus at any given point in the history of the game. So for now, I am sticking with bWAR and fWAR positional adjustments.

Once I have scores for each player, I rank players first within decade cohorts. I then integrate decadal rankings into a single list that becomes the ballot, using both scaled rank within decade and raw score as factors, favoring raw scores for decades close in time and scaled rank for decades remote in time from one another.

For full explanations of ranked players, please see my preliminary ballot. A few rankings down ballot and off ballot have changed a little bit from the prelim. I have included detailed explanations for top 10 returning 2019 candidates who are not on in my top 15.

(#) = 2014 ballot ranking (n/e = not eligible when I last voted) (n/r = not ranked)
Total = score in my system
Scaled Rank in Decade = Rank in decade converted to a 30-point scale, based on “expected HoMers” per decade based on league size and demographics of player pool.
For example, the 1880s has 14.5 “expected HoMers,” so the 9th-ranked player in that decade gets a scaled rank of 18.5. (The 30-point scale is used because that is the number of expected HoMers for the 2000 and 2010 decades.) My all-time in-out line, then is a scaled rank of 30, which corresponds to raw scores between 110 and 115 for most decades.

1. Derek Jeter (n/e). Total = 135.95. 2000s. Rank in Decade: 16.
2. Buddy Bell (7). Total = 136.98. 1980s. Re-Scaled Rank in Decade: 20.6.
3. Andruw Jones (n/e). Total = 135.50. 2000s. Rank in Decade: 17.
4. Kenny Lofton (10). Total = 136.07. 1990s. Scaled Rank in Decade: 22.9.
5. Todd Helton (n/e). Total = 130.46. 2000s. Rank in Decade: 19.5.
6. Sammy Sosa (8). Total = 133.07. 1990s. Scaled Rank in Decade: 24.
7. Kevin Appier (15). Total = 125.6. 1990s. Scaled Rank in Decade: 25.6.
8. Bobby Abreu (n/e). Total = 121.41. 2000s. Rank in Decade: 22.5.
9. Johan Santana (n/e). Total = 120.6. 2000s. Rank in Decade: 23.5.
10. Luis Tiant (12). Total = 125.5. 1970s. Scaled Rank in Decade: 26.9.
11. Vic Willis (17). Total = 122.14. 1900s. Scaled Rank in Decade: 25.6.
12. Sal Bando (24). Total = 124.71. 1970s. Scaled Rank in Decade: 28.2.
13. Bobby Bonds (11). Total = 123.9. 1970s. Scaled Rank in Decade: 29.4.
14. Ned Williamson (31). Total = 128.3. 1880s. Scaled Rank in Decade: 26.9.
15. Orel Hershiser (29). Total = 118.5. 1980s. Scaled Rank in Decade: 30.

____________ The Off-Ballot Top Candidates________

16. Brian Giles (n/e). Total = 117.72. 2000s. Rank in Decade: 25.5.
17. Ben Taylor. (23). Total = 118.73. 1910s. Scaled Rank in Decade: 25.3. Taylor’s case is a difficult one to figure out. His position is well represented, but not from his era. His era is well represented, perhaps over-represented, but there’s a small dip in representation during the period of his prime. His reputation is very strong, but is not fully matched by the data; the data are very sketchy for the first half of his career. I arrived at his raw score by putting the MLEs Eric Chalek developed through my system. His in-decade scaled rank may overrate him a little, but I’ve positioned him to move up onto the ballot as we go deeper into the backlog.
18. Chuck Finley (33). Total = 117.0. 1990s. Scaled Rank in Decade: 26.7.
19. John Olerud (n/r). Total = 116.69. 1990. Scaled Rank in Decade: 27.8.
20. Jason Giambi (n/e). Total = 116.35. 2000. Rank in Decade: 26.5.
21. Thurman Munson (n/r). Total = 114.71. 1970. Scaled Rank in Decade: 30.6.
22. Urban Shocker (15). Total = 120.94. 1920s. Scaled Rank in Decade: 30.
23. Jeff Kent (13). Total = 116.07. 2000. Rank in Decade: 27.5. Moves up a bit from my preliminary ballot because I discovered I’d forgotten to add his strike credit to his total score. When the Giles/Olerud/Giambi group starts sliding into ballot positions next year, I will take a deep dive into comparing Kent with them. The differences between them in overall value are minimal in my system, despite their different career shapes. That’s the difficulty of getting into the backlog: so many players are so close in value that rank ordering them exaggerates the magnitude of the difference between them.
24. Joe Tinker (n/r). Total = 119. 83. Scaled Rank in Decade: 32.6.
25. Art Fletcher, (/n/r). Total = 116.56.1910. Scaled Rank in Decade: 26.8.
26. Robin Ventura (20). Total = 114.94. 1990. Scaled Rank in Decade: 29.1.
27. Lance Berkman. (n/e). 114.65. 2000. Rank in Decade: 29.5. The main difference between Berkman and Brian Giles (#16) in my system is in peak rate. Their best years were very similar, but Giles was able to maintain his peak production in four consecutive seasons, whereas Berkman’s best seasons alternated with weaker ones. It’s a small difference, resulting in just three points of raw score between them—the equivalent in the system one season of play at 2.5 WAR. In the borderline area, however, there are (relatively) a lot of players with very similar totals. From the 2000s, Jason Giambi, Jeff Kent, and the not-yet-eligible Tim Hudson fall between Giles and Berkman, and with another 130 years of baseball to drawn on, there are eight other players squeezed into that small gap.
28. Chet Lemon (28). Total = 116.77. 1980. Scaled Rank in Decade: 31.2
29. Frank Chance (n/r). Total = 116.75. 1900. Scaled Rank Decade: 34.4.
30. Bob Johnson (n/r). Total = 123.19. 1930. Scaled Rank in Decade: 35.2.
31. Phil Rizzuto (n/r). Total = 111.45. 1940. Scaled Rank in Decade: 30.
32. George Uhle (n/r). Total = 119.43. 1920. Scaled Rank in Decade: 31.5.
33. Wally Schang. (n/r). Total = 110.40. 1920. Scaled Rank in Decade: 34.4. As my system sees it, even with a catcher bonus Schang falls a little bit short. His main case is being arguably the best major league catcher between Charlie Bennett and Gabbie Hartnett, with the elected Roger Bresnahan being the alternate candidate for that title. The main reason Schang falls short in my system is that he lacks a significant peak. That isn’t a function of games played, but of per-game impact. Bresnahan has less career value than Schang, but at his best he was an impact player, with a peak rate in BWAR of 6.19 WAR/154 games over his best five-year stretch. Schang tops out at 4.56 WAR/154 games. That’s the lowest peak rate of any ranked position player, although it is the 3rd highest by a catcher between Bennett and Hartnett, following Bresnahan and the underappreciated Jack Clements, who averaged 5.21 WAR/154 games for Philadelphia from 1890-96. If there were no HoM catchers between Bennett and Harnett, Schang might have a stronger argument, but there is Bresnahan from the majors plus Santop and Mackey from the Negro Leagues.
34. Tony Perez (n/r). Total = 114.57. 1970. Scaled Rank in Decade: 31.8.
35. Bernie Williams (27). Total = 113.03. 1990. Scaled Rank in Decade: 31.1.
36. Dwight Gooden (n/r). Total = 112.90. 1980. Scaled Rank in Decade: 32.4.
37. Ron Cey (n/r). Total = 113.78. 1970. Scaled Rank in Decade: 33.1.
38. Jorge Posada (n/e). Total = 111.09. 2000. Rank in Decade: 31.5.
39. Dave Bancroft (n/r). Total = 114.6. 1920. Scaled Rank in Decade: 32.9.
40. Cesar Cedeno (n/r). Total = 112.38. 1970. Scaled Rank in Decade: 34.3.
41. Fred McGriff (n/r) Total = 110.90. 1990. Scaled Rank in Decade: 32.2.
42. Jim McCormick (10). Total = 123.33. 1880. Scaled Rank in Decade: 35.2.
43. Tommy John (n/r). Total = 110.6. 1970. Scaled Rank in Decade: 35.5.
44. Willie Davis (n/r). Total = 110.31. 1960. Scaled Rank in Decade: 31.5

   54. dan b Posted: January 07, 2020 at 09:00 PM (#5913721)
I was here in 1898 when I was the only voter to pass on Ross Barnes. The only ballot I missed was the 1909 elect 1 – a slam dunk for Ed Delahanty, which I took off to restructure my system. The days of submitting a ballot every two weeks were great. I start with a half peak/half career WS system with tendency to favor peak. I have also been influenced by NHBA rankings. 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 2019 – Jeter, V. Guerrero, Dwight Evans, Dick Lundy

1. Jeter PHoM 2020. A career value pick with a postseason bump. Only Wagner had more WS as a shortstop.
2. Santana PHoM 2018. That’s the kind of peak I am looking for in a pitcher. I was Koufax’s best friend here and see Santana at least Sandy’s equal. By WS each led their league 3 times. Over the 3 years he led his league, Santana had 14% more WS than the league runner up. Koufax had just 9% more.
3. 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. NHBA #25 pitcher - James may have overrated him, but not so much that we should ignore him. One of our sins of omission.
4. 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. We missed this one.
5. Berkman PHoM 2019 Compares favorably with previously enshrined Edmonds and Guerrero.
6. Posada PHoM 2017. Important player on a great team. Compare with HoM catcher Bill Freehan.
7. Walters PHoM 1968. Nice peak – 3 WS Cy Youngs, 1 runner up. One more WS Cy Young than Dean, but he wasn’t competing with Hubbell and one was a war year. NHBA #69.
8. 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.
9. Newcombe PHoM 1998. NHBA #46
10. Tiant PHoM 2012. NHBA #52.
11. Sosa It was quite a peak with just enough more to put him ahead of guys like Albert Belle, Al Rosen and Dale Murphy.
12. Murphy PHoM 2002. 4 consecutive seasons with 30+ WS. Above the HoM median for 5 consecutive years. NHBA #12
13. Bonds PHoM 2012. NHBA #15
14. Helton
15. Kent

Required disclosures: Tiant, Helton, Kent, Santana, Sosa and Berkman are on ballot.
Lofton , Jones, Taylor and Schang don’t have enough peak to earn my vote.
   55. kwarren Posted: January 07, 2020 at 11:49 PM (#5913750)
1) Derek Jeter - 12th best SS of all-time (3rd best offensively behind only Wagner & Rodriguez), easy selection

2) Vic Willis - 48th best pitcher of all-time (ahead of 28 HOF pitchers including Drysdale at 51st, Jack Morris 168th, and Catfish Hunter at 169th)

3) Kenny Lofton - 10th best CF of all-time ahead of Ashburn & Dawson - defensive WAR of 15.5 compares well to Mays at 18.2 with only 3/4 of the playing time.

4) Luis Tiant - 57th best pitcher of all-time, ahead of 23 HOF pitchers

5) Andruw Jones - 11th best CF of all-time - best defensive CF ever leading Mays by 24.4 to 18.2 in 2/3 of the playing time.

6) Todd Helton - 15th best 1B of all-time. Only Pujols & Miguel Cabrera are not in the HOM of those ahead of him.

7) Buddy Bell - 15th best 3B of all-time. Only Brooks Robinson & Beltre are ahead of him defensively

8) Sal Bando - 16th best 3B of all-time

9) Sammy Sosa - 18th best RF of all-time, ahead of Winfield and Vlad Guerrero

10) Ben Taylor - 2nd best 1B to play in the Negro Leagues

11) Bobby Abreu - 20th best RF of all-time, slotted nicely between Winfield & Vlad

12) Bobby Bonds - 22nd best LF of all-time, border line candidate

13) Johan Santana - almost identical career to Sandy Koufax (at least for regular season), but leads him in ERA+ 136 to 131. It's incredible how they can be perceived so differently. Playing for the Dodgers instead of the Twins can do that I suppose.

14) Tommy John - 85th best pitcher of all-time, but solidly ahead of Sandy Koufax & Whitey Ford in JAWS, but not close in ERA+.

15) Bob Johnson - 18th best LF of all-time, but solidly ahead of Jim Rice in 27th place

16) Lance Berkman - 20th best LF of all-time - just edged out by Bob Johnson

As for returning players from top 10, the only one not on my ballot is Jeff Kent. His defense was just too weak when compared to similar type hitters at 2B, and his peak is very weak.

Wally Schang - Munson, Tenance, Freeham, Ewing, & Lombardi are all better - as well as Posey & Mauer both of whom will almost surely be elected. Schang is not near their level, and has no peak at all. His best season is 4.4 WAR.

   56. bjhanke Posted: January 08, 2020 at 04:08 AM (#5913763)
Less than a month ago, my brain decided to gift me with a new method. I always use Win Shares, because WAR appears to be badly broken, especially in pitchers. And I very heavily use the New Historical Abstract ranking system, because it remains the most robust and satisfactory of all ranking systems. (I do not understand why one of the people who has a full database of WARs does not come up with something as complete and satisfactory as the NHA, but based on WAR. It would be very easy, you know. Just use WAR as your base number, and when you need to find the harmonic mean of total WAR to get careers on the same scale as everything else, use 1/3 of Bill James’ 25, because one WAR is worth, by definition three Win Shares.) I’d do it myself, but I don’t have the database. I have no idea why the WAR crowd has stopped with the completely unsatisfactory JAWS.

Anyway, it occurred to me that, if I just went down the lists of the NHA’s best 100 players by position, I could get a candidate list that would NOT be the result of me focusing on a small number of guys, in isolation. All I had to do was go through the NHA, and see who was where in its lists, and then find the highest-ranking guys in the NHA who are NOT yet in the HoM. That gives me a very good candidates list, which I can focus on all at once, rather than picking a player and trying to fit him in.

This gives me a list of the highest ranking players in the New Historical who are NOT yet in the HoM, with only one big surprise. In other words, Sal Bando is the highest-ranking third baseman who is not in the HoM. He's ranked 11th at 3B in the NHA. All ten guys ranked higher than Bando are in the HoM. I realized that I will need to fold in players who played after 2000, and Negro Leaguers, but I think that this is turning out to be a great method. For one thing, no player in the top ten at his position according to the NHA is NOT in the HoM, with one exception. That's credibility. We very strongly agree with the NHA.

The only difficult position – the exception - is pitcher, because we have many many more pitchers than we do at any other position. It turns out that we have 77 pitchers and 193 position players, including Edgar Martinez. So, what I did was divide the 193 by the 77, coming up with 2.506, just barely over 2.5. So, when I was doing the pitchers, I just took their raw rank and divided it by 2.506 , and rounded up to the next integer, to get the pitchers on the same scale as the other players. So, Walter Johnson, who is ranked #1 by the NHA, gets 1/2.506. That, rounded off to the next-lowest integer, or even statistical rounding, results in “zero-eth.” So, I rounded up to the next integer, which was 1. The #2 guy, Lefty Grove, got 2/2.506, so he ALSO gets a "1" when comparing him to position players. Cy Young, #3, gets 3/2.506, which is between 1 and 2, so he gets a 2, as do the fourth and fifth guys. So far, what it looks like is that there will be three pitchers at every rank except 1. In short, you can divide the pitcher's NHA ranking by 2.506 and get a ranking that works, placing the pitchers on the same scale as the position players.

The surprise - the highest-ranking player not in the HoM - turns out to be pitcher Dizzy Dean. He is ranked 25th in the NHA, certainly a HoM rank, and I divided it by 2.506. This gives you a number just below ten, so I consider Dizzy to be equal with position players ranked 10th. No player ranked tenth or higher is NOT in the HoM, except Dean.

That makes Dean #1 on my ballot. What follows is a listing of the various positions and, within the position, the highest-ranking non-HoM player, and the second-highest such, along with the highest-ranking player from the 19th century who is not in the HoM. In other words Thurman Munson, ranked 14th at catcher, is the highest-ranked catcher not in the HoM. Elston Howard (15th) is next. Deacon McGwire (40) is the highest-ranking 19th-century catcher not in the Hall. Because of the greater numbers, I listed the six highest-ranking pitchers, along with the highest-ranking 19th-century pitcher. Because there’s arithmetic involved in converting pitcher rankings to the same scale as position players, I will list the actual ranking followed by the converted ranking. In other words, Dizzy Dean will look like “Dizzy Dean (25/10). The 25 is his raw rank in the NHA. The ten is the rank I will use to compare him to other positions. He will be ranked higher than anyone else.

When you look at the lists, you will find out that the 19th century does not do well. The best 19th-century player is ALWAYS the last on the list, at EVERY position, including pitcher. This is a problem with Bill James’ time line. I agree that there should be a timeline, but I have grave doubts that it is linear, which it is in the NHA. I’m actually working on a way to deal with this, but my HoM essay here needs to be in long before I will get THAT monster essay written. The timeline issue also will prevent me from voting for any 19th-century pitchers. I don’t agree with this, but I have no time to fit one or two of them in before this thing is due. And Tony Mullane isn’t going to be elected this year, anyway.

P – Dizzy Dean (25/10), Carl Mays (38/16), Lon Warneke (44/18), Don Newcombe (46/19), Eddie Cicotte (50/20), Luis Tiant (52/21), Tony Mullane (82/33)
C - Thurman Munson (14), Elston Howard (15), Deacon McGwire (40)
1B - Don Mattingly (12), Tony Perez (13), Henry Larkin (69)
2B - Tony Lazzeri (19), Larry Doyle (20), Tom Daly (55)
3B - Sal Bando (11), Al Rosen (14), Lave Cross (33)
SS - Luis Aparicio (13), Jim Fregosi (15), Herman Long (34)
LF - Lou Brock (15), Frank Howard (19), Topsy Hartsel (47)
CF - Dale Murphy (12), Wally Berger (13), Hugh Duffy (20)
RF - Dave Parker (14), Bobby Bonds (15), Fielder Jones (41)

I skipped DH, because I have no idea who the highest-ranking DH might be. I, personally, think that putting Frank Thomas among the 1B, instead of the DH, is altogether wrong, but this is a ballot decision, not mine to make. I had to look over the outfielders three times to make sure we hadn't already elected Hugh Duffy. I will certainly have him on my ballot, along with at least one Negro Leaguer.

So, here’s the Ballot For Tabulation, with only one nasty comment.

1. Dizzy Dean (P25/10)
2. Sal Bando (3B11)
3. Hugh Duffy (CF20)
4. Lou Brock (LF15)
5. Elston Howard (C15)
6. Tony Perez (1B13)
7. Hilton Smith
8. Luis Aparicio (SS13)
9. Al Rosen (3B14)
10. Bobby Bonds (RF15)
11. Don Newcombe (P46/19)
12. Derek Jeter (LF, masquerading as a Shortstop)
13. Dale Murphy (CF12)
14. Luis Tiant (P52/21)
15. Ben Taylor

And now, here’s the ballot, with comments and Required Disclosures. Although I like my new method, I did not follow it exactly, because of things like post-season records (see Lou Brock on the ballot). Among other things, the method does not cover the Negro Leagues at all, so I had to fill those in as best I could. Anyway, here’s the list, with comments.

1. Dizzy Dean (25/10) (the new method has Dean as the best player not in the HoM at any position, and he is surrounded by Hall members, both above and below him. The next-best non-HoM pitcher after Dean is Carl Mays (38/16)). When you get a guy who is absolutely surrounded by Hall guys, including many below him, that’s a mistake. The HoM has made a mistake by not electing Dean, and it shows up here. No, Dizzy was not as good as Sandy Koufax. But if you pull out your copy of the NHA, you will be surprised by how small a margin that is, among the four categories. Well, if Sandy Koufax is #10 (which he is in the NHA), there is just no way that Dizzy Dean was enough worse to put him out of the HoM.

Things that people don’t seem to know: Dean, according to Win Shares, should have won TWO Cy Youngs, in 1934 AND 1935. No one cares about 1935, but it was the best pitcher season in the NL. Also, Dean had a serious impact on TWO, not one, pennant races. Everyone knows about 1934. But in 1938, as a washed-up spot starter, Dean went 7-0 for the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs won the pennant by three games. If you replace Dean with an average pitcher, much less a replacement one, the Cubs don’t win in 1938.
2. Sal Bando (3B11) (and Bando as the best position player not yet in)
3. Hugh Duffy (CF20) (and Duffy as the best 19th century player not yet in)
4. Lou Brock (LF15) (the new method has him as the best LF not in, and doesn’t count postseasons. The only outfielders, at any of the three spots, to outrank Brock in the NHA are Wally Berger (CF13) and Dave Parker (RF14). The next LF after Brock who is not in is Frank Howard (19). Lou Brock’s postseasons will certainly vault him over those three.)
5. Elston Howard (C15) (no team other than the loaded Yankees could have gotten away with sitting Howard on the bench for that long. He ranks exactly one place lower in the NHA than Thurman Munson. Everyone ranked higher than Munson is already in the HoM. When the rankings are that close, I think I have some freedom to choose. I’d much rather have Howard than Munson.)
6. Tony Perez (1B13) (I give him a little boost for being able to play 3B, albeit middlingly, for a few years)
7. Hilton Smith (I still think that he’s the best NgL pitcher we have not yet voted in)
8. Luis Aparicio (SS13) (a surprise from the method, and I’m not a big Aparicio fan, but his defense was really good)
9. Al Rosen (3B14) (very short career, but a great one)
10. Bobby Bonds (RF15) (him, too)
11. Don Newcombe (46/19) (and him)
12. Derek Jeter (no team other than the loaded Yankees could have gotten away with playing Jeter at shortstop. I’m not saying that he should have sat on the bench. I’m saying that no one else could have gotten away with his glove at SS. They would have had to move him. His postseason record looks just like his regular seasons. I don’t count extra just because your team was loaded and got into a lot of postseasons. I do count it if the player plays over his head (much less Lou Brock over his head). Jeter did not do that, so I give him no credit for postseason.)
13. Dale Murphy (CF12) (I’ve wondered about Dale for a long time, and the new method says I should stop doing that and vote for him, already.)
14. Luis Tiant (52/21) (I have absolutely nothing to say beyond the enormous amount of commentary that we have generated about Luis as he passes through the years.)
15. Ben Taylor (the hard problem with Ben is that he’s a dead-ball-era first baseman. We have NONE of those in the HoM yet, and nobody really close in the rankings unless you count Frank Chance. I never know how to really evaluate Chance’s career as a Hall candidate. I mean, he never got into as many as 140 games, not even once. About half of his career is as a backup. But, for four years, he was truly great, and very good in a fifth year. As a consequence of the playing time, his Black Ink and various Hall of Fame prediction systems are very bad, for a real candidate. But his five year prime is so good that the NHA has him ranked high. The best DBE 1B in the white majors was probably Ed Konetchy. Dead ball era first base was a far different position than it is now. Everyone bunted all the time, so you didn’t have the great big power bruisers at that spot. You can sell me that Ben Taylor may have been better than Ed Konetchy. You will have a much harder time selling me that Ben Taylor was the best first baseman in all of baseball for a 20-year period, or that he was greater than Frank Chance. He and Chance have almost opposite career shapes.)

   57. bjhanke Posted: January 08, 2020 at 04:09 AM (#5913764)
This is more Brock Hanke. I wrote an essay too long to fit into one comment here. So, this comment has the Required Disclosures.

Required Disclosures:

Lance Berkman – A very good player, but not, I think, a great one. Just writing this, I realize that Berkman had a balanced skill set. It’s hard to think of any one thing that he did especially well, or especially badly.

Todd Helton – I am very leery of Colorado careers, especially of fly ball hitters. I would quit in disgust rather than vote for Larry Walker. Helton was probably better than Walker, but not that much better. Helton won exactly one batting crown and no homer crowns, which seems mighty thin for a HoM 1B; his Black Ink is miserable for a man of his reputation. And his postseason record is awful, although he didn’t even get into a postseason until he was 33, so I’d cut him a break there.

Andruw Jones – A very strange career. I do not understand it at all, and so I find it hard for me to rank it anywhere. I’d have him below Lofton, in any case.

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.

Kenny Lofton – I voted for two CF this time, and Wally Berger (13) was not one of them. I do not think that Lofton was as good as Berger. He was a very good leadoff man.

Johan Santana – Borderline at best, hampered by a shortish career. Santana pitched 2025.2 innings, with an ERA+ of 136. Big Jim McCormick, who gets some votes here, but not enough to be elected, pitched 4275.2 innings, with an ERA+ of 118. Santana’s ERA+ is significantly higher than Jim’s, but Jim pitched over TWICE as many innings. And I didn’t vote for Jim McCormick, either.

Wally Schang – I’ll hurt my head trying to compare Wally to Thurman Munson next year. Then I might vote for one of them.

Sammy Sosa – Of the following four players – Sosa, McGwire, Bonds, and Clemens – only one of them was ever actually caught doing anything that was, at the time, actually illegal. That would be Sosa’s corked bat. Sammy wasn’t great on defense. He didn’t take many walks, especially for a guy who hit that many homers. He didn’t start hitting homers like that until he came to easygoing Wrigley Field. He was a home run powerhouse for a few years in one of the easiest homer ballparks in the game.
   58. bjhanke Posted: January 08, 2020 at 04:11 AM (#5913765)
Oh. And Dan, you can delete my comment #33 above. It's done everything it was supposed to do, and I've put a copy in the Discussion thread. Thanks for leaving #33 up there for as long as you did. - Brock
   59. Howie Menckel Posted: January 08, 2020 at 09:36 AM (#5913794)
counters, note that ballots 49 and 56 are from the same person - so 49 is out of the mix
   60. theorioleway Posted: January 08, 2020 at 06:34 PM (#5914006)
Sorry for the radio silence, delay in posting, and brief comments for this ballot. Taking care of a newborn takes more time than you would think if you haven't done it. Onto the ballot:
1. Derek Jeter: as much as I loathe this (he's my #1 all-time sports hate and it's not that close), he ends up #1 as I'm not sure I trust the DRA numbers for him since they are so extreme.
2. Andruw Jones: I do believe in his defensive #s, which are universally excellent, and it wasn't as if he was a zero at the plate with 400 HR.
3. Don Newcombe: Have to add up to the pitching credit, hitting credit, integration credit, and war credit to get here, but ultimately I'm a believer he is a hidden great.
4. Luis Tiant: squeaks ahead of the guys immediately preceding him due to slight underrepresentation of pitchers and small questions on the other guys.
5. Sammy Sosa: seems to have become underrated in regards to perception compared to other steroids guys. The concern about his clutch factor made me feel better about keeping him below Tiant.
6. Kenny Lofton: is this low due to conservative reading of his defense, since DRA is not impressed.
7. Bobby Bonds: all-around player in an era underrepresented.
8. Thurman Munson: not his fault he played in an era with other great catchers. Postseason performance helps.
9. Andy Pettitte: since I debit most of his teammates for being bad defenders, seems fair to therefore think he was better than might seem at first glance.
10. Todd Helton: conservative due to Coors, not great Baseball Gauge #s, and standing among contemporary 1B
11. Vic Willis: underrated P from an earlier era
12. Buddy Bell: conservative placement based on uncertainty over 3B replacement level and standing among 3B of era
13. Bert Campaneris: pretty much the exact inverse of Bell above.
14. Bobby Abreu: another underrated all-around star.
15. Tommy John: Kiko's system's support breaks the tiebreaker.
Ben Taylor: previously on-ballot, off for now due to Dr. C's phenomenal work.
Jeff Kent: best 2B available, but not HOM worthy to me
Johan Santana: probably HOM worthy, but he's behind a few other people for a ballot spot
Lance Berkman: on the short list of missing a ballot spot, could make it future years
Wally Schang: agree with Chris C's evaluation 100%.
   61. Mike Webber Posted: January 08, 2020 at 06:43 PM (#5914010)
I use Win Shares and BB Ref War as the first filters, with emphasis on career, where a player ranks among his era peers, with big seasons as a boosting factor.

1) DEREK JETER 72.4 BBref-War, 413 Win Shares – The one player that I’m completely convinced is HOM worthy.
2) 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.
3) BOBBY ABREU 60.0 BWAR, 356 Win Shares. One MVP type seasons, 11 seasons 20+ Win Shares.
4) 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.
5) 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.
6) 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.
7) 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.
8) LANCE BERKMAN 52.1 BBref-WAR, 313 Win Shares. 4 MVP type seasons, 10 seasons 20+ Win Share season.
9) JASON GIAMBI 50.5 BWAR, 325 Win Shares. 4 MVP type seasons, 8 seasons 20+ Win Shares. This ranking really surprised me, his career value is so much greater than Chance, and he has similar big seasons, so he has to be ahead of him.
10) TODD HELTON61.2 BBref-WAR, 316 Win Shares – Two 30+ Win Share seasons, 9 seasons 20+ Win Shares.
11) FRANK CHANCE45.6 WAR 237 Win Shares - I’m a career guy, but this is the peakiest of peak guys.
12) JOHAN SANTANA 51.4 BBref-WAR, 171 Win Shares – Cy Young Awards, 2 3rds, 1 5th, 1 7th. 45th in WAR among pitchers in the past 50 years. 32nd in the past 40. 26th in the past 30. He is really hard to rank, ahead of Appier, who is the top modern pitcher off the ballot.
13) ANDRUW JONES 62.8 BBref-WAR, 276 Win Shares – 1 MVP type season, 7 additional 20-win share seasons. I think his defensive WAR is overstated, a little. That is why I’m lower on him than many.
14) 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 have him lower than many others voters. 7 20-win share seasons.
15) 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).

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

New Players not on ballot:
Cliff Lee is at least 10 pitchers away from the ballot.

Other required notes:

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

Schang and Olerude are my first two players off the ballot.

   62. cookiedabookie Posted: January 08, 2020 at 07:58 PM (#5914028)
51 and 55 are also duplicate ballots
   63. epoc Posted: January 09, 2020 at 01:34 PM (#5914231)
Some discussion of my system and my reasoning on these players is in the discussion thread. Here's my ballot:

1. Roy Oswalt
2. Johan Santana
3. Dwight Gooden
4. Lance Berkman
5. Bobby Abreu
6. Kevin Appier
7. Derek Jeter
8. Sammy Sosa
9. Brian Giles
10. Javier Vazquez
11. Bobby Bonds
12. Ron Guidry
13. Cliff Lee
14. Andruw Jones
15. Sal Bando

16-30: Ron Cey, Dizzy Dean, Bernie Williams, Andy Pettitte, Cesar Cedeno, Gene Tenace, Fred McGriff, Albert Belle, Frank Chance, Wally Schang, Jim Rice, Ernie Lombardi, Dale Murphy, Jason Giambi, Gavvy Cravath
   64. Al Peterson Posted: January 09, 2020 at 01:39 PM (#5914232)
2020 final ballot. Two ballot worthy folks join the fray. There were some minor slot movements with system tweaking but you’re close to 2019 slotting.

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. 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. Derek Jeter (-). I don’t have the mental gymnastics to try and throw a SS who had 3,400+ hits down further on the ballot. If the debate was Jeter vs Trammell vs Larkin it would require more analysis but **SURPRISE** those guys are HOM already and this is mostly a backlog fodder election.

2. Phil Rizzuto (4). Holy Yankee shortstops Batman!! 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.

3. Kenny Lofton (7). I’ve come around on Lofton some from earlier ballots. Each iteration of my ranking moves him up ever so slightly where I’m now comfortable with him moving to an elect-me slot. 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.

4. Bobby Bonds (6). 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. Todd Helton (8). Tricky with the Coors Field effect and the steroid era timing of his peak. You’ve got a player who was batting title & MVP contender, Gold Glove winner thru age 31. Then eh, just a guy. Still hitting .316 ain’t too shabby.

6. Tommy Leach (3). 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 – you don’t get to play 900+ games at 3b & CF without having a good defensive skill set. Useless trivia: Still holds World Series record with 4 triples in a single series.

7. 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.

8. Andruw Jones (10). Locked down Gold Gloves for a decade. A great what if with him: Age 28 he’s 2nd in MVP, leading NL in HR’s and RBI’s. By age 31 hitting .158 in sunny LA.

9. Bobby Abreu (-). Doubles power, good batting eye, sneaky speed in a corner outfielder. Kind of guy you overlook – supported by the 2 All-Star appearances – who did things that help your team win ballgames.

10. Lance Berkman (12). He’s the type of extended prime player my system tends to favor. Bob Johnson of his era, likely to have the same fate where 30 years from now his name will be unfamiliar to many casual baseball fans.

11. Mickey Welch (13). 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. Luis Tiant (14). Was less than the Carlton/Seaver/Niekro top SP grouping of his time but got by on his funky delivery to merit a down ballot slot in various year. His 1964 PCL record in Portland: 15-1 with a 2.04 ERA. That deserves a ML callup I guess -- slight extra credit on my end.

13. 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.

14. 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.

15. Buddy Bell (16). Welcome back to the ballot. The gap between top-tier 3Bmen is not large for the position when he played in the 70s and 80s. Body type didn’t really look the part of a great glovemen but few would deny he was outstanding.

Next up, but off ballot:
16. Jeff Kent. Highest 2nd basemen I’ve got, the glove holds him back just enough to be on the cusp of ballot. Still might be underrating position slightly but I’m not overly upset with a top 20 slot for him.
17. Ben Taylor. Holding steady here. He lingers on ballot fringe, we have 1B to spare.
18. Tommy John. He remains in a Tiant/Willis/Pettitte cluster. Offer value in different ways but all fine pitchers.
19. Vic Willis. A lot like Tiant. Has seen my ballot before, could again. Always the era question with pitchers from this timeframe.
20. Andy Pettitte . Not far off as I thought he would be. Above average production for awhile does get you somewhere in life.

Jason Giambi: In 21-30 range; was in golden age of 1B. Acquitted himself well but I’d take Helton easily over him.

Top 10
Johan Santana: Slot in 50-60 range I guess? Needed 2 more years to push up the ranks.
Wally Schang: Now there’s a name from the past. Top 100 for sure, ordering of catchers has him below Posada, real close to Lombardi.
   65. DL from MN Posted: January 09, 2020 at 01:43 PM (#5914233)
Reminder, the election is scheduled to end by January 9, 2020 at 8 p.m. EST. If you need an extension please ask for one and I can give a day.
   66. rwargo Posted: January 09, 2020 at 02:54 PM (#5914259)

Before we can count your ballot, we need comments on:

Luis Tiant, Todd Helton, Kenny Lofton, Ben Taylor, Jeff Kent.

A primary purpose of the comments on the top ten is to make sure that you've at least considered people who may be elected. This year in particular, a single omission could cause a player to wait a year.

Comments on these players may be in the ballot discussion thread, but we counters need them here.

   67. rwargo Posted: January 09, 2020 at 04:00 PM (#5914278)
epoc, found your comments, but they have obviously changed a bit, since you ended up voting for Jones. Are these still OK?:

Mandatory Disclosures:

Santana, Sosa, and Berkman are on my ballot. All are worthy of induction.

Wally Schang is just off-ballot. Best available catcher. He'd have been inducted long ago into my personal HOM, but he's been surpassed by more recent players.

Luis Tiant is nowhere close to my ballot. He's well behind near-contemporary Sam McDowell and slightly behind Tommy John. The two biggest things holding him back for me are injury/inconsistency within his prime and relatively poor DIPS numbers.

Todd Helton and Andruw Jones would both be in the 30-40 range for me, I think. Helton is slightly but clearly behind his contemporary Jason Giambi. Andruw is in a bunch with Bernie Williams, Cesar Cedeno, and Dale Murphy, and I think I'd have him last among that group.

Kenny Lofton is not close to my ballot. He's similar to Chet Lemon for me.

Jeff Kent is also not close to my ballot. He is bunched with Larry Doyle and Fred Dunlap at the top of the eligible-2b pile, but I'd have both those guys ahead of him due to rank within era.

Ben Taylor is behind both Bill Byrd and Carlos Moran among eligible Negro Leaguers. My policy on NegL is that the best players are comparable to the best MLB players, but I need to be (relatively) certain that a NegL player is among the best before I'll vote for him. I don't have that kind of certainty with Taylor. Seamheads has him at 139 OPS+ in 4250 PA. Any reasonable level of regression puts his bat in a questionable range for a 1b. He'd probably come into play for me somewhere around #40.
   68. Esteban Rivera Posted: January 09, 2020 at 04:52 PM (#5914300)
2020 ballot:

I posted an explanation of how I was analyzing my ballot candidates in the discussion thread. Here goes my best attempt for this year.

1. Derek Jeter - Can’t stand the hagiography around him but tops the ballot this year.

2. Sammy Sosa – The shifts in assessment this year move him up one spot overall.

3. Vic Willis –Blame the cohort analysis for making me take another look at Vic. Helps fill the late 1890’s cohort on the pitching side.

4. Tommy Bond – His dominance during his time places him on the ballot.

5. Luis Tiant – In past years I had not voted for him citing that my problem was the lack of innings in an era where most great pitchers had the bulk. But after taking a closer look at him, I see him now as a lower peak version of Marichal. At this stage of the process, I’ve decided that it’s enough to get him on my ballot.

6. Sal Bando – First time Bando’s been on my ballot, the top third basemen by this year’s assessment.

7. Thurman Munson – Tops my catcher consideration list and with adjustments makes it onto the ballot.

8. Jeff Kent –At the moment is my top ranked second basemen, moves up this year with the new assessment.

9. Johan Santana – Lack of innings in terms of career, but a dominating peak and among the best of his time.

10. Don Newcombe – After going over and reworking the different types of credit I give to the players in my consideration set, Newcombe slots here.

11. Bernie Williams- Finally decided on going with Bernie as my top centerfielder and makes my top 15.

12. Phil Rizzuto – Adjustments for war credit get him here.

13. Urban Shocker – New to my ballot, edges ahead of other candidates when adjusting for WW1 seasons

14. Tony Perez – An old friend makes my ballot again. Helton does very well on rWAR’s offense, Perez tends to do better on most of the other systems and is also a peak/prime third basemen. In the end, felt more comfortable
placing Perez on top of my first base pile.

15. Andy Pettitte – Why are there so many Yankees on my ballot? I can’t stand them, but this is where the assessment leads me.

Required comments:

Todd Helton – The lack of enthusiasm most other systems outside of rWAR have for him gives me pause to put him on my ballot.

Ben Taylor – Falls off ballot due to the revised MLEs but still a viable contender for the future.

Wally Schang – Still a viable candidate for me but adding peak and prime does lower his placement a bit for me and is off ballot.

Andruw Jones and Kenny Lofton – Bubbling under, not fully sold on the defensive valuation numbers. Applying just 1% regression to the fielding values dropped them from stand outs to part of the viable candidate cluster. Need
to get a more comfortable handle on this before committing to putting them on the ballot.

Lance Berkman – Behind Bob Johnson and Bobby Veach in my left field pecking order.

   69. epoc Posted: January 09, 2020 at 05:53 PM (#5914312)
Mandatory disclosures from ballot discussion:

Tiant – Still not particularly close to my ballot. Same issues as before: injury/inconsistency during prime, poor FIP relative to RA9

Helton – Behind McGriff, Frank Chance, and Giambi among available 1b, somewhere in the mid-30s overall.

Lofton – Helped some by my updates, but still compares unfavorably to Chet Lemon for me. Around 50th overall.

Taylor – I have no real confidence that Taylor was elite among Negro Leaguers.

Kent – Dunlap passes him among available 2b. In the mid-50s overall.

Schang – Top available full-time catcher, just off-ballot at 25th overall.
   70. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: January 09, 2020 at 05:55 PM (#5914316)
This is one of those weird situations where you spend a lot of time breaking down a group of players who are probably all ultimately going to get in in the next few years. But it’s what we do.

I do try to be aware of balancing different eras, but it’s not a complete determinant. While I do agree that we need more players from the 90s & 00s, we seem to be shorter on the C/2B/SS/3B side, but most of the top candidates are 1B/OF, leaving out Jeter. (If only I could.)

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.

Jeter, Lofton, Cone and Helton make my PHoM this year.

1. Derek Jeter (new) Certainly overrated by Yankee fans, but on this ballot a clear #1. Makes my PHoM this year.

2. Bobby Bonds (4) 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.

3. Luis Tiant (6) 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. Made my PHoM in 2005.

4. Lance Berkman (9) Definitely was under the radar for me when he was playing, but with a 144 OPS+, a good defensive rep, and a lot of postseason value, he scores very well. Made my PHoM last year.

5. Phil Rizzuto (8) 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. Made my PHoM in 1997.

6. Kenny Lofton (10) 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. His defensive value is a question, but it’s less important to him than to Andruw. Makes my PHoM this year.

7. Ben Taylor (5) A solid candidate who might have been overlooked. 3rd-best 1B in the Negro Leagues, a good hitter with an outstanding defensive rep. The MLE revisions move him down a bit, but not too much. 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.

8. Bob Johnson (11) 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.

(8A David Cone. Makes my PHoM this year)

9. Todd Helton (12) I was assuming he’d be a little higher, but while he has a great peak, there’s also some padding on his career. Not dissimilar to Cash, but 5 very strong seasons are worth more than one great (fluke?) year. Makes my PHoM this year.

10. Tommy Leach (14) 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.

(10A Andre Dawson)

11. Tommy Bridges (14) 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. While the 1930s have a lot of players in the HOM, it’s a little short on pitchers, at least percentagewise.

12. Bus Clarkson (7) Had to knock him down some because of the latest MLEs, but even if there is some extrapolating going on, I still think there’s a reasonable chance he was Hall-worthy but fell through the cracks. Made my PHoM in 1997.

13. Andruw Jones (13) Very comparable to Lofton, comes in behind him because the defensive numbers are vital to his argument, and at least somewhat overinflated.

14. Bobby Abreu (new) Certainly a quality candidate, but he doesn’t have much of a peak. I just don’t see anything to move him ahead of the other OFs on the ballot. And that Yankees-Phillies trade is still completely ridiculous.

15. Don Newcombe (18) Deserving of minor league credit, and his numbers were clearly and obviously affected by his alcoholism. It’s up to the voter to decide how that changes your evaluation. 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.

16. Norm Cash (17) 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.

17. 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.

18. 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.

19. Sammy Sosa (22) 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. Bill Monroe (21) 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. The deadball era has room for a couple more players. Made my PHoM in 1939.

21. John Olerud (19) 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.

22. Johan Santana (23) Comparable to Dean but just a bit more of a peak, but I don’t think he’s quite up to Newcombe with applicable credit. I do think it’ll take more time to evaluate how to value 21st century starters, so this could change.

(22A John McGraw, 22B Ralph Kiner)

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

24. Vern Stephens (27) Close to Rizzuto, but with the wartime discount and the sudden dropoff after 1950, not quite there.

(24A Sam Thompson)

25. Jeff Kent (24) 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.

26. Dizzy Dean (26) Does have a really good peak argument by some metrics, but he stands out less by WAR than he did by the other ones.

(26A Charley Jones, 27B Roger Bresnahan)

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

28. Tony Lazzeri (33) He was the best backlog MLB candidate at his position until Kent showed up. Compare him to Larry Doyle, who some people used to vote for. Their career lengths are similar, Doyle was a better hitter, but not much, and Lazzeri was a much better fielder.

29. Jack Clark (37) An overlooked quality player.

(29A Pete Browning, 29B Rollie Fingers)

30. Wally Schang (34) 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.

31. Bernie Williams (30) 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.

32. Hilton Smith (31) Looks like the best available NGL pitching candidate. Seems like some more data will clarify his position.

(32A Hughie Jennings)

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

34. Bob Elliott (29) 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.

(34A George Sisler)

35. Kevin Appier (36) Similar to Cone, but definitely behind him.

(35A Graig Nettles)

36. Wally Berger (41) From an era that doesn’t need any more guys, but he had a strong prime.

37. Tommy John (38) Gave him a closer look last year, and I had been underrating him. Had more of a peak than I realized.

38. Albert Belle (46) Another hitter who was very good , but maybe not quite long enough.

(38A Nellie Fox)

39. Jose Cruz (39) Had a wide variety of skills, and had a very tough home park to deal with.

40. Eddie Cicotte (40) It’s close between him and Willis, but that’s not an era lacking in pitchers.

41. Jason Giambi
42. Vic Willis
43. Joe Tinker
44. Fred McGriff (35)
45. Billy Wagner

46. George Van Haltren 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.
47. Bobby Veach
48. Dave Bancroft
49. Dolf Luque
50. Andy Pettitte

Some guys not in my top 50:

Buddy Bell: 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.

Elston Howard: 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.

Jorge Posada. Would be my next ranked catcher behind Howard. He was an excellent hitter and had a long career, but all of the other indicators (defense, pitch framing & postseason play) point against him.

   71. DL from MN Posted: January 09, 2020 at 09:31 PM (#5914383)
balloting is closed. Results will show up tomorrow morning.
   72. cookiedabookie Posted: January 09, 2020 at 09:41 PM (#5914386)
DL, I sent you my ballot count. Let me know if/when you received it.
   73. Mike Webber Posted: January 09, 2020 at 10:11 PM (#5914394)
Joe D is at a work convention, and his window to vote got eaten by a travel delay, so no vote from the founder this time.

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