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

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

2020 Hall of Merit Ballot Discussion

2020 (December 2019)—elect 4

Top 10 Returning Players
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

we’re alternating “elect 3” and “elect 4” years

2020, 2022, 2024, 2026, 2028, 2030, 2032, 2034, 2036-37, 2039, 2041 are elect 4

DL from MN Posted: January 23, 2019 at 01:21 PM | 569 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   401. Kiko Sakata Posted: December 30, 2019 at 04:34 PM (#5911796)
You noted to take pre 1930s players with a grain of salt, your personal take on the 1920s characters would be greatly beneficial, Cuyler, Johnson, Bancroft, Mays, Grimes, Luque, Bridges (war era also missing games), Hoyt, and Rowe (see Bridges and how should war credit be handled, 4 war years in 43 and 46, but mediocre surrounding) all look like strong candidates. I think the evidence is pretty strong on the hitters to be on the good side of the grey area, are any of the pitchers in the Shocker camp where they are missing substantial data and we should be rather cautious?


This article documents the specific games that Retrosheet is missing from 1918 - 1931 - well, actually, it specifies the specific number of games missing by team and teams' records in missing games. One thing I've noticed by virtue of having done a lot of the deducing through the years is that Retrosheet is missing a LOT of Tigers games - which would obviously affect Bridges, Rowe, and Heilmann among players you've named. That said, we've gotten back through 1932, which catches the vast majority of the careers of Rowe and Bridges - actually the entire career of Rowe and all but 14 games of Bridges' career. That said, I think there's a secondary issue of missing so many Tigers games in that I think that leads to the Tigers having a larger number of deduced games than a lot of other teams. Although I would think deduced games vs. event files would be a much more significant issue with respect to non-pitchers, especially regarding fielding and baserunning, than pitchers, where the box scores and line scores pretty well cover how well they did.

My first instinct is that Tinker and Fletcher and Bancroft will show up as strong candidates in my system as we get more of their careers - mostly for the reason outlined re: Maranville vs. Vizquel. I don't feel like I have enough data to really speak on Veach, Hooper, or Leach (or really Tinker - I'm assuming my system will like his fielding). What I've seen so far for Sam Rice looks very good with respect to baserunning and fielding. For me personally, I think his candidacy may come down to the question of whether he deserves any bonus credit for not debuting until he was 28. He reminds me a bit of Ichiro, actually - who would probably fall short of my pHOM based purely on his MLB career, but will probably make my HOM ballot when the time comes around as I expect to give him NPB credit unless somebody tells me that's not allowed.

Cuyler and Johnson are both definite candidates to me. I've tended to put more recent outfielders ahead of them on my ballots, but I certainly think they're both defensible candidates for anybody using my system.

All of the pitchers you mention (except for Mays, who I already talked about) - Grimes, Luque, Hoyt, as well as Herb Pennock, who you mentioned earlier - are in my consideration set, as are Rowe, Dizzy Dean, and Bridges. For now, I haven't put any of them on a ballot, again, largely just due to running out of space and liking a few more recent pitchers a bit more (John, Pettitte, Tiant, and then a few off-ballot guys for me who I think I've had on-ballot in the past - Santana, Gooden, Hershiser). That could certainly change as we get more earlier data (which will definitely benefit Pennock and Luque; with 1918, we have all of Grimes's and Hoyt's careers covered now, but are missing 67 and 81 games of their careers, respectively) - although, to some extent, the mirror image of "fielding was more important back then" is that "pitching was a little less important".
   402. epoc Posted: December 30, 2019 at 08:13 PM (#5911830)
Addressing various Qs:

I hadn't really thought about the # of pitchers on my ballot, but thinking about it now I'd say that the HoM currently underrepresents pitchers. This may be a byproduct of my valuation of defense. Weighting defense as 30% of run prevention implies that 35% of value (.7/2.0) comes from pitchers, and the HoM currently has about 28% pitchers.

For fielding, I use fangraphs' fielding numbers and positional adjustments, so that's TZ up to (I believe) 2001 and UZR thereafter. Where there are huge differences between these and other available metrics (as with Jeter), I make small corrections to my final rankings.

I do give a catching bonus (quite a large one for catchers from 1910-1950), as well as a 1b/dh deduction (from 1920 on), because I don't think fangraphs treats those positions appropriately. It's possible that I'm still undervaluing catchers, but I think I've made best efforts to put them on equal footing with other positions.

Just to preserve important semantic ground, I would not say that I "deemphasize" or “underweight” position player defense; I think I weight it appropriately. But to clarify, when I say that I weight fielding at .3 relative to offense, I mean fielding plus positional adjustment.

About Jeff Kent specifically, he just wasn't a great hitter (only two seasons at 2+ SD above average). We've elected near-contemporary 2b Alomar and Biggio who were better hitters as well as better fielders, and I hope we'll add Utley when the time comes. Kent just doesn't make the grade.

About Benny Kauff, I discount his FL seasons 25%. I think that's appropriate, if not a little conservative. That would imply an OPS+ of 154, and his actual OPS+ with the Giants from '16-20 was 136. So maybe I am overrating him or maybe '14-15 were his two best seasons. Either way, I don't think it's a stretch to say that Kauff was a HoM-worthy hitter as a CF. The bigger issue for him is career length, but he has the craziest combination of factors working against him in that respect. If you're inclined to give credit for minor league performance, military service, or blackballing, he deserves all three. I don't personally give credit for any of those things except to not require from him the ten consecutive seasons I require from (almost) all other players. You could argue this actually underrates him, since I don't prorate his 1918 or 1920. In short, Kauff is a fascinating case who deserves more attention. I was surprised to find that the HoM doesn't even have a discussion thread for him.
   403. Jaack Posted: December 30, 2019 at 09:51 PM (#5911850)
You've clearly put a good deal of thought into you're ballot, but I still like to ask questions, so I have a couple of follow-ups.

Let's talk a bit about Benny Kauff. He has some similarities to Hack Wilson, who I have supported in the past, and who still is a top 40 eligible for me, although I find him on the outside looking in now. From 1926-1930, Wilson never had a season drop below 150 wRC+, and had an absolute monster of a season to cap it off in 1930. Outside of those five years he doesn't contribute much - his 1932 is still quite nice, but mostly he's an average player to me.

Compared to Kauff, Wilson to me looks absolutely better. I'm looking at fangraphs value for Wilson and Kauff.

Hack Wilson Batting Value
1930 - 78.9
1929 - 51.5
1927 - 48.2
1928 - 43.6
1926 - 40.8

If we take Kauff's FL seasons at face value and prorate his war shortened 1918 and suspension shortened 1920 to 154 games we get

Benny Kauff batting value
1914 - 52.9
1915 - 48.9
1918 - 29.2
1917 - 26.3
1920 - 23.8

That looks a lot better for Hack Wilson, and that's about as favorable to Benny Kauff as I can be. Another couple guys.

Ross Youngs batting value
1920 - 48.0
1924 - 47.9
1923 - 28.4
1919 - 26.1
1921 - 25.7
1922 - 22.1

Jack Fournier batting value
1925 - 53.1
1924 - 52.2
1923 - 45.6
1915 - 40.0
1921 - 37.8
1920 - 23.3

Fournier's best seasons aren't necessarily consecutive, but his defense was apparently poor enough to keep him off the field on occasion.

How does your system rank Hack Wilson, Ross Youngs, and Jack Fournier relative to Kauff?

For me, he's well below Wilson and Fournier. About by Ross Youngs, but outside my consideration set. I give Kauff war credit for 1918 and extrapolate 1920 because his suspension was unrelated to baseball. I don't see a strong case for minor league credit - cup of coffee in 1912, but his minor league performance wasn't super impressive. Good year in 1913 but at a pretty low level. He was possibly major league ready, but it's not strong enough for me to give him any bonus for it. I also do not credit him at all for any missed seasons after 1920. It seems his blackball was pretty unfair but since he didn't play organized baseball anywhere afterward I don't have any basis on which to project his decline phase.
   404. DL from MN Posted: December 30, 2019 at 10:52 PM (#5911865)
epoc - I would say you have put as much thought as anyone into your ballot and you seem to be seeking feedback and discussion. Welcome to the project!

On Benny Kauff, I would actually recommend a 30% discount for the Federal League years. If you're using a system based on standard deviations above the mean it might even be more. The Federal League had a much wider spread of talent than the National League did at the same point in history.

I actually agree with you that the Hall of Merit is short on pitchers. I did notice that there aren't many "glove first" players on your list (C, 3B, SS, 2B) and I think it could be due to not judging these players versus their positional average. If your system is spitting out 20 outfielders and first basemen before you get to a glove (excepting Jeter) then it probably isn't fair to all positions. Doublecheck your PHoM versus the actual HoM representation by position.
   405. epoc Posted: December 31, 2019 at 02:39 AM (#5911900)
Jaack, no problem, my dude. Discussions like this are the reason I decided to post.

To start with, I rank these four players: Kauff (gap) Fournier Wilson (gap) Youngs. I have Kauff as the best hitter and defender among the four over their respective primes. Fournier is a better bat than Wilson but a worse glove. Youngs is pretty far back of the other three.

So how is Kauff a better hitter than Wilson (and Fournier and Youngs)?

I probably should have noted this as a fifth way in which my system differs from many others, but the answer is: I use standard deviations rather than raw runs or converted wins. It just so happens that, though the four players you compared were near-contemporaries, Kauff's career was played during the deadball era, while most of the seasons you cited from the other three came after 1919. The SD for hitting runs jumped drastically between 1919 and 1920 as the deadball era ended.

So here are each of these players' fourth-best seasons, with their batting runs compared to their SD above average for offense.

Wilson 1928 43.6 runs 2.49 SD
Kauff 1917 26.3 runs 2.41 SD
Youngs 1919 26.1 runs 2.15 SD
Fournier 1915 40.0 runs 3.17 SD

You can see the difference. When you account for the spread in offensive performance, Wilson's advantage with the bat dwindles drastically.

Here are the average offensive value (SD) for each player's five-year peak, according to my system:

Wilson 1926-30 2.87
Kauff 1914-18 2.55 (including 25% FL discount)
Fournier 1921-25 2.35
Youngs 1920-24 1.99

The difference in fielding shrinks the gap between Wilson and Kauff even farther. If you prorate 1918 to a full season for Kauff, it puts him just slightly ahead of Wilson.

As you expand out to ten-year prime, Fournier also overtakes Wilson, while Youngs remains behind.

The big question as you move beyond the five-year peak is how to deal with the missing years in Kauff's prime. The way I handle situations like this (including major leaguers who logged NegL time before their MLB careers, cases of blackballing, and military service) is to credit a full ten years at the rate established in the available years. So, for instance, I credit Don Newcombe's 1947-56 as a ten-year prime even though he only played in MLB during six of those years. Similarly with Ted Williams' 1940-49 or Charley Jones' 1876-85. Whether this is justified in the case of Kauff is a matter of opinion, of course, but he was clearly the best hitter in both the 1912 Connecticut State League (though in a partial season) and the 1913 Eastern Association, as well as in the Federal League in both years of its existence. He was also a top-five hitter in the 1911 CT St League and a top-ten hitter after being exiled to the IL in 1920. Basically, he was a star-caliber player everywhere he played for ten years, and likely would have continued to be a star-caliber player for a couple more years had he not been blackballed, so I am willing to believe that his 1914-20 performance accurately represents his “prime” despite it being three years too short. Refusing him credit for any of the years from 1911-13 or after 1920 would lower his performance in my system, but on the other hand, prorating his 1918 and 1920 (which I do not do) and/or discounting his 1914-15 less steeply would improve his performance. I believe I have struck a proper balance, though it is a difficult case.

Returning to the four-way comparison, my method puts Kauff far ahead of Wilson and Fournier in ten-year prime, in addition to his small lead in five-year peak. Zeroing out 1911-14 and adding them to Kauff's prime, but at the same time prorating his 1918 and '20, would put him between Fournier and Wilson. Adding back some value for just 1913, as you suggest, would put him clearly in the lead again, were you to use something like my system. None of these players had much value outside their primes, so that's not really a factor.

Sorry to be so long-winded. I hope this proves interesting, both in illuminating my methodology and explaining the case for Benny Kauff.
   406. epoc Posted: December 31, 2019 at 03:33 AM (#5911901)
DL, thanks.

Why 30% rather than 25% for the FL? Such deductions are just educated guesswork, so I'm surprised that you'd advocate for such a marginal change. What is your reason for preferring 30%? As it affects Kauff specifically, such a change would only slightly change his ranking. He might drop below Bobby Bonds in that case, though I'd have to think about it more.

I have the SD for offense in the FL similar to that in the other two leagues. The spread of talent might have been more drastic but the spread of performance doesn't seem to have been, as far as I can tell. The real question, which I don't have a great answer to, is how to apply a marginal deduction to a SD system. The way I do it is to apply the deduction to the runs and then apply the ML (non-FL) SD to the reduced runs, but that's pretty apples-to-oranges. Another way to do it would be to apply the discount rate directly to the SD, though that's not directly measuring what we want to measure either. The real way to do it would be to decide how many SDs below AL/NL average the FL was and subtract the difference from FL players' SD. I was doing it that way before I switched to this method, but the problem with it is that I feel even less confident estimating how many SDs the FL average was below AL/NL than I do estimating a discount rate for batting runs. Perhaps I'll spend some time trying to work that out for myself.

I don't have an official pHoM, but eyeballing it I would say that you're right that I'd have more 1b/of than c/if (though not by an egregious amount, I don't think; certainly not 20 to 1). The current 1b/of-heavy composition of my ballot, though, I think, is more about who's available at the moment than about my weighting of the various positions. Looking ahead to the newly-eligibles for 2021-24, I see seven position players who I expect will jump onto my ballot, and five of them (ARod, David Wright, Chase Utley, Adrian Beltre, and Joe Mauer) are "gloves" as you are defining it.

That said, let's get crazy: Shouldn't we expect more 1b/of than c/if to be HoM-worthy? There is more talent at those positions because 1) left-handed throwers only play those positions and 2) left-handed hitters have the platoon advantage a majority of the time. So the talent pool for 1b/of is bigger, and the extra talent at those positions has an inherent advantage in the most important aspect of the game. Even treating all positions equally, we should expect more elite talent to manifest at 1b/of. If that's true, it would be treating 1b/of *unequally* to suppress their numbers for the sake of an even split.
   407. kcgard2 Posted: December 31, 2019 at 08:39 AM (#5911908)
epoc, while your system certainly has a number of idiosyncracies I may not agree with, I think it is very defensible and well thought out, and I like that it is thought-provoking where it differs from my view. However, I agree with DL in the concern that you may be going too far with the defensive down-weighting.

As a spot check, would you mind listing the 8 or 10 lowest-ranked first basemen you have rated above Ryne Sandberg? I'm just pulling his name out of a hat among guys who had moderate run value on both offense and defense+position contributing to his overall value according to WAR.

Edit: just including unelected 1B would be OK if that's easier.
   408. progrockfan Posted: December 31, 2019 at 09:36 AM (#5911914)
My undoubtedly idiosyncratic top 25 for 2020, considerably revised from my initial prelim.

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. Roy Halladay: An innings-eater with five league-leads in innings pitched and seven in compete games; great SO/BB ratios; may have deserved the Cy Young in 2008 as well as the ones he actually won in 2003 and 2010.

12. 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.”

13. 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.

14. 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.

15. 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.

16. 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…

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

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

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

20. 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.

21. 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.

22. 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.

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

24. 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.

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.

Required disclosure:
Buddy Bell. Great glove, but just not enough offense for a ballot slot. Also, his sole top-10 finish in MVP voting, coming in a superficially excellent year, seems to indicate that the BBWAA wasn’t that sold on him as a dominant player.

Random disclosure:
Various Relievers with Lots & Lots of Saves: As a general concept, relievers are (in my personal view) wildly over-valued. The relievers’ wing of my PHoM begins and ends with Rivera, Wilhelm and Gossage.
   409. Michael J. Binkley's anxiety closet Posted: December 31, 2019 at 09:56 AM (#5911923)
Just a heads up, progrockfan, before you submit your final ballot (and I just presume everybody just moves up a slot) - your #11, Roy Halladay, was elected last year.
   410. Bleed the Freak Posted: December 31, 2019 at 10:16 AM (#5911927)
Doc, can you shed details on the latest MLE for Roy Welmaker, he looks similar to Webster McDonald or better after war credit in 1943 and full season value in 1944 (did he have an injury in '44, your MLE's showed 40 IP but Seamheads is currently showing him at 57), thanks!
   411. progrockfan Posted: December 31, 2019 at 10:42 AM (#5911934)
@409: "Tour #11, Roy Halladay, was elected last year."

Y'know, I thought he had been - but I checked the front page, and his name doesn't appear there... Thanks for the catch. I'll slot Bell between Pettite and Sosa, and everyone else moves up a notch.

24. Buddy Bell: A good if not elite hitter, and a vacuum cleaner at third.
   412. Jaack Posted: December 31, 2019 at 11:58 AM (#5911960)
@epoc

Okay, two more guys that I kind of want to see through your system - Bobby Veach and George Burns (the best one).

He's an absolute contemporary of Benny Kauff. Looking at their respective wRC+, Veach's 1917 and 1919 are better than any of Kauff's non-FL seasons. Veach's prime also contains his merely solid 1918 campaign.

Defensively Veach wins in a landslide if you believe in DRA, and by a moderate amount if you think DRA is a bit aggressive.

Burns' prime strikes me as being very close to Kauff's. Fundamentally the difference is that we know what Burns did the rest of his career and we can only speculate with Kauff.
----
I think your method of getting a player to 10 year primes has issues that are illuminated with Kauff. We've essentially got four full years of data on Kauff at a major league level - three full seasons and two half seasons, but as those half seasons we out of his control, it's very reasonible to prorate them. He also should be credited for his Federal League performance at a discount. Personally, I wouldn't use those seasons to project out missing years because we have better data for what his bat looked like against top level competition.

Under your system, we add three seasons at that rate of production in order to get him to ten years. I'm not sure that's fair based on the data we have. Kauff appears to have been a very good hitter for his leagues 1911-1913 (assuming we ignore his smattering of PAs at major league and AA level in 1912). But those leagues were really bad. The other best players we're guys who's major league careers, if they happened, we're inconsequential. His minor league record doesn't shout out at me as a guy who was even necessarily a major league level player at that point, let alone someone in their prime. If you were to take George Burns prime, cut him down to Kauff's playing time and then project him out, you'd get a substantially better player.

I think you have which seasons to count backwards - we have the most knowledge about his talents for 1918 and 1920, so those seasons are the safest to project. Meanwhile, his minor league career has a huge range of possibilities, and your method seems to project him at the absolute highest end of his range for those seasons.

Let's take Roy Cullenbine as an example. He has a solid prime 1941-1947, but he was underappriciated at the time because his high OBP was not considered at all by the powers at be, and was forced into retirement after 1947. He has three additional seasons at the major league level, 1938-1940. Unlike the rest of his career, he was barely scraping by as a major league caliber outfielder. He was a productive hitter at AA level in 1937 and 1938 - not the best player in the league, but he ranked about 11th by slugging percentage, and while we don't have the data, we can presume based on his major league profile that he got on base at league leading level. And this league had some good players - Ted Williams, Enos Slaughter, and Babe Herman were among the league leaders, but so were legends like Chet Laabs and George Washington. If we pretend like Cullenbine continued this level of perfomance at AA until his 1941 breakthrough, we would have a player not too dissimilar to Benny Kauff.

For me, to project star level production on non-major league seasons, you need a hell of a case. If you have a situation like Babe Adams or Don Newcombe where you have bookends, I feel you can estimate the gap years. But in a case like Kauff, it's not clear he was a major league caliber player prior to 1914, let alone a prime producing player.
   413. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: December 31, 2019 at 12:11 PM (#5911963)
I don’t give war credit to pitchers because they break so easily. So I can’t tell you much there. In general, however, McDinald is a more attractive candidate than Welmaker. But more important, neither of them would sniff my ballot because we are like ten guys over expectations based on team seasons according to my calculations.
   414. Bleed the Freak Posted: December 31, 2019 at 12:16 PM (#5911964)
 413. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: December 31, 2019 at 12:11 PM (#5911963)
I don’t give war credit to pitchers because they break so easily. So I can’t tell you much there. In general, however, McDinald is a more attractive candidate than Welmaker. But more important, neither of them would sniff my ballot because we are like ten guys over expectations based on team seasons according to my calculations.


Thanks Doc, what does Welmaker's 1944 season looks like, was he hurt, in the service, should his IP be bumped from 40.

What does the "ten guys over expectations" mean?
   415. DL from MN Posted: December 31, 2019 at 12:24 PM (#5911968)
What does the "ten guys over expectations" mean?


If you estimate that every era should get X guys per team-season then that era is overrepresented by 10 guys already.
   416. DL from MN Posted: December 31, 2019 at 12:32 PM (#5911969)
What is your reason for preferring 30%?


That's what I used for MMP voting.

Shouldn't we expect more 1b/of than c/if to be HoM-worthy? There is more talent at those positions


I'll flip that around on you. If there are a large number of 1B/OF that have an outstanding bat because they get the lefthanded platoon advantage, then doesn't it become harder to accrue value? If anyone can get a good hitting 1B but it's hard to find a good hitting SS then scarcity means a good hitting SS is much more valuable than a good hitting 1B. Supply and demand. The "glove" positions have lower offensive expectations due to the defensive demands, including the platoon disadvantages from RH throwing. It's not like you can just decide to abandon SS and put in another lefthanded outfielder.
   417. Bleed the Freak Posted: December 31, 2019 at 12:57 PM (#5911975)
415. DL from MN Posted: December 31, 2019 at 12:24 PM (#5911968)
What does the "ten guys over expectations" mean?


If you estimate that every era should get X guys per team-season then that era is overrepresented by 10 guys already.


So, the implication is that we are +10 electees from the 30s/40s era?
Earl Averill, Cool Papa Bell, Ray Brown, Willard Brown, Willie Foster, Stan Hack, Ralph Kiner, Joe Medwick, Mule Suttles, and Bill Terry?
Can you share an updated +/- breakdown, I don't remember it being this large.

Eligible candidates from the era: Sam Bankhead, Tommy Bridges, Bus Clarkson, Dizzy Dean, Tommy Henrich, Bob Johnson, Tony Lazzeri, Webster McDonald, Johnny Pesky, Phil Rizzuto, Hilton Smith, Vern Stephens, Roy Welmaker, and Marvin Williams.
   418. epoc Posted: December 31, 2019 at 01:14 PM (#5911977)
kcgard2,

Sure. 1B who rank above Sandberg in my system, with the caveat that this is what my system spits out without any of the case-by-case tinkering I would do for an actual ballot:

Gehrig, Foxx, Frank Thomas, Connor, Brouthers, Bagwell, Mize, Greenberg, Anson, McGwire, Thome, Killebrew, Murray, McCovey

That's 14 guys. I do not have any eligible-but-unelected 1b above Sandberg. For reference, I have ten 2b above Sandberg (11 if you count Utley).
   419. Kiko Sakata Posted: December 31, 2019 at 01:26 PM (#5911982)
Sure. 1B who rank above Sandberg in my system, with the caveat that this is what my system spits out without any of the case-by-case tinkering I would do for an actual ballot:

Gehrig, Foxx, Frank Thomas, Connor, Brouthers, Bagwell, Mize, Greenberg, Anson, McGwire, Thome, Killebrew, Murray, McCovey

That's 14 guys. I do not have any eligible-but-unelected 1b above Sandberg. For reference, I have ten 2b above Sandberg (11 if you count Utley).


I didn't ask the question, but I think I was the first one to raise 2B as an issue. That looks fine to me. I can't say that I'd definitely put each of those 14 guys ahead of Sandberg, but none of them particularly raise an eyebrow to me. And 14 1B vs. 11 2B seems reasonable - perhaps a tick too 1B-heavy, but Thome and Killebrew played quite a bit of 3B over the courses of their careers, too (and Thomas and Thome played a lot of DH).

Conceptually, I LOVE what you're doing epoc and it ends up spitting out results that are broadly in line with a lot of my results (FYI, this is my system). I agree with you completely about the proper weight for fielding and I agree that standard deviations make a lot of sense as a way of comparing players (I try to do something similar in setting my replacement level - it's one standard deviation below average). Anyway, great stuff and I'm glad to have you in the project.
   420. kcgard2 Posted: December 31, 2019 at 02:34 PM (#5911995)
Thanks, epoc. I think I expected more 1B to rank higher than Sandberg in your system. I might have expected Palmeiro or even Helton to rank higher if defense was being downweighted, for example.
   421. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: December 31, 2019 at 02:59 PM (#5912000)
Re #415 and #417, there's discussion of this at post #251. I've copied the relevant info for you below.

How I do this is to determine the number of team-seasons in each year. There are 30 teams in MLB currently, so that's 30 team-seasons. Then I allot "slots" to every season from 1871 onward based on the number of team-seasons divided by all team-seasons in history. Next, for every player in the HOM, I determine what percentage of his career career G or IP occur in each season of his career, such that each season is worth a fractional amount. For every season in history from 1871 onward, I add the fractional seasons for every player active that year. Then, because from about 1992 onward not everyone has gotten a hearing due to eligibility requirements or active status, I debit the seasonal total of fractional careers for players not yet enshrined, not yet eligible, or still active using the same fractional amounts. For the active players, I first make a back of the envelope estimate of their total career G or IP. With all that hoohah out of the way, here's the trends as I see them.
   SPAN      +/-     %
-----------------------
1871–1875  - 0.8   85%
1876–1881  + 1.2  126% 
1882–1884  - 0.5   90%
1885–1900  + 7.3  132%
1901–1908  + 0.4  103%
1909–1922  - 1.6   93%
1923–1942  +10.2  125%
1943–1945  - 2.1   63%
1946–1956  + 3.7  120%
1957–1968  - 0.4  100%
1969–1990  - 8.0   86%
1991–1998  - 1.7   92%
1999–2008  - 2.4   87%
2009–2013  - 3.9   30% 



As I noted previously, we might as well stay out of the 19th Century. From 1885 to 1900 we've been gluttonous with easily the highest overage by percentage. We should also stay out of the prewar era. As you can see there are basically two extended periods we ought to be futzing over, by my reckoning: The deadball era could use one or two more (Harry Hooper? Wally Schang? Tommy Leach?). Then evermore after 1968 were scuffling. We're especially short in the 1969 to 1990 era. Among current candidates that suggests that we might want to turn our attention toward:
Todd Helton
Kenny Lofton
Andruw Jones
Jeff Kent
Johan Santana
Wally Schang
Sammy Sosa
Lance Berkman
Derek Jeter
Thurman Munson
Buddy Bell

Luis Tiant wouldn't kill us, but there's reason to believe others might be more interesting chronologically speaking. I don't support Ben Taylor, and I've done the MLEs on him. (More on those closer to the election.)

I'm sure that someone will want to remind me that being fair to all eras is not the same as a quota system. I'm well aware of that. But being fair to all eras also may mean that we've been too fair to some eras and should consider being a little more fair to those that can be objectively shown to be short a guy or eight.
   422. epoc Posted: December 31, 2019 at 03:01 PM (#5912002)
Jaack,

First of all, I appreciate your skepticism of Kauff, and I want to make it clear that I too am skeptical of him. If I accepted at face-value the rating my system gives him, he would have made my ballot easily, somewhere among the Abreu/Giles/Sosa group, I think. Leaving him off-ballot represents my uneasiness with the way I am handling his entire case, which is an incredibly difficult one.

The guys you are asking me to compare to Kauff are all similarly rated in my system (with the exception of Youngs, who is a clear step behind). I would rank them Fournier, Burns, Wilson, Veach, but they are all tightly bunched. Kauff is clearly ahead.

I have Kauff at about 2 SD above average as a hitter for his prime, while Burns and Veach are both around 1.5. They are all about even for fielding (the difference between CF and LF more or less makes up for the difference in fielding runs between Kauff and Burns/Veach).

Of course, the reason my system arrives at that conclusion is because it assumes the very thing you are objecting to, so let's look at it differently.

Here's how I rate these three players for their performance from 1914-20. For Kauff, I am applying my 25% discount for his FL years and prorating his 1918 and 1920. Note that I do not need to prorate 1918 for Veach or Burns, since they played full seasons and I am using standard deviations rather than raw runs produced.

Kauff 2.32 SD offense, -0.78 defense, 2.09 overall
Burns 2.05 SD offense, -0.61 defense, 1.87 overall
Veach 1.85 SD offense, -0.78 defense, 1.61 overall

The comparison is a little unfair to Veach, of course. If I look at his 1915-21 instead, he improves to 1.84, very close to Burns.

So without extrapolating at all, Kauff is clearly ahead of these two, as long as we accept Kauff's FL play (with a discount, of course). Remember from my last post that he was also (slightly) ahead of Wilson based only on five-year peak (Wilson's strength), so once again I don't think it's at all unreasonable to consider him HoM-worthy, or very close to it, assuming you accept his time in the FL.

Of course, the real question, as you rightly put it, is how to treat the rest of Kauff's career. I've already explained the way I do it. Instead of that, let's see how he looks if I give him Burns's 1912-13 and 1921. Burns was slightly below average in 1912, and then between 0.5 and 1 SD above average in both 1913 and 1921. I don't know if that strikes you as a reasonable proxy for what Kauff might have done had he not been relegated to the minors before 1914 or blackballed after 1920, but it doesn't seem too outrageous to me. If I treat Kauff this way, his ten-year prime would be 1.8 SD on offense and -0.6 SD on defense. His overall score would put him very close to Wally Schang for me, and since they were contemporaries, I think it's safe to say that he'd then slot in at #23 for me, just behind Schang and just off-ballot.

As you mention Roy Cullenbine I begin to think that a substantial part of the disconnect here is that we are simply not evaluating Kauff's 1914-20 performance the same way. As I've shown in these posts, Kauff is clearly ahead of the guys you are comparing him to based on comparisons of five- and seven-year stretches in MLB. The same is true with Cullenbine, who was great from 1941-47, but clearly behind Kauff's 1914-20 as both a hitter and a defender, and that's without any sort of discount for Cullenbine's 1945-6 (his two best seasons) where league quality was at least somewhat lower due to the war. Kauff's short MLB career is a very real problem, but the quality of that career is very high, notably higher than the seven-year primes of the comparison points you are offering. My guess is that you discount the FL more severely than 25%, and I already know you use raw batting runs rather than standard deviations, and I suspect that those two differences may be driving the disconnect as much as Kauff's missing years are.

Something you may find illuminating would be for me to offer a comparison whose seven-year prime matches Kauff's more closely than those of the guys you have put forward. Kauff's contemporary Gavvy Cravath fits the bill. I have Cravath's 1913-19 slightly behind Kauff's 1914-20. Cravath was the better hitter but a much worse defender. Specifically I have Cravath ahead 2.5 to 2.3 on offense but behind by -1.68 to -0.78 on defense for that period. Conveniently, Cravath is also a guy who requires some parsing of his minor league record in order to fill out a ten-year prime, so the comparison seems most apt. I don't know how you feel about Cravath, but I have him 14th on my ballot, and you do not seem to be objecting to that placement, so maybe that comparison will help you understand my position on Kauff a little better.
   423. Bleed the Freak Posted: December 31, 2019 at 03:13 PM (#5912004)
Much appreciated on the updates Doc :) While not on purpose, I don't have anyone on ballot from the 4 over-represented eras, Bob Johnson is interesting, but I agree we have a glut of candidates under qualified that have already been elected, and the others are grey area at best that remain (provided you don't find some flattering MLEs in the future for Negro Leaguers).

Likely final prelim, awaiting official MAPES from Miller (hopefully posted tomorrow) for another reference on pitching.

I incorporate a small dose or gut check from FIP for pitchers and Dan Rosenheck for hitters.
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.

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

Happy New Year to all, and thanks for the robust discussion of late.
   424. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: December 31, 2019 at 03:33 PM (#5912010)
Now, if you wanted to me to comment on which honorees are the surplus, I can do that. But first the caveat that I don't advocate a strict quota. Sometimes we'll be a guy or three over in an era. That's OK, just like it's OK that we have fewer SS in the 1960s. It happens. But I do advocate for not compounding the issue once we notice it. The fellows I've noted here are my own picks and are suggestive only.

1871–1875 - 0.8 85%
I don't worry about this period too much because Joe Start and George Wright extend backwards into the 1860s, which throws things off a little.

1876–1881 + 1.2 126%
Possible errors of commission:
Charley Jones
Pearce
Pike
Spalding
E Sutton

1882–1884 - 0.5 90%
No worries

1885–1900 + 7.3 132%
Possible errors of commission:
Beckley
Browning
Caruthers
Galvin is question mark for me, maybe not for others
Jennings (because he's very difficult to understand and borderline at best for virtually all of us, so if we'd considered era more carefully we'd probably have demurred on taking someone that potentially questionable from an era that full of fellows)
Kelley
Richardson
Stovey
Thompson


1901–1908 + 0.4 103%
Nothing to see here

1909–1922 - 1.6 93%
Possible candidates:
Adams
Cravath
Flectcher
Hooper
Leach (some of him)
Schang
Tinker
Veach

1923–1942 +10.2 125%
Guys who in retrospect look like errors of commission are
Averill
Hack
Medwick
Rixey's second act
Roush's last few years

1943–1945 - 2.1 63%
These 2.1 pieces of career ought to be reabsorbed by all the other spans indicated due to the war.

1946–1956 + 3.7 120%
Possible errors of commission:
Ford
Kiner
B Lemon
Pierce
E Wynn

1957–1968 - 0.4 100%
Right on target.

1969–1990 - 8.0 86%
Possible candidates:
S Bando
B Bell
Bo Bonds
Jo Cruz Sr
Tenace?
R White


1991–1998 - 1.7 92%
Possible candidates:
Olerud
T Phillips (I know others don't like him as much as I do...)
Sosa

1999–2008 - 2.4 87%
Possible candidates:
Beltran
Beltre
Berkman
Buehrle
Helton
T Hudson
Jeter
A. Jones
Kent
Lofton
Mauer
Santana
Suzuki

2009–2013 - 3.9 30%
Some cases still being made, so this is subject so some change.
D Wright
   425. epoc Posted: December 31, 2019 at 03:36 PM (#5912011)
DL,

The best work on FL conversion I've seen was an article by Jeff Sackmann for THT about a decade ago. He found that players moving into the 1914 FL from MLB posted average wOBAs 8% higher than would be expected from projections. If you reverse that into a discount rate and reconfigure it for batting runs rather than wOBA, it translates to a 25% discount. I don't think 30% is unreasonable (nor would I think 20% was), but I don't see a reason to change the way I'm doing it at this point.

Re: positional value, I think your way of looking at it is fair. But to be clear, what I am saying does not imply that “anyone can get a good hitting 1B.” Truly elite (MVP-level, let alone HoM-level) talent will be incredibly hard to find at any position. Even good hitting will be relatively hard to find. What I'm saying is that because of the left-handed issue it will be (marginally) more likely that a 1b/of is elite.

Similarly, I'm not suggesting you can abandon SS to field an extra OF; I'm suggesting that an average SS and an elite OF will have the same total on-field value as an average OF and an elite SS, but because of the left-handed issue it will be (marginally) easier to find the former arrangement than the latter, and I'm further suggesting that we wouldn't/shouldn't accept a not-quite-elite SS and an average OF as equal to an elite OF and an average SS just because it's harder to find the truly elite SS.

ETA: As the GM of a team, we might find that it's easier to find a not-quite-elite SS and an above-average OF who match the elite/average OF/SS, but the issue for the HoM is whether we should accept the not-quite-elite SS as the equal of the elite OF just because it's (relatively) easy to find an above-average OF. As I mentioned, I think your position on this is reasonable, but I think the counterpoint is reasonable as well.
   426. epoc Posted: December 31, 2019 at 03:46 PM (#5912013)
Kiko, thanks for the support. Your system/site are amazing, and the interactive setting adjustments you provide are really cool.

kcgard2, yeah, I'm sure we'd all quibble about individual rankings, but I don't think my system is too out-of-bounds on a macro level.
   427. Jaack Posted: December 31, 2019 at 03:59 PM (#5912022)
@epoc

I think the disconnect has to be that you're evaluating Kauff's offense at a much higher level than I am.

One of my go to quick look for offensive production is wRC+, and Kauff's bat is quite similar to all the player examples I've been throwing at you when I'm looking at his NL career - 135-140 range. Kauff's 1916-1920 period rates out at 137, while Veach's 1915-1919 period is negligibly better at 140. Since wRC+ is park and league adjusted and relative to league average, I figured it would be most similar to your system.

Cravath slots in at the 160 wRC+ range for his peak seasons - substantially better than anything Kauff put up outside of the Federal League. I'm also more inclined to give Cravath more minor league credit than Kauff - his minor league career is more extensive and in stronger leagues - the PCL had numerous players who were major league capable, but the physical distance kept some of them from playing in the majors. The AA was probably the strongest minor league at the time when Cravath was it's best player. Essentially Cravath's bat looks substantially better and I'm more confident he could have sustained that level if given the opportunity.

Now Cravath gives back a lot for his poor defense. He ranks just outside my top 100 eligibles, but that range has other players that receive down ballot support from other voters - Dave Concepcion, Nomar Garciaparra, Gene Tenace, etc.

Kauff does not make my consideration set - although just barely. My consideration set has about 245 players at the moment, so Kauff would likely rank in the 250-275 range. That's where I have Bob Allison and Ross Youngs, and basically no players who receive much support at all. Youngs is probably the most similar player for me - outfielder with a high quality bat who, had they played a long career, would be a viable candidate, but they didn't.
   428. kcgard2 Posted: December 31, 2019 at 05:03 PM (#5912036)
I like epoc's system (precisely because it is both quite unique and defensible), and I also agree with Jaack. Part of the issue is disparity in how you view their offensive quality, and part of the issue is probably the degree of comfort giving credit for hypotheticals. I am personally a bit on the stringent side in terms of giving credit for things that didn't happen compared to a number of voters, though I am willing to give credit for minor league and war considerations. But even that said, Kauff has an entire career of 3500 PAs, with over a third of that coming in the FL. Players with double that career length and equal or better demonstrated ability are tough to get on a ballot (by WAR/wRC stats as opposed to SD - though equal wRC+ in a more modern era should equate to better SD values theoretically - sorry, tangent). If Nomar gets banned from MLB after 2003...

Kauff was certainly a good to great player when he played. But there's so little actual play. I think most voters have (intrinsically) some threshold for career value or playing time that you have to have before you're in the consideration set. Rate counts for a great deal, which is why peaks and primes and etc. are a thing. But career matters too. Or you get questions like why not Lefty O'Doul or Bill Joyce, since they clearly demonstrated the ability to play at these same levels?
   429. cookiedabookie Posted: December 31, 2019 at 06:13 PM (#5912049)
So I've spent the past few weeks filling out my own PHoM, and will start to include that in my ballots starting next year. In my running candidate pool, I have a cadre of 19th century starters at the top that I've been ignoring for fear of over-representing pitcher innings from that era. I currently have inducted Spalding (1898), Keefe (1899), Radbourn (1900), Clarkson (1900), Galvin (1902), Caruthers (1902) Rusie (1908), Nichols (1912), Young (1917), and Griffith (1921). I feel good about that group, and I don't think I need to add anyone.

Here's the group that's migrated near the top of my rolling pool of candidates: Buffinton, Mullane, Bond, and McCormick, in that order. Mullane and McCormick are too much of compilers to interest me (quality per inning is pretty low). Bond is a bit better, but not enough to interest me. Buffinton, on the other hand, is interesting, thanks to his 4.25 WAR/250 IP. Again, I don't think I need to add him, as I currently have 11 pitchers who started playing in the 1880s and 1890s. But I noticed via search that there has never really been a lot of discussion about him, compared to the other three. So I'm just curious, what do y'all think about Mr. Buffinton?
   430. epoc Posted: December 31, 2019 at 06:38 PM (#5912053)
Jaack,

I actually have Veach 1915-19 significantly better than Kauff 1916-20. Even if I prorate Kauff's 1918 and 1920, Veach is about half a standard deviation better on offense. Of course, the problem is that 1915-19 includes Veach's four best seasons, while 1916-20 ignores both of Kauff's best seasons. You perform a similar maneuver when you note that Cravath's best seasons are "substantially better than anything Kauff put up outside of the Federal League." Sure, but the FL seasons were Kauff's best seasons! Cravath was a better hitter overall, as I already noted, and of course his best seasons are going to be better than Kauff's third or fourth best season.

So from my perspective you are being unfair to Kauff with those comparisons, but perhaps from your perspective the FL is more of a minor league which requires speculative minor league credit than a major league which can be accounted for with proper deduction. Given the amount of crossover from 1913 MLB to 1914 FL (and again from 1915 FL to 1916 MLB), I see it more as the latter. In a previous comment I referenced some research which indicates that FL performance scales to MLB performance at a .75 rate. That exact rate is debatable, but I don't see much room for debate on the proposition that FL performance is translatable to MLB at *some* rate. There's just too much crossover in the samples.

I do agree that Cravath has a better case for minor league credit than Kauff, which is a big part of my reasoning for slotting Cravath at the end of my ballot and leaving Kauff off of it. I will say, though, that there's a lot of research to suggest that dominating weak competition is very predictive of success against strong competition. A few posts back, I referenced the view I take on NegL players (that regardless of league quality, we know that the best Negro Leaguers would also be star MLBers), and that view continues to be germane. We know this is true for Negro Leaguers because of the numerous examples of star Negro Leaguers who became star MLBers, but the theory that supports it is the idea that domination of weak competition is a strong indicator of performance against higher competition. This is important to my thinking on Kauff because he was so clearly the best player in Connecticut in 1912 and New England in 1913, not to mention the FL in '14-15. The leagues may have been really weak, but he so dominated the competition that you can't really hold the level of play against him. That doesn't mean anyone has to give him any credit for those seasons; I merely point it out to help explain why I am more comfortable than you are with believing that Kauff was an MLB-quality baseball player during that period.

That said, your continued comparison of Kauff to Ross Youngs reaffirms my belief that the discussion of minor league credit is a red herring here. As I suggested earlier, I think the real differences are the use of SD vs. raw batting runs and the deduction rate for the Federal League. If you took my view on both of those things, you wouldn't be so hung up on the minor league credit issue. I think I've demonstrated that this is the case in comparing Kauff to Veach, Wilson, Youngs, et al., using only MLB (including FL) performance. Basically, if you accept FL performance with a 25% deduction and use SD in your evaluation, you would undoubtedly have Kauff rated far higher than Youngs without any minor league credit at all.
   431. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: December 31, 2019 at 06:49 PM (#5912055)
Epoc,

I have a question for you about your use of SDs. Do you normalize the league STDEV to any historically typical STDEV? Sometimes the STDEV of adjacent seasons can be very different despite mostly the same players in the league. Things like R/G, expansion, rabbit balls, mound changes and other game play changes have big effects. Sometimes it’s just randomness. But it’s always looked important to me. Thanks! And welcome!
   432. Michael J. Binkley's anxiety closet Posted: January 01, 2020 at 12:47 PM (#5912130)
First off, Happy New Year everyone!

@429: Cookiedabookie - I will have Buffinton near the bottom of my ballot. I have him ranked 6th among the pitchers-box era pitchers (in order, Clarkson, Keefe, Spalding, Radbourne, Caruthers, Buffinton - omitting Rusie since I have most of his value coming post-1892). I also have Galvin in my PHoM, although only because I give him credit for his 1978 IA season, as well as Bond, but just barely. My system rewards rate and peak (more on my system in the following post). I also believe we're a little short on pitchers, so I support a number from across eras - I will have 7 pitchers on my ballot this year.
   433. Michael J. Binkley's anxiety closet Posted: January 01, 2020 at 12:48 PM (#5912131)
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.

Pitchers:

In order to create what I felt was an appropriate balance between starters and relievers, pre-1893 pitchers and modern starters, I use slightly different inputs for pitchers depending upon the year. For pre-1893 pitchers I use a straight average of bWAR. gWAR, and FIP. From 1983-1919, the respective percentages are 40-40-20. And for the live-ball era I use the average of just bWAR and gWAR. 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.

As with the WAR inputs I use, I also use a sliding scale for season prorating for pitchers. Pitcher’s box-era seasons get no adjustment, 1893-1919 get ½ prorated to a 162 game season, and from 1920 on, seasons get converted 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.
   434. Bleed the Freak Posted: January 01, 2020 at 04:12 PM (#5912172)
@ 409 prog, for Luque, what level of Cuban / integration like credit do you think Dolf deserves?

He's long intrigued me, but I have a hard time separating him from the elected Red Faber, along with George Uhle and Burleigh Grimes.
   435. kcgard2 Posted: January 01, 2020 at 05:12 PM (#5912188)
Dr Chaleck (#431) - standard deviations are already standardized (thus the "standard" in the name). You should not adjust SD, the whole point of using SD is that it implicitly accounts for differing underlying distributions (i.e., spread of talent in a given year in the case of baseball performance).
   436. progrockfan Posted: January 01, 2020 at 05:32 PM (#5912191)
@Bleed the Freak:

I initially gave Dolf substantial Cuba credit; @Dr. Chaleeko responded with some very sound counter-arguments that I agreed with. See the 2019 ballot thread, and particularly posts 259, 260, 265, 272, 285 & 296. Hope that helps. ;)

https://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/hall_of_merit/discussion/2019_hall_of_merit_ballot_discussion/P200
   437. progrockfan Posted: January 01, 2020 at 05:37 PM (#5912193)
Bleed, I also hope that you (and other electors) will take a glance at the brief writeup I did on Hugh Duffy to justify his elect-me placement on my ballot (post #114):

https://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/hall_of_merit/discussion/george_van_haltren_hugh_duffy_and_jimmy_ryan/P100
   438. epoc Posted: January 01, 2020 at 06:33 PM (#5912197)
Dr. Chaleeko,

kcgard2/435 describes the situation perfectly. Standardizing the standard deviation would defeat the purpose. And glad to be here!
   439. Bleed the Freak Posted: January 01, 2020 at 09:33 PM (#5912231)
Prog 437, a hat tip for digging into the old timer candidates. Duffy is close, but I have him short and check out Mike Griffin. We should have sufficient 1890s candidates, at least per Docs recap, over electing potentially in the neighborhood of 7 players. I personally would argue for at least Galvin, Jennings, Kelley, and Richardson ahead from the borderlines, and I don't seem him separating from Browning and Stovey (though it's hard to know how bad Browning's Fielding was and while Harry was the best in his league, how much should we discount AA play). Caruthers is a tough to judge two way stud in often weak leagues, while Beckley was good for a looooooong time but never great. I'm not a Thompson fan.
   440. Bleed the Freak Posted: January 02, 2020 at 10:08 AM (#5912298)
Regarding Duffy and contemporary Griffin, same era, same playing time, it's hard to separate one from the other, 12 season comparisons...
HD: 1888-1899, 6902 PA, 119 wRC+, 169/606 PA, 136/601, 126/614, 126/621, 124/611, 122/673, 118/657, 112/308, 105/645, 102/632, 95/601, 85/641.
MG: 1887-1898, 6832 PA, 122 wRC+, 140/631 PA, 139/484, 130/524, 128/637, 122/625, 122/429, 119/595, 116/556, 114/610, 113/602, 112/579, 107/560.

As to defense, Win Shares was a big supporter, but the others not as much:
HD: +4.9 B-R/TZ, +7.2 B-G/DRA
MG: +5.2 B-R/TZ, +12.4 B-G/DRA

Duffy was a bit better baserunner, and adds two partial seasons (1900 and 1901) with some value and was more durable in-season, but these guys are close.
I trust DRA more than TZ, so I've got Griffin ahead of Duffy.

Mike Tiernan is an eligible OF at a similar level, more offense at wRC+ 132 @ 6716 PA, but only scratch defense in RF, a bit worse baserunner.

Let's throw in the modern Andruw Jones as a comparison:
HD: 1888-1899, 6902 PA, 119 wRC+, 169/606 PA, 136/601, 126/614, 126/621, 124/611, 122/673, 118/657, 112/308, 105/645, 102/632, 95/601, 85/641.
AJ: 1997-2007, 7163 PA, 114 wRC+, 134/672 PA, 130/659, 127/729, 124/669, 118/659, 113/631, 112/679, 112/646, 97/693, 96/467, 86/659.
Andruw has more in-season durability, but Hugh was a better hitter and baserunner, Jones added a dash more of value outside of these years vs Duffy.

Playing in a modern league at all-time or close defensive value, Andruw has lept to my #1 ballot spot.

And thank you for passing along the note on Luque and discussion of MLE credit, he remains tight in the grey area.
   441. progrockfan Posted: January 02, 2020 at 11:26 AM (#5912313)
@440: "Playing in a modern league at all-time or close defensive value, Andruw has leapt to my #1 ballot spot."

I can understand the basis for this evaluation. The least generous interpretation possible is that Andruw was among the handful of finest defensive center fielders who ever played the game. He was the best of all time, in my view, for a solid ten-year stretch, 1997-2006.

But consider a comparison with Dale Murphy, who's never made the HoM. Andruw's a superior outfielder, for certain and by far - he's better than virtually anyone you can name, from his or any era - and he played the more important position. But Murphy was an excellent right fielder with very good range and a very good arm. Andruw won ten Gold Gloves (I personally don't think he deserved the award in 2007, when his weight had already started to balloon, but did deserve the award in 1997, so it balances out neatly) - but Murphy did win five Gold Gloves of his own. Big points to Andruw for certain, but not a shutout in my view - ymmv.

Now consider offense. Andruw's got nothing on his resume that approaches Murphy's 1982, or 1983, or 1984, or 1985, or 1987. Even Murphy's 1980 season, taken in the context of its offensive environment, is nearly the equal of Jones's best, 2005 - and 1980 was Murphy's sixth-best season at bat. Murphy's career OPS+ is a full ten points higher, and during their six best consecutive years (Murphy 1982-85, Jones 2000-05 or 2001-06) was 27 points higher. Murphy won a pair of MVPs, Andruw none.

Murphy. who had an Iron Man reputation and led the NL in games played four straight years, never got into the HoF or HoM due to his offensive collapse from 1988 on as a result of degenerative arthritis in his left knee. Andruw. who began by playing 643 of 648 possible games from 1998-2001, also watched his career collapse from 2007 on, but from a much lower peak, beause he couldn't (or wouldn't) control his eating impulses - or, as an uncharitable contemporary article put it, "Before Andruw Jones Was Fat, He Was Good At Baseball".

I just don't see how you get Jones as far superior to Murphy unless you rate magnificent center field defense, good offense and indifference to physical conditioning as vastly more valuable than MVP-level offense over a multi-year stretch, Gold Glove right-field defense and plays-every-game durability. And Murphy's not on your ballot.

I acknowledge that your view of Andruw is much closer to the electorate's than mine. I just can't see it. But that's my personal defect, not yours. ;)
   442. DL from MN Posted: January 02, 2020 at 11:32 AM (#5912317)
There's a reason the thread for Hugh Duffy includes contemporaries Jimmy Ryan and George Van Haltren - they're all pretty similar players who have had varying support for 100 elections.
   443. progrockfan Posted: January 02, 2020 at 11:42 AM (#5912320)
@442: Oh, I agree - they are similar. But my analysis sees Duffy as comfortably superior to Van Haltren, who also makes my ballot, and greatly superior to Ryan, who doesn't. I looked at all three (along with a bunch of other un-elected players from that era), and Duffy stood out for me like a sore thumb: superior offense, superior defense, more black ink, a couple of all-time batting records, and genuine post-season dominance. Your analysis may well differ.
   444. progrockfan Posted: January 02, 2020 at 11:49 AM (#5912324)
I'll add to the above that Duffy's brilliant 1897 Temple Cup performance is not included in most reference sources, which potentially short-changes the hsitorical view of his post-season excellence. I had to purchase a copy of Total Baseball to get Temple Cup numbers in order to evaluate Duffy correctly, and to compare his total 19th century performance against other players whose Temple Cup stats are similarly AWOL.
   445. Howie Menckel Posted: January 02, 2020 at 01:11 PM (#5912348)
   446. Bleed the Freak Posted: January 02, 2020 at 01:17 PM (#5912349)
Regarding Murphy, he forms the borderline from 80s HOFers and I currently just moved him in.

For Uber stats, Kikos the most friendly for Murphy and comparitively less for Andruw compared with other WARs, but Jones still rates ahead.

On Murphy's defense, how much weight do you place on gold gloves? Writers opinions often favor good hitters and resulted in bad selections (Jeter) or legacy picks beyond a players prime (Griffey, Hunter, Puckett, Winfield, etc.). For me, the writers awards are dubious at best and I can't put faith in them for making judgments. The further in time we travel, the systems we have might be missing something on Duffy like a ballpark quirk, but I wouldn't think they are for Murphy. Looks like an average defender, where he may have been worthy of a gold gloves in 88 ,possibly 80. I don't seem them at all comparable defensively. Andruw looks to have been hurt by his home park and Murphy helped, though I agree Murphy was a better hitter, but not enough to offset Andruws defensive advantages.
   447. Bleed the Freak Posted: January 02, 2020 at 01:22 PM (#5912351)
Patrick W from post 40 in the ballot discussion, Jim Whitney makes your ballot, what is your current ordinal rank of 19th century guys.

Whitney was a great hitter + a FIP stud, but much weaker in other run prevention estimators. Good to see someone else like him and thanks for your thoughts.
   448. DL from MN Posted: January 02, 2020 at 01:28 PM (#5912354)
Whitney was a great hitter + a FIP stud


I am entirely unconvinced that FIP is a good way to measure pitchers from that era.
   449. RJ in TO Posted: January 02, 2020 at 01:28 PM (#5912356)
Writers opinions often favor good hitters and resulted in bad selections (Jeter) or legacy picks beyond a players prime (Griffey, Hunter, Puckett, Winfield, etc.).
Aren't the Gold Gloves voted on by managers and coaches, rather than writers? We can blame a lot of bad decisions on the writers, but not the Gold Gloves.
   450. Bleed the Freak Posted: January 02, 2020 at 01:33 PM (#5912359)
Prog rock, regarding Joss, the challenge for me is his combination of less durability and looking much worse from an RA+ (126) perspective versus ERA+ (142). In this regard, Noodles Hahn gets an edge for me from his era, less IP but more durable, and a better RA+ (129) and a slightly better hitter.
   451. Bleed the Freak Posted: January 02, 2020 at 01:34 PM (#5912360)
Thanks RJ, the preface is opinions rather than statistical evidence.
   452. Bleed the Freak Posted: January 02, 2020 at 01:35 PM (#5912363)
DL on Whitney, I think that's the standard stance, IF it has value, then Whitney becomes a candidate. If it doesn't, it's hard to argue for him unless his NL league quality + bat seperates from the crowd. Bond or Buffinton would be the first two I consider from the early days.
   453. Kiko Sakata Posted: January 02, 2020 at 01:50 PM (#5912373)
For Uber stats, Kikos the most friendly for Murphy and comparatively less for Andruw compared with other WARs, but Jones still rates ahead.


I calculate Player wins two ways: pWins tie to team wins, so they're context-dependent; eWins are context-neutral. Dale Murphy's pWins are unusually low (relative to his own eWins - his pWORL is about 12 wins lower than his eWORL) and Andrew Jones's pWins are unusually high (by about the same 12-win difference in WORL). Looking just purely at eWins, they're actually remarkably similar in my statistic(s). That said, as Bleed implies, if you give even the slightest weight to pWins (or postseason record, where Jones was quite good in, obviously, a lot more opportunities than Murphy), Jones comes out ahead.
   454. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: January 02, 2020 at 02:27 PM (#5912387)
Kiko and epoc, you're right of course. Brainfart. And anyway, I misinterpreted what epoc said he was doing in his system. Ignore the Chaleeko behind the curtain!

Everyone else, I am in the midst of some research that might be helpful regarding 19th Century pitchers. Unfortunately it won't be ready by the time we need to finish voting, but I will share as soon as I can. It may provide a different way of looking at the olde tyme guys. Or it might be hogwash. I guess you all will let me know. ;)
   455. epoc Posted: January 02, 2020 at 04:59 PM (#5912458)
Michael Binkley,

Am I understanding correctly that you weight FIP less in your pitcher evaluation as history progresses? For what reason?
   456. progrockfan Posted: January 03, 2020 at 07:25 AM (#5912567)
@: “How much weight do you place on gold gloves?”

For me, the only important Gold Glove is the fourth (or more) in a row, which indicates a contemporary reputation for enduring excellence in the field. But to be honest, I hesitated bringing them up at all, because they’re the most flawed of the major baseball awards. A lot of people see them as shorthand for good fielding, so I thought I’d mention it…

You correctly identify a major problem with Gold Gloves: legacy selections. An established winner can drag the string out on reputation alone (as did Andruw, in my view, in 2007, but there are much more egregious legacy picks than that).

You also point out another major issue: players who win a Glove with their bat. To me the most indefensible example of this is Derek Jeter. Five Gold Gloves?- I mean, come on. In a number of seasons he was the worst glove in the AL at shortstop, but I for one never saw him as remotely approaching the best.

A third issue is bad picks that run contrary to the evidence of both eyes and stats – like Ernie Banks at short in 1960, or Joe Torre at catcher in 1965 . And then there’s plain uninformed lazy bonehead picks: In 1999 Raffy Palmeiro played 28 games at first. He wasn’t even his team’s starting first baseman. And he won the Gold Glove.

A fourth issue is the absence of the award prior to 1957. Bill James fills in that gap nicely with his Win Shares Gold Gloves – except that he doesn’t. Does anyone here know where to find a complete list of Win Shares Gold Glove Awards? I’ve compiled a list of the winners mentioned in passing in the New Historical Abstract, but that’s woefully incomplete… I contacted Bill James Online (don’t abbreviate his name, because the site then sounds obscene), and they didn’t have a clue… Without a complete list, the award is, to put it mildly, of limited utility.

I trust Win Shares Awards (and Fielding Bible Awards too, but they’re not available retrospectively) far more than I do the official awards. Win Shares Awards for someone like Andruw are not in doubt, but I’d love to see results for players like Murphy; they’d help enormously in my historical evaluations.

(There’s a major caveat to my trust of the Win Shares Awards, and that’s for early first basemen. James’s system ranks both Hal Chase and George Sisler as minus defenders – and that’s ridiculous; it flies in the face of 100% of contemporary evidence, which unanimously cites Sisler and Chase as not just the best of their time, but the best ever to that point in history.)

Back to the official awards: If a player won just one, I’m pretty dismissive of that; if they won lots in a row, I know that at a minimum, their contemporaries regarded them highly. For my own evaluations, I look carefully at (depending on position) the player’s putout totals, assists totals, infield double play totals and range factors. I don’t pay much attention to errors, as high totals often come from touching lots of balls that are difficult to field cleanly as a consequence of exceptional range. In all cases I look at contemporary quotes and other evidence (including, in some small measure, Gold Glove Awards), and in all cases I look for illusions.

In sum, I regard Gold Gloves as a blurry signpost, and probably not a lot more significant than that. However, I don’t think you can find a player with four-plus consecutive awards (and I’m happy to be proved wrong on this) who was less than a significantly above-average defender.

I'll repeat my view that Andruw was a far greater defender than Murphy, and I suspect that any system you care to use to evaluate them – even Total Baseball’s illogical mush – would say the same. But consider Bill James’s splits for assigning Win Shares: 48% to offense, 52% to defense – and of the defensive share, 67.5% (35% overall) to pitching, 32.5% (17% overall) to fielding. Which means, if you agree with the evaluation – and I do – that individual offense is more than twice as important to team success as individual defense. The Win Shares system is far from perfect, but even if we quibble with the percentages, I think the general point still holds.

It’s not just James who thinks so; if the world didn’t agree, then there’s no way Ted Williams would be ranked as the #1 left fielder over Bonds and Musial by just about any source you can name, or that Ruth would be ranked unanimously over Aaron in right. I don’t think there’s anyone who would argue that the Splinter (an indifferent defender to be charitable) was a better fielder than The Man or The ‘Roid, nor that the Bambino (who was decent in right when he was young, but faded badly with age and weight) was better than the Hammer – so clearly, historical evaluation tends to side with the hitter.

It’s my view that from 1982 to 1985, Dale Murphy was the best player in baseball, full stop. His 1987 was also an MVP-type season. And that’s a helluva peak. If I were to hold a draft for my expansion team, and both peak Dale and peak Andruw were available, I’d draft – well, to be fair, I’d want them both if I could get them – but if I could only have one, it would be Murphy. Part of that evaluation is that I regard him as a very good fielder – not world-class like Andruw, not record-setting, but good enough to be generally recognized as a top NL outfielder over a reputable span. My view of his range factors and assists totals does not contradict this conclusion – and also, his contemporaries consistently spoke highly of his defensive prowess. But the larger share of his value comes from his MVP-quality bat.

Andruw doesn’t offer anything remotely comparable on his resume. And their contemporaries agreed: Murphy has seven All-Star selections to Andruw’s five, four top-10 MVP finishes to Andruw’s one, and – this is a big one for me – two MVP awards to Andruw’s none.

I must admit a strong personal bias here: I always favor the complete player over the one-dimensional specialist. I’m probably the one person in the baseball universe who does rate Musial over Williams, because Musial had one helluva bat too, and had everything else you could think of over Williams: longevity, durability, defense, throwing arm, baserunning, postseason play, clubhouse presence. This bias neatly explains my #2 ranking of Bobby Abreu, and my increasing admiration for Bobby Bonds; and it means a strong bias in favor of Dale Murphy, who was, for a brief shining moment, as good an all-around player as you will ever see.

But let’s be clear: I am NOT saying that Dale Murphy shuold rank higher historically than Andruw Jones. In fact, it’s quite clear I don’t think so, because Andruw is on my ballot and Murphy is not. But I don’t think Andruw is soooo much better than Murphy that he deserves a #1 slot while Murphy is left off entirely; that’s the disconnect I don’t get. And Murphy’s just an example; I could name other players who I think are within shouting distance of Andruw too.

But that’s just me. I like debate, I like baseball, and at the HoM the twain shall meet.

Isn’t it fascinating?- we’re all operating from the same basic set of objective data, and we’re all reaching different subjective conclusions. That’s what I love about baseball – and about this site.
   457. progrockfan Posted: January 03, 2020 at 07:47 AM (#5912569)
@450, Addie Joss vs. Noodles Hahn:

Joss has the advantage in all calculated categories excepting strikeout ratio: ERA, ERA+, WHIP, FIP, RA/9, H/9, BB/9, SO/BB. For what it's worth, he also leads in wins, win percentage and shutouts. Joss was less durable on a per-season basis, but compiled 298 more career innings and 22 more complete games. Joss's career WHIP is #1 all time, his ERA #2; though caveats can and should be drawn around these facts, they're still important records, and huge pluses in Joss's favor. Joss has two ERA tltles and two WHIP titles - the most important titles for a pitcher in my view - to Hahn's none. The hitting difference between them is real but not that substantive in my view, 36 OPS+ vs. 20; either of them would bat ninth on any team. Frankly, I don't see Joss and Hahn as comparable, or even especially close. With all respect to you, Bleed (and I do genuinely respect your analyses), methinks RA+ is not telling the whole story here.
   458. Michael J. Binkley's anxiety closet Posted: January 03, 2020 at 09:27 AM (#5912586)
Epoc-

Ideally, I would rather not use that counter-intuitive sliding scale for incorporating FIP, but it was the only way I could keep from every major pre-1893 from being over my in-out line. As it is, I cwould have all current pre-1893 HoMers (Clarkson, Keefe, Spalding, Radbourne, Caruthers, Galvin) in my PHoM, as well as Buffinton and Bond. If I didn't incorporate FIP, Mullane, McCormick, Welch, and Whitney would all also be over the line.

Now all this being said, I may have found a weighting that I can apply across all eras that would keep those latter four just barely out (all of them would have PEACE scores of 98 or 99), while not eliminating too many "modern" pitchers, either.
   459. Carl Goetz Posted: January 03, 2020 at 09:42 AM (#5912591)
"It’s my view that from 1982 to 1985, Dale Murphy was the best player in baseball, full stop."
Do you mean each individual year or over the entire 4 year period.
I Have Yount as better in 1982, Ripken in 1983&1984;, and Rickey in 1985. I don't have Murphy in the top 5 position players in any of those years (I do have him 4th in 1987) and all those top players were significantly better than Murphy in those years.
For the entire 4 year period as one lump sum, here's my top 10 position players.
1) Rickey
2) Cal
3) Gary Carter
4) Schmidt
5) Boggs
6) Yount
7) Murray
8) Guerrero
9) Murphy
10) Sandberg

Now, 5-10 are all fairly close in my mind, but I have a hard time stretching to get Murphy ahead of any of the top 4. I consider myself a Murphy fan so I don't like arguing against him, but that is how I view the period I started watching baseball. My combo of DRA and TZ doesn't see Murphy as that great of a fielder; -10.6 Fielding WAR for career (+22.4 for Jones). Now, I use a 15% discount from that, but I'd have to do something like an 80% discount to get Murphy even with Jones. I just don't see the argument for that. I do get that WS sees it differently, but there's no indication in WS as to where a replacement level player could be acquired, which in my mind, makes it hard to use as a measure of value. Just my 2 cents; your mileage may vary.
   460. DL from MN Posted: January 03, 2020 at 09:47 AM (#5912593)
It’s my view that from 1982 to 1985, Dale Murphy was the best player in baseball, full stop.


I can't agree with this. He didn't win a single MMP during that time period and Cal Ripken won two of them. Mike Schmidt also finished higher than Murphy in 4 of those 5 years. Others who have just as good of an argument as Murphy from 1982-1985 include Wade Boggs, Gary Carter, Robin Yount, Rickey Henderson, Eddie Murray and Pedro Guerrero.

edit: Looks like Carl Goetz and I came up with the same list from two different angles
   461. Bleed the Freak Posted: January 03, 2020 at 09:59 AM (#5912597)
Prog and Joss in 457, Hahn comes out a little ahead when I reference the work of Matthew Cornwell and the Hall of Miller and Eric also. Good points on Joss as potentially a better candidate, but one should look closely at Noodles and Nap Rucker from that era of short career/peakier candidates.
   462. Bleed the Freak Posted: January 03, 2020 at 10:05 AM (#5912601)
Prog in 456, Duffy is a Win Shares darling, so if you believe in that stat, I understand seeing him on ballot. With the other WARs, he's In a sea of good but maybe not quite HOM level outfielders. And with favoring a particular style of player, do you think Ted had less value than Musial? Or that Abreu is the 2nd most valuable eligible player?
   463. Michael J. Binkley's anxiety closet Posted: January 03, 2020 at 10:13 AM (#5912605)
Prog-

For WS Gold Gloves, you can go the The Baseball Gauge, choose WS as the metric of choice, and then pick a season and click on the awards drop-down and click on Gold Gloves. It will list the actual award winner (if awarded that year), as well as giving you the top performers by DWS at each position.
   464. progrockfan Posted: January 03, 2020 at 11:10 AM (#5912621)
@459 and @460:

I accept your lists without reservation. I have no doubt whatsoever that you have looked at the issue more closely than I. To my regret, I simply don’t have the raw time to participate in this process as fully & thoroughly as I’d like – hence, typos, insufficient analysis of the 1982-85 period, etc – but I want to participate in the ballot discussions as much as I can. (I did put quite a lot of time & thought into my ballot – though, like everyone I’m sure, I could easily have devoted another 50 hours to it in an ideal world.)

@462:

I broke down my thoughts on Duffy fairly thoroughly in the Duffy/Ryan/Van Haltren thread. I know he does well in the Win Shares analysis, and that redounds to his credit of course, but that’s just one of many points I see in his favor – points that raise him well above the backlog for me. Duffy is a durable, high-impact hitter, a great center fielder and a post-season scorcher, who also happens to hold a couple of all-time records that are almost certainly unbreakable, and that’s enough for me to place him in an elect-me slot.

As for your other most interesting questions:

* I’d take Williams for a single season and Musial for a full career. Both are easy answers for me. Williams is more high-impact, but Musial has the longer career – even accounting generously for war credit, which, don’t forget, Musial gets a bit of himself. The Man also has all the other advantages I mentioned previously, too, literally everything but hitting – and I think we’d all agree that Musial could hit too.

And so, yes, when the whole of their careers is considered, I do in fact see more overall value in Musial than in Williams; and if I were starting a team tomorrow, considering the whole package, I’d take a rookie Musial over a rookie Williams in an instant. And I acknowledge that I may be the only one in Christendom who believes this. In my eyes, Williams is the greatest hitter in baseball history, greater even than Ruth, but Musial is the greatest all-around left fielder.

* I ranked Abreu 2nd and Duffy 4th on my ballot not for any tactical reason, but because that’s where I see them in the unelected player pool. I don’t think I’ve made any outrageous or indefensible choices for my ballot; if you look carefully you’ll see that I’ve tried to blend players from all eras, from all positions. Most of my picks are either returnees or players who have received serious consideration here in the past. I really do see Duffy as a genuine miss by the HoM electorate; and while Abreu will likely never get into the HoF, like Grich and the Evanses and others we all could name, the HoM should in my view recognize his broad-based talent and give him a plaque.

Luke Easter, on whom I’ve done far more research than anyone, I simply don’t have the time to defend in a rigorous manner – at least not right now. I've done some writing, but not enough. But I’m sold. I don’t necessarily expect you to be, especially until I can publish my defense.

And yes, my bias towards well-rounded players means that I do consider both Abreu and Duffy as more deserving of elect-me placements than Andruw Jones – in Duffy's case, so long as we dispense with the timeline. And since the HoM demands that all eras be considered fairly, that’s the answer I’ve settled on. YM undoubtedly does V, and that’s OK.

@463:

Thank you VERY much, Michael, for this invaluable information, which will improve the quality of my future evaluations.
   465. Bleed the Freak Posted: January 03, 2020 at 01:46 PM (#5912661)
Like a true prog fan, intelligent and well thought out.

Abreu is PHOM for me also, Easter is such a tough case in extrapolating performance, I understand supporting him too. His circumstances were pretty unique and he raked into his mid. 40s at the IA level.
   466. Bleed the Freak Posted: January 03, 2020 at 03:18 PM (#5912682)
And prog, being a fan of Murphy, where does he stand compared to Puckett?

Kirby was an excellent fielder his rookie year and very good year two, he looks average at best otherwise.

He didn't combine a better than average glove and hitting in the same season and falls well short for me.
   467. Bleed the Freak Posted: January 03, 2020 at 03:44 PM (#5912694)
Cookie in 357 and Kiko, Chuck Finley looks like a bubble HOF guy with Baseball Reference or Baseball Gauge, but he's an after thought in Win Loss records. Kiko, can you give us some insight into why RA9 WAR overstates Finley's case?
   468. Bleed the Freak Posted: January 03, 2020 at 03:52 PM (#5912696)
Brock in 370, where are u getting the comfort level for win shares? So many advances in the last 20 years, I'd probably take any individual voter here over James at this juncture.
   469. Kiko Sakata Posted: January 03, 2020 at 04:27 PM (#5912703)
Kiko, can you give us some insight into why RA9 WAR overstates Finley's case?


Honest answer right now: No. Baseball-Reference and Fangraphs pretty much agree and Fangraphs has him basically identical using either FIP (56.9) or RA-9 (57.4) BB-Ref has him at 58.3 with a defensive adjustment for his career of -0.03. So they're all pretty much in agreement that he earned his ERA (or, more accurately, his RA) and it's a fair reflection of his value.

Shifting to my numbers, I don't see a particularly big gap between pWins and eWins - his career pWORL is 2.8 more than his career eWORL, with both of them 10-15 wins below BB-Ref and Fangraphs.

Scrolling through his career numbers on Fangraphs, the gap seems to be a pretty consistent 1 to 1.5 WAR/WORL per year from 1988 - 1998 with a somewhat closer match at either end.

It looks like my system thinks he had better fielding behind him than maybe BB-Ref does, which is a little odd, since my fielding numbers tend to be smaller in general (although in Finley's case, his BB-Ref number is basically zero, so I think it's just - I think he pitched in front of good defenses; BB-Ref doesn't). I have him as a terrible fielder himself - although to the extent that led to runs scoring against him that should show up in his RA and, hence, in his BB-Ref WAR (and the Fangraphs one based on RA/9). His center fielder was Devon White from 1988 - 1990, which is consistent with him being backed up by good fielders. But everybody agrees that Devon White was a good fielder - he's +34 runs those three seasons at BB-Ref. And White left the Angels in 1991 - at which point they didn't really have a regular CF and were playing a 39-year-old Dave Winfield in RF, so that doesn't sound like a great defense backing Finley up. Maybe there's an infielder behind him that I really love? I don't know, the fact that the gap persists for a decade suggests it probably can't boil down to one or two teammates, though.

Honestly, I have no idea what's going on here. Maybe something to do with Angels Stadium? Looking through my seasons, my park factor(s) for Angel Stadium bounce around a lot but they bounce around 100 which seems consistent with BB-Ref.

I don't know. I'll keep thinking about it, but for now I'm stumped.
   470. Bleed the Freak Posted: January 03, 2020 at 04:49 PM (#5912707)
Thanks for sharing Kiko, Finley has enough of a strong cohort that I'm ok leaving him out of my personal hall, but your key stats moved him out of the picture for me for now.
   471. kcgard2 Posted: January 04, 2020 at 09:06 PM (#5912912)
prog (#464)
my bias towards well-rounded players

In wRC+, 111 career for Andruw vs 119 for Murphy is the difference between a complete all around player and a defensive specialist? It seems to me like you're splitting some fine (and selective) hairs for Murphy.

As for MVPs, I would argue that Jones deserved in 2005 (and maybe 2000). Carter, Dawson, Schmidt were probably more deserving in 1982 than Murphy, but in '82 and '83 he led the league in RBIs and the rest is history. They were both about equally deserving of winning two MVPs (Murphy had a much better case in 1987). MVPs are not that much better historically speaking than Gold Gloves - subject to the same general biases and based on voting.
   472. Howie Menckel Posted: January 04, 2020 at 10:34 PM (#5912928)
17 ballots, I think

I'd like to see at least 8 more in the next couple of days, so for those holdover HOM voters on the fence - it's go time!

in other news, I have this as the 123rd ballot - but our esteemed Mr. Murphy has it at 122 (1898 was first ballot). I majored in Communications, so.... ?
   473. progrockfan Posted: January 05, 2020 at 09:46 AM (#5912992)
@466:

I’m not particularly a fan of Dale Murphy’s, or of Puckett’s either. I rank Puckett above Murphy because I consider him the superior player. Neither comes close to an elect-me slot in my analysis, and Andruw ranks solidly above both.

The one and only man who makes my ballot from sheer fandom is George Van Haltren – and frankly, I think he kinda deserves it too.

I’d break it down more explicitly, but time is not a fungible commodity, and I must commit mine elsewhere at the moment – I hope that’s OK. ;) If it were an issue over an elect-me slot I’d definitely take the time, but it’s not, and so I must labor elsewhere. (If you’re still interested, Bleed, I’ll gladly break down my thoughts on Puckett vs. Murphy for you when the silly season is past.)

@471:

I’ll respond to this one in greater depth, because it touches on an important point in the way I evaluate players, which may not always be clear to the electorate, and which I can’t summarize in a single comment or stat or formula.

I respect each and every analysis I see here. There are some proper deep thinkers on baseball here – deeper than me, I have no doubt – and certainly some folks who put far more time into the site than I do.

As a general rule, however, if a counter-argument to something I’ve written runs, “Your analysis falters because this one particular uber-stat says so,” I’m not going to be too impressed by that line of reasoning. I don’t rely on any one stat or uber-stat, deliberately so, and I tend to think (with no offence intended to anyone here of course) that so doing leads almost inexorably to incomplete analysis.

Hence, the fact that Murphy tops Andruw by *only* 8 points in wRC+ does not, in my view, invalidate the multiple pillars of my argument in favor of Murphy as a greater all-around player. It is in fact a small point in Murphy’s favor, one of many. Murphy’s got ten points of OPS+ on Andruw, and again, that’s just a small, singular star in the constellation. He’s got 253 Win Shares to Andruw’s 247, a figure that factors in Andruw’s jaw-dropping defensive prowess; there’s another tiny star. There are plenty more to consider before we have the complete view.

As a thumbnail sketch, I’d rate Andruw as having outstanding defense, an outstanding arm, fair contact hitting, very good power hitting, fair plate discipline, good basepath speed, excellent durability. Murphy I’d rate as having very good defense (big edge to Andruw); a very good arm (big edge to Andruw); very good contact hitting (four seasons at .290+ to Andruw’s one, modest edge to Murphy); excellent power hitting (six seasons of 30+ homers to Andruw’s seven, but he played in a lower-power era; he’s got seven top-5 seasons in homers to Andruw’s two, and two home run titles to Andruw’s one – big edge to Murphy); very good plate discipline (four seasons of 90+ walks to Andruw’s none, once leading the NL – big edge to Murphy); good basepath speed (both were over 70% as base stealers, slight edge to Andruw); excellent durability (four consecutive seasons leading the league in games played, but Andruw’s period of high durability lasted longer; I read this one as a wash).

Note that Andruw receives two ‘outstandings’ from me against none for Murphy, and therefore rates well above Murphy for me historically. I don’t award an ‘outstanding’ lightly. But Andruw also receives ‘fairs’ in contact hitting and plate discipline against Murphy’s ‘very goods’ – meaning that I regard Murphy as a much more well-rounded player, and therefore a more desirable first pick for an expansion team, which tends to have every need you can name.

Further, I repeat my view that Andruw has no single offensive season on the level of Murphy’s best five, which gives Murphy a superior peak: yet another star.

I agree that the MVP process is deeply flawed, though I don’t regard it as flawed as the Gold Glove process. And yes, RBI totals are a major corrupter of the process, or were until very recently. To me Murphy’s back-to-back MVPs are like Ernie Banks’s: neither player may have actually been tops in their league mathematically, both awards were probably over-influenced by RBI titles, but both awards are clear indicators that the player in question was regarded with considerable respect by his contemporaries – and to my view, whilst not a decisive fact, that’s got to count for something. Like the proliferation of stats and uber-stats, like the writings of Bill James and others, like multiple types of contemporary evidence, like the posts I read here (which definitely factor into my thinking), it’s just another star in the firmament.

That’s my take anyway. Here’s a quote I just found from Bill James:

“I would put Andruw in a class with Vada Pinson, Cesar Cedeno, Fred Lynn and perhaps a few others. Jimmy Wynn and Dale Murphy. These men, all center fielders, were all tremendous players when they were young—such tremendous players that they didn’t need to develop in order to become Hall of Famers; they merely needed to sustain their level of performance for a reasonably full career. But, for whatever reason, they weren’t able to do that, and fell short of a Hall of Fame standard.”

Personally I’d rank both Andruw and Murphy above Pinson, Cedeno, Lynn and Wynn, and as a consequence of that I suppose Murphy might make the lower rungs of a future ballot, but I concur with the general point: I don’t see any of them as HoF material – or HoM material either.

As always, YM will almost certainly V.
   474. Bleed the Freak Posted: January 05, 2020 at 12:00 PM (#5913021)
No rush prog, and thanks for your discussions.
   475. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: January 05, 2020 at 01:07 PM (#5913035)
Seems like there’s probably a near zero chance that Murphy would duplicate his strange career path today. Going from C to 1B to CF is if not unique pretty darned weird. I unsuspected that today he’d never have played catcher in MLB. They’d have figured him out well before he go to the show. Then again I’m not sure the Braves of the mid-late 1970s had their proverbial stuff together. This could have cost Murphy some development time and certainly some playing time. He coulda used another Murphesqe season too.
   476. progrockfan Posted: January 05, 2020 at 05:54 PM (#5913089)
"Seems like there’s probably a near zero chance that Murphy would duplicate his strange career path today... I unsuspected that today he’d never have played catcher in MLB. They’d have figured him out well before he go to the show."
I've long thought that Murphy's knee problem, which I think probably cost him a HoF career, may have started with, or been exacerbated by, the strain imposed by squatting behind the plate.

Plus, Murphy is 6'4", and tall guys, as a class, tend to have more knee issues than short guys. Joe Mauer, who's 6'5", had serious knee issues too.
"I’m not sure the Braves of the mid-late 1970s had their proverbial stuff together."
Lots of rumors back then that Ted Turner conducted team business while drinking. (These may be the same meetings at which he decided to colorize classic black & white movies...)
   477. kcgard2 Posted: January 05, 2020 at 07:59 PM (#5913114)
Bleed the Freak: In the ballot thread you list Tinker 10th on your ballot but also mention him in your close but off ballot section. Same for Shocker who you rank 4th.

I am pretty similar to you in my not PHOM list. I have 12 of those same guys as not PHOM, and Ezra Sutton only made it due to one of those crazy dry stretches that went very very heavily into the backlog.

For anybody who hasn't done the PHOM exercise, I recommend if you have time. It makes you understand why pretty much the whole pre-1960 era is over-represented (also going back through the ballot discussions is enlightening). Because of the way HOM elections work, it was basically unavoidable. It also leaves you (at least me) with some interesting results. There are 12-18 guys in my PHOM that I'd rather replace with others, but those others weren't available when the votes happened. The whole exercise is very instructive, and you'll have a much better understanding of players from older eras, especially if you go in any depth to the discussion threads.

OK, PSa over :)
   478. Bleed the Freak Posted: January 05, 2020 at 09:34 PM (#5913130)
My bad kcgard and good catches, I had included pHOM type of candidates in my notable mentions, accidentally had Shocker and Tinker listed twice, thanks.
   479. Patrick W Posted: January 05, 2020 at 11:18 PM (#5913146)
RE Bleed in 447: For those who debuted prior to 1900, the HOM has elected 14 pitchers. My own PHOM has elected 10 of these pitchers, omitting Waddell, Caruthers, McGinnity, and Griffith. For comparison, I count 76 pitchers in the HOM (28%) while I have selected 82 for the P-Hall (30%).

As it currently stands, my system would have Waddell (9th in the early era) and Whitney (10th) over the line for election, surpassing Radbourn and Spalding who I’ve previously elected. Caruthers (13th) is below the line, but likely makes it as well due to the earlier era; Willis, Powell, Mullane, and Welch rank ahead of McGinnity, McCormick, and Griffith on my list but likely all outside looking in. Amongst this group, only McCormick is hurt more than Whitney by the conversion from WARP1 to WARP3 – but is therefore helped the most by my lessening of those conversion values.

I am conceptually satisfied that 30% membership is a good baseline for pitching, so I am slightly concerned that my pitching count has risen from 10 to 12 for the early era. As I said on the ballot, I see no reason why we would elect more 1880s pitchers. This is one reason I’m not redoing my P-Hall re-rank until everything is updated, as positional ranks may need further calibrating.

---

RE Howie in 472: You are correct - the 2020 election is the 123rd ballot. You, Rob W, and John have voted all 123 times, hopefully soon to be joined by Al P.
   480. Howie Menckel Posted: January 06, 2020 at 12:42 AM (#5913153)
"RE Howie in 472: You are correct - the 2020 election is the 123rd ballot. You, Rob W, and John have voted all 123 times, hopefully soon to be joined by Al P."

let's go, Al P!
   481. Al Peterson Posted: January 06, 2020 at 03:33 PM (#5913309)
"RE Howie in 472: You are correct - the 2020 election is the 123rd ballot. You, Rob W, and John have voted all 123 times, hopefully soon to be joined by Al P."

let's go, Al P!


I have been called out!! Thanks Howie -- yeah, it's time for me to obey my New Year's resolution to not procrastinate and get some balloting. Here's prelim - over to final ballot next couple days.

2020 prelim 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.

Disclosures:
Newcomers
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.
   482. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: January 06, 2020 at 04:34 PM (#5913339)
Hey, gang, if you haven't voted yet, please do. The deadline's this week, so don't let it pass you by!

If you communicate with a voter who hasn't voted yet, please remind them.

I'm following along at home (HOM?), and this one's really coming down to the wire. It's a real corker, and we need everyone to vote!
   483. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: January 06, 2020 at 04:53 PM (#5913346)
Here's people who have prelims but haven't voted yet or who expressed interest:
Chris Cobb
epoc
Al Peterson
caspian88

Long-time member who hasn't voted in at least the last couple years
DanG

These are people who have voted in either of the previous two elections but haven't posted a ballot yet:
Joe D...imperial march
Esteban Rivera
Mike Weber
dan b
Devin...fuzzy socks
theorioleway
williemayshayes
6-4-3
OCF
Bill Simon
rawagaman
chadwick

Dudes, if you're reading, please vote. If you're in touch with these members in good standing, please remind them to vote!
   484. kwarren Posted: January 06, 2020 at 10:00 PM (#5913407)
Is there a separate thread for Hall of Merit ballots, I would like to submit a ballot.
   485. Kiko Sakata Posted: January 06, 2020 at 10:25 PM (#5913414)
Is there a separate thread for Hall of Merit ballots, I would like to submit a ballot.


The ballot thread is here
   486. kwarren Posted: January 07, 2020 at 12:14 AM (#5913438)
Preliminary ballot.

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 RF 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


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.
   487. DL from MN Posted: January 07, 2020 at 08:09 AM (#5913458)
Prelim ballots all look good. Feel free to post on the ballot page when ready. If you have computer issues someone can copy over.
   488. progrockfan Posted: January 07, 2020 at 08:15 AM (#5913460)
May I ask:

Lots of voters who have historically submitted ballots are not represented as of yet.

Can one of the site admins possibly PM each of the members in Dr. Chaleeko's list, and invite them to participate in the ballot?

If so, can the deadline perhaps be extended?
   489. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: January 07, 2020 at 11:26 AM (#5913518)
Re #488

I've gone ahead and DM'ed the voters I listed out. A couple have already indicated they'll be joining the voting party, and one (rawagaman) indicated he's in HOM retirement. To be considerate, I'd say that we shouldn't nudge him again in the future.

OK, we've done our part, now it's up to the fates.
   490. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: January 07, 2020 at 11:30 AM (#5913523)
And Willie Mays Hayes comes through!
   491. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: January 07, 2020 at 03:01 PM (#5913622)
Cobb comes through in the clutch as well!
   492. epoc Posted: January 07, 2020 at 11:09 PM (#5913744)
Hey all, I'll be sure to post an official ballot by the deadline, but I wanted to post my final ballot here in case any of the changes I've made require discussion. I've spent a considerable amount of time in the last week tweaking my system; I was uneasy with the degree to which subjective assessments were driving my rankings, so I implemented objective adjustments to deal with outside-of-prime value and rank-among-contemporaries. The former doesn't change things too much, while the latter adjustment proves unkind to pre-expansion players. I was previously overemphasizing absolute rank while disregarding percentiles. Additionally, I reconsidered my weighting of defense and have decided to increase defensive weight to .35 relative to offense (was previously .3).

Here's my new ballot. Assuming no one sees anything terribly wrong here, it will be my final ballot.

1. Roy Oswalt – nine 1SD seasons; seven 2SD; four 3SD

2. Johan Santana – nine 1SD seasons; four 2SD; three 3SD; two 4SD

3. Dwight Gooden – eight 1SD seasons; four 2SD; two 3SD; two 4SD; one 5SD

4. Lance Berkman – seven 1SD seasons; seven 2SD; two 3SD

5. Bobby Abreu – eleven 1SD seasons; six 2SD

6. Kevin Appier – nine 1SD seasons; six 2SD; three 3SD; one 4SD

7. Derek Jeter – twelve 1SD seasons; four 2SD; one 3SD

8. Sammy Sosa – nine 1SD seasons; five 2SD; two 3SD; one 4SD

9. Brian Giles – nine 1SD seasons; six 2SD; two 3SD

10. Javier Vazquez – eight 1SD seasons; five 2SD; two 3SD

11. Bobby Bonds – ten 1SD seasons; five 2SD; one 3SD

12. Ron Guidry – nine 1SD seasons; three 2SD; two 3SD; one 4SD

13. Cliff Lee – six 1SD seasons; six 2SD; five 3SD; one 4SD

14. Andruw Jones – nine 1SD seasons; six 2SD; one 3SD

15. Sal Bando - eight 1SD seasons; six 2SD; one 3SD


Jeter is the big loser in my update, falling out of an elect-me spot. Though the reweighting of defense made some difference, the bigger issue was that I was previously overestimating his out-of-prime career. Andruw Jones rises the most with the reweighting of defense, predictably for a dude who was just shy of 3SD above average with the glove for his entire prime.

Mandatory disclosures and others of note:

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.

Dean, Bridges, Cicotte, Cravath, Chance – Previous beneficiaries of shoddily subjective evaluation of their place among their contemporaries. All fall off-ballot, though all but Cicotte remain in my top 30.
   493. Bleed the Freak Posted: January 08, 2020 at 07:52 AM (#5913770)
Epoc, apologies if you explained in a earlier post, but your standard deviations are against what baseline value metric?

Javier Vazquez is a FIP warrior but looks much worse by RA9 measures, career wise, he had a poor LOB%, which likely is attributable to him.

Can you walk is through your process to get Oswalt the 9, 7, 4 standard deviation scores, and thanks.
   494. Mike Webber Posted: January 08, 2020 at 11:29 AM (#5913842)
Hi, my ballot is basically done and I will try to post it this evening. Thanks for the note Dr. C.

It was done, and I was starting to work through the required disclosures and I realized I had given Lance Berkman the short shrift. Also, Jason Giambi was quite a bit better than I thought.

Have really enjoyed the discussion lately, especially Dr. C's work on the Negro Leagues. It's rather amazing to see someone say, "Look at all this work I've done, and based on it I don't think we should really change anything." Most people would advocate for some change to justify their time investment.

Also thanks to everyone for their thoughts on the pitchers' pool. With the change in pitcher's workloads in the last 40 years, compared to the 120 prior, we have quite a diverse group of pitchers in the consideration set of the electorate. Comparing Cleveland star Cliff Lee and his 2,100 IP to Cleveland star Jim McCormick and his 4,200 IP is a tricky business.
   495. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: January 08, 2020 at 11:47 AM (#5913858)
Have really enjoyed the discussion lately, especially Dr. C's work on the Negro Leagues. It's rather amazing to see someone say, "Look at all this work I've done, and based on it I don't think we should really change anything." Most people would advocate for some change to justify their time investment.

Thanks, Mike. I appreciate it. And in the interest of full disclosure, I did advocate for someone: Dick Redding. Everyone after him has certain holes in their candidacy so that I feel like it would be inadvisable to stump for anyone. Yet! Who knows? In many ways, Gary and KJOK are only part of the way there. Once they complete the Negro Southern League and get all the appropriate Mexican League seasons on the NLDB (those Mexican years are already part of the MLEs, by the way), there are still many LatAm leagues to scour: Remaining Cuban Winter League seasons, Puerto Rican Winter League seasons, and the 1937 Santo Domingo league among others. There's also the California Winter League to potentially be tapped as a source of data. We know so much more than we did, and there's still a ton to learn! Gary, KJ, and their merry band are doing amazing, amazing work!
   496. epoc Posted: January 08, 2020 at 04:32 PM (#5913971)
Bleed the Freak,

No problem. Offense is measured in fangraphs' offense+baserunning runs. Defense is in fangraphs' fielding + positional runs. Pitching is (for post-1900 pitchers) 50/50 RA9-based and FIP-based runs. I make some adjustments for cases where other baserunning and defensive ratings disagree drastically (both such adjustments were necessary in Jeter's case, e.g.).

Javy Vazquez surprised me too, but he's not as FIP-heavy as I initially thought. For '00-09, he's 1.82 SD above average by RA9 and 2.20 by FIP. That's not an unusual split, similar to Cliff Lee (1.82 to 2.19) and Andy Pettitte (1.61 to 2.08) for their primes, for instance. You are right in pointing out that he is probably more responsible than most for the discrepancy between FIP and RA9, seeing as how it looks like it's mostly a result of pitching (relatively) poorly with men on base, but even by RA9 he was an excellent pitcher, and I don't like the idea of underweighting FIP in just one selective case. Vazquez was also a decent hitter, which bumps him up a notch.

I'm not sure how detailed a description of my process you want, but I basically just find the SDs for RA9 runs, FIP runs, hitting+baserunning runs, and fielding+positional runs for each season and then record how many SDs a given player was for each season of their career. Oswalt, for instance, was 3.53 SD above average for RA9 runs for 2002 and 3.64 SD by FIP runs for the same season. Weighting them 50/50, he was 3.59 SD for that season.
   497. Howie Menckel Posted: January 08, 2020 at 05:45 PM (#5913992)
deadline is in just over 24 hours
   498. DL from MN Posted: January 08, 2020 at 05:49 PM (#5913994)
I think we should count kwarren's ballot if he doesn't add the two extra required disclosures. He was trying to check everyone who finished in the top 10 last season.
   499. Bleed the Freak Posted: January 08, 2020 at 07:40 PM (#5914022)
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:


Congrats sir, no apologies need here and before the deadline!
   500. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: January 08, 2020 at 07:46 PM (#5914023)
DL, kwarren provided a full ballot a few comments later and should be fine.
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