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

Monday, January 13, 2020

2021 Hall of Merit Ballot Discussion

2021 (December 2020)—elect 3

Top 10 Returning Players
Kenny Lofton, Johan Santana, Sammy Sosa, Jeff Kent, Lance Berkman, Bobby Abreu, Buddy Bell, Wally Schang, Bobby Bonds, Sal Bando

Newly eligible players

Tim Hudson
Mark Buehrle
Torii Hunter
Dan Haren
Barry Zito
Aramis Ramirez
Shane Victorino
Alex Rios
Grady Sizemore
A.J. Burnett

DL from MN Posted: January 13, 2020 at 02:06 PM | 304 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   301. progrockfan Posted: June 14, 2020 at 03:15 PM (#5957268)
@Dr. Chaleeko, PM me please.
   302. Yardape Posted: June 23, 2020 at 06:09 PM (#5959076)
Preliminary ballot. I am a former voter, but have been away for a long time. I use WAR on B-Ref as the foundation, I suppose I would say. But I'm a prime voter, so I'm not necessarily looking at career WAR, although I would use that for close cases. (And there are a fair number of close cases). I'm also partial to players who are frequently the best at their position, or nearly so.

1. Bert Campaneris I know he doesn't tower over his peers, but I think he's the best of his era and that carries weight. No long stretch of seasons where he's tops, but he's the best shortstop in baseball for three seasons and close in a couple of others.
2. Mike Tiernan I actually feel a little bad reviving the candidacy of a 19th-Century outfielder long passed over, but I think Tiernan belongs near the grouping of guys already inducted from that era. I don't hold any great hopes for him, but this is where I think he lands.
3. Johan Santana A tremendous extended peak. Not much bulk out of it, but as a prime voter it's hard not to like him.
4. Urban Shocker A strong peak, and a few more good seasons make him a solid candidate in my book. The peak doesn't look quite as good as Santana's to me.
5. Dizzy Dean Obviously a peak candidate, but it was a great one. The shortness of it keeps him belong Santana and Shocker.
6. Bob Elliott Elliott is someone I'm probably going to rate higher than consensus. Short productive career, but a run of seasons where he was the best as his position.
7. George Uhle Not as strong as the pitching trio above; in fact, I could probably draw a line between Elliott and Uhle on how strongly I believe they should be HoMers.
8. Roy Oswalt A textbook prime player, I think. No Santana-like peak as the best in the game, but very good for many seasons.
9. Mark Langston Surprised me by coming out really close to Oswalt in my consideration. I remember him from my childhood as a good, not great pitcher, but he had more good seasons than I recalled.
10. Frank Chance I think I still need to sort through some of the early 20th Century first basemen (Chance, Ben Taylor, Jack Fournier, Ed Konetchy). Right now, I think Chance was the best, despite the durability concerns. But he could slide in either direction as I dig deeper there.
11. Jorge Posada Can't really be called the best of his time, in large part due to defense, but he was probably the next rung down for many seasons, which gets him some credit with me.
12. Sal Bando I'm not as high on Bando as others, or as his raw WAR. I think that's been discussed many times, and obviously I lean toward Campaneris. But that doesn't mean Bando doesn't have a case. I just don't see him standing out as much compared to his contemporaries.
13. Fred Dunlap I understand why he's been passed over, but I still think he's got a candidacy. I believe I am properly discounting his 1884 season; just one season wouldn't affect my ranking too much anyway. He would need some good surrounding seasons, which he has. That gives him a case as a top 2B of his time.
14. Jim Gilliam Three-time best 2B in the majors, with some useful seasons surrounding those. Seamheads has him as the best Negro Leagues player in 1948, though the NeLs were starting to weaken by then so I'm not sure how much that's worth. Also had an MVP season in the International League in 1952.
15. Tim Hudson I was actually pretty surprised to see Oswalt so much higher than Hudson. I remember his peak Oakland years so well, but in retrospect there wan't as much there. He beats out Kenny Lofton for my final ballot spot. Lofton's career totals are nice, but he was rarely at the top of his position, or even as close as Hudson.

Others who just missed the ballot include Ned Williamson, Bill Bradley, Jack Fournier, Jim Fregosi, Dave Bancroft and Frank Viola.

Required disclosures:

Sammy Sosa I really thought his peak would look great, but it was relatively underwhelming, and if he's not a peak candidate, he's not much.
Jeff Kent Much closer than Sosa, but again I thought I would like him more than I did. I should probably take a closer look at him vs. Dunlap.
Lance Berkman and Bobby Abreu both good bats in a time when there were a lot of good bats. These two didn't stand out enough.
Buddy Bell Not the type of player that I'm usually high on. I certainly have Bando ahead of him in third base rankings. Long, good career but not much of a peak (relatively speaking).
Wally Schang Might need a re-evaluation, but I don't see much separating him from a glut of catchers in the early decades of the 20th century.
Bobby Bonds I have him a little above Berkman and Abreu, but his prime years aren't quite high enough to reach the ballot.

Thanks everybody!
   303. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: June 24, 2020 at 09:35 AM (#5959199)
Yardape, welcome back!!! So glad you have returned.
   304. DL from MN Posted: June 24, 2020 at 10:00 AM (#5959208)
I will echo the welcome back, and please vote in the MMP too.
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