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

Saturday, January 09, 2021

2022 Hall of Merit Ballot Discussion

2022 (December 2021)—elect 4

Top 10 Returning Players
Bobby Abreu, Sammy Sosa, Andy Pettitte, Buddy Bell, Lance Berkman, Wally Schang, Bobby Bonds, Sal Bando, Vic Willis, Ben Taylor

Newly Eligible Players
Batters:
Alex Rodriguez
David Ortiz
David Wright
Mark Teixeira
Jimmy Rollins
Carl Crawford
Coco Crisp
Justin Morneau
Marlon Byrd
Prince Fielder
A.J. Pierzynski
Michael Bourn
Juan Uribe
Alexei Ramirez

Pitchers:
Jake Peavy
Joe Nathan
Jonathan Papelbon
Scott Kazmir
Tim Lincecum
John Danks

DL from MN Posted: January 09, 2021 at 09:42 AM | 246 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   201. DL from MN Posted: October 30, 2021 at 09:55 AM (#6050043)
A factor here is his low seasonal innings-pitched totals. He and Mark Buerhle have similar career IP, and similar peak rates of effectiveness, but Buerhle was consistently an IP leader, while Pettitte hardly ever was. Thus, Buerhle’s prime was stronger. Those who give post-season credit rightly advantage Pettitte somewhat for that; I don’t, so that’s not a factor for him.


Seeing how the postseason innings were probably a factor in his reduced regular season workload it seems to be affecting his placement.
   202. Chris Cobb Posted: October 30, 2021 at 11:31 AM (#6050053)
Seeing how the postseason innings were probably a factor in his reduced regular season workload it seems to be affecting his placement.

What's the evidence, other that Pettitte's IP to support this theory?

Here's why I am skeptical of that theory:

(1) Except when he was injured, Pettitte almost always made 32 starts a season, which is the standard load for a mid-rotation starter.
(2) Pettitte's seasons with his three highest innings pitched totals correspond to his three highest (non-injured) ERA+ seasons. When he pitched more effectively, he pitched deeper into games and accumulated more innings. This is a normal usage pattern.

So I don't see evidence that Pettitte's managers were saving him for the post-season by skipping starts or by deliberately pulling him early to keep his innings down.

The "Pettitte's post-season innings probably reduced his regular season innings" theory thus seems to me to depend upon the conjecture that Pettitte's general effectiveness in the regular season was reduced by his post-season innings. Is there evidence of that? When I match up Pettitte's post-season innings pitched with his innings pitched in the following season, I don't see a correlation between post-season work and next-season performance.

Overall, I don't see evidence that Pettitte's post-season work reduced the quality of his in-season work. If there is evidence to that effect, I'd be interested to see it. Still, I would still be concerned about applying any adjustment to Pettitte that couldn't also be applied to other pitchers who carried a heavy post-season workload at some point in their careers.

   203. Jaack Posted: October 30, 2021 at 01:21 PM (#6050069)
I'm not aware of any evidence that Pettitte's postseason workload negatively affected his regular season performance, but there is evidence that Buehrle was negatively affected by it - his worst season, and really his only real down season in his prime, came immediately following his only deep postseason run. He faded pretty hard in the second half in particular in 2006. Would he have held up under the perrenial October loads that Pettitte had to face? I can't say confidently either way - it could just be coincidence that Buehrle's down 2006 occured after a deep postseason run. Pitchers have bad years all the time.

At the same time, we do know that Pettitte could pitch full seasons and then throw 30 more innings in the postseason just about every year. The fact that it doesn't seem he was negatively affected by the extra workload has to be considered a positive to his case.
   204. Chris Cobb Posted: October 30, 2021 at 01:57 PM (#6050077)
The fact that it doesn't seem he was negatively affected by the extra workload has to be considered a positive to his case.

Well, I would say it is a factor that underlies his regular-season value. If he had been negatively affected by the extra workload, then he probably wouldn't have the regular-season numbers to be treated as a serious candidate for the Hall of Merit. The players in our candidate pool faced a variety of conditions that were more favorable or adverse to their performance that came to them as a result of the circumstances in which they played. Andre Dawson had to deal with knee ailments that were the result of playing on concrete outfields, for example. He overcame those problems sufficiently to have a Hall-of-Merit quality career. That's a positive in his case, but it's not something to add on top of his value: it's something that underlies it.

   205. kcgard2 Posted: October 30, 2021 at 06:28 PM (#6050132)
As usual I am a fan of Jaack's and Chris Cobb's ballots. Chris Cobb, Wally Schang is a required mention. You also mention Tommy John in passing, I think, but where does he rank for you?

Having said that, I also left off the required mentions. Willis, Schang, and Taylor are the only required mentions who didn't make my listed top 20.

First up is Willis, who is #65. He moved down mostly due to my revisions that dampen high WAR seasons (greater than 9 WAR), also fell a little more due to revised bWAR. Previously I had him in the late 20s.

Ben Taylor is #74. I believe the MLEs are bullish, and support a translation of closer to 55 WAR than 65 WAR. I also think one of his best comps is Mark Grace, who matches up nicely on batting lines and the WAR components in Dr C's latest MLEs. Compare Grace's 1993 to Taylor's 1914 MLEs for an example of the WAR disconnect I am talking about.

As stated in previous threads, I have a hard time seeing Schang's case. I have him #156 and 7th best available catcher, which is actually up slightly from #184 I had him before. He has no peak. It would take a nebulous "difficulty of playing catcher in that era" adjustment, but with that I could move him ahead of Parrish, Porter, and Kendall and up to about #100-110 range. Also, it's worth mentioning that Schang spent a decent chunk of time at non-catcher positions. About 11 seasons worth of defensive innings at catcher, 2 seasons at other positions - in other words about 15% of his career innings at non-catcher. That still leaves him firmly as a catcher, but if you make catcher adjustments, Schang will get less adjustment than most other catcher candidates.
   206. Jaack Posted: October 30, 2021 at 06:35 PM (#6050134)
Well, I would say it is a factor that underlies his regular-season value. If he had been negatively affected by the extra workload, then he probably wouldn't have the regular-season numbers to be treated as a serious candidate for the Hall of Merit. The players in our candidate pool faced a variety of conditions that were more favorable or adverse to their performance that came to them as a result of the circumstances in which they played. Andre Dawson had to deal with knee ailments that were the result of playing on concrete outfields, for example. He overcame those problems sufficiently to have a Hall-of-Merit quality career. That's a positive in his case, but it's not something to add on top of his value: it's something that underlies it.


I have trouble seeing pitching in the postseason as equivalent to playing on astroturf in anyway. Crediting Dawson would be projecting out what he would have done if not for injuries, which is not something anyone does. But we don't have to credit Pettitte for whatever difficulties he had in the regular season due to his postseason workload, if we just credit him for his postseason workload. Both he and Buehrle pitched about the same number of innings per season against top level competition in games that mattered. Prefering Buehrle's seasonal IP totals is basically punishing Pettitte for playing on a better team.
   207. Chris Cobb Posted: October 30, 2021 at 07:58 PM (#6050142)
As usual I am a fan of Jaack's and Chris Cobb's ballots. Chris Cobb, Wally Schang is a required mention. You also mention Tommy John in passing, I think, but where does he rank for you?

Whoops! Sorry about that! My rankings actually go down to 64. I was going to post all of them, but when I ran into troubles fitting them into the character limit, I decided to stop at the 31 break point. I remembered to add Pettitte, but I forgot about Schang. I'll just put the rest of the list here. Schang is at 42; Tommy John is at 50.

32. Jim McCormick (1880s. In-decade scaled rank 31.3). My system sees him as being right around in-out line, but 1880s pitchers are already well represented in the HoM. With the uncertainty involved in assessing their value, I don’t have a basis for advancing McCormick over any more recent pitchers whom my system sees as meriting election.
33. David Wright. Newly eligible. (2000s. In-decade scaled rank 31.5). Strong player, but injuries cut him short. A bit less peak than Garciaparra, whom I rank slightly higher, despite what the system shows.
34. Willie Davis (1960s, In-decade scaled rank 32.9). Generally overlooked; nice to see him get a vote from Brent.
35. Chet Lemon (1980s. In-decade scaled rank 31.2). Generally overlooked; has he ever gotten a vote?
36. Dave Bancroft (1920s. In decade scaled ranking 32.9). A really fine peak. Loss of playing time due to injuries leaves him a bit short, though he still would have been a better choice than Joe Sewell, whose durability, duly overrated by Win Shares, helped secure his election long ago.
37. Joe Tinker (1900s. In-decade scaled ranking 33.4). Outstanding defensive shortstop but a little short on offense.
38. Andy Pettitte (2000s. In-decade scaled rank 33.5). My system sees Pettitte as offering more bulk than brilliance in his career, so he is just below my in-out line. A couple of outstanding seasons, but generally he was a middle-of-rotation starter. He was a middle-of-rotation starter for a long time, so his career value is strong, but he lags significantly on peak measures. A factor here is his low seasonal innings-pitched totals. He and Mark Buerhle have similar career IP, and similar peak rates of effectiveness, but Buerhle was consistently an IP leader, while Pettitte hardly ever was. Thus, Buerhle’s prime was stronger. Those who give post-season credit rightly advantage Pettitte somewhat for that; I don’t, so that’s not a factor for him.
39. Roy Oswalt (2000s. In-decade scaled rank 34.5). He was a really good pitcher, but falls just short of the Santana-esque peak and farther short of the Hudson-esque career that are needed to get over the in-out line. These guys are all so similar in value, a slightly different line of analysis could readily justify putting Oswalt on the ballot.
40. Tommy Bond (1870s. In-decade scaled rank 34.3). Unquestionably the best pitcher in major-league baseball in 1878 and 1879 as part of an outstanding run from 1875-79. Unfortunately, that’s absolutely all the value he has in his career. His peak is strong enough for a reasonable case to be made for his election, but the uncertainties are huge. I used to believe that he was done in by the change in pitching distance, but it looks like his steep decline (caused most likely by his immense workload) began the year before the distance changed, and the change just dropped him off a cliff. If at some point we do elect Tommy Bond, that would really finish up the 1870s: there isn’t anyone else close. We’d have to get a long way into the backlog before his turn would come, though. Still, my large-Hall leanings incline me to like the idea of electing players like Oswalt, Bond, Chance, and Schang. They were outstanding, impact players.
41. Frank Chance (1900s. In-decade scaled ranking 36.2). HoM-quality when he was on the field, but not enough playing time to merit election. Even peak voters have never mounted a case for him b/c he missed too much time to rack up huge single-season WAR totals. By rate, though, he is among the best of his time—the only truly outstanding offensive first baseman between Brouthers/Connor/Anson and George Sisler.
42. Wally Schang (1920s. In-decade scaled ranking 34.4). Lack of peak, presence of NeL elected contemporary catchers Santop and Mackey, and plentiful representation of 1920s decade overall keep Schang well away from my ballot. I don’t feel an urgency on a representational basis to bring Schang forward, and his numbers, when he is in receipt of my standard catching bonuses, place him about here. He was, compared to the average player, an outstanding ballplayer, but I’d need a bigger Hall of Merit to have a place for him.
43. Johnny Pesky (1940s. In-Decade scaled rank 30.) My system finds Pesky ever so slightly ahead of Rizzuto, but I rank Rizzuto higher b/c his 1946 malaria season affects his three years of war credit, while Pesky bookended his war years with his two best seasons. I am not entirely comfortable projecting a player with more top seasons via war credit than they actually had in their playing careers, so Pesky gets a lower spot in the balloting list.
44. Dwight Gooden (1980s. In-decade scaled rank 32.4).
45. Cesar Cedeno (1970s. In-decade scaled rank 33.1)
46. Bernie Williams (1990s. In-decade scaled rank 33.8)
47. Jose Cruz (1980s. In-decade scaled rank 33.5)
48. Marvin Williams (1950s. In-decade scaled rank 33.3). Included here mainly on reputation. I hope to make the NeL stars of the 1940s and their transition into “organized” baseball in the 1950s a focus of my analysis for 2022.
49. Hurley McNair (1920s. In-decade scaled rank 35.9)
50. Tommy John (1970s. In-decade scaled rank 34.3). My system gives significant weight to both career value and peak value. John's remarkable lack of peak keeps him well out of the running for me. Given how many pitchers in his era were above him, I think that's just as well, but his in-decade ranking is based purely on how his numbers come out in my system.
51. Fred McGriff (1990s. In-decade scaled rank 34.9)
52. Tony Perez (1970s. In-decade scaled rank 35.5). McGriff and Perez show up together in the rankings, and as long-career first-basemen with reputations as RBI men, they seem very similar. Their value profiles are quite different, however. McGriff’s value is much more bat-heavy, and he is brought down by his fielding. Perez, on the other hand, is buoyed up by his time at third base—his prime is split between third and first—and by his above-average first-base defense. If McGriff’s defense at first had been average, he’d meet the HoM standards; if Perez’s fielding had been good enough for him to stay at third base, he’d probably have been been above the in-out line as well, and the history of the Big Red Machine would also have been significantly different.
53. David Ortiz. Newly eligible. (2000s. In-decade scaled rank 35.5). Some have suggested that the DH position adjustment in bWAR is too large, but if I treat Ortiz as a first baseman and factor in his below average defense at first, he ends up worse than he would with the DH position adjustment by about six wins. Rated only as a hitter, he’d fall between Jason Giambi and Lance Berkman.
54. Bob Johnson (1930s. In-decade scaled rank 36.6)
55. George Uhle (1920s. In-decade scaled rank 31.5)
56. Harry Hooper (1910s. In-decade scaled rank 33.2)
57. Norm Cash (1960s. In-decade scaled rank 34.4)
58. Ron Guidry (1980s. Scaled in-decade rank 34.7). I saw him on Jaack’s preliminary 2022 ballot and realized I didn’t have him ranked. I worked him up and he lands here. Schoolboy Rowe and Nap Rucker, who are the next two in the rankings and who have identical in-decade scaled ranks, seem like satisfying comps for Guidry; very good pitchers with outstanding peaks but not quite enough career in context to rank among the top pitchers of their eras.
59. Schoolboy Rowe (1940s. Scaled in-decade rank 34.7). First time I’ve had him in my rankings. His career was one of the most fascinating discoveries from my review of the 1940s and 1950s major-league candidates. A great talent and a brilliant pitching intelligence, but not enough healthy innings in his arm to have a Hall of Merit career.
60. Nap Rucker (1910s. In-decade scaled rank 34.7)
61. Vada Pinson (1960s. In-decade ranking 35.9)
62. Mark Teixeira. Newly eligible. (2000s. In-decade ranking 36.5) Very nice peak with an excellent combination of offensive and defensive skills, but he would need a couple more strong seasons to have a shot at election.
63. Ron Cey (1970s. In-decade scaled rank 36.7)
64. Ted Breitenstein (1890s, In-decade ranking 36.2)
   208. Chris Cobb Posted: October 30, 2021 at 09:21 PM (#6050171)
I have trouble seeing pitching in the postseason as equivalent to playing on astroturf in anyway. Crediting Dawson would be projecting out what he would have done if not for injuries, which is not something anyone does. But we don't have to credit Pettitte for whatever difficulties he had in the regular season due to his postseason workload, if we just credit him for his postseason workload. Both he and Buehrle pitched about the same number of innings per season against top level competition in games that mattered. Prefering Buehrle's seasonal IP totals is basically punishing Pettitte for playing on a better team.

Playing in the postseason is only equivalent to playing on astroturf if you believe that playing in the post-season diminished a player's regular-season effectiveness. To that extent, it would be just like an injury created by a ballpark condition. The negative effect happened to that player due to the circumstances he played in, a circumstances that disadvantaged that player relative to others who were not affected by those circumstances. I brought up this analogy because the implication of DL from MN's comment was that a justification for giving Pettitte post-season credit was as compensation for the probable negative impact on his seasonal performance of having to throw post-season innings. I don't see evidence of such impacts, and I wouldn't give compensatory credit for them if I did, any more than I give Dawson credit for having to deal with injuries.

Claiming that I should credit Pettitte for his post-season innings because they were games that mattered against top competition is not unreasonable: I wouldn't make a strenuous effort to persuade anyone who is giving such credit to stop doing it, although I would suggest that anyone giving such credit to Pettitte should be giving post-season credit to all pitchers, if not to all position players. The fact that I haven't seen anyone bumping Orel Hershiser up onto their ballot and noting that it is his excellent post-season pitching that puts him over the line leads me to suspect that voters are not being systematic in handling post-season credit. (If anyone is really doing that across the board, I'd be very interested in hearing how they're doing it and how they see it influencing their results.)

For myself, I believe that the fairer choice is not to include post-season play because the opportunity to play in the post-season has been very unevenly distributed among the game's top players over the course of baseball history. Because we are dealing uniformly with great players, these unequal opportunities are not the result of the players' merit. Therefore, giving additional unearned credit to some of the players in the candidate pool on--in the bigger picture--a more or less random basis doesn't help the Hall of Merit to identify the best players. Yes, players may succeed or fail in their post-season opportunities, but even then it's a small group of games played under competitive conditions that are highly variable from one game and one series to the next. Accurate and precise assessment of merit under these conditions is not readily achievable.

Because Pettitte (a) has among the largest number of post-season innings of any pitcher, (b) acquitted himself well, if not brilliantly, in playoff baseball, and (c) is otherwise a borderline candidate, the impact of my decision not to include post-season play in my rankings may impact Pettitte's position relative to the in-out line in my system more than any other player, but how many pitchers might there be who would have done just as well as Pettitte did, if they had been given the opportunity to throw another season's worth of innings over 15 years of playoff baseball pitching in front of some of the greatest teams in major league history? I don't see any way to assess that. I can't reasonably conclude, then, that Pettitte is better than they were simply because he had the opportunity and they didn't. Especially in the modern game, we can have confidence that individual players earn their opportunity to play at the major-league level. We can't have confidence, however, that great individual players earn their opportunities to play in the post-season. That's a team accomplishment.

It's easy for me to hold this line because I've been working to keep my standards consistent over almost 120 elections. When I first voted in the 1903 election, there wasn't any post-season to speak of with respect to the then-eligible players, so it was easy to conclude then that giving post-season credit to players from future periods in which there was a post-season would be advantaging them in comparison to players who didn't have post-seasons at all. I've kept the fundamental elements of my player evaluation system constant since that time, and I've been pretty satisfied with the results. I've made a lot of changes to take advantage of better data coming in, and I made the shift to using decadal cohorts rather than trying to integrate periods based on measured derived directly from WAR, but I haven't messed with the basic criteria for evaluation, and one of those criteria is to keep the playing field level by not including post-season credit. So I plan to stick with that.
   209. Jaack Posted: October 31, 2021 at 12:48 AM (#6050303)
Claiming that I should credit Pettitte for his post-season innings because they were games that mattered against top competition is not unreasonable: I wouldn't make a strenuous effort to persuade anyone who is giving such credit to stop doing it, although I would suggest that anyone giving such credit to Pettitte should be giving post-season credit to all pitchers, if not to all position players. The fact that I haven't seen anyone bumping Orel Hershiser up onto their ballot and noting that it is his excellent post-season pitching that puts him over the line leads me to suspect that voters are not being systematic in handling post-season credit. (If anyone is really doing that across the board, I'd be very interested in hearing how they're doing it and how they see it influencing their results.)


Funnily enough this was my biggest project this year, and one of the reasons I now have Hershiser on my ballot.

I wanted something relatively basic that would award both postseason volume (like Pettitte) as well as shorter but extremely valuable postseason performances (like Jack Morris). And I also wanted something that was less biased against players in the pre-divisional era, where postseason opportunities were more limited.

I settled on postseason cWPA as a metric - regular good performances could add up, but a Morris/Bumgarner game seven sort of situation would be more valuable than the same game in the ALDS. This does help at least a bit the smaller postseasons of earlier eras - top performances in the LDS or LCS are worth less than those in the Series. And since cWPA is a zero sum stat, players can, and will be negatively affected by bad performances.

Implementing it was a little harder - I wanted to do it on a seasonal basis, and I wanted it to make an impact, but not become overwhelming. I settled on something simple - double the decimal cWPA and add it to the seasonal WAR - so a 5% cWPA postseason is equivalent to 0.1 WAR in the regular season.

To take Hershiser for example, his best two postseasons were 1988 and 1995. In both he accumulated about 25% cWPA, which translates about half a win in each season. Without postseason credit my mix 1988 as a 6.5 WAR season, but with it, it goes up to 7.1 WAR. Hershiser does lose a small chunk in 1997 and gets minor bumps in a few other seasons. Hershiser with no postseason credit would rate out at 24th on my ballot right now, but it bumps him up to 13th. I think that's probably the most ballot relevant jump anyone takes, as having a great postseason in what was already his best season helps a lot with his peak score.

Overall, the effect isn't big, aside from a few stellar performers (or unfortunate ones like Billy Wagner or Jake Peavy). But I do like that I have all competetive games incorporated systematically now, and it does help players like Orel Hershiser who made the most of their opportunities.

Because Pettitte (a) has among the largest number of post-season innings of any pitcher, (b) acquitted himself well, if not brilliantly, in playoff baseball, and (c) is otherwise a borderline candidate, the impact of my decision not to include post-season play in my rankings may impact Pettitte's position relative to the in-out line in my system more than any other player, but how many pitchers might there be who would have done just as well as Pettitte did, if they had been given the opportunity to throw another season's worth of innings over 15 years of playoff baseball pitching in front of some of the greatest teams in major league history? I don't see any way to assess that. I can't reasonably conclude, then, that Pettitte is better than they were simply because he had the opportunity and they didn't. Especially in the modern game, we can have confidence that individual players earn their opportunity to play at the major-league level. We can't have confidence, however, that great individual players earn their opportunities to play in the post-season. That's a team accomplishment.


I agree that Pettitte does see an unsually large impact from postseason credit or lack there of, and I can't deny that he was fortunate to have the opportunities that he had. But I still struggle with excluding top level, competetive play because it isn't evenly distributed. Is it right, for example, to exclude considering pitcher hitting in the DH era? I don't think it is, but AL pitchers did not have the opportunity to accumulate value that way. Ron Guidry and Frank Tanana did not have the hitting opportunities that Orel Hershiser of Dwight Gooden did, and hitting is a relevant part of both Hershiser's and Gooden's cases.

I think aiming for philosophical consistency is a worthwhile goal, and I don't think it's unreasonable to minimize the impact that fortunate or unfortunate circumstances could have had on a player, but I still feel uncomfortable with ignoring what is otherwise valid information on that basis.
   210. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: October 31, 2021 at 12:26 PM (#6050339)
What's the evidence, other that Pettitte's IP to support this theory?

Quick and dirty, non-granular version of this: Pettitte averaged fewer innings per start in September than in any other month, without his effectiveness being any different. That reads like resting up for the playoffs to me.

Innings per start by month:
March/April 6.25
May 6.28
June 6.35
July 6.32
August 6.80
September/October 5.96

Buehrle, for the sake of comparison:
March/April 6.34
May 6.76
June 6.81
July 6.68
August 6.53
September/October 6.38

Still tapers a bit toward the end of the year, but by about half as much as Pettitte does. (And of course, Buehrle's teams made the playoffs sometimes as well.)

As a bonus note, Pettitte's durability also looks better if you use Batters Faced instead of innings - 6 top-10 finishes instead of 2 (Buehrle has 7 top 10's in both categories). Which might have some relation to the, shall we say, quality of defense that was usually behind Pettitte, at least as a Yankee.
   211. Chris Cobb Posted: October 31, 2021 at 03:27 PM (#6050367)
Jaack, that's an interesting system for assigning post-season credit! Are you using it for position players as well as for pitchers?

When I've been thinking about how post-season credit could be done, I've been looking at WPA and cWPA as possibilities. The scale of credit from your use of cWPA certainly seems reasonable. When I projected out Hershiser's 6.5 WAR from your system for 1998 for an additional 42.7 post-season innings, that would result in another 1.0 WAR for Hershiser that season, so 0.5 additional WAR for his stellar post-season performance is well within the range of reasonable results. (Not that I would recommend the projection method, but it provides a convenient point for comparison.)

I agree that post-DH pitcher hitting raises issues of fairness similar to post-season credit.

When I looked back at your preliminary ballot, I noticed that you have Babe Adams ranked high on your ballot. How much impact does his stellar 1909 post-season have on your placement of him?


Eric J, yes, that's some evidence that Pettitte was being rested for the post-season. As it amounts to about 1 2/3 IP per season, the effect is pretty small, less than than the 1.0 WAR for his postseason career that Jaack's adjustment would add.

It's interesting that Pettitte shows up as more durable in a Batters Faced than in IP, and it helps to make sense of the disjunction between his strong career-level durability for his era and his weak seasonal IP record. His defensive (lack of) support is probably a factor, but the choice to have him pitch in a style that heightened rather than reduced reliance on infield defense was probably a factor as well.

Overall, Pettitte has an unusual set of strengths and weaknesses that make him both difficult and interesting to evaluate.
   212. DL from MN Posted: October 31, 2021 at 03:51 PM (#6050375)
voters are not being systematic in handling post-season credit. (If anyone is really doing that across the board, I'd be very interested in hearing how they're doing it and how they see it influencing their results.)


I do systematically credit postseason performance. It isn't the "Hall of Regular Season Merit" after all. Replacement value doesn't make any sense (only the best teams remain) so I only credit for above average performance. Below average performance gets a zero. I use WPA for pitchers but more ad-hoc projection for batters. I don't think WPA does a good job of capturing defensive contribution.
   213. Jaack Posted: October 31, 2021 at 04:14 PM (#6050380)
Jaack, that's an interesting system for assigning post-season credit! Are you using it for position players as well as for pitchers?

When I've been thinking about how post-season credit could be done, I've been looking at WPA and cWPA as possibilities. The scale of credit from your use of cWPA certainly seems reasonable. When I projected out Hershiser's 6.5 WAR from your system for 1998 for an additional 42.7 post-season innings, that would result in another 1.0 WAR for Hershiser that season, so 0.5 additional WAR for his stellar post-season performance is well within the range of reasonable results. (Not that I would recommend the projection method, but it provides a convenient point for comparison.)

I agree that post-DH pitcher hitting raises issues of fairness similar to post-season credit.

When I looked back at your preliminary ballot, I noticed that you have Babe Adams ranked high on your ballot. How much impact does his stellar 1909 post-season have on your placement of him?


I do use it for position players, but the multiplier is a little less (1.4 instead of 2 seemed to be the sweet spot) I think it's worthwhile to reward position players as well, but high cWPA scores for them are a lot more dependent on random opportunity than for pitchers - Bill Maz got his opportunity in 1960 because he was the guy who happened to be up while Madison Bumgarner got his opportunity in 2014 because the Giants wanted him in those spots. Before I implemented this method I wasn't awarding batters in the postseason at all, but I think this produces pretty fair results. I do agree with DL that capturing fielding is a tough thing to do - I'm not sure where to begin with that. I can't believe that the effect is particularly big, but it'd be nice to have.

Funnily enough, Adams is one of the players hurt by my move to a more systematic method. His cWPA for 1909 is deservedly quite good, and turns what I have as a 3.1 WAR season into a 3.7 WAR season. But that makes it move from being his 11th best year to his 10th best year by my system, so it's impact is less than a similar performance is for Orel Hershiser. He also lives in the no mans land of my rankings - he's not particularly close to John or Berkman, but he is well ahead of Newcombe who is the highest player I consider truly borderline.

My ad hoc method for postseason evaluation actually had him a bit higher before. Curt Schilling was another big postseason performer who's systematic record did not quite live up to what my estimate was. The bigger thing for Adams is giving him a year and a half of prime credit for his extended rehab stint in 1917-1918. Adding that to his resume is a much bigger deal than improving a single season a bit. It's actually a little funny - my ballot has a number of big postseason performers in Berkman, Adams, Lolich, and Pettitte, but would I support all of them without it, although Lolich would probably be just off-ballot.
   214. Chris Cobb Posted: October 31, 2021 at 06:07 PM (#6050387)
It's actually a little funny - my ballot has a number of big postseason performers in Berkman, Adams, Lolich, and Pettitte, but would I support all of them without it, although Lolich would probably be just off-ballot.

I expect that, overall, big post-season performers are well represented in the HoM and among the top HoM candidates! Certainly there are playoff heroes out there who weren't great players, but players who were great in general are more likely to be great in the post-season, too.
   215. The Honorable Ardo Posted: November 01, 2021 at 03:26 AM (#6050463)
Updated prelim. All three 2020 inductees were on my ballot: Lofton at #3, Santana at #8, Kent at #11.

1. Rodriguez (new) - almost a perfect historical comp for Honus Wagner.
2. Schang (was #1) - the only notable white, pre-integration omission.
3. Hilton Smith (was #2) - I disagree with DL (post #21) here. The only well-documented portion of Smith's career is 1937-43 and he accumulates all of his 13 PWAA in that span. I need more evidence that he wouldn't have started until age 25 and was mediocre in his late 20's; I'm giving him 10-12 more PWAA prior to 1937. Then he's able to return from World War II and pitch four more seasons.
4. Abreu (was #6)
5. Adolfo Luque (was #4) - didn't have a normal development curve. No (known) Cubans played in MLB from National Association days until 1911. Luque debuted for the Miracle Braves in 1914, but didn't get a chance as a regular starter until 1920. He then dominated for six years before gradually aging. A similar case, in fact, to Hilton Smith.
6. Posada (was #7)
7. Luke Easter (was #5) - a lot of conjecture, but we have a guy performing at a David Ortiz/Fred McGriff level in his late 30's, facing obstacles neither modern player faced, and plenty of supporting evidence that he was a great slugger before then.
8. Sammy Sosa (was #14)
9. Buddy Bell (was off, has been on) - persuaded by Chris Cobb. A truly outstanding player for putrid Rangers teams.
10. Andy Pettite (was #10) - my highest modern pitcher, above Buehrle, Hudson, John, Appier, and Hershisher.
11. Ben Taylor (was #9) - as A-Rod:Wagner, John Olerud:Ben Taylor. The difference is that Taylor's fine fielding, because of his era, provided more value to his teams than Olerud's.
12. Johnny Evers (was #13) - deserves a lot of the sabermetric defensive credit allotted to Joe Tinker.
13. David Ortiz (new) - Minnesota Ortiz zeroes out. Boston Ortiz is Willie Stargell minus one season (about 600 PA). He makes my personal Hall this year, though both Easter and Taylor belong ahead of him.
14. Thurman Munson (was off, has been on) - accrues a stronger prime, but less total value, than Posada. A worthy selection. We're still short on catchers.
15. Vic Willis (was #12)

First ten off: Campaneris, Berkman, Buerhle, Duffy, Lee Smith, Rizzuto, John, Bobby Bonds, Nomar, Hudson (was #15, demoted).
Next ten off: Bando, McGriff, Van Haltren, Clarkson, Walters, Wright, E. Howard, Appier, Lemon, Olerud.

Beyond Olerud at #35 I frankly don't see a lot of separation.
   216. kcgard2 Posted: November 01, 2021 at 09:28 AM (#6050478)
Ardo, is that Negro Leaguer Bus Clarkson that you have after Van Haltren?
   217. The Honorable Ardo Posted: November 01, 2021 at 11:50 AM (#6050509)
Yes, that is Bus Clarkson. He's my fourth-highest NeL candidate after Smith, Easter, and Taylor. (Elston Howard also played in the NeL.)
   218. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: November 02, 2021 at 03:06 PM (#6050738)
I do give systematic postseason credit. Mine is very simple:
1) Only for pitchers and only because of the additional risk posed by pitching more innings (only so many pitches in an arm)
2) Don’t want to give a lot because i don’t want either the Hall of Yankees or the Hall of the Four-Round-Playoff-Era.
3) I credit all October IP at average value because short series are essentially impossible to convert effectively to any runs-based analysis because there’s no real league average to work from and because the contexts of each team can differ wildly in the same series, and because 7 good innings against some teams look very different than against others.

So it ends up being about .009 or something like that per inning of win-value. So Madison Bumgarner’s excellent 40 odd IP in his great October year tack on about 0.4 to his WAR. Feels about right to me.

Your mileage very likely differs!
   219. Chris Cobb Posted: November 02, 2021 at 08:55 PM (#6050821)
Ardo, I am curious about your comment on Johnny Evers. What's the basis for your determination that he deserves some of the defensive credit generally assigned to Tinker?
   220. Chris Cobb Posted: November 02, 2021 at 08:59 PM (#6050822)
Does anyone have a good sense of the relative reliability of the measures for pitch-framing that are now available? I am starting to look at post-2000 catchers. I am trying to make sense of the huge discrepancies between bWAR and fWAR for this group of players, and it looks like the differing magnitudes of their pitch-framing values is the primary driver of the differences. Does anyone have knowledge about why these values differ and what the arguments are for the reliability of each? I understand BP also has pitch-framing FRAA, but I haven't tracked those numbers down yet.

Any guidance on what's happening with pitch-framing stats would be much appreciated!
   221. Jaack Posted: November 03, 2021 at 12:49 AM (#6050926)
Fangraphs I think has two different framing numbers, both listed under Advanced Fielding on a player’s page. The one they use in their WAR calculations is FRM, which I think is their proprietary metric. It is based on PITCHf/x, so it only exists for 2008 forward, and they also apply it to pitchers. The other one is rSZ (explainer here), which is a little less extreme, and not included in their fWAR calcualtions. That one seems to go back to 2010, at least on fangraphs’ pages.

Their final catcher defense metric is a bit of a black box – I’ve never been able to make the numbers add up right by moving around their various components. I do know they use DRS at some level for catchers, but replace it’s rSZ component with FRM, but there is always something a little off in that translation.

I do know that B-R’s Rfield in the PITCHf/x era is equal to DRS minus rSZ, so my work around for the framing era is to use Rfield and then add (a slightly diminished) FRM on top. B-R seems to be going out of their way to not incorporate framing, as they remove rSZ from DRS.

Baseball-Prospectus does something similar with PITCHf/x for post-2008 seasons, and then has a method involving pitch counts and WOWY to go back to 1988, which I can't seem to find the literature on at the moment. I don’t know of any comprehensive database of anything earlier than that. I'm pretty sure Tom Tango did a quick look at framing for earlier guys a couple of years back but I don't think he went any deeper than showing that Gary Carter was incredible.
   222. The Honorable Ardo Posted: November 03, 2021 at 11:44 AM (#6050966)
Chris, this thread has some interesting commentary (including by our own Kiko Sakata) on the relative value of Tinker, Evers, and Chance.
   223. kcgard2 Posted: November 03, 2021 at 12:12 PM (#6050975)
Jaack, Tango has done several articles about Carter over the years. This one is not explicitly about pitch framing, but it would include pitch framing value in the total runs he comes up with. Now, it's the WOWY method, which is fraught with noise and biases of all kinds, but pretty much every time Tango does something, Carter comes out the best. Let's note that Tango was a vocal Expos fan, as well.

My personal opinion is that the value of catcher framing has been overstated, by a lot. My belief is that the real value is heavily due to the pitcher, and lightly due to the catcher, maybe 80/20 going with the good old Pareto rule. You can only frame pitches that are close to the intended target, and that is entirely a function of the pitcher. Also, I don't believe the studies include a ball/strike probability in the calculations, just the binary ball vs strike dichotomy, which is going to create way too much value in the whole exercise. So, IMO, you remove 40% of the value (pick a comfortable number) for the number of these pitches that would have been called strikes regardless of framing, then remove 80% of what's left because it belongs to the pitcher. There's value there for catchers, but not as much as the studies are coming up with.
   224. DL from MN Posted: November 03, 2021 at 12:49 PM (#6050994)
Regarding pitch framing - if the at-bat doesn't end in a walk or strikeout I'm inclined to ignore it. If pitchers don't control outcomes on balls-in-play then catchers certainly don't either.
   225. kcgard2 Posted: November 03, 2021 at 05:29 PM (#6051073)
I think that's a bit too far in the other direction, DL. Hitters are worse in pitcher's counts and vice versa, and the difference is not entirely walks and strikeouts. There's value in gaining strikes for a pitcher beyond PAs that end in walks or strikeouts.
   226. DL from MN Posted: November 03, 2021 at 08:00 PM (#6051115)
Hitters are worse in pitcher's counts and vice versa, and the difference is not entirely walks and strikeouts. There's value in gaining strikes for a pitcher beyond PAs that end in walks or strikeouts.


If that is true it disproves xFIP.
   227. Chris Cobb Posted: November 03, 2021 at 10:29 PM (#6051156)
Thanks, everyone for comments and resources on pitch-framing. Lots to digest. It seems that pitch-framing is bringing some of the hidden value of catchers into view, but there's wide disagreement on how much, even between the metrics that are reporting the statistic. From the catchers I've examined, it looks like there is fair agreement between various metrics about who is good at pitch framing and which seasons are better than others. The disagreement becomes sharp around the magnitude of pitch framing's value. I hope the evaluation of pitch framing will mature in the sabermetric world before Brian McCann, Russell Martin, and Yadier Molina become eligible for the HoM.
   228. Jaack Posted: November 03, 2021 at 11:31 PM (#6051169)
My personal opinion is that the value of catcher framing has been overstated, by a lot. My belief is that the real value is heavily due to the pitcher, and lightly due to the catcher, maybe 80/20 going with the good old Pareto rule. You can only frame pitches that are close to the intended target, and that is entirely a function of the pitcher. Also, I don't believe the studies include a ball/strike probability in the calculations, just the binary ball vs strike dichotomy, which is going to create way too much value in the whole exercise. So, IMO, you remove 40% of the value (pick a comfortable number) for the number of these pitches that would have been called strikes regardless of framing, then remove 80% of what's left because it belongs to the pitcher. There's value there for catchers, but not as much as the studies are coming up with.


I doubt Tango's WOWY study, or anything similar deals with with ball/strike probability (I don't really think such a thing is possible for that sort of analysis), but both FRM and rSZ do take it into consideration, and rSZ accounts for a pitchers contribution to called strikes as well.

I don't think WOWY is valuable for much more than direction, or perhamps splitting guys into quartiles or quintiles. Way too much noise. But the metrics for the modern guys are pretty thorough and reliant on good data. I hedge a bit on the magnitude, but that's only because it feels really big. But the problem has been approached from a lot of different directions, and the results generally seem to point to the best framers being 10 or more runs better than average over the course of a season.
   229. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: November 04, 2021 at 02:21 PM (#6051263)
Just a note on framing. For my player rankings, I incorporate framing from the three sources above with each weighted at 0.33. I believe that there are three factors in framing: catcher, pitcher, umpire. But I don’t think I’ve read anything that offers a very clear sense of the proportions their roles play. The pitcher has to hit the target. The Catcher has to frame the pitch with good technique. Umpire has to be appropriately foolable. But also the pitcher and catcher have to agree on the pitch and the location in the first place so there’s some pitcher-handling/game-calling credit to be had in some measure. Anyway, it all seems true but cloudy, so that’s why I don’t give full credit.
   230. kcgard2 Posted: November 05, 2021 at 09:32 AM (#6051376)
By the way, with this talk of catcher framing, Posada was rated as a monstrously bad framer by the metrics, which should lend to some credit for Pettitte for voters who incorporate pitch framing info. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) has Posada in the ranges of -20 to -60(!) RAA per season on pitch framing. Fangraphs' rSZ seems to have more reasonable ranges of runs, but only goes back to 2010. Still, it has Posada as -16 in only 680 innings in 2010. Granted, this was towards the end of Posada's career, but it seems like pitch framing would be a skill that increases with experience, not being much dependent on physical abilities. At any rate, defensive metrics are universally awful for Posada in general, so the point stands.
   231. kcgard2 Posted: November 05, 2021 at 09:52 AM (#6051380)
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) actually has pitch framing covering all of Posada's career, which is interesting to look at. Through 2003 Posada is moderately below average though there are a few seasons in the range of average, but then it gets really bad. 2004-2010 amount to -80 RAA for framing. And, as mentioned, he was losing value compared to the average catcher on everything else, too: blocking pitches, throwing out runners, and steal attempts. BP has him -118 RAA on defense for his career (and -57 on baserunning), leaving Posada with an underwhelming WARP of 33. I'm glad I found these BP legacy leaderboards, they will be ripe for investigation.
   232. Chris Cobb Posted: November 05, 2021 at 07:35 PM (#6051492)
I'm glad I found these BP legacy leaderboards, they will be ripe for investigation.

I found them yesterday also, and they are certainly interesting. From the small number of comparisons I've done so far, it looks like BP's framing numbers are closer in magnitude to Fangraph's FRM than to RszC, so caution about docking Posada as much as the BP numbers indicate might not be warranted. On the other hand, when I've compared the findings of the three systems--BP, FRM, and RszC--I've seen so far that they almost always agree on whether a catcher's framing runs for a given season were positive or negative, and more often than not they agree on what the better and worse seasons were, so I find BP's assessment that Posada was a below average framer to be compelling. Consequently, I've lowered my ranking of Posada a bit, which happens also to raise Pettitte, not because I've adjusted Pettitte's numbers, but because his relative position rises when Posada drops below him.
   233. DL from MN Posted: November 17, 2021 at 09:58 AM (#6053272)
Looks like we're about a month away from voting.
   234. cookiedabookie Posted: November 17, 2021 at 12:38 PM (#6053289)
I'm willing to be a ballot counter again
   235. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: November 26, 2021 at 01:59 PM (#6054675)
kcgard2, was just browsing the lovely HOM site you created. And I have a wish. I wonder if it's possible to post or link to a spreadsheet somewhere that contains the complete list of HOMers, by position. I ask because there's been skillions of times when I've needed to have that simple list, and I end up having to transcribe the info from the plaque room, which is much more difficult than it sounds like. An up to date spreadsheet would be soooooooo convenient.

Thanks!
   236. DL from MN Posted: November 26, 2021 at 02:41 PM (#6054680)
player POS
Anson, Cap 1B
Bagwell, Jeff 1B
Beckley, Jake 1B
Brouthers, Dan 1B
Clark, Will 1B
Connor, Roger 1B
Foxx, Jimmie 1B
Gehrig, Lou 1B
Greenberg, Hank 1B
Helton, Todd 1B
Hernandez, Keith 1B
Killebrew, Harmon 1B
Leonard, Buck 1B
McCovey, Willie 1B
McGwire, Mark 1B
Mize, Johnny 1B
Murray, Eddie 1B
Palmiero, Rafael 1B
Sisler, George 1B
Start, Joe 1B
Suttles, Mule 1B
Terry, Bill 1B
Thomas, Frank 1B
Thome, Jim 1B
Alomar, Roberto 2B
Barnes, Ross 2B
Biggio, Craig 2B
Carew, Rodney 2B
Childs, Cupid 2B
Collins, Eddie 2B
Doerr, Bobby 2B
Fox, Nellie 2B
Frisch, Frankie 2B
Gehringer, Charlie 2B
Gordon, Joe 2B
Grant, Frank 2B
Grich, Bobby 2B
Herman, Billy 2B
Hornsby, Rogers 2B
Johnson, Grant 2B
Kent, Jeff 2B
Lajoie, Nap 2B
McPhee, Bid 2B
Morgan, Joe 2B
Randolph, Willie 2B
Richardson, Hardy 2B
Robinson, Jackie 2B
Sandberg, Ryne 2B
Whitaker, Lou 2B
Allen, Dick 3B
Baker, Frank 3B
Beckwith, John 3B
Boggs, Wade 3B
Boyer, Ken 3B
Brett, George 3B
Collins, Jimmy 3B
Evans, Darrell 3B
Groh, Heinie 3B
Hack, Stan 3B
Jones, Chipper 3B
Mathews, Eddie 3B
McGraw, John 3B
Molitor, Paul 3B
Nettles, Graig 3B
Pearce, Dickey 3B
Robinson, Brooks 3B
Rolen, Scott 3B
Santo, Ron 3B
Schmidt, Mike 3B
Sutton, Ezra 3B
Wilson, Jud 3B
Bench, Johnny C
Bennett, Charlie C
Berra, Yogi C
Bresnahan, Roger C
Campanella, Roy C
Carter, Gary C
Cochrane, Mickey C
Dickey, Bill C
Ewing, Buck C
Fisk, Carlton C
Freehan, Bill C
Gibson, Josh C
Hartnett, Gabby C
Kelly, King C
Mackey, Biz C
McVey, Cal C
Piazza, Mike C
Rodriguez, Ivan C
Santop, Louis C
Simmons, Ted C
Torre, Joe C
Trouppe, Quincy C
White, Deacon C
Ashburn, Richie CF
Averill, Earl CF
Bell, Cool Papa CF
Carey, Max CF
Charleston, Oscar CF
Cobb, Ty CF
Dawson, Andre CF
DiMaggio, Joe CF
Doby, Larry CF
Edmonds, Jim CF
Gore, George CF
Griffey, Ken Jr. CF
Hamilton, Billy CF
Hines, Paul CF
Jones, Andruw CF
Lofton, Kenny CF
Mantle, Mickey CF
Mays, Willie CF
Oms, Alejandro CF
O'Rourke, Jim CF
Pike, Lip CF
Roush, Edd CF
Smith, Reggie CF
Snider, Duke CF
Speaker, Tris CF
Stearnes, Turkey CF
Torriente, Cristobal CF
Wynn, Jim CF
Martinez, Edgar DH
Bonds, Barry LF
Burkett, Jesse LF
Clarke, Fred LF
Delahanty, Ed LF
Goslin, Goose LF
Henderson, Rickey LF
Hill, Pete LF
Irvin, Monte LF
Jackson, Joe LF
Jones, Charley LF
Keller, Charlie LF
Kelley, Joe LF
Kiner, Ralph LF
Magee, Sherry LF
Medwick, Joe LF
Minoso, Minnie LF
Musial, Stan LF
Raines, Tim LF
Ramirez, Manny LF
Sheckard, Jimmy LF
Simmons, Al LF
Stargell, Willie LF
Stovey, Harry LF
Wheat, Zack LF
Williams, Billy LF
Williams, Ted LF
Yastrzemski, Carl LF
Alexander, Pete P
Blyleven, Bert P
Brown, Kevin P
Brown, Mordecai P
Brown, Ray P
Bunning, Jim P
Carlton, Steve P
Caruthers, Bob P
Clarkson, John P
Clemens, Roger P
Cone, David P
Coveleski, Stan P
Drysdale, Don P
Eckersley, Dennis P
Faber, Red P
Feller, Bob P
Ferrell, Wes P
Fingers, Rollie P
Ford, Whitey P
Foster, Bill P
Foster, Rube P
Galvin, Pud P
Gibson, Bob P
Glavine, Tom P
Gossage, Goose P
Griffith, Clark P
Grove, Lefty P
Halladay, Roy P
Hubbell, Carl P
Jenkins, Ferguson P
Johnson, Randy P
Johnson, Walter P
Keefe, Tim P
Koufax, Sandy P
Lemon, Bob P
Lyons, Ted P
Maddux, Greg P
Marichal, Juan P
Martinez, Pedro P
Mathewson, Christy P
McGinnity, Joe P
Mendez, Jose P
Mussina, Mike P
Newhouser, Hal P
Nichols, Kid P
Niekro, Phil P
Paige, Satchel P
Palmer, Jim P
Perry, Gaylord P
Pierce, Billy P
Plank, Eddie P
Radbourn, Charley P
Redding, Dick P
Reuschel, Rick P
Rivera, Mariano P
Rixey, Eppa P
Roberts, Robin P
Rogan, Bullet P
Ruffing, Red P
Rusie, Amos P
Ryan, Nolan P
Saberhagen, Bret P
Santana, Johan P
Schilling, Curt P
Seaver, Tom P
Smoltz, John P
Spahn, Warren P
Spalding, Al P
Stieb, Dave P
Sutton, Don P
Tiant, Luis P
Vance, Dazzy P
Waddell, Rube P
Walsh, Ed P
Wilhelm, Hoyt P
Williams, Joe P
Wynn, Early P
Young, Cy P
Ward, Monte P/SS
Dihigo, Martin P/UT
Aaron, Henry RF
Brown, Willard RF
Browning, Pete RF
Clemente, Roberto RF
Crawford, Sam RF
Evans, Dwight RF
Flick, Elmer RF
Guerrero, Vladimir RF
Gwynn, Tony RF
Heilmann, Harry RF
Jackson, Reggie RF
Kaline, Al RF
Keeler, Willie RF
Ott, Mel RF
Robinson, Frank RF
Rose, Pete RF
Ruth, Babe RF
Sheffield, Gary RF
Slaughter, Enos RF
Thompson, Sam RF
Walker, Larry RF
Waner, Paul RF
Winfield, Dave RF
Appling, Luke SS
Banks, Ernie SS
Boudreau, Lou SS
Cronin, Joe SS
Dahlen, Bill SS
Davis, George SS
Glasscock, Jack SS
Jennings, Hugh SS
Jeter, Derek SS
Larkin, Barry SS
Lloyd, Pop SS
Lundy, Dick SS
Moore, Dobie SS
Reese, Pee Wee SS
Ripken, Cal SS
Sewell, Joe SS
Smith, Ozzie SS
Trammell, Alan SS
Vaughan, Arky SS
Wagner, Honus SS
Wallace, Bobby SS
Wells, Willie SS
Wright, George SS
Yount, Robin SS
   237. kcgard2 Posted: November 26, 2021 at 05:41 PM (#6054698)
Here is the google sheet where I have it stored. Also, in the plaque room on the site, you can click "Fast Facts" and you can get the positional breakdowns much easier than scrolling the plaques as well :)
   238. Bleed the Freak Posted: November 26, 2021 at 06:09 PM (#6054701)
Prelim updated for insights from Dr. Chaleeko and Matthew Cornwell this year.

I review Baseball-Reference, Baseball Gauge, Fangraphs, Tom Thress, CHEWS, PARC-ds, and advanced defensive metrics for catchers when formulating a ballot, along with MLE credit for Negro Leaguers, World Wars, and when players are ready for the bigs but are left in the minors.

1. Alex Rodriguez
2. Thurman Munson
3. Lance Berkman
4. Andy Pettitte
5. David Ortiz
6. Tommy John
7. Tim Hudson
8. Johan Santana
9. Jeff Kent
10. Bobby Abreu
11. Bobby Veach
12. Bert Campaneris
13. Joe Tinker
14. Jason Giambi
15. Jim Sundberg

Others worthy of consideration:
C - Regino Garcia, Jason Kendall, Tony Pena, Wally Schang, Gene Tenace
1B - Julian Castillo, Frank Chance, Luke Easter, Fred McGriff, John Olerud, Ben Taylor
2B - Lonny Frey, Tony Phillips
3B - Sal Bando, Buddy Bell, Ron Cey, Toby Harrah
SS - Dave Bancroft, Art Fletcher, Johnny Pesky, Phil Rizzuto, Vern Stephens
LF - Jose Cruz, George Foster, Brian Giles, Bob Johnson, Roy White
CF - Cesar Cedeno, Willie Davis, Tommy Leach, Dale Murphy, Bernie Williams
RF - Bobby Bonds, Jack Clark, Kiki Cuyler, Tommy Henrich, Harry Hooper, Sammy Sosa
SP - Babe Adams, Kevin Appier, Tommy Bond, Tommy Bridges, Charlie Buffinton, Eddie Cicotte,
Leon Day, Dizzy Dean, Dwight Gooden, Ron Guidry, Orel Hershiser, Cliff Lee, Dolf Luque
Jim McCormick, Tony Mullane, Don Newcombe, Roy Oswalt, Frank Tanana, David Wells, Vic Willis


   239. kcgard2 Posted: November 26, 2021 at 06:35 PM (#6054703)
Bleed (#238)

Johan Santana and Jeff Kent are already inducted. Maybe Appier can slide in as one of their replacements (I'm gonna do a bit of campaigning since why not).

I have rather large disagreements with you on a number of players, but I am contractually obligated to like any ballot with Tommy John 6th. Your ballot seems full of guys who I particularly like, or who I don't have particularly close, but I like it. Your consideration list generally looks like most of the guys I would consider also.
   240. Bleed the Freak Posted: November 26, 2021 at 07:18 PM (#6054711)

239. kcgard2 Posted: November 26, 2021 at 06:35 PM (#6054703)
Bleed (#238)

Johan Santana and Jeff Kent are already inducted. Maybe Appier can slide in as one of their replacements (I'm gonna do a bit of campaigning since why not).

I have rather large disagreements with you on a number of players, but I am contractually obligated to like any ballot with Tommy John 6th. Your ballot seems full of guys who I particularly like, or who I don't have particularly close, but I like it. Your consideration list generally looks like most of the guys I would consider also.


Thanks, I'll look to work up a top 15 revised shortly, I'm also missing some Negro Leaguers for at least the consideration set.
   241. Bleed the Freak Posted: November 26, 2021 at 07:45 PM (#6054713)
1. Alex Rodriguez
2. Thurman Munson
3. Lance Berkman
4. Andy Pettitte
5. Heavy Johnson
6. David Ortiz
7. Tommy John
8. Tim Hudson
9. Bobby Abreu
10. Bobby Veach
11. Bert Campaneris
12. Joe Tinker
13. Jason Giambi
14. Kevin Appier/Orel Hershiser - I lean Orel with a heavier dose of 80s/lower standard deviation play than Appier, but wanted to give your guys a shout kcgard2
15. Jim Sundberg - could be anywhere from #3 to off ballot, just depends on how valuable his defense was.

Others worthy of consideration:
C - Regino Garcia, Jason Kendall, Tony Pena, Wally Schang, Gene Tenace
1B - Frank Chance, Luke Easter, Fred McGriff, John Olerud, Ben Taylor
2B - Lonny Frey, Tony Phillips, George Scales
3B - Sal Bando, Buddy Bell, Ron Cey, Toby Harrah
SS - Dave Bancroft, Bus Clarkson, Art Fletcher, Johnny Pesky, Phil Rizzuto, Vern Stephens
LF - Jose Cruz, George Foster, Brian Giles, Bob Johnson, Hurley McNair, Chino Smith, Roy White
CF - Cesar Cedeno, Willie Davis, Tommy Leach, Dale Murphy, Bernie Williams
RF - Bobby Bonds, Jack Clark, Kiki Cuyler, Tommy Henrich, Harry Hooper, Sammy Sosa
SP - Babe Adams, Tommy Bond, Tommy Bridges, Charlie Buffinton, Eddie Cicotte, Leon Day,
Dizzy Dean, Dwight Gooden, Ron Guidry, Jim Kaat, Cliff Lee, Dolf Luque, Jim McCormick,
Tony Mullane, Don Newcombe, Roy Oswalt, Frank Tanana, David Wells, Vic Willis

As to your question Kris, who are you not in favor of on ballot?
   242. kcgard2 Posted: November 26, 2021 at 10:20 PM (#6054724)
I wouldn't say you have any players that are unreasonable to vote for or I'm "not in favor of." Maybe Bobby Veach, I have him the 15th best corner outfielder available. I'm not sure how you can put him head to head against Brian Giles or Bob Johnson for example and find Veach ahead. He's always seemed like a bit of idiosyncratic vote to me - not a lot of peak, not a lot of longevity either - but I don't want to harp too much. There are a handful who think as you do that he's ballot worthy. I have Campaneris very close in value to Veach as well actually, but again I don't particularly mind votes for him. The last one is Sundberg, which is such an interesting case. I have been very vocal that I'm a huge fan of Sundberg and would love to vote for him and think he probably has more "undiscovered" credit than just about any catcher in history, if it's out there at all. That said, when I'm being honest with myself on what I know from the stats, he's way off ballot. Still, I never begrudge a Sundberg vote because he's one of my pet candidates. That's what I was saying about liking your ballot: even the guys you vote for that I have far off, I still am fine those votes.

I have Ortiz just in the top 70, but I'm pretty sure he's going to be elected in the next year or three, so I am probably more the outlier on him than you are. Hershiser is in a similar range for me, though I don't feel like he's about to get elected. Please choose Appier if you're on the fence between those two, lol. Nah, go with the guy you honestly believe is more meritorious. Also, top 70 is really much closer than it sounds to back of ballot territory, 30-70 range is really tight, so Ortiz/Hershiser is perhaps not as big of a disagreement at it sounds. But thanks for at least the honorary prelim ballot shout out. Just gotta get people saying Appier's name! And next year you'll come around on him ;)
   243. Bleed the Freak Posted: November 26, 2021 at 11:17 PM (#6054728)
242. kcgard2 Posted: November 26, 2021 at 10:20 PM (#6054724)
I wouldn't say you have any players that are unreasonable to vote for or I'm "not in favor of." Maybe Bobby Veach, I have him the 15th best corner outfielder available. I'm not sure how you can put him head to head against Brian Giles or Bob Johnson for example and find Veach ahead. He's always seemed like a bit of idiosyncratic vote to me - not a lot of peak, not a lot of longevity either - but I don't want to harp too much. There are a handful who think as you do that he's ballot worthy. I have Campaneris very close in value to Veach as well actually, but again I don't particularly mind votes for him. The last one is Sundberg, which is such an interesting case. I have been very vocal that I'm a huge fan of Sundberg and would love to vote for him and think he probably has more "undiscovered" credit than just about any catcher in history, if it's out there at all. That said, when I'm being honest with myself on what I know from the stats, he's way off ballot. Still, I never begrudge a Sundberg vote because he's one of my pet candidates. That's what I was saying about liking your ballot: even the guys you vote for that I have far off, I still am fine those votes.

I have Ortiz just in the top 70, but I'm pretty sure he's going to be elected in the next year or three, so I am probably more the outlier on him than you are. Hershiser is in a similar range for me, though I don't feel like he's about to get elected. Please choose Appier if you're on the fence between those two, lol. Nah, go with the guy you honestly believe is more meritorious. Also, top 70 is really much closer than it sounds to back of ballot territory, 30-70 range is really tight, so Ortiz/Hershiser is perhaps not as big of a disagreement at it sounds. But thanks for at least the honorary prelim ballot shout out. Just gotta get people saying Appier's name! And next year you'll come around on him ;)


I'm somewhere between all wet on Veach or underrating him, Kiko's studies and Baseball-Reference don't indicate an especially strong candidate, but Baseball Gauge/DRA defense is enamored with him, showing him as a 65 win player, and an 8 year run with 54 wins with 4 seasons at 7-8 wins. DRA also excludes arm value, with Veach being 4th all-time in assists, this may be some hidden value. Speaking of hidden Value, is Baseball Gauge/DRA picking up on something of Veach being a defensive god that Kiko and B-R are not? With his end in MLB being multi-year and unimpressive, it's probably best not award any MLE credit, but he did mash in the AA from ages 38-40, in modern times, he's likely given rope and he has MLB value...or he retires!

Campaneris is a belief that Baseball-Reference is off in it's evaluation of replacement level for 1970s SS/3B to a minor or medium degree, it's enough to lift him above the 3B candidates remaining from the era. Baseball Gauge is at +8 wins versus Baseball-Reference. He was a "clutch" hitter at +6 wins career.

Sundberg is elite by Max Marchi's game handling and Sean Smith's game calling runs. He was a solid hitter, so even taking some air out of the metrics keeps him interesting for me.

Ortiz is a combination of replacement level's being too harsh for my blood for designated hitters, and allowing credit for his awesome post-season performances.

It becomes razor thin differences the lower you go on the ballot, and that's true to me for Hershiser and Appier. My coin flip goes to Orel with his standout performances coming in a weaker era for pitchers and his playoff dominance compared to Appier gaining in clutch situations but being low on the totem pole for 1990s pitchers.
   244. kcgard2 Posted: November 27, 2021 at 09:36 AM (#6054766)
I knew that Veach had a very strong defensive rep, and simpler stats like range factor and assists play up for him very strongly. I was going to comment that you'd have to buy finding at least 7-10 wins of defensive value that bWAR/fWAR are missing in order to rank him in the area you're ranking him. And it turns out that apparently Baseball Guage finds 17 wins from defense!? You'll pardon me for finding that very difficult to believe, for a LFer without even a long career. If you cut that number in half, it's still a massive difference, and it would be enough to make your ballot placement reasonable. So that's interesting. It would require Veach to be among the best defensive corner outfielders of all time, so it's farther than I'm comfortable going.
   245. Jaack Posted: November 27, 2021 at 04:21 PM (#6054882)
I like Veach, but there are two comparisons that are kind of daming to his case for me.

Veach is worse than Jimmy Sheckard at... just about everything. Less peak, less career, weaker hitter, weaker base-runner. Maybe an equal fielder, but I think I'd take Sheckard based on what data we do have. Now I like Sheckard and think he's a worthy HoM choice, but he's in the bottom quartile. It's hard for me to support a guy who is significantly worse than Sheckard at just about everything.

The other comparison is Roy White. Veach and White are shockingly similar at just about everything. But White has two advantages - tougher competition, and (probably) better base-running.
   246. Bleed the Freak Posted: November 27, 2021 at 10:11 PM (#6054951)
From the early ball era, left fielders were a second center fielder with the large outfield acreage to cover. If Veach was viewed through the Lens of a good to excellent CF, would his candidacy be seen differently? How much did pitchers induce weak contact versus putting the ball in play and letting your fly catchers do the work?

Agree, Veach is Sheckard light.

Roy White had a weak arm while it appears Veach had a good one.

It's been 8 years, but Doc touched on this topic here: https://homemlb.wordpress.com/2013/09/27/outs-in-the-pastures/
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