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Thursday, January 06, 2022

2023 Hall of Merit Ballot Discussion

2023 (December 2022)—elect 3

Top 10 Returning Players
Lance Berkman, Buddy Bell, Thurman Munson, Sal Bando, Bobby Bonds, David Ortiz, Ben Taylor, Vic Willis, Bob Johnson, Tommy John

Newly Eligible Players

Carlos Beltran
John Lackey
Jered Weaver
Jacoby Ellsbury
Jhonny Peralta
Matt Cain
Jayson Werth
J.J. Hardy
Mike Napoli
R.A. Dickey

DL from MN Posted: January 06, 2022 at 06:20 PM | 203 comment(s) | Bookmark
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   1. cookiedabookie Posted: January 07, 2022 at 12:05 AM (#6060116)
To hell with it, let me kick things off with my first preliminary ballot for next year. This will undoubtedly change, as I tend to post a new one every three months or so.

1. Bob Johnson, LF, PHOM 1963
2. Carlos Beltran, CF, PHOM 2023
3. Thurman Munson, C, PHOM 1985
4. Bobby Bonds, RF, PHOM 1987
5. Babe Adams, SP, PHOM 1965
6. Tim Hudson, SP, PHOM 2021
7. Joe Tinker, SS, PHOM 1926
8. Buddy Bell 3B, PHOM 1996
9. Lance Berkman, LF, PHOM 2022
10. Dwight Gooden, SP, PHOM 2006
11. Urban Shocker, SP, PHOM 1937
12. Roy Oswalt, SP, PHOM 2022
13. Jorge Posada, C, PHOM 2021
14. Ron Cey, 3B, PHOM 1997
15. Wally Schang, C, PHOM 1937
16. Mark Buehrle, SP, PHOM 2023
17. Kevin Appier, SP, PHOM 2012
18. Phil Rizzuto, SS, PHOM 1967
19. Luke Easter, 1B, PHOM 1972
20. David Ortiz, 1B, PHOM 2023
21. Heavy Johnson, RF, PHOM 1940
22. Tommy John, SP, PHOM 1995
23. Willie Davis, CF, PHOM 1987
24. David Wright, 3B (likely PHOM in 2027ish)
25. George Scales, 2B, PHOM 2001
   2. Howie Menckel Posted: January 07, 2022 at 12:30 AM (#6060119)
I think we are due for a discussion by position of the holdovers who have multiple supporters yet also are rejected by the bulk of the electorate.

SP
12. Vic Willis 141
14. Tommy John 138
16. Tim Hudson 126
19. Kevin Appier 105
23. Don Newcombe 74
24. Urban Shocker 69
26. Mark Buehrle 57
28. Tommy Bridges 52
30. Babe Adams 50

C
7. Thurman Munson 231
15. Wally Schang 134
21. Jorge Posada 94

1B-OF-DH
5. Lance Berkman 248
9. Barry Bonds 168
9. Davis Ortiz 168
11. Ben Taylor 156
13. Bob Johnson 140
17. Heavy Johnson 126
20. Jason Giambi 104
25. Luke Easter 60
27. John Olerud 52
29. Hurley McNair

Other INF
6. Buddy Bell 247
8. Sal Bando 180
18. Phil Rizzuto 111
22. David Wright 86

of course more cases can be made, but maybe those of us who vote for these guys can try to express what we think the rest of us are missing.

somewhat trivial example, but I vote for Posada. widespread sentiment re HOM voters, I think, is that Jeter was brutal defensively. if Posada was also (and he might be), are we comfortable believing that the Yankees won so many games for so many years in spite of having these utter anchors at two of the three most important defensive positions? I mean, how many games do they win with good 2-way SS and C players?

not saying it's any sort of insurmountable hurdle, but it's worth considering in Posada's case, I think.

and every player has some (better) arguments in their favor. if we hear what their backers are seeing, maybe we change some hearts or maybe we just confirm that we feel like we are on solid ground. works for me either way.

other topics can be something like, are we getting too "hitter-heavy" in our picks etc
   3. Jaack Posted: January 07, 2022 at 12:33 AM (#6060120)
Dustin Pedroia played 3 games in 2018 and 6 in 2019.

Troy Tulowitzki played 0 games in 2018 an 5 in 2019.

Brandon Phillips played 9 games in 2018 and 0 in 2019.

I believe all three are now eligible in addition to those mentioned above.
   4. bachslunch Posted: January 07, 2022 at 06:47 AM (#6060125)
Can we get a definitive call on Dustin Pedroia’s eligibility this year shortly? If he is indeed eligible this time, he’ll be my top available 2B and on ballot.

Thanks!
   5. bachslunch Posted: January 07, 2022 at 10:46 AM (#6060141)
I'll post a preliminary ballot that assumes Dustin Pedroia is eligible this time around. Will change it if it's decided he isn't.

Disclosures: I'm keeping things simple and what I believe to be consistent. Am assuming that all the deserving Negro Leaguers are already enshrined, an opinion seemingly held by several in the electorate. Players are ranked by position first using BBRef WAR amounts for the AL, NL, and PL as the sole determining factor. After that, I collect the top non-pitcher candidates at each position and order them as I think best, scattering anywhere from one to three pitchers into each group. The result is a 15 player ballot and 27 ranked off-ballot players, encompassing 10 pitchers and 4 players from other positions. While these are not popular approaches:

-I do not credit or debit for war, injury, illness, postseason play, or minor league service.
-I treat pitchers from all periods equally, but only consider the NL, AL, and PL legitimate. When considering 19th and early 20th century pitchers, I remove NA, AA, UA, and FL totals, with final numbers being approximate.
-I do not give relievers special treatment.

Will boycott 1st year candidates who bet on games, threw games, impeded players of color, and were caught using PEDs post-2005 (Cano, Braun, N. Cruz, Colon).

1. Carlos Beltran. Best WAR for available CFs.
2. Buddy Bell. Best WAR for available 3B. Have decided to trust the metric for him.
3. Dustin Pedroia. Best WAR for available 2B.
4. Wally Schang. Best WAR for available Cs.
5. Jim McCormick. Best WAR for available pitchers, even when removing all his UA-earned credit. Short career, but played in NL except for one UA season.
6. Bob Johnson. Best WAR for available LFs.
7. Bobby Bonds. Best WAR for available RFs.
8. John Olerud. Best WAR for available 1B.
9. Luis Aparicio. Best WAR for available SS.
10. Vic Willis. Good pitcher WAR, best after McCormick.
11. Willie Davis. Second best WAR for available CFs.
12. Sal Bando. Second best WAR at 3B.
13. Joe Tinker. Second best WAR at SS.
14. Mickey Welch. Good pitcher WAR, best after Willis.
15. Tommy John. Good pitcher WAR, best after Welch.

16-42. Gene Tenace, Jose Cruz, Sam Rice, David Ortiz, Tony Phillips, Mark Buehrle, Thurman Munson, Lance Berkman, Bert Campaneris, Eddie Cicotte, Urban Shocker, Robin Ventura, Buddy Myer, Tony Perez, Harry Hooper, Johnny Damon, Tim Hudson, Fred McGriff, Chet Lemon, Dave Bancroft, Tony Lazzeri, Chuck Finley, Jack Clark, Ron Cey, Jorge Posada, Frank Tanana, Luis Gonzalez.

1B. Olerud, Ortiz, Perez, McGriff, Cash, Teixeira, Giambi
2B. Pedroia, Phillips, Myer, Lazzeri, Evers, Pratt, L. Doyle
SS. Aparicio, Tinker, Campaneris, Bancroft, Fregosi, Rollins, Fletcher
3B. Bell, Bando, Ventura, Cey, Harrah, Elliott, D. Wright
LF. B. Johnson, J. Cruz, Berkman, L. Gonzalez, Downing, Veach, Manush
CF. Beltran, W. Davis, Damon, Lemon, Pinson, Cedeno, Puckett
RF. Bonds, S. Rice, Hooper, J. Clark, Giles, Cuyler, C. Klein
C. Schang, Tenace, Munson, Posada, Kendall, D. Porter, Sundberg
P. McCormick, Willis, M. Welch, John, Buehrle, Cicotte, Shocker, Finley, Hudson, Tanana, Whitney, Hershiser, Uhle, J. Powell, Appier, W. Cooper.

All required disclosure players are on ballot or within top 42 except Ben Taylor; am accepting the idea that there are no viable NeL candidates left. Only Beltran and Pedroia make my ballot among the newcomers.
   6. Chris Cobb Posted: January 07, 2022 at 11:14 AM (#6060149)
For some more food for thought, here's Howie’s positional list of the returning members of top 30 finishers from 2022, rearranged by period. I think the period patterns may be worth considering alongside of the positional groups.

1900-1930
11. Ben Taylor (1B) 156
12. Vic Willis (SP) 141
15. Wally Schang (C) 134
17. Heavy Johnson (OF-1B) 126
24. Urban Shocker (SP) 69
29. Hurley McNair (OF) 51
30. Babe Adams (SP) 50

1930-60
13. Bob Johnson (OF) 140
18. Phil Rizzuto (SS) 111
23. Don Newcomb (SP) 74
25. Luke Easter (1B) 60
28. Tommy Bridges (SP) 52

1960-90
6. Buddy Bell (3B) 247
7. Thurman Munson (C) 231
8. Sal Bando (3B) 180
9. Bobby Bonds (OF) 168
14. Tommy John (SP) 138

1990-2020
5. Lance Berkman (OF-1B) 248
9. Davis Ortiz (DH) 168
16. Tim Hudson (SP) 126
19. Kevin Appier (SP) 105
20. Jason Giambi (1B) 104
21. Jorge Posada (C) 94
22. David Wright (3B) 86
26. Mark Buehrle (SP) 57
27. John Olerud (1B) 52

The electorate made a pretty clear shift toward post-integration candidates this year, spurred by Dr. Chaleeko's calculation of a segregation adjustment. I'd call attention to the fact that it appears that this re-balancing brought a clear set of candidates from the 1960-1990 period (mostly 1970s stars) to the top of the backlog, but that post-1990 candidates did not rise through the pre-1960 candidates to the same extent.

   7. DL from MN Posted: January 07, 2022 at 11:17 AM (#6060151)
SP
12. Vic Willis 141
14. Tommy John 138
16. Tim Hudson 126
19. Kevin Appier 105
23. Don Newcombe 74
24. Urban Shocker 69
26. Mark Buehrle 57
28. Tommy Bridges 52
30. Babe Adams 50

C
7. Thurman Munson 231
15. Wally Schang 134
21. Jorge Posada 94


It is interesting trying to get some consensus. The backlog is so scattered now that 15 ballot slots doesn't really capture how many players are fighting for those spots and which ones have support just off ballot.

For the pitchers "yes" is my answer. Babe Adams isn't PHoM but he's not far off. Vic Willis is the one I'm least impressed with - Dan R's adjustments take a lot of those WAR away. Looking just at BBREF WAR he's clearly qualified so I get it.

For the catchers I have Munson at 19 wins above positional average, same as Posada. I saw someone ask whether a couple more average years would get Munson into my PHoM and the answer is definitely yes. That's literally the difference between Posada and Munson in my spreadsheet - two average years. It doesn't seem like much but it makes a difference in the tightly packed backlog.

   8. DL from MN Posted: January 07, 2022 at 11:45 AM (#6060154)
1B-OF-DH
5. Lance Berkman 248
9. Barry Bonds 168
9. David Ortiz 168
11. Ben Taylor 156
13. Bob Johnson 140
17. Heavy Johnson 126
20. Jason Giambi 104
25. Luke Easter 60
27. John Olerud 52
29. Hurley McNair


This list is less interesting to me. I like the pitchers a lot more than the hitters and I have the hitters in a different order. Ranking just my top hitters:

Bob Johnson
Ben Taylor
Brian Giles (erase his last season and he's 30 WAA by BBREF WAR. There was also no reason for him to be stuck in the minors in 1996 after crushing AAA in both 1995 and 1994)
Norm Cash
Gavy Cravath (if you're going to give credit for Hurley McNair and Heavy Johnson you should for Cravath as well)
David Ortiz (best eligible "hitter" not in my PHoM but I don't have Vlad, Will Clark or Joe Medwick in PHoM)
Luke Easter
Kiki Cuyler
Bobby Bonds
Jose Cruz
Mike Tiernan
Chuck Klein
Heavy Johnson
Jack Clark
Jason Giambi
Lance Berkman
Jack Fournier
John Olerud

I'm not getting Lance Berkman over David Ortiz. Berkman was a really good hitter and a good postseason performer but Ortiz was better at both of those things. If Ortiz sorts his way to the top of the hitters I'm okay with it.
   9. DL from MN Posted: January 07, 2022 at 11:56 AM (#6060157)

Other INF
6. Buddy Bell 247
8. Sal Bando 180
18. Phil Rizzuto 111
22. David Wright 86


Buddy Bell is where WAA and WAPA break down. Dan R gives him 18 career wins above positional average. There were a LOT of good 3B during his career and bbref WAR thinks an average 3B should be net positive WAA. I am likely to induct Concepcion PHoM in the next few elections and I am a big supporter of Campaneris.

I think Rizzuto would already be elected if everyone gave war credit. He was runner-up in both 2009 and 2012 but we have a different mix of voters now.
   10. Rob_Wood Posted: January 07, 2022 at 12:40 PM (#6060164)
Regarding Pedroia, Tulo, and Phillips vis-a-vis the token rule:

The token rule was implemented so that players would enter the HOM ballot with their contemporaries. Back in the day it was fairly common for "retired" players to appear in a few games typically at the end of a subsequent season for novelty or gate reasons (sometimes the player was a coach on the team so logistically this was easy). That element is no longer at play, certainly not for these three guys.

All things considered I suggest the decision on these guys should probably take into account not only the number of appearances but also how long each player was on the roster. To me there is a difference if Player X makes 5 September appearances (and is not with the team previous to that) vs if Player X makes 5 appearances throughout the season (and is on the roster the entire season). I guess the issue is whether they were an "active" player.

Does anybody know/remember the situation for Pedroia, Tulu, and Phillips in 2018 & 2019?


   11. DanG Posted: January 07, 2022 at 01:18 PM (#6060169)
A few years ago it was decided to do away with early eligibility due to token appearances. The consensus was it was more important for our discussion of the candidates to be in conjunction with the BBWAA's consideration of them. This is why Manny Ramirez was elected by the HoM in 2017.

Now that course seems to have reverted back.
   12. DanG Posted: January 07, 2022 at 01:42 PM (#6060170)
Regarding newly eligible players, Francisco Rodriguez deserves a mention. I also checked on foreign league stars who played in MLB. The best newbies I found are Koji Uehara, Nori Aoki, and Hisashi Iwakuma.
   13. DL from MN Posted: January 07, 2022 at 01:58 PM (#6060173)
Top 10 returnees by MMP appearances

Lance Berkman - 6, best showing 7th in 2008
David Ortiz - 6, best showing 9th in 2007
Vic Willis - 4, best showing 6th in 1901
Buddy Bell - 4, best showing 8th in 1981
Bobby Bonds - 4, best showing 9th in 1973
Sal Bando - 3, best showing 10th in 1969
Bob Johnson - 2, best showing 7th in 1944
Thurman Munson - 2, best showing 12th in 1973
Ben Taylor - 1, 14th in 1914
Tommy John - 1, 17th in 1979

Beltran has 5, best showing 2nd in 2006

Everyone eligible with 7 or more appearances has been elected. Among eligible candidates Fred McGriff, Dale Murphy, Jason Giambi and Nomar Garciaparra also have 6 appearances but haven't been elected.
   14. DL from MN Posted: January 07, 2022 at 02:16 PM (#6060175)
Best MMP showings by unelected, eligible pitchers

Don Newcombe - 5 (11th in 1949 and 1956)
Bucky Walters - 4 (1939 MMP)
Dizzy Dean - 4 (3rd 1934, pitching MMP)
Orel Hershiser - 4 (5th 1988, pitching MMP)
Noodles Hahn - 4 (6th 1902)
Vic Willis - 4 (6th 1901)
Cliff Lee - 4 (7th 2011)
Roy Oswalt - 4 (21st 2005)
   15. DL from MN Posted: January 07, 2022 at 02:33 PM (#6060178)
Newcombe missed two full seasons due to military service in between 1949 and 1956.
   16. kcgard2 Posted: January 07, 2022 at 04:41 PM (#6060198)
I'm not getting Lance Berkman over David Ortiz. Berkman was a really good hitter and a good postseason performer but Ortiz was better at both of those things.

Batting plus baserunning: Berkman 422 RAA, Ortiz 408 RAA (Berkman in 2200 fewer PAs). It's not 100% clear to me Ortiz was the superior offensive player. On top of that, there are seasons where Berkman has positive defensive value, which of course Ortiz has none. Peak WAR will favor Berkman because they have roughly the same career WAR but Berkman did it in so much less playing time. I understand Berkman over Ortiz, but then I happen to be one of those.

I saw someone ask whether a couple more average years would get Munson into my PHoM and the answer is definitely yes.

Agree, the answer is definitely yes. The actual quote was:
Let's say he doesn't get on that plane and has 5-6 average seasons. Would that really make him more meritorious?

This would jump him 30+ spots in my rankings easily. However, I object to the concept, as I think imagining 5-6 more average seasons is extremely generous, and even if you think it would have happened I don't think it's allowed to project it in HOM rankings. Injury/death credit is not a thing. I personally think Munson had about 4 WAR left in him (maybe) if he never got on that plane. However, no one knows.

The backlog is so scattered now that 15 ballot slots doesn't really capture how many players are fighting for those spots and which ones have support just off ballot.

100% agreed that this is part of what's happening. I think we'll see a larger consensus on the backlog with weaker classes coming up.
   17. bachslunch Posted: January 07, 2022 at 06:02 PM (#6060206)
Anyway, here's what my ballot will look like at present if Dustin Pedroia isn't eligible.

Disclosures: I'm keeping things simple and what I believe to be consistent. Am assuming that all the deserving Negro Leaguers are already enshrined, an opinion seemingly held by several in the electorate. Players are ranked by position first using BBRef WAR amounts for the AL, NL, and PL as the sole determining factor. After that, I collect the top non-pitcher candidates at each position and order them as I think best, scattering anywhere from one to three pitchers into each group. The result is a 15 player ballot and 27 ranked off-ballot players, encompassing 10 pitchers and 4 players from other positions. While these are not popular approaches:

-I do not credit or debit for war, injury, illness, postseason play, or minor league service.
-I treat pitchers from all periods equally, but only consider the NL, AL, and PL legitimate. When considering 19th and early 20th century pitchers, I remove NA, AA, UA, and FL totals, with final numbers being approximate.
-I do not give relievers special treatment.

Will boycott 1st year candidates who bet on games, threw games, impeded players of color, and were caught using PEDs post-2005 (Cano, Braun, N. Cruz, Colon).

1. Carlos Beltran. Best WAR for available CFs.
2. Buddy Bell. Best WAR for available 3B. Have decided to trust the metric for him.
3. Wally Schang. Best WAR for available Cs.
4. Jim McCormick. Best WAR for available pitchers, even when removing all his UA-earned credit. Short career, but played in NL except for one UA season.
5. Bob Johnson. Best WAR for available LFs.
6. Bobby Bonds. Best WAR for available RFs.
7. John Olerud. Best WAR for available 1B.
8. Tony Phillips. Best WAR for available 2B.
9. Luis Aparicio. Best WAR for available SS.
10. Vic Willis. Good pitcher WAR, best after McCormick.
11. Willie Davis. Second best WAR for available CFs.
12. Sal Bando. Second best WAR at 3B.
13. Joe Tinker. Second best WAR at SS.
14. Mickey Welch. Good pitcher WAR, best after Willis.
15. Tommy John. Good pitcher WAR, best after Welch.

16-42. Gene Tenace, Jose Cruz, Sam Rice, David Ortiz, Buddy Myer, Mark Buehrle, Thurman Munson, Lance Berkman, Bert Campaneris, Eddie Cicotte, Urban Shocker, Robin Ventura, Tony Lazzeri, Tony Perez, Harry Hooper, Johnny Damon, Tim Hudson, Fred McGriff, Chet Lemon, Dave Bancroft, Jack Clark, Chuck Finley, Johnny Evers, Ron Cey, Jorge Posada, Frank Tanana, Luis Gonzalez.

1B. Olerud, Ortiz, Perez, McGriff, Cash, Teixeira, Giambi
2B. Phillips, Myer, Lazzeri, Evers, Pratt, L. Doyle, Gilliam
SS. Aparicio, Tinker, Campaneris, Bancroft, Fregosi, Rollins, Fletcher
3B. Bell, Bando, Ventura, Cey, Harrah, Elliott, D. Wright
LF. B. Johnson, J. Cruz, Berkman, L. Gonzalez, Downing, Veach, Manush
CF. Beltran, W. Davis, Damon, Lemon, Pinson, Cedeno, Puckett
RF. Bonds, S. Rice, Hooper, J. Clark, Giles, Cuyler, C. Klein
C. Schang, Tenace, Munson, Posada, Kendall, D. Porter, Sundberg
P. McCormick, Willis, M. Welch, John, Buehrle, Cicotte, Shocker, Hudson, Finley, Tanana, Whitney, Hershiser, Uhle, J. Powell, Appier, W. Cooper.

All required disclosure players are on ballot or within top 42 except Ben Taylor; am accepting the idea that there are no viable NeL candidates left. Only Beltran makes my ballot among the newcomers.
   18. Jaack Posted: January 07, 2022 at 07:56 PM (#6060217)
Regarding Pedroia, Tulo, and Phillips vis-a-vis the token rule:

The token rule was implemented so that players would enter the HOM ballot with their contemporaries. Back in the day it was fairly common for "retired" players to appear in a few games typically at the end of a subsequent season for novelty or gate reasons (sometimes the player was a coach on the team so logistically this was easy). That element is no longer at play, certainly not for these three guys.

All things considered I suggest the decision on these guys should probably take into account not only the number of appearances but also how long each player was on the roster. To me there is a difference if Player X makes 5 September appearances (and is not with the team previous to that) vs if Player X makes 5 appearances throughout the season (and is on the roster the entire season). I guess the issue is whether they were an "active" player.

Does anybody know/remember the situation for Pedroia, Tulu, and Phillips in 2018 & 2019?


Both Pedroia and Tulo were players trying to come back from injuries, and spent some of those seasons rehabbing in the minors I believe. David Wright is similar, except his brief 2018 return was very much a token appearance in every sense, and he made no other major league appearances between that and his last full season.

At the very least, guys like Wright and Ichiro whose appearances are 100% in line with the Minnie Minoso-type appearances, should continue to count. I think it’s easier to simply continue to abide by the rule than it is to make judgment calls, so I’m still in favor of Pedroia and Tulo being eligibe (I can’t imagine Phillips gets any votes, but he’s notable enough that he should be counted as well).
   19. Jaack Posted: January 07, 2022 at 08:27 PM (#6060220)
I like Chris’ era grouping since I think we are probably pretty good on positional balance at the moment, so staying fair to all eras is probably a bit more of a priority. Not going to comment on everyone, but some players I have thoughts on at the moment.


1900-1930
11. Ben Taylor (1B) 156
12. Vic Willis (SP) 141
15. Wally Schang (C) 134
17. Heavy Johnson (OF-1B) 126
24. Urban Shocker (SP) 69
29. Hurley McNair (OF) 51
30. Babe Adams (SP) 50


Going to focus on the white-league players (specifically pitchers) for a bit, since we have had some fruitful discussions on the Negro League guys as of late already. I’m the main reason that Adams does well enough to be in this group (and even then, only just so). I think he has a more compelling case than Willis – longer career, and less dependent on the uberstat of choice. He does need that minor league credit to get as high on my ballot as he does.

That being said, I think his career is pretty much in line with his contemporaries - he rates out better than both Red Faber and Stan Coveleski for me.

Vic Willis is awfully close to election for a guy who doesn't get much discussion. A big knock for me is his awful bat. His level of production also tracks very harshly with the quality of his infield defense, which is a concerning element for me.

Lastly, Urban Shocker - he kind of looks like a proto-Appier or Oswalt type career. Definitely worth considering, but his peak/volume combination doesn't impress me relative to his peers as much as Oswalt or Appier.


1930-60
13. Bob Johnson (OF) 140
18. Phil Rizzuto (SS) 111
23. Don Newcomb (SP) 74
25. Luke Easter (1B) 60
28. Tommy Bridges (SP) 52


I vote for Johnson and Newcombe. Johnson strikes me as a nice consensus candidate - it's pretty clear he's around the borderline, and I don't think there is strong opposition - even with segregation adjustments, his all-around strong game and total consistency look pretty solid. Lots of space for little bonus points too.

Rizzuto is a tough case - the malaria issues throws a bone in his War credit estimate. What I end up doing is ignoring 1946 completely for the sake of creditting his missing years, although I don't alter that season in any way - in season it's no different from any other injury. WIth all that, I have a hard time seeing his merits over contemporaries Vern Stephens and Johnny Pesky. I have more faith in their bats than Rizzuto's glove.

1960-90
6. Buddy Bell (3B) 247
7. Thurman Munson (C) 231
8. Sal Bando (3B) 180
9. Bobby Bonds (OF) 168
14. Tommy John (SP) 138


Interesting amount of consensus here. Most of these guys are well discussed, but Bonds doesn't get his case made much. He sort of occupies the same space as Bob Johnson in that their merits are pretty clear, they just end up straddling the borderline, waiting for an open year. I imagine if we voted for 20 players a piece, he would rate pretty strongly.

Going to come back for the modern players later, since they should be the focus now that we've essentially cleared out the backlog.
   20. kcgard2 Posted: January 08, 2022 at 03:12 PM (#6060248)
I guess I'm ready to post a pre-lim. If I make any alterations this year, it will probably involve zeroing out negative WAA seasons for early ages (pre-23) and late ages (post-37) in career. I have era adjustments which are shorthand taking care of segregation adjustments currently, but doing that more systematically is the other change I could possibly make this year.

2023 prelim
1. Carlos Beltrán (236) - newcomer is the strongest candidate available
2. Sal Bando (218) - continues in my second slot
3. Buddy Bell (216) - continues in my third slot
4. Tommy John (207) - the induction of Abreu slides John up one spot
5. Bobby Bonds (205) - I remain surprised that he hasn't been inducted earlier, he was the best available player in at least half a dozen prior elections IMO
6. Lance Berkman (200) - I think he's probably getting elected this year, a worthy selection if so
7. Roy Oswalt (196) - Oswalt and those below are all moving up three spots, with the elections of Sosa and Pettitte
8. Robin Ventura (191)
9. Brian Giles (191) - a couple guys who didn't have the stand-out feel, but they had a lot of value. I think people are starting to come on board with Giles
10. Kevin Appier (189) - my stumping(?) resulted in six ballot adds last election, and at least two more had him in the 16-20 range. Time for his candidacy to pick up steam and move in!
11. Bob Johnson (187) - has been on my ballot every year I've voted
12. Chuck Finley (186) - another didn't-feel-like-it guy, has always been in the 20-30 range for me until some revisions and weaker classes bring him here
13. Ron Cey (186) - everyone on my ballot is pHOM by the way
14. John Olerud (184) - perennially 16-20 range finally moves on ballot
15. Chet Lemon (182) - my choice for best available CF, although Cesar Cedeño and Willie Davis are virtual ties here; the others received votes last year

16. David Wright
17. Mickey Lolich
18. Cliff Lee - I found a typo in my calculations for Noodles Hahn, so he moved down to #59 when I fixed it (this is where he was before)
19. Jerry Koosman - if I'm being honest I don't love the candidacies of Koosman or Lolich, but to be internally consistent they rank here
20. Mark Buehrle - a nice clump of pitchers here waiting to move on ballot, three of the next four after this are pitchers also

Newcomers
60. Dustin Pedroia - debuts one slot ahead of franchise mate Jim Rice and six slots ahead of teammate David Ortiz
147. Troy Tulowitzki - I didn't realize just how short his career ended up being, not in the same league as Nomar for short career peaks
222. John Lackey
252. Jered Weaver
294. Jacoby Ellsbury

Brandon Phillips was a personal favorite and a joy to watch, but barely missed my cutoffs for keeping in my rankings, would rank roughly 320. J.J. Hardy, Jhonny Peralta, Jayson Werth, and Matt Cain also all just missed and would be in the same range. This class was full of guys right around that 300th best available area.
   21. Bleed the Freak Posted: January 08, 2022 at 03:35 PM (#6060251)
2. Sal Bando (218) - continues in my second slot
3. Buddy Bell (216) - continues in my third slot


What are your thoughts on the glut of 3B being generally overrated by WAR.
Dan Rosenheck's studies indicated that SS were underrated vs 3B, particularly in a comparison between Bando and Campaneris.
For Buddy Bell, Kiko's W-L records indicate Bell isn't even a real candidate.

Do you see risk with your #2 and #3 picks, and the electorate in general to enshrining these two?
These guys have a real chance to make it, and I would loathe no discussion to take place in our 2023 thread here and them to cross the line.

Thanks all!

8. Robin Ventura (191) - UZR is a big fan, but DRA and Kiko just like rather than love his defense and he's not on my radar.

Kiko's research move Finley and Lemon off radar, Chet's also at nearly negative 10 wins clutch.

I'm a fan of the rest of your picks though : )
   22. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: January 08, 2022 at 03:53 PM (#6060253)
Hey, everyone, just an update. Thanks to the talk about Heavy Johnson, we've identified a couple places where MLEs can be sharpened up. In addition, I'm working on some other very extensive and intensive analysis. The last two sentences encompass three large research/testing projects. Here's the mods I'm exploring:
1) Tightening up fielding conversions from DRA to Rfield (don't know yet what directional affect this will have or to what degree)
2) Exploring ways to improve projections for seasons with no data (ditto, though it will def differ by candidate)
3) Trying to nail improve accuracy of QoP ratings (this would have a universal effect, though its directionality may differ by league and by season)

My guess is that I won't be able to report too much until late Q2 or Q3 this year. With all of them going at once plus trying to launch a new website, I've got a lot of plates spinning. So I would caution to say that MLEs are slightly provisional at this time. Well, they kind of always are...but I'm aware of three places currently where they could change, but I can't tell you what the likely result yet will be shaped like. I'll report out as results warrant.
   23. Bleed the Freak Posted: January 08, 2022 at 04:02 PM (#6060254)
9. Luis Aparicio. Best WAR for available SS.
13. Joe Tinker. Second best WAR at SS.

14. Mickey Welch. Good pitcher WAR, best after Willis.
15. Tommy John. Good pitcher WAR, best after Welch.


Does WAA or other forms of WAR besides Baseball-Reference play in to your evaluations?
Aparicio is a ahead by a smidge, but Tinker is up on WAA, as well as WAY ahead with DRA/Baseball Gauge.

While Welch is ahead by .5 WAR, could John's 5.3 "clutch" value bump him ahead of Smiling Mickey, or a bump for John performing excellent in the strike shortened 1981 season?
   24. Mike Webber Posted: January 08, 2022 at 04:03 PM (#6060255)
With Thurman Munson on the cusp of election I wanted to put together some data and work through why I have not been voting for him, or even strongly considering him. In the past when this has happened it’s be because I am wrong, or there is an obvious reason why some are giving a player credit for something that I am not. So here is a list of people that played at least 500 games at catcher that either A) got votes in the most recent election or B) have 40+ BB Ref WAR and are not in the HOM. Sorted by win shares.

Each player shows their WAR total, their Win Share total, whether they had MVP type seasons or Actual MVP awards to help identify players who should receive some type of peak credit, and how many 20+ win share seasons they had – which are roughly all-star type seasons.

Also, list are their games started at catcher and their total games at catcher, plus their starts at other positions. Some of these guys played a lot at other positions, some were likely platoon players at some point with a lot of partial games at catcher, or defensive replacements possibly. Brian Downing’s career starts at DH and LF are both greater than his total games at catcher, so does he even merit consideration as the best available catcher?

Also noted WW1, WW2, and strike credit candidates.



Brian Downing 51.5 BBref - 298 Win Shares, zero MVP type (30 Win Share) seasons, 6 seasons 20+ Win Shares
Starts by position - DH 790, LF 713, C 610 (675 games total at catcher), 37 RF, 4 3b
1981 Strike Credit?


Jorge Posada 42.7 BBref - 258 Win Shares, zero MVP type (30 Win Share) seasons, 7 seasons 20+ Win Shares.
Starts by position - C 1450 (1574 games total at catcher), DH 166, 1b 26


Wally Schang 47.9 BBref - 245 Win Shares, zero MVP type (30 Win Share) seasons, 3 seasons 20+ Win Shares (In 1919 he had 19 Win Shares calling it 20 for short season).
Starts by position - C 1289 (1435 games total at catcher), 163 OF, 54 3b

43 Starts at 3b 1915, OF Starts – 41 in 1915, 62 in 1916, 37 in 1920. Looks like after Mack sold off his stars due to the Federal League he moved Schang around a couple of seasons for whatever reason.

WW1 Credit

Jason Kendall 41.7 BBref - 245 Win Shares, zero MVP type (30 Win Share) seasons, 6 seasons 20+ Win Shares.
Starts by position - C 1990 (2025 games total at catcher), OF 27, DH 3

Strike Credit 1994/1995


Gene Tenace 46.8 BBref - 231 Win Shares, ONE MVP type (30 Win Share) seasons, 7 seasons 20+ Win Shares.

Starts by position - C 759 (892 games total at catcher), 517 1b, 14 3b, 7 OF, 5 DH – 1297 GS – 1551 Games Played

Darrell Porter 40.8 BBref – 222 Win Shares, ONE MVP type (30 Win Share) seasons, 2 seasons 20+ Win Shares.

Starts by position - C 1430 (1506 games total at catcher), DH 130.

Thurman Munson 46.1 BBref - 206 Win Shares, zero MVP type (30 Win Share) seasons but ONE actual MVP award, 5 seasons 20+ Win Shares.

Starts by position - C 1263 (1278 games total at catcher), DH 74, OF 24, 1b 5, 3b 1.

Elston Howard 27.0 BBref - 203 Win Shares, One MVP type (30 Win Share) seasons – but also a 28 and a 29, One actual MVP, 4 seasons 20+ Win Shares.

Starts by position - C 1065 (1138 games total at catcher), OF 228, 1b 79, 3b 1.


Jim Sundberg 40.5 BBref - 200 Win Shares, zero MVP type (30 Win Share) seasons, 2 seasons 20+ Win Shares.
Starts by position - C 1775 (1927 games total at catcher), OF 2, DH 1.


And coming attractions:

Buster Posey 44.9 BBref - 243 Win Shares, TWO MVP type (30 Win Share) seasons – plus a 29, ONE actual MVP, 7 seasons 20+ Win Shares.
Starts by position - C 1063 (1093 games total at catcher), 1b 201, DH 31.

Yadier Molina 42.1 BBref - 297 Win Shares, zero MVP type (30 Win Share) seasons but TWO 29 Win Share seasons, 4 seasons 20+ Win Shares.
Starts by position - C 2041 (2107 games total at catcher), DH 4, 1b 5.


   25. Bleed the Freak Posted: January 08, 2022 at 04:25 PM (#6060258)
And coming attractions:

Buster Posey 44.9 BBref - 243 Win Shares, TWO MVP type (30 Win Share) seasons – plus a 29, ONE actual MVP, 7 seasons 20+ Win Shares.
Starts by position - C 1063 (1093 games total at catcher), 1b 201, DH 31.

Yadier Molina 42.1 BBref - 297 Win Shares, zero MVP type (30 Win Share) seasons but TWO 29 Win Share seasons, 4 seasons 20+ Win Shares.
Starts by position - C 2041 (2107 games total at catcher), DH 4, 1b 5.


If we are looking across the horizon, Joe Mauer is above the thresshold, while Russell Martin and Brian McCann would be with framing/advanced defensive metric credit. Tony Pena, Mike Scioscia, and Javy Lopez could fall into this bucket for eligible candidates.
   26. kcgard2 Posted: January 08, 2022 at 05:31 PM (#6060260)
What are your thoughts on the glut of 3B being generally overrated by WAR.
Dan Rosenheck's studies indicated that SS were underrated vs 3B, particularly in a comparison between Bando and Campaneris.
For Buddy Bell, Kiko's W-L records indicate Bell isn't even a real candidate.

Obviously, I do not agree with the analysis saying shortstops should have been receiving all this credit that WAR is giving to third basemen. I'm not a fan of using positional averages to determine value baselines, because positional talent fluctuates naturally. There are up and down periods in talent for all positions. I see 70s third base vs shortstop as one of these cases, primarily. Also, it's possible that conventional baseball wisdom was actively causing a down period for overall shortstop talent at this time due to stereotypes about what a shortstop had to do or be, or possibly due to stadium characteristics, or due to prevailing playing style, or all of the above.

Where is the value for shortstops coming from? Did they field a drastically higher rate of groundballs in the 70s as compared to the 60s or 80s? Range Factor per 9 shows that shortstops (in the NL) made 101.3 plays in the 1970s for every 100 plays they made in the 1960s. However, how much of this could be attributed to stolen base tendencies as opposed to "fielding plays"? Caught stealings increased 50% per game in the 1970s over the 1960s. That equates to 0.2 putouts per game, which over 162 games = 4% increase in fielding opportunities (if SS fielded all of them), if we say SS are only fielding half of the caught stealing plays they would account for a 2% increase in RF/9 by themselves from the 60s to the 70s. And shortstops actually had an RF/9 increase of 1.3%. Third base RF/9 from the 60s to 70s was virtually unchanged (99.7 plays in the 70s per 100 in the 60s). I don't see how shortstop talent massively outpaced third base talent here. In fact, if shortstops handled even half of the caught stealing plays, third basemen improved compared to shortstops from the 60s to the 70s. Admittedly RF is a rather crude measure.

Do you see risk with your #2 and #3 picks, and the electorate in general to enshrining these two?
These guys have a real chance to make it, and I would loathe no discussion to take place in our 2023 thread here and them to cross the line.

I see that as deserving rather than as a risk. We should absolutely discuss it.

8. Robin Ventura (191) - UZR is a big fan, but DRA and Kiko just like rather than love his defense and he's not on my radar.

UZR is IMO the best defensive system prior to the era of statcast measurements. Ventura also had a very strong contemporary defensive rep, FWIW.

Kiko's research move Finley and Lemon off radar, Chet's also at nearly negative 10 wins clutch.

A lot of the questions or objections here refer to Kiko's system. With every bit of due respect to Kiko, I am not a particular fan of his system though I do check it. That is a very large clutch imbalance for Chet that I haven't explored. Sosa is the only player I've actively demerited for unclutch in the past, because it was so large. I don't intend to incorporate clutch systematically because I'm not sure it's anything other than random variation combined with broad hitting profile as others have mentioned before. However, I may re-examine Lemon to see how big the effect is there. I could certainly see it moving him behind the other CFs I mentioned if I act on it.

I'm a fan of the rest of your picks though : )

Yes, your ballot and my ballot are usually quite complementary of each other's. You tend to have my "favorite" ballot among other voters as well.
   27. Bleed the Freak Posted: January 08, 2022 at 08:35 PM (#6060272)
UZR is IMO the best defensive system prior to the era of statcast measurements. Ventura also had a very strong contemporary defensive rep, FWIW.


Interesting, I have the opposite gut feeling, and get the impression that DRA and Thress do a better job of measuring defense than does TZ, do you have maybe a quick summary for why you feel this way? The book by Humphreys and the discussions at the Hall of Miller and Eric have swayed me to have more confidence in DRA vs UZR. For Kiko's, being able to compare players in various components seems to track some things that the other systems are not capturing.

I was able to dig up AN OLD post noting the Bando vs Campaneris, 3B vs SS debate, not saying you are wrong, but I think it's worth reviewing once more:

https://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/hall_of_merit/discussion/dan_rosenhecks_warp_data/P600
695. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: November 25, 2009 at 01:08 AM (#3396193)

Sal Bando

YEAR SFrac RBWAA RBRWAA RFWAA RRepl RWARP1 LgAdj RWARP2 | SBWAA SBRWAA SFWAA SRepl SWARP1
1967 0.22 -0.5 0.1 0.1 -0.4 0.0 0.985 0.0 | -0.2 0.0 0.7 -0.5 1.0
1968 1.01 0.7 0.2 0.6 -1.8 3.4 1.003 3.4 | 0.7 0.1 -0.1 -2.5 3.2
1969 1.08 5.2 -0.2 -0.6 -1.8 6.3 0.948 6.0 | 6.1 0.1 0.2 -2.5 8.9
1970 0.93 3.3 -0.4 -0.4 -1.7 4.3 0.949 4.1 | 3.0 0.1 0.4 -2.6 6.2
1971 0.95 3.2 -0.3 -0.5 -1.8 4.2 0.962 4.0 | 3.0 -0.1 0.7 -2.7 6.3
1972 0.99 1.6 0.2 0.9 -2.0 4.8 0.970 4.7 | 1.1 0.2 1.1 -2.7 5.1
1973 1.00 4.5 0.0 -1.7 -2.1 4.9 0.947 4.6 | 5.2 0.1 -0.7 -2.8 7.3
1974 0.89 2.7 0.4 -1.4 -1.8 3.5 0.963 3.4 | 3.2 0.1 -0.4 -2.4 5.3
1975 0.97 0.3 0.2 0.4 -2.0 2.9 0.943 2.7 | 0.3 0.2 0.5 -2.6 3.6
1976 0.94 2.4 0.2 0.3 -2.1 5.0 0.948 4.7 | 2.7 0.1 0.2 -2.7 5.7
1977 0.97 0.3 0.1 -0.1 -2.2 2.6 0.907 2.4 | -0.3 0.4 0.7 -2.2 3.0
1978 0.93 2.7 0.1 0.7 -2.2 5.7 0.919 5.2 | 2.4 0.1 0.9 -2.3 5.8
1979 0.79 -1.3 0.1 -0.5 -1.8 0.1 0.913 0.1 | -1.4 0.0 -0.3 -1.8 0.1
1980 0.42 -1.4 -0.1 -0.3 -1.0 -0.8 0.929 -0.7 | -1.2 -0.1 -0.3 -0.8 -0.8
1981 0.16 -0.3 0.0 -0.3 -0.3 -0.3 0.950 -0.3 | 0.0 -0.2 0.0 -0.2 0.0
TOTL 12.25 23.4 0.6 -2.8 -25.0 46.6 0.951 44.3 | 24.7 1.2 3.7 -31.1 60.7
TXBR 11.67 25.1 0.7 -2.2 -23.7 47.7 0.950 45.3 | 25.9 1.3 4.0 -30.3 61.5
AVRG 1.00 1.9 0.0 -0.2 -2.0 3.8 0.951 3.6 | 2.0 0.1 0.3 -2.5 5.0


Sean and I clearly see Bando's offense the same way. We have a significant but not enormous disagreement on his fielding---Sean sees him as a slightly above average fielder, me as a slightly below one. (I'm really not sure what to make of this, since SFR thinks Bando was a brilliant 3B and DRA a meaningfully below average one; the truth probably lies somewhere in the middle). And we have a yawning gap on the intrinsic value of playing third base. I see 3B during Bando's prime as a dead mid-spectrum position, no different than it is today, while Sean has it as glove position, not far from where he puts modern SS. (Note that my view and Sean's converge starting in around 1977).

Dagoberto Campaneris

YEAR SFrac RBWAA RBRWAA RFWAA RRepl RWARP1 LgAdj RWARP2 | SBWAA SBRWAA SFWAA SRepl SWARP1
1964 0.42 -0.6 0.2 -0.5 -1.7 0.9 0.983 0.9 | -0.4 0.0 -0.7 -0.9 -0.2
1965 0.94 0.5 0.3 -1.4 -3.7 3.2 0.977 3.1 | -0.3 0.2 -1.2 -1.8 0.5
1966 0.91 -0.3 0.9 -0.6 -3.7 3.7 0.999 3.7 | 0.4 1.0 -0.5 -2.7 3.5
1967 0.97 -0.9 0.7 -0.8 -4.1 3.2 0.985 3.2 | -0.5 0.3 -0.8 -2.6 1.6
1968 1.06 1.9 0.6 0.7 -4.5 7.6 1.003 7.6 | 1.5 0.3 1.0 -3.1 5.9
1969 0.86 -1.9 1.2 0.1 -4.0 3.3 0.948 3.1 | -1.3 1.0 1.1 -2.3 3.1
1970 0.95 1.4 0.6 1.0 -4.5 7.4 0.949 7.0 | 1.3 0.3 1.0 -3.0 5.6
1971 0.91 -1.7 0.7 0.3 -4.2 3.4 0.962 3.3 | -1.5 0.8 1.0 -2.6 2.9
1972 1.05 -1.7 1.1 1.7 -4.6 5.8 0.970 5.6 | -1.1 0.7 1.5 -3.1 4.2
1973 0.97 -1.4 0.4 1.8 -4.4 5.3 0.947 5.0 | -1.0 0.3 2.0 -2.9 4.2
1974 0.85 1.1 0.4 0.7 -3.9 6.1 0.963 5.9 | 1.6 0.4 0.7 -2.7 5.4
1975 0.84 -0.3 0.2 -0.2 -3.8 3.5 0.943 3.3 | -0.1 0.0 0.1 -2.6 2.6
1976 0.91 0.0 0.5 0.4 -4.0 5.0 0.948 4.7 | -0.1 0.3 0.9 -3.0 4.1
1977 0.89 -1.2 0.0 1.7 -4.1 4.6 0.907 4.2 | -1.1 -0.3 1.7 -3.0 3.3
1978 0.44 -2.4 0.3 -0.2 -2.0 -0.3 0.919 -0.3 | -2.5 0.2 0.0 -1.5 -0.8
1979 0.40 -1.6 -0.1 0.4 -1.8 0.5 0.913 0.5 | -1.1 0.1 -0.3 -1.3 0.0
1980 0.33 -0.6 -0.1 -0.4 -1.5 0.3 0.929 0.3 | -0.7 0.0 -0.5 -1.0 -0.2
1981 0.20 0.0 0.0 -0.7 -0.4 -0.2 0.950 -0.2 | -0.3 0.0 -0.3 -0.5 -0.2
1983 0.22 0.1 -0.4 -0.2 -0.6 0.1 0.954 0.1 | 0.3 -0.4 -0.3 -0.6 0.2
TOTL 14.12 -9.6 7.5 3.8 -61.5 63.4 0.962 61.0 | -6.8 5.1 6.4 -41.0 45.7
TXBR 13.48 -7.2 7.2 4.7 -59.1 63.9 0.962 61.5 | -2.9 4.9 7.9 -37.2 47.1
AVRG 1.00 -0.7 0.5 0.3 -4.4 4.5 0.962 4.3 | -0.5 0.4 0.5 -2.9 3.2


Once more, we have similar takes on overall value above average, with Sean slightly more kind to Campaneris. (It's worth noting here that SFR has Campaneris as an otherworldly +144 shortstop, and DRA also gives him a superb +109. With that kind of defense and baserunning value, Campaneris's case is far stronger than I make it here, where old BP FRAA and Fielding Win Shares thought he was merely good). It's that replacement level column that is night and day: Sean has SS a mere 2.5 runs per year more valuable in the 70's than it is today (which I think he himself recognizes is a fudge, due to the arbitrary +10 cap he places on positional adjustments...right, Sean? Kind of like Bill James's cap on Fielding WS). By contrast, as everyone in the HoM knows, I see 70's SS as the toughest position to fill at any point in MLB history. If you could even provide league-average offense at the position back then, you were an All-Star in my book. I have offered two potential explanations for this phenomenon: the mega-expansion of the 1960's, which hurt SS more than (say) LF/RF due to the intrinsic scarcity of the position, and the advent of turf ballparks.

As a reminder, I derive my positional weights by starting with Nate Silver's findings on the aggregate performance of Freely Available Talent (MLB players over age 27 earning less than twice the minimum salary), and adjusting them over time based on the performance of worst 3/8 of everyday players at each position. Sean gets his by studying the fielding of position-switchers over ten-year periods (e.g. 1970-1980).
   28. kcgard2 Posted: January 08, 2022 at 10:40 PM (#6060281)
The central issue is framable in one of two ways: saying replacement level is unique to each position, or saying that the position adjustment is wrong, they mean the same thing. DanR and Kiko and others believe that the position adjustment for 3B vis-a-vis SS in the 1970s is miscalibrated. They base this belief on the observation that SS hit like trash during that decade, and 3B hit well. They do not base it on the intrinsic difficulty of fielding the positions or other such investigations. This is my fundamental disconnect and disagreement with their approach. They assume that since teams didn't put players who could hit at SS, that players who could have both played there adequately and hit didn't exist at all, and furthermore that teams in the 70s were in fact making optimal roster decisions. Second, they assume that talent distributions should be uniform across positions across time, which we see not to be the case for numerous positions at numerous times in history, but nowhere else is it argued that WAR is flawed for not explicitly dealing with it, only SS vs 3B in the 70s.

bWAR in fact has positional values for 3B and SS constant for every year from 1960 through 1978. So what happened all of a sudden in the 70s that this relative value became wrong? Turf fields started showing up, but why did this make difficulty so much higher for shortstops without also making it higher for third basemen?

Let me examine the question from a different angle. Sal Bando vs Bert Campaneris. I will use bWAR values for simplicity. Bando's offense was 220 runs above league average, Campaneris' offense was 2 runs above league average. On offense, Bando was worth 218 more runs than Campaneris. Campaneris was 63 runs above average on fielding among SSs, Bando 36 runs among 3B. Virtually all of their career fielding was at 3B and SS respectively, and with the 9 run position adjustment for SS and 3 for 3B spanning the large majority of their careers, we see Campaneris gaining 128 position runs and Bando gaining 38. Campaneris has a 90 run advantage here (with the heart of the argument being that this should be higher). That leaves Bando's total runs edge in WAR from offense+defense at 128 runs. We have to account for replacement runs because Campy had 1350 more career PAs, the difference is 30 so Bando's runs edge in WAR is 98, equalling about the 8 WAR difference overall in bWAR.

Now to argue that WAR is miscalibrated on position adjustment to the extent that Campaneris is the better player, we are saying that Bando, +3 runs per 650 PA as a defensive 3B, would have averaged -11 runs as a shortstop for his career (nearly the worst of all time - I believe only Jeter is worse among career SSs). Alternatively, that Campy, a +4.25 defensive SS, would have been +13 for his career as a 3B (nearly the best of all time, behind only Brooks Robinson I believe). I personally find it too difficult to believe that the discrepancy can be that great. But that is what position-specific replacement levels would say based on positional offense during this timeframe.
   29. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: January 08, 2022 at 11:53 PM (#6060284)
They assume that since teams didn't put players who could hit at SS, that players who could have both played there adequately and hit didn't exist at all,

Which is belied by the existence of Toby Harrah.

Jason Kendall... Strike Credit 1994/1995

Kendall debuted in 1996 at age 22 (well, 21 on Opening Day, turned 22 in June); he spent 1995 hitting fairly well in AA ball.
   30. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: January 09, 2022 at 12:17 AM (#6060286)
SS vs. 3B from this period... Back in the day I invested some level of effort into playing around with my own WAR system. I never finished it, mostly because I didn't want to try to figure out fielding, but I did come up with something I was fairly happy with on offense at least. Instead of looking at the worst regulars as a proxy for bench players, I looked at actual bench players - that is, players who had less than 1/18 of their team's plate appearances (i.e. less than half of regular play). I don't have the data fully available, but I do happen to have 1953-1984, which matches what we're looking at pretty well. Taking a moving weighted average of the surrounding years, I get the following evolution of backup SS vs. backup 3B for that three-decade period (hitting only, using BaseRuns added to a lineup of average non-pitcher hitters):

From 1955-65, backup shortstops hung out in a pretty consistent neighborhood, roughly 71-74% as productive as an average hitter. From '66 to '77, they drop into the 60s, going as low as 64% in '72-'73, then climb into the 70s again by the end of the decade.

Third base, meanwhile, hangs around 82-84% in the '50s, drops to around 80 for most of the '60s, back into the mid-80s in the early '70s, down to 81-82 in the mid '70s, and then climbs into the mid-high 80s at the turn of the decade.

So bench warmers at least exhibit something of the same behavior as the worst regulars; the relative production of SS vs. 3B is reasonably steady from the mid '50s to the mid '60s, then craters in the early '70s before rebounding partly but not entirely as the '80s begin. Whether the magnitude of the shift is equivalent to what Dan and Kiko's system indicates, I don't have a good way of capturing given the format my numbers are in.
   31. Chris Cobb Posted: January 09, 2022 at 01:30 AM (#6060290)
I agree completely with kcgard, but I would emphasize a somewhat different aspect of the situation. It's basically this: we see an unusual number of outstanding third basemen not because there is a random blip in the talent sorter that puts the best talent at third base. Rather, the conditions of the game in the 1970s and 1980s gave competitive advantages to the types of player that could play third base, and the top players figured out how to actualize those potential advantages into real, on-the-field value. The positional average analysis essentially wants to penalize the third basemen for being more successful than players at other positions in being good at baseball as it was being played at that time.

We know that competitive advantage accrues to positions unevenly as playing conditions change. Grandfathered spitballers had a competitive advantage in the 1920s, and they are numbered quite disproportionately among the top pitchers of that decade. In the deadball era, power hitting was greatly amplified in value if it was joined with speed, so the top players were the speedy outfielders and shortstops who could also drive the ball, enabling them to rack up doubles and triples when home runs were generally out of reach. Conversely, players at the positions where speed was not needed--first base and catcher--had less offensive impact, even when they were really good at hitting for power, because a slow power hitter couldn't offset the negative effects of lack of footspeed by hitting the ball over the fence. We know this to be true, and we haven't been greatly fussed about having a dearth of HoM first basemen from 1900-1920. When the game changed to make being a home-run hitter a dominant offensive strategy, we see a bunch of "talent" suddenly emerge at first base: Gehrig, Foxx, Greenberg, Suttles. The 1930s are packed with first basemen who are talented baseball players because they can hit a lot of home runs. It's not really a random blip of talent: rather, it's players who have the talents that are optimized to the style of play using those talents to accrue value. The fact of the matter is that, uniquely in the history of baseball, in the 1970s and 1980s, the players who had the skill set that was optimized for the style of play at the time were the third basemen. Let's look at how this comes about.

The positional average case would seem to argue that it comes about because it got easier, relatively, to play third base, but there isn't any fielding based evidence of such a change, and what would we say about the history of the game that would suggest that such a change took place? In the 1930s and 1940s, it did actually become easier to play third base as small-ball was reduced in importance, while at the same time the double play rose in importance as the number of baserunners increased. Consequently, second base and third base swapped places on the defensive spectrum, as is well known. Nothing like that happened in the 1970s. In fact, small ball was becoming more important, and the speed of infields was increasing. There's nothing to suggest that third base became easier to play during this time. To see why third basemen's offensive value rose, then, we need to look in a different direction.

The offensive rise of third basemen comes about because the conditions of the game become unfavorable in multiple ways for big home-run hitters. First and foremost, the trend toward larger stadiums requires power hitters to hit the ball farther to get it over the fence. As a result, trying for home runs becomes a less optimal offensive strategy, and it becomes impossible to hit a lot of home runs and hit for very high average. Second, the hard astroturf surfaces in the large stadiums destroys the knees and backs of players carrying a lot of weight, so players who are strong enough to hit the longer drives needed to get out of the bigger ballparks have trouble staying healthy enough to play. Third, the astroturf also speeds up the field, so that more defensive quickness at first base becomes advantageous, just as speed does in the outfield. The result of these changes is that we get a period in baseball history in which there are fewer outfielders and first basemen than usual who can actually outhit the third basemen, while the increased defensive demands of the large, astroturf stadia accrue fairly equally to all positions. Thus, the defensive spectrum doesn't shift significantly, yet certain kinds of high-offense players who used to thrive at certain positions no longer do so. Therefore, the game as a whole shifts away from offense towards defense, but as a group, third basemen are the least diminished: their relative offensive profile rises. As a result, the kind of athlete who can play third base is the kind of athlete who is well positioned to be a top-notch offensive player and defensive player--not because third base has become easier, but because the style of play and its physical demands have eliminated (or at least handicapped) the competition.

We can see this change in a review of the top hitters of the period. In the 1970s and the 1980s, unlike any of the surrounding decades, top offensive performance is not the exclusive province of home run hitters. Mike Schmidt and Reggie Jackson, the two top home run hitters, are still among the best offensive players, but other types of hitters are equally effective. On the one hand, there is the power/speed/plate discipline offensive model perfected by Joe Morgan and Rickey Henderson, and on the other hand there is the high-contact/line-drive doubles/some home-run pop model exemplified by Wade Boggs, George Brett, Pete Rose, and Rod Carew. Both these approaches, which don't put home runs first, are sufficient to bring hitters into the very top tier of offensive success during this period. The diversified offense in major league baseball in the 1970s and 1980s results in many of the top offensive players of the period being third basemen, more than in any other period.

If you look at the makeup of the HoM from the 1970s and 1980s, you'll see that in this decade, lumbering first basemen and corner outfielders just weren’t what they used to be. Willie MCovey’s and Willie Stargell’s capacity to be dominant power hitters was limited because their knees were destroyed. Greg Luzinski's career was derailed because he just couldn't make it even as a leftfielder in the big stadium outfields. Although power still plays because its value increases in a low-scoring context, many power hitters have to sacrifice a nearly untenable amount of batting average for the power they generate. Dave Kingman, Gorman Thomas, Tony Armas, and the like have decent careers even though their batting averages flirt with the Mendoza line, but their power can’t dominate the game. The Hall of Merit first basemen who are in their prime in the 1970s and 1980s are Keith Hernandez and Eddie Murray. Murray is what passes for a top power hitter in this era, but he’s a far cry from Frank Thomas and Mark McGwire, and Keith Hernandez takes the same offensive approach as Brett, Boggs, and Rose. The kind of offensive production that peak McCovey or peak Frank Thomas could put up--the 70 Rbat season-- simply isn't possible in the 1970s and 1980s, so the relative magnitude of the offense generated at third base by George Brett and Wade Boggs rises, and a larger share of offensive wins above average goes to third base.

To state the point in general terms, calculating defensive value based on offensive averages is wrong because it assumes that there is always an inverse relationship between defensive effectiveness and offensive effectiveness. If third basemen’s offensive performance relative to the league is improving, the argument goes, it must mean that it is easier to play the position. This model is accurate in some cases, but it is inaccurate in other cases, and one of the cases in which it is clearly wrong is the case of third base in the 1970s and 1980s. They became more dominant offensively because the home-run-centered offensive style lost competitive advantage relative to other offensive approaches.






   32. Bleed the Freak Posted: January 09, 2022 at 11:10 AM (#6060298)
Thanks Kris and Chris for the nuanced and detailed approach for handling, with this, you've convinced me that I could be wrong on Bando, Buddy still has issues that I think Kiko leans into that keep me skeptical on him for the moment, a very early prelim:

1 Carlos Beltran
2 Thurman Munson
3 Lance Berkman
4 David Ortiz
5 Tommy John
6 Tim Hudson
7 Jason Giambi
8 Bert Campaneris
9 Urban Shocker
10 Sal Bando
11 Bobby Bonds
12 Bobby Veach
13 Joe Tinker
14 Kevin Appier
15 Jim Sundberg
HM Heavy Johnson/George Scales/Negro Leaguers - awaiting more Seamheads data and research from the Doc and others.
   33. Mike Webber Posted: January 09, 2022 at 11:45 AM (#6060299)
Hey Bleed, while you're around, can you comment on your placement of Munson and Sundberg relative to Posada, Schang, Tenace and Howard? How do you separate them from each other, and why is Munson so far ahead of the others?

Thanks!
   34. Jaack Posted: January 09, 2022 at 12:40 PM (#6060304)
Now to argue that WAR is miscalibrated on position adjustment to the extent that Campaneris is the better player, we are saying that Bando, +3 runs per 650 PA as a defensive 3B, would have averaged -11 runs as a shortstop for his career (nearly the worst of all time - I believe only Jeter is worse among career SSs). Alternatively, that Campy, a +4.25 defensive SS, would have been +13 for his career as a 3B (nearly the best of all time, behind only Brooks Robinson I believe). I personally find it too difficult to believe that the discrepancy can be that great. But that is what position-specific replacement levels would say based on positional offense during this timeframe.


On some level though, it is about the offensive discrepancy between positions – otherwise catchers would not fit into the defensive spectrum at all. A +5 defensive run catcher would not be a +22 defensive run first baseman, although that’s what the positional adjustment would imply.

For shortstops in the 60s and 70s the issue is similar. The position wasn’t necessarily 14 runs more difficult than third base – Bando could fill in for a week at third and be fine. But it was physically rougher with astroturf being the primary cause. In that way, I liken shortstops of that period to deadball catchers, with Campaneris being sort of the Roger Bresnahan of shortstops – perhaps a little underwhelming on the merits, but looking at the positional situation as a whole, their case become more clear. (I guess that makes Jim Fregosi the Wally Schang of his era – worthy production on the rate level, but just not enough of it).

----

I think the problem with third basemen is different – I just don’t see the justification for the long arc of the positional adjustment. The movement of third base down the spectrum is pretty clear over history – it’s a plus defensive position through the thirties when it starts to shift to the middle of the spectrum. The positional adjustment that bbref and fangraphs use (which aren’t identical, but are very close) follows that pattern, but move third base back up the spectrum for the 60s and 70s before continuing the overall arc in the 80s. That is one of the more dramatic shifts in the positional adjustment numbers, and a counter-intuitive shift as well. Since those historical positional numbers have been sort of untouched for 15 years, I’m inclined to believe there is room for improvement, although I will be the first to admit it’s probably beyond my skills to do it systematically. My band-aid fix for third base is to just smooth out long term transition from 1930-1983 to make it more stable – this benefits 40s-50s third basemen a bit and culls 60s-70s third basemen a bit too.

All in all though, I’m much more comfortable with Buddy Bell’s imminent election than with Bando’s. I haven’t actually gone back and done my PHoM in a while, but I’m pretty sure Bell would be pretty close to the threshold by this point, while there are a half-dozen other third basemen between Bando and the line for me.
   35. Bleed the Freak Posted: January 09, 2022 at 01:42 PM (#6060311)
  33. Mike Webber Posted: January 09, 2022 at 11:45 AM (#6060299)
Hey Bleed, while you're around, can you comment on your placement of Munson and Sundberg relative to Posada, Schang, Tenace and Howard? How do you separate them from each other, and why is Munson so far ahead of the others?

Thanks!


Munson is a bump for playoff WPA and clutch, with those bumps, we could be looking at a ~50 win player for the 70-79 period, and that's with an assessment of just good on defense rather than very good to excellent. There are no other ~50 win catchers (unless we are underrating defense ala Sundberg below).

Sundberg would be an interpretation of defense, his estimates for framing and game calling are both very impressive.

Posada is woeful in framing, game calling, playoff WPA, and clutch.

I've had Schang on ballot previously and am fine with his candidacy, trying not to overrate pre-integration guys, I have Shocker, Veach, and Tinker on ballot, with Schang, Fletcher, and Bob Johnson very close by.
Tenace I just don't think had enough breadth of career to offset the low amount of games caught, he's not off the radar, but not a ballot type guy for me.

Howard and Luke Easter might be the toughest guys to place, how much was Elston impacted by integration, having Yogi Berra on the roster, etc...he's anywhere from not a candidate to worthy of a top half of ballot slot, I've never been quite sure how to handle these two.
   36. Bleed the Freak Posted: January 09, 2022 at 01:47 PM (#6060312)
All in all though, I’m much more comfortable with Buddy Bell’s imminent election than with Bando’s. I haven’t actually gone back and done my PHoM in a while, but I’m pretty sure Bell would be pretty close to the threshold by this point, while there are a half-dozen other third basemen between Bando and the line for me.


Can you go into detail on Bell > Bando.

It's a real mixed bag of systems evaluating these two.

Easy Yes for both - Baseball Reference, CHEWS+, PARCd-s
Borderline - Baseball Gauge and Tom Thress Bando, Dan Rosenheck Bell
Easy No for both - Tom Thress Bell, Dan Rosenheck Bando

With the discussion Cobb and Gardner, I've leaned Bando being underrated now by Rosenheck and Sal feels like a safer selection when Kiko's WAR is SO down on Buddy.
   37. Jaack Posted: January 09, 2022 at 02:06 PM (#6060316)
The tail to Bell's career is what pushes him over for me - he has four additional decent years that Bando doesn't have, and neither have the peak to be in on that front. Also, my smoothing of the positional adjustment affects Bell less as well, as a good chunk of his prime occurs in the 80s.
   38. Bleed the Freak Posted: January 09, 2022 at 02:11 PM (#6060317)
Thanks Jaack...very interesting!
   39. John DiFool2 Posted: January 09, 2022 at 02:23 PM (#6060319)
FWIW (SSS alert), in Bando's 17.2 innings at short he acquitted himself pretty well.
   40. kcgard2 Posted: January 09, 2022 at 02:45 PM (#6060323)
Interesting, I have the opposite gut feeling, and get the impression that DRA and Thress do a better job of measuring defense than does TZ

Did you mean to say TZ here? I stated a preference for UZR. I agree that DRA is better than TZ. I think UZR is better than DRA. DRA is a play-by-play metric, UZR is also a play-by-play metric that additionally incorporates batted ball characteristics. Michael Humphreys himself found a high correlation (greater than 0.9 I think) between DRA and UZR, but this was 10-15 years ago. The increased precision of batted ball data is going to have improved the performance of UZR compared with DRA over that course of time. UZR also considers more factors than DRA does, like batter speed, batter power, base-out state, and other things, in addition to the bigger factors like park, batter handedness, and pitcher handedness that DRA includes in its regressions. In short, UZR is based on a lot more information than DRA is.

The interesting question is at what samples we should prefer one over the other(s). The extra factors in UZR may add more noise than signal in samples that are small enough, breaking even when the sample reaches some point, and then being superior at samples bigger than that. It would be a very interesting analysis for someone to find out how many defensive innings is the inflection point where one should prefer one over the other. For careers I will easily take UZR. For a single season, perhaps that's a toss up. Or maybe it's half a season makes a toss up, or maybe it's two seasons. I am not prepared to answer that question.

But when we come down to it, this is a little bit of making a mountain out of a molehill. I've already expressed that Statcast derived defensive measures are better than any system not using real-time ball+player measurement. And Statcast data exists for 2018+ or so? Well, UZR only goes back to 2002. So I am concerned about the best metric for determining defensive abilities of players from 2002 through 2018. And for the HOM, I want to compare the players who played in that timeframe to players who played in all the other eras of history. Well, I can't with UZR! So this comes down to, when we discuss players from 2000 through 2020 or so roughly speaking, my best guess at career defensive value for comparing against peers from that time period is UZR. To compare against past eras I have to pick DRA or something else that can cover both timeframes.

But this is the internet, I guess expressing strong opinions about trivial minutiae is what we do here. And thus the existence of BBTF :)
   41. Bleed the Freak Posted: January 09, 2022 at 03:09 PM (#6060326)
Ok, was misreading, was thinking you had TZ > DRA, we agree DRA > TZ, and UZR/DRS/Statcast > DRA.

I do think Kiko's W-L records deserve a look, both from a magnitude of the spread for defensive players, as well as the ratings there within.

This LONG primer article is worth a read: https://baseball.tomthress.com/OldArticles/Fielding.php
   42. kcgard2 Posted: January 09, 2022 at 03:33 PM (#6060331)
On some level though, it is about the offensive discrepancy between positions – otherwise catchers would not fit into the defensive spectrum at all.

Catchers and (especially) pitchers don't fit on the defensive spectrum, you are right. Tango has discussed the issues with Defensive Spectrum Theory many times. The positional values have to maintain some common sense guardrails, and catchers have to be highest positional value because baseball common sense dictates it. The reason for it could be elucidated if someone insisted, but it shouldn't be necessary here (I'd hope). But we come back to the big debate about positional adjustments: should we base them on offense or defense? Do we base it on observed levels of offensive contribution for each position (over some sufficiently large sample of time)? Or do we base it on the defensive contribution relative to positional average for players who switch positions? Or do we take the third route and claim that the whole idea of position adjustments is wrong and it's just offensive contribution plus defense above the average at your own position (the wrongheaded camp)?

Well, in WAR, a run from offense is the same as a run from defense. It doesn't matter which approach you choose, either way you're going to realize you need a position adjustment. My example with Bando and Campaneris was simply showing the magnitude of difference we'd have to see on defensive runs in order for Campaneris to pass Bando (by WAR) if one of them hypothetically switched to the other position. Since a run is a run regardless where it comes from, suggesting that Campaneris provided more run value in his career is equivalent to suggesting that Bando would have been a -11 SS if he'd switched, or Campy a +13 3B if he had. Again, since a run is a run is a run, I could have simply stated what position adjustment would directly be necessary to make Campaneris superior. The actual values in WAR were +3 for 3B and +9 for SS their careers (shortstops +6), and given their offense, plus their defense at their respective positions, you'd have to alter the position adjustment to -1 for 3B and 13 for SS (shortstop +14). You'd have to more than double the defensive positional advantage shortstop has over 3B to get Campaneris ahead by a WAR-runs framework. Third base would have to become a below-neutral defensive positions, and SS would nearly equal catching in defensive (or offensive) difficulty of filling the position. Just as the representation showing how the two would hypothetically have to perform at the other position in defensive runs, this representation is again a bridge too far in altering the positional spectrum values.

The fact that shortstops hit very poorly during this timeframe is an artifact that we observe. We observe similar anomalies at other positions at other times. It does not of necessity represent an underlying truth about the inherent difficulty of shortstop at this time vis-a-vis third base (or other positions). That's the crux of my side. As well as the sheer size of the disparity in run values that have to be overcome to push the third basemen behind the shortstops, presuming we can agree on their offensive contributions which I think should be relatively uncontroversial. I actually have further arguments about why the third basement of this period may actually be underrated compared to other eras (again, by WAR), but I won't press that. I would wait for general agreement or at least acknowledgement of what I've posited so far before trying to lay into it further.
   43. Bleed the Freak Posted: January 09, 2022 at 03:40 PM (#6060332)
Since a run is a run regardless where it comes from, suggesting that Campaneris provided more run value in his career is equivalent to suggesting that Bando would have been a -11 SS if he'd switched, or Campy a +13 3B if he had. Again, since a run is a run is a run, I could have simply stated what position adjustment would directly be necessary to make Campaneris superior. The actual values in WAR were +3 for 3B and +9 for SS their careers (shortstops +6), and given their offense, plus their defense at their respective positions, you'd have to alter the position adjustment to -1 for 3B and 13 for SS (shortstop +14). You'd have to more than double the defensive positional advantage shortstop has over 3B to get Campaneris ahead by a WAR-runs framework. Third base would have to become a below-neutral defensive positions, and SS would nearly equal catching in defensive (or offensive) difficulty of filling the position.


Is this a comparison of Baseball-Reference WAR, with Bando at 61 wins and Campaneris at 53?
We get the reverse at Baseball Gauge, with Bando at 51 and Campaneris at 62.

Kiko's stat has them very close to one another.
   44. kcgard2 Posted: January 09, 2022 at 04:34 PM (#6060335)
Easy Yes for both - Baseball Reference, CHEWS+, PARCd-s

in the easy yes for both group, you can probably add fWAR and Win Shares, with BP WARP being somewhere between easy yes and borderline.

Is this a comparison of Baseball-Reference WAR, with Bando at 61 wins and Campaneris at 53?

Yes, all the figures in this illustration was from bWAR.
   45. John DiFool2 Posted: January 09, 2022 at 05:26 PM (#6060339)
The kind of offensive production that peak McCovey or peak Frank Thomas could put up--the 70 Rbat season-- simply isn't possible in the 1970s and 1980s...


I noticed this back then too, but there were a few who managed to pull off the high average/high power model-Jim Rice and George Foster (albeit not consistently and with their ballparks to help them). George Brett in his best seasons as well (not sure why you put him in the Boggs group). Past a certain point some players can hit sufficient home runs to pull up their average (after all a HR gives you a 1.000 BA for that at-bat), no matter how their poor contact skills are dragging their average down when not homering. When Sillyball came along the extra home runs were enough to do the trick. But I suspect there was also a decentralization of batting skills which wasn't taking place in the lower offensive environment of the 70's & 80's, a factor which drove all offensive skills through the roof for the strongest and most gifted of hitters (e.g. Hurt & Manny).
   46. bachslunch Posted: January 09, 2022 at 06:01 PM (#6060341)
@23: No, I only use BBRef WAR. I prefer to keep this as simple and consistent as possible and am choosing to trust only this stat. I control for position to keep things fair from that perspective, otherwise I'd have no catchers.

I realize other voters make things more complex here, which is fine. My wish is to keep things consistent and simple and easy to quantify and defend.
   47. Carl Goetz Posted: January 09, 2022 at 06:20 PM (#6060342)
Dr C, I remember reading an article on the HoME site about how you guys were going about discounting pre-integration players. I can't seem to find that now. Could you point me in the right direction?
   48. Bleed the Freak Posted: January 09, 2022 at 06:35 PM (#6060343)
I think this is the article you are looking for Carl: https://homemlb.wordpress.com/2021/07/08/segregation-effect-the-sequel/
   49. Carl Goetz Posted: January 09, 2022 at 06:36 PM (#6060344)
"On some level though, it is about the offensive discrepancy between positions – otherwise catchers would not fit into the defensive spectrum at all. A +5 defensive run catcher would not be a +22 defensive run first baseman, although that’s what the positional adjustment would imply."

I think there's a bit of a disconnect on what positional adjustments are actually saying. Currently on BBref, C are +9 and 1B -9.5. This is saying that an average defensive C is worth 18.5 more runs to his team per season than an average defensively 1B to his. This says nothing about an individual player's ability to move between the positions or his value if he did. If you had a great defensive catcher, I guarantee you'd be at a competive disadvantage by playing him too often at 1B. In looking at guys like Mauer, Posey, Tenace, Torre, etc, their teams gained value in playing them at 1B to keep their bats in the lineup when resting them behind the plate, but I guarantee their teams were better off in games where they were rested and behind the plate than they were when those guys were at 1B or DH.

   50. Chris Cobb Posted: January 09, 2022 at 06:48 PM (#6060345)
I noticed this back then too, but there were a few who managed to pull off the high average/high power model-Jim Rice and George Foster (albeit not consistently and with their ballparks to help them). George Brett in his best seasons as well (not sure why you put him in the Boggs group).

In the context of the 1970s and 1980s, Brett certainly had more home run power than Boggs, but overall it was his line-drive power skill that made him an elite hitter, not his home run power. Brett was more like Boggs than he was like his 500-hr contemporaries (Schmidt, Jackson, Murray).

Here are their career lines:

Boggs - .328/.415/.443, 3010 hits, 1412 walks, 578 2b, 61 3b, 118 hr, 131 OPS+ (745 K)
Brett - .305/.369/.487, 3154 hits, 1096 walks, 665 2b, 137 3b, 317 hr, 135 OPS+ (908 K)
Murray - .287/.359/.476, 3255 hits, 1333 walks, 560 2b, 35 3b, 504 hr, 129 OPS+ (1516 K)
Jackson - .262/.356/.490, 2584 hits, 1375 walks, 463 2b, 49 3b, 563 hr, 139 OPS+ (2597 K)
Schmidt - .267/.380/.527, 2234 hits, 1508 walks, 408 2b, 59 3b, 548 hr, 148 OPS+ (1883 K)

Obviously, there are multiple style differences among these hitters. Still, I think Brett is closer to Boggs than to Murray, and he's much closer to Boggs than to Jackson or Schmidt. Brett was a contact hitter with good power, excellent speed, and good plate discipline; Boggs was a contact hitter with mostly "gap" power and poor speed, but great plate discipline; Murray was an outstanding power hitter with ok contact skills, very poor speed, and good plate discipline; Jackson and Schmidt were best-of-generation power hitters with poor contact skills, indifferent speed, and good-to-excellent plate discipline.

I see the distinction between contact and power orientations as basic to the hitter's approach. Others may see it differently. George Brett was a remarkably well-rounded hitter, so he shares some characteristics with everybody. He was able to match the slugging percentage of 500-hr hitters without being one, but he was not trading contact for power the way Murray, Jackson, and Schmidt did: he just was able to generate more power than Boggs while still prioritizing contact. To put it another way, Boggs and Brett as hitters were looking to win batting titles; Murray, Jackson, and Schmidt were looking to win home run titles. Still, with a different home ballpark and a livelier ball, Brett might have turned 200 doubles and triples into home runs, but that's not the approach he developed in his time and place.
   51. Carl Goetz Posted: January 09, 2022 at 06:51 PM (#6060346)
Thanks Bleed. That's what I was looking for.
   52. Jaack Posted: January 09, 2022 at 07:06 PM (#6060347)
I think there's a bit of a disconnect on what positional adjustments are actually saying. Currently on BBref, C are +9 and 1B -9.5. This is saying that an average defensive C is worth 18.5 more runs to his team per season than an average defensively 1B to his. This says nothing about an individual player's ability to move between the positions or his value if he did. If you had a great defensive catcher, I guarantee you'd be at a competive disadvantage by playing him too often at 1B. In looking at guys like Mauer, Posey, Tenace, Torre, etc, their teams gained value in playing them at 1B to keep their bats in the lineup when resting them behind the plate, but I guarantee their teams were better off in games where they were rested and behind the plate than they were when those guys were at 1B or DH.


This is essentially what I was trying to get across with the example - you can't swap Bando and Campaneris' positions and expect the results to make sense. I don't think Campy would have Brooks Robinson at 3B nor do I think that Bando would have been decrepit at short. But I do think that Campaneris' ability to remain healthy and valuable at shortstop long term in that era was a trait that doesn't quite come across in the standard positional adjustment for shortstops. It would be in some ways analogous to moving a catcher to first base (although there is obviously more overlap in the skills) as some of Campaneris' defensive value would just not be relevant at third.
   53. Carl Goetz Posted: January 09, 2022 at 07:38 PM (#6060350)
I've always thought the 3B-SS divide in the 70s was at least partially due to just luck. There was alot of value at SS during those years, but the guys who put it up didn't have long HOM worthy careers. Guys like Ed Brinkman put up a couple big year in the 70s. Everyone looks at Campy and Concepcion and Harrah as having close to worthy careers, but there's a bunch of guys in the 20-40 career WAR range that put up most of their value in the 70s. Guys like Mark Belanger, Larry Bowa, Chris Speier, Rick Burleson, Freddie Patek, Garry Templeton, Roy Smalley etc. These guys put up a lot of value in the 70s; its just that none of them did quite enough for the HOM. That's not even mentioning that the decade was the start of HOM careers of Yount, Trammell and Smith.
In contrast, the big 3B were all the same pretty much every year. Just my thought. I haven't done thorough research on this though.
   54. DL from MN Posted: January 09, 2022 at 08:25 PM (#6060355)
Posada is woeful in playoff WPA


There is some ultra-bizarre stuff happening in WPA for Posada. He hits .444/.500/.667 (plus a stolen base!) against Oakland in 2001 and that rates a -0.03 WPA. Against Detroit in 2006 he hits .500/.563/.786 and rates a positive 0.03. WTF does WPA want him to do? Hit 1.000? He's a catcher with a .745 OPS (.358 OBP) in 492 playoff PA. That's at least average production for a catcher and WPA treats it like a complete disaster.
   55. DL from MN Posted: January 09, 2022 at 08:37 PM (#6060357)
some of Campaneris' defensive value would just not be relevant at third


No, he'd be limited because 3B has fewer chances to impact the defense than SS.

Replacement value is a scarcity argument. If your system spits out that the bottom 5 starting shortstops in MLB are all below replacement value, exactly who should they have been replaced with? You'd better find some neglected SS in AAA that were better.
   56. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: January 09, 2022 at 09:23 PM (#6060360)
There is some ultra-bizarre stuff happening in WPA for Posada. He hits .444/.500/.667 (plus a stolen base!) against Oakland in 2001 and that rates a -0.03 WPA. Against Detroit in 2006 he hits .500/.563/.786 and rates a positive 0.03. WTF does WPA want him to do?

The answer to this is literally always going to be "have better timing."

Specifically, in the '01 series against Oakland, Posada's big negative is in game 2, a 2-0 loss in which he popped out batting as the go-ahead run (down 1, one on) in the 7th and struck out batting as the go-ahead run (down 2, two on, nobody out) in the ninth. In the series apart from that, he did have a HR in game 3 which provided the margin of victory, but it was mid-game so WPA isn't going to go crazy over it, and he also hit into a double play to cancel out some of the benefit. He had multiple hits in the other three games - a loss in which the Yankees were solidly behind all game and Posada's two singles and a double didn't move the needle much, a blowout win in which the Yankees were up by 5 before Posada's second plate appearance (the first was a walk), and a fairly comfortable win in which Posada contributed to one rally (one-out single, came around to score), but inhibited another (flied out with one out and two on, Yankees eventually scored one but needed an error to do it).

The Detroit series just didn't have many close games; the exception was Game 2, in which Posada walked and singled, but also made the first out with the tying run on in the ninth. The margins of victory in the other games were all 4 or more and Posada didn't have much WPA impact in any of them.

With his overall numbers, it's worth pointing out that (a) his OBP is inflated some because he was intentionally walked more often in the playoffs than the regular season (IBB tend to be less valuable WPA-wise), and (b) his double play rate, already high in the regular season, was higher in the playoffs while his other production dipped. His production also dives as the playoffs go on - by raw OPS, he's good in the LDS round, decent in the LCS, and bad in the World Series, which if you look at CPA instead of WPA, isn't going to do him any favors.

(Note that this is an explanation, not necessarily an endorsement; I enjoy using WPA specifically in the playoffs, but it's often a wacky metric that does wacky things.)
   57. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: January 09, 2022 at 09:27 PM (#6060361)
I think there's a bit of a disconnect on what positional adjustments are actually saying. Currently on BBref, C are +9 and 1B -9.5. This is saying that an average defensive C is worth 18.5 more runs to his team per season than an average defensively 1B to his.

Catchers are kind of a different animal with an inherently fuzzier position adjustment, because almost nobody plays catcher as a secondary position. (That is, you might have a primary catcher fill in at first or left to keep their bat in the lineup; nobody has their primary first baseman or left fielder play catcher.) For other positional comparisons (such as 3B vs. SS, or CF vs. LF), it makes more sense to use relative defensive performance between positions because there's much more fluidity in moving players between the positions in either direction.
   58. DL from MN Posted: January 10, 2022 at 02:25 PM (#6060452)
The theory I had was that artificial turf increased the demands on "left side infield defense" but the scarcity only shows itself at shortstop - the most demanding defensive position. Teams could have shifted a 3B back to SS (and did sometimes, ex Toby Harrah) but that would only move the offensive black hole to 3B. There is some truth to the saying "shake a tree and 10 gloves fall out but only 1 bat".
   59. DL from MN Posted: January 10, 2022 at 02:40 PM (#6060455)
The other changes that demanded more offense in MLB are the adoption of the DH in 1973 and the expansions of 1969 and 1977. That's a jump in demand for hitters every 4 seasons.
   60. Bleed the Freak Posted: January 10, 2022 at 02:51 PM (#6060457)
Reviewing other top returnees, Bobby Bonds came in 5th, and he seems to do pretty well by any WAR estimator as a prime/peak candidate.

Baseball-Reference - 57.9 - worthy HOM
Baseball-Gauge - 64.3 - overdue HOM
Kiko's W-L records - ~54 - a little shy HOM
Dan Rosenheck - ~57 - borderline HOM
Baseball Prospectus - 64 - overdue HOM

With the clearing of 3 backlog spaces, Bonds is now ballot worthy for me, for those that had him short of 2022 ballot, does he now make your 2023 list?

He seems to be less of a polarizing candidate than others remaining, in that "just good enough or better" category that would gain consensus?
   61. DL from MN Posted: January 10, 2022 at 03:47 PM (#6060468)
Bonds is behind Andre Dawson and Jim Wynn for me and neither of them is PHoM. Right next to Kiki Cuyler, Jose Cruz and Dom DiMaggio in my spreadsheet. He aged poorly. Just like Munson, one or two more average seasons would have made a big difference.
   62. John DiFool2 Posted: January 10, 2022 at 04:18 PM (#6060476)
Replacement value is a scarcity argument. If your system spits out that the bottom 5 starting shortstops in MLB are all below replacement value, exactly who should they have been replaced with? You'd better find some neglected SS in AAA that were better.


Hmm. Has there ever been a study which has attempted to quantify possible replacements in just such a rigorous way?
   63. Bleed the Freak Posted: January 10, 2022 at 04:59 PM (#6060483)
A broad question for the group is representation by era as well.

How many players from the 70s should be elected, and there are a lot that fall into the just enough/just shy category.

I think we can agree that we are light from the era highlighted above:
1960-90
6. Buddy Bell (3B) 247
7. Thurman Munson (C) 231
8. Sal Bando (3B) 180
9. Bobby Bonds (OF) 168
14. Tommy John (SP) 138

Are the above 5 our priority, or do some others below make sense to prioritize as well or ahead of them?

60s - Willie Davis, Jim Fregosi, Elston Howard,
70s - Bert Campaneris, Cesar Cedeno, Ron Cey, Dave Concepcion, Jose Cruz, George Foster, Toby Harrah, Tony Perez, Darrell Porter, Gene Tenace, Roy White
80s - Jack Clark, Doc Gooden, Ron Guidry, Orel Hershiser, Dale Murphy, Ron Guidry, Tony Phillips, Jim Sundberg

We've got almost 12 months to figure this out! : )
   64. kcgard2 Posted: January 10, 2022 at 05:00 PM (#6060484)
If your system spits out that the bottom 5 starting shortstops in MLB are all below replacement value, exactly who should they have been replaced with? You'd better find some neglected SS in AAA that were better.

Or maybe, with 25 teams having above average players at 3B, some team keeping a better than replacement 3B in the minors could have shifted their ML 3B guy over to SS and filled both spots with better than replacement. That's what position adjustments are designed to tell us if we can do. And it would have fixed both the too many shortstops below replacement situation as well as the too many third basemen above average situation at the same time.
   65. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: January 10, 2022 at 05:20 PM (#6060489)
Or maybe, with 25 teams having above average players at 3B, some team keeping a better than replacement 3B in the minors could have shifted their ML 3B guy over to SS and filled both spots with better than replacement.

An example of this would be Cal Ripken, who played mostly third base in the minors (shortstop in rookie ball, 3B the next two years); Earl Weaver moved him to short during his rookie season, and allegedly most of the organization thought he was crazy for doing so. This worked out, let's say, reasonably well. My suspicion is that Buddy Bell or Graig Nettles or Mike Schmidt could have held down short if their teams had asked them to. (Schmidt played both short and second more than he played third in the minors; the Phillies already had an established shortstop - a good glove who didn't hit well - and put him at third instead.)
   66. kcgard2 Posted: January 10, 2022 at 05:39 PM (#6060492)
Again, I need to emphasize: not above-average over a 31-year period; above average each and every one of those 31 years. If you have a set of positional adjustments which conclude that the position of third base was above average for 31 consecutive years, I think there's probably an error in your positional adjustment calculation.

This comment I did find somewhat persuasive. 3B was an above average position according to bWAR for 31 consecutive years, that may in fact argue that the positional adjustment was not tapered as aggressively as it could/should have been. So I decided to check, if the positional adjustment is actually right (in some omniscient sense), how likely would it be for us to see a pattern like this emerge from the random variation of positional talent clumps or whatever other causative factor. By random chance, we'd only expect a 31-year run (given 150 years of MLB history) about 0.0001% of the time by random chance. So that is pretty compelling. Of course, we've discussed at some length why the aggregation of 3B talent at this time wasn't random, still a 31-year stretch is a long time for WAR not to respond to the empirical results.

Moving the 3B positional adjustment to about ~1.5 (making it half) over this timeframe would move a number of those positive years to neutral or negative, and be strong enough that the remaining pattern of above/below league average would appear unremarkable (there'd still be a run of above average in the 70s, but that's not out of the ordinary of what we see at positions sometimes), and that level of adjustment does little to affect my rankings of contemporaries, but it would be enough to move Sal Bando one spot down on my ballot rankings, for example. I will consider it further.
   67. DL from MN Posted: January 10, 2022 at 05:40 PM (#6060493)
60s Norm Cash
70s Frank Tanana
80s you already listed Guidry twice. I got nothing.
   68. Rob_Wood Posted: January 10, 2022 at 05:45 PM (#6060496)
Many managers have a philosophy of putting players at the defensive position they would do best. That is, if Player X would be an average shortstop and an above average second/third baseman, these managers would play Player X at 2B/3B rather than SS. Especially if Player X is a good hitter. SS (and 2B to a lesser degree) generate wear-and-tear, both physical and mental, over the course of a season with attendant elevated chance of injury.

As the defensive requirements of SS increased in the 1970s due to astroturf (a scenario I endorse), this managerial philosophy served to widen the gap between SS and 3B (and 2B to a lesser degree).
   69. kcgard2 Posted: January 10, 2022 at 05:52 PM (#6060498)
60s: Sam McDowell
70s: Steve Rogers, Fred Lynn (both bleed into 80s)
80s: Chet Lemon (bleeds into 70s)

However, I would say Bell, Bonds, and (me being idealistic) John would be the bets for generating consensus right now. And maybe Bob Johnson? As stated, he seems like someone that there's no real opposition to, which many of the other top backloggers do have. And even with that said, 1990+ remains much less represented than 1960-1990, which bodes for Berkman, Hudson, Ortiz, Appier, etc.
   70. Chris Cobb Posted: January 10, 2022 at 08:20 PM (#6060524)
Here's a decade by decade summary of what my system sees with respect to remaining "slots" per decade and the rank ordering of players within each decade, from 1960 to the present

A summary preview is that I think the electorate has the candidates from 1960-90 is about the right order: I'd swap Bonds and Munson. The bigger issue, as kcgards points out, is that there are a lot more above-the-line candidates after 1990 that aren't getting as much support as their 1960-90 counterparts, particularly the candidates from after 2000, which is when lack of expansion and the end of the steroid era lead to increasingly competition levels.

1960: 0 slots remaining.
Players above the current in-out line, in rank order: none.
Players below the current in-out line, in rank order: Willie Davis, Jim Fregosi, Norm Cash, Vada Pinson, Jim Kaat, Luis Aparicio, Elston Howard, Lou Brock

1970: 2 slots remaining:
Players above the current in-out line, in rank order: Bobby Bonds, Sal Bando
Players below the current in-out line, in rank order: Thurman Munson, Bert Campaneris, Cesar Cedeno, Tommy John, Tony Perez, Ron Cey, Gene Tenace, Wilbur Wood

1980: 3 slots remaining.
Players above the current in-out line, in rank order: Buddy Bell, (Bret Saberhagen, Dennis Eckersley, Dave Winfield), Orel Hershiser, Chet Lemon
Players below the current in-out line, in rank order: Dwight Gooden, Jose Cruz, Ron Guidry, Kirby Puckett, Fred Lynn, Jim Rice, Lance Parrish, Jack Clark, Brian Downing

-----------------

1990: 4 slots remaining.
Players above the current in-out line, in rank order: Kevin Appier, Chuck Finley, John Olerud, (Will Clark), Robin Ventura
Players below the current in-out line, in rank order: Bernie Williams, Fred McGriff, Mark Langston, Tony Phillips, Luis Gonzalez, Matt Williams, Kenny Rogers, David Wells

2000: 7 slots currently; more are still being added as players become eligible
Eligible players above the current in-out line, in rank order: Carlos Beltran, (9 elected players and 2 not-yet-eligible players), Brian Giles, (Jeff Kent), Jason Giambi, Tim Hudson, Lance Berkman, Mark Buerhle, David Wright
Players below the current in-out line, in rank order: Nomar Garciaparra, Jorge Posada, Roy Oswalt, David Ortiz, Mark Teixeira, Johnny Damon, Javier Vazquez, Mike Cameron

2010: 1 slot currently; more will be added as players become eligible
Eligible players above the current in-out line, in rank order: Dustin Pedroia, Troy Tulowitzi (?)
Eligible players below the current in-out line, in rank order: Cliff Lee, others . . .

For a merged list, Beltran and Bell are the two candidates who create some separation from the players following them: they are an easy #1 and #2. After that things get messy. In general, I think the electorate is mostly getting the players in each cohort in the right order, but the 1990-2020 players are generally being undervalued relative to the 1960-90 players.

That's how I see the big picture.
   71. Bleed the Freak Posted: January 10, 2022 at 09:00 PM (#6060532)
Nice share Chris, I'd say the main add could be any catchers under consideration that were defensive stars (ala Jim Sundberg).

My takeaway is that I'm in unison with you on the modern pitchers, I like Hershiser, Appier, and Hudson. Can the electorate coalesce around these 3 as worthy backlog inductees? Am I underrating these guys with having them mid to end of ballot area? For anyone who wasn't supporting these 3, where do they fall for you, could they make your 2023 ballot? If people aren't to entrenched, can Tommy John make your list too? : )
   72. The Honorable Ardo Posted: January 10, 2022 at 09:56 PM (#6060540)
2023 prelim. Please note this is VERY preliminary and subject to change. The past election took 1) A-Rod, 4) Abreu, 8) Sosa, and 10) Pettite.

1) Carlos Beltran - If the Hall were half its size, we'd be having a passionate debate about him. Not inner-circle but better than anyone else available. I have him slightly ahead of Edmonds, though I can accept those who have it the other way (Edmonds had a longer extended prime, Beltran had a higher absolute peak and more career value).
2) Hilton Smith - The only well-documented portion of Smith's career is 1937-43 and he accumulates all of his 13 PWAA in that span. I find it hard to believe that he was mediocre in his late 20's; I'm mentally giving him credit for 10-12 more PWAA prior to 1937. Then he contributes four more Ted Lyons-type seasons after returning from World War II.
3) Wally Schang - The Ted Simmons of his era, and an important contributor to pennant- and World Series-winning teams. Deserves a bit of World War I credit.
4) Adolfo Luque - A development curve altered by the color line. 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 fair chance until 1920. He then dominated for six years before gradually aging.
5) Luke Easter - Performed in MLB at a David Ortiz/Fred McGriff level in his late 30's, facing obstacles neither modern player faced, and there's extensive supporting evidence that he was a great slugger before then.

These are the five players I'd really like to see inducted. After them:
6) Buddy Bell
7) David Ortiz
8) Jorge Posada
9) Ben Taylor
10) Johnny Evers
11) Thurman Munson
12) Bert Campaneris
13) Lance Berkman
14) Phil Rizzuto
15) Bobby Bonds

16-20: Duffy, Bando, Willis, Buehrle, Nomar
21-25: Lee Smith, John, Leach, Hudson, McGriff
26-30: Appier, Van Haltren, Clarkson, D. Wright, Walters
   73. Bleed the Freak Posted: January 10, 2022 at 10:31 PM (#6060548)
Ardo, is Hershiser on your radar?
   74. Jaack Posted: January 10, 2022 at 10:39 PM (#6060550)
Just looking at the election thread, I went through to find anyone listed in the 16-25 range or as just being off the ballot (a little subjectivity was involved here). Here's everyone with at least 3 mentions.

Tim Hudson 7
Lance Berkman 6
Mark Buehrle 5
Bobby Bonds 5
David Ortiz 5
Buddy Bell 5
Tommy John 4
John Olerud 4
Hugh Duffy 3
Chet Lemon 3
David Wright 3

Bell and Berkman are both doing well enough here that, combined with their already strong showing, their election is pretty much imminent. This also sort of implies that Bonds and Ortiz are stronger candidates than Bando or Munson, although for Munson, this could be skewed as he wasn't a newcomer or required disclosure, so some voters may not have mentioned a high placement there. And Hudson looks well placed to skyrocket - he wasn't a newcomer or a required disclosure, so those mentions are going to be underreported.

Aside from the aformentioned Bando, this doesn't look particularly good for Ben Taylor or Vic Willis - if they aren't on someone's ballot, they probably aren't all that close. Taylor makes sense, but Willis is interesting. There really is never much chatter about him for someone relatively close to election. Any of his supporters want to make a push there?

I think this also cements Hugh Duffy as the true guardian of the borderline.
   75. Brent Posted: January 10, 2022 at 11:51 PM (#6060563)
Spreadsheets containing Michael Humphreys' DRA fielding data are available at https://global.oup.com/us/companion.websites/9780195397765/appendices/. (Maybe this link is well known, but I wasn't aware of it and thought it might be useful to someone.)
   76. The Honorable Ardo Posted: January 11, 2022 at 12:18 AM (#6060564)
Bleed, Hershiser is in my consideration set which runs about 90 deep. He's very comparable to Hudson.

Hershiser in the 1980s > Hudson in Oakland
Hudson in the National League > Hershiser in the 1990s

I personally think the second outweighs the first, but I can also see it the other way around. I now think Orel was more meritorious than Bucky Walters.
   77. Bleed the Freak Posted: January 11, 2022 at 12:58 AM (#6060565)
Brent, I think that DRA dated is outdated, I have a spreadsheet download if you need it, just let me know.
   78. Brent Posted: January 11, 2022 at 10:05 AM (#6060591)
Bleed, Yes, if you have updated DRA data, I'd appreciate receiving it. Please let me know how you'd like to transmit it. Thanks
   79. bachslunch Posted: January 11, 2022 at 11:10 AM (#6060598)
Question. I’m confused about the idea of rallying around consensus on players. I may be mistaken, but it feels like gaming the system to fit the player you want to see elected rather than setting up a system and letting the chips fall where they may from it.

FWIW, I’m fine with any of Hershiser, Appier, Hudson, and John getting elected, as well as Mark Buehrle, Chuck Finley, and Frank Tanana if things are on the level. John is on my ballot at the moment, Buehrle ranks 21st, Hudson ranks 32nd, Finley is 37th, and Tanana is 41st among the other players. Hershiser and Appier are further down, but at least on my pitcher radar screen. Given the limitations I’m using, that’s how they shake out.
   80. bachslunch Posted: January 11, 2022 at 11:15 AM (#6060599)
Also, can we get an official call on whether Dustin Pedroia is eligible this year or not?
   81. Bleed the Freak Posted: January 11, 2022 at 12:10 PM (#6060609)
 79. bachslunch Posted: January 11, 2022 at 11:10 AM (#6060598)
Question. I’m confused about the idea of rallying around consensus on players. I may be mistaken, but it feels like gaming the system to fit the player you want to see elected rather than setting up a system and letting the chips fall where they may from it.


Our understanding and knowledge is ever evolving, from the discussions here, I'm thinking I may have underrated Sal Bando and he will be a strong consideration for ballot this time around. It's not a gaming of the system, rather, kcgard, chris cobb, others give thought provoking comments that lead to a deeper evaluation of candidates. Heavy Johnson might drop because of questions Brent had about the MLE process that I hadn't come up to, etc.

When I stump for a candidate, ala Tommy John, I may note that a system could be underrating his skills and this might cause the electorate to take action on re-evaluating his candidacy. I think that FIP/Thress WAR is picking up on skills that Baseball-Reference isn't capturing with him, he was a plus in the post-season and clutch situations, etc. that make him appealing to me, this dialogue might convince others that my way of thinking is on to something and a consensus towards that position can take hold.
   82. Rob_Wood Posted: January 11, 2022 at 12:24 PM (#6060614)
Here is my Win Value Pennant Added for various eligible starting pitchers. Win Values are calculated on a game-by-game basis. The win value of each start of a pitcher's career is estimated (how much his performance increased his team's chances of winning that game relative to a league average pitcher) and then tabulated over the course of each season. The seasonal win value total is then converted to a pennant added contribution via standard methods. Finally, the seasonal pennant added contributions are summed over the course of the pitcher's career.

The figures below ignore any relief appearances and essentially ignore the pitcher's offensive contributions. War credit is ignored although I have included footnotes for two pitchers on the list. Finally, win values are only calculated for regular season games, meaning that the figures below ignore any post-season "credit" some pitchers merit.
1.20 Tim Hudson
1.15 Roy Oswalt
1.13 Kevin Appier
1.08 Tommy Bridges*
1.02 Ron Guidry

1.01 Bucky Walters
0.99 Jimmy Key
0.92 Tommy John
0.90 Chuck Finley
0.86 Dwight Gooden

0.85 Vida Blue
0.85 Orel Hershiser
0.85 Dizzy Dean
0.83 Cliff Lee
0.81 Frank Viola

0.80 Jerry Koosman
0.79 Steve Rogers
0.77 Jack Morris
0.73 John Candelaria
0.73 Mark Langston

0.72 Jim Maloney
0.70 Mark Buehrle
0.64 John Tudor
0.63 David Wells
0.62 John Lackey

0.59 Dennis Martinez
0.55 Jamie Moyer
0.49 Frank Tanana
0.48 Kenny Rogers
0.48 Don Newcombe*

0.44 Jim Kaat
0.39 Mickey Lolich

* Bridges is around 1.18 with modest credit for time missed due to WWII
* Newcombe is around 0.75 with various credits due him

Tim Hudson shines on this metric and I will have him very high on my next ballot. In addition, I have been a long-standing proponent of Tommy Bridges. Roy Oswalt and Kevin Appier also appear very worthy by this metric (I slightly prefer Appier over Oswalt for other reasons).

   83. DL from MN Posted: January 11, 2022 at 01:06 PM (#6060621)
Also, can we get an official call on whether Dustin Pedroia is eligible this year or not?


We don't have any officials.
   84. bachslunch Posted: January 11, 2022 at 03:25 PM (#6060652)
@83: So -- what do we do about Pedroia? Do we just decide for ourselves? I can omit him and wait until 2025 (which is apparently when the HoF thinks he's eligible), but if so, I want to make sure no one takes me to task on it.
   85. DL from MN Posted: January 11, 2022 at 05:08 PM (#6060669)
I'm content to follow the token appearance rule but it is confusing that we would allow players who aren't eligible for the Hall of Fame to be elected. If we elect Ichiro a year early people are going to be really confused.
   86. kcgard2 Posted: January 11, 2022 at 05:12 PM (#6060671)
bachslunch, I am considering Pedroia (and Phillips and Tulo) eligible. DL, I think people consider you a de facto official on HOM (I do).

I agree with Jaack that the simplest thing is to recognize that the rule existed for like 110 elections before anyone questioned it, and the easiest thing is just continue by the rule rather than turn each new case into a contentious judgment call for no reason. Edited: that is to say, we should either have the rule or not, not let cases be open to some debate about whether they qualify under some "spirit" of the rule. My opinion.
   87. Esteban Rivera Posted: January 11, 2022 at 05:33 PM (#6060674)
Does anyone have a list of the candidates who were made eligible earlier due to the token appearance rule? Right now my thoughts are that I was ok with David Wright being made eligible (those appearances in his last year were with the purpose of giving him a farewell appearance), not sure on Pedroia, Phillips and Tulowitzki (guys who were still actively trying to come back and play and who just kept getting injured or were not effective) and yes to Ichiro (only reason he didn't retire was to be eligible to play the two Japan games but for all intents and purposes he was done in 2018) due to the rule.
   88. Howie Menckel Posted: January 11, 2022 at 05:34 PM (#6060675)
I don't think Campy would have been Brooks Robinson at 3B

fwiw, Campaneris played SS til he was 38.
the following year - strike-shortened 1981 - all but on of his 22 starts were at 3B, for the Angels.
Campy played 3B again in 1982, in the Mexican League.
he returned to the bigs in 1983, starting 17 G at 3B and 17 at 2B for the Yankees (and none at SS).

oddly, Campy hit a career-high .322 in 155 PA for the Yankees after coming up from AAA in May after 2B Willie Randolph got hurt. a mere 5 XBA, and all were doubles, so only a 101 OPS+ in spite of the AVG.

(did not know til I read his SABR bio that he was a cousin of Jose Cardenal, an OF of that era who played 18 MLB seasons to Campy's 19. Campy also is a year older, 79 vs 78. they finished 1-2 in SB in the AL in 1965 - and again the edge went to Campaneris. Cardenal did get to the majors first, a year ahead of his cousin.)

(and to those who, like me, couldn't log in the past couple of days, don't give up!)
   89. bachslunch Posted: January 11, 2022 at 06:07 PM (#6060680)
I definitely think we should come to some kind of consensus on Pedroia's eligibility. It will make a big difference in my ballot, at least -- and possibly for others as well, as he's the best available 2B if eligible. I did post two preliminary ballots, one with him and one without, so I'm prepared either way.

If the token appearance rule has been in force during this whole exercise, I'm fine with respecting that. OTOH, I'm also fine if we follow what the HoF thinks his eligibility is. And if he is in fact eligible now, that should be reflected in the New Eligibles list up front. Regardless, we really should make the decision, whatever that may be.
   90. Howie Menckel Posted: January 11, 2022 at 06:44 PM (#6060686)
I think what we did originally - given, as noted, how routinely legendary players became coaches who would make token appearances a number of years after their "real career" was over - made all the sense in the world.

but things have changed, and so can we. let's match up first HOM eligibility with first HOF eligibility.

and I cast the first vote in the first HOM election in '1898' (real-time 2003) and have voted in every election since, so I get extra votes along with Joe Dimino and Grandma Murphy!

:)

more seriously, the mention of Ichiro's situation seals it for me. if we elected somebody "early" such as 1960 instead of 1962, well, nobody noticed if there was a discrepancy for a first-ballot electee.

but all we're going to do is confuse people and keep having to explain the Ichiro scenario.

finally, by some of us voting for David Wright before he is eligible, it's a bit of a parallel to the nutty HOF early-years voting when there seemed to be no coherent standard - which to this day has people saying, "How the hell did it take the BBWAA four ballots before they elected Joe DiMaggio?" - which is misleading and a misunderstanding of the era.

so Wright will be one of our own "early bird" candidates.
   91. Rob_Wood Posted: January 11, 2022 at 06:49 PM (#6060689)
As stated above, we only implemented the token appearance rule since we were dealing with hundreds of players in a very short time frame and didn't have the time to make a careful evaluation of when each player should appear on their first HOM ballot. And, of course, the HOF voted for decades before we began so there was no issue of being in sync with the HOF schedule (ballot appearance).

Now that we have caught up to real time and there are only a few cases to consider each year, it would not be difficult to consider each case separately. That is, jettison the formal token rule but possibly implement its spirit in practice. The default seems to me as no early eligibility.

Pedroia, Tulo, and Brandon Phillips would not be eligible in 2023 since they were battling injuries and their final appearances were not "token".

David Wright was a case where his final appearances in 2018 were considered to be token (at the time) so it seems he was deemed HOM eligible in 2022. [Maybe a mistake.]

Ichiro is an important case since he will presumably make the HOM and HOF in his first year of eligibility. As far as I can remember Ichiro's final appearances in 2019 were considered to be token (at the time). This argues for making Ichiro HOM eligible in 2024. However, there is a benefit to having him reach HOM and HOF ballots the same year (2025).

All things considered, I lean toward jettisoning all remnants of the old token appearance rule. We thereby would follow HOF ballot appearances going forward.
   92. Jaack Posted: January 11, 2022 at 06:56 PM (#6060690)
I don't think confusion is really a concern - our eligibilty already doesn't line up with Cooperstown. Permanent eligibility, no 10 year rule, and consideration of pre-1876 baseball are all additional hurdles. Electing Buddy Bell in 2023 or not having A-Rod on the ballot is about as unintuitive than electing Ichiro in 2024, if you are coming from exclusively a Coopertown perspective.
   93. Howie Menckel Posted: January 11, 2022 at 08:06 PM (#6060701)
those are good points, Jaack, regarding the ballots HOF vs HOM.

but I don't think we got any comments of confusion with our recent announcement, whereas I think there would/will be plenty if Ichiro is elected "early." our electing of a guy like Abreu (or Bell) I suspect just gives off a Veterans Committee vibe, as only the BBWAA doesn't have "perpetual eligibility" like HO does.

p.s. I attended Wright's final game and it was one of the most memorable sporting contests on my all-time list - and I have attended well over 1,000 sporting events all over the country. not relevant to the eligibility issue, really - but when has that ever stopped us?

:)
   94. kcgard2 Posted: January 11, 2022 at 09:16 PM (#6060711)
LOL, it seems like there's no real agreement shaping up here at all. Shall we vote on it? I vote for aligning with the HOF's eligibility moving forward.
   95. Bleed the Freak Posted: January 11, 2022 at 10:20 PM (#6060724)
I vote to align with HOF eligibility.

The reasons for the token appearances made sense before we reached annual ballots, I don't think it does now.
   96. Rob_Wood Posted: January 11, 2022 at 10:46 PM (#6060727)
I vote to align with HOF eligibility.
   97. Brent Posted: January 12, 2022 at 12:17 AM (#6060738)
Yes for align with HOF
   98. bachslunch Posted: January 12, 2022 at 06:05 AM (#6060743)
Yes vote here to align with the BBHoF for first eligible year.
   99. progrockfan Posted: January 12, 2022 at 08:59 AM (#6060751)
Yes on aligning with HOF eligibility.
   100. Howie Menckel Posted: January 12, 2022 at 10:20 AM (#6060766)
to be clear, I am on "Team Align"
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