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Monday, December 12, 2022

Baseball Hall of Fame tracker 2023

Baldrick Posted: December 12, 2022 at 09:22 AM | 739 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hall of fame

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   601. Howie Menckel Posted: January 23, 2023 at 08:45 PM (#6114100)
bump for HOF induction
   602. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: January 23, 2023 at 10:44 PM (#6114123)
It would be extremely odd, but I do think there's a reason vis a vis the ballot.

I had a long response typed up to this, but it ended up being less different from your comment than expected. I'll just say that Helton is still more extreme than any other case I found (the closest would be Larry Walker in 2020 after the four inductions of 2019, but he started out higher than Helton, didn't have a non-controversial returning candidate ahead of him, and was in his final year on the ballot which tends to result in an extra push.)

Helton getting in would be very surprising. Helton-but-not-Rolen, when Rolen led him by 11% last year and doesn't have any widely debated character issues, would be borderline inexplicable. But that doesn't mean it's technically impossible.

Also for what it's worth I don't buy that the writers adjust their behavior based on who the VC elects, unless someone can point to any writers actually saying that they're voting for Helton now because McGriff/Hodges went in.
   603. dark Posted: January 23, 2023 at 10:55 PM (#6114125)
Brian MacPherson, at a minimum, tweeted that he changed his mind on Helton because of McGriff.
   604. Booey Posted: January 23, 2023 at 10:55 PM (#6114126)
I haven't checked recently but I think Helton going from 52% to induction in one year would be unprecedented


Yeah, but players debuting as low as Helton (16%), Rolen (10.2%), Wagner (10.5%), or Andruw (7.3%) and eventually working their way up to election by the writers is pretty much unprecedented too, so we're in uncharted waters either way.

The historic rise of these 4 has made it damn near impossible to predict who else on the current ballot has a shot at future BBWAA election before their clock expires and who doesn't. Based on past precedent and current vote totals, Helton, Rolen, Wagner, Andruw, and Beltran* would appear to be the only ones with a realistic chance**. But if these first 4 guys can climb all the way up from between 7%-16% to election, who's to say anymore that Abreu, Pettitte, Rollins, Buehrle, or K-Rod can't do the same?


* Assuming the "no cheaters!" crowd doesn't artificially keep his ceiling below 75%

** Sheffield is having an impressive jump and still has 1 year remaining, but he's still a PED guy, so I'm confident in predicting that his ceiling is less than 75%
   605. SoSH U at work Posted: January 23, 2023 at 11:38 PM (#6114133)
The historic rise of these 4 has made it damn near impossible to predict who else on the current ballot has a shot at future BBWAA election before their clock expires and who doesn't.


Obviously, there are some ballot crowding issues that might have kept some of those early totals down, but I generally agree with you about how much of a change this is. And it supports my can't rule out Utley position.
   606. Ithaca2323 Posted: January 24, 2023 at 08:58 AM (#6114162)
Yeah, but players debuting as low as Helton (16%), Rolen (10.2%), Wagner (10.5%), or Andruw (7.3%) and eventually working their way up to election by the writers is pretty much unprecedented too, so we're in uncharted waters either way.

The historic rise of these 4 has made it damn near impossible to predict who else on the current ballot has a shot at future BBWAA election before their clock expires and who doesn't. Based on past precedent and current vote totals, Helton, Rolen, Wagner, Andruw, and Beltran* would appear to be the only ones with a realistic chance**. But if these first 4 guys can climb all the way up from between 7%-16% to election, who's to say anymore that Abreu, Pettitte, Rollins, Buehrle, or K-Rod can't do the same?


Most of this, IMO, is the crowded ballot issue. Wagner is not starting at 10% in 2016 if Clemens, Bonds, Bagwell, and Piazza are not on the ballot

In addition to the crowded ballot issue, those guys did have other things going for them.

Rolen has 70 bWAR.
Helton had a better bWAR7 than Frank Thomas and Jim Thome
Jones is one of the greatest defensive players ever, at a premium position who also hit 430 HR.

I think it helps when there is a legitimate statistical argument for a player underpinning the rise.
   607. The Duke Posted: January 24, 2023 at 09:28 AM (#6114168)
This last batch of ballots has me thinking both Rolen and Helton get in which would be helpfil to Wagner, Sheffield and Jones as it keeps next years ballot from being too crowded. My thinking is that there will be fewer private ballots than we think this year
   608. alilisd Posted: January 24, 2023 at 10:36 AM (#6114174)
Helton getting in would be very surprising. Helton-but-not-Rolen, when Rolen led him by 11% last year and doesn't have any widely debated character issues, would be borderline inexplicable. But that doesn't mean it's technically impossible.

Also for what it's worth I don't buy that the writers adjust their behavior based on who the VC elects, unless someone can point to any writers actually saying that they're voting for Helton now because McGriff/Hodges went in.


To clarify, I was not saying I think Helton will get in, or that Helton/not Rolen will transpire, just that I think there were some changes to the ballot between last year and this year which are tied to Helton's huge increase. I agree Helton/not Rolen would be extraordinary and inexplicable, but I don't expect it to happen.

I'm not going to go searching for any support on the latter statement, but I think it's entirely reasonable a contemporary of Helton's (they only shared the ballot for 1 year due to the eligibility being shortened to 10, but careers overlapped for 8 seasons) being solidly selected by committee might have led some writers to reevaluate Helton. Probably less, if any, impact from someone so far back as Hodges. Just my 2 cents, I could be completely off base though.
   609. Rally Posted: January 24, 2023 at 10:40 AM (#6114175)
Yeah, but players debuting as low as Helton (16%), Rolen (10.2%), Wagner (10.5%), or Andruw (7.3%) and eventually working their way up to election by the writers is pretty much unprecedented too, so we're in uncharted waters either way.


They are lucky to be here at a time when the ballot has thinned out. I think Edmonds and Lofton have as good or better cases than these guys, and would be in similar positions if they had swapped retirement dates.

The current group might have all been 1 and done if they had started when Lofton did. Except for Wagner, because some dumbasses are always going to vote for saves.
   610. Srul Itza Posted: January 24, 2023 at 01:33 PM (#6114198)
Rolen has retaken the lead, by 1
   611. DL from MN Posted: January 24, 2023 at 01:43 PM (#6114202)
3B have an exceptionally high standard, if you consider the standard to be currently in the HOF 3B post 1950. At the top you have two players, Schmidt and Mathews, whose bat would have put them in the HOF even had they played 1B. Then you have two of the greatest hitters for average of the post 1950's in Brett and Boggs. Chipper Jones very nearly hit 500 HR and finished with a career 300 average. Robinson is the standard for defensive 3B and is probably among the players most people think of as defensive wizards regardless of position. And finally there is Santo, who got booted unceremoniously from the ballot with less than 5% in his first year, then reinstated and still never gaining any real traction, before finally being given his due by the VC after his death. That's a tough crowd!


Brooks and Santo are the only two who wouldn't make it if they had played 1B exclusively. Santo didn't get elected until after his death. Beltre also makes it in as a 1B.

The standard at 3B is essentially the same offensive performance as the standard at 1B.
   612. alilisd Posted: January 24, 2023 at 02:14 PM (#6114206)
The standard at 3B is essentially the same offensive performance as the standard at 1B.


When I first read this I thought it was inaccurate, but as I looked at it I realized it is correct. If you look at oWAR for 1b and 3b, it's way higher for 3b on average for those HOF, but that of course is positional difference, which is about 1 win, or 10 runs, per year if you play a full season at 1b (-8 or -9) versus 3b (+2 or +3). Average Rbat for 1B is 477 versus 398, but that's almost entirely due to Brooks having only 42 career Rbat. If you leave him out, the average 3b Rbat jumps all the way up to 457. Beltre, interestingly has "only" 257, putting him just a bit above Rolen and a bit below Santo, but of course he has all the huge counting stats which would get him in: over 3000 hits, over 600 doubles, over 1700 RBI, nearly 500 HR.
   613. alilisd Posted: January 24, 2023 at 02:25 PM (#6114208)
Wow, Posnanski, after all the analysis he's done showing how little value closers add to a team is a Wagner supporter. Who'da thunk it? He also added Abreu, Jones, and Rollins. Asks the question if you were going to vote for Kent, Vizquel, or Rollins, who would you pick? Then proceeds to explain why he goes with Rollins.
   614. Adam Starblind Posted: January 24, 2023 at 02:36 PM (#6114213)
Years and years ago on here we would talk about the concept of the "WTF Hall of Famer," meaning somebody currently playing that would in the future make the HOF, and that information would make us in the present say "WTF???"

Beltre is the best example I can think of (don't start about the closers). At any point prior to his huge 2004, and then at any point thereafter until his big Boston season, I would've thought you were on something. Basically at almost any time during his 20s. And he is now a no-brainer.
   615. taxandbeerguy Posted: January 24, 2023 at 03:46 PM (#6114223)
614 - That's an interesting one
Going beyond closers-
Beltre - debuts at 19 which tracks with a future Hall of famer. And he's good and solid right away (ages 20 and 21). But then falls back for age 22 through 24 and you think that might just be him - great defender but below average / average bat. Then age 25 happens and his counting numbers through that age start looking real good and maybe he's not back on track, but certainly would be on the radar (23.4bWAR through age 25 season - although bWAR might have been in its infancy). Then his 26-29 years which should be prime are all average-ish bat years. It's not until maybe 2011 or 2012 when he strung together three big years at the plate, combined with almost 15 years of excellent defense did he seem plausible.
I'd kind of rate him
1998-2001 (on track / potential / good start)
2002-2003 (well short)
2004-2006 (back on the radar / on the radar)
2007-2009 (well short)
2010-2011 (back on the radar... with an assist from SABR stats going mainstream)
2012-2013 (plausible candidate)
2014-2015 (likely future Hall of Famer)
2016-2018 (lock for first ballot)

Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson surely qualify. Schilling starts at 21, has little success, has a great year at 25 then eats some innings when he's not hurt until 30. He's not on the radar until age 31 or 32 (that's 3-4 years of sustained success), and doesn't seem likely / on track until 2001 (age 34). 2004 (age 37) gets him over the hump in terms of worthiness (never mind the off the field stuff).

Randy Johnson doesn't start till 24 and seems pretty middling until age 29, when he figures it out, His 30's are pretty much the best ever among pitchers (Cy Young, Warren Spahn, Lefty Grove and a few others may challenge him on that front). He's on track maybe in 1995 or 1997 (Ages 31 or 33) and again it's the sustained success and dominance that put him over the line. 2001 (age 37) cements his place.

Edgar Martinez is another late bloomer - although with him - he hit right away at age 27 after he got his first 3 partial seasons out of the way, he's not quite like Beltre.

Sadly (but hopefully not) Omar Vizquel could be lumped into this group - any time prior to about 2005, he would've been great glove, not much of a hitter, but a useful part of some excellent teams. As he kept playing past his late 30's and into his 40's his hit totals and games played at shortstop started getting too big to ignore for many voters.
   616. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 24, 2023 at 03:54 PM (#6114226)
Jut over 50% of the expected vote in, and Rolen (80.1%) & Helton (78.6%) are still right on the edge. They make it if they knock a few points off their post announcement drop off from last year, but probably just miss if they don’t. The blank ballots and/or drops could be the difference on Rolen.
   617. SoSH U at work Posted: January 24, 2023 at 04:38 PM (#6114229)
Then proceeds to explain why he goes with Rollins.


Didn't he already have the absurd reason that he should vote for Rollins, even though he doesn't support him, because he'll probably get in some day anyway, so might as well get it over with.
   618. alilisd Posted: January 24, 2023 at 04:55 PM (#6114235)
Didn't he already have the absurd reason that he should vote for Rollins, even though he doesn't support him, because he'll probably get in some day anyway, so might as well get it over with.


I honestly don't recall. I haven't followed him closely for quite some time, I didn't realize he'd voted for Wagner for the past two years prior to this one.
   619. alilisd Posted: January 24, 2023 at 05:01 PM (#6114237)
Rob Parker slips in a last minute public ballot of Sheffield only. Thom Levero with Kent, Rolen and Wagner. Eduardo Encina drops Rollins and adds Wagner (as well as others including Helton and Rolen). Verducci finally adds Helton. I've found his HOF voting really odd over the years.
   620. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: January 24, 2023 at 05:01 PM (#6114238)
Unless I've missed something, it looks like we're not getting a pre-announcement drop from either ESPN or MLB.com this year. Which is weird.
   621. SoSH U at work Posted: January 24, 2023 at 05:11 PM (#6114241)
Rolen is now up four on Helton.
   622. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: January 24, 2023 at 05:21 PM (#6114245)
The NY Post announced their ballots earlier today, which is largely why Rolen is ahead again; he went 9/10, nobody else got more than 6, and Helton got 4.
   623. The Duke Posted: January 24, 2023 at 05:32 PM (#6114248)
Thibs makes the NYTimes today - very cool
   624. alilisd Posted: January 24, 2023 at 05:35 PM (#6114249)
Unless I've missed something, it looks like we're not getting a pre-announcement drop from either ESPN or MLB.com this year. Which is weird.


Very strange!
   625. alilisd Posted: January 24, 2023 at 05:36 PM (#6114250)
Thibs makes the NYTimes today - very cool


And well deserved! He and Sean Forman deserve all the recognition they receive!
   626. SoSH U at work Posted: January 24, 2023 at 06:09 PM (#6114253)
Stark, who looks a whole lot different than I remember him, also referred to the Tracker.

   627. SoSH U at work Posted: January 24, 2023 at 06:14 PM (#6114254)
Congrats to Rolen. Not surprising at the end, but really one of the more unlikely climbs we've ever seen. Hopefully he's not the first like that.
   628. alilisd Posted: January 24, 2023 at 06:14 PM (#6114255)
Yeah for Rolen!!!!
   629. The Duke Posted: January 24, 2023 at 06:25 PM (#6114257)
Another Cardinal into the Hall. Molina and Pujols to come and maybe, just maybe the vets will wake up to Jimmy Edmonds at some point. I won't claim Beltran but he also had a huge role in the cardinals series run.
   630. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: January 24, 2023 at 06:26 PM (#6114258)
Excellent, delighted to see Rolen make it.

Helton and Wagner both look extremely likely for next year.
   631. bachslunch Posted: January 24, 2023 at 06:30 PM (#6114261)
Glad they got Scott Rolen in finally, just squeaking over the line. Todd Helton fell just 11 votes short. Looks like the top five were:

Scott Rolen: 76.3 percent
Todd Helton: 72.2 percent (11 votes short of induction)
Billy Wagner: 68.1 percent
Andruw Jones: 58.1 percent
Gary Sheffield: 55.0 percent

Carlos Beltran ended up with 46.5 percent of the vote.
   632. SoSH U at work Posted: January 24, 2023 at 06:35 PM (#6114264)
Next year should feature a three-person class with Helton and Wagner joined by Beltre.
   633. bachslunch Posted: January 24, 2023 at 06:40 PM (#6114268)
Full voting totals, including percentages and years on ballot so far.

Scott Rolen 297 76.3 6
Todd Helton 281 72.2 5
Billy Wagner 265 68.1 8
Andruw Jones 226 58.1 6
Gary Sheffield 214 55 9
Carlos Beltran 181 46.5 1
Jeff Kent 181 46.5 10
Alex Rodriguez 139 35.7 2
Manny Ramirez 129 33.2 7
Omar Vizquel 76 19.5 6
Andy Pettitte 66 17 5
Bobby Abreu 60 15.4 4
Jimmy Rollins 50 12.9 2
Mark Buehrle 42 10.8 3
Francisco Rodriguez 42 10.8 1
Torii Hunter 27 6.9 3
Bronson Arroyo 1 0.3 1
R.A. Dickey 1 0.3 1
John Lackey 1 0.3 1
Mike Napoli 1 0.3 1
Huston Street 1 0.3 1
Matt Cain 0 0 1
Jacoby Ellsbury 0 0 1
Andre Ethier 0 0 1
J.J. Hardy 0 0 1
Jhonny Peralta 0 0 1
Jered Weaver 0 0 1
Jayson Werth 0 0 1

F-Rod was the only other candidate to survive from the first ballot guys besides Beltran.
   634. The Duke Posted: January 24, 2023 at 06:42 PM (#6114269)
I'll be interested to see the private ballot %s when the spreadsheet is updated. Looks like Beltran did abysmally. Sheffield looks bad as well.

Helton is in great shape for next year. Wagner? I don't know.

The good news is plenty of slots freed up with Rolen and Kent gone so 10 man ballots shouldn't be a big deal
   635. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: January 24, 2023 at 06:43 PM (#6114270)
Another Cardinal into the Hall.

Rolen played 844 games for Phils; 661 for Cards.
   636. DL from MN Posted: January 24, 2023 at 06:45 PM (#6114273)
Next year should feature a three-person class with Helton and Wagner joined by Beltre.


Ugh. Mauer and Utley are both better than the top returning players. I hope we see pushback on Billy Wagner just like we did on Jack Morris. I also hope Beltran finishes in the top 5.
   637. greenback needs a ride, not ammo Posted: January 24, 2023 at 06:46 PM (#6114274)
By my count Rolen made it by 5 votes. I guess he should be grateful that Endy Chavez wasn't on the committee.
   638. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: January 24, 2023 at 06:56 PM (#6114277)
Gains from last year:

Rolen +13.1%
Helton +20.2%
Wagner +17.1%
Andruw +16.7%
Sheffield +14.4%
Kent +13.8%
A-Rod +1.4%
Manny +4.3%
Vizquel -4.4%
Pettitte +6.3%
Abreu +6.8%
Rollins +3.5%
Buehrle +5%
Hunter +1.6%

Abreu moved ahead of Rollins, which is mildly interesting given that he's been on the ballot longer.

Also, despite a relatively weak ballot, there were vanishingly few courtesy votes this year; only 5 total votes given to players who finished below 5%.
   639. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: January 24, 2023 at 07:02 PM (#6114278)
Beltran with what would normally be a very solid debut percentage. But the question will still be how he progresses next year.
   640. SoSH U at work Posted: January 24, 2023 at 07:10 PM (#6114281)
Ugh. Mauer and Utley are both better than the top returning players.


It's possible Mauer could go first ballot, but I'd guess he'll wait a few turns.

Utley will take some time, but the performances of Rolen, Helton and Wagner should give him much greater hope than he would have had in year's past.

I hope we see pushback on Billy Wagner just like we did on Jack Morris.


Morris was just hammered by the insane ballots of 2013-2014. Otherwise, he would have had a decent chance of getting there over his last two ballots. Wagner isn't looking at anything like that.

   641. Howie Menckel Posted: January 24, 2023 at 07:28 PM (#6114282)
(possibly helpful) context:

HOM had 3 first-timers among its four electees in 2018, with another first-timer placing 8th:

RK LY Player PTS Bal 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1 n/e Chipper Jones 720 30 30
2 n/e Jim Thome 653 30 12 14 1 3
3 n/e Scott Rolen 617 30 13 9 1 2 3 1 1
4 4 Vladimir Guerrero 290 21 1 2 4 1 2 1 4 3 1 1 1
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
5 6 Luis Tiant 240 20 4 2 2 3 1 1 2 4 1
6 5 Sammy Sosa 238 19 2 2 2 4 1 4 1 1 1 1
7 9 Kenny Lofton 236 18 1 2 3 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 1 1 1
8 n/e Andruw Jones 220 16 1 3 1 1 3 1 2 1 2 1
9 7 Jeff Kent 207 15 1 1 2 1 1 1 2 2 3 1
10 11 Ben Taylor 197 16 2 1 1 4 1 1 3 3
   642. gabrielthursday Posted: January 24, 2023 at 07:28 PM (#6114283)
Votes per ballot were down to 5.60, the lowest since 2012; and with Rolen in and Kent off the ballot for next year, that's only 4.37 votes/ballot for holdover candidates. There shouldn't be much of a problem with the ballot being packed.
   643. The Duke Posted: January 24, 2023 at 07:29 PM (#6114285)
Rolen going in and then Beltre. I wonder what it will mean, if anything, for Boyer, Nettles, Bando , Evans. Boyer is a clone for Rolen, maybe a smidge less good defensively. Bando is the core of those great A's teams - a step behind Rolen. Nettles - equal or better to Rolen. Evans with way more power but certainly in the Rolen class.

I would certainly go with Nettles and Evans and I think Boyer has always had a good case.
   644. cHiEf iMpaCt oFfiCEr JE Posted: January 24, 2023 at 07:39 PM (#6114286)
Excellent, delighted to see Rolen make it.
Szym:
Rolen with a Phillies plaque may be the first time fans call the Hall of Fame en masse angry that the Hall of Famer went in with *their* favorite team's logo.
Hmmm, is a comment uttered by a Primate away from BBTF eligible for a Primey?
   645. Howie Menckel Posted: January 24, 2023 at 07:49 PM (#6114289)
so 2024:

Todd Helton 281 72.2
Billy Wagner 265 68.1
Andruw Jones 226 58.1
Gary Sheffield 214 55
Carlos Beltran 181 46.5
Alex Rodriguez 139 35.7
Manny Ramirez 129 33.2

plus as noted Beltre, Mauer, and Utley (Bartolo, Reyes, VMart, AdGonz, Holliday, Wright)

2025 - ICHIRO!, CC, King Felix, HRam, Pedroia (McCann, Tulo)
2026 - (Kemp, Pence - am reaching here)
2027 - Posey, Lester
2028 - PUJOLS, Yadi
   646. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: January 24, 2023 at 07:56 PM (#6114291)
Helton is in great shape for next year. Wagner? I don't know.

In the last 25 elections before this one, there were 25 results between 65-75% on a writers' ballot. Two of them were on their last ballot (Bonds and Clemens); two of them were Schilling, who is a special case (in more ways than one).

Of the other 21, 16 were elected the next year. The five that weren't, in order of the next season's finish:

Biggio 2013-14 (74.8)
Hoffman 2016-17 (74.0)
Morris 2012-13 (67.7)
Dawson 2008-09 (67.0)
Morris 2013-14 (61.5)
Perez 1998-99 (60.8)

2013, 2014, and 1999 are some of the strongest debut classes ever. 2009 had Rickey's debut (similar position to Dawson, obviously better), plus Dawson wasn't the #1 returnee (Jim Rice). 2017 is similar; despite a 67.3% the year before, Hoffman was only the third-highest returnee, trailing Bagwell and Raines.

So, does Wagner get in next year? I suspect so - but it also wouldn't floor me if Beltre/Mauer/Helton means that he waits one more. Either way, it's fairly clear at this point that he's going in eventually; the era committee will do it if the writers don't.
   647. Neal Traven Posted: January 24, 2023 at 08:07 PM (#6114295)
Another Cardinal into the Hall.

Rolen played 844 games for Phils; 661 for Cards.

Beat me to it.

The Phils done Scott wrong, and I fear that they won't push to put him in their cap on his plaque. But he should have a P on his cap.

Congratulations to the second-best 3B in Phillies history!
   648. Tony S Posted: January 24, 2023 at 08:10 PM (#6114296)
Congratulations to Scott Rolen. Well deserved, and his selection does the 3B position a little more justice in Cooperstown.

(Wow. Rolen's SABR bio already has his election.)

Helton's in next year.

As for Wagner... a good counter-argument to the idea that HoF voters are getting more sabery over time.
   649. The Duke Posted: January 24, 2023 at 08:27 PM (#6114297)

I think Rolen will get in and Helton will finish around 73-74%. Sadly Wagner will finish in high 60s/low 70s. Jones in the high 60s. Sheffield will end up in low 60s. I think Beltran will do better than projected and crack 60%.


I missed on the lower guys but got 1/2 about right
   650. AndrewJ Posted: January 24, 2023 at 08:30 PM (#6114298)
I'm a latecomer to this discussion...

Is Rolen the first borderline candidate who made it to Cooperstown because of attention given to his WAR?
   651. The Duke Posted: January 24, 2023 at 08:30 PM (#6114299)
Rolen played all his playoff games in STL not Phil. WAR is about even - slight edge to Phil. He left both places under a cloud - it will be interesting to see what he chooses.
   652. Jaack Posted: January 24, 2023 at 08:55 PM (#6114302)
Great news for Rolen!

I do think both Helton and Wagner make the jump next year. I've have a bit of a suspicion that some of the private voters who are close to the Hall - Jack O'Connell, the clan of Hirdts, anyone else associated with Elias Sports Bureau - act as a block to prevent near misses from happening. There tends to be a lot of movement for guys who are very close in the private ballots - Walker saw his total jump from 27.9% to 63.5% the year he got in. Edgar and Mussina both saw pretty big jumps in the privates as well. I can't imagine the Hall wants any 'he missed by just 2 votes' type of stories. But I very well could just have made up a ridiculous conspiracy.


2025 - ICHIRO!, CC, King Felix, HRam, Pedroia (McCann, Tulo)
2026 - (Kemp, Pence - am reaching here)
2027 - Posey, Lester
2028 - PUJOLS, Yadi


Not that he's got more than even odds to reach 5%, but Cole Hamels is probably the best bet for a 2026 guy.
   653. JJ1986 Posted: January 24, 2023 at 09:00 PM (#6114304)
I do not understand Torii Hunter voters.
   654. Booey Posted: January 24, 2023 at 09:15 PM (#6114306)
As for Wagner... a good counter-argument to the idea that HoF voters are getting more sabery over time.


Closers are an exception. Even some SABR savvy voters succumb to the sultry siren song of the save!

(alliteration, woo hoo!)

Pre-allegation Vizquel was another good counter argument, non-closer division. People are probably already forgetting that he debuted on the same ballot as Rolen and was easily beating Scott's vote totals for each of their first 3 ballots together before the domestic violence and sexual harassment accusations sank his chances. 11 gold gloves and 2877 compiled hits made way too many voters forget that Omar wasn't a major star at any point in his career.

All that said, BBWAA inductions of players like Rolen, Walker, Edgar, Raines, and Blyleven show that the writers HAVE become more SABR friendly over the last decade+. It's just clear that they still have some obvious blind spots.
   655. SoSH U at work Posted: January 24, 2023 at 09:17 PM (#6114307)
As for Wagner... a good counter-argument to the idea that HoF voters are getting more sabery over time.


They are, they just have a closer fetish that hopefully they'll shake one day. And there is hope. The Hall of Merit voters eventually lost theirs.
   656. Booey Posted: January 24, 2023 at 09:24 PM (#6114309)
Is Rolen the first borderline candidate who made it to Cooperstown because of attention given to his WAR?


Maybe? I mentioned in #654 that SABR value stats like WAR very likely helped Walker, Edgar, Raines, and Blyleven get elected, but they all had obvious HOF numbers in one or more categories that more traditional voters could get behind. Walker hit .313 with 3 batting titles. Edgar was right behind with a .312 avg and 2 batting titles. Raines stole 800+ bases to go with a .294 avg and 2600 hits. And Bly won 287 games, pitched almost 5000 innings, had 60 shutouts, and retired 3rd on the all time strikeout list. Rolen does have 8 gold gloves though, so it's hard to say whether "8 gold gloves!" or "70 WAR!" was the bigger selling point to his voters.
   657. Booey Posted: January 24, 2023 at 09:42 PM (#6114313)
So something like this over the next 5 years (number of ballots in parentheses)?

2024 - Adrian Beltre (1st), Todd Helton (6th), Billy Wagner (9th)
2025 - Ichiro (1st), Andruw Jones (8th)
2026 - Joe Mauer (3rd), CC Sabathia (2nd)
2027 - Carlos Beltran (5th) - I do think the anti-cheating crowd will slow him down a bit
2028 - Albert Pujols (1st), Buster Posey (2nd)

(Molina also debuts in 2028 and should get in within a ballot or two later)
   658. SoSH U at work Posted: January 24, 2023 at 10:02 PM (#6114317)
That looks pretty solid booey.

   659. The Duke Posted: January 24, 2023 at 11:33 PM (#6114336)
I have my doubts on Jones, Mauer and Wagner. Wagner looks easy now but are there really 7% more people who will check his name?. Seems like a stretch to me. Jones has that weird falloff which I think a lot of voters can't reconcile. Mauer - put up against 1B/DH he's not a hall of famer. Are his 7 full time years as a catcher enough - I wonder. I'd like to see him go in but I suspect he will have some rough sledding.
   660. cardsfanboy Posted: January 25, 2023 at 12:09 AM (#6114337)
Is Rolen the first borderline candidate who made it to Cooperstown because of attention given to his WAR?


I would think both Raines and Blyleven qualify there. (not including veteran selections that got bumped up because of War arguments like Santo) (Post 656 adds Walker and Edgar to the mix, which in Walker's case I'll agree, Edgar is a bit tougher because he gets the nod for being the best DH of all time. (With Papi getting a nod to that discussion)
   661. SoSH U at work Posted: January 25, 2023 at 12:11 AM (#6114338)
Wagner looks easy now but are there really 7% more people who will check his name?.


Yes. He was at 19.7 percent five years ago. He's made larger gains three times since then. There's nothing that will make the last 7 percent more difficult to find.

Mauer - put up against 1B/DH he's not a hall of famer.


He won't be (nor should he be). He had one of the best catcher peaks of all-time. He will go in, probably right around Booey's prediction of three years.

Jones has that weird falloff which I think a lot of voters can't reconcile. M


He's done the hard part, pushing past 50 percent. For every candidate, you can make an argument why he's different and will have a difficult time getting that last xx percent. But absent extenuating circumstances (such as the deluge of more qualified Hall of Famers who hit the ballot during Jack Morris's last two years of eligibility or the I dare you to vote for me campaign of Curt Schilling), that's simply not the way it works for the garden variety candidate. Edgar, Walker, Raines, Rolen, Bagwell, Piazza - all made huge gains when they got close. Wagner will too.
   662. cardsfanboy Posted: January 25, 2023 at 12:17 AM (#6114339)
I think it's impossible to argue that Wagner isn't going in. Barring a Vizquel/Beltran event he's in next year. At the level he finished, voters are just going to stop fighting against it.

Mauer? I'll argue about the strength of his case all day long, but he's in easily.

I have issue with Jones because of my love for Edmonds, but they are different players, different career arcs and he doesn't hurt the hof one bit, and has shown a growth among the voters, add in that he's pretty much universally loved in baseball circles by writers, fans and again, he just feels like a guy that is going to keep picking up momentum.
   663. SoSH U at work Posted: January 25, 2023 at 12:20 AM (#6114340)
I would think both Raines and Blyleven qualify there. (not including veteran selections that got bumped up because of War arguments like Santo)


Rolen's probably the first pure WAR enshrinee. Raines had the SBs and a decent starting spot (others have made the climb from maiden support from nearly 25 percent of the electorate). Blyleven's push took off before WAR was part of the conversation (and doesn't happen at all if the next decade was virtually bereft of starting pitching candidates).

Rolen is someone who probably has no chance without a shiny 70 WAR career.

Rolen's path to BBWAA election is really unique (at least for now). He was someone many thought, with historical precedence to back that position up, wouldn't see a second ballot. That he was able to go from his starting point (and career) to election in just six years is without parallel, though he won't be the last.
   664. alilisd Posted: January 25, 2023 at 12:59 AM (#6114343)
"I hope we see pushback on Billy Wagner just like we did on Jack Morris."



Morris was just hammered by the insane ballots of 2013-2014. Otherwise, he would have had a decent chance of getting there over his last two ballots. Wagner isn't looking at anything like that.


Yeah, I don't see any push back on Morris. In 2013 he went up, just a little bit but still up, despite the debut of Biggio, Piazza, Bonds, Clemens, Schilling and Sosa. It wasn't until the following year when Maddux and Glavine came on, and that's typical for a player who is clearly outclassed by newcomers to the ballot.
   665. alilisd Posted: January 25, 2023 at 01:04 AM (#6114344)
Closers are an exception. Even some SABR savvy voters succumb to the sultry siren song of the save!

(alliteration, woo hoo!)


Alliteration is as good an explanation as anything else.
   666. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: January 25, 2023 at 08:25 AM (#6114353)
I have issue with Jones because of my love for Edmonds, but they are different players, different career arcs and he doesn't hurt the hof one bit, and has shown a growth among the voters, add in that he's pretty much universally loved in baseball circles by writers, fans and again, he just feels like a guy that is going to keep picking up momentum.


I don't know about the universally beloved part about Jones. He was a fun player to watch when young but I suspect that enough voters think he didn't maximize his talent. It doesn't help his case that his playing fell off a cliff because he ate his way out of the league.

He also has some pushback against his objective case because it's unclear if the advanced defensive metrics overrate his fielding. Stark's column spelled that out well (I pasted the relevant part earlier in the thread). He's got a very defense-heavy case, even more so than Rolen.

Jones is now over 50% and has another four years, so it's certainly plausible and maybe even likely he gets it. But I think he'll have a Morris-like contingent of voters dead set against him which will keep him just under 75%. We'll see.
   667. Ithaca2323 Posted: January 25, 2023 at 09:05 AM (#6114356)
[Mauer] had one of the best catcher peaks of all-time


I really struggle with guys like Mauer.

I'm not really a peak guy, but even acknowledging that most of his value came from the time where he was a C, he played nearly exactly half his games at catcher and half at 1B/DH.

His bWAR before he got completely moved off of C was 44.6, but that still includes about 200 games at DH, or about 15% of his games.

I know plenty of HOFers played multiple positions, but Mauer's was 50/50 for two very different positions and it feels like the discourse basically gives him full career credit at C. It's not so much his career I have an issue with, but the way his candidacy is framed.

   668. Baldrick Posted: January 25, 2023 at 09:25 AM (#6114358)
80-90% of Mauer's value was accumulated when he was a catcher. Which (as noted) is right up there with the best catchers of all-time in terms of a ten year peak.

It's of course worth remembering that his overall career stats include a lot of time spent at other positions. But his overall career stats have almost nothing to do with his HOF case, so I'm not sure how much that even matters. No one is going to vote for him because he crossed 2000 hits or 900 RBI or whatever. They'll vote for him because he spent 10 years as a catcher being about as good as you can ever reasonably hope for.

Speaking of which, it's absolutely bonkers that it took Gary Carter six tries to get elected.

(Edit: I'm not super hot on Mauer's candidacy, for what it's worth. I expect to vote for him if Primer is still alive when his turn comes up, but he's definitely on the lower rungs)
   669. cookiedabookie Posted: January 25, 2023 at 10:02 AM (#6114362)
As for Wagner... a good counter-argument to the idea that HoF voters are getting more sabery over time.

The weird thing is the saber-centric folks are creating new logical stretches to support Wagner - look at Jaffe for instance. They fully accepted the false concept that RP is a separate position from P. It would be like saying a pinch hitter is a separate position, and the best pinch hitters need to be represented in the HoF. Welcome to Cooperstown, Lenny Harris!
   670. Ithaca2323 Posted: January 25, 2023 at 10:16 AM (#6114367)
His overall career stats have almost nothing to do with his HOF case, so I'm not sure how much that even matters. No one is going to vote for him because he crossed 2000 hits or 900 RBI or whatever.


I think that's pretty plainly not true.

A Joe Mauer with only his catching stats has 1,118 hits and 514 RBI. Even accounting for the lower standard of C, a WAR north of 40, and the great slash lines, there's no world in which he gets traction with that. He'd be the Nomar of catchers.

He needs the DH/1B counting numbers to have a candidacy.

I think the thing about peak guys — that we can see with Nomar, Johan, and others — is that even when you know the argument is based on peak, voters still need some bulk.

So if Mauer needs that bulk — and I believe he does — then I don't think he should just be a C
   671. TJ Posted: January 25, 2023 at 10:23 AM (#6114368)
Could Jones’ HOF voting career mirror his actual MLB career where he gets off to a great start then craters in the second half?
   672. The Duke Posted: January 25, 2023 at 10:27 AM (#6114369)
I don't think it's accurate to say 80-90% of his value came from being a catcher. His last 10 WAR came when he caught 0 games. That's 20% of his value right there. I'm no good at pro-rating, but just eyeballing it, it looks like another 10-20% of his value comes from playing other positions while he was still catching.

So let's say 15 WAR of his total comes from non-catching and 40 comes from catching (could be as low as 20/35) It certainly is a good case but not a slam dunk case. It's basically a Thurman Munson case. Career cut short and high early year peak.

He needs to get in before Posey and Molina show up to muddy up the catcher discussion
   673. Jaack Posted: January 25, 2023 at 10:45 AM (#6114370)
I think that's pretty plainly not true.

A Joe Mauer with only his catching stats has 1,118 hits and 514 RBI. Even accounting for the lower standard of C, a WAR north of 40, and the great slash lines, there's no world in which he gets traction with that. He'd be the Nomar of catchers.

He needs the DH/1B counting numbers to have a candidacy.

I think the thing about peak guys — that we can see with Nomar, Johan, and others — is that even when you know the argument is based on peak, voters still need some bulk.

So if Mauer needs that bulk — and I believe he does — then I don't think he should just be a C


This is some real pretzel logic - Mauer's catching stats aren't enough, so he needs five years as a mediocre first basemen to have enough bulk. But now that he's played that much 1B, he's no longer solely a catcher, so he's not subject to the lower counting stat threshold.

Mauer is a candidate because of his 2005-2013 stretch as an excellent hitting catcher, who was also decent defensively. Not because he snuck over 2000 hits pretending to be JT Snow for five years.
   674. Ithaca2323 Posted: January 25, 2023 at 12:03 PM (#6114387)
This is some real pretzel logic - Mauer's catching stats aren't enough, so he needs five years as a mediocre first basemen to have enough bulk


There are 0 position players in the Hall of Fame (excluding Negro League players) with 1,118 hits. No one is even within 100 hits of that total. Exactly what is the flaw with saying that his catching stats wouldn't get him elected, other than it not being what you want to hear?

Now that he's played that much 1B, he's no longer solely a catcher, so he's not subject to the lower counting stat threshold.


He played 5 full seasons where he didn't catch. I'll go ahead and forget all the random appearances at 1B and DH early in his career. This isn't Jorge Posada getting a few half days at DH to keep his bat in the lineup and then having one season out of 17 where he was a full-timer there. Mauer was not a catcher for more than 40% of his seasons in the major leagues.
   675. SoSH U at work Posted: January 25, 2023 at 12:08 PM (#6114389)
He played 5 full seasons where he didn't catch. Forget all the random appearances at 1B and DH early in his career. This isn't Posada getting a few half days at DH to keep his bat in the lineup He was not a catcher for more than 40% of his seasons in the major leagues.


And yet, he managed to put up as much value strictly as a catcher as Yadi and Posey did*, then he added another 15 WAR on top of that which has somehow become a negative.

* No, Duke's estimation that he might have had as little as 35 WAR as a catcher is not remotely close to being true.
   676. Ithaca2323 Posted: January 25, 2023 at 12:17 PM (#6114395)
Edit, that should say 33% of his seasons, not 40
   677. Ithaca2323 Posted: January 25, 2023 at 12:19 PM (#6114396)
And yet, he managed to put up as much value strictly as a catcher as Yadi and Posey did


Neither of whom has been elected yet

*, then he added another 15 WAR on top of that which has somehow become a negative.


It's not a negative. It's just not value he got as a catcher.

Like, is it really hard for people to understand that a guy who played a majority of his career at a position other than catcher should not be considered "just" a catcher?
   678. Ithaca2323 Posted: January 25, 2023 at 12:21 PM (#6114397)
And yet, he managed to put up as much value strictly as a catcher as Yadi and Posey did*


If you give him credit at catcher for the 200+ games he wasn't actually catching from 2004-2013.

Why should we do that again?
   679. Baldrick Posted: January 25, 2023 at 12:25 PM (#6114398)
Like, is it really hard for people to understand that a guy who played a majority of his career at a position other than catcher should not be considered "just" a catcher?

Is it really hard for you to understand that this is a deeply slanted framing which does not accurately reflect what people here are saying?
   680. SoSH U at work Posted: January 25, 2023 at 12:34 PM (#6114399)
If you give him credit at catcher for the 200+ games he wasn't actually catching from 2004-2013.


He had 44.8 WAR from 2004-2013.

He played 1178 games, 930 at catcher. If you took that strictly as a percentage, that's 35.2 WAR.

But that's obviously not the accurate way of looking at it. First, not all of those non-catcher games were at DH/1B, some were as PH, so that's not going to represent a similar weight.

Second, even if he hit the same as a DH/1B as he did as a catcher, he was still going to accrue a lot more of that value while he was catching than when he was at first (a 135 OPS+ is a hell of a lot more valuable in a catcher than in a first baseman).

Third, and I can't stress this enough, he didn't hit as well as a DH/1B as a catcher (probably because in those days, he was being used as a DH/1B when he wasn't at his best physically). He hit much better as a catcher, even before becoming a full-time non-catcher.

So, the actual spread is somewhere around 40 catcher/non-catcher. Yadi has 42.2. Posey has 44.8, but he also spent considerable time out from behind the plate (and hit better when he did).

   681. Ithaca2323 Posted: January 25, 2023 at 12:42 PM (#6114401)
679-

Given that you said 80-90 of his value came from when he was catching, and 19% of his career bWAR came from the seasons where he was literally never a catcher, I’m not sure you’re the person to be lecturing me on accuracy.

By the most charitable of definitions, he spent a third of his career not catching (5 seasons out of 15)

By looking at where he actually played, he spent less than half.

What was his percentage of value accrued at C? I don’t know, because B/R doesn’t break WAR out like that. But it was, at absolute most, 81%
   682. Ithaca2323 Posted: January 25, 2023 at 12:49 PM (#6114404)
680-

I’m fine if we want to say Mauer’s C bWAR is around 40-42.

That puts him in between Posada/Kendall. And those guys got 1-and-doned. And Posada even had a postseason legacy.

That’s hardly slam dunk territory. It might be by peak, but there’s plenty of guys with great peaks who barely got noticed. Johan and Nonar being two
   683. SoSH U at work Posted: January 25, 2023 at 12:55 PM (#6114406)
It might be by peak, but there’s plenty of guys with great peaks who barely got noticed.


So, he has a Hall of Fame peak at the position. He then adds considerable bulk to that peak (enough to take him into borderline territory if he was a non-catcher). But because that came elsewhere, he doesn't get credit for any of the bulk you claim he needs.

You don't see a problem with that position?
   684. Booey Posted: January 25, 2023 at 01:04 PM (#6114408)
IMO some posters are overthinking Mauer's candidacy by nitpicking how much of his value was accrued being the plate and how much wasn't. He's being evaluated based on his entire career, not solely as a catcher. And 55 WAR and 27 WAA is already borderline for anyone; give him basically any catching bonus at all and he's in.
   685. Ithaca2323 Posted: January 25, 2023 at 01:07 PM (#6114411)
So, he has a Hall of Fame peak at the position. He then adds considerable bulk to that peak (enough to take him into borderline territory if he was a non-catcher).



If you want to induct Mauer to the Hall as a catcher, then to me, at best, you can only take 2004-2013. You know, the part of his career where he was a catcher*.

*I mean, just giving him credit for the other games he played elsewhere those seasons, just to move forward


But my point was, his counting numbers as a catcher probably don't get him into the Hall. He ended 2013 with 1,414 hits and 634 RBI. There are not a lot of non-Negro League Hall of Fame position players with so few hits and so few RBI.

If you want to induct him based on merits of his whole career, he should no longer be considered a catcher.

   686. The Duke Posted: January 25, 2023 at 01:17 PM (#6114414)
   687. Ithaca2323 Posted: January 25, 2023 at 01:17 PM (#6114415)
And 55 WAR and 27 WAA is already borderline for anyone; give him basically any catching bonus at all and he's in.


That 55 WAR already takes into account his time as a catcher. Why would he get an extra boost on top of that?

55 bWAR is borderline in terms of in/out, broadly speaking. But a whole lot of guys in that range not only didn't get elected, but got completely ignored.

Do you really think the voters are going to be lining up behind Ian Kinsler in three years?

As recently as 2018, Johnny Damon's 56 bWAR — got him like 1% of the vote. Bobby Abreu's 60 means he's in Year 4 and is still at 15%.
   688. Srul Itza Posted: January 25, 2023 at 01:17 PM (#6114416)
I do not understand Torii Hunter voters.


Well, there weren't THAT many of them, only 27. With the long career, 9 Gold Gloves, and 2,400 hits (50 WAR), I am not surprised that some people believe he should be in the conversation, even though he is so clearly outside the line. Worse players have certainly gotten more votes.
   689. The Duke Posted: January 25, 2023 at 01:18 PM (#6114417)
   690. Jaack Posted: January 25, 2023 at 01:49 PM (#6114427)
If I am looking at Joe Mauer thru 2013, I think he is a Hall of Famer. Not a slam dunk or anything, but above the line. If he retired that year, he'd get my vote. Now I dont give one iota about raw counting stats, so maybe that's just me.

He then adds on five more years as a useful, but limited, first baseman. For me, that is a small positive to his case. I can see why someone might want to ignore it (not much value). I can see why someone might appreciate it more than me (they like counting stats).

What makes no sense at all is to downgrade him for it. Mauer was an elite catcher for a sustained period. He even met the 2000 hits threshold that legitimately no one cares about, except when it comes to excluding guys from the HoF. If the standard is suddenly 'reached 2000 hits while playing catcher' I hope you enjoy your Hall of Fame without Johnny Bench.
   691. Booey Posted: January 25, 2023 at 01:55 PM (#6114429)
#687 - Posey and Molina's 44-ish WAR already takes into account them being a catcher too. Why should they get any additional bonus on top of that? And Yogi Berra and Mike Piazza (both at 59 WAR) should be treated just like John Olerud (58) or Bobby Abreu (60) or any other borderline player since their WAR already accounts for the positional bonus, right?

As a counter point to your Ian Kinsler example, I give you 1st ballot HOFer David Ortiz (55 WAR, 20 WAA). Context matters. And I suspect that Mauer's 3 batting titles as a catcher (there's only 4 others in MLB history), unanimous MVP, and the single season AL/NL batting average record for a catcher (.365 in 2009) is going to hold a lot of weight with the voters.
   692. DL from MN Posted: January 25, 2023 at 01:59 PM (#6114430)
That 55 WAR already takes into account his time as a catcher. Why would he get an extra boost on top of that?


You are putting a lot of faith in the WAR positional adjustment for catchers.
   693. Ithaca2323 Posted: January 25, 2023 at 02:22 PM (#6114435)
If I am looking at Joe Mauer thru 2013, I think he is a Hall of Famer. Not a slam dunk or anything, but above the line. If he retired that year, he'd get my vote. Now I dont give one iota about raw counting stats, so maybe that's just me.


But voters sure do care about counting stats, and that's sort of the point. Pedro Martinez had 84 bWAR, three Cy Young awards, and the best ERA+ of any non-Negro League starting pitcher ever.

And he got 91% of the vote. Think that might have had something to do with him "only" having 219 wins

I don't think, fair or not, Mauer's candidacy even gets started if he retires after 2013 and has 1,414 hits.

If the standard is suddenly 'reached 2000 hits while playing catcher' I hope you enjoy your Hall of Fame without Johnny Bench.


I could change that to "reached 1,150 hits while playing catcher", induct basically every catcher I want, and let Mauer languish.

It's so, so weird that people try to make Mauer's career as a catcher into something it's not. By Hall standards, it was super short, and he accumulated a lot of his numbers playing elsewhere on the diamond. There's nothing wrong with pointing that out.
   694. Howie Menckel Posted: January 25, 2023 at 02:23 PM (#6114436)
SS Ernie Banks and OPS+s, top to bottom - 156-155-149-146-144-136-123-094
C Joe Mauer and OPS+s, top to bottom ---- 171-144-142-140-140-134-118-107

1B Ernie Banks and OPS+s, top to bottom - 118-116-113-110-107-105-094-092
1B Joe Mauer and OPS+s, top to bottom --- 115-107-104-100-098
   695. Ithaca2323 Posted: January 25, 2023 at 02:34 PM (#6114440)
Posey and Molina's 44-ish WAR already takes into account them being a catcher too


And if they get elected with the ease that people seem to think Mauer should, we can revisit this conversation. (Of course it goes without saying, that unlike Mauer, they also have a postseason legacy that goes beyond "Being on the losing side every playoff game I ever played in."

As a counter point to your Ian Kinsler example, I give you 1st ballot HOFer David Ortiz (55 WAR, 20 WAA).


Is this a gotcha? Trevor Hoffman is a Hall of Famer and he has 28 bWAR. Guess this means I need to re-evaluate my stance on Jarrod Washburn or something?

   696. SoSH U at work Posted: January 25, 2023 at 02:38 PM (#6114442)
Well, you were right about one thing. You really struggle with guys like Mauer.
   697. Ithaca2323 Posted: January 25, 2023 at 02:44 PM (#6114444)
You are putting a lot of faith in the WAR positional adjustment for catchers.



That 55 bWAR includes a bunch he got while not catching, including 10.6 he got while being exclusively a first baseman.

Joe Mauer, the catcher, does not have 55 bWAR. Joe Mauer, the baseball player who played less than half his career games at catcher, has 55 bWAR.

I don't see what's so controversial about either:

1. Comparing Mauer to catchers, but then not giving him the credit for the numbers accrued during the five years he was exclusively a first-baseman. This even gives him credit as a catcher for the 200 or so other games he wasn't catching from 2004-2013.

2. Giving Mauer credit for his whole career, but then not just comparing him to other catchers when it comes to Hall worthiness.

I don't think you can have your cake and eat it too. You don't get to say "Mauer was a catcher, even when he wasn't!"

   698. Ithaca2323 Posted: January 25, 2023 at 02:48 PM (#6114446)
Well, you were right about one thing. You really struggle with guys like Mauer.


Yeah, but, unlike others here, at least I understand that when you're playing first base, you're not playing catcher.

Crazy, crazy concept I'm working off of here, Sosh

   699. Booey Posted: January 25, 2023 at 02:57 PM (#6114448)
Again, this isn't the Hall of Merit. The BBWAA doesn't elect people at a certain position. They elect PLAYERS, based on their entire career. I just don't see the writers caring nearly as much as you do about what percentage of Mauer's career came as a catcher and what percentage didn't.

Banks was a league average 1B for half his career. He went first ballot anyway; largely because of his epic peak as a shortstop, but the compiled numbers at the back end of his career no doubt helped as well (500 homers, etc). I don't think Mauer is a first ballot lock or anything, but I don't think the writers are going to struggle this mightily to put his career into the proper context, either.
   700. SoSH U at work Posted: January 25, 2023 at 02:59 PM (#6114449)
I don't think you can have your cake and eat it too. You don't get to say "Mauer was a catcher, even when he wasn't!"


And you want to say, Joe Mauer wasn't a catcher, but also don't count the stuff he did when he wasn't catching. There's plenty of cake that can't be eaten* to go around.

Joe Mauer had a Hall-caliber peak. It's not shortstop peak worthy, but catchers can't play as much as shortstops so that's just natural. Joe Mauer's 40 WAR 10-year peak as a catcher is much more impressive than Nomar's or Johan's.

Unlike those guys, he then added another bunch of quality play at other positions. Not at a Hall level, but certainly enough to add the bulk you say you want (he wasn't tossing in sub-WAR seasons for counting stats purposes).

But for reasons I can't understand, you're unwilling to add his Hall of Fame-worthy peak at one position to his helpful bulk at another at all. Just completely writing it off.

* Also something I've never understood. Why the hell would someone want to have cake and not be able to eat it too? Eating it is the whole point of cake having.
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