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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Mariners making a push for Edgar Martinez’s Baseball Hall of Fame candidacy | The Seattle Times

If you are undecided, Ryan Divish’s contains a bunch of links the team provided to make its case.

Here’s his voting results since being put on the ballot. He needs 75 percent of the vote to get in.

2010 — (36.2%)
2011 — (32.9%)
2012 — (36.5%)
2013 — (35.9%)
2014 — (25.2%)
2015 — (27.0%)
2016 — (43.4%)

Jim Furtado Posted: November 30, 2016 at 11:22 AM | 56 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: edgar martinez, hall of fame, mariners

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   1. BDC Posted: November 30, 2016 at 12:09 PM (#5360017)
On B-Ref, none of Edgar's ten most similar batters is a HOFer. Searching by PAs and OPS+, however, brings better results:

Player               dWAR   PA OPSRbaser  3B  HR  RBI   BB  SB   BA  OBP  SLG        Pos
Duke Snider          
-6.0 8237  140   14.3  85 407 1333  971  99 .295 .380 .540     *89H/7
Sherry Magee         
-8.4 8541  137   22.0 166  83 1176  736 441 .291 .364 .427 *7839/6H45
Edgar Martinez       
-9.7 8674  147  -18.2  15 309 1261 1283  49 .312 .418 .515     *D5/H3
Vladimir Guerrero   
-10.7 9059  140   -3.0  46 449 1496  737 181 .318 .379 .553    *9D/H87
Will Clark          
-10.8 8283  137    7.4  47 284 1205  937  67 .303 .384 .497      *3/HD
Jesse Burkett       
-10.9 8317  143  -25.8 151  65  813  906 338 .347 .424 .453  *7/981645
Jack Clark          
-13.5 8230  137   -4.0  39 340 1180 1262  77 .267 .379 .476  *93DH/875
Harry Heilmann      
-14.0 8964  148   -1.4 151 183 1540  856 113 .342 .410 .520   *93/H847
Carlos Delgado      
-17.9 8657  138  -25.3  18 473 1512 1109  14 .280 .383 .546    *3D/7H2
Willie Stargell     
-19.7 9027  147  -13.1  55 475 1540  937  17 .282 .360 .529    *73H/98
Jason Giambi        
-20.5 8908  139  -15.9   9 440 1441 1366  20 .277 .399 .516   *3DH7/59 


Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 11/30/2016.

Four of the ten are HOFers, and Vlad is yet to be determined; the others include some decent cases, one HOM guy in Clark, and all are at least HOVG, you'd have to say.

There will always be those who'll say that there's no way a >50% DH could be more valuable defensively than the Clarks or Burkett, even than Stargell or Giambi. I'm not sure that Martinez would have an easy path to the Hall if he'd been a career first baseman, but it would be an easier sell. Then again, his notoriety as the greatest of all DHs is perhaps keeping his case alive.

Edgar was a better hitter than several guys who are in the HOF as hitters, including Chuck Klein, Reggie Jackson, Orlando Cepeda, and Harmon Killebrew (currently also suffering by comparison in a Tim-Raines thread).
   2. SoSH U at work Posted: November 30, 2016 at 12:13 PM (#5360021)
They might have wanted to make this push a little earlier.
   3. DanG Posted: November 30, 2016 at 01:25 PM (#5360086)
One problem Edgar has this year is that many voters will see these two stat lines and conclude there's little difference between the two players:

H: 2247 - HR: 309 - RBI: 1261 - BA: .312
H: 2156 - HR: 294 - RBI: 1236 - BA: .309

They might even like the second guy more, because "he wasn't just a bat."
   4. Kiko Sakata Posted: November 30, 2016 at 01:37 PM (#5360098)
They might have wanted to make this push a little earlier.


Edgar's running out of time and probably won't make it, but I don't know that an earlier push would have helped. He made a nice jump last year which I think suggests that there are voters open to his case, but he was also an easy guy to drop if your ballot got too crowded. Now that ballots are less crowded, the electorate may be more open to considering him. If he clears 50% this year, I think he has a shot - still probably less than 50/50, but I think once a guy reaches a certain point - and 50% may be that point - it can shift the conversation about a guy from "why should we elect this guy" to "why shouldn't we elect this guy".
   5. SoSH U at work Posted: November 30, 2016 at 02:02 PM (#5360116)
Edgar's running out of time and probably won't make it, but I don't know that an earlier push would have helped.


The Rich Lederer Experience suggests otherwise.

I mean, yes, circumstances are more favorable now than they were in 2013, but I'm sure it would have helped him if he'd been at a better level of support when the deluge hit.

   6. DavidFoss Posted: November 30, 2016 at 02:08 PM (#5360122)
@3
They might even like the second guy more, because "he wasn't just a bat."

The Fielding and Position columns end up balancing out for those two. Fascinating comparison, though. Goes to show what 49 points of OBP will do. Reminds me of this year's MVP race: "Trout didn't seem to be that dominant this year... though he did win the OBP title by 37 points."
   7. Jack Sommers Posted: November 30, 2016 at 02:26 PM (#5360153)
I'm a very bad person who is about to do a very bad thing, but I have always wondered if Edgar was a guy that managed to avoid suspicion of PED use when he might just be a "poster boy" by looking at his career arc.

Ages 30-31 he was missing A LOT of time with injuries.


Through age 31 : .303/.391/.460 133 OPS+, 38 doubles and 16 homers per 162 games.

Then comes back after two injury marred season and from ages 32-40 posts the following line in 5,487 PA: .321/.438/.558 .996 OPS, 159 OPS+ while averaging 44 double and 31 homers per 162 games


Did he get some help getting healthy and recovering after his age 30-31 seasons ? For sure moving to DH full time at age 32 had a lot to do with it, but was that all of it. ?

I can't help it, I've always wondered. I guess I should have just kept that kind of speculation to myself though. There has never been a hint of actual implication against him as far as I know. It probably DOES make me a bad man for writing out my thoughts.

   8. DanG Posted: November 30, 2016 at 02:27 PM (#5360154)
Fascinating comparison, though.
Three years ago, Edgar was on the ballot with this guy:

H: 2134 - HR: 332 - RBI: 1287 - BA: .303

Of course, Moises Alou was one and done, but it doesn't help Edgar's case to appear so similar to players of such low caliber.
   9. Lassus Posted: November 30, 2016 at 02:33 PM (#5360164)
It's been six years since Alou retired? Good god.
   10. SoSH U at work Posted: November 30, 2016 at 03:06 PM (#5360204)

It's been six years since Alou retired? Good god.


Should we tell him?
   11. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: November 30, 2016 at 03:42 PM (#5360229)
But sir, Moises Alou retired exactly 100 years ago today.
   12. Walt Davis Posted: November 30, 2016 at 04:43 PM (#5360286)
Grrr... you can't just blithely compare Edgar to somebody like Reggie. Edgar had fewer than 8700 PA, Reggie more than 11,400. From ages 22-36, Reggie had 8809 PA and a 151 OPS+, better than Edgar's 147. Edgar still wins on Rbat thanks to OBP but Reggie was an average defensive RF, solid baserunner, avoided DPs (FBs and Ks) and trots home with the WAR crown 74-68. You're better off trying to argue that Edgar was nearly as good as first-ballot Reggie than trying to get people to believe he was better.

The same holds for Killebrew. From 23-36, he had 8512 PA and a 151 OPS+. Edgar has a slight Rbat lead at 531 to 502. Killebrew was worse than Edgar at everything else though and loses by WAR. Killer took a few ballots and offensive standards seem to have jumped further since then.

Cepeda and Klein were both VC selections. There's not much evidence that VC inductions have ever had any influence on BBWAA standards. Klein never made any progress with the writers. Cepeda started slowly but was about where Edgar is on his 8th ballot. Cepeda came close with a big last-ballot push (he jumped 14%).

Stargell is the HoFer that Edgar supporters can easily hang their hat on -- first ballot, missed major milestones, didn't contribute with anything but the bat, even Pops = Papi. It was an extremely weak ballot (Oliva finished 3rd at under 50%; Tiant and Lyle were the other "big" debuts) but I don't think that has ever mattered to the BBWAA either. And Stargell got in partly on "emotional team leader."
   13. BDC Posted: November 30, 2016 at 04:56 PM (#5360295)
Fair enough, Walt, but even as you win the point you're showing that Edgar was about as good at his peak. I often say "better" to compare the highest levels players establish, and I don't think Reggie ever established himself as an offensive value for as long or as well as Edgar did 1995-98 or 2000. (But I'm only comparing hitting, and Jackson was the better athlete and player overall.)

The relative shortness of Martinez' career compared to inner-circle types is certainly a mark against him, but he could hit with all but the very best for five or six years there.
   14. reech Posted: November 30, 2016 at 05:43 PM (#5360325)
For the eighth time in his career, David Ortiz has won the Edgar Martinez Award as the year's best designated hitter. The award has been given out by MLB since 1973 and was renamed in 2004 for Martinez, who won it five times.


I dunno, but if the freakin' DH Award is actually named after a guy, he's generally gonna be a legit h.o.f.er
   15. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: November 30, 2016 at 06:13 PM (#5360339)
Through age 31 : .303/.391/.460 133 OPS+, 38 doubles and 16 homers per 162 games.

Then comes back after two injury marred season and from ages 32-40 posts the following line in 5,487 PA: .321/.438/.558 .996 OPS, 159 OPS+ while averaging 44 double and 31 homers per 162 games


Did he get some help getting healthy and recovering after his age 30-31 seasons ? For sure moving to DH full time at age 32 had a lot to do with it, but was that all of it. ?

I can't help it, I've always wondered. I guess I should have just kept that kind of speculation to myself though. There has never been a hint of actual implication against him as far as I know. It probably DOES make me a bad man for writing out my thoughts.


Through age 31 - 1987-1994
after age 31 - 1995-2004

Through age 31 AIR (offensive context, the higher the number, the better hitting environment) - 99
after age 31 - 108
   16. cardsfanboy Posted: November 30, 2016 at 06:20 PM (#5360342)

I dunno, but if the freakin' DH Award is actually named after a guy, he's generally gonna be a legit h.o.f.er


Ehh, provided he is better than the other bats on the ballot. I still cannot for the life of me fathom a universe in which Edgar is more deserving of the hof than Larry Walker, same hitters, roughly same career length, but one was a gold glove quality right fielder....
   17. Danny Posted: November 30, 2016 at 06:23 PM (#5360343)
One problem Edgar has this year is that many voters will see these two stat lines and conclude there's little difference between the two players

It's hard to see how any voters who focus on traditional counting stats would vote for Edgar. On the current ballot, he's 12th in runs, 12th in hits, 12th in HR, and 11th in RBI.
   18. Jack Sommers Posted: November 30, 2016 at 08:05 PM (#5360383)
Through age 31 - 1987-1994
after age 31 - 1995-2004

Through age 31 AIR (offensive context, the higher the number, the better hitting environment) - 99
after age 31 - 108


If only there were some way to adjust his stats to take the different scoring environment into account......


The guy goes from 133 OPS+ to a 159 OPS+ at a time he should be declining.

   19. Walt Davis Posted: November 30, 2016 at 09:27 PM (#5360412)
I dunno, but if the freakin' DH Award is actually named after a guy, he's generally gonna be a legit h.o.f.er

1) The role has only existed for 44 seasons in half of MLB
2) The role is usually filled by either a rotation of players or former sluggers now in their late 30s

The competition for "best DH of the first 40 years of the DH" is therefore very thin. There are only 7 players with over 5000 PA as a DH (Edgar is 3rd behind Ortiz and Baines). Being the best is obviously better than being 5th best.

BDC ... sure, wasn't arguing Edgar doesn't have an impressive offensive prime. Was just pointing out that it wasn't more impressive than some of the guys you mentioned. Edgar's further problem is era. Beyond OPS+ and other adjustments, it was simply an era where lots of guys posted really high OPS+s. For the period 1988-2016, without making any adjustment for PAs other than requiring a min of 7000, among the "sluggers", he's tied for 7th in OPS+ in this period (Thome) and only just ahead of Berkman (and only 800 PA ahead of Berkman) and not much ahead of Sheffield (tied if you look at Sheff's prime) and Giambi. He's not much ahead of a whole lot of guys with far more defensive value and/or longer careers (Chipper, ARod, Vlad, Walker, Piazza, Griffey).

I was gonna do some more P-I searches but it's not working well for me right now. (It would also be great if there was an easy way to pull out the best X,000 stretches of a player's career.) Anyway, Edgar is right on the border IMO. The part of me that wants to put Dick Allen in would probably put Edgar in. The part of me that "knows" that Giambi and Berkman don't belong and is far from sure whether Sheffield belongs, doesn't think Edgar belongs. In the end, it was just an easy era to put up silly offensive numbers so "OMG, would you look at these rate stats" just isn't a convincing argument on its own, even relative rate stats. Every bit deeper we dig, the little bit worse Edgar looks.

Shoewiz -- I don't think there's any good evidence that older players were better in the sillyball era than others. And of course a number of players have had good 30s. Not many as good as Edgar but Stargell, Molitor, Kent, Ortiz, FRob, etc. were "better" hitters in their 30s than their 20s, sometimes due to health. From 21-27, Morgan had a 122 OPS+; from 28-33 it was 159; then back to 114 from 34-40 ... that might be a little more common in terms of shape, but almost nobody sees a 37-point jump in OPS+ and almost everybody is worse from 34-40 than their early 20s. Baseball is a funny game.

   20. Jack Sommers Posted: November 30, 2016 at 10:51 PM (#5360457)
I was gonna do some more P-I searches but it's not working well for me right now.


Been having that problem all day

   21. baxter Posted: December 01, 2016 at 12:30 AM (#5360478)
This is the thread with the claim that Martinez is a better hitter than Jackson, also Killebrew.

When you compare across eras, remember that Martinez would not be in a discussion for any career honors as he could not stay healthy playing in the field. Sure, Killebrew missed 60 games in '68 when he did the splits at first base (came back to win MVP the next year). Martinez once bumped into another infielder while playing 3B against the Angels and was out the rest of the year. Killebrew played 160 games DH his career. Martinez may be a worthy HOF'er compared to other hitters of his era, but to say he hit better than Killebrew oversells the former and undersells the latter.
   22. Starring RMc as Bradley Scotchman Posted: December 01, 2016 at 08:45 AM (#5360522)
No rings, no MVPs, mostly a DH, played entire career in second-most overlooked MLB market (after Montreal), numbers nice (2247 H, 309 HR, .312 AVG) but hardly slam-dunk. I'm a little surprised Edgar has gotten even 43% of the vote.
   23. The Ghost of Delilah Posted: December 01, 2016 at 10:45 AM (#5360587)
When you compare across eras, remember that Martinez would not be in a discussion for any career honors as he could not stay healthy playing in the field. Sure, Killebrew missed 60 games in '68 when he did the splits at first base (came back to win MVP the next year). Martinez once bumped into another infielder while playing 3B against the Angels and was out the rest of the year. Killebrew played 160 games DH his career. Martinez may be a worthy HOF'er compared to other hitters of his era, but to say he hit better than Killebrew oversells the former and undersells the latter.

None of this has anything to do with the question of whether Martinez was a better hitter than Killebrew. He was. Given the era in which he played, he had an opportunity to DEMONSTRATE this fact.
   24. DavidFoss Posted: December 01, 2016 at 10:58 AM (#5360598)
In the end, it was just an easy era to put up silly offensive numbers so "OMG, would you look at these rate stats" just isn't a convincing argument on its own, even relative rate stats. Every bit deeper we dig, the little bit worse Edgar looks.

I think its a WAR thing. I consider myself a stathead and I think WAR is at least a good starting point. 68.3 is a lot of WAR. The career doesn't seem that long so you figure there's got to be a big peak, but the top season is 'only' 7.0 WAR. So then I figure other players must have much more WAR, but they don't (Giambi 50.4, Berkman 51.7, Ortiz 55.4, Allen 58.7, BoBonds 57.7, Killebrew 60.5, etc). Then I figure there must be a quirk with his WAR. The DH penalty looks severe, you don't have to worry about fielding, so its just Rbat which is the most accurate part. I guess he sustained that high OBP for a longer prime than most despite the short career and spend a quarter of his time at 3B as well? I actually look and relook to see that it goes all the way to 68. Not so high that he should be 'automatic' but higher than I would have guessed.
   25. Rally Posted: December 01, 2016 at 11:19 AM (#5360629)
It's true that players before 1973 did not have the opportunity to extend their careers at the DH position. It's still pretty rare to succeed at this to the extent Edgar did. Paul Molitor and David Ortiz are the only others.

Edgar became a fulltime DH at age 32 and the rest is history. One of Killebrew's teammates, Tony Oliva, was another great hitter with lots of injury problems. At age 32 he led the league in BA and SLG, then was injured for all but 10 games of the following season. He came back, and it just happened to be 1973 so he got the DH role. He was the primary DH for 1973-75 and hit OK, OPS+ just above average, then he fell off a cliff.

Had the DH been delayed for a few years and Oliva forced to retire at age 34, we'd probably look back and say "this guy could have done what Edgar did if only he had a DH rule" After all, he was an MVP level hitter in his final season playing the field. But he got the chance and couldn't do that.
   26. Baldrick Posted: December 01, 2016 at 11:26 AM (#5360640)
When you compare across eras, remember that Martinez would not be in a discussion for any career honors as he could not stay healthy playing in the field. Sure, Killebrew missed 60 games in '68 when he did the splits at first base (came back to win MVP the next year). Martinez once bumped into another infielder while playing 3B against the Angels and was out the rest of the year. Killebrew played 160 games DH his career. Martinez may be a worthy HOF'er compared to other hitters of his era, but to say he hit better than Killebrew oversells the former and undersells the latter.

And if you want to play the 'what could have been' game, then put Martinez in the big leagues at 18 and give him an extra 4-5 full seasons in the majors in which to accrue value. Edgar of the 1980s was a late bloomer, but was also held in AAA at least one season too long, possibly 2-3 seasons. Could Edgar of the 1950s have started full time at 23? Quite possibly. But who can really say? That's the thing with counterfactuals.

Additional question:
Martinez once bumped into another infielder while playing 3B against the Angels and was out the rest of the year

What on earth is this in reference to? He tore his hamstring before the season in 1993 (running the bases, BTW), which kept him out for significant chunks of that year - and plagued him in '94 as well. He had another hamstring tear in 2002. And he had bone spurs in his shoulder that cut out the last couple weeks of his 1993. As far as I can remember, those are his only significant DL stints.
   27. SoSH U at work Posted: December 01, 2016 at 12:15 PM (#5360728)
What on earth is this in reference to? He tore his hamstring before the season in 1993 (running the bases, BTW), which kept him out for significant chunks of that year - and plagued him in '94 as well. He had another hamstring tear in 2002. And he had bone spurs in his shoulder that cut out the last couple weeks of his 1993. As far as I can remember, those are his only significant DL stints.


His recollection of events is wrong. Edgar suffered one injury on the defensive side of the ball, during the aforementioned collision. It cost him 21 games in the middle of the season.
   28. michaelplank has knowledgeable eyes Posted: December 01, 2016 at 12:24 PM (#5360741)
1996

Batted .327 and drove in 106 runs but, in his only start of the season at third base, suffered four fractured ribs in a collision with catcher John Marzano while chasing an infield popup on July 20. The injury cost Martinez 21 games and ended his team-record 293 consecutuve game streak. On Aug. 25, Martinez recorded his 1,000 career hit.


http://web.kitsapsun.com/archive/2004/10-03/11432_edgar_martinez_through_the_years.html
   29. alilisd Posted: December 01, 2016 at 12:41 PM (#5360763)
Good thing he just bumped into him. If it had been a real collision, his head probably would have popped clean off!
   30. alilisd Posted: December 01, 2016 at 01:44 PM (#5360819)
Edgar's further problem is era. Beyond OPS+ and other adjustments, it was simply an era where lots of guys posted really high OPS+s.


I'm not sure about this except as the residue from there being more teams/players. Here's my methodology in case I'm missing something: Searched for player seasons of OPS+ of 150 or better with enough PA's to qualify for the batting title; searched by decade from 1901-1910, 1911-1920, etc.; divided the number of seasons by the number of teams (once expansion began I used the average number of teams per decade, so for 1961-1970 it was 20.6, 1971-1980 it was 24.8, 1981-1990 it was 26, and 1991-2000 it was 28.2). I used 1901 since that was the beginning of the AL-NL structure, and 150 OPS+ because I think that's a HOF, or All Star level of OPS+; in other words a high OPS+.

The first four decades were very consistent, 74, 73, 81, and 74 seasons, or 4.63, 4.56, 5.06, and 4.63 per team. The 1940's dropped off to 3.69, I would assume an effect of WW II, the 1950's were 4.19, then the 1960's saw a jump up to 4.71, followed by the offensive decline of the 1970's and 1980's which were 3.39 and 2.77 (Wow, the 80's were bad!). However, the 1990's were just 4.33, and 2001-2010 even lower at 3.43. So, yes, maybe more players had high OPS+ marks in the 1990's, but it seems to me it was because there were more teams/players, not that it was an unusual decade in terms of a large number of seasons for OPS+. On a ratio basis the 1990's were a bit below what appears to be "normal." Is my methodology totally off base?
   31. alilisd Posted: December 01, 2016 at 01:55 PM (#5360831)
For the period 1988-2016, without making any adjustment for PAs other than requiring a min of 7000, among the "sluggers", he's tied for 7th in OPS+ in this period (Thome) and only just ahead of Berkman (and only 800 PA ahead of Berkman) and not much ahead of Sheffield (tied if you look at Sheff's prime) and Giambi. He's not much ahead of a whole lot of guys with far more defensive value and/or longer careers (Chipper, ARod, Vlad, Walker, Piazza, Griffey).


Thought I'd take a look at this, too. So about a 30 year period, and 7,000 PA's. 1901 to 1930 7th place is a 148 OPS+, 8th is 146. 1931 to 1960 7th place is 142, 6th is 155. 1961 to 1990 has three guys tied with 147 (Schmidt, Stargell, and McCovey are listed as 5th to 7th), and 8th and 9th are at 146 (Killebrew and Clemente). Not really seeing this as an argument against Edgar as a hitter. Granted, one has to make their own call on whether they think an offense only player is Hall-worthy, but looking at OPS+ figures by these increments certainly says he was a HOF level hitter in any era, IMO. Also, I think we see more players on this list for 1988 to 2016 as a result of more teams/players during that period, not because it was easier to do.
   32. Baldrick Posted: December 01, 2016 at 02:19 PM (#5360853)
Since 1901, Edgar is 27th in batting runs. By rBat per plate appearance, he's basically tied with Jeff Bagwell, Hank Aaron, and Frank Robinson. Obviously, those guys had longer careers and decline phases (less so for Bagwell). But still...

He was a very very good hitter.
   33. Booey Posted: December 01, 2016 at 03:26 PM (#5360924)
So, yes, maybe more players had high OPS+ marks in the 1990's, but it seems to me it was because there were more teams/players, not that it was an unusual decade in terms of a large number of seasons for OPS+. On a ratio basis the 1990's were a bit below what appears to be "normal." Is my methodology totally off base?


Great post, alilisd. And I agree completely. I posted something similar a while back, only using career OPS+ rather than single seasons. Take everyone with a career 150 OPS+ (say, 5000 PA minimum), put them into the decades in which they produced their most value, and you get this list:

1900's - 2 (Wagner, LaJoie)
1910's - 3 (Jackson, Cobb, Speaker)
1920's - 2 (Ruth, Hornsby)
1930's - 4 (Gehrig, Foxx, Greenberg, Ott)
1940's - 3 (Williams, Mize, DiMaggio)
1950's - 2 (Mantle, Musial)
1960's - 4 (Allen, Mays, Aaron, Robinson)
1970's - 0 (high was Stargell at 147)
1980's - 0 (high was Schmidt at 147)
1990's - 3 (Bonds, McGwire, Thomas)
2000's - 2 (Pujols, Ramirez)
2010's - 2 (Cabrera, Votto)

People think the sillyball era had a disproportionate amount of great hitters only cuz they compare it to the previous 2 decades. But if you look at ALL of baseball history, the 1990's and 2000's don't stand out at all. The 70's and 80's are the outliers for NOT having as many historically great hitters as the norm.
   34. Rusty Priske Posted: December 01, 2016 at 03:29 PM (#5360927)
While I think Edgar deserves to be in the Hall, he wouldn't make my hypothetical ballot.

Of the 13 players I would like to vote for, he comes in at #11.
   35. Jobu is silent on the changeup Posted: December 01, 2016 at 04:19 PM (#5360981)
None of this has anything to do with the question of whether Martinez was a better hitter than Killebrew. He was. Given the era in which he played, he had an opportunity to DEMONSTRATE this fact.
That's not as slam-dunk true as you're presenting it. He had mildly better rate stats in 1200 fewer PA's. Guess what happens if you trim Killebrew's career back by ~1200 PA's at the beginning (when he was a bonus-baby taking up space) and end (when he was more useful as an ambassador than as a player)? I bet you know, and that's why you didn't say. I think it probably serves the argument just as well to say he was as good as Killebrew - that's a direct comparison to a non-borderline true comparable.
   36. Rally Posted: December 01, 2016 at 04:23 PM (#5360990)
2010's - 2 (Cabrera, Votto, Trout)

OK - Trout doesn't have 5000 PA yet but all it will take to get there is 2 years of average performance.
   37. alilisd Posted: December 01, 2016 at 04:35 PM (#5361001)
Thanks Booey! I was shocked by those 70's and 80's numbers! No wonder Morris had so many W's :-)
   38. alilisd Posted: December 01, 2016 at 04:44 PM (#5361014)
32: Baldrick, I agree. I think splitting hairs over whether he was as good as, slightly better than, slightly worse than Jackson, Killebrew, et al, is missing the point. He was a HOF level hitter. I don't see any way around this conclusion except taking a small Hall stance. Then it's simply a question of whether you believe a primarily DH player is hall worthy, but to quibble about which HOF player he is or is not as good as is beside the point because in terms of hitting, as the HOF currently stands, he hit at a HOF level.
   39. alilisd Posted: December 01, 2016 at 04:48 PM (#5361017)
36: Yeah, Trout has a chance.
   40. alilisd Posted: December 01, 2016 at 04:56 PM (#5361024)
More on Trout. Every time I look at his BR page my brain melts! For example, he is 27th (edit: 17th, not 27th) by JAWS for CF. That includes the 8th highest WAR7 score of all time. But he hasn't even played 7 seasons yet, only 6, and one of those was a cup of coffee!!!
   41. Baldrick Posted: December 01, 2016 at 05:25 PM (#5361037)
That's not as slam-dunk true as you're presenting it. He had mildly better rate stats in 1200 fewer PA's. Guess what happens if you trim Killebrew's career back by ~1200 PA's at the beginning (when he was a bonus-baby taking up space) and end (when he was more useful as an ambassador than as a player)? I bet you know, and that's why you didn't say. I think it probably serves the argument just as well to say he was as good as Killebrew - that's a direct comparison to a non-borderline true comparable.

Edgar had 60 more batting runs than Killebrew in 1200 fewer plate appearances.

He was a better hitter.
   42. Walt Davis Posted: December 01, 2016 at 05:59 PM (#5361058)
Good work guys but ...

# players with 4000+ PA and 140+ OPS+ by 11 year chunks, integration era give or take

2004-14: 8
1993-03: 19 (sillyball)
1982-92: 8
1971-81: 6
1960-70: 11
1949-59: 7

Stands out like a sore thumb except for the opposite extreme era of nofunball. Some of that is more players, some of that is worse players at the bottom end due to expansion, most of that is sillyball.

We can debate the exact time period of sillyball, but it certainly started in 93-94. So if you do 1990-99, you're mixing ... and for 1990-99, we get just 10, then for 2000-2009 we do get 15. I'd probably argue for ending it when Ks started their trend ever upwards which looks to be 2007 or 2008. (An alternative ending point would be whenever they started using the humidor in Coors.) So let's look by 15 year chunks and we'll bump the PA limit up to 5000:

1993-07: 17
1978-92: 5
1963-77: 12
1948-62: 8

That one looks more stable based on # of teams.

Now, back to Edgar. As it turns out, 1993-2003 basically is the important part of his career, covering his ages 30-40. So he's one of those 19. That 19 are:

Bonds, Thomas, Manny, Bagwell, Edgar, Thome, Sheffield, Piazza, Giambi, Belle, Giles, Griffey, Guerrero, Helton, Walker, ARod, Delgado, Jones, Sosa.

Belle, Delgado and Giles had even shorter careers and did less in this period and probably less outside of this period than Edgar. So they're out.

But every other player on this list had at least as much defensive value as Edgar. Arguably Manny and Sheffield had as little and maybe Giambi too and nobody's bragging about Thome's glove. Giambi also comes up short by career and peak so he's behind Edgar. I have my doubts about Helton but I'm not sure they're justified.

Many of these guys had a lot more outside of this window -- Bonds, Thomas, Thome, Griffey, ARod.

So I put Edgar at #14 in this group which only covers 11 years. Or tied with Sheff at 13th. This is just "peak" sluggers of 1993-2003. We've managed to miss career candidate Palmeiro. We've skipped over Alomar, Biggio, Larkin by our OPS+ criterion (and Raines's last season was 2002).

Also to this point I'm surely under-rating Edgar's OBP effects. Fair enough. From 1993-2003, by WAR, he's 12th. He has now slipped in behind Palmeiro and is just ahead of Olerud. He is behind Lofton and Walker. He's barely ahead of Bernie Williams.

Edgar does have a large amount of WAR outside of this, producing more at 27-29 than I tend to remember. That does seperate him from some of the even more borderline guys. But I still place him behind all of the HoF IFs, CFs and such of this era.

He's certainly one of the better hitters of his era (although this is mostly walks and singles -- he's about to become one of my top examples as to why BA is the single most important offensive component). But he's certainly one of the "worst defenders" (i.e. least defensive value) of his era and he didn't add on the bases. If you had to choose one tool, it would be to hit but this is the HoF -- if you've got one tool, it's got to be really impressive. He didn't dominate his era as a hitter sufficiently to overcome the other bits. But it's certainly close enough that I won't have a problem if he goes in.

On Edgar's "late" arrival. This is pure fantasy. At 20, he had only a part season in A- and was quite bad. At 21 he had a killer season but was still in A ball. At 22, at AA, he hit 258/378/353. That was not in any way promising. At 23, repeating AA, he hit only 264/383/390. No BA, no power, nothing but walks.

His breakout came at 24, hitting 329/434/473 at AAA. That's still not a lot of power but that's probably a good enough projection for 3B. He did debut that year but you can argue he should have been up a month or two earlier. It certainly seems he should not have been sent back to AA at 25. Looks like he got injured at some point that year though as he had just 109 games total across minors and majors.

All told, with 20/20 hindsight, you could realistically add about one season to his career ... which could be quite important in terms of total PT and WAR. That said, he was on the roster for age 26, given reasonable playing time and struggled (613 OPS) so he got sent down for a month. He didn't get a lot of PT in Sept either but he also didn't do anything with it. There also seems to be some DL time in there too.

Edgars age 26:

15 starts in first 23 games, including the first 4: 435 OPS
Doesn't play at all for 7 games (an owie?) then is barely used in May: 1008 OPS in just 21 PA
Doesn't play at all for 17 days (15 games): DL or AAA?
18 starts in 20 games leading up to the AS break: 679 OPS
barely used for 2+ weeks: 483 OPS in 20 PA; seasonal OPS stands at 619
Doesn't play for 31 games: I assume AAA but could be some DL time too
Barely used in Sept: 623 OPS in 23 PA

It is completely unjustifiable to think that Edgar could have played in the majors anytime before mid-season age 24 (actual debut Sept age 24). It is justifiable to say that he shouldn't have been sent back to AAA, especially not for a full season of AAA, at age 25. At age 26, he was given a shot to hold the 3B job in April and he failed. He was given a second shot from mid-June to mid-July and failed. It's hard for any player to succeed in part-time usage but he didn't distinguish himself in those periods either. It was completely justifiable to send him back down at age 26.

When you combine his meager ML playing time from 24-26, he was slightly below-average overall and as a hitter. Presumably with more playing time, he'd have settled into something at least a bit better than that but there's no reason to think he'd have set the world on fire. And about all you can realistically justify over that period is another full season, maybe 1-2 months more, so probably nothing more than 2-3 WAR tops.

Getting back to career arc ... Edgar's is really weird. He took a huge step at 24 from AA-AAA solid to strong line-drive hitter, AAA stud. He took a second huge step at 27 from maybe solid-good hitter for 3B to stud hitter for 3B. Then at 32, he took a big step from strong to elite hitter. Three big steps in a career is unusual (Sosa did something similar).

27-31: 138 OPS+, 307/397/471
32-36: 165 OPS+, 334/455/579

Potentially that last jump came at age 29 then injuries and strike at ages 30-31 held him back. But 1994 (age 31) was pretty full given the strike and was good but not Edgar level.
   43. Booey Posted: December 01, 2016 at 06:28 PM (#5361073)
Good work guys but ...

# players with 4000+ PA and 140+ OPS+ by 11 year chunks, integration era give or take

2004-14: 8
1993-03: 19 (sillyball)
1982-92: 8
1971-81: 6
1960-70: 11
1949-59: 7


Can you run the same numbers for every decade from 1900-present, rather than just the integration era (and find a way to factor in # of teams, the way alilisd did)? 2/3 of the integration era is sillyball and 70's/80's, the latter of which we already noted were low points for individual hitters. I'm guessing the 11 you listed from 1960-1970 with several fewer teams ends up being very comparable to the 19 from 1993-2003 with 28-30 teams.
   44. Baldrick Posted: December 01, 2016 at 06:49 PM (#5361086)
All told, with 20/20 hindsight, you could realistically add about one season to his career ... which could be quite important in terms of total PT and WAR. That said, he was on the roster for age 26, given reasonable playing time and struggled (613 OPS) so he got sent down for a month. He didn't get a lot of PT in Sept either but he also didn't do anything with it. There also seems to be some DL time in there too.

I don't think that's what 20/20 hindsight means. It's not: 'what reasonable decisions might people have made?' It means 20/20 hindsight. Which tells us that Martinez was clearly an accomplished hitter during his Age 24 season, and almost certainly could have hung in the majors at that point. He was CLEARLY better than the sub-replacement Jim Presley that the Mariners actually used over the three years from 1987-1989. Even being jerked around like he was, Martinez performed at basically league average during that period.

Was it ridiculous for the M's to make the moves that they did in 87-88? Probably not. Certainly there wasn't anything in his record to suggest that he'd outperform Presley at the start of 1987. And you can still make the case for going with your established guy (who had been an All Star in 1986, though not particularly deservingly) rather than a 25 year old rookie with one good AAA season. But their usage of him in 1989 was just bad, full stop. You say that he was 'given a shot, and failed.' I say: he got 16 games, in which he did poorly. Which is nothing. Then, he got another month in mid-summer, during which he out-performed Presley (in the middle of second straight sub-replacement campaign) pretty easily but lost the job again.

Which is to say: I think it's quite clear that Edgar most of a season due to poor management. And if the M's had actually known how good he was going to be, they'd have likely given him another year or more on top of that.
   45. baxter Posted: December 01, 2016 at 09:44 PM (#5361141)
26 & 27; I though Martinez banged into a shortstop; they were not running each towards a ball; this was not Cameron/Damon or Mays/Bobby Bonds (NBC game of the week); just both going for the same pop up and bumping each other, Martinez injured (rather severely in relation to what it was); had an outside chance at breaking the doubles record that year. I note from the link provided that it was the only game he played at 3rd that year.

Oliva ruined himself by having to play the field after coming back from surgeries. If he had been able to switch to DH after first knee injury, he may have been able to play longer at DH later; who knows. Look at Ortiz' comments on how he can't drag himself to hit (along with the preparation for that, of course); I don't think he or Molitor or Martinez could have put up the numbers in a non-DH era. Martinez didn't even play much first base after that game. Without a DH position, it's safe bet he would not have had the opportunity to put up the numbers. Walker may have been able to stay in the lineup more if he had just DH"d.But, we do have a DH, and he may belong. I would put in Ortiz way before b/c of the narrative, the "sparkle" if you will. With no career milestones and no sparkle, he's going to wait and he may not make it. He is a well respected man with a fine reputation, but it won't be an injustice a la Blyleven/Santo by not putting him in and it won't be a Morris/Rice "travesty" if he does make it.

But ultimately, how does this affect Beltre's chances? Hopefully he will join Piazza and Martinez (Pedro) among the HOF'ers the Dodgers were dumb enough to let go (maybe Vlad too).

   46. Jobu is silent on the changeup Posted: December 02, 2016 at 09:15 AM (#5361238)
Edgar had 60 more batting runs than Killebrew in 1200 fewer plate appearances.

He was a better hitter.
I think both of those sentences are equally true. Bref has the difference at 45, FG says 44. And of course 525 runs in the 1990's is worth more than 480 in the 1960's.
   47. DanG Posted: December 02, 2016 at 11:13 AM (#5361322)
And of course 525 runs in the 1990's is worth more than 480 in the 1960's.
No. In Edgar's time it took more runs to produce a win, so Killebrew actually has more Batting Wins when you equalize plate appearances.

Here are stats from BB-Ref:

BR: 569 / BW: 52.3 / OWn%: .712 / PA: 8674 Edgar's career
BR: 523 / BW: 53.5 / OWn%: .728 / PA: 8802 Killebrew 1959-73
   48. Hysterical & Useless Posted: December 02, 2016 at 03:24 PM (#5361540)
Was Reggie actually a "league average" outfielder? I know he was fast and a very good athlete in his youth, but at least during his time with the Yankees the eye test rated him as perhaps a step above horrible. Could be that's just anti-Yankee bias talking.
   49. Jobu is silent on the changeup Posted: December 02, 2016 at 03:41 PM (#5361556)
No. In Edgar's time it took more runs to produce a win, so Killebrew actually has more Batting Wins when you equalize plate appearances.
That's what I was saying, but my sarcasm font is broken.
   50. alilisd Posted: December 02, 2016 at 05:17 PM (#5361620)
# players with 4000+ PA and 140+ OPS+ by 11 year chunks


Yes, when you break it out that way 1993-2003 bears a strong resemblance to 1927-1937, another very high offense era. By OPS+ and Rbat Martinez would have been behind inner circle guys Ruth, Gehrig, and Foxx, but essentially the same as Mel Ott, who was 4th.

Booey, it would break out like this for each 11 year period beginning in 1905, and ending in 1948 where Walt left off: 7, 7, 11, and 8. Breaking that into ratios by number of teams yields the following from 1905 through 2014 in 11 year increments: .44, .44, .69, .50, .44, .54, .24, .31, .65, and .27. This does get 1993-2003 to bounce up as an outlier, like 1927-1937, but it's also interesting to me how the following 11 year period has been just as "bad" as the 70's and 80's, at least in terms of OPS+.

But every other player on this list had at least as much defensive value as Edgar.


Why not just stop here? You don't think he rates because he didn't have defensive value. As a hitter in that period, by OPS+ he was behind only Bonds in a very tightly packed group of guys between 158 and 153, which is really no difference at all. Of the 7 players he's grouped with, I can't imagine any reasonable person not agreeing they are all HOF hitters (PED questions aside). By Rbat he's 4th, 10 in front of Thome, and 14 in front of Sheffield (both of whom had slightly more PA's). Again, all of the guys he is grouped with are HOF hitters. He's 35th all time in Rbat (moving him behind Dimaggio, who would surely have had more but for WW II service).

So I put Edgar at #14 in this group which only covers 11 years. Or tied with Sheff at 13th. This is just "peak" sluggers of 1993-2003.


That's interesting because WAA puts him 10th, and WAR 9th. Now, sure, if you want to expand it to a full career based argument for HOF, looking at 1982 to 2009, 5 years before and after his career, you can drop him to 14th by WAA, and 16th by WAR. Even at 16th he's in front of HOF Sandberg, Alomar, Biggio, Molitor (though this doesn't include his full career), and Piazza, no different than HOF Gwynn, and ahead of likely HOF Jeter, Thome, and Raines. He's well in front of Helton, as well as Guerrero and Sosa. Finally, while Palmeiro has a slight edge by WAR, Edgar has a greater edge by WAA.

He's certainly one of the better hitters of his era (although this is mostly walks and singles


No, 514 doubles good for 53rd all time; 309 HR, good for 127th; 838 extra base hits, good for 96th all time. Yes, he drew a lot of walks, that's a good thing, but he was not a singles hitter.
   51. alilisd Posted: December 02, 2016 at 05:22 PM (#5361626)
Was Reggie actually a "league average" outfielder? I know he was fast and a very good athlete in his youth, but at least during his time with the Yankees the eye test rated him as perhaps a step above horrible.


In his 20's Rfield thinks he was solidly above average, by his mid-30's below average. So it's your age bias, not your anti-Yankee bias :-)
   52. alilisd Posted: December 02, 2016 at 05:25 PM (#5361628)
In Edgar's time it took more runs to produce a win, so Killebrew actually has more Batting Wins when you equalize plate appearances.


But not significantly different. They're remarkably similar, IMO.
   53. BDC Posted: December 02, 2016 at 05:28 PM (#5361630)
Was Reggie actually a "league average" outfielder?

Jackson is another in my collection of guys who were unthinkable as first basemen. (A class that spans from Babe Herman to Josh Hamilton.) Of course, his later teams tended to have good first basemen (Chambliss, Watson, Carew, Joyner, McGwire) and when he could eventually move to DH, that was ideal; but there was no intermediate tryout at first base, anywhere he went, no matter how inadequate he was in the outfield.

I think he was good when young and bad when old (at least that's my memory, too) and overall that is average for his career.
   54. Jack Sommers Posted: December 03, 2016 at 10:51 AM (#5361817)
Walt, what do you make of

Rk             Player  Rbat OPS+   PA From   To   Age    G   AB   R    H  2B 3B  HR RBI   BB   SO   BA  OBP  SLG   OPS
1         Barry Bonds 618.7  213 4923 1997 2005 32
-40 1147 3603 957 1147 231 26 374 860 1229  563 .318 .495 .708 1.203
2      Edgar Martinez 430.0  159 5487 1995 2003 32
-40 1262 4461 812 1433 339  6 235 930  909  801 .321 .438 .558  .996
3        Ted Williams 374.4  187 3637 1951 1959 32
-40  906 2841 578  962 172 14 199 632  763  271 .339 .478 .619 1.098
4          Hank Aaron 348.5  160 5235 1966 1974 32
-40 1270 4548 818 1334 209 16 335 897  634  558 .293 .378 .567  .945
5         Willie Mays 335.9  156 5282 1963 1971 32
-40 1304 4566 860 1332 201 40 278 780  652  764 .292 .380 .536  .915
6        Mark McGwire 302.3  181 3232 1996 2001 32
-37  780 2528 546  705 102  1 306 667  644  763 .279 .428 .683 1.111
7         Stan Musial 288.2  148 5080 1953 1961 32
-40 1243 4358 709 1378 282 41 217 797  654  303 .316 .404 .549  .954
8       Manny Ramirez 236.9  151 3862 2004 2011 32
-39  919 3240 585  989 210  6 208 691  537  707 .305 .408 .566  .974
9     Willie Stargell 236.0  155 4179 1972 1980 32
-40 1045 3616 572 1038 219 17 228 734  494  879 .287 .375 .546  .921
10      Chipper Jones 233.6  139 4547 2004 2012 32
-40 1094 3840 653 1138 244 12 188 680  659  628 .296 .397 .513  .910
11        David Ortiz 230.8  142 5154 2008 2016 32
-40 1216 4425 681 1253 317  7 275 888  668  851 .283 .376 .544  .920
12     Gary Sheffield 226.7  136 4787 2001 2009 32
-40 1127 4071 752 1181 202  8 230 760  617  550 .290 .388 .513  .901
13          Jeff Kent 224.6  130 5377 2000 2008 32
-40 1266 4756 754 1429 327 29 216 850  504  752 .300 .371 .518  .889
14       Mike Schmidt 223.4  146 4470 1982 1989 32
-39 1068 3737 650 1018 181 18 234 717  656  735 .272 .381 .518  .899
15     Frank Robinson 219.8  149 4091 1968 1976 32
-40 1022 3424 581  939 153 13 183 587  564  569 .274 .383 .487  .870
16   Roberto Clemente 207.8  157 3180 1967 1972 32
-37  759 2906 479  971 134 59  97 464  241  433 .334 .384 .521  .905
17       Paul Molitor 207.1  128 5772 1989 1997 32
-40 1275 5120 802 1621 301 53 122 713  545  567 .317 .381 .468  .849
18         Tony Gwynn 204.3  138 4395 1992 2000 32
-40 1034 4005 613 1409 286 12  81 571  320  150 .352 .396 .490  .886
19       Dwight Evans 204.1  134 4905 1984 1991 32
-39 1146 4111 705 1146 221 27 181 714  709  745 .279 .385 .478  .862
20          Jim Thome 204.0  141 4404 2003 2011 32
-40 1108 3619 649  955 185  6 270 747  728 1110 .264 .388 .542  .930
21    Rafael Palmeiro 203.6  132 5857 1997 2005 32
-40 1369 4989 795 1384 249  9 336 987  764  711 .277 .374 .533  .907 


Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 12/3/2016.

The only guys behind Edgar from ages 32-40 that are even on the edges of the same zip code are Williams, Aaron, and Mays

   55. bookbook Posted: December 12, 2016 at 02:42 PM (#5367026)
The Mariners didn't do Edgar any favors. He missed a year plus early in his career, when he should have been in Seattle. And it's hard to imagine that a decent defensive 3b couldn't actually play a league-average first base. He wasn't a disaster with the glove like Frank Thomas. He suffered some injuries, but wasn't actually made of glass. He was remarkably slow--so those doubles were almost all long, strong hits that would plate runs if Seattle ever had anyone on base. He didn't have great offenses around him for much of his career.

It won't be the end of the world if he doesn't get in, but I do think he belongs.
   56. SoSH U at work Posted: December 12, 2016 at 03:08 PM (#5367057)
The Mariners didn't do Edgar any favors. He missed a year plus early in his career, when he should have been in Seattle. And it's hard to imagine that a decent defensive 3b couldn't actually play a league-average first base. He wasn't a disaster with the glove like Frank Thomas.


The M's determined that there was no point in playing him at first. He was perceived as injury prone (though it's not always possible to deduce injury prone from has gotten injured). Plus, they typically employed pretty good players at first during his tenure (a season of Tino, two good years from Paul Sorrento, one good, one serviceable year from David Segui and then five sessons of Olerud - reputable gloves all).

The Mariners could have used Edgar at first, exposing him to slightly more injury risk, and made him seemingly more valuable. But given that they had to use someone at DH, it's hard to see how that would have made the Mariners better.

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