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Monday, November 18, 2019

Ryan Thibs’ Hall of Fame Tracker

The Thibs Hall of Fame Tracker is back.

Baldrick Posted: November 18, 2019 at 12:27 PM | 372 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hall of fame, son of gizmo

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   1. villageidiom Posted: November 18, 2019 at 12:55 PM (#5902033)
Candidate bios courtesy of the Baseball HOF.
   2. Rally Posted: November 18, 2019 at 01:12 PM (#5902040)
Bobby Abreu no
Jason Giambi no
Derek Jeter Yes
Cliff Lee no
Josh Beckett no
Heath Bell no
Eric Chávez no
Adam Dunn no
Chone Figgins no
Rafael Furcal no
Raúl Ibañez no
Paul Konerko no
Carlos Peña no
Brad Penny no
J.J. Putz no
Brian Roberts no
Alfonso Soriano no
José Valverde no

Curt Schilling yes
Roger Clemens yes
Barry Bonds yes
Larry Walker yes
Omar Vizquel no
Manny Ramírez yes
Jeff Kent yes
Scott Rolen yes
Billy Wagner no
Todd Helton no
Gary Sheffield yes
Andy Pettitte yes
Sammy Sosa yes
Andruw Jones no

If I had unlimited ballot space, I'd vote yes for 11. Helton and Jones the next ones I'd consider. Quite a change from a few years back when I would have voted yes for 20+ guys.

I'll probably drop Pettitte, Sheffield, or Kent when we do the BTF ballot.
   3. Rusty Priske Posted: November 18, 2019 at 01:20 PM (#5902044)
Bonds
Clemens
Jeter
Schilling
Walker
Rolen
Ramirez
Jones
Helton
Sheffield

If I could, I would add Pettitte and Abreu.
   4. Blastin Posted: November 18, 2019 at 02:14 PM (#5902060)
yeahjeets, bonds, clemens, walker, kent, rolen, wagner, jones, sosa, schilling, listing him tenth because screw that guy.
   5. Kiko Sakata Posted: November 18, 2019 at 02:26 PM (#5902069)
Quite a change from a few years back when I would have voted yes for 20+ guys.


Yeah, it's pretty remarkable how nicely the ballot has cleared out. There are still maybe 15-16 guys that I could see a decent argument for, but nobody I'd have to leave off ballot who I feel is some kind of terrible egregious omission.

I'd probably go (more or less in order) Bonds, Clemens, Jeter, Manny, Sheffield, Walker, Rolen, Schilling, and then two from (alphabetically) Giambi, Jones, Kent, Pettitte, Sosa (you might be able to sell me on Abreu and/or Helton, but not enough to make my top 10; I can "see a decent argument for" Billy Wagner, but, again, not over enough - or, really, any - of these other guys). Probably Pettitte and Jones if I had to pick right this instant. But neither of them seem like terrible omissions if they never make it.

Shameless self-promotion, I wrote an article about the ballot where you can use my Player won-lost records to construct your own ballot (at the end of the article) - here.
   6. Jaack Posted: November 18, 2019 at 03:04 PM (#5902084)
Newbie vote predictions

Jeter will get 95+%. I'm going to guess he's not unanimous.

Abreu will get a half dozen votes. A lot of voters will say things about he's better than they thought. Won't last for a second ballot.

Giambi likewise gets a half dozen votes from the old school but doesn't care about steroids demographic.

Cliff Lee gets less than three votes. I would personally votell for him above either of the other two and think he's a borderline pick, but borderline starting pitchers are not well treated on the ballot.

Paul Konerko gets about 10 votes. He might get the most votes of any non-Jeter newcomer. I'm going to guess that Furcal, Beckett, and let's say Ibanez get one or two votes each. Chavez is the best player to be shut out.

As for the returning guys, I think Walker will see a nice push on his last year and be within 2-3% of the cutoff either way. 10th year, best backlog without baggage, big surge last year, it all adds up to a good year for Walker.

It might be wishful thinking, but I think Vizquel slows down. I think there is a solid chunk of the electorate that isn't going to budge on him.

Of the lower ballot guys, I think Wagner is the one to look at for a surge. With Rivera and Hoffman off the ballot, and a litany of significantly worse relievers hitting it, he'll stand out to the pro-closer demographic. If he doesn't see a surge this year, I think he's toast.
   7. The Yankee Clapper Posted: November 18, 2019 at 03:31 PM (#5902095)
Off the top of my head:
Bonds
Clemens
Jeter
Pettitte
Rolen
Schilling
Sheffield
Sosa
Walker

Long time since I thought less than 10 was appropriate, although I suppose I could still be persuaded to add 1 of the remaining options (or perhaps to drop 1 or 2 who seem just over the line).
   8. DanG Posted: November 18, 2019 at 03:40 PM (#5902096)
So Heath Bell makes the ballot with 7.1 career WAR. Meanwhile, the screeners overlooked Mark Ellis, with 33.6 career WAR. It has been many, many years since the screeners missed a position player with 30+ WAR, Ellis may be the worst omission (non-pitcher) in this century.
   9. TomH Posted: November 18, 2019 at 03:53 PM (#5902102)
off the cuff prediction
avg # of ballot spots goes down from 8.0 to 6.3; 4 electees off, plus McGriff drops, and newbies on ballot only get about 1.5 total. A few go up who are near the 75% line, and some get a bump as they move up relative to who is left; for example, Wagner no longer competes with Rivera.

Jeter 97%
Walker 70%; gets close but no cigar
Schilling 63%
Clemens and Bonds, tied at the hip, 60%
Vizquel 44%
Wagner 24%
Manny 23%
all others below 20%
   10. cookiedabookie Posted: November 18, 2019 at 03:57 PM (#5902106)
Yes:

Bobby Abreu
Barry Bonds
Roger Clemens
Todd Helton
Derek Jeter
Andruw Jones
Andy Pettitte
Manny Ramírez
Scott Rolen
Curt Schilling
Gary Sheffield
Sammy Sosa
Larry Walker

That's thirteen, though. So I'd cut Abreu, Sheffield and Sosa for now.

Maybes:

Jason Giambi
Jeff Kent
Cliff Lee
Billy Wagner

I can see arguments for these guys, but I'm not fighting too hard given I just had to three guys. But with an unlimited ballot, I'd be comfortable voting for Kent and Wagner. That would be 15 total, with Lee and Giambi as interesting peak candidates.
   11. Al "Battery" Kaline Posted: November 18, 2019 at 04:07 PM (#5902108)
LOL at "Don Cooknessy." My kind of voter.

Wonder if Chone Figgins gets a vote, if only for the name. Hey, Placido Flamingo got two last year.
   12. Random Transaction Generator Posted: November 18, 2019 at 04:08 PM (#5902109)
Yes:

Bonds
Clemens
Jeter
Ramirez
Walker
Schilling
Rolen
Sosa
Kent
Helton

Would if I could:

Sheffield
Pettitte

Maybe:

Abreu
Giambi
   13. base ball chick Posted: November 18, 2019 at 04:52 PM (#5902126)
Bonds - HAIL yes
Clemens - HAIL yes
Jeter - uck what a smarmy slime, but, well, in he goes
Schilling - beyond uck - being a right wing hatah should not exclude him from the HOF cuz he blongs
Walker - definitely - not sure why on earth there is so much hesitation
Rolen - best 3rd baseman of my watching life (say, 1986 on) except nolan arenado and he's obviously not eligible yet (yeah, chipper jones, but he certainly wan't near the glove that rolen was)
Manny Ramirez - i couldn't care less if he used testosterone when he was real old. he's the definition of HOF RH bat
Wagner (if lee smith is in, he sure is)

i don't think so - for anyone else (CERTAINLY NOT for either kent or vizquel)

trouble is that once you make really crappy selections for VC, you seriously lower the bar. so i spose the rst of the guys can go in to
   14. ajnrules Posted: November 18, 2019 at 05:01 PM (#5902128)
Yes to Bonds, Clemens, Helton, Jeter, Pettitte, Ramirez, Rolen, Schilling, Sheffield, Walker

If I had room: Abreu, Jones, Kent, Sosa

I think only Jeter gets in, although not unanimously.

Most head-scratching ballot inclusion: Bell is a pretty bizarre pick, and has the lowest bWAR but he did have three All-Star seasons. I'm more curious as to how Brad Penny made the mark, especially given the list of starting pitchers that were passed over by the screening committee in past years, men like Andy Benes, Ramon Martinez, Charles Nagy, Mark Gubicza, Mike Moore, Mike Morgan, and of course Javier Vazquez
   15. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: November 18, 2019 at 05:04 PM (#5902130)
So Heath Bell makes the ballot with 7.1 career WAR. Meanwhile, the screeners overlooked Mark Ellis, with 33.6 career WAR. It has been many, many years since the screeners missed a position player with 30+ WAR, Ellis may be the worst omission (non-pitcher) in this century.

Jose Valverde and JJ Putz also debut on this ballot. Very strange adds as they are all super light on volume. I mean Wagner pulled 16% last year and he threw 900 innings. Hoffman wasn't a good pick but at least he threw over 1,000.

Valverde has the most of this trio with 630. Putz threw 566 innings, never led the league in saves, and made one AS team. No memorable postseason moments. There are probably a dozen guys who should have been on this ballot instead.
   16. Booey Posted: November 18, 2019 at 05:16 PM (#5902143)
Yes:
Bonds
Clemens
Schilling
Jeter
Ramirez
Walker
Sosa
Sheffield
Rolen
Kent

First time since 2012 I can fit everyone I think is definitely deserving. I'd put Pettitte, Helton, and Andruw in the "maybe" group. I don't care whether any of them get in or not. Everyone else is a no-go.
   17. TJ Posted: November 18, 2019 at 05:19 PM (#5902144)
There are 14 returning players on the HOF ballot. If you were to rank them in order of preference, where would you put in any of the new 18 nominees? For me I would put Jeter 3rd behind Bonds/Clemens and ahead of Schilling and Abreu 13th behind Todd Helton but ahead of Jeff Kent.
   18. bachslunch Posted: November 18, 2019 at 05:19 PM (#5902145)
With an unlimited ballot:

Abreu
Bonds
Clemens
Helton
Andruw
Kent
Rolen
Sheffield
Sosa
Walker
Jeter
Wagner
Manny
Schilling

If forced to stop at ten, drop Jeter, Wagner, Manny, Schilling. I vote strategically, and Jeter, as deserving as he is, doesn’t need my help to get in and I’d prefer to give folks like Abreu, Andruw, Sosa, and Sheffield a chance to stay on the ballot. Manny and Schilling are deserving, but they go last on my list because of post-2005 PED use and death threats against the voters. They will make my 10 person ballot only if there are ten or fewer deserving candidates. Wagner’s a reliever and I’m lukewarm about them, though he’s as deserving as most of the rest inducted. Am waffling on Giambi and Pettitte.



   19. Baldrick Posted: November 18, 2019 at 05:20 PM (#5902146)
I think Jeter is better than 50/50 to be unanimous. Who is going to leave him off?

Jeter will also most likely go in alone. Schilling will probably make progress, but I expect they'll make him wait until Year 10. I'd be very surprised if Walker made it. He'll get a bump but I just don't think enough people will buy him as HOFer.
   20. Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: November 18, 2019 at 05:21 PM (#5902149)
I'll get killed for this, but the truth is, Jeter was a very good hitter, and a good-not-great defensive SS, whose career was buttressed by being surrounded by better players. He's a borderline Hall of Famer. He'll probably get in, but he shouldn't. At least not first ballot.

Mike Schur demonstrating in 280 characters why no one should ever listen to what he has to say about sports.
   21. DanG Posted: November 18, 2019 at 05:40 PM (#5902154)
Jose Valverde and JJ Putz also debut on this ballot. Very strange adds as they are all super light on volume. I mean Wagner pulled 16% last year and he threw 900 innings. Hoffman wasn't a good pick but at least he threw over 1,000.
Indeed, WTF. Two years ago they left off Francisco Cordero: 329 SV, 825 IP, 17 WAR. Really?
   22. Howie Menckel Posted: November 18, 2019 at 05:41 PM (#5902155)
It has been many, many years since the screeners missed a position player with 30+ WAR, Ellis may be the worst omission (non-pitcher) in this century.

didn't Ken Caminiti not get on the ballot when he was eligible? he's more memorable than Ellis (for many reasons).

"I think Jeter is better than 50/50 to be unanimous."

I don't bet individual posters, but I'd take plenty of this action from a 'book.
   23. SoSH U at work Posted: November 18, 2019 at 05:44 PM (#5902160)
didn't Ken Caminiti not get on the ballot when he was eligible? he's more memorable than Ellis (for many reasons).


He got two votes, so I assume he was on the ballot.

Javy Vazquez is the answer to the trivia question "Who was the best player to get left off the ballot this century?" Which is fitting, since Javy Vazquez was often the surprise answer to trivia questions.
   24. I Helped Patrick McGoohan Escape Posted: November 18, 2019 at 06:06 PM (#5902163)
Mike Schur demonstrating in 280 characters why no one should ever listen to what he has to say about sports.


His initial tweet was followed by

And as always I'm obviously kidding, he's a first-ballot HOF, probably the greatest SS ever, for God's sake @craigcalcaterra and @richeisen don't you know me by now?


Unless you got the joke and I missed something (not that it was a particularly good joke)
   25. Greg Pope Posted: November 18, 2019 at 06:33 PM (#5902168)
I'll get killed for this, but the truth is, Jeter was a very good hitter, and a good-not-great defensive SS, whose career was buttressed by being surrounded by better players. He's a borderline Hall of Famer. He'll probably get in, but he shouldn't. At least not first ballot.


Mike Schur demonstrating in 280 characters why no one should ever listen to what he has to say about sports.

No kidding. Jeter was a terrible defensive SS.
   26. Howie Menckel Posted: November 18, 2019 at 06:48 PM (#5902169)
Edgardo Alfonzo is more memorable than Ellis, and he didn't get on a HOF ballot (I see above that Caminiti did; wrong oddity. it looks like Caminiti got only 4 pct of the vote in his first year yet returned to the ballot. unless I got that wrong as well)
   27. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: November 18, 2019 at 06:55 PM (#5902171)

I think he's still trolling with the "probably the greatest SS ever" bit.
   28. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: November 18, 2019 at 06:56 PM (#5902172)

it looks like Caminiti got only 4 pct of the vote in his first year yet returned to the ballot. unless I got that wrong as well

It looks to me like he got 2 votes (0.4%) and was only on the ballot once.
   29. PreservedFish Posted: November 18, 2019 at 07:10 PM (#5902174)
A friend of mine once claimed that Brian Roberts was as good as Cal Ripken Jr.
   30. DanG Posted: November 18, 2019 at 07:14 PM (#5902175)
Edgardo Alfonzo is more memorable than Ellis, and he didn't get on a HOF ballot
Alfonzo had a better peak than Ellis, but Ellis has more career WAR, 33.6 to 28.8. But while Ellis was snubbed in favor of a guy with 7.1 WAR, in 2012 Alfonzo was snubbed in favor of Tony Womack's 2.4 WAR.
didn't Ken Caminiti not get on the ballot when he was eligible?
Yes, but not because he was rejected by the ballot screeners. Caminiti died in October 2004 and should have ben on the 2006 ballot. When I wrote to the HOF about it they said, Oops, we'll get him next year, which they did but he was eligible anyway after five years retired.

Luis Valbuena was eligible for the ballot this year under the Hall's "death rule". I wonder if the screeners even realized that (although he didn't really deserve to be on the ballot).
   31. Rennie's Tenet Posted: November 18, 2019 at 07:17 PM (#5902176)
Ballots must be mailed by December 31 and the announcement will be January 21.
   32. ajnrules Posted: November 18, 2019 at 07:49 PM (#5902180)
Position players with at least 30 bWAR who failed to make the ballot this century

33.6 Mark Ellis
32.5 John Valentin
32.0 Scott Fletcher
31.6 Jose Valentin
30.2 Lance Johnson 


Edgardo Alfonzo missed the cutoff with 28.8

Pitchers with at least 30 bWAR who failed to make the ballot this century

45.7 Javier Vazquez
37.4 Mark Gubicza
31.5 Andy Benes
31.1 Brandon Webb 
30.5 Greg Swindell
30.3 Teddy Higuera 


Webb and Higuera were actually not eligible because they didn't play the full 10 seasons.

Luis Valbuena was eligible for the ballot this year under the Hall's "death rule". I wonder if the screeners even realized that (although he didn't really deserve to be on the ballot).

He had a higher bWAR than Heath Bell.
   33. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: November 18, 2019 at 07:53 PM (#5902181)
According to #32, the Valentin family got hosed big time!
   34. Howie Menckel Posted: November 18, 2019 at 08:06 PM (#5902183)
"Valentins, if you did not receive a HOF nomination, take a moment to say your goodbyes..."
   35. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: November 18, 2019 at 08:24 PM (#5902185)
According to #32, the Valentin family got hosed big time!
So I just now learned that John and Jose Valentin are not related. Although Jose's brother Javier also did not appear on the HOF ballot, and his son Jesmuel would seem to be an unlikely candidate at present, with a 51 OPS+ and -0.8 WAR in 89 PA with the 2018 Phillies.
   36. Al "Battery" Kaline Posted: November 18, 2019 at 08:55 PM (#5902188)
Hang in there Jesmuel. The late great Roy Halladay overcame one of the worst pitching seasons in history, to become a Hall of Famer.
   37. Ziggy is done with Dominican discotheques Posted: November 18, 2019 at 09:02 PM (#5902190)
has anyone ever figured out why there's a screening committee? Are they worried that the BBWAA might accidentally elect Steve Henderson or something?
   38. bbmck Posted: November 18, 2019 at 09:37 PM (#5902195)
Bold All-Stars did not make ballot, Bold non-All-Stars did make ballot:

Final year 2014, 10+ seasons and made an all-star roster: Adam Dunn, Alex Gonzalez, Alfonso Soriano, Bobby Abreu, Brad Penny, Brandon League, Brian Roberts, Carlos Pena, Chone Figgins, Cliff Lee, Derek Jeter, Heath Bell, JJ Putz, Jason Bartlett, Jason Giambi, Joe Saunders, John Buck, Jose Valverde, Josh Beckett, Marco Scutaro, Nate McLouth, Paul Konerko, Rafael Furcal, Raul Ibanez, Ryan Ludwick

Final year 2014, 10+ seasons and did not make an all-star roster: Endy Chavez, Eric Chavez, Erik Bedard, Frank Francisco, Greg Dobbs, Guillermo Quiroz, Humberto Quintero, Jamey Wright, Jason Kubel, John McDonald, Jose Molina, Josh Willingham, Koyie Hill, Kyle Farnsworth, Lyle Overbay, Maicer Izturis, Mark Ellis, Matt Guerrier, Miguel Olivo, Mike Adams, Nick Punto, Paul Maholm, Ramon Santiago, Ronny Cedeno, Ryan Doumit, Scott Downs, Scott Hairston, Shawn Camp, Xavier Nady

Luis Valbuena did not make an all-star roster, Tyler Skaggs only 7 seasons and did not make an all-star roster.

Waite Hoyt in 1938 is the most recently retired Hall of Famer as an MLB player not to make an all-star roster.
   39. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: November 18, 2019 at 09:52 PM (#5902200)
has anyone ever figured out why there's a screening committee? Are they worried that the BBWAA might accidentally elect Steve Henderson or something?
Lloyd Waner?
   40. Misirlou gave her his Vincent to ride Posted: November 18, 2019 at 10:09 PM (#5902203)
Edsel Seaver?
   41. Walt Davis Posted: November 18, 2019 at 10:31 PM (#5902205)
Eric Chavez never made an AS team? Who knew? From 2000-2007, he had 5 of the top 26 AL 3B seasons by WAR in that span ... but every year got topped by somebody, usually at least two somebodies ... including the ill-fated 2003 when he finished behind Hank Blalock and Bill Mueller. In his best season of 2001, he was nipped by Koskie. Overlapping with ARod's first 4 seasons at 3B also wasn't a good strategy for making the AS team.

I'll assume Putz was put on for his name alone ... and he'll probably get one jokester vote for it. Valverde therefore is the one that most surprises me.
   42. Walt Davis Posted: November 18, 2019 at 10:32 PM (#5902206)
Also great to see Walker off to a 80% start among sample voters. :-)
   43. Rally Posted: November 18, 2019 at 10:48 PM (#5902208)
Waite Hoyt in 1938 is the most recently retired Hall of Famer as an MLB player not to make an all-star roster.


The first all star game was 1933, when Hoyt was 33. He was good enough to have maybe made the team in 1934 (15-6, 2.93). He almost certainly would have made it in 27 or 28 had there been an ASG.
   44. Howie Menckel Posted: November 18, 2019 at 10:48 PM (#5902209)
Waite Hoyt in 1938 is the most recently retired Hall of Famer as an MLB player not to make an all-star roster.

I was going to say that since the All-Star Game started in 1933.... but Hoyt was 15-6 with a 142 ERA+ in 1934 with the Pirates. well, he was 5-3 as a swingman on a mediocre team as of mid-July, so that explains it.

EDIT: No way am I buying Rally a full Coke here - maybe a mini, like a Halloween candy.
:)
   45. eric Posted: November 18, 2019 at 11:04 PM (#5902212)
has anyone ever figured out why there's a screening committee? Are they worried that the BBWAA might accidentally elect Steve Henderson or something?


Or Harold Baines.

A chain is only as strong...
   46. Scott Ross Posted: November 19, 2019 at 06:03 AM (#5902220)
Eric Chavez never made an AS team?


Is Chavez the only guy ever to win a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger in the same season and not make the All Star team? He's gotta be.

Also, that Jeter-only ballot is -- problematic.
   47. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: November 19, 2019 at 06:35 AM (#5902221)
Also, that Jeter-only ballot is -- problematic.


The greatness of Jeter must not be sullied by lesser co-inductees!
   48. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: November 19, 2019 at 07:55 AM (#5902224)
Since Jeter will sail in, I doubt anyone from the rookie class sees the ballot next year. Abreu and maybe Cliff Lee will get a handful of votes. Konerko should too, and Soriano is an available candidate. But none will reach 5%. Looking back at the last several ballots, I don't see any that didn't have at least a couple of second-year candidates.
   49. Jack Sommers Posted: November 19, 2019 at 08:07 AM (#5902225)
Gonna be lonely for Jeter up on that stage.
   50. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: November 19, 2019 at 08:39 AM (#5902233)

I assume Lou Whitaker and perhaps Ted Simmons will be up there with him.
   51. DanG Posted: November 19, 2019 at 08:39 AM (#5902234)
Position players with at least 30 bWAR who failed to make the ballot this century


33.6 Mark Ellis32.5 John Valentin32.0 Scott Fletcher31.6 Jose Valentin30.2 Lance Johnson



Edgardo Alfonzo missed the cutoff with 28.8

Pitchers with at least 30 bWAR who failed to make the ballot this century


45.7 Javier Vazquez37.4 Mark Gubicza31.5 Andy Benes31.1 Brandon Webb 30.5 Greg Swindell30.3 Teddy Higuera
Thank you for these lists! My conjecture in #8 is confirmed, that Ellis has the most WAR of any position player snubbed by the ballot screeners in this century.

Can you also show lists of the flip side of this?: Who are the players with the least WAR to make the ballot in this century?
   52. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: November 19, 2019 at 09:24 AM (#5902244)

With the Valentins and Vazquez it almost seems like they just don't bother reading all the way to the end of the list, assuming it's in alphabetical order.
   53. Jack Sommers Posted: November 19, 2019 at 09:31 AM (#5902248)
I assume Lou Whitaker and perhaps Ted Simmons will be up there with him.


Ah good point. Hope so......at the very least Whitaker
   54. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: November 19, 2019 at 10:22 AM (#5902264)
Much of Ellis' value was defense and he never won a Gold Glove. He also never made an All-Star roster. Maybe you can argue that the GG voters screwed up with Ellis, but unless the HoF committee is fully committed to WAR it would be very hard for them to put him on the ballot.

Also, Ellis is at 26.5 WAR at Fangraphs. The 33.6 WAR number is a bit squiffy, as you'd expect with a defense-heavy WAR total.
   55. cookiedabookie Posted: November 19, 2019 at 10:37 AM (#5902272)
@48 I think Abreu can make it to a second ballot, but that would be it
   56. DanG Posted: November 19, 2019 at 10:55 AM (#5902284)
Well, there's no question that Ellis isn't really a HOF candidate. Maybe four (Jeter, Abreu, Giambi, Lee) of the 18 newbies can say that. Just as obvious, he easily meets the standard of quality that normally makes the BBWAA ballot.

I think what really sunk his chances was that Ellis wasn't on the list of prospective new candidates for 2020 at BB-Ref. They only list players with scores of 10 or more on the HOF Monitor.

For next year's ballot they give you this list: 2021 Potential Hall of Fame Ballot. To see the entire list of new candidates you need to go here: 2015 MLB Retirements. Missing from the first list are David DeJesus (23.2 WAR) and Randy Wolf (22.8 WAR) because they have only 6 points each on the HOF Monitor.

Also missing is Josh Hamilton (28.3 WAR) because he only played in 9 seasons.
   57. Greg Pope Posted: November 19, 2019 at 11:17 AM (#5902296)
I'm surprised at the people here who are including Pettite on their lists. He strikes me as a good pitcher who played reasonably a long time. But a HOVG player.
   58. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 19, 2019 at 11:24 AM (#5902300)
I'm surprised at the people here who are including Pettite on their lists. He strikes me as a good pitcher who played reasonably a long time. But a HOVG player.

To cross the two threads, he basically a pitching version of Dwight Evans. I'd keep them both out in my personal HoF, but with some of the recent selections, they probably should go in to the real one.
   59. ajnrules Posted: November 19, 2019 at 11:42 AM (#5902310)
Can you also show lists of the flip side of this?: Who are the players with the least WAR to make the ballot in this century?

Players with under 15 bWAR to make the Hall of Fame ballot (with vote totals)

14.9 Jeff Russell        0
14.6 Bobby Witt          0
14.5 Steve Bedrosian     1
14.4 Terry Mulholland    0
14.3 Mike Stanton        0
14.2 Matt Stairs         0
13.7 Sandy Alomar        16
13.5 Aaron Boone         2
13.4 Hal Morris          5
13.2 Jim Eisenreich      3
13.2 Eddie Guardado      0
13.1 J
.JPutz
13.0 Hubie Brooks        0
13.0 Jason Isringhausen  0
12.9 Mike Henneman       0
12.5 Vince Coleman       3
12.4 Tony Clark          0
11.9 Jim Deshaies        1
11.7 Eric Gagne          2
11.6 Jacque Jones        1
11.5 Shawon Dunston      1
11.5 Jose Valverde
11.4 Jose Mesa           0
11.3 Rod Beck            2
11.2 Gary Disarcina      0
11.0 J
.T Snow Jr.        2
10.9 Todd Worrell        0
10.5 Todd Walker         0
10.4 Eric Karros         2
10.4 David Segui         1
10.3 Todd Jones          0
7.9  Mark Davis          1
7.9  Brad Lidge          0
7.3  Mitch Williams      0
7.2  Tony Womack         0
7.1  Heath Bell
5.7  Dante Bichette      3
5.3  Rick Ankiel         0
1.7  Lenny Harris        0 

Heath Bell is only the fourth worst player to appear on the Hall ballot since 2000.
   60. Ziggy is done with Dominican discotheques Posted: November 19, 2019 at 11:56 AM (#5902317)
Sandy Alomar was a surprisingly big star given how mediocre of a player he was. He was a six-time all-star (including, yikes!, a year in which he appeared in 51 games with a 47 OPS+) He was a top prospect and won a rookie of the year award, and the idea that he was a star somehow carried over for years, despite the fact that he really had only one star-quality season in his career.
   61. Ziggy is done with Dominican discotheques Posted: November 19, 2019 at 12:03 PM (#5902321)
That's more all-star games than: Jeff Bagwell, Troy Glaus, Bobby Abreu, Jack Clark, Mike Mussina, Mark Grace, or Johan Santana, to pick a few random players who were better than him.

Of course none of those guys are catchers. Let's look at a few catchers: Posada 5x, Mickey Tettleton 2x, Chris Hoiles 0x, Terry Steinbach 3x. He's tied with Sal Perez and Joe Mauer. (Munson and Simmons beat him.)
   62. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: November 19, 2019 at 12:05 PM (#5902323)
7.1 Heath Bell
5.7 Dante Bichette 3
5.3 Rick Ankiel 0
1.7 Lenny Harris 0


Ankiel had 3.6 pitching WAR as well. He was arguably better (and certainly more interesting) than Bell.
   63. DanG Posted: November 19, 2019 at 12:09 PM (#5902325)
7.2 Tony Womack 0
Womack has 2.4 career WAR at BB-Ref.
   64. PreservedFish Posted: November 19, 2019 at 12:19 PM (#5902328)
WOMACK!
   65. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: November 19, 2019 at 12:22 PM (#5902333)
They span the defensive spectrum, but how do you otherwise differentiate between Abreu, Sheffield, and Jones? Or Vlad Guerrero? Do we just discount defensive WAR so much that Guerrero and Sheffield are in, Abreu is a maybe, and Jones is a no? Seems like that's how it's playing out.
   66. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: November 19, 2019 at 12:33 PM (#5902336)
Well, there's no question that Ellis isn't really a HOF candidate. Maybe four (Jeter, Abreu, Giambi, Lee) of the 18 newbies can say that. Just as obvious, he easily meets the standard of quality that normally makes the BBWAA ballot.
Ellis easily makes the standard of quality only if you trust contemporary defensive statistics, and it seems that there aren't two people on the nominating committee who trust contemporary defensive statistics.

I wonder if there has ever been a player who didn't play a corner who got nominated without ever making an All-Star team or winning a major award. My guess is no.

(For the record, I think Ellis should be on the ballot, I just think I understand why he's not.)
   67. PreservedFish Posted: November 19, 2019 at 12:46 PM (#5902344)
I wonder if there are some simple statistical benchmarks the selectors use. Like, Ellis didn't have 1500 hits, out. JJ Putz saved 150 games, in.
   68. cookiedabookie Posted: November 19, 2019 at 12:50 PM (#5902346)
They span the defensive spectrum, but how do you otherwise differentiate between Abreu, Sheffield, and Jones? Or Vlad Guerrero? Do we just discount defensive WAR so much that Guerrero and Sheffield are in, Abreu is a maybe, and Jones is a no? Seems like that's how it's playing out.


Yeah, feels that way. There are very few, in any, defense-oriented HoF outfielders, unlike middle infield. But Jones has all the HRs plus being a plus defender by reputation and by advanced stats. He should be a no-brainer given HoF standards, but I guess BA still holds some power in the HoF electorate. Abreu is a modern Dwight Evans...so maybe in thirty years he'll get a shot on a VC.
   69. SoSH U at work Posted: November 19, 2019 at 12:54 PM (#5902350)
I wonder if there has ever been a player who didn't play a corner who got nominated without ever making an All-Star team or winning a major award. My guess is no.


Eyeballing it, I found two this century, neither of them infielders (but similar players): Otis Nixon and Juan Pierre.

   70. Booey Posted: November 19, 2019 at 12:55 PM (#5902352)
#65 - The defensive numbers for Jones are indeed difficult to swallow. I can believe that he's the best defensive CF ever, but the numbers say he was basically running laps around the other top CF's, and that's a little harder to buy.

As for the overall question, it's easy to differentiate between these guys unless you think WAR is the sole arbiter of worthiness and career shape doesn't matter at all. We make fun of the writers for voting with their gut rather than by stats, but for guys on the borderline, "felt like a HOFer" is as good a way to define the in/out line as any. Vlad was a 9 time all star and 8 time silver slugger, with 6 top 10 MVP finishes, including a 1st, two 3rds, and a 4th. He's 40th all time in MVP shares. Sheffield was a 9 time all star and 5 time silver slugger with 6 top 10 MVP finishes, including a 2nd and two 3rds. He's 60th all time in MVP shares. Abreu was a 2 time all star with 1 silver slugger and no top 10 MVP finishes. He's 855th all time in MVP shares. Vlad and Sheff were just much bigger stars than Bobby was, and that's not even getting into the career counting stats, which blow him away.

It's not all about WAR. That just gets you into the conversation. It's everything else that pushes you through the door, or keeps you out.
   71. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: November 19, 2019 at 12:56 PM (#5902353)
Womack has 2.4 career WAR at BB-Ref.
This makes him the career WAR leader among Womacks not named Dooley.
   72. Astro Logical Sign Stealer Posted: November 19, 2019 at 12:57 PM (#5902358)
Alfonso Soriano: HOF Monitor = 104 (Likely HOFer ≈ 100)
   73. Booey Posted: November 19, 2019 at 01:03 PM (#5902361)
Simply put, since they've hit an acceptable level of career value, Sheff and Vlad's numbers just look too HOF-ey to keep out, IMO. And since his own value isn't in the no brainer territory, Abreu's numbers just don't look HOF-ey enough.
   74. Misirlou gave her his Vincent to ride Posted: November 19, 2019 at 01:05 PM (#5902364)
There are very few, in any, defense-oriented HoF outfielders,


Richie Ashburn maybe.
   75. Ziggy is done with Dominican discotheques Posted: November 19, 2019 at 01:11 PM (#5902367)
Alfonso Soriano: HOF Monitor = 104 (Likely HOFer ≈ 100)


And if anybody would like to see him add on to that total, I hear that he's available.
   76. Traderdave Posted: November 19, 2019 at 01:24 PM (#5902373)
Much of Ellis' value was defense and he never won a Gold Glove. He also never made an All-Star roster. Maybe you can argue that the GG voters screwed up with Ellis, but unless the HoF committee is fully committed to WAR it would be very hard for them to put him on the ballot.


Ellis never getting a GG is an even bigger snub. Easily the best 2B glove of the last generation. The man's range was measure in ACRES.
   77. ajnrules Posted: November 19, 2019 at 01:29 PM (#5902375)
Womack has 2.4 career WAR at BB-Ref.

Whoooops not sure how that happened. Either way he still falls short of Lenny Harris for lowest bWAR of any Hall of Fame candidate in the 21st century.
   78. fran Posted: November 19, 2019 at 01:54 PM (#5902386)
I'm looking forward to 2022.

Maybe that's the year the dam breaks -- the 2 new guys & the 2 guys on their last ballot. A woman should buy tickets & book a hotel now!

BaseballReference War: 162.8, 139.2, 117.8, 55.3
(And I think Ortiz is the closest one to a sure thing.)
   79. alilisd Posted: November 19, 2019 at 02:06 PM (#5902389)
Helton is interesting to me as a candidate. I think he’ll likely be treated worse than Walker , but his peak value makes him a worthwhile candidate to me. As a tool for looking at HOF worthiness I’ve been using B-R WAA. I categorize players by position and then look at career WAA, best 5 seasons by WAA and best 10 seasons by WAA. I also calculate averages for each of those three by position. I also group players broadly by era, pre-1950, post-1950, and if there are enough players also by 19th century.

Helton’s career is 32.8, better than Killebrew, Murray, Cepeda, and Perez. McCovey is 30.5. The average for a 1B whose career was primarily 1950 and later is 31.4. Even looking at career he fits nicely in the middle of them, but peak, best five seasons by WAA, he is 27.2, second to none of them. Bagwell is 27.4, and Thomas, McCovey and Thome are all right about 22. The next five seasons he doesn’t add nearly as much as most of them, more than Perez and Cepeda, slightly less than Murray and Killebrew, but that peak is massive. I think he’s worth considering closely
   80. Walt Davis Posted: November 19, 2019 at 02:19 PM (#5902392)
He should be a no-brainer given HoF standards

He being Andruw. I'm not sure which standards you're looking at but Jones is at best borderline by BBWAA standards. Remember, Larry Walker is (probably) not good enough for these folks, Edgar barely made it, Jim Edmonds and Kenny Lofton didn't even get a sniff, Trammell and Whitaker not good enough. The BBWAA standards are very high and still pretty heavily narrative-driven (Vlad, Puckett, Mo, probably Ortiz in a couple of years) and career-driven. Andruw does have a pretty good case as an Ozzie/Brooks type but then gets hurt by the cliff-dive and that, even if he might have been, nobody is willing to say he was defensively better than Willie Mays.

You can find a good number who are in that probably deserve it less than Andruw but most of those were put in by a VC of one type or another, not the writers. The writers probably have more sins of omission (and many, many of overly easy dismissal) than commission.
   81. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: November 19, 2019 at 02:45 PM (#5902399)
Vlad and Sheff were just much bigger stars than Bobby was, and that's not even getting into the career counting stats, which blow him away.


MVP shares, AS I get, but outside of HR's (yes, pretty huge but) the counting stats are pretty close for Vlad and Abreu

2147 G 1328 R 2590 H 477 2B 46 3B 449 HR 1496 RBI 181 SB 94 CS .318/.379/.553 .931 OPS 140 OPS+
2425 G 1453 R 2470 H 574 2B 59 3B 288 HR 1363 RBI 400 SB 128 CS .291/.395/.475 .870 OPS 128 OPS+

So Vlad hits more HR's, is more famous (can someone check his MVP shares per WAR - he seems like he's got a lot for <60 WAR), and a worse baserunner. Fielding they are pretty close, Vlad actually gets helped by being a DH - limits the -11, -12 years Abreu was putting up.
   82. Walt Davis Posted: November 19, 2019 at 02:52 PM (#5902407)
#79: Which helps to make the case against using WAA (and short peak).

Helton was awesome (more awesome than I realized) for those 5 seasons. But that's just 5 seasons. Outside of that you've got 6000 PA of 25 WAR, 5 WAA -- above-average but nothing special.

Bagwell also added another 6000 PAs and added 43 WAR, 25 WAA. OK, he's not Bagwell, very few 1B have been. Thomas added 40 WAR, 17 WAA; Thome 40, 15. He is similar to McCovey (30,7).

So Helton was 5 wins better than Thome over the 5-best years of their career. And then Thome was 10 wins better over the other 9-10 full seasons of their career. Why privelege a 1-win per year gap at short peak over a 1-win per year gap over 9-10 seasons?

In peak, with few exceptions, there's no difference between WAR and WAA, it's just math about the number of PAs and WAR will include the league adjustment (that's a bWAR calculation thing). The exceptions are somebody like Walker who never played full seasons but for nearly all other HoF-discussion players, their 5 best seasons were also full seasons so they all have about the same number of PAs and therfore nearly the same difference between WAR and WAA ... except again it's WAR that includes the league differential. So WAR is actually slightly better when comparing batters over approximately equal PAs.

Then over a career, WAA is definitely not what you want. Average play isn't rewarded by WAA and many players get killed in WAA by hanging on "too long." Through age 36, Murray is at 66 WAR, 33 WAA, roughly equal to Helton. He's already over 10,000 PAs, more than Helton. Over the next 5 years, Murray gives back 6 WAA.

Now, except for Bagwell, all these guys were first ballot so Helton obviously has a case to be made. But he's in the Murray/Cepeda/Perez class not Bagwell/Thome/Thomas -- no shame in that. I agree he's a tough call to make mainly because it's hard to tell how much he was a creation of Coors. On the road he was more Will Clark (without the 300 BA).

   83. GuyM Posted: November 19, 2019 at 03:17 PM (#5902414)
it's hard to tell how much he was a creation of Coors. On the road he was more Will Clark

There is some evidence that playing in Coors not only boosts offensive production at home, it suppresses offensive production on the road. CO hitters consistently exhibit a larger than average home/away split, even after adjusting for park. So there may be a "hangover" effect from playing at altitude that hurts CO players on the road. I think the best case for Helton would be marshaling evidence that downgrading his home performance for playing at Coors -- without upgrading his road stats -- has caused him to be undervalued overall.
   84. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: November 19, 2019 at 03:28 PM (#5902424)
Side note - anyone know what happened to BBREF on google? They used to be the top result on pretty much any ballplayers name, now they are not even on the 1st page (just tried Jim Edmonds).
   85. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 19, 2019 at 03:33 PM (#5902426)
Side note - anyone know what happened to BBREF on google? They used to be the top result on pretty much any ballplayers name, now they are not even on the 1st page (just tried Jim Edmonds).

First guess, Google is getting ready to launch a sports stats service.
   86. Booey Posted: November 19, 2019 at 03:52 PM (#5902429)
#81 - With Vlad vs Abreu, it's not just the counting stats, but the rate stats too. .318 avg vs .291, .553 slg vs .475, 140 OPS+ vs 128. Those are huge. Yeah, Bobby leads in OBP, but the voters have shown time and again that they're more impressed with hits than walks.

Also, the counting stat advantage for Vlad isn't just in the career totals, but also the season to season totals. Abreu may have ended up with similar career numbers in hits and rbi, but Vlad has 8 seasons with more hits than Bobby's career high, including 4 of over 200 (yes I know, walks), and 7 seasons with more rbi than Abreu's high, and 10 of the top 11 seasons between them.

He just LOOKS so much more HOF-ey. If Vlad wasn't elected, everyone but the most die hard "WAR is all that matters" fanatics would be asking why. The same thing would happen if Abreu WAS elected. That matters, IMO. In the vast majority of cases, you shouldn't have to try too hard to explain to a non SABR inclined fan why someone is or isn't a HOFer.
   87. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: November 19, 2019 at 03:59 PM (#5902430)
Side note - anyone know what happened to BBREF on google? They used to be the top result on pretty much any ballplayers name, now they are not even on the 1st page (just tried Jim Edmonds).

Looks like Edmonds has some reality TV drama going on right now so he might be a bad choice. If I search for other players with just their name ("Mookie Betts") their BBREF game logs show up but not the main player page.

Usually I Google "Mookie Betts stats" and then BBREF shows up as the first or second result (before or after ESPN or MLB.com).
   88. Mike Webber Posted: November 19, 2019 at 04:03 PM (#5902432)
Side note - anyone know what happened to BBREF on google? They used to be the top result on pretty much any ballplayers name, now they are not even on the 1st page (just tried Jim Edmonds).

First guess, Google is getting ready to launch a sports stats service.


It looks like it is just Edmonds, apparently his marital strife has knocked his baseball career to page 2 of his google search
   89. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: November 19, 2019 at 04:09 PM (#5902435)
I google "mookie betts ref"

Actually, for Mookie you only need "mookie ref"

Awesome, I found that "Rickey ref" also works.

So does "trout ref".

In summation, include "ref"
   90. bbmck Posted: November 19, 2019 at 04:35 PM (#5902449)
[81] Fewest Career WAR per MVP Share for the Top 200, 22 pitchers and Babe Ruth in the Top 200, 7 position players get a minor adjustment:

6.0 - Ryan Howard
10.3 - Cecil Fielder
10.4 - George Bell
11.9 - Hughie Critz
12.3 - Mike Trout

12.6 - Dave Parker
12.9 - Prince Fielder
14.0 - Juan Gonzalez
14.3 - Joe DiMaggio
14.5 - Albert Pujols
14.7 - Roy Campanella

14.9 - Miguel Cabrera
15.0 - Denny McLain
15.0 - Pedro Guerrero
15.0 - Yogi Berra
15.1 - Jim Rice
15.1 - Dizzy Dean

15.3 - Joe Carter
15.4 - Frank Thomas (jr)
15.5 - Steve Garvey
15.6 - Hank Greenberg
16.5 - Alex Bregman
16.8 - Albert Belle

17.x - 8 players including Barry Bonds 17.5
18.x - 13 players including David Ortiz 18.7
19.x - 8 players including Mookie Betts 19.5
20.x - 11 players including Vladimir Guerrero 20.2
21.x - 9 players including Sandy Koufax 21.4

The most WAR among the 200 is careers that pre-date multiple MVP winners and pitchers:

105.7 - Ty Cobb
99.7 - Babe Ruth
79.1 - Tom Seaver
77.9 - Tris Speaker
66.3 - Steve Carlton

64.7 - Walter Johnson
63.0 - Roger Clemens
60.0 - Eddie Mathews
55.2 - Lefty Grove
53.5 - Carlton Fisk

52.9 - Paul Molitor
47.9 - Clayton Kershaw
45.2 - Rickey Henderson
45.2 - Rod Carew
44.9 - Sal Bando

44.6 - Larry Walker
44.5 - Robin Roberts
43.2 - Carl Yastrzemski
43.0 - Ichiro Suzuki

42.9 - Robin Yount
42.1 - Adrian Beltre
41.5 - Cal Ripken Jr
40.9 - Warren Spahn
   91. "RMc", the superbatsman Posted: November 19, 2019 at 06:11 PM (#5902469)
1.7 Lenny Harris 0

Lenny Harris has always fascinated me. Not just the fact that he got on the HOF ballot, not even the fact that he played in the bigs for 18 freakin' years...what's amazing is that he had a career at all.

Here's a complete, unexpurgated list of Lenny Harris' good major league seasons:

1990, with 3.1 WAR.

That's it. That's it, people. He could only manage even 1 WAR only one other time, in 1991. Ten of his other 16 seasons were underwater, and he finished with 1.7 WAR for his career. (No, that's not a seasonal average, that's total.) In 1,903 games he managed to be just slightly better than the guys any team could've gotten off the scrap heap, guys like Mike Matheny, Denny Hocking and Quinton McCracken. It's like he was a one-man 2019 Detroit Tigers.

How? How? Because he could play a lot of positions, most of them badly (-12 Def runs at 3B, -10 at 2B, -17 at SS, +1 in the OF)? Because he hit for a decent (if utterly hollow) average of .269? Because he was popular in the locker room? Because he had naked pictures of, well, everybody? How. Did. This. Man. Stay. In. The. Major. Leagues...?!

Mind. Blown.
   92. SoSH U at work Posted: November 19, 2019 at 06:40 PM (#5902472)
How. Did. This. Man. Stay. In. The. Major. Leagues...?!


Because he wasn't all that bad at the only thing he was asked to do for the vast majority of that time - pinch hit. And pinch hitting is one of the times when an empty BA tends to have the most value.

That's why every one of his 18 seasons, with eight different clubs, was spent in the National League.

This really isn't one-word-per-sentence complicated.

Now, why he made a Hall of Fame ballot? That I can't answer.

   93. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: November 19, 2019 at 06:46 PM (#5902475)
Yeah, Harris has the career record for most pinch hits (and most pinch-hit at-bats). I don't know that WAR adjusts for the fact that pinch-hitting is more difficult than starting. Not that it makes Harris a justifiable HOF ballot guy, but he's probably a little better than that 1.7 WAR indicates.
   94. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: November 19, 2019 at 06:46 PM (#5902474)
Harris was incredibly well-liked by his coaches and teammates, including a string of crusty old managers (LaSorda, Davey Johnson, Jack McKeon); he never raised a fuss about sitting on the bench; he would sign for not hugely more than the minimum; he could stand around at four or five positions without making a complete fool of himself; he hit left handed. I sort of get it -- if you're going to have a replacement level guy on the bench, why not have it be someone who's a great guy, a versatile spare part, and a known quantity?

Harris holds the career record for pinch hits and pinch hit PAs, despite not being a very good hitter. It is weird that teams gave him over 800 PH PAs, while people like Greg Colbrunn were floating around underemployed.
   95. SoSH U at work Posted: November 19, 2019 at 06:55 PM (#5902478)
Harris was incredibly well-liked by his coaches and teammates, including a string of crusty old managers (LaSorda, Davey Johnson, Jack McKeon); he never raised a fuss about sitting on the bench; he would sign for not hugely more than the minimum; he could stand around at four or five positions without making a complete fool of himself; he hit left handed. I sort of get it -- if you're going to have a replacement level guy on the bench, why not have it be someone who's a great guy, a versatile spare part, and a known quantity?


Absolutely. Being a good guy isn't going to get you more money at the negotiating table, but it can keep you employed longer than most of the folks who share your abilities.
   96. bbmck Posted: November 19, 2019 at 08:18 PM (#5902487)
Debut since 1956 (Aparicio), 38 non-pitchers have at least 10 seasons of 50+ PA and OPS+ under 80.

18 of them with 70%+ of games at SS: Mark Belanger 240.7 Rfield, Luis Aparicio 148.6, Jack Wilson 141.2, Omar Vizquel 128.6, Ozzie Guillen 104.6, Ed Brinkman 79.1, Cesar Izturis 71.3, Neifi Perez 65.5, Dal Maxvill 61.1, Tim Foli 48.7, Royce Clayton 48.3, Rafael Belliard 35.7, Larry Bowa 30.2, Bobby Wine 12.4, Alfredo Griffin -28.1, Don Kessinger -43.1, Johnnie LeMaster -61.2 and Rafael Ramirez -68

10 of them with 70%+ of games at C: Bob Boone 105.3 Rfield, Brad Ausmus 79.8, Jeff Mathis 58, Bruce Benedict 32, Mike Matheny 30.7, Henry Blanco 26, Jose Molina 24, Buck Martinez 16.2, Paul Bako 8.9 and Joe Girardi 4

2 of them with 70%+ of games at 2B: Sandy Alomar 30.9 Rfield and Cookie Rojas -50.5

1 of them with 70%+ of games at 3B: Aurelio Rodriguez 88.2 Rfield

Of the remaining 7, 6 have 70%+ of games at 2B/SS combined: Rey Sanchez 141 Rfield, John McDonald 65.3, Hal Lanier 48.6, Mark McLemore 36, Juan Castro 8.5 and Jose Vizcaino -14.1

Leaving Lenny Harris -18.9 Rfield, who doesn't show up until 41% 2B/3B or 43% 2B/3B/SS who has no games at C and one at P.

Among the 38 the highest % of games as PH/R: Lenny Harris 50%, Jose Vizcaino 21%, John McDonald 17%, Juan Castro 14%

Lenny Harris through Age 30: 35% of games at PH/R and 84 OPS+
Lenny Harris at Age 31+: 61% of games at PH/R and 76 OPS+
   97. alilisd Posted: November 19, 2019 at 08:48 PM (#5902492)
#79: Which helps to make the case against using WAA (and short peak).


I don't think 5 years is a particularly short peak, ymmv. By also looking at 10 years, which is more of a prime length to me, again ymmv, this is offset in any case. I definitely strongly prefer peak though, so if someone is strong for 5 years, and solid for 10, I don't really care if they didn't get to 10,000+ PA's, or any particular round counting numbers.

Helton was awesome (more awesome than I realized) for those 5 seasons. But that's just 5 seasons. Outside of that you've got 6000 PA of 25 WAR, 5 WAA -- above-average
but nothing special. ...

Then over a career, WAA is definitely not what you want. Average play isn't rewarded by WAA and many players get killed in WAA by hanging on "too long."


Well, you can't discount WAA as a career measurement because it takes away from the total when a player starts to decline, and then use it to punish Helton. He added 8.8 in his second five best seasons. If you want to cut off Murray's below average decline from age 35+, he makes 34.3 WAA in 9,125 PA's. If you cut off Helton's last season of negative WAA, he makes 34.6 in 9,011 PA's. I'll take Helton's peak and shorter career over Murray, but the point I'm trying to make is that Helton deserves careful consideration, not that he's a no brainer, not that his short peak makes him a comparable overall candidate to Bagwell, or a better one than Thomas, Thome, or McCovey.

Now, except for Bagwell, all these guys were first ballot so Helton obviously has a case to be made. But he's in the Murray/Cepeda/Perez class not Bagwell/Thome/Thomas -- no shame in that. I agree he's a tough call to make mainly because it's hard to tell how much he was a creation of Coors. On the road he was more Will Clark (without the 300 BA).


Well, there you go; that's what (I thought, anyway) I said. His peak 5 years puts him into the discussion, but it doesn't put him at the top of his position. His prime and career certainly put him in the discussion, and solidly in the middle of the pack within his position. He's definitely NOT in a Cepeda/Perez class, IMO. Cepeda has nowhere near the peak, and his career is lesser than Helton's, same for Perez. He's much more in the middle tier with Murray and Killebrew, and for me they're all three a tick behind McCovey.
   98. "RMc", the superbatsman Posted: November 19, 2019 at 08:56 PM (#5902494)
if you're going to have a replacement level guy on the bench, why not have it be someone who's a great guy, a versatile spare part, and a known quantity?


Because he's losing you ballgames? Year after year after year...? And he's taking up a roster spot, which could be better used on...nearly anybody...?!
   99. Walt Davis Posted: November 20, 2019 at 05:19 AM (#5902527)
then use it to punish Helton.

I didn't use it to punish Helton. Mainly I didn't even check -- a fair point -- but it equalized their PAs as well. Lots of ways to slice it. From 24-35 (12 seasons), Helton had 59 WAR in 7663 PA; from 21-32, Murray had 56 WAR in 7760 PA. That's pretty much a wash but in Helton's favor. Murray had one more big season and two more average seasons left in him, Helton had one average season. That's not a big difference either but in Murray's favor.

The issue with peak, especially short ones, is that we've made them vastly over-valued in HoF discussions. The above is the question you have to answer. Using WAR7 for convenience, Helton's is 46.5 and Murray's is 39.1. So that's 7 wins ... spread out over 7 years. That's not a trivial difference and it's big enough to conclude Helton was better at their peaks. But it's also just one win a year. It's not like that had much in the way of pennant impacts, it's not like it's the issue of "better to have one great player than two good ones". It's a win.

Over what we might then think of as the next 6 years of their careers, Murray basically closes that entire gap -- Helton is then at 59 career WAR, Murray at 58, Murray with 300 more PAs. That means Murray was about 6 wins better over 6 seasons, one win a year. Why should we privelege Helton's 7 wins in 7 years over Murray's 6 wins in 6 years?

Then Murray added one more 5 WAR season and an average season while Helton's remaining PAs were as a roughly replacement level player. So that's a nearly 7-win edge over 3 seasons which has far more impact than any edge either of them had earlier in their careers.

Why do we pretend that a 7-win edge over 7 peak seasons is more important than a 6-win edge over 6 very good seasons much less when that second guy then adds a 7-win edge in 2 old-age seasons? Why do we pretend that guys who continue to play well in their mid-30s and decently in their late 30s aren't making up ground on players who decline more?

Murray-Helton is also a case where the fact that the league difference is captured in WAR (via Rrep) but not WAA makes a difference. For ages 24-35, Helton has those 59 WAR but 36 WAA. But he was playing in the inferior league and received Rrep at a rate of 20 runs per 650 PA. Murray ages 21-32 had those WAR but "only" 31 WAA. But he was playing in an average league and received Rrep at a rate of 22 runs per 650 PA. So there's a 5 WAA difference between those two but half of that WAA gap is because Murray was being compared with better "average" players (relative to era of course).

When comparing players or player peaks of roughly equal PAs, WAR is ALWAYS the slightly better measure than WAA because of the way the league differences are handled. That's not a philosophical argument, it is simply the math of how WAR is constructed.

At their very best, Helton was better than Murray. At their "good" Murray was every bit as much better than Helton. In their decline phase, Murray was much better than Helton. In their very late decline, Murray played and Helton didn't/couldn't. That pretty clearly adds up to Murray being the better of these two players. The difference of course ends up being just 7.5 WAR spread out over 15 or so full seasons which is hardly earth-shattering.
   100. Esoteric Posted: November 20, 2019 at 08:14 AM (#5902531)
I don't do steroids guys, so my ballot is pretty easy:

Jeter
Schilling
Rolen
Walker
Kent
Wagner

And those last three are marginal, but I figure better to err on the side of generosity.

First time in a long time that I wouldn't be able to fill up a ballot with 10 names.
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