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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 | 456 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hall of fame, son of gizmo

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   101. Rally Posted: November 20, 2019 at 08:53 AM (#5902542)
Bump
   102. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: November 20, 2019 at 09:02 AM (#5902545)
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.


Alfonso Soriano is available (for HOF voting).
   103. DanG Posted: November 20, 2019 at 11:43 AM (#5902614)
#37
has anyone ever figured out why there's a screening committee? Are they worried that the BBWAA might accidentally elect Steve Henderson or something?
Pretending that this was not just a rhetorical question, here’s my take on the meta issue it addresses.

The history of the Hall’s election process is tortuous, even sordid at times. I don’t know that anyone has ever told the whole story, even (especially?) the Hall itself. There’s always something glossed over, a missing chapter, or an unprovable speculation, something….

The short answer to, “Why do we even have a screening committee” is, because it’s necessary. In an intelligently designed election system with an informed electorate, you don’t need a screening committee. In this case, we have neither, so a screening committee is necessary. Or more precisely, there needs to be a process to get from “Here’s every player in history” to “Here are the top candidates for election to the HOF”.

Unfortunately, the process does not end up with “the top candidates for election”. The fact is, that is not the ultimate aim of the ballot screeners, as they include so many players who are in no way candidates for the HOF. The process of preparing the ballot for a HOF election is corrupted.
   104. Baldrick Posted: November 20, 2019 at 11:56 AM (#5902618)
The first ballot is in the tracker (Lynn Henning). It only has six names and...I'm fine with it.

It feels wild, but we really have finally gotten back to the point where there are only a half-dozen guys who feel like it would be a serious mistake to exclude.
   105. DanG Posted: November 20, 2019 at 12:36 PM (#5902624)
#57
I'm surprised at the people here who are including Pettitte on their lists. He strikes me as a good pitcher who played reasonably a long time. But a HOVG player.
Here's Pettitte compared to other starting pitchers active in this decade (minimum 2250 IP):

Player            WAR WAAERA+   W   L     IP From   To
Justin Verlander 71.4 43.7  129 225 129 2982.0 2005 2019
Zack Greinke     66.7 41.6  125 205 123 2872.0 2004 2019
Clayton Kershaw  65.4 47.3  157 169  74 2274.2 2008 2019
Roy Halladay     65.4 40.4  131 203 105 2749.1 1998 2013
CC Sabathia      62.5 29.0  116 251 161 3577.1 2001 2019
Andy Pettitte    60.6 29.8  117 256 153 3316.0 1995 2013
Mark Buehrle     60.1 29.4  117 214 160 3283.1 2000 2015
Cole Hamels      58.7 36.7  123 163 121 2694.2 2006 2019
Max Scherzer     58.7 39.1  132 170  89 2290.0 2008 2019
Tim Hudson       56.8 30.0  120 222 133 3126.2 1999 2015
Felix Hernandez  50.2 24.8  117 169 136 2729.2 2005 2019
Jamie Moyer      49.9 12.6  103 269 209 4074.0 1986 2012
Bartolo Colon    48.0 16.2  106 247 188 3461.2 1997 2018
Jon Lester       45.9 23.2  120 190 108 2537.2 2006 2019 

He's right between future-hall-of-famer Sabathia and future-one-and-done Buehrle. Pettitte has the second-most Wins and is the only one that's a hundred games over .500.
   106. Srul Itza Posted: November 20, 2019 at 01:07 PM (#5902642)
Pettitte also deserves a little Post Season credit. He pitched a full extra season, 276 IP, against what we should assume was overall better competition, and had essentially the same ERA and winning percentage at 19-11.

Even with that, he falls a little short for me, but he would not generate a Jack Morris/Jim Rice level "WTF" if he got elected. I don't think it will happen, though, until the Veterans Committee is 75% ex Yankeees
   107. Al "Battery" Kaline Posted: November 20, 2019 at 01:18 PM (#5902644)
I always liked Hen's writing. Third person with some of the weirdest metaphors I've ever seen.

Wonder how many Jeter-only ballots there will be this year.
   108. Al "Battery" Kaline Posted: November 20, 2019 at 01:23 PM (#5902647)
Petit does feel like a rich man's Burly, yet I had him on my FG ballot last year, and not necessarily with a good reason. Maybe it was "just because," as Big Bird would say. Remains to be seen whether I'll wise up this time around or not.
   109. TomH Posted: November 20, 2019 at 01:25 PM (#5902649)
1) Is Andy Pettite the guy who has escaped the PED stink the most, out of all accused users? If so, why?
2) re: his fine W-L record; in the 3 seasons Pettite won the most games (total record of 61 wins, 25 losses), Pettite had an ERA over 4.
   110. SoSH U at work Posted: November 20, 2019 at 01:33 PM (#5902653)
1) Is Andy Pettite the guy who has escaped the PED stink the most, out of all accused users? If so, why?


Given his first-year ballot performance, it's hard to see how he got treated much better or worse than anyone else.
   111. Rally Posted: November 20, 2019 at 01:38 PM (#5902657)
1) Is Andy Pettite the guy who has escaped the PED stink the most, out of all accused users? If so, why?


I expect that honor to end up with David Ortiz two years from now.

Also, accused is not entirely the right word. Both Pettitte and Ortiz were caught. Sure, they've got excuses, like "it was just once while I was rehabbing an injury" or "I don't know what ended up in that milkshake."

Among the merely accused, probably Ivan Rodriguez, who went in first ballot anyway.

   112. cookiedabookie Posted: November 20, 2019 at 01:39 PM (#5902659)
in the 3 seasons Pettite won the most games (total record of 61 wins, 25 losses), Pettite had an ERA over 4

During the steroid era, when his ERA+ was 117 over those three seasons
   113. ajnrules Posted: November 20, 2019 at 01:48 PM (#5902664)
1) Is Andy Pettite the guy who has escaped the PED stink the most, out of all accused users? If so, why?

No, I think I'm going to go with Bartolo Colon. Somehow he had become a folk hero after his PED suspension. He's not going to get the most Hall of Fame votes because he's not close to being a Hall of Famer, but it feels like people forget he was suspended. I do think Pettitte is close to the top, and I wonder if it's because he was so quick in accepting the fact, and also because he was far from being the highest-profile player on the Mitchell Report.
2) re: his fine W-L record; in the 3 seasons Pettite won the most games (total record of 61 wins, 25 losses), Pettite had an ERA over 4.

I'll admit that's not great, but as cookiedabookie pointed out above it's not terrible. Furthermore, in his three seasons with the highest bWAR, his record is still 56-24 and had a 3.04 ERA with ERA+ of 129, 156, and 177.
   114. Ziggy is done with Dominican discotheques Posted: November 20, 2019 at 02:02 PM (#5902667)
The question about the screening committee actually wasn't rhetorical. I mean, it was - obviously they don't need one. But it also wasn't, I'm really curious about why they bother.

The eligibility rules mean that a writer couldn't vote for Bill Dahlen even if he wanted to. In fact, they mean that you don't have to be a generally informed voter, you just need to have paid attention to baseball over the past 25 years or so. (Admittedly, this is a bar that plenty of BBWAA members don't pass.) Because only those guys are eligible. The screening committee excludes some selection of the obviously unqualified players. But the obviously unqualified players aren't going to get elected, and probably aren't even going to get any votes. The committee is not necessary because the guys that they exclude would have been ignored even if they were on the ballot.

You do need the eligibility requirement - we really can't trust the BBWAA to accurately assess Bill Dahlen's case. But that's different than the screening committee.

I suspect that the answer to the "why is there a screening committee" question is nothing more than someone suggested it, and someone else said "okay, sure", and institutional inertia took over from there.
   115. SoSH U at work Posted: November 20, 2019 at 02:06 PM (#5902671)
No, I think I'm going to go with Bartolo Colon. Somehow he had become a folk hero after his PED suspension. He's not going to get the most Hall of Fame votes because he's not close to being a Hall of Famer, but it feels like people forget he was suspended. I do think Pettitte is close to the top, and I wonder if it's because he was so quick in accepting the fact, and also because he was far from being the highest-profile player on the Mitchell Report.


I think, in general, the more playing miles a guy put between his PED involvement and the end of his career is one of the biggest factors. Papi's suspicion dates back to before he became DAVID ORTIZ*, so he got to provide a career's worth of post-suspicion narrative. Pettitte and Colon also pitched a while after they were caught up in it. In contrast, for the first wave of guys, they exited the sport under the darkest PED cloud, and had no subsequent opportunity to change that going-away perception.

Arod could have enjoyed the former, and was to an extent, but then he got dinged again.

* Not literally, as that happened when he joined the Twins.

   116. Rally Posted: November 20, 2019 at 03:15 PM (#5902711)
Not that this has anything to do with HOF, but just thought I'd mention I was doing some aging research recently, looking at the expected performance of old sluggers. Old guys 39+ with 20+ HR and a 125 or better OPS+

From the selected group, some of them kept going the following year, some of them dropped off, but nobody lost it completely in one year. Some of course retired, like Williams and Ortiz, or were forced to do so like Bonds. Some went from good hitter to slightly below average, like 41 year old Hank Aaron.

Babe Ruth hit only .181 (92 PA) his last year, but even he still had a better than league OPS+.

Then came A-Rod, who went from a 129 OPS+ down to 58 in one season. Only good old slugger to turn into a worse hitter than a run of the mill utility infielder in just one year.
   117. alilisd Posted: November 20, 2019 at 05:32 PM (#5902772)
I didn't use it to punish Helton. Mainly I didn't even check -- a fair point -- but it equalized their PAs as well.


Fair enough.

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.


Strongly disagree peak is over-valued in HOF discussions/evaluations. Without some HOF level peak play, you're not a HOF, you're Harold Baines, who had a long career but never, played a season at a truly great/HOF level. How much of that play is needed, and what that level of play is, will vary from person to person, but, at least IMO, you can't be a HOF inductee if you didn't play like a HOF for a solid period of time.

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 far from a trivial difference I would say. I know it doesn't sound like much, especially when it's phrased as "spread out over 7 years," or "just one win a year." But it's 18% higher. Sort by WAR7 for 1B and this becomes very clear. Within 2-ish WAR7 up or down from Helton are Mize, Bagwell, Greenberg, Brouthers, Connor, Sisler, Votto, Thomas, McCovey, and Cabrera. All of those guys are in except for two active players, one of whom is sailing in, and the other of whom is going to need some SABR love to get in, IMO. Looking at Murray in the same way you have Hernandez, Terry, Goldschmidt, Camilli, Olerud, Palmeiro, Killebrew, Teixera, and Torre. Much more of a mixed bag here. Only two HOF, Torre is a manager, and Murray's doppleganger, Palmeiro, who would be in but for PED issues.

Looking at it another way, 18% better than Helton's WAR7 is about 55, and there are only 3 1B in MLB history to exceed that. So Murray may be within 18% of Helton's peak/WAR7, but the company he keeps there is distinctly different than the players who surround Helton, and once you move 18% above Helton's peak, you're in Inner Circle territory.

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?


You don't have to, but if we're splitting hairs over Murray and Helton, than Helton is clearly a HOF, as Murray is no one's idea of a borderline or poor selection. As to why I privilege peak over prime/career, to an extent at least, is because of how hard it is to be truly elite, to really stand out from the norm in baseball. At their very best, by the metrics we have to use right now, Helton stands out as clearly better than Murray. That Murray was a better player when neither of them were elite players, just very good players, can make them equal over their careers, but I'd still say the better peak makes a player a better qualified HOF. And Murray playing more garbage time at the end of his career does nothing for me. If he hung it up after his nice bounce back at 39, he wouldn't have 500 HR, but he's still clearly a HOF. Who cares that he hung around at below replacement level to scratch past that mark? Heck, if he hung it up after his big season at 34, he'd be well worth considering. If he hung it up at 37, he'd be easily in, IMO.

Adding bulk to a career doesn't make one a HOF player, to me. McCovey, to give another example, isn't a HOF because he hit 63 HR from 38-42 with a 105 OPS+ to clear 500 career HR, while compiling 0.3 WAR. He's a HOF because he absolutely mashed from 24-32 putting up an OPS+ of 164 across 10 seasons and over 5,000 PA's, while leading the league in OPS+ 3 straight years.

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.


Thank you for pointing this out, I hadn't considered this before.

At their very best, Helton was better than Murray.


Yes, for an extended period, and that is what the HOF represents, the very best, not the very good.

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.


I'd say it adds up to Murray being the more durable player, the healthier player, which is fine. And if it's important to declare Murray the better player, that's fine, too. But we've both shown how small the margin is, and depending on how one values peak in which direction the margin lies. Again, my point is that Helton deserves a close look, a fair hearing, and is a very worthy HOF 1B despite a shorter career than many HOF (regardless of whether he or Murray was the better player).
   118. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: November 20, 2019 at 07:16 PM (#5902808)
The short answer to, “Why do we even have a screening committee” is, because it’s necessary. In an intelligently designed election system with an informed electorate, you don’t need a screening committee. In this case, we have neither, so a screening committee is necessary. Or more precisely, there needs to be a process to get from “Here’s every player in history” to “Here are the top candidates for election to the HOF”.


Except that the only newly eligible guys each year are those that retired 5 years prior and have at least 10 MLB seasons. The guys who fail to get 5% get dropped. Simply including every eligible first time player would make the ballots longer but not unbearably long.
   119. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: November 20, 2019 at 07:45 PM (#5902815)

I would be in favor of no screening committee. To #118's point, the current ballot has 32 players including 18 first-timers. There were an additional 36 players who retired in 2014 who aren't included on the ballot, so basically it would be twice as long.

I don't feel that strongly about the point, it just seems arbitrary to include Chone Figgins and exclude Marco Scutaro.
   120. DanG Posted: November 20, 2019 at 08:37 PM (#5902828)
I suspect that the answer to the "why is there a screening committee" question is nothing more than someone suggested it, and someone else said "okay, sure", and institutional inertia took over from there.
The apparent reason the screening committee was founded was to fix a short-term problem: to increase the number of players being elected. Over an 11-year span (1957-67) the BBWAA elected only three players in its regular elections (Ted, Jackie and Feller), plus two more via runoffs (Appling and Ruffing). The main reasons this happened were: 1) There was a shortage of quality candidates due to WW-2; and 2) The BBWAA was voting biyearly, having elections in only six years during that time.

So they went back to voting annually. In addition, they figured if they gave the voters a shorter list of candidates there would be less fragmentation in the balloting. Voting results before 1978 don’t include players with zero votes, so we don’t know exactly how large the ballots were before then. In the elections leading up to 1968 there were probably more than 60 candidates.

According to the Hall’s website: “A screening committee was implemented in 1968 to limit ballots to 40 players.” It looks like they didn’t get the memo until 1976, because in every election 1968-75 more than 40 players received votes. This was before the 5% rule came along (1979) so the screeners were tasked with looking at all players in the 15-year eligibility window and deciding who should be on the ballot.

The first thing the screening committee did was to throw Larry Doby off the ballot. Doby had just drawn 3.4% in his second year on the ballot. Bobby Thomson, also in his second year, received exactly the same support. Thomson continued on the ballot for 12 more years (1968-79), consistently getting 2% support. Throughout those years, the ballot screeners could have put Doby back on the ballot but never did.

After the Milt Pappas kerfuffle in late 1978, the screening committee was abolished. Of course, the screeners were spot on regarding Pappas; he was rightfully one and done and relegated to obscurity. Unfortunately, that affair saddled us with the 5% rule, with its pernicious influence on the election process.

The election results of 1979-80 have a lot of goose eggs, so screening was reinstituted. Properly chastised, the screening committee swore to never again exclude a player with anything like 209 Wins. Since 1981 they have been the committee we know today, dealing only with first-year candidates and practically useless in screening out unqualified candidates.
   121. Baldrick Posted: November 20, 2019 at 08:52 PM (#5902831)
Thanks for that history DanG. A lot of stuff there I had no idea about.
   122. Howie Menckel Posted: November 20, 2019 at 08:59 PM (#5902833)
MPappas was 209-164 in 3386 IP with a 110 ERA+.
Drysdale was 209-166 in 3432 IP with a 121 ERA+.

almost exact contemporaries - and in the same league.

once your parse it out, yes, Drysdale was better.

but it would be ridiculous to arbitrarily eliminate such a player without even getting a review.
   123. SoSH U at work Posted: November 20, 2019 at 09:05 PM (#5902837)
Milt Pappas is on the short list of my least favorite players ever, so anything that pissed him off is a good thing. What a thoroughly unpleasant man.

   124. DanG Posted: November 20, 2019 at 09:24 PM (#5902839)
but it would be ridiculous to arbitrarily eliminate such a player without even getting a review
Right. So that's exactly what the screeners did; they reviewed him and then eliminated him as a candidate. The BBWAA voters confirmed this decision. And in the past forty years we've heard nary a peep regarding Pappas as a HOF candidate. I'd say the screeners did their job right regarding Pappas.
   125. bobm Posted: November 20, 2019 at 09:34 PM (#5902841)
once your parse it out, yes, Drysdale was better.

This comparison of the two, and the issue of consistency versus peak performance, was covered at length by Bill James in "Whatever Happened to the Hall of Fame" aka "The Politics of Glory."

   126. ajnrules Posted: November 21, 2019 at 02:13 AM (#5902867)
Since 1981 they have been the committee we know today, dealing only with first-year candidates and practically useless in screening out unqualified candidates.

Yet somehow they managed to exclude Willie Davis and his 2,561 hits and never rectifying that oversight.
   127. DanG Posted: November 21, 2019 at 02:50 AM (#5902871)
I think they had the right idea when screening committee was founded: limit the size of the ballot. But 40 players are too many. You would never find that many legitimate HOF candidates in a ten-year window.

If it were up to me, here’s how I would reform the ballot:

1. Limit the ballot to 20 players. This will be the top ten returnees from the last election, plus ten chosen by the screening committee.
2. Eliminate the 5% rule and the 10-years-played rule.
3. Have the screening committee review all players in the eligibility window, not just first-year candidates.
4. Let the fans be the screening committee.
5. Have the voters vote Yes or No on all 20 candidates.

If this process were in place for the 2020 election, the ballot might look something like this:

Curt Schilling Derek Jeter
Roger Clemens  Bobby Abreu
Barry Bonds    Jim Edmonds
Larry Walker   Gary Sheffield
Manny Ramirez  Andruw Jones
Jeff Kent      Kenny Lofton
Scott Rolen    Kevin Brown
Todd Helton    Lance Berkman
Billy Wagner   Rafael Palmeiro
Omar Vizquel   Johan Santana 

   128. Rennie's Tenet Posted: November 21, 2019 at 08:33 AM (#5902880)
Willie Davis and his 2,561 hits


I think Davis just slipped out of the system because he finished his career with two seasons in Japan, one in the majors, and one in Mexico. His index card ended up in the wrong pile.
   129. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: November 21, 2019 at 09:53 AM (#5902900)
All of those guys are in except for two active players, one of whom is sailing in, and the other of whom is going to need some SABR love to get in, IMO.


I am assuming the one that needs some SABR love is Votto... :-)

Run Created 2008-2019 (all Votto seasons except his first September call-up)
1. Joey Votto 1383
2. Miguel Cabrera 1314
3. Albert Pujols 1159
4. Mike Trout(!) 1149 (first call-up was 2011)
5. Robinson Cano 1144
6. Ryan Braun 1134

Rbat 2008-2019
1. Mike Trout(!) 470.7
2. Joey Votto 449.0
3. Miguel Cabrera 415.3
these are the only 3 above 300 rbat over that period.

So, over his career so far, he has been the 2nd best hitter (behind a guy that has a chance to be the greatest player ever). Has an MVP, a very, very close 2nd, a 3rd, 2 6ths and a 7th. His best season, 2012, he got hurt and missed 50 games. He would have finished in the top 3 in MVP voting if he had stayed healthy. He is also a good defensive first baseman, though, no one cares about first base defense when it comes to the Hall. 7 times leading the league in OBP. 5 times in walks, 5 times in times on base, 2 times in OPS, once in OPS+, once in doubles.
   130. Booey Posted: November 21, 2019 at 11:04 AM (#5902919)
#129 - Votto also doesn't even have 2000 hits, 300 HR, or 1000 rbi yet. And he's only right on the value borderline with 60 WAR, and looking pretty toasty. The last 2 seasons dropped him from likely to "maybe eventually if he's really lucky" pretty quick.

The best news for Votto I suppose is that his doppelganger Edgar Martinez just got in (though it took the duration).
   131. alilisd Posted: November 21, 2019 at 11:09 AM (#5902920)
129: Exactly. Your take is spot on, and if the electorate continues to move in that direction he should do well. But from an “old school “ perspective he’s going to lack the career bulk, and he’ll miss the milestones they look for. Plus from a narrative perspective he’s a 1B who walks a lot. Where are the 500 HR and 1,500 RBI? Late start to his career and two injury shortened seasons leave him well shy of 8,000 PAs after his age 35 season. Last two seasons appear to indicate decline is underway. Led the league once in doubles (they won’t care about all the times he led in BB anymore than they’ll care about his defense). Likely won’t even approach 400 HR if this decline is not reversed, let alone 500.

I love his hitting approach and how he credits Ted Williams influence. I think he’s a fun player to watch, like the way he teases the fans of other teams when he’s on the road. Should be an interesting candidate to watch when he’s eligible
   132. Al "Battery" Kaline Posted: November 21, 2019 at 11:14 AM (#5902921)
Maz's ballot is up, and it's what you'd expect from the "no on Smoltz, Rice I put in" guy: Bonds, Clemens, Jeter, Manny.
   133. cookiedabookie Posted: November 21, 2019 at 11:14 AM (#5902922)
Helton's journey on the ballots may tell us a lot about Votto's chances. I think he's done enough, but the voters may want 5-6 more years of average/mediocre compiling
   134. PreservedFish Posted: November 21, 2019 at 11:14 AM (#5902923)
Votto has 4 years left on his contract - I wouldn't call him or his hall case toast quite yet.
   135. Booey Posted: November 21, 2019 at 11:16 AM (#5902924)
Note - I love Votto and I hope he gets in. I just think that as of now, his counting stats are REALLY low for a HOF 1B, even for an electorate with ever increasing SABR awareness. And again, even his SABR numbers are only borderline if he doesn't have a dead cat bounce left in him.
   136. alilisd Posted: November 21, 2019 at 11:17 AM (#5902925)
130: While I agree with your take on Votto, I think 60 being a borderline is a bit high. Everyone eligible with 70+ is in except Palmeiro. Everyone eligible with 60-69 is in except McGwire, Hernandez, and Helton, who is still early in the process. It’s really between 50-59 that starts looking borderline, at least at 1B
   137. PreservedFish Posted: November 21, 2019 at 11:22 AM (#5902928)
Joe Mauer capped his career with several ~2 WAR seasons. I think a diminished Votto could do the same.
   138. alilisd Posted: November 21, 2019 at 11:25 AM (#5902930)
134: Four more years like his last season are not going to thrill old school Hall voters. They’re not going to care about a 1B with no HR power who walked a lot
   139. SoSH U at work Posted: November 21, 2019 at 11:39 AM (#5902936)
Four more years like his last season are not going to thrill old school Hall voters.


How many of them will still have voting privileges by the time Votto hits the ballot?
   140. PreservedFish Posted: November 21, 2019 at 11:47 AM (#5902940)
I don't think that lame averageish late-career seasons should make a difference in anyone's Hall case, but I think they do obviously help. Votto with 350 HR is a better candidate than Votto with 300 HR. Votto with 70 WAR is a better candidate than Votto with 62 WAR.

I'm just saying the door isn't shut yet.
   141. Ziggy is done with Dominican discotheques Posted: November 21, 2019 at 12:02 PM (#5902944)
The last 2 seasons dropped him from likely to "maybe eventually if he's really lucky" pretty quick.


You think that 2018 hurt his hall of fame chances? The man led the league in OBP! Given that he was still a good hitter as recently as 2018, I wouldn't call him toasty yet. It's true that his 2019 was bad, and he'll be 36 next year, so toast is certainly possible, but it's premature to reach that conclusion now.

That said, his hall of fame chances are pretty dicey. His biggest problem is the late start. Hall of famers usually get it going in their early 20s, and Votto didn't. The Reds promoted him cautiously. Whether that was warranted or not is a good question. His 2004 was very solid and probably should have garnered some prospect attention, but didn't. In 2005 he struggled as a 21 yo in A+. This is probably what sunk him. He mashed in AA in 2006, but didn't get promoted. Maybe because he had trouble the year before? Anyway, that's when he started making prospect lists. BPro and BA had him in the middle of their top 100. He mashed again in 2007, got a cup of coffee, and BPro, at least, moved him up to #21. Basically the Reds made him spend a full year at each minor league level. He hit as soon as he reached the majors, and maybe could have been up a year earlier. But given his struggles in 2005, it's hard to see how he could have been in MLB much earlier than he was.

Everybody gets injured, but his 2012 injury was especially costly. He was so good that year that he led the league in walks despite only playing 2/3rds of a season.

One thing that Votto does have going for him is a batting average above 300. Whether he can keep that, or not, is a good question. But the traditionalists will like it if he can pull it off.

Here's a game. Let's make Votto a free swinger. Most of his walks are discretionary - there were pitches to hit, and he opted not to hit them. Let's say that he makes contact half of the times in which he actually drew a walk. That's -590 walks. He has a career BABIP of 349, which would give him an extra 206 hits. I assume that none of these will be home runs: you don't take a pitch that you could hit out in the hopes of drawing a walk. He has a career home run rate of 4.6% (HR/AB), so we need to give him 27 more hits. We'll assume that those hits are going to be doubles (since we're assuming no new HRs). That gives him 6678 ABs, 2099 hits, for a .314 career batting average. And a .365 OBP. For his career 25% of Votto's hits-in-play have been doubles, and 1% triples. That gives him 79 more doubles and two more triples.

Which line would impress HOF voters more, real Votto, or free-swinging Votto:

R_V: 1866 H, 404 2B, 20 3B, 284 HR, 307/421/519
FSV: 2099 H, 483 2B, 22 3B, 284 HR, 314/365/521

Eh, this was a waste. Neither of those guys gets elected. Despite an even shinier BA, FSV is just obviously so much worse that he doesn't get any votes. RV needs to age like Edgar Martinez is what needs to happen.
   142. Booey Posted: November 21, 2019 at 12:26 PM (#5902961)
#141 - Voters don't care about OBP as much as they should, so yes, I DO think that a season of .284 with 12 homers, 67 rbi, and 67 runs scored HURT his HOF chances more than leading the league in OBP yet again helped him. To cement his election he needs to keep his avg over .300 and pad his counting stats; 2018 didn't help much with either of those goals.

And I hope he's not toasty, but the trend isn't looking good, especially for a guy on the wrong side of 35. Last season he hit just 15 homers with a ball that you probably could've bunted 25.
   143. PreservedFish Posted: November 21, 2019 at 12:34 PM (#5902963)
#141 - Voters don't care about OBP as much as they should, so yes, I DO think that a season of .284 with 12 homers, 67 rbi, and 67 runs scored HURT his HOF chances more than leading the league in OBP yet again helped him.


"Hurt" compared to what? It was better than not playing at all.
   144. Booey Posted: November 21, 2019 at 12:40 PM (#5902965)
#143 - Well, yes. But couldn't you say the same thing about his 2019? Does anyone think his 2019 really helped his HOF case much?

2018 hurt his case compared to the numbers we were expecting him to put up. The numbers he needed to lock it up rather than leaving him on the borderline.

After 2017, Votto was already on the borderline and probably just needed one more great season to cinch it up, similar to Joe Mauer in 2013. 2 years later, Votto is still in the exact same position.
   145. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: November 21, 2019 at 01:30 PM (#5902983)
I think 2018 (and obviously 2019) hurt his HOF chances because he needed a few more good-for-a-1B seasons to pad his stats and not only did he not get those, but they made it look increasingly unlikely that he will get those. Helton is a good comparison although he lost his power earlier and it looked worse because he was playing at Coors Field.

EDIT: Coke to #144.
   146. Rally Posted: November 21, 2019 at 02:06 PM (#5902992)
“ Joe Mauer capped his career with several ~2 WAR seasons. I think a diminished Votto could do the same.”

Difference is Joe Mauer had those 2 WAR seasons from 2014-18. If that’s Votto’s level today then very unlikely he’ll stay there nearly as long as Mauer, because he’s a lot older than Mauer was then. In fact, he and Mauer were both born in 1983.
   147. SoSH U at work Posted: November 21, 2019 at 02:15 PM (#5902997)
he’s a lot older than Mauer was then.


36 in first base years isn't a lot older than 31 in catcher years.
   148. PreservedFish Posted: November 21, 2019 at 02:29 PM (#5903001)
That, and the fact that Mauer was a 140 OPS+ hitter in his prime, Votto a 170 OPS+ hitter. Votto is a more talented hitter. We should expend his decline to the ~100 OPS+ area to happen later than Mauer's.

Votto is projected by BR for a 835 OPS, which matches his 2018 production. With his typical good fielding, that added up to a 3.5 WAR year.

I don't think it's exactly beyond the pale to suggest that Votto could string together a few more years of mediocre production.
   149. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: November 21, 2019 at 03:55 PM (#5903024)
Votto's HOF calling card is OBP. He's not going to reach the traditional markers for hits or HRs, which I don't think will matter much anyways with voters in 10 years. Leading the league for a 7th time in OBP in 2018 has to help, not hurt, his chances.
   150. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: November 21, 2019 at 04:00 PM (#5903025)
In 2005 he struggled as a 21 yo in A+.


2005 is the year Dan O'Brien had the great idea to have all minor leaguers (below AAA, I think) always take the first pitch. Votto, who already knew how to take a pitch and when to hit a first pitch, suffered pretty badly under that. O'Brien was fired after the 2005 season. Votto then destroyed the Southern League in 2006 (league MVP) and may have been ready for the majors at that point. Then the Reds send him to AAA in 2007, he plays well. Reds are happy with Hatteburg and Conine playing first base all year, and Votto was not called up until September. He put up a .907 OPS that September. Comes in to the 2008 season with Hatteburg still there and makes the team, but, starts the season platooning with Hatteburg... I think Scott himself finally told the Reds to "play this guy, he is better than me." Actually, he ended up retiring in May, giving the Reds no choice but to play Votto full-time.
   151. Booey Posted: November 21, 2019 at 04:32 PM (#5903035)
I think we're jumping the gun a bit with some of these comments predicting how enlightened the voters will be in 10 years. They've made progress, sure, but they still gave Omar Vizquel (45.6 WAR) 43% after 2 ballots while Scott Rolen (70.2 WAR) is at 17% after the same 2 ballots. They still elected Trevor Hoffman (27.9 WAR) on the 3rd ballot while Mike Mussina (82.8 WAR) took 6, Curt Schilling (79.5 WAR) is still only at 60% after 7, and Larry Walker (72.7 WAR) is entering his final ballot as a longshot to get elected by the writers at all (55% in 2019).

And once again, even Votto's SABR case isn't a slam dunk yet. If his 2019 ends up being his new level of ability going forward, he's basically Todd Helton, who seems to be the very definition of borderline.
   152. SoSH U at work Posted: November 21, 2019 at 05:20 PM (#5903044)
but they still gave Omar Vizquel (45.6 WAR) 43% after 2 ballots while Scott Rolen (70.2 WAR) is at 17% after the same 2 ballots.


That would be the Scott Rolen you insisted would never see a second ballot (which, had he joined the ballot 10 years earlier, he probably wouldn't have). There's already been a tremendous amount of change in voting just this decade.

And it's probably close to 10 years before Votto hits the ballot, meaning a decade's worth of old-timers who will have likely lost voting privileges by then.

   153. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: November 21, 2019 at 06:06 PM (#5903048)
starts the season platooning with Hatteburg
Huh? Hatteberg also batted lefty.
   154. alilisd Posted: November 21, 2019 at 06:21 PM (#5903054)
139: That’s the million dollar question. It feels like it’s starting to shift with the cuts the Hall made to the very old and inactive writers. Those will continue to weed out some as will natural aging and attrition. But one thing to examine, and I haven’t closely, is how newer voters are going. It seems off the cuff not all of them are particularly SABR savvy or friendly, nor should one expect them to be. So the percentage of those who come into the electorate in the next decade who will view Votto favorably is the key to his success or lack there of I believe
   155. TJ Posted: November 21, 2019 at 06:26 PM (#5903056)
Steven Marcus just followed through on his pledge to cast a “Derek Jeter Only” HOF ballot this year. I am afraid that won’t be the only one...

Then again, maybe Marcus is too busy writing mystery e-books for sale on Amazon to vote for more than one since he’s no longer a sportswriter.
   156. SoSH U at work Posted: November 21, 2019 at 06:27 PM (#5903057)
139: That’s the million dollar question. It feels like it’s starting to shift with the cuts the Hall made to the very old and inactive writers. Those will continue to weed out some as will natural aging and attrition. But one thing to examine, and I haven’t closely, is how newer voters are going. It seems off the cuff not all of them are particularly SABR savvy or friendly, nor should one expect them to be. So the percentage of those who come into the electorate in the next decade who will view Votto favorably is the key to his success or lack there of I believe


As mentioned above, I think Rolen's performance is a strong sign that the voters are shifting. Rolen likely suffers a Whitaker/Grich/Santo kind of fate if he had joined the ballot a decade earlier. Instead, he safely cleared 5 percent on a very crowded ballot, then saw a sizable spike in support in Year 2 in a still-robust group of candidates.

And as we saw with Edgar and Rock and possibly Walker, it's not like these guys need to have the support of 75 percent of the electorate when they hit the ballot to get elected. If you have a decent starting spot, you can build a case.
   157. Booey Posted: November 21, 2019 at 07:13 PM (#5903062)
#152 - Yes, I was wrong about Rolen being one and done, as you've pointed out several times. Still, the fact that he's not getting half the support of Omar Vizquel suggests that the electorate isn't changing as quickly as some are making it sound.

Despite being wrong about Rolen, I'll still confidently predict that Abreu and Buehrle will be gone after the 1st or 2nd ballot.

And once again, Votto doesn't even have a slam dunk SABR case yet like Rolen does.
   158. SoSH U at work Posted: November 21, 2019 at 08:32 PM (#5903073)
#152 - Yes, I was wrong about Rolen being one and done, as you've pointed out several times. Still, the fact that he's not getting half the support of Omar Vizquel suggests that the electorate isn't changing as quickly as some are making it sound.


I'm not trying to rub that fact in. I just find it odd that you're now using Scott Rolen's 17 percent showing on two crowded ballots as evidence the electorate isn't changing very fast, given you were pretty sure he wouldn't see a second. It's clearly changed quite a bit, but I don't think anyone's insisted that the BBWAA is now fully Tango approved.

As for Omar, I think most of us figured he'd get far more support than his play warranted. There's nothing too surprising about that.

And as for Joey, I'm not really sure who you're arguing with. I don't see anyone calling him a lock. But I think by the time Votto hits the ballot, the electorate will likely be pretty stat-friendly. That's a long time.

   159. TJ Posted: November 22, 2019 at 06:10 AM (#5903094)
Steven Marcus just followed through on his pledge to cast a “Derek Jeter Only” HOF ballot this year. I am afraid that won’t be the only one...


Well, that didn’t take long. Woke up this morning to see another “Derek Jeter Only” ballot in the Tracker. This one comes from Anthony Rieber, and it is worse than the one submitted by Steven Marcus. At least Marcus did not drop anyone to vote solely for Jeter, and I suppose there is some twisted logic possible to justify that (even though I strongly disagree.) But to drop ALL SIX of the players you voted for last year as Rieber did just so you can give Jeter a ballot to himself is a whole new level of ridiculous.
   160. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: November 22, 2019 at 09:33 AM (#5903107)

But to drop ALL SIX of the players you voted for last year as Rieber did just so you can give Jeter a ballot to himself is a whole new level of ridiculous.

So the guys he dropped were Bonds, Clemens, Schilling, Vizquel, Pettitte and Manny. A bit frustrating to see him drop Schilling, but the other guys weren't getting elected this year anyway. (Although I was surprised to see Bonds and Clemens got nearly 60% last year...they're closer than I thought and continuing to make progress this year would have helped them potentially get there before their eligibility ran out.)
   161. pikepredator Posted: November 22, 2019 at 09:36 AM (#5903109)
But to drop ALL SIX of the players you voted for last year as Rieber did just so you can give Jeter a ballot to himself is a whole new level of ridiculous.


Agreed. That seems like an abuse of the privilege.
   162. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: November 22, 2019 at 09:45 AM (#5903112)
Huh? Hatteberg also batted lefty.


eh, maybe it wasn't a strict platoon, but, more of working in Votto as the every day starter slowly. In any event, after a 120ish ops+ in 2007, Hatteburg played so badly in the beginning of 2008 that he retired in May. I mostly think the Reds management had no idea what they had with Votto and had (and still don't have) any real ability to develop players.
   163. Swoboda is freedom Posted: November 22, 2019 at 09:47 AM (#5903115)
Milt Pappas is on the short list of my least favorite players ever, so anything that pissed him off is a good thing. What a thoroughly unpleasant man.


Can I ask why? I have never heard anything about Pappas, except for the Robinson trade. Is it because he was Greek? or had those bad sideburns?
   164. alilisd Posted: November 22, 2019 at 10:01 AM (#5903120)
156: Perhaps but I find predicting HOF voting extremely difficult. Projecting how an electorate body may evolve over the next ten or so years is even more difficult. And I’m not sure if using a player and their voting experience after a couple of ballots is revelatory of anything or relevant to another player, particularly one who is quite a different player at a different position. Maybe it is but I just don’t know.

Could we not say the exact opposite by looking at Vizquel? The electorate clearly has not changed or evolved because a SS whose defensive narrative has been greatly overblown received significant support in his first year and then improved solidly in his second year on a still crowded ballot?
   165. SoSH U at work Posted: November 22, 2019 at 10:14 AM (#5903124)
Can I ask why? I have never heard anything about Pappas, except for the Robinson trade. Is it because he was Greek? or had those bad sideburns?


The first time I ever heard anything from Pappas, I was listening to a local sports radio show in Chicago, back when Bonds was in pursuit of the homer crown. Pappas was the crew's phone-in guest. Over the span of 10 minutes, Pappas:

a) Continued his decade-long assault on Bruce Froemming, who had he temerity to call a ball a ball when Milt really wanted a perfect game.

b) Revealed details of his recent conversation with Hank Aaron, who went on about how much he hated Bonds and was livid this cheater was going to break his record. If that was even true, which I'm skeptical about, it clearly wasn't the message Aaron wanted to share with the world, as Hank never said anything of the sort publicly.

c) And, my personal favorite, entertained the hosts with his tale of excoriating Nick Markakis when Milt ran into him at a card show or some such event. Markakis's crime: He didn't know that Milt Pappas was the greatest Greek ballplayer who ever lived.

Everything I've learned subsequent to that has only reaffirmed my initial distaste.

   166. SoSH U at work Posted: November 22, 2019 at 10:25 AM (#5903127)
Perhaps but I find predicting HOF voting extremely difficult.


For the most part, I don't. And the idea that the electorate won't get more advanced-stats friendly over the next 10 years seems to me a case that virtually impossible to make. Today's beat writers have to be well-versed in advanced stats to do their jobs, since most FOs are. Moreover, more and more guys whose careers were never in newspapers but online, where advanced stats have long flourished, continue to gain the necessary years of BBWAA membership (while print outlets continue to decline) to gain a place in the ballot.

Large numbers of the electorate have clearly become more comfortable with advanced stats, and use them in their Hall reasoning. That will only continue to increase in the coming years.

How it relates to Joey Votto's candidacy, I couldn't say. It's too soon to tell, but I think he's got a good chance. He has been the best hitter in the National League for a decade, which has always been a pretty good hook to start a candidacy with.

Could we not say the exact opposite by looking at Vizquel? The electorate clearly has not changed or evolved because a SS whose defensive narrative has been greatly overblown received significant support in his first year and then improved solidly in his second year on a still crowded ballot?


The body still has its blind spots. They love relievers beyond their contributions. They prefer career over peak (not that is a blind spot per se). From the press Omar got at the tail end of his career, it was clear he was going to get substantial support from Hall voters, and he has.

Now, how much traction Omar can gain will go a long way to explaining just how much the body at large has adopted advanced metrics as the main determination for voting. It's not hard to imagine that Omar's support will hit a wall.
   167. Rusty Priske Posted: November 22, 2019 at 11:15 AM (#5903141)
We now have another 'Jeter only' ballot.

These writers are making this year an even bigger joke than it normally is.
   168. jmurph Posted: November 22, 2019 at 11:41 AM (#5903148)
I wonder what percentage of the writers genuinely believe Jeter was the best player of his era.
   169. GuyM Posted: November 22, 2019 at 11:43 AM (#5903149)
I think the electorate has gotten more "stat savvy" -- and will continue to trend that way -- but in a somewhat selective way. Saber insights on evaluating hitting have been broadly accepted, so more voters understand that OBP>BA, and that we should try to remove bias from a player's ballpark, teammates, and batting order position when evaluating hitting stats (use wRC+ or OPS+, not R and RBI). BUT, even stat-friendly writers do not have much confidence in modern defensive metrics (not without reason). The way they seem to have dealt with the uncertainty over defensive stats is to concentrate mainly on offense properly measured, and then consider defense (and base running) as a possible "plus" factor. That is, a player gets rewarded if there's good evidence he was an excellent fielder (or base runner), but there's not much of a debit for fielding weakness.

For example, consider the gulf in HOF support among these players, all with similar WAR:
Edmonds 60.4 WAR
Abreu 60.0
Vlad 59.4
Olerud 58.2

Why did Vlad debut with 72% support, far more than the others (assuming Abreu struggles this year)? I think because he was the best hitter in the group. Here is their Rbat:
Vlad 429
Abreu 369
Olerud 333
Edmonds 303
Olerud (+8 wins) and Edmonds (+17 wins) had far more defensive value than Vlad, while Abreu was about 5 wins better on the base paths. I don't believe HOF voters are giving those wins nearly as much weight as wins produced with a bat.

Personally, I think this is unfortunate. While year-to-year results of defensive metrics should be considered noisy and interpreted with caution, the truth is that we have a pretty good ability to assess a player's defensive value (and contribution on the bases) over a long career. Hopefully, HOF voters will learn to consider those factors more fully, both as positives and negatives for players. But I'm not confident that this will change materially over the next decade.
   170. DanG Posted: November 22, 2019 at 12:34 PM (#5903167)
Don't forget the old Hall of Fame Monitor. Here are their scores:

209 Vlad
94(95) Abreu
88(89) Edmonds
68 Olerud

Abreu and Edmonds have lower numbers on their pages than on the leader list.

Vladimir did hall-of-famey things; the others not so much. The only post-expansion players elected by the BBWAA with a score lower than Abreu are Raines (90), Perez (81) and Sutter (79). Five-plus years ago Bobby would have no chance of seeing a second ballot. Now there may be enough room for the sabermetric-savvy voters to save him.
   171. SoSH U at work Posted: November 22, 2019 at 12:43 PM (#5903172)
Five-plus years ago Bobby would have no chance of seeing a second ballot. Now there may be enough room for the sabermetric-savvy voters to save him.


On the other hand, exactly five years ago Bobby wouldn't have deserved to see a second one (at least, given the rules in place).

   172. GuyM Posted: November 22, 2019 at 12:45 PM (#5903178)
170: Fair point. But I think if you could isolate the ballots of saber-friendly voters, however you want to define that, you would still find that Vlad received far more support than the other 3 candidates.
   173. Howie Menckel Posted: November 22, 2019 at 01:02 PM (#5903185)
We now have another 'Jeter only' ballot.

someone had a tweet with a picture of Marcus's ballot and some sort of a comment about appropriate it was that there was no range of selections on Jeter's left or his right, something to that effect. his line was funny, though
   174. pikepredator Posted: November 22, 2019 at 01:20 PM (#5903192)
Vizquel is a shortstop known for his fielding with 2800+ hits. The only other players with a hit total anywhere close to that who aren't in the HOF are Damon, Pinson, and Oliver - 1B/Corner OF types, with fewer hits, without the defensive pedigree. Around 2700 hits, you find Staub, Buckner, and Parker.

I'd wager that Vizquel would've been easily elected back in the 50's/60's, and his total may be indicative of a more critical electorate. As mentioned upthread, whether he stalls or progresses will tell the tale.

   175. Tom Nawrocki Posted: November 22, 2019 at 01:35 PM (#5903196)
The only other players with a hit total anywhere close to that who aren't in the HOF are Damon, Pinson, and Oliver - 1B/Corner OF types, with fewer hits, without the defensive pedigree.


Pinson was a center fielder. He won a Gold Glove there, too. Damon also played more center field than anywhere else.
   176. ajnrules Posted: November 22, 2019 at 01:48 PM (#5903209)
Vizquel is a shortstop known for his fielding with 2800+ hits.

Harold Baines got in with 11 fewer hits than Omar. Even if his BBWAA support plateaus, I feel pretty confident the Today’s Game Committee would vote Vizquel in.
   177. Ziggy is done with Dominican discotheques Posted: November 22, 2019 at 02:02 PM (#5903216)
The maddening thing - okay, one of many maddening things - is that Omar and Rolen are both infielders whose HOF resume largely relies on their defense. And the voters are supporting the wrong one, instead of the guy who actually was a defensive wizard.
   178. Jaack Posted: November 22, 2019 at 02:13 PM (#5903220)
Random thought on Omar Vizquel - I think he may be the first player to benefit in the voting from bouncing around at the end of his career.

In 2008, his last year in San Francisco, he was awful. Bat was pitiful even by 2008 Giants standards, glove was fading, and he wasn't overly healthy. Most players would retire, or just not get a job offer at that point. If Vizquel hangs them up in 2008, he hits the ballot in 2014, which is one of the worst ballot glut years. And I don't feel in 2008 he was really thought of as a Hall of Fame player. He'd been out of the AL on a most irrelevant Giants team for four years. He hadn't really snuck up to all those random iron man milestones yet. I think he was mostly seen as what he was - a nice player with a good, flashy glove.

Then he took a four year retirement tour of the AL - never as a starter. He spent at least one year in each division in the AL so he spent ample time in each AL city. He inches up the leaderboards just a smidgen.

He wasn't on a big contract weighing down a team. Vizquel basically stuck around for four years for people to get nostalgic about him and wax poetic about his leadershipiness.

If he retires in 2008, I think he gets at most 10% of the vote. Maybe even misses the 5% mark. But by tacking on 4 sub-replacement level years on irrelevant teams as a backup, he become a threat to make the HoF.
   179. reech Posted: November 22, 2019 at 02:13 PM (#5903221)
With over 400 voters, there are going to be strange ballots- but Rieber pulling off the other names he has voted for in favor of making a JETER IS GAWD statement is a total dick move.
   180. SoSH U at work Posted: November 22, 2019 at 02:51 PM (#5903235)

The maddening thing - okay, one of many maddening things - is that Omar and Rolen are both infielders whose HOF resume largely relies on their defense. And the voters are supporting the wrong one, instead of the guy who actually was a defensive wizard.


C'mon. He's not a good Hall of Fame candidate, and nowhere near as good as Rolen, but Omar was ninth all-time in defensive WAR, with 11 Gold Gloves (to Rolen's 45th and 8). He was no Ozzie, but he was still pretty wizardly.

   181. The Yankee Clapper Posted: November 22, 2019 at 02:54 PM (#5903236)
Large numbers of the electorate have clearly become more comfortable with advanced stats, and use them in their Hall reasoning. That will only continue to increase in the coming years.
That doesn’t necessarily mean that the voting will be more uniform. There can be large-Hall saber-friendly voters, and small-Hall saber-friendly voters. There will almost certainly be some selectively saber-friendly voters - involving the more advanced stats when they help their preferred candidates, and somehow ignoring similar players who they disfavor. Having a fairly large electorate washes out most of the quirky votes now, and that will continue to be the case, but there will still be quirky voters.
   182. TJ Posted: November 22, 2019 at 02:57 PM (#5903238)
From Anthony Rieber's article on Newsday as to why he only voted for Jeter...

"Derek Jeter was a singular player and person in baseball history. He deserves to stand alone at the podium as the entire Hall of Fame Class of 2020 on July 26 in Cooperstown."

If that turns out to be the case from the BBWAA vote, then I so hope the Veterans Committee goes all Frankie Frisch and inducts everyone on their ballot...
   183. The Yankee Clapper Posted: November 22, 2019 at 03:21 PM (#5903245)
Rieber cast a “Look At Me” ballot designed to attract attention to his column and give him some easily produced content. Not the first, and won’t be the last, to do so, but one advantage of the large BBWAA electorate is that a couple of quirky or self-promoting voters don’t matter that much.
   184. jmurph Posted: November 22, 2019 at 03:21 PM (#5903246)
"Derek Jeter was a singular player and person in baseball history. He deserves to stand alone at the podium as the entire Hall of Fame Class of 2020 on July 26 in Cooperstown."

Has there been another example of this kind of thing in baseball, the elevating of a normal great/HOF player into a singular deity like this? I'm assuming yes, given baseball's long history. It's really something to behold.
   185. Booey Posted: November 22, 2019 at 03:43 PM (#5903257)
#184 - A reliever became the first ever unanimous selection last season. And back in 2015 fan voting picked Sandy Koufax as the greatest living pitcher (over the likes of Clemens, Maddux, Johnson, Seaver, and Pedro), and one of the 4 greatest living players overall (along with Aaron, Mays, and Bench), ahead of Bonds, ARod, Pujols, Morgan, Frank Robinson, Schmidt, Rickey, etc.
   186. jmurph Posted: November 22, 2019 at 03:47 PM (#5903260)
#184 - A reliever became the first ever unanimous selection last season.

Which was terrible. But "he deserves to stand alone at the podium" is a step up from that, I think.
   187. DanG Posted: November 22, 2019 at 03:53 PM (#5903264)
#178
If he retires in 2008, I think he gets at most 10% of the vote. Maybe even misses the 5% mark. But by tacking on 4 sub-replacement level years on irrelevant teams as a backup, he become a threat to make the HoF.
Equally important to Vizquel's HOF case was the 220 hits (70 OPS+) he tacked on in those four years. He went from an easily-ignored 2657 to a "OMG he had almost 3000!!" total of 2877.
   188. Ziggy is done with Dominican discotheques Posted: November 22, 2019 at 04:00 PM (#5903265)
I've never met the guy, but it wouldn't surprise me if Jeter would actually prefer some company up there. I think it'd be more fun to high-five Larry Walker (or whoever) and be all like "dude, we totally got into the hall of fame!", rather than just have your designated Hall handlers steering you around to various catered luncheons all by your lonesome.
   189. Booey Posted: November 22, 2019 at 04:00 PM (#5903266)
#178 - I've thought the same thing, and it's just crazy how a few additional bad seasons at the end of his career has changed people's opinions of Vizquel so much in a GOOD way. It's likely of course that without 300 wins Don Sutton is just another Tommy John and without 500 homers even a hypothetically clean Palmeiro is just Fred McGriff, but that's a moot point because those guys didn't just creep past those milestones, they blew past them with room to spare. To get them under, you'd have to take away two full peak seasons, which would lessen their value a lot. And of course all but the inner circle guys would have significantly worse cases if you removed 2 peak seasons, so the argument is pretty much irrelevant.

With Vizquel though, you COULD remove his last 5 seasons without affecting his value. He hit .252/.305/.307 (64 OPS+) for a total of 0.0 WAR and -4.3 WAA. He added no more gold gloves or all star selections. How can these years possibly HELP his case? Well, because they pushed him from 2598 hits to 2877. Now all of a sudden people see the hits and think, "Wow, a perennial gold glove shortstop who also has almost 3000 hits? Sounds like a HOFer to me!" The compiled hit total is making people think of his offense as a POSITIVE to his case, rather than the glaring negative it really was throughout his career. His hitting was always what prevented him from being thought of as a major star, but because he hung around for several years as a bad player, now it's what's possibly going to get him into the HOF. If he'd retired when he stopped adding value and was stuck with just those 2598 hits, I suspect he'd be another Dave Concepcion and hang around at 10-15% without ever making traction.

The logic behind it all is just nuts to me.

Edit: partial coke to DanG

   190. RJ in TO Posted: November 22, 2019 at 04:07 PM (#5903269)
I'd wager that Vizquel would've been easily elected back in the 50's/60's, and his total may be indicative of a more critical electorate. As mentioned upthread, whether he stalls or progresses will tell the tale.


Luis Aparicio played through the 50's/60's, retired as the all time leader in games at short, was credited with bring back the stolen base as an offensive weapon, and is about as good a comp for Vizquel as you're likely to find. He wasn't elected until his 6th ballot. Rabbit Maranville, who was also the games played leader at short when he retired, and essentially the Vizquel of his era (with a more quotable personality) received votes for the Hall beginning in 1937, and was only elected by the BBWAA in 1954.

Vizquel might have had an easier time getting elected back then, but it seems doubtful he would have had an easy time.
   191. DL from MN Posted: November 22, 2019 at 04:18 PM (#5903280)
Has there been another example of this kind of thing in baseball, the elevating of a normal great/HOF player into a singular deity like this?


Pete Rose
   192. pikepredator Posted: November 22, 2019 at 04:20 PM (#5903282)
Valid points, RJ.
   193. TJ Posted: November 22, 2019 at 04:24 PM (#5903283)
My biggest concern with the "Jeter Inducted Alone" view is that the Veterans Committee will share the sentiment and Lou Whitaker gets screwed over once again...
   194. alilisd Posted: November 22, 2019 at 04:42 PM (#5903287)
And the idea that the electorate won't get more advanced-stats friendly over the next 10 years seems to me a case that virtually impossible to make. Today's beat writers have to be well-versed in advanced stats to do their jobs, since most FOs are. Moreover, more and more guys whose careers were never in newspapers but online, where advanced stats have long flourished, continue to gain the necessary years of BBWAA membership (while print outlets continue to decline) to gain a place in the ballot.


But that's not the idea. Of course the electorate will get more friendly to "advanced-stats." The question is to what extent, how friendly will they become? Votto, in this case, will be a 1B with around 350 HR, 1,200 RBI, 2,300 hits, if he plays the remaining 4 seasons with no significant time missed, and minimal decline (which is a very generous set of assumptions). I think it's going to take a very dramatic shift in the electorate for them to look beyond that and say, but he walked a LOT!, and he was a good fielder, so his WAR looks good, let's vote for him. It may happen, but it may not.

How it relates to Joey Votto's candidacy, I couldn't say. It's too soon to tell, but I think he's got a good chance. He has been the best hitter in the National League for a decade, which has always been a pretty good hook to start a candidacy with.


By a large margin, IF you just limit it to the NL, and his peak/prime. But look a bit beyond that peak/prime and he's pretty indistinguishable from Lance Berkman (I'm looking at Rbat and OPS+ to identify "best hitter"). Fat Elvis is actually a pretty good comp for Votto in a lot of ways. Both started late with partial seasons at 23, both had very good OBP, Berkman more HR power, early at least, and Votto more BB. Berkman ended up with a 144 OPS+ in 7,814 PA's, Votto is at 150 now with 7,372. Both below average base runners, but Votto has 8 more WAR right now due to good defense at 1B versus Berkman's poor defense in RF (they're owAR is within 1). Berkman received 1.2% just last year. Granted it will be around 10 more years for Votto, but that's a sea change in the electorate I'd say.

The body still has its blind spots.


To be sure!
   195. DanG Posted: November 22, 2019 at 04:50 PM (#5903288)
Vizquel had extraordinary skill retention. Players from the "Steroid Era" who are able to play to an unnaturally advanced age are typically suspected of PED use, especially those who were teammates with known users. Thus far, Omar has avoided any accusations.

Position players with 100 G, age 43+:

Player             G   H   PA From   To   Age
Julio Franco     611 382 1517 2002 2007 43
-48
Cap Anson        344 413 1501 1895 1897 43
-45
Pete Rose        312 266 1194 1984 1986 43
-45
Omar Vizquel     226 173  736 2010 2012 43
-45
Carlton Fisk     221 164  773 1991 1993 43
-45
Sam Rice         170 123  454 1933 1934 43
-44
Ichiro Suzuki    153  59  268 2017 2019 43
-45
Tony Perez       149 111  435 1985 1986 43
-44
Carl Yastrzemski 119 101  437 1983 1983 43
-43
Rickey Henderson 102  55  306 2002 2003 43
-44 
   196. alilisd Posted: November 22, 2019 at 04:53 PM (#5903289)
I'd wager that Vizquel would've been easily elected back in the 50's/60's, and his total may be indicative of a more critical electorate. As mentioned upthread, whether he stalls or progresses will tell the tale.


He received essentially half the votes needed for election in his first year (156 with 159 being half), and went up to 57% his second year. That is not a "critical electorate." Guys who debut that highly are very likely to be elected. Now if he does stall, it will be quite an interesting tale. Time/timing are on his side as he has 8 years left, upcoming ballots are nothing like what they've been over the past 5-7 years, and after Jeter sails in this year there won't be any SS coming on the ballot to draw votes away from him (even if A-Rod is considered a SS by voters, his PED issues will likely insure low support). I'll be quite surprised if he doesn't build steadily over the next few years and go in before his final year.
   197. Ziggy is done with Dominican discotheques Posted: November 22, 2019 at 04:53 PM (#5903290)
Votto has an MVP award, and lost a second one (by two points!) to a guy who hit 59 home runs. I'm as pessimistic about Votto's hall chances as the next guy, but that will distinguish him from Berkman.

If he had nabbed that second MVP, would this discussion be much different? Two MVPs isn't going to help Juan Gonzalez, but since Votto's weakness is going to be with traditionalist voters more than the saber folks, maybe a top line of "multiple-time MVP" would help his case.

(Yowza that was a close vote. They tied in 1st place votes, but Stanton got slightly more down-ballot support. It wouldn't have taken much of anything for the vote to go the other way.)
   198. pikepredator Posted: November 22, 2019 at 05:14 PM (#5903295)
I'll be quite surprised if he doesn't build steadily over the next few years and go in before his final year.


You're probably correct. Sigh. My rose-tinted glasses are being un-tinted by the cold, harsh reality of the situation.
   199. GuyM Posted: November 22, 2019 at 05:26 PM (#5903298)
It's not even clear how good a fielder Vizquel actually was. Over his career, he had a league average number of assists per game. Elite SS generally make considerably more plays than average (true for Ozzie, Belanger, Aparicio, Simmons). It's possible that Vizquel was in fact excellent, but had considerably fewer fielding opportunities than an average SS. But honestly, over 24 years with six teams, playing behind scores of different pitchers, you would expect his opportunities to be very close to average. And the DRA metric (Michael Humphreys) actually rates Vizquel as a league-average SS for his career.

Even if you buy his defensive WAR numbers, he's obviously not a HOFer. And it seems to me there's a good chance he wasn't even as good as that.
   200. The Yankee Clapper Posted: November 22, 2019 at 05:45 PM (#5903304)
Flip.
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