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Wednesday, September 01, 2021

Ten Position Players Who Have Most Helped Their Hall of Fame Cases in 2021

Bryce Harper, Right Field
(38.6 Career | 34.3 Peak | 36.4 JAWS, +4.0 JAWS)
Harper has now played in 10 major league seasons, meaning that he’s cleared the most basic qualification for election. And while he’s a ways from clinching a berth in Cooperstown, unlike his 2012 Rookie of the Year counterpart Mike Trout, he’s recovered some of his lost mojo, hitting for a 175 OPS+, good for second in the NL and his highest mark since his MVP-winning 2015 season. Both his .420 on-base percentage and .594 slugging percentage rank second as well, and he’s also generating MVP discussion. He’s still got a long ways to go to secure a plaque, but as he nears his 29th birthday, he’s more than halfway to 500 homers (258, 26% odds according to ZiPSmaster Dan Szymborski). From a value perspective, it would be to his great benefit to stop leaking runs defensively; he’s at -7 DRS this year and counting.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 01, 2021 at 01:14 PM | 61 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: bryce harper, buster posey, carlos correa, giancarlo stanton, jose altuve, mookie betts, nolan arenado

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   1. JRVJ Posted: September 01, 2021 at 04:10 PM (#6037750)
As to who'll make it and who won't, IMO:

(a) Correa - Not yet (really needs to pad those numbers because of the Astros scandal);

(b) Bryce - In (but not if he gets hit by a bus soon);

(c) Betts - In;

(d) Machado - In (but not if he gets hit by a bus soon);

(e) Arenado - In (but not if he gets hit by a bus soon);

(f) Altuve - Not yet (see Correa);

(g) Stanton - No;

(h) Posey - In;

(i) Votto - In;

(j) M. Cabrera - In (was in a couple of seasons ago).
   2. bfan Posted: September 01, 2021 at 04:21 PM (#6037756)
Arenado? That is a surprising entry in this article. Since the author cites OPS plus, here are his OPS+ numbers since he became a regular, excluding last season (weird season messed up by his injury?): 124; 129; 130; 133; 131; 119 (this year). Thus, his 119 this year doesn't represent his return to his career OPS+ (although that is true); it represents his continued, normal, natural fade as he gets older. In matching his career number, that career number factors in his off-season last year and his first year, where he just started slow as many rookies often do.

Second, people are going to look at his pure stat line (which right now is .255/.313/.488) in his 1st year out of Coors and default to his counting stats being purely driven to star level numbers by Coors Field.

I think he is going to need a true revival and an MVP or a world series turn in St. Louis (both certainly possible), or a career into his 40's to get his counting stats to 500 HRs.
   3. The Duke Posted: September 01, 2021 at 04:25 PM (#6037758)
I don’t think Arenado is remotely close to the HOF right now. And as the article states, his defense this season has been “not great”. As a cards fan, I feel like Arenado left his defense in Colorado. His play this year is great plays punctuated by really bad high school errors. I’ve not been impressed at all.
   4. The Duke Posted: September 01, 2021 at 04:28 PM (#6037760)
The most interesting thing in this article was Jays link to the book on the astros cheating which shows that they were cheating all of the way through 2019 changing from a trash can to “whistling” to a pounding sound. I can’t wait for the first Astro employee/player to spill the beans and again make manfred look like a fool for covering up a much wider scheme and letting all the participants off the hook.
   5. bfan Posted: September 01, 2021 at 04:41 PM (#6037766)
The most interesting thing in this article was Jays link to the book on the astros cheating which shows that they were cheating all of the way through 2019 changing from a trash can to “whistling” to a pounding sound. I can’t wait for the first Astro employee/player to spill the beans and again make manfred look like a fool for covering up a much wider scheme and letting all the participants off the hook.


A point and question: the Astros right now have the best BA in MLB for 2021 by a comfortable margin, the best OPS, and have scored the second most runs. Is that park factor driven only, or maybe they just have collected a great bunch of hitters that are in or near their prime in the same 5 year period?

Did I read somewhere that they as a team hit better on the road than at home, in one of their peak trash can lid signaling years?
   6. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: September 01, 2021 at 04:43 PM (#6037768)
It's going to be very tough for Altuve. He's got a nice 5-year peak that is now completely overshadowed by the buzzer/trash can scandal. Even if he didn't participate in it, history is not going to give him the benefit of the doubt.

Now he's 31 and hitting just fine (122 OPS+) but it's still 50 points less in AVG than his peak. That could very well be just aging but it obviously looks bad. I think he needs another couple of 200+ hit or high AVG seasons to show that his peak wasn't inflated.
   7. SoSH U at work Posted: September 01, 2021 at 05:03 PM (#6037777)
And one former position player who could be doing his case a lot of good this year: Dusty.

   8. Walt Davis Posted: September 01, 2021 at 06:06 PM (#6037808)
Some odd stuff there.

1. Correa has mainly helped his next contract. It's another HoF-quaity season and obviously each of those helps a case but he's too far away from serious consideration. Maybe there's a distinction to be made here -- I'm sure this season helps his 10-year projection a good bit and therefore makes it more likely he'll have a HoF career but in terms of an actual HoF vote, this season will either be one of the 5-6 he needs to get on the radar or one of the 2-3 that aren't enough.

2. Harper has clearly helped himself this season.

3. Betts has clearly NOT helped himself this season. He hasn't hurt himself either, he's just been Mookie Betts but missing 40 of his team's games. If that's a one-off then it will be ignored; if it becomes chronic then it's a negative. Note, he's pretty much a lock already -- even if it becomes chronic we're talking about the difference betwwen 95% and 80% of the vote or, at worst, waiting a couple of ballots. He needs to seriously collapse to miss the Hall at this point.

4. Machado has ticked over another year being Machado. Every year like that helps the cause but it's more that he hasn't shown signs of decline yet. I think Machado has a long way to go -- good shot at getting there given how young he is but he's been a 4.5 WAR player over the last 5 seasons and that's a long slog to Cooperstown.

5. Arenado (and response to #2): The point is that he's (kinda) returned to career norms after a bad 2020. If he'd repeated 2020 over a full season, he'd be in trouble. While an MVP during his peak would help trememdously, he's got an impressive 5-year consecutive run as a 6.5 WAR player. In fairness, adding 8 seasons of 3.5 WAR should be enough, this is his 3rd one.

6. Altuve -- 2B are weird, I'm staying out of this one for now. But like Arenado, a return to normalcy is a step forward after 2020's disaster.

7. Stanton definitely helped himself this year but again mainly in the helping to ease the doubts from 2019-20 sense. His potential case remains the same -- will he stay healthy enough to reach milestones. Unless he repeats age 27 with a 2nd MVP, that's where he's gonna be for the rest of this contract.

8. Posey -- boy has he helped his case. I expect MVP talk to start soon.

9. Votto -- only indirectly. It's been a great 2nd half but nobody will remember "what a great 2nd half he had in 2021" (unless maybe he wins the MVP) when it comes time for HoF voting. Nor should they. He helps indirectly only because it gives us reasonable confidence he won't suck in the last two years of his contract. I'd have guessed he might have a pretty empty 100 OPS+ this year in which case those last two years were looking pretty ugly. Now he looks like a guy who'll get over 9000 PAs with a high 140s OPS+. That makes him Edgar who also had no milestones. Staying above 300 wouldn't hurt obviously.

10. Cabrera -- huh? He was a lock several years ago. Maybe 500 HR and 3000 hits next year pushes him from 88 to 97% or something.
   9. Walt Davis Posted: September 01, 2021 at 06:09 PM (#6037809)
#7 agree -- I think Dusty's in now.
   10. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: September 01, 2021 at 06:13 PM (#6037811)
You guys actually think that trash cans are going to keep someone out of the hall of fame? Steroids excepted, when have hall voters ever cared about cheating? Gaylord Perry is in the hall. Whitey Ford is in the hall. Don Sutton is in the hall of fame. John McGraw is in the hall of fame. He's not in yet of course, but no one suggests that Cleveland's scheme should disqualify Minoso.
   11. Ron J Posted: September 01, 2021 at 06:27 PM (#6037814)
#10 From what I've seen voters are likely to react very differently to the Astro players than they did for cheaters of the past.
   12. Booey Posted: September 01, 2021 at 06:38 PM (#6037815)
#2 - Arenado is an 8 time gold glove winning 3B; he won't need to get anywhere near 500 homers to get elected. See Scott Rolen, whose rise on the last ballot makes him a near lock for future election. And Arenado should easily surpass Rolen in homers (he's got a pretty good shot at 400), he's got the black ink Rolen was missing (led NL in homers 3 times, rbi 2 times, total bases twice, doubles once), and he's done better than Rolen in MVP voting (5 straight top 10 finishes compared to 1 for Scott). And as Walker's
election and the rising vote totals for Helton show, the Coors field stigma isn't insurmountable. With a natural decline, I think Arenado is in easily.
   13. Booey Posted: September 01, 2021 at 06:42 PM (#6037817)
#10 - Modern society is hysterical about cheating in all it's forms in a way that past generations weren't. And not just cheating, but all forms of poor character. Vizquel's vote total dropped after his domestic violence allegations surfaced. Schilling's candidacy stalled because of ugly Twitter posts. I'd be extremely surprised if Beltran, Altuve, and Correa aren't heavily dinged for the sign stealing scandal.
   14. The Duke Posted: September 01, 2021 at 06:56 PM (#6037820)
The Astros scandal is more than cheating. It was the zenith of the win at all costs philosophy that over ran baseball. It was more than just the trash cans. It was not caring for the game, the manager and well-respected coaches not only turning a blind eye but actively driving bad behavior, and it was the pathetic lack of apologies from any of them once obviously caught.

This is much closer to PEDs than the mostly non-systemic cheating that had happened in the past. So, I think it will matter.

I think back on it now and for me it was the distinct lack of contrition that I was left with. And that will impact writers as well. Writers have a safety valve. They can kick the can to the Vets. That’s what I would do.

At least mark McGuire made an attempt at apologizing (to us, to his contemporaries, and even to Roger maris widow).
   15. Walt Davis Posted: September 01, 2021 at 07:15 PM (#6037826)
Astros' cheating probably won't affect Correa's chances as he's got 15 years to prove that wasn't the basis of his success (or not). Altuve is different -- his two biggest hitting seasons, his MVP and a 3rd place finishj, at least two of his batting titles are now suspect. Unless he's gonna last forever like Whitaker, Altuve's HOF case will heavily rely on 2016-17. As it is, he's just at 40 WAR and needs another 6 years like this to pass Kent and 8 years to get to 65 WAR (and a serious shot at 3000 hits). As it stands, by WAR7, he's just 23rd among 2B which is less than Whitaker, Kinsler, Knoblauch, Zobrist and Pedroia. Thee are some HoF 2B with even lower WAR7s but I think the most recent is Nellie Fox. Cheating or no, he needs at least a couple more 6-7 WAR seasons to have any kind of peak-driven case or 6-8 more 3-4 WAR seasons to have any kind of career case. With cheating devaluing his two best seasons and his MVP, he's gonna have a hard time.

The cheating's effect on Beltran I think is hard to judge. His playing career was done so we can be pretty confident it didn't affect his numbers. But rumors were he was the one who told them they were behind the times and, as the vet leader, he's one of the ones who was supposed to step up and stop it. He already lost his managing job and, unlike Hinch, as far as I know he hasn't been accepted back yet. But then I'm quite surprised Hinch recovered so quickly, I thought his managerial career was finished so maybe nobody cares enough to hold it against Beltran either.
   16. The Duke Posted: September 01, 2021 at 07:18 PM (#6037827)
Arenado looks better because of Coors - at least that’s what a writer will think. A full season in his prime in STL and his offensive numbers look good but great. The gold gloves and the reputation are very important but it’s unclear how to read his offense. The sabr guys who follow the cardinals think his underlying data this year is subpar and don’t think even this level of production will hold upon future years. And like I said his defense has really gone south this year

Could be the shoulder I’m both cases and/or first year jitters with new team. Goldschmidt started off bad too and has gotten better
   17. cardsfanboy Posted: September 01, 2021 at 09:10 PM (#6037861)
I cannot take any argument seriously that says the cheating scandal will hurt a player for their hof chances. Beltran is probably the only player who is going to get hurt by it, and even that is suspect to be honest, as 15 points out, by the time the vote happens we are talking 15 years after the events... nobody is going to care at that point in time.
   18. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: September 01, 2021 at 10:29 PM (#6037889)
I cannot take any argument seriously that says the cheating scandal will hurt a player for their hof chances.

Given how much ink was spilled over the cheating scandal, you really can't imagine 10-20% of the voters taking the character clause into account? Especially if the player isn't a slam dunk candidate?
   19. cardsfanboy Posted: September 01, 2021 at 10:35 PM (#6037891)

Given how much ink was spilled over the cheating scandal, you really can't imagine 10-20% of the voters taking the character clause into account? Especially if the player isn't a slam dunk candidate?


Not in 15 years, no. If the guy becomes a viable candidate, he's going to have enough of a career after the scandal to prove that it didn't help him, and ultimately nobody is going to care anyway.
   20. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: September 01, 2021 at 11:10 PM (#6037905)
The Astros scandal is more than cheating. It was the zenith of the win at all costs philosophy that over ran baseball.


Didn't your team get caught cheating by hacking then stealing data from another team? And were punished accordingly.

Or are you only counting cheating that other teams commit? What about Yadi and his chances? Will that Cardinals cheating affect his chances?
   21. Booey Posted: September 02, 2021 at 08:46 AM (#6037940)
The Cardinals cheating didn't involve any of the players themselves, so no, it won't have any effect on Yadi's chances.
   22. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: September 02, 2021 at 09:06 AM (#6037946)
And not just cheating, but all forms of poor character.


Not to turn this into a political thread, but Donald Trump was literally the President until eight months ago. I'm not sure poor character matters at all anymore.
   23. The Duke Posted: September 02, 2021 at 09:34 AM (#6037954)
20. The cardinals did get punished. As I said at the time and is now clearer post-trash can, Luhnow most likely stole the cardinals IP as Correa always maintained. Dewitt being a key player in the owners circle likely decided that even though this was true, his guy had committed crimes as well and chose not to pursue it. Correa maintained all the way to the end (likely to his sentencing detriment) that the original sin was Luhnow’s.

It’s hard to believe at this point that Luhnow was some innocent bystander

Dewitt being Manfred’s close buddy likely made sure that Luhnow was excommunicated from baseball when he got the chance to get back at him.
   24. bfan Posted: September 02, 2021 at 10:42 AM (#6037965)
Not to turn this into a political thread, but Donald Trump was literally the President until eight months ago. I'm not sure poor character matters at all anymore.


and Bill Clinton was literally the President until January 20, 2001. Character as a prerequisite for higher office has long been gone.
   25. BDC Posted: September 02, 2021 at 11:16 AM (#6037971)
To go back to baseball for a second: I find it interesting that Mookie Betts is pretty much a HOF lock now (he turns 29 in a month, hasn't yet played 1,000 games). If his disappearances from the lineup did become chronic, he would not have great career numbers, but still a great peak, championships, just the whole profile as an all-round player.

There aren't many examples of guys who stopped contributing much after 28 but had already clinched a HOF place; I always think of Joe Medwick, but that's a pretty weak and distant example; still, Medwick had only a couple of good years post-28, and not HOF-quality years at that.

I guess the main thing is that HOFers who establish their no-doubt credentials by age 28 almost never do collapse in their 30s. They cruise along playing well and sometimes have another MVP year in them in their early/mid-30s.

Joe DiMaggio was a HOF lock at age 28. Willie Mays was. Mike Trout was … and that's looking like a good thing for Mike Trout, speaking of guys who can't seem to stay in the lineup after age 28.
   26. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: September 02, 2021 at 11:55 AM (#6037982)
Every year like that helps the cause but it's more that [Machado] hasn't shown signs of decline yet.

Any chance he gets character claused by a decent number of voters over his history of dirty slides, spiking Jesus Aguilar, hitting Derek Norris in the head with his bat, etc.
   27. The Honorable Ardo Posted: September 02, 2021 at 12:29 PM (#6037987)
Arenado is a Hall of Fame player if he can maintain for another 4-5 strong seasons. Brooks Robinson is a good comparison when you account for context - imagine Nolan in 1960s Memorial Stadium, or Brooks in modern day Coors - and Brooks extended his prime through age 34.
   28. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: September 02, 2021 at 12:31 PM (#6037989)
Trout's calf injury this year is something else... But, you only have to go back to 2020 to see him having played a full season. A few of the games he missed last year were for the birth of his child, I think. Though that could have been the beginning of this season. Lol. Time loses meaning when you work from home. And in 2018 and 2019 he reached 600 pa.
   29. Rally Posted: September 02, 2021 at 12:39 PM (#6037991)
Trout’s kid was born in 2020. That’s not a full season though, for anybody.
   30. bfan Posted: September 02, 2021 at 01:23 PM (#6037995)
Arenado is a Hall of Fame player if he can maintain for another 4-5 strong seasons.


I think that is fair, but I would not consider this season as a strong season. There are 10 qualifying 3B by total AB right now, and he is 6th (and 4th in the NL) in OPS. If it is true as many are saying that his defense has not been good this year, then what may save him is that defensive reputations (metrics like WAR too, for defense) react downward far slower than facts would dictate, because of inherent bias in existing beliefs (if you believe he is a great 3B, then no 3B would have made that play down the line that he missed, when in fact, many would have). All-star nominations and selections are like that too; he made the all-star team this year, and I would say that Riley, Turner and Machado have all been better and deserved it more than Arenado.
   31. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: September 02, 2021 at 01:29 PM (#6037996)
Character as a prerequisite for higher office has long been gone.


I don't think it ever really existed. It's just that it didn't get exposed as often. JFK, LBJ, Eisenhower, FDR -- all has serious foibles, though probably none as bad as Trump's. But the papers ignored them or never bothered to find out.
   32. sunday silence (again) Posted: September 02, 2021 at 05:00 PM (#6038029)

The Astros scandal is more than cheating. It was the zenith of the win at all costs philosophy that over ran baseball.


Im so glad that mentality is all behind us now.
   33. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 02, 2021 at 05:19 PM (#6038034)
I find it interesting that Mookie Betts is pretty much a HOF lock now (he turns 29 in a month, hasn't yet played 1,000 games).
Betts is only in his 8th season, and hasn’t met the 10-season minimum eligibility threshold, so one might quibble about use of “lock”, although he’s certainly on a HoF path. Just needs to watch out for buses & such.
   34. DL from MN Posted: September 02, 2021 at 05:46 PM (#6038036)
JFK, LBJ, Eisenhower, FDR -- all has serious foibles


At least none of them owned other human beings as property. Human beings are notoriously disappointing in retrospect.
   35. gef the talking mongoose, peppery hostile Posted: September 02, 2021 at 06:23 PM (#6038037)
Well, if it had still been legal ...
   36. Walt Davis Posted: September 02, 2021 at 06:35 PM (#6038039)
Mookie as "lock": Sure, if he immediately turns into a 0 WAR player, he won't make it. I mean it as in he's already done everything he needs to do to make the HoF, now he just needs to avoid disaster. The comp BDC is looking for is Griffey. He was a lock by 28, he had two excellent seasons at 29 and 30, led the AL in HR at 29. Then couldn't stay on the field. So from 29-35, he added just 17 WAR (and really nothing since then) or we could look at that as just 7 WAR from 31-35.

Mookies no Griffey but he's still got 50 WAR through age 28. Last year and this year combine for a full season of PAs and he's at 7.6 WAR ... only about a 6 WAR pace this year I guess. He's got a MVP and two 2nds, 5 AS, 5 GG. IF he immediately turns into Griffey 31-35 then maybe he won't be able to drag himself over the line. But Griffey lost about 4-5 WAR in those years due to very steep defensive decline. But, barring major malfeasance, writers will look for reasons to vote for Mookie so another 10-15 career WAR should do it.

It is an interesting hypothetical what does one do with a declining Mookie. He's not a great hitter. He's picked up 4 WAR just in baserunning but has just +3 rbaser+dp over 2020-21. Defense still looks strong but if the speed is declining due to injury, how long will that last? He's hardly a classic 1B, NL doesn't have the DH yet and he's not a classic one of those either (especially if the OPS+ falls off to 125 or lower). IF the legs are going, returning to 2B seems even more unlikely than it already is, maybe 3B. Looks to be stuck in RF/LF if that happens.

I don't expect him to decline that much -- I'd guess more Torii Hunter -- but you never know. The baserunning drop-off is the only concern I have. Hopefully that's not a sign of rapidly disappearing speed.
   37. Howie Menckel Posted: September 02, 2021 at 07:02 PM (#6038041)
Mookie's on a really good path, of course.

but lock? not yet.

mainly corner OF with OPS+s of 186, 148, 140, 134, 133, 117, 108.

the 148 is in 55 G in 2020, and this year at 140 he may not reach 120 G.

he's a better sell as "deserves" than he is as "lock."

even now, not every writer loves corner OF D and baserunning skills. top 8 OPS+ all of once in his career.
   38. Walt Davis Posted: September 02, 2021 at 07:04 PM (#6038042)
An interesting comp for Mookie is McCutchen. Through age 28 (this is Mookie's age 28):

MB 4298 PA, 298/373/521, 135 OPS+, 198 Rbat, -22 Rpos, 36 oWAR
AM 4504 PA, 298/388/498, 144 OPS+, 231 Rbat, +24 Rpos, 42 oWAR

Can't get much closer than that and, ignoring baserunning and quality of defense, we'd take McCutchen. We can even ignore the oWAR edge if we want since it's pretty clear Mookie could have played CF, probably would have on any team without JBJ around and call them dead even.

But Mookie has a huge lead in WAR at 50 to 38. He's got a 28 run edge in baserunning and a 166 run edge in Rfield. (or if you want to add position, a 13-14 win edge in dWAR)

McCutchen did go off a cliff at 29 -- it was a really high cliff and he didn't fall all the way to the bottom but 29-34 has been just 8 WAR and about 500 PA per year and a defensive drop from average CF to average RF. That's probably a realistic worst case for Mookie and might be enough to keep him out of the HoF.
   39. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: September 02, 2021 at 08:38 PM (#6038055)

He's picked up 4 WAR just in baserunning but has just +3 rbaser+dp over 2020-21.


This is misleading - he had 3 rbaser in 2020, in 55 games. Give him a more typical 150 games played in a non Covid year and he's right at his 'normal' pace from 2016-2019 of 6-9 rbaser/year. His 2021 obviously has been down due to the hip injury. IF it persists into 2022 then you can start wondering about a speed decline, but to take 2020's counting stats as evidence of it is incorrect.
   40. sunday silence (again) Posted: September 02, 2021 at 09:22 PM (#6038061)
Can we sit down and have a serious discussion about Rbaser at some pt?

Cause we seem to just accept it as probably accurate because well...its supposed to measure SB and other sorts of advances e.g. taking the extra base and moving up on WP/PB. Those are objectively measured stats, how can you fukc up that? Right?

BUt it doesnt seem to be really doing that. For fairly decent guys it seems to calculating the value of SB above a certain break even pt. Awarding maybe 0.3 runs/SB above break even (Im starting w/ assumption that 2:1 is break even. Which may need correction but its a starting pt). Anyhow that seems like a decent guess.

OK but at the extreme high rate of base stealing it's not a linear award, it starts to minimize the value. Take a look at Brock's big years in 1966 and 1968. He's way above break even, probably 12 or 13 runs (assuming .3 runs/sb) , but its only giving him +9 and +8.

"Well" you say "Perhaps that makes sense. Because if we think about WE (the odds of winning the game) perhaps a lot of those bases were stolen in blow outs where the SB really didnt change the odds of winning the game. So HE stole 72 bases but only 30 of them came in close games so they arent worth that much."

Ok sure maybe there's a correction there, but what about all the times he took an extra base going from 1st to 3d? or moving up on a WP or something? SUrely he must be pretty good at that too. Right? Are those not being counted.

OK putting that aside. Lets look at the other extreme: players who dont steal.

name............year...SB/CS.....Rbaser
Ernie Lombardi, 1943.... 1/2.......0
Ernie Lombardi, 1936..... 1/1..... 1

"Well OK, that one year is below break even, so its close to zero. And the other year still not quite break even but +1 isnt too far off.

me: "Wait theres more:

CLemente, 1959....... 2/3...... +1
CLemente, 1968 .......2/3.......-1

"Well OK, Clemente's not gaining much from stealing bases either.

WELL WHAT ABOUT TAKING THE EXTRA BASE AND MOVING UP ON WP/PB? HOW CAN CLEMENTE WHO WAS REALLY GOOD AT BASERUNNING BE NO BETTER THAN LOMBARDI THE SLOWEST MAN IN BASEBALL AT TAKING EXTRA BASES?

33 year old CLemente who's still covering RF still 3 years away from WS MVP is slower than 35 year old Ernie Lombardi, legendary slowest man in baseball. Are you Shitting ME?

You see where Im having a problem with this? On one hand, I have doubts as to whether its really actually counting move ups on PB/WP taking an extra base. it seems to just calculate the SB/CS ratio,and adding in a slight positive correction factor for making more attempts. And that's it. I dont think its really counting extra bases.

On the other hand, it seems to systematically down play larger SB counts, ok, but surely those guys also take the extra base more often?
   41. sunday silence (again) Posted: September 02, 2021 at 09:39 PM (#6038065)
Like if you go 0/0 like Lombardi did at least 5x; its gonna ding you for that. Usually 2 or 3 runs, other than in 1944 when apparently he's 0 Rbaser. I guess he really took a fukton of extra bases that year when he was 36.

BUt once Lombardi actually moves off the base and gets one SB, Like 1936, 37, 41 , 42; then he's at 0 or +1. Even if he's not at break even pt. So it gives him some positive value for actually being able to steal a base, its better than 0 SB.

So from what I can tell. THat's the extent of how it measures taking extra bases. Go 0 for 0. YOu definitely slow. Steal 1 base, and now your in positive territory even if you get caught say once.
   42. sunday silence (again) Posted: September 02, 2021 at 09:50 PM (#6038067)
Or like Mookie's best years. He's what 18-20 SB above break even. He gets 9 runs for that.

Brock 1966/68 he's got to be what 38 SB above break even? and he gets 9 runs, or maybe 8 just because its 1968.

In 1974 he's like 50 SB above break even. "Sorry still only +9."

He must be the world's worst base runner at other times when he's not stealing bases right? To get dinged that much for not taking extra bases. Like Brock is standing on 1b; White hits a double the third base coach is waving him home and Lou just plants himself on third refusing to go home. like this must have happened 20 times in 1968 to cause him to only get +9 for stealing 38 bases above break even.

   43. Booey Posted: September 02, 2021 at 09:54 PM (#6038068)
One thing that should be mentioned though when discussing the HOF chances of any of these players is that voters may have to lower the usual standards for WAR in much the same way that they're going to have to in most the traditional statistics. The current style of play is not only making career totals plummet for pitchers in wins, innings, complete games, and shutouts, and for position players in batting average, hits, rbi, and stolen bases, but for some reason we're also not seeing as many players put up big WAR totals as we used to, either. This was posted in an earlier thread, but it's worth pointing out again:

55 WAR players (including pitchers) by debut decade:

1960's - 29
1970's - 24
1980's - 29
1990's - 27
2000's - 15

Now, obviously a lot of players who debuted in the 2000's are still playing, but looking at age and current production the only one who looks like he has a semi decent shot of adding his name to the 55+ WAR list is Madison Bumgarner. Any way you look at it, the 2000's are going to end up as a weak era for HOF caliber careers. Maybe that's just a fluke - as seemingly a disproportionate amount of the big stars from this time period suffered injuries or burnt out early (David Wright, Dustin Pedroia, Felix Hernandez, Brandon Webb, Johan Santana, Roy Oswalt, Ryan Howard, Ryan Braun, Troy Tulowitski, Andrew McCutchen, Tim Lincecum, Hanley Ramirez, Prince Fielder, etc) - but it doesn't feel like there's very many players who debuted in the 2010's that are consistently putting up HOF caliber seasons, either. Seems like a lot of guys are teasing us with a couple of great seasons early and then tailing off or getting injured before they ever go on an extended stretch of superstardom (Judge, Correa, Seager, Lindor, Bryant, Bellinger, Yelich, etc).

Who are they going to elect when hardly anyone's career numbers look "HOF-ey" by traditional stats, and very few hit the usual SABR standards for WAR/WAA either? 50 WAR may become the new 60.
   44. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: September 02, 2021 at 11:10 PM (#6038076)
Re: Altuve - he's matching his career OPS+ this year. No batting title, obviously, but his 2021 is a dead ringer for his 2015. Same OPS+, going to be about the same WAR. Altuve is past his peak (of course he is, he's 31), but he's doing about exactly what you expect a 26 year old Altuve would do in his 30s.
   45. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: September 03, 2021 at 11:36 AM (#6038105)
Re: Altuve - he's matching his career OPS+ this year. No batting title, obviously, but his 2021 is a dead ringer for his 2015. Same OPS+, going to be about the same WAR. Altuve is past his peak (of course he is, he's 31), but he's doing about exactly what you expect a 26 year old Altuve would do in his 30s.


Now he's just got to hope Machado doesn't get traded to the AL West.
   46. DL from MN Posted: September 03, 2021 at 11:45 AM (#6038108)
for some reason we're also not seeing as many players put up big WAR totals


I think we're seeing some talent compression. There is plenty of talent available to expand by two teams.
   47. Darren Posted: September 03, 2021 at 12:17 PM (#6038116)
Two other cautionary tales for Mookie:

Vada Pinson through age 28: 46.4 WAR
Cesar Cedeno through age 28: 44.2 WAR

Both were similarly well rounded outfielders.
   48. Darren Posted: September 03, 2021 at 12:21 PM (#6038117)
It is an interesting hypothetical what does one do with a declining Mookie. He's not a great hitter.


This is splitting hairs, but 135 OPS+ through 28 and 153 OPS+ for the past 4 years is pretty close to great, isn't it?
   49. GregD Posted: September 03, 2021 at 12:57 PM (#6038122)
This is splitting hairs, but 135 OPS+ through 28 and 153 OPS+ for the past 4 years is pretty close to great, isn't it?
2018 is doing quite a bit of work in this formation. It's reasonable to use 3 years. In that time (this year plus last two) he has a 138 OPS+ which is also terrific, but likely closer to the projection you'd want to use going forward. Per 650 PAs, he's at 5.3 OWar in that stretch, and that's also awfully good.
   50. Darren Posted: September 03, 2021 at 02:17 PM (#6038130)
It's reasonable to use 3 years. In that time (this year plus last two) he has a 138 OPS+ which is also terrific, but likely closer to the projection you'd want to use going forward.


Generally I'd go with three but a) 2020 was just 60 games and b) 2021 still has another month. But as you note, even just considering the past 3 years, he's among the best hitters in the league.

Defense still looks strong but if the speed is declining due to injury, how long will that last? He's hardly a classic 1B, NL doesn't have the DH yet and he's not a classic one of those either (especially if the OPS+ falls off to 125 or lower). IF the legs are going, returning to 2B seems even more unlikely than it already is, maybe 3B. Looks to be stuck in RF/LF if that happens.


There's also not much to worry about here. Being a great OF, he can drop off plenty and still play a fine corner OF.
   51. sunday silence (again) Posted: September 04, 2021 at 02:33 AM (#6038238)
Defense still looks strong but if the speed is declining due to injury, how long will that last?


Why are you all of a sudden so concerned about his defense? You're the one always telling me, these guys arent worth 20 runs on defense.

So if say Mookie loses another step. How much defensive value could he possible lose? If we extrapolate his hitting, he's still worth at least 30 runs on offense. Right? Maybe more.

And if my notes are correct, corner OFers hit about 7 runs above avg. So he's still about 25 runs better than the avg corner OFer.

And the last time we discussed defense, you cited statcast which seems to be put an upper limit of 17 or 18 runs on these guys. So how much could Mookie possibly lose defensively if he's gimpy? What 5 runs? 10? He's still a net positive.
   52. homerwannabee Posted: September 04, 2021 at 06:10 AM (#6038244)
I'm going with Ohtani. Before this season he was thought more of as an experimental oddity.
But after this season he's now thought of as a potential Hall of Famer.
I don't think people were thinking that before this year.
   53. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 04, 2021 at 11:10 AM (#6038262)
A point and question: the Astros right now have the best BA in MLB for 2021 by a comfortable margin, the best OPS, and have scored the second most runs. Is that park factor driven only, or maybe they just have collected a great bunch of hitters that are in or near their prime in the same 5 year period?

Did I read somewhere that they as a team hit better on the road than at home, in one of their peak trash can lid signaling years?


The numbers below certainly don't suggest any advantage to sign stealing, unless you're going to say that it only took place in 2019. And in the year they won the World Series, they scored 106 more runs on the road than they did in Minute Maid. This seems to be a case of the narrative getting way ahead of the numbers.

Astros run totals, Home / Road splits:

2015 Home 367, Road 362
2016 Home 334, Road 390
2017 Home 395, Road 501
2018 Home 373, Road 424
2019 Home 489, Road 431
2020 Home 132, Road 147 (4 more road games than home games)
2021 Home 346, Road 359 (2 more road games to date)
   54. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 04, 2021 at 11:23 AM (#6038263)
And here are Altuve's Home / Road OPS splits for the same years. If there's any lasting correlation between these numbers and sign stealing, it's hard to see them:

2015 Home .905, Road .724
2016 Home .863, Road .991
2017 Home .834, Road 1.031
2018 Home .776, Road .898
2019 Home .979, Road .836
2020 Home .513, Road .755
2021 Home .914, Road .716
   55. Adam Starblind Posted: September 04, 2021 at 11:31 AM (#6038265)
The question isn’t whether they scored more runs at home or on the road. The question is whether they scored more runs at home than they would have without the trashcan. That is probably unknowable.
   56. Tom Nawrocki Posted: September 04, 2021 at 11:46 AM (#6038266)
Nolan Arenado bolstered his Hall of Fame chances with a pair of homers last night. He's now very likely to reach 30 homers and 100 RBIs this year, which is probably what he needed to do this season to stay on a HoF track.

   57. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 04, 2021 at 12:55 PM (#6038275)
The question isn’t whether they scored more runs at home or on the road. The question is whether they scored more runs at home than they would have without the trashcan. That is probably unknowable.

It may be unknowable, but then you're implying that in 2017 and 2018 Minute Maid was a pitchers' park of historic proportions. Somehow I doubt that was the case.
   58. Adam Starblind Posted: September 04, 2021 at 01:44 PM (#6038281)
That applies to your theory as well, whatever that is. That the trash can was a hindrance?
   59. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 04, 2021 at 05:32 PM (#6038320)
Looking at those numbers, about all anyone can really infer is that whatever effect those trash cans may have had was unreliable at best. Maybe the Astros just have good hitters.

The same thing could be said about the earlier celebrated case of sign stealing, which allegedly helped the 1951 Giants so much that their team BA dropped 10 points after the sign stealing was put in place.

The logical questions, in retrospect, of course are, “Did the Giants truly benefit from their system? Did the Giants in fact ‘steal’ the pennant?” The answer, according to baseball researchers, is a resounding maybe. There is no question that the Giants played much better baseball after July 20 but was that better play the result of the Giants’ plotting?

The man to best answer that question is David Smith. Smith lives a Clark Kent-like existence. At times a mild-mannered biology professor at the University of Delaware, at other times the creator and honcho of Retrosheet.org. Retrosheet has as its goal the collection of play-by-play for every inning of every major-league baseball game ever played. Appropriately enough, Dave Smith is also a lifelong Dodgers fan. If any man could find evidence that the Giants’ chicanery resulted in a befouled pennant, he could. Shortly after the revelation of the Giants’ grand scheme, Dave Smith ran the numbers.2**

There is no question that the Giants began playing at a torrid pace once all the elements of their plan were in place. Before July 20, the Giants stood at just 47-41, a good but not spectacular .534. After July 20 the Gothams went 24-6 (.800) at home and 27-12 (.693) on the road. Without those road wins the Giants would never have won the pennant. If the Giants’ cheating were a determining factor in their season, one would think it should be obvious. However, the picture is not so clear

The first surprise was the team batting average. “On the morning of July 20, the Giants were batting .266 at home and .252 on the road. For the rest of the season, New York hit .256 in the Polo Grounds and .269 away. So much for the advantage of knowing what pitch was coming.”

**So, did the sign-stealing occur? Probably. Did it help? Apparently not. Of course, it only has to be true that the sign-stealing helped them win one more game that they would have lost in order to end up the season in a tie. The point is simple: There is no evidence in the data that sign-stealing was a significant factor in the great comeback of the 1951 Giants. Remember that the Giants’ record did not begin its dramatic improvement until August 12.
   60. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 04, 2021 at 05:38 PM (#6038321)
Another indicator that sign stealing may not be foolproof:
Joe DiMaggio was nearly injured when Yankees coach Chuck Dressen tried to pursue the redundant goal of making a great hitter greater in 1947. Dressen, who spent 32 years in the majors as a coach and manager, was famous for his sign-stealing abilities. DiMaggio, a .325 career hitter, didn’t need to know what was coming to hit and initially refused to take Dressen’s input. Yet, even so phlegmatic a personality as DiMaggio eventually yielded to temptation. The problem was that Dressen wasn’t infallible. In their initial outing as co-conspirators, Dressen told DiMaggio to expect a curve when what was really coming was a fastball, high and tight. The Clipper dug in and scoffed as the ball bore in on his skull, knowing it would break. It didn’t, and he only got out of the way at the last moment.

“That’s it,” DiMaggio told Dressen after. “Knock it off before you get me killed.” (As Roger Kahn wrote in Memories of Summer, in later retellings of the story DiMaggio admitted, “My language may have been a little stronger than that. A lot stronger.”) DiMaggio won his third Most Valuable Player award that fall while operating under his own instincts.
   61. bfan Posted: September 06, 2021 at 08:34 AM (#6038463)
The question isn’t whether they scored more runs at home or on the road. The question is whether they scored more runs at home than they would have without the trashcan. That is probably unknowable.


That seems to be a statement going in the face of a decent set of facts. Isn't that akin to saying we don't really know if Coors field helps betters, because we do not know if they played in a different ball park, whether the results would be different?

Maybe you get to 81 games being too small a sample size, or, as raised above, Minute maid is really a pitcher's park, but my goodness the evidence states a non to negative effect, doesn't it?

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