Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Hall of Fame vote--first timers

I have been reading a bunch of things today talking about the first timers on the HofF ballot and who should make it and who shouldn't. Is it me or is this just a case of nothing better to write about? Isn't the list of first-timers: one? Wade Boggs and that's it.

The most ridiculous statements have been made about Darryl Strawberry and Willie McGee, especially the former. Let's get this straight, Darryl Strawberry may have wasted his talent, but he will not lose a hall of fame bust because the voters will punish him for off-the-field activities.

Here's why Darryl Strawberry and Willie McGee will not make the hall, in plain stats.

Strawberry: .259 BA/.357 OBP/.505 SLG
HOF Standards and HOF Monitor are Jamesian creations (I believe) to show how a player stacks up with prior Hall of Famers and how likely he is to make it, respectively. The average HOF Standard score for a HOFer is 50, and a player is HOF likely if his monitor score is over 100.
Strawberry's Standard score is 29.6 and his Monitor score is 56.5. A 56.5! I'd try to tell you if there are any current HOFers lower, but baseball-reference's list doesn't go lower than 80. To give you an idea of others higher than Straw....Boggs is a staggering 268. But more common players whose scores destroy Straw? Benito Santiago: 93; Mo Vaughn: 86; Dante Bichette: 82.

In addition, Strawberry really only had 9 full seasons, so he gets no longevity bonuses; he led the league in homers once, RBIs never, OPS and OPS+ only once and 3 times total in top 5, OBP never better than 9th, MVPs none, top 10 four times, SLG once and 3 times total in top 5.
That is not a Hall of Fame resume.

Willie McGee: .295 BA/.333 OBP/.396 SLG; HOF Standards: 22.9; Monitor: 77.5.

McGee had one quite good season: 1985, in which he won the MVP. Nothing dominant about that season, but yes, he does have an MVP. What happened for the rest of his career other than 1985? 3 times an all-star, 2 Gold Gloves, 1 batting title. Outside 1985, never in the top 10 in his league for OBP, SLG, OPS, Runs, RBI or times on base. Now, I was never in the top 10 in those stats in the National League either. But I'm not on the Hall of Fame ballot.

Oh, and in the list of "Top 10 similar batters career-wise" to McGee (on the bottom of his baseball-reference page), not one is a Hall of Famer.

Boggs, on the other hand, while mostly a singles hitter is clearly a first-ballot Hall of Famer. His 268 Monitor number is in the top-20 all-time and if he didn't make the Hall, the next highest player on that list not to make the Hall would be Ryne Sandberg (assuming he misses this time, but I think he'll make it) at 157, then Jim Rice3 at 146, and Don Mattingly at 133.

In addition his overall stats (.328 BA/.415 OBP/.443 SLG) are things voters love: 3010 hits, 12 all-star appearances, 2 gold gloves, 5 times led BA and 11 in top 10; and stat guys like: 1513 runs (surprisingly over 100 runs 7 straight years at the start of his career and then never again), OPS leader twice, 6 time OBP leader, 11 in top 10, 8 times on base leader, walk leader twice (even led the league in IBB 6 times). In addition, he led the league in doubles twice and was in the top 3 seven times, so it wasn't totally singles.

So, I'd be shocked if Boggs wasn't the one and only first-timer to make it this year.


At 12:53 PM, Blogger Daryl said...

Made a comment on the HoF in my own blog, but clearly the Straw isn't a Hall of Famer, and McGee is busted flat in Baton Rouge.

Just wanted to note that while the HOF Standards and HOF Monitor are Jamesian creations, they were tools of James to predict whether someone will make it into the Hall of Fame (based on historical patterns of how the BBWAA votes), not really whether they are deserving players - I think the stronger argument for keeping them out of the Hall would be other stats.

At 3:53 PM, Blogger dexys_midnight said...

agreed. I tried to make that clear in my post (that one just compares a player to other HofFers and the other is a predictor). But the figures are obviously a result of stats and if any guy that far off the reservation made it, we would need a Congressional inquiry.


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