Annual Baseball Hall of Fame Gripe Fest

With a bit over 25% of the ballots known, it is looking like this year's class will be:

Beltre (98%)

Helton (82%)

Mauer (82%)

Wagner (79%)

Sheffield is close, at 72.5%, but he generally loses votes as it gets closer to the end of voting when my thinking is some of the older voters cast their ballots or let them be known.  Last year he was at 55% after running closer to 72% for much of the voting period.  It seems like newer/younger voters are more forgiving of players with steroid taints.

Mauer is an interesting case.  Comparing him to other catchers, in his prime he was a beast at the plate and serviceable behind it.  Three batting titles as a catcher?  He had to move to 1st base for his last 5 years due a series of concussions which also affected his vision, and his offensive production tailed off.  Some feel the lack of longevity makes him a Hall of the Good candidate, but given his production as a catcher he ranks with the best.

Helton gets knocked for playing 17 years at altitude in Coors Field.  But he also was a damned good hitter on the road and a fine defensive first baseman.  His stats on the road line up with other HOF members, and when you add in his home field stats he should be in.


mfpark said:

With a bit over 25% of the ballots known, it is looking like this year's class will be:

Beltre (98%)

Helton (82%)

Mauer (82%)

Wagner (79%)

Sheffield is close, at 72.5%, but he generally loses votes as it gets closer to the end of voting when my thinking is some of the older voters cast their ballots or let them be known.  Last year he was at 55% after running closer to 72% for much of the voting period.  It seems like newer/younger voters are more forgiving of players with steroid taints.

Mauer is an interesting case.  Comparing him to other catchers, in his prime he was a beast at the plate and serviceable behind it.  Three batting titles as a catcher?  He had to move to 1st base for his last 5 years due a series of concussions which also affected his vision, and his offensive production tailed off.  Some feel the lack of longevity makes him a Hall of the Good candidate, but given his production as a catcher he ranks with the best.

Helton gets knocked for playing 17 years at altitude in Coors Field.  But he also was a damned good hitter on the road and a fine defensive first baseman.  His stats on the road line up with other HOF members, and when you add in his home field stats he should be in.

interesting that Mauer is likely to get in to the HOF and David Wright might not even stay on the ballot for next year. Their careers had a similar trajectory that was derailed by injury.  There is a case to be made for Wright.

6 reasons David Wright belongs in the Hall of Fame


ml1 said:

mfpark said:

With a bit over 25% of the ballots known, it is looking like this year's class will be:

Beltre (98%)

Helton (82%)

Mauer (82%)

Wagner (79%)

Sheffield is close, at 72.5%, but he generally loses votes as it gets closer to the end of voting when my thinking is some of the older voters cast their ballots or let them be known.  Last year he was at 55% after running closer to 72% for much of the voting period.  It seems like newer/younger voters are more forgiving of players with steroid taints.

Mauer is an interesting case.  Comparing him to other catchers, in his prime he was a beast at the plate and serviceable behind it.  Three batting titles as a catcher?  He had to move to 1st base for his last 5 years due a series of concussions which also affected his vision, and his offensive production tailed off.  Some feel the lack of longevity makes him a Hall of the Good candidate, but given his production as a catcher he ranks with the best.

Helton gets knocked for playing 17 years at altitude in Coors Field.  But he also was a damned good hitter on the road and a fine defensive first baseman.  His stats on the road line up with other HOF members, and when you add in his home field stats he should be in.

interesting that Mauer is likely to get in to the HOF and David Wright might not even stay on the ballot for next year. Their careers had a similar trajectory that was derailed by injury.  There is a case to be made for Wright.

6 reasons David Wright belongs in the Hall of Fame

If Mauer gets in, there's a good case for putting Thurman Munson in the HOF.


ml1 said:

There is a case to be made for Wright.

6 reasons David Wright belongs in the Hall of Fame

A case against those six reasons:

1. If one of every four players with an OPS+ equal to or probably better than yours isn’t making the Hall, you’re not “already in” by that standard.

2. X-year windows for comparisons are a shell game (up there with “Guess who else has X RBIs, Y Gold Gloves and Z stolen bases”). Jimmy Rollins looks pretty good from 2005-13, too. Shift the window one year earlier, to 2004-12, and Mark Texeira becomes the leaderboard standout. He was one-and-done in HOF voting.

3. Franchise face is not a Hall-qualifying accomplishment.

4. Mike Schmidt reset the HOF standard for third basemen, so let’s limit Wright’s comparison pool to Schmidt, Brett, Boggs, Molitor, Jones, Rolen and Beltré. His 51.2 fWAR trails Molitor, who’s last there, by 16.5. (The group’s average fWAR is 83.6.) OK, that’s a counting stat, and Wright’s 4.8 average fWAR over 10 full seasons is significantly better than Molitor’s 3.5 average. Wright’s 133 wRC+ also looks good among those names. This is the abbreviated careerist’s strongest argument.

5. Look again at those four names: All were borderline inductees. Kiner, who dominated a marquee stat, squeaked in by one vote. Oliva, Gordon and Combs were elected by committees.

6. This one, I admit, went over my head.

yahooyahoosaid:

If Mauer gets in, there's a good case for putting Thurman Munson in the HOF.

How so?


DaveSchmidt said:

ml1 said:

There is a case to be made for Wright.

6 reasons David Wright belongs in the Hall of Fame

A case against those six reasons:

1. If one of every four players with an OPS+ equal to or probably better than yours isn’t making the Hall, you’re not “already in” by that standard.

2. X-year windows for comparisons are a shell game (up there with “Guess who else has X RBIs, Y Gold Gloves and Z stolen bases”). Jimmy Rollins looks pretty good from 2005-13, too. Shift the window one year earlier, to 2004-12, and Mark Texeira becomes the leaderboard standout. He was one-and-done in HOF voting.

3. Franchise face is not a Hall-qualifying accomplishment.

4. Mike Schmidt reset the HOF standard for third basemen, so let’s limit Wright’s comparison pool to Schmidt, Brett, Boggs, Molitor, Jones, Rolen and Beltré. His 51.2 fWAR trails Molitor, who’s last there, by 16.5. (The group’s average fWAR is 83.6.) OK, that’s a counting stat, and Wright’s 4.8 average fWAR over 10 full seasons is significantly better than Molitor’s 3.5 average. Wright’s 133 wRC+ also looks good among those names. This is the abbreviated careerist’s strongest argument.

5. Look again at those four names: All were borderline inductees. Kiner, who dominated a marquee stat, squeaked in by one vote. Oliva, Gordon and Combs were elected by committees.

6. This one, I admit, went over my head.

yahooyahoosaid:

If Mauer gets in, there's a good case for putting Thurman Munson in the HOF.

How so?

your comment on point 1 is on target. It's bad writing. But it doesn't contradict the fact that 3/4 of the players who achieved that level are or should be in the HOF. 

point 2 isn't an arbitrary window. It's the first nine full seasons of Wright's career before injuries started to cut it short. Not that different from how Joe Mauer's career seems to be considered.

point 3 is more bad writing. She should have kept it to 5 reasons and not bothered with that argument at all.

But anyway, I never said I thought Wright should be voted into the Hall. I was just remarking on the disparity between his likely vote % and Mauer's. I think Mauer is borderline and I was surprised to see how high his early vote tally is.

Wright will have to be content to be in the same club as Don Mattingly.


ml1 said:

point 2 isn't an arbitrary window.

The window isn’t arbitrary: It fits Wright to a T. What’s arbitrary is applying his window to every other major-leaguer who was active at the time, which the leaderboard comparison does.


ml1 said:

But it doesn't contradict the fact that 3/4 of the players who achieved that level are or should be in the HOF. 

A level that Wright is at the bottom of.


As a Mets fan and lover of David Wright I don't think he should be in the HOF. Then again off the top of my head I don't think Rolen or Mazeroski should be in either.


mfpark said:

Mauer is an interesting case. Comparing him to other catchers, in his prime he was a beast at the plate and serviceable behind it. Three batting titles as a catcher? He had to move to 1st base for his last 5 years due a series of concussions which also affected his vision, and his offensive production tailed off. Some feel the lack of longevity makes him a Hall of the Good candidate, but given his production as a catcher he ranks with the best.

Three-time batting champs are hard to keep out of the Hall,* and Mauer probably does get some dispensation for being a catcher (with three Gold Gloves) most of his career.

*ETA: I hear you, Mr. Madlock.


DaveSchmidt said:

ml1 said:

But it doesn't contradict the fact that 3/4 of the players who achieved that level are or should be in the HOF. 

A level that Wright is at the bottom of.

which is why I wrote this:

ml1 said:

But anyway, I never said I thought Wright should be voted into the Hall. 


DaveSchmidt said:

yahooyahoosaid:

If Mauer gets in, there's a good case for putting Thurman Munson in the HOF.

How so?

Mauer played 10 years as a catcher for some or most of the season:
.323 average, 1414 hits, 634 RBI, 616 BB, 105 HR, 6 all-star, 1 MVP, no championships, only had one win ever in the playoffs, 3 Gold Gloves, 5 Silver Sluggers

Munson played 11 years as a catcher for some or most of the season:
.292 average, 1558 hits, 701 RBI, 438 BB, 115 HR, 7 all-star, 1 MVP, 1 ROY, 2 championships, 3 Gold Gloves, 0 Silver Sluggers

Munson was the second catcher in history to win ROY, MVP, GG, and a WS in his career. The first was Johnny Bench.


ml1 said:

which is why I wrote this:

ml1 said:

But anyway, I never said I thought Wright should be voted into the Hall.

My comment concerned the fact, not your opinion, but it’s noted again.


yahooyahoo said:

Mauer played 10 years as a catcher for some or most of the season:
.323 average, 1414 hits, 634 RBI, 616 BB, 105 HR, 6 all-star, 1 MVP, no championships, only had one win ever in the playoffs, 3 Gold Gloves, 5 Silver Sluggers

Munson played 11 years as a catcher for some or most of the season:
.292 average, 1558 hits, 701 RBI, 438 BB, 115 HR, 7 all-star, 1 MVP, 1 ROY, 2 championships, 3 Gold Gloves, 0 Silver Sluggers

That’s a solid comparison. Mauer, however, was a notably more productive hitter for his era than Munson was. In those 10 seasons, Mauer hit 34% better than average by wRC+; Munson hit 16% better than average.

Also, Mauer’s fWAR over that span translates to 5.5 over 140 games played in a season, significantly better than Munson’s 4.0 over 140 games. The caveat is that Munson did in fact average 140 games over his 10 full seasons, while Mauer averaged only 127 in his nine full catcher seasons.


In his 10th and final year on the ballot, with 30% of the votes made public, Sheffield is at 75.4%.  He has picked up 8 votes this year from voters who did not vote for him last year, and he has not lost any from last year.  And he has done well with first time voters.  If this trend keeps up he will squeak in to the Hall--deservedly so, in my opinion.

Carlos Beltran is showing a surge.  Last year--his first on the ballot--he was at 46.5% of final votes, while so far with 30% known this year he is at 66%.  My first reaction last year was that Beltran was a very good player but perhaps not a great player.  Shy of 500 homers, shy of 3,000 hits, .279 lifetime batting average, never led the league in anything other than games played one year.  He was never higher than 4th in MVP voting.

But digging deeper, he had 565 doubles, 1,582 runs scored, and 312 stolen bases to go along with 435 homers and 1,587 RBIs and 78 triples.  Dang, that is a great combination of speed and power that places him among the greats like Bonds, Rodriguez, Dawson, Mays, and Trout.  His stolen base success rate is among the highest in history (although likely to be eclipsed given the new rules and bigger bags).  He was a better than average center fielder, winning the Gold Glove popularity contest 3 times.  And he was a beast in the post-season, hitting .307 with 15 HRs, 42 RBIs, and 11 stolen bases over 15 post-season games.  He deserves to be in the HOF.

Yes, there was the Houston Astros garbage can scandal.  But I am one of those who believe that Rose, Jackson, and all the steroid-era folks should be in, so the sign-stealing does not affect my take on Beltran.


mfpark said:

He deserves to be in the HOF.

Beltrán’s bWAR and JAWS rating fit comfortably among HOF center fielders. (Median would be a better marker than the average, which is skewed by this top-heavy group.)


Munson is up there, too, but trails Mauer.


DaveSchmidt said:

Beltrán’s bWAR and JAWS rating fit comfortably among HOF center fielders. (Median would be a better marker than the average, which is skewed by this top-heavy group.)

Your chart raises the case of Kenny Lofton, who incomprehensibly fell off the ballot with just 3% of the votes in his initial year of eligibility.  I mean, I can see him not getting in on the first ballot, but to drop him off completely just makes no sense.  I assume one day the Contemporary Committee will pull a McGriff with him.  But, geez, Bill Mazerowski, Rabbit Marranville, Luis Aparacio, Scott Rolen, Phil Rizzuto but not Lofton?  Gimme a break.


Sheffield is up to 76% with just under 33% of votes known.

Beltran is up slightly at 66.4%.

Andruw Jones is at 67.2%.  Jones is an interesting case as well.  In terms of JAWS, he belongs (along with Beltran and Lofton, who was done wrong).  Comparing his 10 prime years to other 10 year wonders who are in, such as Puckett or Koufax, he absolutely belongs.  But that means ignoring the five years after he left Atlanta and showed up way overweight and out of shape in Los Angeles and other stops, throwing up as bad numbers the last five years as he did great numbers the first 12 years.  I think it is those last five years, along with the domestic battery charges, that have soured some voters on his candidacy.  Had he quit after he was done in Atlanta, he would be a mortal lock.

He certainly deserves enshrinement more than Richie Ashburn, and at least as much as Andre Dawson.


Without Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Pete Rose, HOF is a pathetic joke.


This topic made me wonder which Hall of Fame was the first?

I found this information about The Hall of Fame for Great Americans. It inspired the idea for Cooperstown. I may need to take a field trip this winter to the Bronx.

https://www.americanheritage.com/original-hall-fame

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hall_of_Fame_for_Great_Americans

The "hall of fame" that inspired the one for Great Americans is located in Germany.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walhalla_(memorial)


With 38.5% of votes revealed, Sheffield sitting at 75%.  Jones has risen to 70.3%.  Beltran is up slightly at 67.6%.

David Wright is in danger of falling below 5% and dropping off future ballots.


I like David Wright but he is not a Hall of Famer.  If he stayed healthy it could have been a different story.


41.1% of votes are now public.  

Beltran, Mauer, Helton, and Wagner will likely get elected.

Sheffield dropped to 74.7% and will probably continue to slowly fade as more votes are revealed.  This has been the pattern for his nomination the last few years.  He will have to wait for the Veteran's Committee.

Jones is hovering at 71.5%, and Beltran at 67.1%.  Wright is up to 7% so might hang around for next year.

Looking ahead to the 2025 ballot, there are only two new nominees who will draw a lot of votes--Ichiro (a likely first ballot inductee) and CC Sabathia (250 wins, 3,000 strikeouts, Cy Young, journalists loved him).  Assuming the four leaders in 2024 are elected, this opens the door for Jones and Beltran to get elected in 2025.  2026 has an even thinner pool, led by Cole Hamels and Ryan Braun, so if Beltran and Jones may also have a shot in that year.  The remaining pool of 2024 nominees as well as additional nominees in 2025-2027 are pretty weak.  

It is not until 2028 when Molina (who will be controversial) and Pujols (who will be a mortal lock) appear as strong candidates (although I would make a case for Jon Lester in 2027, and some will tout Posey as well).


mfpark said:

…It is not until 2028 when Molina (who will be controversial) and Pujols (who will be a mortal lock) appear as strong candidates (although I would make a case for Jon Lester in 2027, and some will tout Posey as well).

Curious what makes you say Molina will be controversial?

Long-tenured, great defensive catchers who can hit a bit and have won a championship are generally rewarded.

Not enough on the hit side?


jimmurphy said:

Curious what makes you say Molina will be controversial?

Long-tenured, great defensive catchers who can hit a bit and have won a championship are generally rewarded.

Not enough on the hit side?

Yes.  There is already a ton of bluster on various forums (fora?) about Molina.  He is a mixed bag, for sure.  My vote would be to enshrine him, because having watched him play over the years he clearly "feels" like a HOF caliber player.  But the stats are not as clear.

On the offensive side of the plate, he had some good years and a few very good years.  But overall his career stats trail a host of contemporary catchers, most of whom will never be part of a HOF discussion.  Take OPS+.  At the top of the list are Posey (who some feel will get a plaque) and Mauer (who looks like he is getting in this year, but he was a catcher only half his career).  Next up is Posada, who was a very good hitting catcher but who idropped off the ballot in his 1st year of eligibility (which I think was a crime--as I feel about Ted Simmons).  After that comes Brian McCann, Salvador Perez, Russell Martin, and Jason Varitek.  We finally get to Yadier Molina.  His OPS+ was a sub-par 96 (Posey at 129, Mauer at 124).  Molina is second on this list with 1,022 RBIs (Posada 1,065, McCann 1,018), but far down the list on OBP and Slugging.  From this he is in the Hall of the Very Good.

On the defensive side, he clearly blows contemporaries out of the water.  His Caught Stealing percentage of 40% is far better than any contemporary (and given the new rules for holding runners and the larger bags, may never be seen again).  If you buy into stats like dWAR, he is so far above the others as to be in a different league.  From this he is in the Hall of Fame.

If you accept WAR as a measure, though, his offense so drags down the defensive metrics that his is 42.1, about even with Posada but far behind Mauer (55.2) and Posey (44.8).  Once again, for many this argues for the Hall of the Very Good.

His JAWS is a meager 35.5 (22nd on the list of MLB catchers), but his HOF Monitor is 169--a virtual lock for signaling who will get in.  Complete mixed bag here.

Then again, he was a hero of several World Series teams, he handled pitchers and framed pitches extraordinarily well, and he set the standard for catching in his era.  This can carry a borderline nominee into the Hall.


With a bit more than half the votes known, as of this morning Sheffield is at 75.1%.

The final vote will be announced tonight at 6 PM.

Looking like it will be Beltre, Mauer, Helton, and Wagner (although Wagner has slipped a bit as votes have been revealed), with Sheffield still having an outside chance as the first strongly connected steroid user to get in.  It is his last year on the ballot.

Jones and Beltran will come up just short and will likely get in next year (Beltran's 3rd year, Jones's 8th).  But, hey, even Carl Hubbell wasn't elected until something like the third or fourth year he was eligible.

One interesting stat is the net gain/loss in votes from year to year among returning voters.  So far, among those who have revealed their votes, Beltran picked up 26 new votes while losing 7 (net of 19) and Sheffield picked up 16 and lost none.  No one else was even in double figures up or down (the biggest loser was Buehrle, up 2 and down 7 in his 4th year on the ballot).


mfpark said:

With a bit more than half the votes known, as of this morning Sheffield is at 75.1%.

The final vote will be announced tonight at 6 PM.

Looking like it will be Beltre, Mauer, Helton, and Wagner (although Wagner has slipped a bit as votes have been revealed), with Sheffield still having an outside chance as the first strongly connected steroid user to get in.  It is his last year on the ballot.

Jones and Beltran will come up just short and will likely get in next year (Beltran's 3rd year, Jones's 8th).  But, hey, even Carl Hubbell wasn't elected until something like the third or fourth year he was eligible.

One interesting stat is the net gain/loss in votes from year to year among returning voters.  So far, among those who have revealed their votes, Beltran picked up 26 new votes while losing 7 (net of 19) and Sheffield picked up 16 and lost none.  No one else was even in double figures up or down (the biggest loser was Buehrle, up 2 and down 7 in his 4th year on the ballot).

Changing your vote to "no" seems odd.


yahooyahoo said:

Changing your vote to "no" seems odd.

If Beltran was ninth or 10th on your ballot last year, and this year you want to make room for Beltre and Mauer …


Wow, major fall off for Wagner, Sheffield, Jones, and Beltran when the full vote came in.  Even Mauer almost fell below 75% after trending much higher with the 53% revealed.  Obviously the voters who choose not to reveal are systematically more conservative with their votes.


Seeing how Wagner has almost made it in his 9th year, it's surprising that Franco didn't get 5% in his first year on the ballot.


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