Sunday, January 04, 2015

A look at the 2015 MLB Hall of Fame Ballot (Part 3)

I am sorry for the lateness of this part. I have started a new job, the holidays hit and I had to travel out of state for personal reasons. And while I thought that this would be 3 parts, I am going to have to extend the series to 4. There will be 7 players this time and the last 7 next time. Just because of a time crunch this evening. One player in this part made my ballot. There are some fine players listed here. That leaves two spots for the final part of this series.

Fred McGriff (6th Year) - 5x All-Star, 3x Silver Slugger, 6x Top 10 in MVP voting, 2x HR leader, 10x Hit 30+ Home Runs in a season, Hit .300 for a season 4 times, 100 RBIs in 8 seasons, Scored 100 runs in a season twice. .992 Fielding percentage for his career. Career ranks: 27th in HR, 43rd in RBI, 43rd in Walks, 47th in Extra Base Hits, 50th in Total Bases, and 32nd in Intentional Walks.

Career Stats for McGriff, Jeff Bagwell, and Frank Thomas
McGriff  WAR 52.4, Runs 1349, Hits 2490, 2B 441, 3B 24, HR 493, RBI 1550, BA .284, SLG .509
Bagwell  WAR 79.6, Runs 1517, Hits 2314, 2B 488, 3B 32, HR 449, RBI 1529, BA .297, SLG .540
Thomas   WAR 73.7, Runs 1494, Hits 2468, 2B 495, 3B 12, HR 521, RBI 1704, BA .301, SLG .555

The "Crime Dog", is one of those players that many people dismiss right out of hand because he didn't play for major markets when he was in his prime. McGriff was a real fine player, but for me, the numbers do not add up to be a Hall of Fame player. The man played for 19 years. Compare that to Frank Thomas who played the same number and to Bagwell that played 15 years. The numbers for McGriff start to wilt. He was a good first baseman and the defense was underrated, but he does not make it onto my fictional ballot.

Mark McGwire (9th Year) - 12x All-Star, 3x Silver Slugger, 5x Top 10 in MVP voting, AL ROY 1987, 1x Gold Glove, 10th on All-time HR list (583), Leader in AB-per-HR (10.6), 4x HR leader, 7x 100 RBI seasons, 3x 100 runs scored, 4x Slugging Percentage leader, 8th on all time Slugging % list, a career .993 fielder.

Some people see the McGwire candidacy as the ultimate Steroids test. I don't. I don't believe that McGwire is a Hall of Fame player. A .263 career BA hurts from my viewpoint. Also only 12 SB throughout his career also is a negative mark for him. 252 2B and 6 3B for the career is also bad. The man was a beast for power numbers, but there is more to baseball than power. I would pick to have at least 4 other 1B on the ballot over McGwire if I had a team. He should not get in. Dave Kingman personified.

Mike Mussina (2nd Year) - 5x All-Star, 1x 20-win season, 8x Received Cy Young votes, 7x Gold Gloves, 6th in Winning Percentage for pitchers in the modern era with 250 wins for a career, Career Stats: 17th in strikeouts-to-walks ratio, 19th in strikeouts, 33rd in wins, 33rd in games started, 39th in winning percentage.

For myself, Mike Mussina should not make the Hall of Fame. Never a dominant player at his position. He was always though of as that guy that you would bring into an All-Star game after the major stars had made an appearance. The career stats are nice, but they just look like Mussina had a long and nice career. Nope on this candidacy.

Troy Percival (1st Year) - 4x All-Star, 10x 20 save seasons, 358 career saves (8th all-time), strikeout per nine innings ratio of 9.9. 6.08 hits per nine innings pitched is 2nd all-time for pitchers with over 700 innings.

Nope. Relievers need to be judged on their greatness and how they changed the game. Troy never changed the game.

Mike Piazza (3rd Year) - 12x All-Star, 10x Silver Slugger, 1993 NL ROY, 7x Top 10 in MVP voting, 6x 100 RBI in a season, 2x Scored 100 runs in a season, 9x batted .300 in a season, 396 HR as a catcher is a record, 29th All-time in slugging percentage and 47th in HR.

I do believe that I am going to catch some flack for this one. Mike Piazza is not a Hall of Fame player. Take a look at his offensive numbers and he is one of the best players, if not the best player at that position. However, there is another side of that coin. That side is defense. This is where he falls short. In his career, he allowed the most stolen bases by a catcher in a season 10 times. He was in the Top 5 of passed balls 7 times during his career, leading the league twice in that stat. Errors committed by a catcher, he led that category 4 times and finished in the Top 5 an additional 5 times. If I have a catcher, I need someone that isn't going to cost me runs. He probably will get in because of his offensive numbers sooner or later, but not for me this year.

Tim Raines (8th Year) - 7x All-Star, 1x Silver Slugger, 3x Top 10 MVP voting, 4x NL stolen base leader, 1x Batting Title, 6x 100 run seasons, 7x hit .300 in a season, 16 seasons of 10 stolen bases, 2nd all-time for stolen base percentage (84.7), 5th all time in stolen bases (808), 53rd all-time in runs.

Stats for Raines, Fred Clarke, and Lou Brock
Raines WAR 69.1, Runs 1571, Hits 2605, 2B 430, 3B 113, HR 170, BB 1330, BA .294, SB 808
Clarke WAR 67.8, Runs 1622, Hits 2678, 2B 361, 3B 220, HR 70, BB 875, BA .312, SB 509
Brock WAR 45.2, Runs 1610, Hits 3023, 2B 486, 3B 141, HR 149, BB 761, BA .293, SB 938

Lou was also caught stealing 307 times compared to Raines 146. Brock also had almost twice as many strikeouts as Raines. The one thing that pushes Raines over the threshold for me is the amount of seasons that he had over 20 steals in a season and when he was doing it. The last time he had 20+ steals was 1992. Steals weren't real valuable for teams at that time, it was the time for power. Tim Raines was a leader for those Montreal Expos teams back in the 80's. He wasn't a liability defensively. I have Mr. Raines on my list at #8. Yes!

Curt Schilling (3rd Year) - 3x 20-win seasons, 9x 200 innings pitched in a season, 5x 200 strikeouts in a season, 4x receiving Cy Young votes, 2x Top 10 in MVP voting, 6x All-Star, Ranks 15th all-time in strikeouts, one of 4 pitchers to have 3000 strikeouts and less than 1000 walks in their career, ranks second in strikeout-to-walks ratio all-time,

There is no doubt that Curt Schilling thrived under the pressure of the postseason in his career. The guy was a big game pitcher and proved it on the biggest stages. However, that does not make a Hall of Famer all by itself. 216 wins over 20 years isn't that good. An ERA at 3.46 isn't that great. Basically, if Schilling got into the Hall of Fame, you are rewarding 5 great seasons and 15 good to mediocre seasons. I cannot do that. No! The man when he was on was one of the best, but I don't see him getting in.

My Fictional HOF Ballot
1. Barry Bonds
2. Roger Clemens
3. Randy Johnson
5. Craig Biggio
6. Jeff Bagwell
7. Pedro Martinez
8. Tim Raines
9. Jeff Kent


Hun†ress said...

I agree with all of the above. Raines is worthy of the HoF, and if he had played in a bigger market than Montreal he would have been in five years ago.

Zebster said...

I'm keeping in mind that you can only have 10 on a ballot. With that in mind though, I disagree regarding Mussina. I think the very numbers you post make the argument. Far from a slam dunk but...
I agree on the rest, although I think Piazza eventually gets in based on his offensive numbers. Raines is very underrated.

Brent said...

I see Mussina as a fringe HOF player. Sort of Willie Stargell like. I don't like the fact that he only had one 20 win season and cannot point to one moment where you say that is a defining moment for the guy. I think he is the inaugural member of the Hall of Very Good.

As for Piazza, he will get in eventually. I don't agree with it, but defense is rarely used as a reason why you keep someone out of the Hall. How can you have those defensive numbers and not be thought of as someone that needed to do more and improve?

As for the last 2 guys, they are no-brainers for me. #10 might be debated, but I would have him and his partner in the Hall already.