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WAR Data: Best Position Players Not In the Hall of Fame

Posted by Neil Paine on May 19, 2010

Here's a post concept that's sure to be a lightning rod for discussion: who are the best position players not to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame? Using Baseball-Reference's new Wins Above Replacement data, we can attempt to answer that question. First, the players with the most total career value who aren't in the HoF:

Rk Player WAR/pos From To G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SB CS BA OBP SLG OPS Pos Tm
1 Barry Bonds 171.8 1986 2007 2986 9847 2227 2935 601 77 762 1996 2558 514 141 .298 .444 .607 1.051 *78/D9 PIT-SFG
2 Alex Rodriguez 100.3 1994 2010 2204 8449 1709 2573 454 29 588 1737 1080 299 71 .305 .389 .574 .963 *65/D SEA-TEX-NYY
3 Jeff Bagwell 79.9 1991 2005 2150 7797 1517 2314 488 32 449 1529 1401 202 78 .297 .408 .540 .948 *3/D9 HOU
4 Ken Griffey 79.4 1989 2010 2667 9795 1661 2780 524 38 630 1835 1311 184 69 .284 .370 .538 .908 *89D/73 SEA-CIN-TOT
5 Albert Pujols 78.1 2001 2010 1438 5294 1094 1765 399 14 374 1141 838 62 31 .333 .427 .626 1.053 *37/59D64 STL
6 Chipper Jones 77.6 1993 2010 2199 7928 1472 2429 480 37 428 1454 1372 144 44 .306 .406 .538 .944 *57/6D9 ATL
7 Frank Thomas 75.9 1990 2008 2322 8199 1494 2468 495 12 521 1704 1667 32 23 .301 .419 .555 .974 *D3 CHW-OAK-TOR-TOT
8 Pete Rose 74.9 1963 1986 3562 14053 2165 4256 746 135 160 1314 1566 198 149 .303 .375 .409 .784 37549/8 CIN-PHI-TOT
9 Lou Whitaker 69.7 1977 1995 2390 8570 1386 2369 420 65 244 1084 1197 143 75 .276 .363 .426 .789 *4/D DET
10 Derek Jeter 69.0 1995 2010 2176 8827 1600 2792 445 59 228 1091 894 309 81 .316 .387 .458 .844 *6/D NYY
11 Barry Larkin 68.9 1986 2004 2180 7937 1329 2340 441 76 198 960 939 379 77 .295 .371 .444 .815 *6/4D CIN
12 Bobby Grich 67.6 1970 1986 2008 6890 1033 1833 320 47 224 864 1087 104 83 .266 .371 .424 .794 *46/35D BAL-CAL
13 Edgar Martinez 67.2 1987 2004 2055 7213 1219 2247 514 15 309 1261 1283 49 30 .312 .418 .515 .933 *D5/3 SEA
14 Alan Trammell 66.9 1977 1996 2293 8288 1231 2365 412 55 185 1003 850 236 109 .285 .352 .415 .767 *6/D5478 DET
15 Ron Santo 66.4 1960 1974 2243 8143 1138 2254 365 67 342 1331 1108 35 41 .277 .362 .464 .826 *5/4D6739 CHC-CHW
16 Craig Biggio 66.2 1988 2007 2850 10876 1844 3060 668 55 291 1175 1160 414 124 .281 .363 .433 .796 *4287/D9 HOU
17 Jim Edmonds 66.1 1993 2010 1952 6705 1225 1907 422 25 385 1184 985 66 50 .284 .377 .527 .904 *8/739D CAL-ANA-STL-TOT-MIL
18 Rafael Palmeiro 66.0 1986 2005 2831 10472 1663 3020 585 38 569 1835 1353 97 40 .288 .371 .515 .885 *3D7/98 CHC-TEX-BAL
19 Ivan Rodriguez 65.8 1991 2010 2419 9181 1321 2748 556 50 306 1279 491 127 62 .299 .336 .471 .807 *2/D34 TEX-FLA-DET-TOT-WSN
20 Jim Thome 65.7 1991 2010 2312 7781 1496 2157 417 24 569 1581 1635 19 20 .277 .404 .556 .960 3D5 CLE-PHI-CHW-TOT-MIN
21 Larry Walker 64.3 1989 2005 1988 6907 1355 2160 471 62 383 1311 913 230 76 .313 .400 .565 .965 *9/387D45 MON-COL-TOT-STL
22 Roberto Alomar 64.1 1988 2004 2379 9073 1508 2724 504 80 210 1134 1032 474 114 .300 .371 .443 .814 *4/D6 SDP-TOR-BAL-CLE-NYM-TOT
23 Tim Raines 64.0 1979 2002 2502 8872 1571 2605 430 113 170 980 1330 808 146 .294 .385 .425 .810 *78D/49 MON-CHW-NYY-OAK-TOT-FLA
24 Dwight Evans 61.8 1972 1991 2606 8996 1470 2446 483 73 385 1384 1391 78 59 .272 .370 .470 .840 *9D3/78 BOS-BAL
25 Graig Nettles 61.6 1967 1988 2700 8986 1193 2225 328 28 390 1314 1088 32 36 .248 .329 .421 .750 *5/739D68 MIN-CLE-NYY-SDP-ATL-MON
Rk Player WAR/pos From To G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SB CS BA OBP SLG OPS Pos Tm
26 Dick Allen 61.2 1963 1977 1749 6332 1099 1848 320 79 351 1119 894 133 52 .292 .378 .534 .912 357/468D PHI-STL-LAD-CHW-OAK
27 Reggie Smith 60.8 1966 1982 1987 7033 1123 2020 363 57 314 1092 890 137 86 .287 .366 .489 .855 983/547 BOS-STL-TOT-LAD-SFG
28 Jim Wynn 60.7 1963 1977 1920 6653 1105 1665 285 39 291 964 1224 225 101 .250 .366 .436 .802 *897/D65 HOU-LAD-ATL-TOT
29 Manny Ramirez 60.6 1993 2010 2229 8032 1519 2519 537 20 548 1807 1300 37 33 .314 .412 .590 1.002 79D CLE-BOS-TOT-LAD
30 Sal Bando 60.6 1966 1981 2019 7060 982 1790 289 38 242 1039 1031 75 46 .254 .352 .408 .760 *5/D36417 KCA-OAK-MIL
31 Buddy Bell 60.4 1972 1989 2405 8995 1151 2514 425 56 201 1106 836 55 79 .279 .341 .406 .747 *5/986D374 CLE-TEX-TOT-CIN
32 Sammy Sosa 60.2 1989 2007 2354 8813 1475 2408 379 45 609 1667 929 234 107 .273 .344 .534 .878 *98D/7 TOT-CHW-CHC-BAL-TEX
33 Shoeless Joe Jackson 59.7 1908 1920 1332 4981 873 1772 307 168 54 785 519 202 81 .356 .423 .517 .940 798/3 PHA-CLE-TOT-CHW
34 Gary Sheffield 59.7 1988 2009 2576 9217 1636 2689 467 27 509 1676 1475 253 104 .292 .393 .514 .907 975D/63 MIL-SDP-TOT-FLA-LAD-ATL-NYY-DET-NYM
35 Andruw Jones 59.4 1996 2010 1948 7003 1125 1803 360 36 397 1193 806 150 58 .257 .339 .489 .828 *89/D73 ATL-LAD-TEX-CHW
36 Vladimir Guerrero 58.3 1996 2010 1889 7148 1208 2300 426 44 415 1350 692 179 89 .322 .386 .568 .954 *9D/8 MON-ANA-LAA-TEX
37 Willie Randolph 58.3 1975 1992 2202 8018 1239 2210 316 65 54 687 1243 271 94 .276 .373 .351 .724 *4/D5 PIT-NYY-LAD-TOT-MIL-NYM
38 Mark McGwire 58.2 1986 2001 1874 6187 1167 1626 252 6 583 1414 1317 12 8 .263 .394 .588 .982 *3/D59467 OAK-TOT-STL
39 Todd Helton 57.9 1997 2010 1845 6623 1237 2166 514 34 326 1211 1153 36 27 .327 .427 .563 .989 *3/79D COL
40 Darrell Evans 57.0 1969 1989 2687 8973 1344 2223 329 36 414 1354 1605 98 68 .248 .361 .431 .792 *53D/76 ATL-TOT-SFG-DET
41 Andre Dawson 57.0 1976 1996 2627 9927 1373 2774 503 98 438 1591 589 314 109 .279 .323 .482 .806 98D/7 MON-CHC-BOS-FLA
42 Sherry Magee 56.7 1904 1919 2087 7441 1112 2169 425 166 83 1176 736 441 20 .291 .364 .427 .790 *7839/645 PHI-BSN-TOT-CIN
43 Ken Boyer 56.2 1955 1969 2034 7455 1104 2143 318 68 282 1141 713 105 77 .287 .349 .462 .810 *58/36 STL-NYM-TOT-LAD
44 John Olerud 56.1 1989 2005 2234 7592 1139 2239 500 13 255 1230 1275 11 14 .295 .398 .465 .863 *3D TOR-NYM-SEA-TOT-BOS
45 Jeff Kent 55.8 1992 2008 2298 8498 1320 2461 560 47 377 1518 801 94 60 .290 .356 .500 .855 *453/D6 TOT-NYM-SFG-HOU-LAD
46 Kenny Lofton 55.7 1991 2007 2103 8120 1528 2428 383 116 130 781 945 622 160 .299 .372 .423 .794 *8/79D HOU-CLE-ATL-TOT-NYY-PHI-LAD
47 Joe Torre 55.6 1960 1977 2209 7874 996 2342 344 59 252 1185 779 23 29 .297 .365 .452 .817 235/7 MLN-ATL-STL-NYM
48 Keith Hernandez 55.3 1974 1990 2088 7370 1124 2182 426 60 162 1071 1070 98 63 .296 .384 .436 .821 *3/79 STL-TOT-NYM-CLE
49 Willie Davis 55.2 1960 1979 2429 9174 1217 2561 395 138 182 1053 418 398 131 .279 .311 .412 .723 *8/97D LAD-MON-TOT-SDP-CAL
50 Jack Clark 55.0 1975 1992 1994 6847 1118 1826 332 39 340 1180 1262 77 61 .267 .379 .476 .854 *93D/875 SFG-STL-NYY-SDP-BOS
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 5/19/2010.

A few of these are active or recently retired, so let's limit ourselves to players who have actually been eligible for induction:

Player WAR/pos From To G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SB CS BA OBP SLG OPS Pos
Lou Whitaker 69.7 1977 1995 2390 8570 1386 2369 420 65 244 1084 1197 143 75 .276 .363 .426 .789 *4/D
Barry Larkin 68.9 1986 2004 2180 7937 1329 2340 441 76 198 960 939 379 77 .295 .371 .444 .815 *6/4D
Bobby Grich 67.6 1970 1986 2008 6890 1033 1833 320 47 224 864 1087 104 83 .266 .371 .424 .794 *46/35D
Edgar Martinez 67.2 1987 2004 2055 7213 1219 2247 514 15 309 1261 1283 49 30 .312 .418 .515 .933 *D5/3
Alan Trammell 66.9 1977 1996 2293 8288 1231 2365 412 55 185 1003 850 236 109 .285 .352 .415 .767 *6/D5478
Ron Santo 66.4 1960 1974 2243 8143 1138 2254 365 67 342 1331 1108 35 41 .277 .362 .464 .826 *5/4D6739
Roberto Alomar 64.1 1988 2004 2379 9073 1508 2724 504 80 210 1134 1032 474 114 .300 .371 .443 .814 *4/D6
Tim Raines 64.0 1979 2002 2502 8872 1571 2605 430 113 170 980 1330 808 146 .294 .385 .425 .810 *78D/49
Dwight Evans 61.8 1972 1991 2606 8996 1470 2446 483 73 385 1384 1391 78 59 .272 .370 .470 .840 *9D3/78
Graig Nettles 61.6 1967 1988 2700 8986 1193 2225 328 28 390 1314 1088 32 36 .248 .329 .421 .750 *5/739D68
Dick Allen 61.2 1963 1977 1749 6332 1099 1848 320 79 351 1119 894 133 52 .292 .378 .534 .912 357/468D
Reggie Smith 60.8 1966 1982 1987 7033 1123 2020 363 57 314 1092 890 137 86 .287 .366 .489 .855 983/547
Jim Wynn 60.7 1963 1977 1920 6653 1105 1665 285 39 291 964 1224 225 101 .250 .366 .436 .802 *897/D65
Sal Bando 60.6 1966 1981 2019 7060 982 1790 289 38 242 1039 1031 75 46 .254 .352 .408 .760 *5/D36417
Buddy Bell 60.4 1972 1989 2405 8995 1151 2514 425 56 201 1106 836 55 79 .279 .341 .406 .747 *5/986D374
Willie Randolph 58.3 1975 1992 2202 8018 1239 2210 316 65 54 687 1243 271 94 .276 .373 .351 .724 *4/D5
Mark McGwire 58.2 1986 2001 1874 6187 1167 1626 252 6 583 1414 1317 12 8 .263 .394 .588 .982 *3/D59467
Darrell Evans 57.0 1969 1989 2687 8973 1344 2223 329 36 414 1354 1605 98 68 .248 .361 .431 .792 *53D/76
Sherry Magee 56.7 1904 1919 2087 7441 1112 2169 425 166 83 1176 736 441 20 .291 .364 .427 .790 *7839/645
Ken Boyer 56.2 1955 1969 2034 7455 1104 2143 318 68 282 1141 713 105 77 .287 .349 .462 .810 *58/36
Joe Torre 55.6 1960 1977 2209 7874 996 2342 344 59 252 1185 779 23 29 .297 .365 .452 .817 235/7
Keith Hernandez 55.3 1974 1990 2088 7370 1124 2182 426 60 162 1071 1070 98 63 .296 .384 .436 .821 *3/79
Willie Davis 55.2 1960 1979 2429 9174 1217 2561 395 138 182 1053 418 398 131 .279 .311 .412 .723 *8/97D
Jack Clark 55.0 1975 1992 1994 6847 1118 1826 332 39 340 1180 1262 77 61 .267 .379 .476 .854 *93D/875
Stan Hack 54.8 1932 1947 1938 7278 1239 2193 363 81 57 642 1092 165 0 .301 .394 .397 .791 *5/3
Robin Ventura 53.9 1989 2004 2079 7064 1006 1885 338 14 294 1182 1075 24 38 .267 .362 .444 .806 *53/D641
Will Clark 53.5 1986 2000 1976 7173 1186 2176 440 47 284 1205 937 67 48 .303 .384 .497 .880 *3/D
Bob Johnson 53.2 1933 1945 1863 6920 1239 2051 396 95 288 1283 1075 96 64 .296 .393 .506 .899 *78/3495
Norm Cash 52.9 1958 1974 2089 6705 1046 1820 241 41 377 1103 1043 43 30 .271 .374 .488 .862 *3/97
Bobby Bonds 52.7 1968 1981 1849 7043 1258 1886 302 66 332 1024 914 461 169 .268 .353 .471 .824 *98/D7
Jose Cruz 52.2 1970 1988 2353 7917 1036 2251 391 94 165 1077 898 317 136 .284 .354 .420 .774 *798/D3
Ron Cey 52.0 1971 1987 2073 7162 977 1868 328 21 316 1139 1012 24 29 .261 .354 .445 .799 *5/D3
Bob Elliott 51.1 1939 1953 1978 7141 1064 2061 382 94 170 1195 967 60 2 .289 .375 .440 .815 *59/7864
Cesar Cedeno 50.7 1970 1986 2006 7310 1084 2087 436 60 199 976 664 550 179 .285 .347 .443 .790 *8397/5
Ted Simmons 50.4 1968 1988 2456 8680 1074 2472 483 47 248 1389 855 21 33 .285 .348 .437 .785 *2D3/759
Chet Lemon 49.9 1975 1990 1988 6868 973 1875 396 61 215 884 749 58 76 .273 .355 .442 .797 *89/D574
Brian Downing 49.4 1973 1992 2344 7853 1188 2099 360 28 275 1073 1197 50 44 .267 .370 .425 .796 D72/954
Vada Pinson 49.3 1958 1975 2469 9645 1366 2757 485 127 256 1170 574 305 122 .286 .327 .442 .769 *897/3D
Gene Tenace 48.7 1969 1983 1555 4390 653 1060 179 20 201 674 984 36 42 .241 .388 .429 .817 *23/594D7
Tommy Leach 47.4 1901 1918 1996 7383 1260 1991 255 164 57 737 762 334 24 .270 .341 .372 .712 85/7694
Minnie Minoso 47.4 1949 1980 1835 6579 1136 1963 336 83 186 1023 814 205 130 .298 .389 .459 .848 *75/983D6
Mark Grace 47.1 1988 2003 2245 8065 1179 2445 511 45 173 1146 1075 70 48 .303 .383 .442 .825 *3/1D
Toby Harrah 47.1 1969 1986 2155 7402 1115 1954 307 40 195 918 1153 238 94 .264 .365 .395 .760 *564/D9
Tony Phillips 46.1 1982 1999 2161 7617 1300 2023 360 50 160 819 1319 177 114 .266 .374 .389 .763 47569/8D3
Ellis Burks 45.9 1987 2004 2000 7232 1253 2107 402 63 352 1206 793 181 84 .291 .363 .510 .874 *89D7
Rocky Colavito 45.4 1955 1968 1841 6503 971 1730 283 21 374 1159 951 19 27 .266 .359 .489 .848 *97/31
Bert Campaneris 45.3 1964 1983 2328 8684 1181 2249 313 86 79 646 618 649 199 .259 .311 .342 .653 *6/57483921D
Jim Fregosi 45.2 1961 1978 1902 6523 844 1726 264 78 151 706 715 76 40 .265 .338 .398 .736 *635/D74
FRed Lynn 45.2 1974 1990 1969 6925 1063 1960 388 43 306 1111 857 72 54 .283 .360 .484 .845 *897/D
Brett Butler 45.1 1981 1997 2213 8180 1359 2375 277 131 54 578 1129 558 257 .290 .377 .376 .753 *87/9D
George Burns 45.1 1911 1925 1853 7241 1188 2077 362 108 41 611 872 383 174 .287 .366 .384 .749 *798/5
Rusty Staub 44.9 1963 1985 2951 9720 1189 2716 499 47 292 1466 1255 47 33 .279 .362 .431 .793 *9D3/78
Heinie Groh 44.8 1912 1927 1676 6074 918 1774 308 87 26 566 696 180 83 .292 .373 .384 .757 *54/6
Gil Hodges 44.6 1943 1963 2071 7030 1105 1921 295 48 370 1274 943 63 31 .273 .359 .487 .846 *3/275984
Roy White 44.5 1965 1979 1881 6650 964 1803 300 51 160 758 934 233 117 .271 .360 .404 .764 *7D/89534
Augie Galan 44.0 1934 1949 1742 5937 1004 1706 336 74 100 830 979 123 0 .287 .390 .419 .810 *78/35496
Ed Konetchy 43.9 1907 1921 2085 7649 972 2150 344 182 74 992 689 255 30 .281 .346 .403 .749 *3/8179
Bobby Veach 43.9 1912 1925 1821 6656 953 2063 393 147 64 1166 571 195 88 .310 .370 .442 .812 *7/981
Matt Williams 43.9 1987 2003 1866 7000 997 1878 338 35 378 1218 469 53 35 .268 .317 .489 .805 *56/3D
Wally Schang 43.8 1913 1931 1842 5307 769 1506 264 90 59 710 849 121 49 .284 .393 .401 .794 *2/78596
Dale Murphy 43.7 1976 1993 2180 7960 1197 2111 350 39 398 1266 986 161 68 .265 .346 .469 .815 8937/2
Joe Judge 43.7 1915 1934 2171 7898 1184 2352 433 159 71 1034 965 213 92 .298 .378 .420 .798 *3/9
Thurman Munson 43.4 1969 1979 1423 5344 696 1558 229 32 113 701 438 48 50 .292 .346 .410 .756 *2/D9375
Charlie Keller 43.4 1939 1952 1170 3790 725 1085 166 72 189 760 784 45 23 .286 .410 .518 .928 *79
Bill Freehan 43.3 1961 1976 1774 6073 706 1591 241 35 200 758 626 24 21 .262 .340 .412 .752 *23/D79
Dixie Walker 43.3 1931 1949 1905 6740 1037 2064 376 96 105 1023 817 59 10 .306 .383 .437 .820 *987/3
Buddy Myer 43.1 1925 1941 1923 7038 1174 2131 353 130 38 850 965 157 109 .303 .389 .406 .795 *465/79
Larry Gardner 43.0 1908 1924 1923 6688 867 1931 301 129 27 934 654 165 91 .289 .355 .384 .739 *54/6
Larry Doyle 42.9 1907 1920 1766 6509 960 1887 299 123 74 793 625 298 41 .290 .357 .408 .765 *4
Darryl Strawberry 42.9 1983 1999 1583 5418 898 1401 256 38 335 1000 816 221 99 .259 .357 .505 .862 *9D/78
Vern Stephens 42.9 1941 1955 1720 6497 1001 1859 307 42 247 1174 692 25 22 .286 .355 .460 .815 *65/79
Dolph Camilli 42.6 1933 1945 1490 5353 936 1482 261 86 239 950 947 60 0 .277 .388 .492 .880 *3
Tony Oliva 42.4 1962 1976 1676 6301 870 1917 329 48 220 947 448 86 55 .304 .353 .476 .830 *9D/874
Fred McGriff 42.3 1986 2004 2460 8757 1349 2490 441 24 493 1550 1305 72 38 .284 .377 .509 .886 *3D
Andy Van Slyke 41.5 1983 1995 1658 5711 835 1562 293 91 164 792 667 245 59 .274 .349 .443 .792 *89/735
Devon White 41.3 1985 2001 1941 7344 1125 1934 378 71 208 846 541 346 98 .263 .319 .419 .739 *89/7D
Chuck Knoblauch 41.2 1991 2002 1632 6366 1132 1839 322 64 98 615 804 407 117 .289 .378 .406 .783 *47/D68
Al Oliver 41.2 1968 1985 2368 9049 1189 2743 529 77 219 1326 535 84 64 .303 .344 .451 .795 837D/9
Jimmy Sheckard 41.0 1901 1913 1772 6339 1055 1717 297 105 45 621 994 345 12 .271 .374 .372 .746 *7/9584
George Foster 40.9 1969 1986 1977 7023 986 1925 307 47 348 1239 666 51 31 .274 .338 .480 .818 *789/3D
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 5/19/2010.

Just to have a frame of reference, who are the worst HoFers at each position by WAR?

Catcher

Rk Player WAR/pos Wt G From To
2 Rick Ferrell 19.3 160 1884 1929 1947
3 Ray Schalk 22.6 165 1762 1912 1929
4 Roy Campanella 36.2 190 1215 1948 1957
5 Ernie Lombardi 39.0 230 1853 1931 1947
6 Roger Bresnahan 40.6 200 1438 1901 1915
7 Gabby Hartnett 50.3 195 1990 1922 1941
8 Mickey Cochrane 51.2 180 1482 1925 1937
9 Bill Dickey 54.4 185 1789 1928 1946
10 Yogi Berra 61.9 185 2120 1946 1965
11 Gary Carter 66.3 205 2295 1974 1992
12 Carlton Fisk 67.3 200 2499 1969 1993
13 Johnny Bench 71.3 197 2158 1967 1983
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 5/19/2010.

1st Base

Rk Player WAR/pos Wt G From To
1 Jake Beckley 12.3 200 784 1901 1907
2 High Pockets Kelly 24.9 190 1622 1915 1932
3 Jim Bottomley 32.4 180 1991 1922 1937
4 Orlando Cepeda 44.3 210 2124 1958 1974
5 Frank Chance 46.1 190 1115 1901 1914
6 George Sisler 49.0 170 2055 1915 1930
7 Tony Perez 50.5 175 2777 1964 1986
8 Bill Terry 55.4 200 1721 1923 1936
9 Hank Greenberg 56.8 210 1394 1930 1947
10 Willie McCovey 65.0 198 2588 1959 1980
11 Johnny Mize 67.9 215 1884 1936 1953
12 Eddie Murray 68.6 190 3026 1977 1997
13 Jimmie Foxx 94.0 195 2317 1925 1945
14 Lou Gehrig 118.4 200 2164 1923 1939
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 5/19/2010.

2nd Base

Rk Player WAR/pos Wt G From To
2 Bill Mazeroski 26.9 183 2163 1956 1972
3 Red Schoendienst 33.7 170 2216 1945 1963
5 Nellie Fox 44.4 160 2367 1947 1965
6 Tony Lazzeri 47.6 170 1740 1926 1939
7 Johnny Evers 47.6 125 1784 1902 1929
8 Bobby Doerr 47.7 175 1865 1937 1951
9 Billy Herman 48.4 180 1922 1931 1947
10 Joe Gordon 54.9 180 1566 1938 1950
11 Ryne Sandberg 62.0 175 2164 1981 1997
12 Jackie Robinson 63.2 195 1382 1947 1956
13 Frankie Frisch 74.8 165 2311 1919 1937
14 Nap Lajoie 79.1 195 1988 1901 1916
15 Charlie Gehringer 80.9 180 2323 1924 1942
16 Joe Morgan 103.5 160 2649 1963 1984
17 Rogers Hornsby 126.7 175 2259 1915 1937
18 Eddie Collins 126.7 175 2826 1906 1930
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 5/19/2010.

3rd Base

Rk Player WAR/pos Wt G From To
2 George Kell 25.5 175 1795 1943 1957
3 Jimmy Collins 25.5 178 955 1901 1908
4 Freddie Lindstrom 29.2 170 1438 1924 1936
5 Pie Traynor 37.1 170 1941 1920 1937
6 Home Run Baker 63.7 173 1575 1908 1922
7 Brooks Robinson 69.1 180 2896 1955 1977
8 George Brett 85.0 185 2707 1973 1993
9 Wade Boggs 89.0 190 2440 1982 1999
10 Eddie Mathews 96.3 190 2391 1952 1968
11 Mike Schmidt 108.3 195 2404 1972 1989
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 5/19/2010.

Shortstop

Rk Player WAR/pos Wt G From To
2 George Davis 37.6 180 990 1901 1909
3 Rabbit Maranville 38.2 155 2670 1912 1935
4 Dave Bancroft 39.9 160 1913 1915 1930
5 Phil Rizzuto 41.8 150 1661 1941 1956
6 Travis Jackson 43.3 160 1656 1922 1936
7 Bobby Wallace 46.3 170 1743 1901 1918
8 Joe Sewell 48.4 155 1903 1920 1933
9 Joe Tinker 49.2 175 1806 1902 1916
10 Luis Aparicio 49.9 160 2599 1956 1973
11 Lou Boudreau 56.0 185 1646 1938 1952
12 Joe Cronin 62.5 180 2124 1926 1945
13 Ozzie Smith 64.6 150 2573 1978 1996
14 Pee Wee Reese 66.7 160 2166 1940 1958
15 Luke Appling 69.3 183 2422 1930 1950
16 Arky Vaughan 75.6 175 1817 1932 1948
17 Robin Yount 76.9 165 2856 1974 1993
18 Cal Ripken 89.9 200 3001 1981 2001
19 Honus Wagner 116.5 200 2298 1901 1917
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 5/19/2010.

Outfield

Rk Player WAR/pos Wt G From To
1 Joe Kelley 8.9 190 740 1901 1908
4 Willie Keeler 20.3 140 1161 1901 1910
5 Monte Irvin 20.5 195 764 1949 1956
6 Jesse Burkett 21.8 155 707 1901 1905
7 Lloyd Waner 24.4 150 1993 1927 1945
8 Chick Hafey 29.5 185 1283 1924 1937
9 Lou Brock 34.0 170 2616 1961 1979
10 Chuck Klein 35.7 185 1753 1928 1944
11 Ross Youngs 36.2 162 1211 1917 1926
12 Elmer Flick 37.0 168 1084 1901 1910
13 Hack Wilson 38.3 190 1348 1923 1934
14 Heinie Manush 39.8 200 2008 1923 1939
15 Jim Rice 41.5 200 2089 1974 1989
16 Ralph Kiner 43.5 195 1472 1946 1955
17 Earl Averill 44.3 172 1669 1929 1941
18 Earle Combs 44.7 185 1455 1924 1935
19 Kirby Puckett 44.8 178 1783 1984 1995
20 Edd Roush 45.0 170 1967 1913 1931
21 Larry Doby 48.4 180 1533 1947 1959
22 Kiki Cuyler 49.5 180 1879 1921 1938
23 FrEd Clarke 50.3 165 1373 1901 1915
24 Sam Rice 51.1 150 2404 1915 1934
25 Enos Slaughter 51.3 180 2380 1938 1959
Rk Player WAR/pos Wt G From To
26 Max Carey 51.7 170 2476 1910 1929
27 Joe Medwick 52.0 187 1984 1932 1948
28 Harry Hooper 52.5 168 2309 1909 1925
29 Billy Williams 57.2 175 2488 1959 1976
30 Willie Stargell 57.5 188 2360 1962 1982
31 Zack Wheat 57.8 170 2410 1909 1927
32 Richie Ashburn 58.0 170 2189 1948 1962
33 Goose Goslin 58.1 185 2287 1921 1938
34 Dave Winfield 59.2 220 2973 1973 1995
35 Al Simmons 62.8 190 2215 1924 1944
36 Duke Snider 67.5 179 2143 1947 1964
37 Tony Gwynn 68.4 185 2440 1982 2001
38 Harry Heilmann 69.4 195 2147 1914 1932
39 Paul Waner 72.2 153 2549 1926 1945
40 Sam Crawford 74.0 190 2385 1901 1917
41 Reggie Jackson 74.6 195 2820 1967 1987
42 Joe DiMaggio 83.6 193 1736 1936 1951
43 Roberto Clemente 83.8 175 2433 1955 1972
44 Carl Yastrzemski 88.7 175 3308 1961 1983
45 Al Kaline 91.0 175 2834 1953 1974
46 Rickey Henderson 97.2 180 3081 1979 2003
47 Frank Robinson 103.7 183 2808 1956 1976
48 Mel Ott 109.3 170 2730 1926 1947
49 Mickey Mantle 120.2 195 2401 1951 1968
50 Ted Williams 125.3 205 2292 1939 1960
Rk Player WAR/pos Wt G From To
51 Stan Musial 127.8 175 3026 1941 1963
52 Tris Speaker 133.0 193 2789 1907 1928
53 Hank Aaron 141.6 180 3298 1954 1976
54 Willie Mays 152.9 170 2992 1951 1973
55 Ty Cobb 159.4 175 3034 1905 1928
56 Babe Ruth 172.0 215 2503 1914 1935
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 5/19/2010.

Let's look at where the top non-HoFers by WAR stand relative to the HoFers at their position...

C - Ted Simmons, 50.4 WAR - Simmons' numbers would rank him 7th among HoF catchers if inducted, behind Mickey Cochrane but ahead of Gabby Hartnett. The Hall seems reluctant to induct catchers, though; the most recent HoF catcher to retire was Carlton Fisk, who last played in 1993, and no catcher with a WAR total as low as Simmons' has been inducted since Roy Campanella in 1969.

(Joe Torre played less than 50% of his career games at catcher, but his 55.6 WAR total is impressive and deserves to be in the HoF discussion if you consider him a catcher.)

1B - Mark McGwire, 58.2 WAR - Big Mac ranks ahead of Hank Greenberg in WAR, and would be 6th among HoF 1B if elected. McGwire was worth 10 fewer WAR than Eddie Murray, who was elected in 2003.

(DH - Edgar Martinez, 67.2 WAR - Martinez was a DH, but he also played 1B. Some BBWAA members will never vote a designated hitter into the HoF, but if they elect any DH, they should make it Edgar, who had more career WAR than Willie McCovey.)

2B - Lou Whitaker, 69.7 WAR - There are many amazing 2B in the Hall of Fame, but Whitaker would rank 7th among them in WAR. Ryne Sandberg, a contemporary of Whitaker's, made the HoF in 2005 with nearly 8 fewer WAR! The way the voters mistreated Whitaker in 2001, dropping him off the ballot with only 2.9% of the vote, has to be considered one of the biggest HoF injustices of all time.

3B - Ron Santo, 66.4 WAR - A longtime cause célèbre of Cubs fans, Santo's HoF credentials are not as strong as those of other 3rd basemen recently elected into the Hall. Since he retired in 1974, 6 3B were inducted, 5 of whom had a higher WAR total than Santo. Had Santo played in a different era, he probably would have stood out from his peers more and been elected, but when compared to Schmidt, Mathews, Boggs, Brett, & Robinson, he falls short.

SS - Barry Larkin, 68.9 WAR - The last election was Larkin's first time on the ballot, and he garnered solid support (52% of the vote) that suggests he'll probably be in the HoF someday. In the pantheon of shortstops, Larkin ranks near Luke Appling, a tier below Arky Vaughan and Robin Yount, but ahead of Pee Wee Reese, Ozzie Smith, and Joe Cronin.

OF - Tim Raines (64.0 WAR), Dwight Evans (61.8), Reggie Smith (60.8) - An OF was actually elected this year... but it was Andre Dawson, whose 57 WAR ranked him 6th among eligible OF who weren't already in. Raines' case is well-known and provides a good counterpoint to Dawson's resume when comparing the difference between actual and perceived value. Evans unexpectedly dropped off the ballot in 1999 after his vote total increased in '98, while Smith was dismissed out of hand by the voters in 1988, garnering less than 1% of the vote. The Hall of Fame's OF is crowded with greats, but the career values of Raines, Evans, & Smith were comparable to Tony Gwynn's, and superior to those of recent inductees Dawson, Kirby Puckett, & Dave Winfield.

Your Turn!

This entry was posted on Wednesday, May 19th, 2010 at 1:31 pm and is filed under Hall of Fame, Sabermetrics, Site Features. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

39 Responses to “WAR Data: Best Position Players Not In the Hall of Fame”

  1. Nice lists.

    1901 is not an unreasonable cutoff but all the HOF-ers that were active in 1901 have had their careers cut in half. George Davis actually has 90+ career WAR. Beckley 60+. Joe Kelley 55.5. Might be a good idea to remove everyone with a "From" date of 1901 so as not to confuse people. (We do lose Honus Wagner that way but nothing controversial about that pick :-)).

  2. Great post.

    Although Bucky Harris shouldn't be on this list, he was elected as a manager. That would be like including Tom Lasorda as a pitcher.

    Your also not including "peak" performance, just career.

  3. Dick Allen

  4. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Weight was an interesting column to include in the tables.

  5. kingcrab Says:

    although whitaker has similar creds, i'll give the edge to larkin (roy, mvp, ws, gold gloves, silver sluggers...)

  6. Dwight Evans, all the way! Evans and HoF Rice (a legit borderline pick, IMO) have amazingly similar career stats:

    Evans Rice
    HR 385 382
    H 2446 2452
    OPS+ 127 128
    OBP .370 .352

    1st 1972 1974 (1st Year with MLB AB)
    Last 1991 1989

    Difference is, Evans played longer (+2 years on either end), but with less pop. And could throw.

  7. Is Steve Garvey on the list? He is the only 10 time All-Star not in the Hall of Fame. I think he shold be in.

  8. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Billy Southworth was also inducted as a manager. Red Schoendienst is probably for the combination of his managing and playing.

  9. Kevin S. Says:

    Fisk was not the last catcher inducted. He was inducted in 2000, Gary Carter was inducted in 2003.

  10. Thanks for the corrections, guys, I fixed the tables. Not sure why weight is a default column in the minimal results layout, though.

  11. Why is Whitaker at 69.7 one of the biggest injustices but Santo at 66.4 falls short? Looks like they would have fairly similar cases.

    It looks like you are penalizing Santo because there are more 2b than 3b in the Hall

  12. It's hard for me to fully embrace a statistic that says Lou Whitaker was a better player than Robby Alomar. He was certainly a very good player, but I can't think of too many Hall of Famers that were platooned as extensively as Whitaker was.

  13. Santo was on the ballot 15 times and didn't get in, which I suppose is a different kind of injustice. Whitaker hardly got any chance at all -- one ballot, 2.9% of the vote, and he hasn't been on since. And the Sandberg comparison just makes it even more ridiculous. I think Santo has suffered because some of the 3B inducted since he became eligible were all-time legends, but Whitaker at 2B doesn't even have that explanation.

  14. Lofton is showing up in the table with 55 WAR instead of the correct total of 65.3 WAR.

  15. Charles Saeger Says:

    Garvey: not on the list, rightly. He wasn't good enough for the Hall.

  16. DoubleDiamond Says:

    Is Pete Rose missing from the above list because he played too many different positions to qualify for any one position? I hope that's the only reason. I strongly believe he belongs in the Hall of Fame.

  17. @8
    Rose is 8th on the top list. He's excluded from the lists below because he has never been eligible. I don't think anyone questions that Rose would be an easy selection if it weren't for the eligibility issues he has. The eligibility issues are a completely separate debate.

  18. Whoops... that should say @16. I had 8 on the brain with the 8th.

  19. This was a great list, but I just have a few problems with it.

    The 1901 cut-off short-changes a bunch of players plus it leaves out great HOF 19th century players like, Roger Connor, Cap Anson, Dan Brouthers, Ed Delahanty, Jesse Burkett, and Billy Hamilton.

    I think Bill Dahlen is one of the players with the most career WAR with out being in the HOF.

    Rod Carew and Paul Molitor should be on this list somewhere.

    The outfielders should probably be listed individually, LF, CF, RF. Because it seems like the HOF standards are lower for LF, than they are for CF.

  20. 3b is really strange.

    Only 10 players, 2 of them were terrible selections, Kell and Lindstrom. Electing Kell and Lindstrom is like electing Tim Wallach, Gary Gaetti, Jeff Cirillo or Don Money.

  21. And Collins and Traynor at 3b are around 15th-20th all time. Traynor is probably 20th-25th all time. So you basically only have 6 of the top 15, 3b alltime in the HOF. There's no other position like it.

    And it looks as if the Median Career WAR number are about (50) for every position except 3b where it's about (60)!!

  22. Spartan Bill Says:

    I wonder if there is someone out there who can devise a formula of some sort and call it PWAT or something like. Peak wins over replacement.

    This stat would give players the gift of hindsight---i.e. knowing when they should have retired.

    Let's look at Ted Simmons t the end of the 1983 season, he had 53.3 WAR, but he hung on until 1988, and over those last 5 years he had only 2 positive WAR seasom, and his career WAT dropped a few points down to 50.4.

    Ron Santo left the Cubs with a WAR of 68.4, but that ill-advised year on the South Side, lowered that total to 66.3

    That raises the issue of whether a player (barring some sort of bizarre circumstance {Rose, Mcgwire} play himself out of the HOF??? I say no they can't. If you accept that premise, perhaps this is a better measure of ranking the candidates and excluded players.

  23. Spartan Bill-

    I brought up a similar idea on the McGriff discussion board. It seems that some guys ultimately get discounted for hanging on too long. And while there is certainly something work criticizing at times (paging Mr. Griffy, Jr.), I don't see how a guy can really detract from his candidacy by hanging on, though some seem to.

    The extreme example I threw out there was whether we'd feel more strongly about a guy with 497 HRs over 15 seasons or 500 over 24. Knowing nothing but that, I'd lean towards the former. But, if we learned that the latter had hit 497 of those HRs in the first 15 years and spent the next 9 getting 3 more, would we feel the same way? Now, obviously that's an extreme example which would presumably have the second guy with at least a few seasons where he was a woeful detriment to the team. But, barring a guy actively sabotaging his team for a few years at the end of his career, I don't think it's fair to EVER hold that against him.

  24. I don't think I made my point that clearly... basically, what's better, 10 great years? Or those same 10 great years with 5 more average ones at the end? For me, it's clearly the latter.

  25. masternachos Says:

    @Spartan Bill: Where did you get those career WAR numbers? Did you figure them out yourself, or is there something on baseball-reference that I'm missing? I'd really like to know, it seems fascinating.

  26. Spartan Bill,

    You bring up a very good point.

    I think what really hurt Simmons as far the HOF goes is that lasting image of him as an overweight DH/1b hitting .250 for the last 5 years of his career. If he had retired in 1983 with his .292 average, mostly as a catcher, he might have been voted in.

    I think the thing that hurt Santo was that he had the misfortune of having great years during the second "Dead Ball" era 1962-1968. So unfortunately by 1980, those 60's numbers didn't look as impressive. He also had a very sharp decline phase that didn't help the public's perception.

    Recently I found an old "Boys Life" in my attic from 1969 with Santo on the cover. In the article the writer frequently referred to Santo as "future HOF Ron Santo". So it's not like there just revisionist history as Ron Santo HOF.

    I think Trammell and Whitaker were a victim of the offensive explosion/steroids during the late 90's early 2000's. Suddenly the two great offensive middle infielders numbers didn't look as impressive in 2001 as the same exact numbers looked in 1991. I remember trading baseball cards during the early 90's and both Trammell and Whitaker were sold as future HOF. Trammell was seen as a first, second or third ballot HOF, Whitaker was seen as taking a bit longer but eventual HOF.

  27. Bobby Grich #12? Who??

  28. Spartan Bill Says:

    @ masternachos

    The WAR numbers are on the B-R player pages, they are labeled PLAYER VALUE -BATTERS , below the hitting stats, but above the Postseason batting

    .

  29. Why am I not surprised to see Whitaker, Trammell and Raines so high? It seemed obvious to me at the time that they were among the all-time greats. It seemed obvious to other people at the time, or so I always thought.

    I voted for Torre, adding his managerial success to his near-HOF playing career. But for strictly playing career, I'd say Trammell.

  30. [...] I looked at the best eligible position players not in the Hall of Fame by WAR, and you responded with your votes by choosing Tim Raines as the non-HoFer you felt was most [...]

  31. masternachos Says:

    @Spartan Bill
    Thanks.

  32. One thing about career WAR is that they don't seem to take "peak value" into account. An extreme example is Hank Greenberg. He has 56.8 WAR in 1394 games, while Eddie Murray has 68.6 WAR in 3026 games. More than twice as many games for Murray, and less than 20% more WAR. And when you consider that Greenberg missed 3 or 4 seasons (sorry, too lazay to look it up) while serving in the military, you can't say that is part of his "value" as a player. This is related to the point that BSK made earlier. I voted for Larkin, but could easily see any of the above in the HOF, with the possible exception of Martinez.

  33. [...] for Baseball In-Depth, examining a Baseball-Reference blog post that ranked the best pitchers and position players not in the Hall of Fame based on their WAR [...]

  34. TigersType Says:

    As a lifelong Tigers fan, I sure don't remember Lou Whitaker being platooned. He was our leadoff hitter no matter who was pitching. This is a guy who is 4th all-time in games played at second base. Part of that is longevity, of course, but you still don't get there being platooned. I'm not arguing he should be in the Hall of Fame, but I'm not getting the suggestion that he was "extensively" platooned.

  35. We're missing a very important player from the Hall of Fame shortstop list: Ernie Banks!

    Per Santo: it's an interesting inquiry. Statistically there are some compelling reasons to bring him in--what isn't taken into account is that the guy could be a cancer to his teams at times. Those intangibles are hard to incorporate when voting, but are some important in terms of team chemistry. In the same vein, while A-Rod outdoes Jeter statistically, there's no doubt in my mind I would build a team around Jeter over A-Rod. Chemistry is key in the clutch--hence Bonds has 0 rings, as would be the case for A-Rod minus Jeter.

  36. [...] the heels of a pair of great Baseball-Reference blog posts this week ranking the best pitchers and position players not in the Hall of Fame based on their Wins Above Replacement data, I may have created a new [...]

  37. Charles Saeger Says:

    TT@34: Whitaker was platooned starting in 1990. From 1987 through 1989, Whitaker started 285 games against righties and 102 games against lefties. From 1990 through 1992, he started 329 games against righties and 27 against lefties. He had great trouble hitting lefties.

    C@27: You're joking, right? You don't know who Bobby Grich is? I'll assume you're under 30. Classic underrated ballplayer, was the best player on the 1979 Angels but the team DH won the MVP; arguably should have been the MVP in 1981.

  38. (A little off-topic)

    Not that the Bambino needs more padding for his numbers, but Babe Ruth's listed WAR of 172.0 doesn't include his pitching WAR of 18.0. Absolutely amazing to look at what he did.

  39. Joe Garrison Says:

    You have Andre Dawson at number 41.... he of course is a (newly elected) HOFer.