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Active Hall-of-Famers (batters)

Posted by Andy on May 31, 2010

Lately we've had a lot of polls on the Hall of Fame chances for individual players. Here's a different way of looking at things. I did a couple of very simple batting season finder searches. First I listed all batting-title-qualified seasons by HOF players from 1901 to 1990, and then I listed the same for ALL players regardless of whether they are in the HOF or not.

By dividing those two numbers for each season, I found the percentage of players who had a qualified batting season who also ended up in the HOF. (Note that this study considers only batters. We'll look at pitchers separately.)

Here's the graph:

First, a few observations about the graph:

  • The thing that jumps out right away is the huge dip down in 1943-1945. Obviously, this is due to the large fraction of established major-leaguers who missed time due to service in World War II. Many of the players who played MLB in those years were minor-leaguers or other players who didn't end up with long careers. Notice too the smaller dip during World War I in the mid 1910's.
  • We see a big peak right around 1930. This is no doubt due to the fact that HOF voting first started in 1936 and many of the early honorees were players active in the late 1920s and early 1930s. A fairly consistent fraction of players (around 12-14%) from before the 1920s have been inducted.
  • Since 1930, other than the WWII dip mentioned above, the fraction of players making the HOF has been gradually dropping. I suspect the gradual decline is due largely to the expansion of the number of teams. It's natural that as the total number of players increases, a smaller overall fraction would be considered HOF material. Also notice dips down in expansion years of 1962 and 1969. This supports my theory above--a whole bunch of qualified batting seasons were added in those years but not necessarily a proportionate number of HOFers, so the ratio drops.

I took the graph only to 1990 because there are plenty of guys who played in the early 1990s who might be in the HOF but either aren't yet eligible or haven't made it in (or dropped off the ballot) yet. A few who come to mind are Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Craig Biggio, Rafael Palmeio, and Frank Thomas. In other words, the number of active major leaguers in, say, 1992, who are HOFers is a very dubious number because the issue hasn't been settled for many of the candidates as of yet. I think this might also explain the dip in 1989-1990.

Looking at the period of 1976-1988, the percentage is pretty consistent around 12.5% Last year, 155 batters had qualified batting seasons. This suggests that 19-20 active players will be Hall of Famers one day. (Reminder: this discussion considers only hitters.)

So, who will these 19-20 players be?

I have the following nine hitters from 2009 as mortal locks for the HOF:

  • Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, Ken Griffey, Ivan Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez, Albert Pujols, Ichiro Suzuki, Chipper Jones, and Jim Thome

Then there are these 5 guys for whom legitimate HOF cases can be made based on what they have already achieved in their careers:

  • Todd Helton, Miguel Tejada, Omar Vizquel, Magglio Ordonez, and Jason Kendall

I am inclined to believe that of the 14 guys who have been named already there are 10-12 HOFers among them. Incidentally, there are 6 relevant players I didn't consider because they didn't have qualified batting seasons in 2009: Vladamir Guerrero, Gary Sheffield, Carlos Delgado, Jorge Posada, Jason Giambi, and Andruw Jones.

Here are 17 veterans who almost certainly haven't done enough yet to get into the HOF but have a shot with a few more good years:

  • Mike Young, Bobby Abreu, David Ortiz, Jim Edmonds, Lance Berkman, Matt Holliday, Ryan Howard, Carlos Beltran, Miguel Cabrera, Alfonso Soriano, Johnny Damon, Jimmy Rollins, Mark Teixeira, Carlos Lee, Garret Anderson, Joe Mauer, and Chase Utley

Some of these, particularly Mauer, seem like a virtual lock based on projected performance, but they still need to actually perform a bit more to get there. I'd say maybe 4-5 of these guys have a shot of getting in.

That gives us a list of 14-17 players already out of out 20. Who make up the remaining 3-6 players? Keep in mind that my original search didn't consider the age or experience of the HOFers. So those 3-6 players could be guys who were rookies in 2009 or the few years previous.

Players heading the list of young HOF potentials include:

  • Hanley Ramirez, Evan Longoria, Ryan Braun, Joey Votto, Pablo Sandoval, Andrew McCutchen, Elvis Andrus, Dustin Pedroia, Prince Fielder, Robinson Cano, Carl Crawford, Jose Reyes, Adrian Gonzalez, and numerous others.

I know I have blurred the line a bit between the veterans and the young players. It's just that the really young ones are tough to guess.

Your thoughts?

This entry was posted on Monday, May 31st, 2010 at 7:36 am and is filed under Hall of Fame, Season Finders. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

47 Responses to “Active Hall-of-Famers (batters)”

  1. Great graph! I wonder if the bump at 1930 is helped by "double dipping" from both the regular annual voting and the veterans-committee selections.

  2. Wow. I'd love to hear the case for Jason Kendall as a Hall of Famer.

  3. Check out Kendall's HOF monitor number. He's sort of like Jim Edmonds--well below the best contemporary at his position but still one of the very best. Piazza, I-Rod, then whom?

  4. The spike around 1930 is actually due to two things you didn't mention: 1) A Veteran's commitee dominated by players from that era who in the 1970's elected in a bunch of their cronies, qualified or not, and 2) the big offensive numbers of that era-- wasn't 1930 the highest league batting average in history?-- and the fact that for many decades voters (again, especially the Veterans) weren't sophisticated enough to adjust for that.

  5. Joe Garrison Says:

    In chapter 19 of his Hall of Fame Book, Bill James did a similar study using total number of at-bats taken by future Hall of Famers. As of that writing, it was leveling off around ten percent. The numbers bounced around from nine to twelve percent from the time of divisional play. Under that type of system, Vlad would be part of the "Lock" category, no matter how much he played last year. Moving on... James wondered if that number was too high, as eleven percent would mean one spot in the batting order for each team. Does every team have a HOFer on the roster? No, but some have two and many HOFers creep up on us when we aren't looking. Bobby Abreu would be a good example of this type of player. I don't think many fans would consider Jorge Posada to be a Hall candidate, but he has everything you need, including "Fame". I think Jim Thome will have the counting stats, but perhaps he is not famous enough or did not have enough special skills that set him apart from the pack. But he too could creep up and get the nod. Your question is a good one, and your cut-off is about right even if the study is plowing old ground.

  6. Great idea Andy!

    Once the pitching data gets produced we will be able to see how offensive and pitching eras affected the balance of HOF's drawn from the two portions of the game. I think that a third graph showing the ratio between active HOF pitchers and active HOF batters would be instructive in seeing how changes in offensive production affected the balance of power in terms of HOF voting. My suspicion is that the pitchers might be more consistent over time considering that W-L record (rightly or wrongly) has probably been the most important statistic in HOF voting for pitchers. On the other hand batters have generally been judged by Average, HRs, RBIs, etc - numbers that can fluctuate widely based on pitching vs. offensive eras.

  7. Most of that HOF monitor number comes via his durability. Clearly it's an impressive accomplishment to have caught 1955 games, but nearly a quarter of those appearances have come between 2007-2010, a period of time in which he's been slightly above replacement level.

    He's a nice ballplayer, don't get me wrong, but he's nestled in between Gary Gaetti and Lonnie Smith on the career WAR leaderboard. He's got no black ink, fails miserably in terms of gray ink, doesn't have any kind of case as a great defensive catcher (good at times, certainly, but never great), and only played in three All-Star games.

    I don't mean to be overly negative, because he's had a good career, but it sure seems like his HOF case rests entirely on a bunch of games caught and a nice OBP. Which sort of makes him Bill Freehan without the power, defense, or MVP near-misses.

  8. Piazza, I-Rod, then whom?

    Posada. With Kendall and Lopez in the third tier.

  9. Johnny Twisto Says:

    It would be interesting to see this graph extended back into the 19th Century, when you have the NL and AA, then they consolidate into a 12-team league, then pare back to 8 teams, and then the AL comes along. I wonder how the % of HOFers bounces around in those times.

    After studying it a bit last year, I thought Posada needed a couple more good seasons to have a solid case. He's still got enough bat to do it, but he's got to stay healthy. I agree Kendall has no shot. There are numerous other catchers from the last 50 years who have better cases but haven't made it: the aforementioned Freehan, Joe Torre (he'll obviously get in as a manager now), Thurman Munson, Elston Howard, Ted Simmons, maybe even Lance Parrish.

    As a 1Bman who played in Colorado during this power-hitting era and will probably end up with fewer than 400 HR, Helton probably has little chance. Ordonez isn't going to make it.

    I don't think Tejada will get in too easily, but in 50 years, when most voters don't really remember him as a player and just have the statistical record, they could be impressed by the MVP and big power numbers and put him in. Or maybe they'll just see him as another Vern Stephens.

  10. Kendall? Kendall? Kendall's OPS+ after the age of 30 are the following: 79, 88, 62, 74, 72, 91. And 2008 aside, he's been pretty poor defensively during that time too.

    Seriously, no.

  11. Or, to put it differently, if your metric (in this case, "HOF Monitor Number") tells you that Jason Kendall has a Hall of Fame case, you need to reevaluate your metric.

  12. Kendall gets a ton of catcher bonuses. Hard to believe, but he's 5th all time in games caught. Anyhow, Kendall gets a whopping 60 points for catcher-longevity, another 15 points for doing so with a .275 career batting average, and 7 points for being a catcher one LCS team and one division champ.

    That's 82 of his 108 points. The other 26 points he gets are more general. Two-time all-star, five-time .300 hitter, 2000 career hits, a couple of high-2B seasons, etc.

    Anyhow, I've never been a big fan of the HOF Monitor. It has caught on because it was a Bill James invention (and its fun) but James himself wasn't too serious about it. He constructed it as a snapshot for what he thought were the BBWAA and VC voter biases in the early 90s. Its based on traditional stats with no park or era adjustment not because he believed that was the way to go, but because that's how the thought HOF voters behaved at the time. In a way, its purposely backward-thinking.

  13. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Right, it's not supposed to seriously evaluate a player's career, but to predict whether the electorate will vote for him. In this case, it appears to miss, because we know that no one talks about Kendall as a HOFer, and my guess is he'll fall off the ballot after one vote. I see that Bob Boone also gets over 100 on the Monitor, and even Brad Ausmus gets an 80. I'd say that catching ~2000 games is no longer as impressive as it once was, and if James were to recalibrate the monitor, he'd diminish the longevity bonus it assigns.

  14. Pablo Sandoval? Really? The league has already figured out his "swing-at-everything" approach. He and Prince Fielder both will likely not be HOFers for the same reason as Prince's daddy. They're ridiculously fat and likely won't weigh less than they do now at 30+

  15. I'm not saying I think Sandoval or any of these other guys belong in the HOF. I'm just saying Sandoval deserves to be on a list of guys who have he possibility of being serious candidates one day. And BTW lots of guys have had great rookie years, rough second years, then did some re-evaluation and learning to become effective players again. No reason to think Sandoval can't do the same.

  16. The folks at Beyond the Boxscore and Play a Hard Nine might take exception to the claim that Edmonds certainly isn't a hall of famer yet. Monster peak at a tough defensive position, excellent fielder, played in two WS, was undoubtly the best center fielder in baseball from 2000-2004.

    If the Scott Rolen comeback continues, you could add him to this list as well.

  17. robert Sawyer Says:

    There are actually two related trends which could be tracked; Hall of famers per season, and percentage of hall of Famers. If baseball careers remain of near constant length, then then maybe percentage of eventual HOF inductee will remain the same, or maybe total count will remain the same. Andy's graph shows a drop in 1914&1915 that is easily explained by the Federal League in 1914-15. The total number of HOF
    inductees was probably the same as before and afterward.
    The BBWAA voters elected some dead ball superstars in the 1930s but not many: Wagner, Lajoie, Keeler Mathewson, and Young plus Cobb Speaker. Collins, Johnson, and Alexander who also played in the 1920s. At that point the voting logjammmed as the 2nd Tier superstars from pre 1920 competed with the top Players from the 1920s and thirties and betwen gherigs special election and 1947 the only player the BBWAA selected was Rogers Hornsby. Lefty Grove and Sam Crawford, to name too, were on the outside looking in. The commissions office resolved the logjam by selecting 21 men in 1945 and 1946. By and large, the men selected were recieving the most votes but not enough for induction. Some were super qualified oldies like Dan Brouthers. But some were third tier stars--the sort that did not acheive superstar status even for a single season. At the same time the HOF declared the BBWAA would only vote on recent players. This explains why the percentages for 1901-1918 is significantly lower than for 1920-38 and 1948-61.
    After 1961 the graph shows either that (a) the number of teams is expanding faster than the number of qualified candidates, or (b) the selectors standards are rising steadily, or both. Bill James wrore in one of the GOLD MINE issues that the selectors may have collectively realized that unless the standards go up, then 30 teams will eventually mean 6 to 8 selectees per year rather than 3 to 4. Thus men qualified by previous "standards" (such as Richie Allen or Jim Thome) may be denied induction after all.

    If selection standards were constant, then the long term inductee rate for two 12-team leagues would not be different than from two 8-team leagues, resulting in a 50% increase in yearly inductions. This has definately not happened an the reason is obvious: the BBWAA voters are limited to 10 votes per year, the same number they started with. Thus over the longhaul, the BBWAA standards are ramped upward. They used to be inducting the best 1 to 5 players from 16 teams, now it is the best 1 to 5 players from 26 teams and eeventually it will be the best 1 to 5 players from 30 teams (or even more if Japan is ever included.) Even if the writers tried to intentionally lower their individual standards the collective standard would still face the upward pressure described above.
    Mean while, the HOF's Veterans Committee has on numerous occaisions been flatout prohibited from selecting more than one player. This represents a big change from past policy. The very fact fact the veterens commitee is being forced to select only the single most highly qualified candidate creates psychological pressures on the writers to use less than their ten alloted ballot slots (They don't want to vote for anyone they perceive as less qualified than recent Veteran's Commitee selections.)
    Overall this means that we can expend the trend on Andy's graph to continue.

  18. robert Sawyer Says:

    W hen dealing with individual players, Andy seems to be on target. There are probably about 6 men playing today who are so early in their careers that all we can do is talk about their potential. Sandoval is quite young and hit like a Hall-of-Famer last year. That puts him on list of men who have shown HOF-level talent. From a certain standpoint that puts him ahead of Reyes, on whom we are still waiting to see if he will be an allround superstar.

    Hanley Ramirez would be a mortal lock if his career already included 10 seasons. If injuries drive down both his playing time and productivity (such as forcing him off SS) then five years from now he'll be listed with the "Veterans's who need to earn HOF selectionw with a few more good years."

    Kendall was a HOF level player as a Pirate. He has managed to stay in the game. A wise Veterans committe would peruse his record carefully. The BWWAA wll probably be unable to see anything but the way his career ended, so those who dismiss his chances are correct in that respect. By the time Kendal becomes eligible it will have been 15+ years since he was a star. He'll drop of the ballot and only be considered by the Veterans committee when the HOF wakes up to the concept that dropping players from an already prescreened ballot is a dumb idea (See Dick Allen, Bobby Grich, Darrell Evans as exhibits A, B, and C)

  19. Carl Crawford belongs in the veterans category, not with the young potential HOFers.

  20. Robert Sawyer is correct about the dip between 1913-14. That's not a WWI gap; that's a Federal League gap.

    The only season that was strongly affected by World War I was 1918, and the graph shows a slight increase between '17 and '18, not a decrease.

  21. Ernie Semmers Says:

    I am rendered incredulous by the statement that "jim Thome…may 'creep' up (how do you italicize here?) and get the nod…" Why should Thome be mentioned in a discussion that incudes Jason Kendall, Brad Ausmus, or Bob Boone ? If he retired today he would bow out with 569 homers, more than Reggie, Mantle, Foxx, Schmidt, McCovey, Williams, et al. He would be tied for 11th on the all time list. If he were to hit 20 more HRs he would move all the way up to 7th and passed Frank Robinson. Make all the adjustments you want, thaose are NOT the numbers of someonen who "creeping" in.

    Diminishing players like Thome is what happens when we start to take all of these "systems" and refined, uber-digested statistics and elevate them to the status of empirical truths. When a player like Thome rates below other players like, say Lou Whitaker or Bobby Grich Then it seems like everyone jumps on the Whitaker/Grich bandwagon and starts trashing Thome. The May 19 blog posting of WAR data for players not in the HOF has Whitaker 9th, Grich 12th, and Thome 20th. I think all three were/are terrific players-legitimately worthy hall of famers. Sometimes, as James points out, the rankings like WAR and Total Baseball's TPR (I think thats the acronym) create somewhat idiosyncratic selections of players as being ih the top 100 or 200 players pf all time. Likewise the personal lists of the elite 100 , like MRitter and Honig's or Maury Allen's have some bizarre selection (Steve Garvey one of the 100 best players of all time?).
    But should we rely on statistics alone? And what about "statistics" that reflect less about a player's numbers but more about what people who actually watch them throughout the season and observe the intangibles, their value to their team based upon an educated observation like MVP shares. If these values are meaningless then let's set up an" official" statistical marker and the MVP goes to whoever is at the top. Sometimes you just have to go with your "gut." I honestly think that the bloggers posting here are a smart bunch of guys. But I would love to hear some of your observations with respect to games you see. What do your instincts tell you? Or does everybody spend all of their time poring over numbers and never take time to just ENJOY a game without picking it apart. Do you ever just sit back and say "Gee, what a thing of beauty it is to watch Gerg Maddux finesse a hitter" or "I will never forget the thrill of watching Wilver Stargell (I always loved the way Vinny called him by his given name) hit one out of Dodger Stadium." In 46 years of watching and loving this game I know that no statistic can persuade me that the greatest player I ever SAW was anyone other than Willie Mays. And I have been a Dodger fan every day of my life.

    Also , if I may make a final comment, there is one very simple truth that I have never seen mentioned with respect to these HOF discussions. The electors at any given time only had knowledge of what HAD COME BEFORE THEM. Every year there is a bigger total of historical games and the inherent accomplishments of the players who play them. Of course the records of players in the past (except for the truly first tier greats whose stats are going to stand out regardless) looked relatively better to the voters back then than they do to us. I think Burleigh Grimes won about 270 games. Where do you think he stood on the all time list when he retired? Plus, if you read James' "The Politics of Glory" you will see that the old time elector, all fans back then, in fact, did not have the guides to give them a clear picture of the players' records. The story of the seminal research of guys like Ernest Lanigan and Lee Allen is a fascinating one.

    So I think we need to just forget about comparisons with all of the weak players that are enshrined (like the above referenced players from the logjam of '45 and 46 and the insane 70's selections, also mentioned above, of all of those guys from the 1920's Giants (like Lindstrom, Bancroft and the infamous Highpockets Kelly (check out James' surreal encounter with Kelly's son in the "historical Abstract") and guys from "The Glory of their Times" , as in Rube Marquard. They ain't going to kick these guys out, and they probably ain't going to put Bobby Grich in. Life is not fair, but there's always hope. I guess. Thanks for your indulgence

    One addendum question that I would love to hear someone else's thoughts about:

    I believe that the last Vet's Committee vote , when no players were enshrined, ended with Ron Santo and Gil Hodges tied on top of the voting. The Gil Hodges thing reminds me of the huge, overblown, campaign a while back for Scooter Rizutto (sp.?), which resulted in another faulty selection resulying from his broadcasting career as a cornball Bronx pontificate, the fact that he was a YANKEE, sour grapes about Peewee and Steinbrenner. With Gil it's "The Boys of Summer", his guidance of the Miracle Mets, his sad early death, and he was a DODGER. Actually the moaning by all of the other "Boys of Summer" sounds a lot like the 70's New York Giants flood of enshrines. All of these old guys sitting around talking up their bcronies. To here Snider and Erskine et al tell it, we ought to have Billy Cox, Preacher Roe, and er, ah, Shotgun Shuba enshrined. How about Hilda Chester? Actually I think Junior Gilliam was a very, very underrated player (see James again, also check out Bill's assessment of another Yankee (just thought I would balance it out) Gil McDougald. Could it possibly be that Gilliam and McDougald were, in fact, better than Hodges and Rizzuto (I looked up the sp.) ??? Who's got a feather to knock me over with?

  22. Ernie Semmers Says:

    Sorry about the typos. just had an eye operation and it's driving me nuts

  23. In reply to comment 15, didn't Carlos Beltran have a mediocre second season?

  24. I could never imagine a HOF with Jason Kendall in it. Also, as much as Beltran has good numbers, he is a tulip with no heart and does not deserve to be among the all time greats. The only player Carlos Beltran cares about is Carlos Beltran.

  25. i'll be surprised if kendall even makes it onto a second ballot

  26. Having grown up in Torrance, CA, and following Jason Kendall's career since day one, I believe he provides the best example of pretty equal parts compiler and great player at his position of any catcher who's HOF status can at least be debated. His first half of his career, considering his average, speed, OBP, and defense, was as good as any catcher in the second tier (i.e. behind, IMO, Piazza and I-Rod) of his generation of catchers. His speed numbers in particular were incredible. Had he been on the Dodgers, Yankees, or Red Sox during this time, he would have been a household name. Kendall played in Pittsburgh, on very bad Pirates teams, year after year. He was largely seen as the "obligatory Pirates player" in the AS game, when, in all honesty, he earned his spot every time he was selected. While I do agree that, at the end of the day, Kendall will and should fall short of HOF election, it's not quite as cut and dry as many of you are making it out to be. I think a victory for Kendall would be staying on the ballot for a second year.

  27. AJ Hackel Says:

    Kendall does not make the HOF, no way. Also, is it not a little early to call Utley and Mauer veterans? 5-7 years from now they will definitely fall under the mortal locks category- barring injuries. For now, they should fall under the category of young potential HOF candidates, along with Ryan Howard and co.

  28. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Ernie Semmers, I appreciate your passion, but I think you're arguing against some straw men. No one is comparing Thome to Ausmus. And as for his "creeping up," I think that's what he's done. I'm pretty sure you don't believe he's a better player than Mickey Mantle, so what does it prove to say he has more HR? He's one of a bunch of sluggers with little defensive value who were quite prevalent over the past 15 years. Thome is the one who lasted, and now that his career numbers are so impressive, he's likely to get inducted. Ten years ago, I doubt anyone thought he was a more likely HOFer than Jason Giambi or Carlos Delgado.

    It's nice that you have the time to closely watch all 30 teams play and are able to measure the intangibles of every player. Many of us do not, so we unfortunately must rely on these numbers which so inadequately capture what occurs on the field. I can only hope that at least the score is being kept correctly.

    ***

    JR, what do you think is the best example of Beltran's lack of heart? Maybe his .817 postseason SLG?

  29. But that's the thing. Since the age of 30, he hasn't compiled anything but games played. Terrible offense, terrible defense, terrible terrible terrible, and he's been a "compiler" because foolish teams keep giving him roster spots.

    Let's put it another way. Jason Kendall had only one season after the age of 27 where he had an OPS+ greater than 107. Let's put it still another way. His WAR after age 32 are -1.2, -0.1, 2.0, 0.1, and 0.5 Let's put it yet another way: for his entire career, including 1997-2000 when he was a legitimately outstanding player (and it's those four years ending a decade ago where his reputation really rests), he has an OPS of 97.

    Just Say No.

  30. AlvaroEspinoza Says:

    I wouldn't call Jim Thome a lock. He's a one dimensional player that led the league in HR once and never came close to an MVP. 500HR is the new 400HR.

  31. Johnny Twisto.

    Beltran has played in two playoff series. The first one with the Astros he was outstanding in both series. The second time with the Mets, he was awful in the NLDS, had great numbers in the NLCS, but kept his bat on his shoulder when the moment mattered most. That is the signature memory of Carlos Beltran.

  32. Just want to say thanks to everyone for the great discussion here.

    Ernie: your point about statistics vs gut feet / beauty of the game / etc is totally valid. I just want to remind you that this is Baseball-Reference.com, which is all about stats. That's why the blog is skewed so heavily that way. From time to time I try to add content about quality of play, opinions, etc, but that's not what I was hired to do :)

  33. Johnny Twisto Says:

    So you're impugning Beltran's character and entire career based on one at bat. Just wanted to make sure.

  34. Johnny,

    I am not basing his career on one at bat. However, it is one that will be remembered for a long time. This guy only cares about himself period. Beltran has put up some good numbers, so have a lot of other guys, but his overall attitude sucks. He proved that when he chose to have surgery so late and put his team behind the 8 ball at the start of the year. Overall, do you believe that the contract Beltran signed was worth the money he got? So far, the 6 years, I would say they overpaid for him.

  35. Oh fer cryin' out loud... the guy got struck out on a good curveball. One frickin' pitch is supposed to mean that Carlos Beltran doesn't care, and define his whole career, but everything he did up until that point - the best season of his career, all things considered - means nothing?

    I mean, right now Angel Pagan (AWESOME name, btw) is playing some pretty good baseball, but there is no possible way he's as good as Beltran, when he's healthy. But I suppose the injury is also selfish?

  36. Kendall rated in a category ahead of Posada for the Hall? There has actually been quite a bit of talk about Posada and the HOF, with the general consensus being that he falls short, yet he's still playing and building his case. There are lesser catchers in he Hall and historically he probably rates somewhere just off the all-time top-ten list for catchers, slotting in around 12th or 13th. That deserves serious consideration. There has never been any talk about Kendall, who despite a strong offensive start to his career now has a life-time OPS+ under 100, meaning he's below league average. Kendall 97 to Posada's 125. If the consensus is that Posada falls short (although that consensus may change), Kendall's only chance to get into the Hall is like the rest of us. Buy a ticket.

  37. I generally agree that Kendall does not belong and that Posada rates higher than Kendall. My original list was based on HOF Monitor, for which Kendall rates higher than Posada but as was pointed out above, it's probably an outdated tool at this point.

  38. Johnny Twisto Says:

    JR, I will concede that I cringed a bit when Beltran took that third strike. It just doesn't "look" good to lose a game, or a series, on a called third strike. But it's not the only time it's happened, and an out is an out, and he was more likely than not to get out anyway. The Mets don't even get to that spot without Beltran, who was quite arguably the deserving MVP that season.

    Did he only care about himself when he came back to play last September, despite the Mets being hopelessly out of it, and his knee obviously still not healthy? A lot of people would use that as evidence of someone who will do anything for the team, if they weren't already biased against him. I don't remember the details of his off-season surgery and I'm sure you know more about it than I, but microfracture surgery is a pretty risky procedure, so my guess is that he was trying to explore other options before finally proceeding.

    As to whether he's worth his contract: it will depend if and how he comes back. So far, I'd say he has certainly been. One MVP-type season, one MVP-type half-season, two very good years, and one subpar season plagued by leg problems. Most big free agents end up being overpaid because they get signed on the back end of their careers. Beltran was awesome when healthy. Injuries are a risk of any 7-year contract.

  39. The problem with the HOF Monitor, as you noted, is it's outdated. For one, James created the point system before the massive increase in offense that started in the mid-90s. There was a time when we might have thought that a young player who hit 30 HRs for three or four straight seasons was starting to build a HOF resume. That's no longer the case. Offense seems to be decreasing again and perhaps the HOF Monitor will once again have a bit more relevance, but I don't think it's all that helpful in predicting players from the past 15 years.

  40. Kendall in the Hall is laughable. It's called the Hall of Fame; how many people who aren't really into baseball even know who Jason Kendall is? Vizquel doesn't belong there either, despite being a great defender. All I can think of when Vizquel comes up is an old episode of the Simpsons where Bart trades his torn-up Omar Vizquel card for Milhouse's mint-condition Carl Yastrzemski rookie while Milhouse is otherwise occupied making out with a girl.

  41. Johnny Twisto Says:

    True. Just yesterday, I heard a couple young girls arguing about whether Ross Youngs or George Kell was hotter. I can't imagine anyone being that excited about Jason Kendall in 50 years! The Baseball HOF's focus should be on appealing to people who aren't really into baseball.

  42. Now we know why Sean added those photos to player pages!!

    LAUGH!

  43. RollingWave Says:

    Well the 9 locks should get no contest from anyone, on your second tier I have doubts anyone of them will make it, though Helton probably undeservingly so.

    On ur 3rd list, which is a bit of a mixed bag since some of them are still quite young. amoung them I think Cabrera and Mauer are locks if they don't suffer a massive meltdown, Utley too but his margin of error is somewhat smaller. Edmonds can be made a good case but in terms of actual voting might be in danger of getting hosed. Damon would present a very interesting case if he crawls to 3000, a few other may or may not make it though on that list it seems only Teixiera / Holliday / Berkman and mayyyybe Howard have any sort of chance, I'd say 1 or maybe if we're lucky 2 of them would get in. so I have Mauer / Cabrera / Utley / one or two of the first basemans going in, that's 4 or 5 there. adding in some minor potential from the rest of the group like Damon, I'd say there are 5-6 HOF on that list. if we're lucky.

    So that means there are at least 5-6 guys on the young hitter side that has a chance. personally Hanely Ramirez is in Joe Mauer's catagory, unless he have a Nomarsian meltdown he's in. for the rest it's really too hard to tell, none of them have a peak that screams no-doubter. so it depends on how durable they are, I like Robinson Cano's chances due to the combination of health and spotlight. but who knows.

  44. [...] you didn't see my earlier similar post about hitters, check that one out [...]

  45. The one that catches my eye is Damon. We're talking about a guy hitting .288 but may get to 3,000 hits. Even if the 3,000 chase doesn't impress you, the fact that he's a run-scoring machine should. But he's not Jeter. He's not automatic and needs some good full seasons to get to a 1700 runs/2800+ hits. At those levels, it will be tough to keep him out.

  46. Purple Pups Says:

    Two things:

    1. You'll have to again consider Vlad with the season he's having in Texas.
    2. Justin Morneau? Where is he in this discussion? He's a former AL MVP, and again contending for it. Anybody who's gotten an MVP at least has to be considered for the Hall. Not to mention that he's only 29, and will likely have 400+ dingers by his retirement.

  47. Three thoughts.

    1} At the rate he's going, Teixeira will make it -- especially if he spends the remainder of his big years with the Yankees.

    2} The exclusion of Stephens is in my opinion an injustice. He was by far the best post-Sisler St. Louis Brown, as well as a respectable infielder and steadying influence on all of the various teams he played on -- especially the St. Louis/Baltimore squads of the Forties and Fifties. He was just as valuable as Rico Petrocelli was a value to Boston because of his mixture of "tangibles" and "intangibles" {just for the record, I think Rico belongs in these discussions as well}.

    3} I predict that Morneau will follow the path Billy Williams took to the Hall -- following Mauer just as Williams did Banks -- and just as deservedly so {barring injury to either of them, of course}.