Comments on: POLL: Edgar Martinez and the Hall of Fame This and that about baseball stats. Tue, 16 Jul 2013 17:01:55 +0000 hourly 1 By: Gordon Gross Fri, 17 Sep 2010 20:59:01 +0000 Edgar was also right-handed.

Number of RH batters with a higher career OBP: 4.

Hornsby, Foxx, Pujols, Frank Thomas (barely). That's it. Maybe I'm confused, but if you're top-5 in a major rate stat for every RH hitter that has EVER played the game, shouldn't that qualify you for canonization?

Edgar was a top-3 right-handed hitter for his era. McGwire has managed to disqualify himself from the conversation, and Manny came in later (while also doing what he can to disqualify himself in the minds of voters).

In Edgar's peak years, the top three RH guys at the plate IMO were Frank Thomas, Gar and Jeff Bagwell. I'm open to other interpretations, but for me, those are the guys. And they should all get into the Hall of Fame.


By: Edgarmania Fri, 17 Sep 2010 05:52:41 +0000 1990-2004, Games with 3 or more Times on Base:

1. Bonds, 754
2. Bagwell, 589
3. Thomas, 579
4. Biggio, 564
5. EDGAR, 529

1995-2001, Games with 3 or more Times on Base:

1. Bonds, 336
2. Bagwell, 331
3. EDGAR, 318

1990-2004, WAR:
1. Bonds, 141.3
2. Bagwell, 79.4
3. Griffey, 75.5
4. Thomas, 70.1
5. A-Rod, 67.2
6. EDGAR, 66.7

Most Seasons with an OBP over .400:

Cobb, 18
Ruth, 16
Speaker, 16
Collins, 16
Musial, 14
Bonds, 14
Ott, 14
Rickey, 13
Williams, 13
Gehrig, 13
Foxx, 12
Boggs, 10
Hornsby, 10

Most seasons with a .300+ AVG, .400+ OBP and .500+ SLG:

Ruth, 15
Musial, 14
Williams, 13
Cobb, 12
Gehrig, 12
Foxx, 11
Speaker, 11
Bonds, 11
Hornsby, 10
Heilmann, 9
Pujols, 9
Manny, 9
Thomas, 8
Mantle, 8
Chipper, 8
Ott, 8

Most Seasons of OPS+ of 150 or more:

Ruth, 16
Cobb, 16
Aaron, 14
Bonds, 14
Williams, 13
Musial, 13
Mays, 13
F. Robinson, 13
Speaker, 13
Hornsby, 13
Gehrig, 12
Ott, 12
Mantle, 11
Schmidt, 10
Foxx, 10
Wagner, 10
Pujols, 10

Mize, 9
Sam Crawford, 9
Manny, 9
Thomas, 8
Thome, 8
Allen, 8
DiMaggio, 7
McCovey, 7
Mathews, 7
Greenberg, 7
Shoeless Joe, 7
Collins, 7
Lajoie, 7

1995-2001, Most BB:
Bonds, 913
Bagwell, 812
Thome, 785
EDGAR, 750
McGwire, 732

1995-2001, Most 2B:
EDGAR, 291
Grace, 277
Bagwell, 265

1995-2001, Highest OBP:
Bonds, .449
EDGAR, .446
Sheffield, .433
McGwire, .430
Thomas, .430

1995-2001, Highest OPS+:
Bonds, 188
McGwire, 183
EDGAR, 163
Sheffield, 161
Piazza, 158

1995-2001, Most Times on Base:
Bagwell, 2045
EDGAR, 1996
Bonds, 1976
Chipper, 1896
Biggio, 1890

Just for fun:

June 24, 1995 through June 21, 1996: 162 G, 141 R, 207 H, 34 HR, 132 RBI, 132 BB, 96 SO, .355/.477/.662, and... *73* doubles.

He finished in the top 10 in the AL in WPA eight times and led the league in back-to-back seasons.

From 1995-1999 he posted an OBP over .400 in 26 of 30 months. The four months where it dipped beneath .400? .393, .387, .380, .365. Number of those 30 months in which his OBP was above .450: 17

In the great 1995 season when the Mariners saved baseball in Seattle, from May 29, through the end of the Yankees series: 121 G, 548 PA, 428 AB, 159 H, 105 R, 43 2B, 27 HR, 107 RBI, 108 BB, 68 SO, .371/.502/.661

In 1995, Seattle beat out the Angels. Edgar against the Angels that year: 13 G, 56 PA, 47 AB, 14 R, 23 H, 7 2B, 4 HR, 11 RBI, 9 BB, 3 SO, .489/.571/.894, 1.465 OPS

In 1996, Texas beat Seattle by 4 and a half games. Wasn't Edgar's fault. Against the '96 Rangers: 13 G, 63 PA, 47 AB, 17 R, 24 H, 6 2B, 6 HR, 13 RBI, 15 BB, 4 SO, .511/.635/1.021, 1.656 OPS

In 2000 and 2001, Oakland was their main divisional competition. In those two years combined, against the great Hudson/Zito/Mulder Oakland teams: 31 G, 138 PA, 107 AB, 22 R, 35 H, 9 2B, 8 HR, 32 RBI, 28 BB, 18 SO, .327/.478/.636, 1.114 OPS

Yankee fans and Yankee haters alike should remember that he was a notorious Yankee killer. In the mid-90s he terrorized Yankee fans with this 37-game stretch against the pinstripes: 37 G, 174 PA, 140 AB, 37 R, 58 H, 20 2B, 10 HR, 46 RBI, 32 BB, 16 SO, .414/.523/.771, 1.294 OPS. Yes, that's 30 XBH in 37 games.

Lifetime numbers off Mariano Rivera: 20 PA, 16 AB, 10 H, 3 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 3 BB, 4 SO, .625/.700/1.188, 1.888 OPS

His numbers in extra innings from 1989-2003, the bulk of his career: 118 PA, 87 AB, 18 R, 31 H, 7 2B, 4 HR, 15 RBI, 23 BB, 15 SO, .356/.492/.575, 1.067 OPS

By: Mike Felber Fri, 17 Sep 2010 00:40:29 +0000 There are many good points above. To me it comes down to: even with the harshest positional adjustment you can plausibly apply, where we dock him as much as the worst defender around at a less valuable position-& it seems he would have been at least mediocre-his WAR, orf other measures of value added, are enough to get him into the HOF. I really would stress though that peak value should be as valuable-is that not what greatness is? Looking at this, anyone who thinks him borderline in total contribution (the lowest that is believable): the peak value makes it clear he belongs.

Now we already dinged him for not fielding, & it is clear that it IS tough to DH, by acclamation & records, not just due to injury. Can there be any legitimate reason to deny the HOF to the clearly the best DH ever? AND he played 1/4 of his games with decent defense at a fairly challenging position.

Allen had a shorter career, still has enough WAR total, & when you consider his peak value it is a no brainer. He is significantly better than Belle, whose #s were much inflated by context, the exact opposite of Allen. There is also evidence that many, including managers, who worked with Allen did not find him a detriment to his team. Bill James changed his opinion on him? Good, he did the most to dny Allen fair consideration.

Lastly, the value of a good hitter just happens to be so high that a Martinez can warrant admission absent playing defense for 3/4 of his career. Can we REALLY say that no DH who does not hit as well as a top 20 hitter of all time warrants induction?

By: Matt Y Thu, 16 Sep 2010 20:54:39 +0000 Great example JT --Elston Howard had HoF talent, but his numbers just don't cut it as you discuss, which was partly not his fault. I think his case would fall under the "Negro league and marine service " clauses --he should get more credit b/c he was held back for various reasons waaay outside of his control. Gar is a bit different of the case, and I agree he is what he is largely. With that said, being the best career DH is enough for me under current Hall guidelines.

By: Johnny Twisto Thu, 16 Sep 2010 19:42:34 +0000 Andy, you're right, a great fielder getting stuck at DH for a career wouldn't happen in practice. But I want to look at both the value (actual performance), and reasons why one's ability may have been somehow hindered (or helped) by the circumstances he was in.

A real-life example: Elston Howard. Purely on his major league record, he probably doesn't deserve consideration for the HOF. Under 1500 hits, under 30 WAR, etc. But as a young man he was in Korea, then he was in the minors of an organization which was in no hurry to have any black players, then he finally joined the roster of an absolutely loaded team under a manager who loved to platoon and sub. All of this contributes to his never playing 100 games until age 28, never getting 450 PA until age 30. Once he finally did have the chance to play more or less full-time, he was a great player, winning an MVP. I don't think it's hard to imagine Howard having a much more impressive career under different circumstances that were outside his control.

So his value/stats were impressive, but less than HOF-quality. But I think his ability/talent probably were HOF-quality. And I am not saying that I would vote for him, but I would definitely put a lot of thought into it. It is a "what-if" game, but I think one based on reality and probability, not wild conjecture.

I'll also note that the HOF voting guidelines state that one should consider both a player's "record" and "playing ability." Often there is no real difference between the two -- a player is what he is -- but sometimes there is, and those cases interest me.

And as I already mentioned on Edgar Martinez, if I could be convinced he was worthy of being a major league starter when still in the minors, I would give him some credit for that too.

By: Tyler D Thu, 16 Sep 2010 18:03:08 +0000 Blockquote fail....

Name Year wOPS+
Edgar Martinez 1995 184
Frank Thomas 1991 180
David Ortiz 2007 169
Edgar Martinez 1997 166
Edgar Martinez 1996 166
Travis Hafner 2005 164
Milton Bradley 2008 163
Frank Thomas 2000 160
Edgar Martinez 2001 160
Travis Hafner 2004 159
Travis Hafner 2006 159
Edgar Martinez 1998 157
Manny Ramirez 2001 157
David Ortiz 2006 157
Edgar Martinez 2000 155
Rafael Palmeiro 1999 154
David Ortiz 2005 153
Edgar Martinez 1999 153
Hal McRae 1976 153
Jim Thome 2006 152

By: Tyler D Thu, 16 Sep 2010 18:02:33 +0000 Michael Weddell did a very good write up on Edgar Martinez's HOF case at Baseball Analysts. Here is some of the info that paints a bit more complete picture if we look at his career with wOPS+ instead of simple OPS+.Tom Tango did the heavy lifting on this here The gist of it is that the formula becomes 100 * (1.2 * OBP / lgOBP + 0.8 * SLG / lgSLG -1)

Looking at players with 7500-9500 (based on numbers in December 2009), here is the list:

By: Andy Thu, 16 Sep 2010 17:49:33 +0000 Although I agree in principle, I don't think what you describe is all that realistic in practice. There have been cases of teams carrying two good 1B, for example. Invariably, one of them ends up getting traded. The theoretical hole that a guy is kept in most or all of his career doesn't really happen in practice, I don't think. Beyond that, your suggestion is no different from any "what if" scenario...what if a pitcher had been taught to throw a certain pitch...what if a guy had been moved to SS at a young age...what if...what if. There are so many "what if" scenarios that I just can't buy into them.

Here's a good one for you...what if Mickey Mantle hadn't torn up his knee early in his career? He might have been the greatest player in can make a pretty good hypothetical argument. But if I try to argue that he actually was the best based solely on the fact that his freak knee injury shouldn't be held against him, I'd get laughed off the blog.

By: Johnny Twisto Thu, 16 Sep 2010 17:32:53 +0000 The WHY [he was a DH] is not really relevant--even if it was because he was misused by his managers

I'll slightly disagree. If there were a player who had the ability to play the field, and play it well, but because his team was so loaded he was forced into the DH role for most of his career, I don't see him as just a DH. From a value standpoint he only gets credited for the position he played (or didn't play). But when considering players for the HOF I also want to rate players based on their ability. This imaginary player had the ability to play the field, he just wasn't given the opportunity. There's more art than science in how I would give credit for such things, but on a borderline case it could make a difference.

On the other hand Edgar Martinez probably couldn't have managed a productive career without the benefit of the DH, and that also makes a difference to me.

That's just how I look at things and I can't say those who differ are wrong.

By: JeffW Thu, 16 Sep 2010 16:43:46 +0000 Andy (#144) and Matt Y (#145),

I'm not trying to get Gar "extra credit" for why he became a DH.

Rather I feel the need to make it understood that he didn't spend his entire productive career there, and wasn't moved there because he was a terrible fielder.

These are very real concerns that affect how he is perceived, here and among the actual Hall electorate.

There seems to be almost a wall of prejudicial feelings among nay-sayers. Either he was a DH period. Or, he must have been a zero-sum (or worse) defensive player. Or, DH is easy because a player doesn't have to expend energy on defense.

Others who had a rough time adjusting to the role are "explained away" for any number of reasons.

You talk of the sum of his numbers, period. I advocate just that. He did what he did. He did it better than anyone else who ever played that role.

His numbers are what they are. Judge them as such. He earned every one of them.

Closers get into the Hall pitching just one inning in a game. It can be argued that they are not out there trying to win the game, so much as trying to make sure they don't blow it. Success through simply not falling flat on your face?

Larry R, a "DH wing?" Next to the "Closer Wing?" Oh, right...there is no separate "Closer Wing." They get full enshrinement privileges with the rest of the nine-inning players.

An everyday DH -- particularly one of Edgar's caliber -- can leave a much greater footprint on a season than a closer.

Josh (#149) has it about right. The M's also did occasionally use Gar at first base in Interleague road games. He did not embarrass himself.

I feel they simply viewed it as having one more regular position (DH) settled, at an All-Star level, no less. As that they also had Tino Martinez, Paul Sorrento, David Segui and John Olerud at first base over the course of Edgar's DH'ing seasons, they were perfectly happy with that.

If anything, the resting a player, or having a player DH while working through minor injuries use of the position flies in the face of the potential of having a full-time, well-adjusted player who can flat-out hit in the role. It's not the Designated Rest Home. It's there to create more offense. The Mariners used it to their advantage.

There was simply no reason to force the issue of Martinez playing in the field.

I think that's (finally) all I have to say on the issue.