Comments on: POLL: Alan Trammell and the Hall of Fame This and that about baseball stats. Tue, 16 Jul 2013 17:01:55 +0000 hourly 1 By: John Tue, 16 Nov 2010 16:05:40 +0000 I think the point is that when you compare offenses and defenses between Smith and Trammell, they are not so far apart that you get a guy who gets in on his first ballot with over 90% of writers going for one, and the other can't get 30%. It offends me that Alan Trammell isn't worthy of the Hall of Fame to these clowns, but Smith gets more consideration than Joe DiMaggio, Frank Robinson, and Mickey Mantle. Trammell IS HoF-worthy, he's better than a LOT of current HoF members, but he won't get in until he's old and grey, and that is a crying shame.

By: Mike Tue, 16 Nov 2010 14:51:54 +0000 That should have read "I don't think Smith should have been either".

By: Mike Tue, 16 Nov 2010 14:51:06 +0000 @ Sean

And Trammell's WAR is higher then Ozzie Smith's (oWAR is 59.4 for Trammell). If Smith was a first ballot then Trammel should definitely be in. I am not saying he should have been a first ballot (I don't think Smith was either) but he should be at more then 22.4% after 8 years on the ballot.

By: Sean Tue, 16 Nov 2010 14:16:11 +0000 @ JL Morris 102

Ozzie Smith didn't just get into the Hall of Fame for defense alone. He was a great base stealer and he had some pretty decent offensive seasons. His career offensive WAR is 43.0. Pretty darn good. Plus he was a great team leader, a superb role model, and an exemplary character.

By: JL Morris Sun, 14 Nov 2010 06:17:40 +0000 Not sure if anyone pointed this out, but Ozzie Smith was elected on his first ballot based on defense alone. His career fielding percentage is .978. Trammell's is .976, and .977 at shortstop (he played some 2B, 3B, and OF late in his career). So does that cement it? Tram belongs in the Hall.

By: Tuesday Links (9 Nov 10) – Ducksnorts Tue, 09 Nov 2010 14:17:06 +0000 [...] POLL: Alan Trammell and the Hall of Fame (Baseball-Reference). Does the Kearny Mesa HS alum belong in Cooperstown? Hint: Yes. [...]

By: Michael E Sullivan Mon, 08 Nov 2010 22:12:26 +0000 Joseph -- just about all of the player value metrics include a positional adjustment.

The rationale is *not* that it is inherently harder to hit at any particular position because of the positional demands (with the exception of catcher, I agree it's somewhat dubious).

The rationale is simply that it's harder to find good hitting players at some positions than others. Some of this has to do with body builds. It's hard to find people who have great speed *and* power, and you need speed to play CF/short, and power is very helpful for hitting. But mostly, the more critical a defensive position is, the harder it is to find good hitters there -- because you simply aren't allowed to play it unless your defense is up to snuff.

Think about the shortstop position. Somebody like Jeter is fast and not obviously bad defensively but still gives up a ton of runs due to his limited range. That's because short is hard, and crucial. You don't have to be *bad* to give up a fair number of runs. At another position, he would cost much less. He's barely good enough to play SS defensively, and part of his value is just that -- he can play it, even if fairly poorly by major league standards, while most guys who hit as well as he does would give up enough runs to kill the team trying to play short. And most of the guys who field SS well, are average or worse with the bat.

The B-R Rpos numbers (one of the components of WAR) measures this directly. They look at how many more or fewer runs a league avarage batter produces, versus the league average of people who play a particular position. Then they credit anybody who plays a given position with that many more or fewer runs. The idea is that GMs and managers in general have a good sense of the appropriate tradeoff of defense for offense (at least better than anybody knows how to measure with stats). So what Rpos does is basically measure the weight that they collectively put on the various positions. If the average SS is OPS 80, while the average 1B is OPS 120, that's a good measure of how much more valuable an average SS is than an average 1B to a typical GM.

Basically, if Rpos is wrong, then that means the people who build teams and fill out the lineup cards are also wrong in the same way and to the same extent, because that's all it's measuring.

But IMO, that's a pretty decent measure to use as a first approximation. So WAR contains a way to compare different positions.

The ones that are tougher are catcher and DH. DH contains a lot of guys coming off injuries and other issues, so on average they are worse than 1B, but it's hard to justify essentially giving a guy fielding credit for DH -- so some kind of extra cut has to be made. B-R has made their decision about how big it should be, but some think it should be bigger.

Catcher, as you note, is hard in the other direction, as the demands on the position make it very difficult to play a full slate of games in the C, and can affect your ability to hit and run. Most people here think catchers do not need the same level of WAR to make the hall as for other positions for these reasons.

By: Johnny Twisto Mon, 08 Nov 2010 22:05:49 +0000 Joseph, it's not so much that playing middle infield causes one to hit worse (though it's possible it could, because of all the diving, taking slides at second base, etc), but there is a smaller population of players who are able to play the position. Almost any major leaguer could play first base with a degree of competence. A much smaller subset could play shortstop. An amount of fielding aptitude is assumed just by one playing the position, but there is no statistic to measure this besides games or innings played (WAR attempts to measure this with its positional adjustments).

If Alan Trammell had played first base, he would have been a decent player, perhaps an occasional All-Star, not a HOF candidate. But if Willie Stargell had played shortstop, well...he couldn't have played shortstop. Why should he get in the HOF when he's not up to the caliber of most other fielders?

By: Joseph Mon, 08 Nov 2010 21:26:51 +0000 @John in 96.

I've been thinking about the issue of whether being in the HOF should be a position by position thing. Does playing 2nd base or shortstop make a player hit worse than an outfielder? I can see that maybe a catcher might not hit as well because of the demands of his position. But I'm not so sure about any other position.

I don't have any basis for my opinion other than my childhood little league games, so it isn't really anything to depend on, but I think it is the other way around, or used to be; that is, players who weren't such good hitters would migrate to positions that the good hitters didn't really want to play. These players would work extra hard to become good in the middle infield positions so that they could get on the team despite their lack of offense.

Guys like Hornsby and Wagner, they were amazing excellent batters.

So, I am not sure that a guy who is not up to the caliber of other hitters gets in just because he was better than average as a middle infielder and a batter for a long lot of years.

But just my opinion.

By: Johnny Twisto Mon, 08 Nov 2010 21:13:38 +0000 had they both played for the New York Yankees, they'd be in there today

Why? Do we have to list, once again, the numerous Yankees with a borderline case for the HOF who have not been inducted?

Raines played for a rotten team (the Montreal Expos). Had he played for good teams, he'd be there, without a doubt.

The Expos were not a rotten team, not even close. I'd say the record of his teams over his career was well over .500. Plus he spent a few seasons with the Yankees -- isn't that supposed to result in automatic induction?