2015 Hall of Fame Voting

My 2015 MLB Hall of Fame Ballot. Sorry for the typos and poor grammar- I’m writing this with my downtime at work.

1) Pedro Martinez

2827.1 IP, 10.04 K/9, 2.42 BB/9, 0.76 HR/9, 2.91 FIP, 87.1 fWAR

7 Best fWAR seasons: 11.9, 9.9, 8.6, 7.8, 7.8, 6.4, 5.8

6+ fWAR total: 16.4; fWAR/200IP: 6.16

His average season was MVP quality. 1999 may have been the best pitching season ever. In the AL East. During the highest run scoring era in baseball history. Yeah, this is a no-doubter.

2) Randy Johnson

4135.1 IP, 10.61 K/9, 3.26 BB/9, 0.89 HR/9, 3.19 FIP, 111.7 fWAR

7 Best fWAR seasons: 10.4, 9.6, 9.5, 9.5, 9.5, 8, 7.7

6+ fWAR total: 22.2; fWAR/200IP: 5.40

I think his seven best fWAR seasons speak for his dominance. Another no-doubter.

3) Curt Schilling

3261 IP, 8.60 K/9, 1.96 BB/9, 0.96 HR/9, 3.23 FIP, 83.2 fWAR

7 Best fWAR seasons: 9.3, 8.4, 8.3, 7.4, 7.3, 5.7, 5.4

6+ fWAR total: 10.7; fWAR/200IP: 5.10

If his regular season numbers aren’t impressive enough, then his postseason stats give him bonus points that make him a HOF pitcher.

4) Mike Mussina

3562.2 IP, 7.11 K/9, 1.98 BB/9, 0.95 HR/9, 3.57 FIP, 82.5 fWAR

7 Best fWAR seasons: 6.9, 6.2, 6.2, 5.8, 5.4, 5.3, 5.3

6+ fWAR total: 1.3; fWAR/200IP: 4.63

His peak seasons weren’t on the same level of RJ or Pedro, but he was consistently an MVP level pitcher with 10 seasons of 5+ fWAR. That’s good enough for me, especially for another SP who had to deal with the AL East during the game’s biggest offensive era.

5) John Smoltz

3473 IP, 7.99 K/9, 2.62 BB/9, 0.75 HR/9, 3.24 FIP, 78.7 fWAR

7 Best fWAR seasons: 8.2, 6.7, 5.4, 5.2, 5.2, 5.1, 5.1

6+ fWAR total: 2.9; fWAR/200IP: 4.53

Starting Pitcher fWAR/200IP: 4.41; Relief Pitcher fWAR/200IP: 5.94

Pitched at an All-Star/MVP level as both a starter and reliever. He is close to borderline for me, but was good enough that I feel comfortable voting him in.

6) Mike Piazza

7745 PA, 427 HR, .308/.377/.545/.390/140+, 20.7 defensive runs, 63.5 fWAR

7 Best fWAR seasons: 9.1, 7.4, 6.6, 6.6, 6, 5.8, 4.6

6+ fWAR total: 5.7; fWAR/650PA: 5.33

Best hitter all-time at a position? Hall of Famer for sure.

7) Jeff Bagwell

9431 PA, 449 HR, .297/.394/.588/.415/157+, -138.5 defensive runs, 80.2 fWAR

7 Best fWAR seasons: 8, 7.8, 7.8, 7.7, 6.7, 5.9, 5.5

6+ fWAR total: 8.9; fWAR/650PA: 5.53

Another player whose average season was MVP quality. No doubter for a guy with similar career to Frank Thomas, a first ballot Hall of Famer.

8) Edgar Martinez

8672 PA, 309 HR, .312/.418/.515/.405/149+, -87.1 defensive runs, 65.6 fWAR

7 Best fWAR seasons: 7, 6.1, 6, 5.9, 5.7, 5.5, 5.5

6+ fWAR total: 1.1; fWAR/650PA: 4.92

Much like Piazza is the best offensive catcher ever, Martinez has been the best DH ever. Now, he didn’t play defense and that hurts him. But he was so good offensively, it doesn’t matter. Retiring with a .300+/.400+/.500+ line, even in the context of his era, is incredible. He is like the Mussina of hitters in this class. Consistently great even if he doesn’t have one “all-time” type of season.

9) Tim Raines

10359 PA, 170 HR, 808 SB (85%), .294/.385/.425/.361/125+, -109.6 defensive runs, 66.4 fWAR

7 Best fWAR seasons: 7.2, 6.7, 6.7, 6, 6, 5.5, 3.9

6+ fWAR total: 2.6; fWAR/650PA: 4.17

Raines is the SABR darling of this HOF class (along with Alan Trammell). Upon further review, he is closer to the outside looking in than I originally thought. However, a lot of lower fWAR/650PA is due to the fact he probably did stick around too long. But Raines is the best base stealer/runner of all-time. Rickey Henderson stole more bases, but at lower clip (80% compared to Raines’ 85%). Stealing bases at an 85% clip for a whole career, and to steal that many is amazing. Raines is 5th all-time among SB leaders, and has the highest of SB% of the top five. And base stealing is just one aspect of his game- he was also an OBP machine!

10) Larry Walker

8030 PA, 383 HR, 230 SB, .313/.400/.565/.412/140+, 3.5 defensive runs, 68.9 fWAR

7 Best fWAR seasons: 9.1, 7.6, 5.3, 5.3, 5, 4.7, 4.7

6+ fWAR seasons: 4.7; fWAR/650PA: 5.58

Larry Walker is has knock against him and it’s not Coors Field. It’s his injury history. Yes, he played in the best hitters park in the best hitters era. But his numbers were still far and away better than most of his peers. His home/road splits are drastic- but only because while he was amazing the road he was god-like at home. His per season fWAR totals might seem low but again, that’s due to injury-plagued seasons and this is supported by his MVP level career fWAR/650PA of 5.58. Dude is a Hall of Famer.

Now, I think there are more deserving players. However, a ballot only allows for ten votes. Therefore, I withheld all players who definitely used PED’s and were not just suspected of PED’s. Unlike most people, I don’t care about PED’s when it comes to the HOF. However, on a crowded ballot I won’t put them ahead of other deserving players. Therefore, the rest of eligible players I think are Hall worthy are…

Roger Clemens

4916.2 IP, 8.55 K/9, 2.89 BB/9, 0.66 HR/9, 3.09 FIP, 139.5 fWAR

7 Best fWAR seasons: 10.8, 9.7, 9.1, 9, 8.5, 8.5, 8.1

6+ fWAR total: 21.7; fWAR/200IP: 5.68

Most evidence points toward his first PED use being in 1997 with Toronto. If you look at his fWAR before that during his Boston tenure, he had 83 fWAR or 5.71 fWAR per season in nearly 3000 total innings. Hall of Famer.

Barry Bonds

12606 PA, 762 HR, 514 SB, .298/.444/.607/.435/173+, 67.6 defensive runs, 164 fWAR

7 Best fWAR seasons: 12.5, 12.4, 11.6, 10.5, 10.1, 9.9, 9.6

6+ fWAR total: 34.6; fWAR/650PA: 8.46

Best player of all-time not named Ruth- and that’s only because Ruth was also a good pitcher. HOF’er before he started using in 1999.

Mark McGwire

7660 PA, 583 HR, .263/.394/.588/.415/157+, -138.5, 66.3 fWAR

7 Best fWAR seasons: 8.5, 7.3, 6.3, 6, 5.7, 5.4, 5.1

6+ fWAR total: 4.1; fWAR/650PA: 5.63

I feel the worst about voting for McGwire because he used almost his entire career, if not his whole career, while Bonds and Clemens had HOF careers before their steroid use. But boy, could he hit.

And the following are guys that I am indecisive on- one minute I think they’re in and the next I don’t.

Craig Biggio

12503 PA, 291 HR, 414 SB, .281/.363/.433/.352/115+, -23 defensive runs, 65.1 fWAR

7 Best fWAR seasons: 9.3, 6.5, 6.2, 4.9, 4.8, 4.7, 4.5

6+ fWAR total: 4; fWAR/650PA: 3.38

Biggio is tough. He does have 3000 hits. He does have some superb seasons. But the more I think about him the more I think he was simply a good, All-Star caliber player who had a long career that allowed him to get his 3000 hits. A 3.38 fWAR/650PA is not HOF worthy. But if he retired before he wasn’t good anymore, that number would be better. So for now, I will keep him off the ballot until I can make my mind up either way.

Alan Trammell

9375 PA, 185 HR, 236 SB, .285/.352/.415/.343/111+, 184.4 defensive runs, 63.7 fWAR

7 Best fWAR seasons: 7.7, 6.9, 6.2, 5.7, 5.6, 5.3, 4.3

6+ fWAR total: 2.8′ fWAR/650PA: 4.42

Trammell is one of the game’s great fielding shortstops. He is a HOF worthy defender. Offensively, his numbers don’t look great. But in context of the era, he has really good numbers for a SS and was one of the game’s first great two-way players at that position. A 4.42 fWAR/650PA isn’t ideal for the HOF, but if you take away his first couple seasons and last couple seasons to focus truly on his prime playing days, and that number looks a whole lot better. If it wasn’t a crowded ballot I would vote for him, but that’s not the case. And a result, he only has a couple years left on the ballot and I fear the worst for him.

Nomar Garciaparra

6116 PA, 229 HR, .313/.361/.521/.376/124+, 18.8 defensive runs, 41.5 fWAR

7 Best fWAR seasons: 7.6, 7.3, 6.4, 6.3, 5.7, 4.8, 2.2

6+ fWAR total: 3.6; fWAR/650PA: 4.41

During his peak, Nomar was arguably the best shortstop in baseball- ahead of A-Rod and Jeter. But how much does a peak count. Clearly, he had HOF talent. The only reason he isn’t a legitimate candidate is because he often hurt and it ruined his ability perform well, and put up good full season numbers when he was at his best. I don’t think I’d ever vote for him, but I want his career to recognition.

Gary Sheffield

10947 PA, 509 HR, 253 SB, .292/.393/.514/.391/141+, -300.9 defensive runs, 62.4 fWAR

7 Best fWAR seasons: 7.5, 6.6, 6.5, 6.5, 4.9, 4.6, 3.8

6+ fWAR total: 3.1; fWAR/650PA: 3.71

Again, the average fWAR is low- but he played for a really long time. Plus, Sheffield could hit. Like really hit. He lost 30 wins(!) due to crappy defense and still had 62.4 career fWAR. So that begs the question- should I punish him for being so bad on defense? Or should I recognize him as a phenomenal hitter?

Brian Giles

7836 PA, 287 HR, .291/.400/.502/.388/136+, -80.8 defensive runs, 54.5 fWAR

7 Best fWAR seasons: 6.7, 6.7, 6.3, 5.7, 5.5, 4.8, 4.3

6+ fWAR total: 1.7; fWAR/650PA: 4.52

Giles was a consistent offensive force if he never did have that one above and beyond season like a Larry Walker. But he finished with a career OBP of .400 and SLG over .500. That’s really good. His average fWAR season is also borderline for me. The one thing keeping me from voting for him is a short peak. If he had sustained his prime longer and not simply had a bunch of All-Star level seasons instead of MVP seasons, he would have got my vote.

Lee Smith

1289.1 IP, 8.73 K/9, 3.39 BB/9, 0.62 HR/9, 2.93 FIP, 27.3 fWAR, fWAR/200IP: 4.24

I don’t think Lee Smith is quite a HOF’er. He’s better than I thought, but I wouldn’t put him in. However, if you compare him to other RP in the Hall, he is better. He is better than both Rollie Fingers and Bruce Sutter and on par with Trevor Hoffman, who most likely will be in the Hall of Fame. However, I don’t think the above should be in the Hall which makes this a tough vote. Put him in because inferior pitchers are in, or vote him out because he should be out.

 

This is just all my opinion folks (which is generally right) and if there’s one takeaway it’s this: what a class this is!

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