Posted tagged ‘Mike Piazza’

2015 Hall of Fame Voting

January 5, 2015

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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Reconstructing the MLB Hall of Fame: Catcher

August 4, 2010

The real life, current Hall of Fame sucks. Case in point- Jim Rice.

So eight people- myself, some writers, and a couple other people- decided to get together and reconstruct the Hall of Fame, position by position. Yes, eight people seems small, but keep in mind these are eight really smart and really bright baseball minds that are more qualified when it comes to baseball analysis than most members of the BBWAA. In order to be elected, a player had to receive 75% of the vote (6/8) just like the real life ballot. Also, we can vote for however many people at a position as we want, unlike the real vote where I believe you can only cast a vote for a maximum of ten people per ballot.

For future Hall of Fame reference, use ours. It will be better.

The first position we voted on was catcher. Here are the results:

IN:
Johnny Bench- 100%
Carlton Fisk- 100%
Yogi Berra- 100%
Mike Piazza- 100%
Mickey Cochrane- 100%
Gary Carter- 87.5%
Bill Dickey- 87.5%
Roy Campanella- 87.5%
Gabby Hartnett- 75%

NOT IN:
Joe Torre- 62.5%
Ted Simmons- 50%
Brian Downing- 25%
Thurman Munson- 25%
Buck Ewing- 12.5%
Gene Tenace- 12.5%
Wally Schang- 12.5%
Roger Bresnahan- 12.5%
King Kelly- 0%
Lance Parrish- 0%
Ernie Lomardie- 0%
Bill Freehan- 0%

Next up: First base

So there are nine catcher’s in the Hall of Fame, compared to thirteen in real life. All of the people we voted on are Hall of Famer’s or will be Hall of Famer’s. However, Roger Bresnahan, Buck Ewing, Rick Ferrell, Ernie Lombardi, and Ray Schalk have been removed.

Top 100 players of all-time: 80-71

December 8, 2009

80. Luke Appling
.399/.398/.376/68.9

Luke was a great contact hitter. His batting average was .310 and he was 251 hits shy of 3,000. Appling has the highest single season batting average for a shortstop ever (.388). Appling was selected to seven All-Star games.

79. Kid Nichols
1.22/62.9 %/3.47/102.3

Nichols is one of the first dominant fastball pitchers ever. He accumulated 361 wins with an ERA of 2.95. In his first 10 seasons in the major leagues Nichols won twenty or more games. He ate up a lot of innings. 5056.1 total to be frank.

78. Tim Raines
.385/.425/.374/64.9

Raines was a speed demon. He could steal at will. He piled up over 1,500 runs scored and 2,600 hits. Raines won the 1986 Batting Title and led the National league in steals for four straight seasons. He is a one time World Series Champion. He hit for the cycle once and made the All-Star game seven times. His main stat was his 808 steals.

77. Paul Waner
.404/.473/.405/73.8

Waner was a great hitter. He is a part of the 3,000 hits club with 3152. He won three Batting Titles and finished top five in MVP voting three times while winning the 1927 MVP. He is a four time All-Star and has had five hitting streaks that lasted twenty games.

76. Bill Dickey
.382/.486/.394/54.3

Dickey owns the record of the most games caught in the World Series. (38). He was a key piece to the Yankees dynasties in the 30’s and 40’s. He took advantage of a short right field line at Yankee Stadium. He hit 135 of his 202 homers at home. Dickey was an eleven time All-Star.

75. Mike Piazza

.377/.545/.389/59.1

Piazza is the greatest hitting catcher in major league history. Piazza hit at least thirty home runs in nine seasons and totaled 427 home runs all together. He was a twelve time All-Star and won the 1993 Rookie Of the Year award. He was a poor defensive catcher, but still ranks as one of the greats.

74. Edgar Martinez
.418/.515/.405/67.2

Martinez is in his first of eligibility for the Hall Of Fame this year. I believe he did enough to get there. In his first three full seasons Martinez had a batting average of .300. Martinez was a part of the Mariners teams that had Griffey and A-Rod. He was a lonely superstar on the team. In his first year without Griffey he had 145 RBI, thirty seven homers, 100 runs scored, ninety-six walks and a .324 average. He was a seven time All-Star. I think of him as the only true Mariner.

73. Jim Edmonds
.377/.528/.384/66.6

When you look up web gem in the dictionary you see a picture of Jim Edmonds. Hes known for his amazing catches. He is either diving, twisting, or leaping for tough fly balls. The result is always the same though. An out. To show for his great defense he won seven Gold Gloves. Edmonds is also an excellent hitter. He hit .290-300 almost every season. He also hit forty-two home runs while teaming up with Mark Mcgwire in St. Louis. He has a total of 382 home runs. Edmonds is a four time All-Star.

72. Nolan Ryan
1.25/73.1 %/2.97/84.8

Nolan Ryan lasted from 66-93 in the Major Leagues. In that time he had an ERA of 3.19. Ryan was a fastball pitcher. It was overpowering. He shattered the strikeout record with a total of 5714 k’s. He also pitched seven no-hitters and had 324 wins. Ryan had been to the All-Star game eight times.

71. Al Kaline
.376/.480/.379/90.8

Kaline was a fifteen time All-Star and won the Gold Glove ten times. He also won a Batting Title. Kaline was one home run shy of the 400 mark. He was a good hitter and fielder. He had 3007 hits in his twenty seasons in a Tigers uniform.

Hall of Fame or no Hall of Fame, that is the question

November 9, 2009

I’ve been reading Tom Tango lately, and recently he’s talked about a trick or shortcut in determing if someone is worthy of the HOF. So he’s an extended quote:

As I’ve talked about in the past, the best way to get a sense of someone’s place in history is to compare the player to his peers.  And typically, you get about 20-25 players elected to the Hall of Fame for every decade of birth years (with about one-third of those pitchers).  Seeing that the best of the new crop of eligible players were born between 1963-68, I decided to list the best players born between 1961-1970.  Here are the best non-pitchers, in alphabetical order, by position class (all have at least 50 WAR according to baseballprojection.com):

WAR born retroID player

Catchers:
59 1968 piazm001 Piazza Mike

Infielders (2B, SS, 3B):
64 1968 alomr001 Alomar Roberto
66 1965 biggc001 Biggio Craig
59 1968 kentj001 Kent Jeff
69 1964 larkb001 Larkin Barry
56 1967 ventr001 Ventura Robin

Outfielders:
172 1964 bondb001 Bonds Barry
67 1970 edmoj001 Edmonds Jim
80 1969 grifk002 Griffey Ken
65 1967 loftk001 Lofton Kenny
64 1968 shefg001 Sheffield Gary
60 1968 sosas001 Sosa Sammy
67 1966 walkl001 Walker Larry

Firstbasemen/DH:
80 1968 bagwj001 Bagwell Jeff
58 1964 clarw001 Clark Will
67 1963 marte001 Martinez Edgar
51 1963 mcgrf001 McGriff Fred
63 1963 mcgwm001 McGwire Mark
57 1968 olerj001 Olerud John
66 1964 palmr001 Palmeiro Rafael
76 1968 thomf001 Thomas Frank
66 1970 thomj002 Thome Jim

How many of those should (or will) make the Hall of Fame (based on your criteria, or those of the Holy Writers)?  If we look at every 10yr birth class, the high was the 36 players born from 1898-1907.  The low was the 13 players born 1924-1933.  More recently, there were 21 players born 1938-1947 elected to the HOF.  It’s fair to say that every ten year birth class should have somewhere between 20-25 players, more or less, with about 30% of them being pitchers, more or less.  So, somewhere around 15 non-pitchers.  The above list contains 22 non-pitchers.

If you can knock off about 7 players, the rest are likely to make the Hall of Fame.  Is there anyone out there that is knocking out Alomar or Larkin?  And how many of you are knocking out Edgar from the above list (and if you are, how many players are you left with)?  Fred McGriff would seem to me to be the cusp-player.

UPDATE: Here are the best pitchers:


born WAR retroID player
1962 128 clemr001 Clemens Roger
1963 92 johnr005 Johnson Randy
1966 97 maddg002 Maddux Greg

1965 65 browk001 Brown Kevin
1966 67 glavt001 Glavine Tom
1968 75 mussm001 Mussina Mike
1966 70 schic002 Schilling Curt
1967 65 smolj001 Smoltz John

1967 50 appik001 Appier Kevin
1963 58 coned001 Cone David
1962 55 finlc001 Finley Chuck
1964 48 goodd001 Gooden Dwight
1961 46 key-j001 Key Jimmy
1962 47 moyej001 Moyer Jamie
1964 47 rogek001 Rogers Kenny
1964 55 sabeb001 Saberhagen Bret
1963 51 welld001 Wells David

1969 47 rivem002 Rivera Mariano

So who am I leaving off?

Jeff Kent, Will Clark, Fred McGriff, John Olerud, Sammy Sosa, Gary Sheffield, and Robin Ventura. For the pitchers its Kevin Appier, David Cone, Chuck Finley, Dwight Gooden, Jimmy Key, Jamie Moyer, Kenny Rogers, Brett Saberhagen, and David Wells.

I just want to say what an amazing generation of players. This will probably go down as the best HOF generation in baseball history’s. To have this many great pitchers and hitters grouped into one generation at a single time is amazing. Steroids? Sure, but that shouldn’t tarnish the general amazingness of the generation.