It is more likely he was
It is more likely he was not
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Bagwell played 1.5 minor league seasons. 1989, the year he was drafted (half of a season) and 1990 (full season).
Let's dive into that. In 1990, he played in New Britain. He had 34 doubles, 7 triples and 4 home runs. On the surface, that looks solid, but unspectacular. Of course, only two other guys on the team topped 20 doubles and the team leader in home runs had a grand total of 5. Yes, 5 home runs led that entire team. The next year the New Britain team leader had 8 home runs and only one other guy on the team had 5. In 1989 three guys topped the 3 home run mark for New Britain with the leader being Mo Vaughn at 8.
I don't have park factors for those years, but something tells me that it was really tough to hit for power in that park.
How about his first year when he was drafted. Well, it came in the league that is still known as the worst hitting environment in the minors, the Florida State League. The entire league had five players hit 10+ home runs that season.
Look, I get it if you want to believe that Bagwell used. But using his minor league numbers in 1.5 seasons where he very clearly played in very tough power environments doesn't do it for me.
If this were a legal question, I don't think there's any real evidence to support the claim. No way can you convict him; you could barely bring a charge against him.
But answering the question in terms of my best guess given everything we know about the sport and the player, I would say yes. It's not an emphatic yes, but it's something like 60/40 in my mind.
I would include Biggio, Piazza and Luis Gonzalez on the list too. To be clear, if I had to guess, I think something like 30% of players in the "PED era" tried PEDs. I think most players that used them only used them for a relatively short period of time. The percentage of guys who used over multiple seasons is probably under 5%. But I also think the PEDs should player zero role in whether or not the player is elected to HOF. So take all that for whatever it's worth.
Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.
I prefer to vote against him because he was a right handed hitter, that saw a .040 SLG increase when the abomination that is the Crawford Boxes was visited upon the NL Central.
Hugs, smiling, and interactive Twitter accounts, don't mean winning baseball. Until this community understands that we are cursed to relive the madness.
I voted that it was more likely that he did, but only because I would vote that way for every player in his era.
If he did, I don't think it had a big effect on his production. He's was a great hitter as an ametuer, minor leaguer and major leaguer. His power increase, not HR increase, but power increase seemed natural. He was always an elite hitter. If he took PED's, they weren't the reason for his success.
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cincinnati chili (01-09-2014)
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