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Thread: Active Hall of Famers--2007 edition

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    Big Red Machine RedsBaron's Avatar
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    Active Hall of Famers--2007 edition

    I have in prior years started threads on active Hall of Famers, using the Hall of Fame Monitor developed by Bill James. Please note that the Hall of Fame Monitor does not state who SHOULD be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Instead, it is based upon an analysis of historical Hall of Fame voting patterns to determine the chances that a particular player will make the Hall of Fame. For example, 3 points are awarded for each season a player has at least 100 RBI or 100 runs scored. Any score of at least 80 puts the player in a "gray" area where he at least has a HOF Monitor score as high as some Hall of Famers; a score of 100 is the average score of someone in the HOF; and a score of 130 or higher indicates that virtually every player with that score has or will make the HOF.
    HOF Monitor scores can be found at Baseball-Reference.com.
    A few comments before I begin to look at the scores: (1) I expect that the voting in the future will somewhat depart from the historical voting pattern because of the rise of sabermetrics. For almost all of the history of HOF voting the analysis of baseball statistics was very primitive. With the development of more sophisicated methods of examining a player's performance, I expect HOF voting to eventually reflect the influence of sabermetrics. OBP and OPS will gain in importance while raw batting average will decline in its effects upon voting. (2) To the extent historical voting reflects the various compositions of the Veterans Committee, the voting record probably overstates a player's chances of making the HOF so long as the present Veterans Committee is in effect, with its firm policy of electing no one. (3) We still do not know the effects that the use of steroids in baseball will have upon voting. But for the steroid issue, Mark McGwire would have been elected on the first ballot.
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    Big Red Machine RedsBaron's Avatar
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    Re: Active Hall of Famers--2007 edition

    First the pitchers, beginning withe Fab Four: Roger Clemens, Pedro Martinez, Greg Maddux and Randy Johnson. Little discussion is really needed regarded this quartet, who, just like the Beatles, will all be inducted into their occupation's Hall of Fame, although not as a group.
    Clemens, while looking nothing like Paul McCartney, is the "Paul" of this group. Sometimes inconsistent, with several slumps in his career, Clemens, like Sir Paul, has nevertheless put up a staggering career total of accomplishments: A 348-178 career mark, with 7 Cy Young awards, one MVP, 11 All Star selections, six 20 win seasons, and 7 ERA titles. He is even 14-9 in the post-season after some early career disappointments.
    Martinez is John Lennon. Arguably the best of the four at his peak, Martinez's career, like Lennon's, will not match the length of Clemens/McCartney, but what a peak: A 206-92 mark, with 3 Cy Young awards, 2 20 wins seasons, 8 All Star selections, and a 6-2 post-season record.
    Maddux is George Harrison, the quiet member of the group: A 333-203 record, with 4 Cy Young awards, 2 20 win seasons, 8 All Star selections-his post-season mark is only 10-11.
    While they look nothing alike, Randy Johnson and Ringo Starr each take "honors" as the least photogenic of their respective quartets, but Johnson has far surpassed Ringo, who did at least get former Bond girl Barabra Bach as a consolation prize. The Big Unit has a career record of 280-147, with five Cy Young awards, 3 20 win seasons, 4 ERA titles, 10 All Star selections; his post-season record is a mere 4-6, but his legend was made with his performance in 2001 that brought Arizona a World Championship.
    As for their HOF Monitor scores, Clemens leads the way with 326, thiord highest of all time, behind only Walter Johnson at 365 and Cy Young himself at 332. Randy Johnson isn't far behind at 320, 4th all time. Maddux has a 241 score, 13th all time. Martinez has a score of 193, ranking 23rd all time. All these guys are way, way above the 130 threshold making election certain.
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    Big Red Machine RedsBaron's Avatar
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    Re: Active Hall of Famers--2007 edition

    During the Beatles heyday, many articles were written about a "Fifth Beatle." I don't recall John, Paul, George or Ringo ever annoucing that they needed a fifth, but it made for some news articles. The "Fifth Beatle" among active pitchers is Tom Glavine. While rather clearly not as great as the afore-mentioned Fab Four, Glavine is a certain future Hall of Famer. He has a career record of 290-191, with 5 20 win seasons, 10 All Star selections, and a pair of Cy Young trophies. His post-season mark is only 14-16, but his HOF Monitor score is 166.
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    Big Red Machine RedsBaron's Avatar
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    Re: Active Hall of Famers--2007 edition

    Then there are Curt Schilling and John Smoltz. I usually think of them as a duo when evaluating their HOF chances. Maybe it is because their names come close together in the record books, or maybe because their birthdates are close together, with Curt being born on 11/14/66 and John six months later on 5/15/67. For a long time, Smoltz had the better credentials, but in more recent seasons Schilling appeared to pull ahead.
    Schilling has a career mark of 207-138 with 3015 Ks, 6 All Satr selections, three 20 win seasons, and an 8-2 post-season record. He twice has lead his league in wins and twice in strikeouts. His HOF Monitor score is 167, one point higher than that of Tom Glavine.
    Smoltz has a HOF Monitor score of 142. Along with a 193-137 carrer record, he has 2778 Ks, 7 All Star selections, one Cy Young award and one 20 win season. He too has twice lead his league in wins and twice in Ks. While Schilling has the edge in wins, Smoltz also boasts a Rolaids relief pitcher of the year award and 154 saves (Schilling has 22). I believe that Smoltz is the only pitcher in baseball history to ever win a Cy Young award as a starter and a relief pitcher of the year award.
    I think both guys will make the HOF. Schilling's post-season mark of 8-2 is impressive enough, but it includes a sparkling 2.06 ERA and the legend of the bloody sock in the Red Sox's World Championship season of 2004. Meanwhile, Smoltz has a post-season record of 15-4 with a 2.65 ERA; Smoltz has more post-season victories than any pitcher, ever. He was the one constant in the Braves string of 14 divisional titles. While he was often regarded as the number three starter on a staff that included Maddux and Glavine, he was also justly regarded as the Braves clutch starting pitcher, the guy the Braves most wanted on the mound in a decisive game.
    Last edited by RedsBaron; 03-06-2007 at 07:29 AM.
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    Re: Active Hall of Famers--2007 edition

    Next on the HOF Monitor list come three current or former Yankees: Mike Mussina, Andy Pettitte and David Wells. None of these guys would make the HOF IMO if their careers ended now. Mussina has a score of 109, Pettitte has a score of 98 and Wells has a score of 88.
    Mussina has never had a 20 win season and has made 5 All Star teams. However, he is still active at age 38 and already has 239 wins to go with 134 losses. It is not out of question that Mussina may gain another 61 wins to give him 300 for his career, especially given the support he should receive from the Yankees. The failure of the HOF to thus far admit Jim Kaat, Bert Blyleven and Tommy John, all of whom topped 280 career wins, means that Mussina almost certainly will need to win 300 games to make the Hall, but he at least has a decent shot at doing exactly that.
    Andy Pettitte has a career mark of 186-104 with an excellent .641%. Although he has only two All Star selections to his credit, he does have a pair of 20 win seasons and a 14-9 post-season record. He will be 35 in June. To have a realistic chance at the HOF, he probably needs to remain in Yankee pinstripes for the rest of his career and he will probably need to get at least 225-250 wins. He probably will fall short, but he has a chance.
    David Wells has a record of 230-148 which is better than several pithcers in the HOF, but he has virtually no chance at induction into the HOF. He has one 20 win season, a perfect game, and three All Star selections to boast of. Born on 5/20/63, he is highly unlikely to significantly push his career win total much further.
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    Big Red Machine RedsBaron's Avatar
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    Re: Active Hall of Famers--2007 edition

    No other active starting pitcher has yet reached the 80 threshold on the HOF Monitor list. Kenny Rogers is next with 66, but he will surely "know when to fold 'em" before he comes close to a score that would get him consideration. The guy to watch is obviously Johan Santana, who already has a score of 56.
    I believe that Clemens, Martinez, Maddux, Johnson, Glavine, Schilling and Smoltz will all gain admission to the Hall of Fame-that's 7 active HOF pitchers. if you assume that there are at least another 2 or 3 active starting pitchers who do not yet have HOF worthy resumes but eventually will, be they someone such as Santana who is off to a great start building that HOF resume or simply someone such as Homer Bailey who at this point is virtually a blank slate, this would mean there probably are around 10 active starting pitchers who wil make the Hall of Fame. Is that too many? Well, in 1969 the following then active starting pitchers made the HOF: Seaver, Gibson, Carlton, Drysdale, Ryan, Palmer, Gaylord Perry, Marichal, Phil Niekro, Sutton, Hunter, Jenkins, Bunning--that's 13 just by memory, and that list doesn't include pitchers such as Tiant, Kaat and John, all of whom arguably had HOF worthy careers although they have not been inducted into the Hall.
    Next I'll look at relief pitchers.
    Last edited by RedsBaron; 03-06-2007 at 07:27 AM.
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    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
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    Re: Active Hall of Famers--2007 edition

    Have to love a thread that combines the Beatles and Baseball (see avatar).

    I have to think that Smoltz would be up with the Fab Four if he hadn't spent 4 years in the pen. I think a dominant closer is great and all but only four years adds nothing to his HOF case no matter how good he was and it takes away from his record as a starter.

    Another 60 to 70 or so wins from starting those years would enhance his chances with the voters (who look at wins) IMO. I don't think the voters will be sophisticated enough to accumulate the value of his closing years on top of his starting years. I think that many will view each separately and be left with two careers that come up short within the same guy.

    Dwight Gooden might be the Pete Best of this group. He just didn't stay on as a member long enough to among the elite but was certainly a contemporary of the other 4.

    In addition to Santana (Johan not Carlos although it does play into the Music theme a bit) Roy Oswalt has to be a guy to watch that is off to a very good start on his way to the Hall IMO. By the time he's done, he may end up as the George Strait (see the Texas tie in) of this list.

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    Re: Active Hall of Famers--2007 edition

    Quote Originally Posted by mth123 View Post
    Have to love a thread that combines the Beatles and Baseball (see avatar).

    I have to think that Smoltz would be up with the Fab Four if he hadn't spent 4 years in the pen. I think a dominant closer is great and all but only four years adds nothing to his HOF case no matter how good he was and it takes away from his record as a starter.

    Another 60 to 70 or so wins from starting those years would enhance his chances with the voters (who look at wins) IMO. I don't think the voters will be sophisticated enough to accumulate the value of his closing years on top of his starting years. I think that many will view each separately and be left with two careers that come up short within the same guy.

    Dwight Gooden might be the Pete Best of this group. He just didn't stay on as a member long enough to among the elite but was certainly a contemporary of the other 4.

    In addition to Santana (Johan not Carlos although it does play into the Music theme a bit) Roy Oswalt has to be a guy to watch that is off to a very good start on his way to the Hall IMO. By the time he's done, he may end up as the George Strait (see the Texas tie in) of this list.
    If HOF voting was based solely upon how a pitcher did against the Reds Oswalt would make it on the first ballot. His HOF Monitor score is 42, which means he is roughly halfway to building a resume warranting serious consideration. He has a career mark of 98-47; if he gets to, say, 196-94 he will at least enter the conversation. He has two 20 win seasons, two All Star selections, has lead the league once in both wins and ERA, and has a 4-0 post-season record. Oswalt will turn age 30 in August. Write This Down and don't Give It Away-if he can keep his pace up Oswalt may one day be singing Cooperstown By Morning.
    Dwight Gooden is a great illustration of the danger of projecting whether or a player will make the HOF based upon only a few years of performance. After his first two seasons, Gooden looked like a certainty to make the Hall. His HOF Monitor score of 88 fairly reflects his career--very good, but short of HOF worthy.
    I think (hope?) that Dennis Eckersley's HOF induction will help Smoltz's chances. Both pitchers had hybrid careers. While Smoltz was not a dominant closer for as long as Eck, Eck was never the dominant starter Smoltz is. Perhaps more than any other starting pitcher, Smoltz really enhanced his HOF chances in 2006, when he lead the NL in wins for a second time, tying Aaron Harang with 16 wins.
    Last edited by RedsBaron; 03-06-2007 at 07:25 AM.
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    Re: Active Hall of Famers--2007 edition

    If we continue with the singers/pitchers analogy, Mariano Rivera is the Elvis, the "King" of relief pitchers, or better still, the Sinatra, the "Chairman of the Board" singing "New York, New York." It is hard to make a much better argument for induction into the Hall of Fame than to say a player is the best ever at his position, and that argument may be made for Rivera. His HOF Monitor score is 173, well above the 130 where induction becomes almost certain. He has a 59-40 career mark with 413 saves. He is an 8 time All Star. He is a four time winner of the Rolaids relief man award. He has lead the AL in saves three times. Most impressive is his post-season record of 8-1 with 34 saves and an 0.80 ERA. "If you can make it there, you'll make it anywhere.....".
    What about other relievers? First the HOF Monitor scores for all active relievers above 80: Trevor Hoffman-132, John Franco-124, Jose Mesa-103, Billy Wagner-86, Troy Percival-85 and Roberto Hernandez-83.
    Hoffman hasn't had the post-season opportunities that Rivera has, but his career record includes 482 saves, the most ever, along with 5 All Star selections, two Rolaids awards and two seaons leading the NL in saves. How impressed HOF voters will be with his career saves total, or how long Hoffman will be the career leader, remains to be seen--Lee Smith was the prior all time leader with 478 and he is still on the outside looking in. I'd guess Hoffman will probably make it. Even with a 132 HOF Monitor score I do not regard him as a certain inductee.
    Franco has 424 saves, is a 4 time All Star, lead the NL in saves three times and has two Rolaids awards, but even with a 124 HOF Monitor score I expect him to fall short in HOF voting. I do not believe he was as dominant a closer as, say, Goose Gossage, who has yet to be inducted, nor does he have as many saves or as high a HOF Monitor score as the afore-mentioned Lee Smith (135). I wouldn't vote for him.
    Jose Mesa has 320 saves, 2 All Star selections, one Rolaids award, one year leading his league in saves, and the enduring memory of being the guy who blew game seven of the 1997 World Series-buy a ticket if you want to see the HOF, Jose.
    Hernandez has 326 saves and two All Star selections; Wagner has 324 saves and 4 All Star selections; Percival has 324 saves and 4 All Star selections. None of that trio will make the HOF absent further polishing of their resumes.
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    Brett William Moore Will M's Avatar
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    Smoltz = HOF

    Smoltz is a first ballot HOFer in my book.
    He is/was a better pitcher than Glavine AND was da Man in the post season.
    The reason the Braves only won one World Series was due to their weak pens and Glavine/Maddux's generic post season pitching.
    Smoltz was great in the post season.
    .

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    Re: Active Hall of Famers--2007 edition

    I see Schilling and Smoltz both getting into the Hall, and it'll be due to their postseason success in my eyes. Their regular season career numbers will paint them as a borderline candidate, but I believe most of the voters will then consider each pitcher's postseason success and glory as the deal breaker to go ahead and vote for them.

    Part of me thinks Smoltz's time as a closer may help him in some voters' eyes, specifically because Smoltz went from being a great starting pitcher to a great closer, then back to being a very good starting pitcher once again. It'll be interesting, but I have a feeling that some voters may think even more highly of Smoltz because of that.

    Myself, I'd probably support both pitchers for the Hall too right now, and I'd also support Mussina, who I believe will have a difficult time gaining election unless he does something near the end of his career to wow voters.

    As for relievers, Rivera is a cinch, and I think Hoffman's in too, but I'm not sure if any of the rest will make it as of yet.

    To summarize:
    • In: Roger Clemens, Greg Maddux, Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson, Tom Glavine, Curt Schilling, John Smoltz, Mariano Rivera, and Trevor Hoffman
    • Toss-up, but I'd put them in: Mike Mussina
    • Some chance, but not lookin' real good: Andy Pettitte
    • Zero chance: David Wells, Kenny Rogers, Jose Mesa, Roberto Hernandez, and Troy Percival
    • No idea at the moment: John Franco
    • Possibly, but I'd guess no right now: Billy Wagner

    Great thread, RB, keep'em coming!
    Last edited by Cyclone792; 03-07-2007 at 12:04 AM.
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    Big Red Machine RedsBaron's Avatar
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    Re: Active Hall of Famers--2007 edition

    I'll do catchers next. No surprises-it is a short list, with Ivan Rodriguez and Mike Piazza the only catchers with a HOF Monitor score above 80. Jorge Posada is the third ranking catcher with a score of 70, which is the 249th highest all time score among "everyday" players. Posada will turn age 36 in August, so he is highly unlikely to ever push his score into the range of Hall of Fame discussion.
    Piazza has a HOF Monitor score of 205, 37th all time and 4th all time among catchers. He obviously will be a first ballot Hall of Famer. He has a .309 career average, with career marks of .379 OBP, .551 SPT, 419 HRs, 1291 RBI, 2042 hits, 327 doubles, 1015 runs scored, 10 Silver Slugger awards and 12 All Star selections. The only thing that keeps Piazza from being a serious contender for the title of greatest catcher of all time is the fact he can't play the position and has been a firstbaseman/leftfielder/DH playing out of position his entire career. He can hit with virtually anyone but he can't catch. He has zero Gold Gloves in his resume.
    Then there is Rodriguez. Pudge has an even higher HOF Monitor score, 212.5, 34th all time. There is a decent chance that before Pudge retires he will have the highest HOF Monitor score of any catcher in history. Yogi Berra had a score of 220, 29th among all players, and Johnny Bench had a score of 214, 33rd among all players.
    Pudge has career marks of a .304 average, .342 OBP, .483 SPT, 277 HRs, 1119 RBI, 2354 hits, 473 doubles, and 1159 runs. He is a 13 time All Star selection, has won an MVP, has 7 Silver Sluggers AND he has 12 Gold Gloves-Johnny Bench won 10 Gold Gloves. I still rank Bench as the greatest catcher in major league history, just ahead of Berra, but Ivan Rodiguez has as good a claim to that title as anyone. He will be inducted on the first ballot.
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    Brett William Moore Will M's Avatar
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    Re: Active Hall of Famers--2007 edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclone792 View Post
    I see Schilling and Smoltz both getting into the Hall, and it'll be due to their postseason success in my eyes. Their regular season career numbers will paint them as a borderline candidate, but I believe most of the voters will then consider each pitcher's postseason success and glory as the deal breaker to go ahead and vote for them.

    Part of me thinks Smoltz's time as a closer may help him in some voters' eyes, specifically because Smoltz went from being a great starting pitcher to a great closer, then back to being a very good starting pitcher once again. It'll be interesting, but I have a feeling that some voters may think even more highly of Smoltz because of that.

    Myself, I'd probably support both pitchers for the Hall too right now, and I'd also support Mussina, who I believe will have a difficult time gaining election unless he does something near the end of his career to wow voters.

    As for relievers, Rivera is a cinch, and I think Hoffman's in too, but I'm not sure if any of the rest will make it as of yet.

    Great thread, RB, keep'em coming!

    I do think more highly of Smoltz based on the fact that when asked to be the Braves closer for 4 years not only did he do it but he was a GREAT closer.
    .

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    Re: Active Hall of Famers--2007 edition

    Piazza and Rodriguez are absolute locks, and there's no doubt they'll get in.

    Jorge Posada is an interesting case. He's been an outstanding rate catcher, as evidenced by his 122 OPS+, which is higher than Rodriguez's 113 OPS+. Posada also has 24.96 win shares per 162 games, and that's higher than both Carlton Fisk and Gary Carter who have 23.86 and 23.78 win shares per 162 games, respectively.

    However, Posada's problem is he didn't become a regular catcher until age 26, and he's really lacking the total career value. He only has 196 career win shares, and he's not likely to get much more than maybe 250 win shares for his career. Unless you're Roy Campanella or Mickey Cochrane and put up an absurd peak, which Posada didn't do, that's not likely to get you noticed by Hall voters.

    If Posada can catch another 500 games without a significant dropoff in performance, I think he's got a shot at Cooperstown. Unfortunately, that's another four seasons of around 125+ games caught each season, and at Posada's age I don't think that's likely to happen.

    To summarize ...

    In: Mike Piazza and Ivan Rodriguez
    Some chance, but not lookin' real good: Jorge Posada
    Barry Larkin - HOF, 2012

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    For a Level Playing Field RedFanAlways1966's Avatar
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    Re: Active Hall of Famers--2007 edition

    Great read. Very interesting. Thanks!

    Cyclone's post above this one makes me ask.. do most of the voters actually look at the numbers like Cyclone does? The same for RedsBaron's information relative to Bill James' numerical stat for entry. I think this line of thinking is great for entry... but, as we have read elsewhere here, there are many who think that kind of thinking is ruining things. Some of those who think it ruins things are the ones who vote for inclusion in Cooperstown.
    Last edited by RedFanAlways1966; 03-07-2007 at 08:10 AM.
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