My 2012 FanSided Hall of Fame Ballot


The fine people at FanSided and the Baseball Bloggers Alliance continue to ask me to vote on the Hall of Fame, a clear sign they aren’t reading any of this nonsense, but I never miss an opportunity to yell about Wins Above Replacement on the Internets. Hall of Fame voting is a great time for baseballs fans to argue and writers to fill column space. Then, after the voting, everybody disagrees with each other and forgets about it a week later. Just. Just such a magical time.

I’m no different though. It’s part of my wonderful, argumentative nature. Many say that’s why I’m single and they have a good point. Before we get to my ballot and quick analysis, remember that it takes 75% of the vote to get in, a voter can have up to 10 names on the ballot and Wins Above Replacement isn’t the end-all but it’s a good starting place.

This is my 2012 ballot with their 2011 HOF percentage…

Name Pct.
Barry Larkin 62.1
Jeff Bagwell 41.7
Tim Raines 37.5
Edgar Martinez 32.9
Alan Trammell 24.3
Mark McGwire 19.8

Allow my to explain (I’ll be using Baseball-Reference for stats unless otherwise noted)…

Barry Larkin
Larkin is likely the lone HOF inductee this year unless Jack Morris picks up some more irrational love. Here are the top 10 short stops (played 70% of their games at SS) sorted by WAR.

Rk Player WAR/pos From To G PA H HR RBI BB SB BA OBP SLG
1 Honus Wagner 116.5 1901 1917 2298 9640 2766 78 1375 836 601 .325 .392 .462
2 Cal Ripken 89.9 1981 2001 3001 12883 3184 431 1695 1129 36 .276 .340 .447
3 Arky Vaughan 75.6 1932 1948 1817 7721 2103 96 926 937 118 .318 .406 .453
4 Derek Jeter 70.8 1995 2011 2426 11155 3088 240 1196 994 339 .313 .383 .449
5 Luke Appling 69.3 1930 1950 2422 10243 2749 45 1116 1302 179 .310 .399 .398
6 Barry Larkin 68.9 1986 2004 2180 9057 2340 198 960 939 379 .295 .371 .444
7 Alan Trammell 66.9 1977 1996 2293 9375 2365 185 1003 850 236 .285 .352 .415
8 Pee Wee Reese 66.7 1940 1958 2166 9470 2170 126 885 1210 232 .269 .366 .377
9 Ozzie Smith 64.6 1978 1996 2573 10778 2460 28 793 1072 580 .262 .337 .328
10 Joe Cronin 62.5 1926 1945 2124 8838 2285 170 1424 1059 87 .301 .390 .468

I think we can all agree that Jeter walks in to the Hall when he’s eligible. That just leaves Larkin and Trammell outside of the Hall on that list. Larkin should resolve that this year.

Jeff Bagwell
The only, only, reason I can figure Bagwell isn’t already in the Hall of Fame is because of the “Steroid ERA.” Bagwell never tested positive for anything or was suspected of cheating but former teammate Ken Caminiti admitted to using steroids. Guilty! Here’s the top 10 firstbasemen (70% of games) sorted by WAR…

Rk Player WAR/pos From To PA H HR RBI BB SB BA OBP SLG
1 Lou Gehrig 118.4 1923 1939 9660 2721 493 1995 1508 102 .340 .447 .632
2 Jimmie Foxx 94.1 1925 1945 9670 2646 534 1922 1452 87 .325 .428 .609
3 Albert Pujols 89.1 2001 2011 7433 2073 445 1329 975 84 .328 .420 .617
4 Jeff Bagwell 79.9 1991 2005 9431 2314 449 1529 1401 202 .297 .408 .540
5 Johnny Mize 70.2 1936 1953 7371 2011 359 1337 856 28 .312 .397 .562
6 Eddie Murray 66.7 1977 1997 12817 3255 504 1917 1333 110 .287 .359 .476
7 Rafael Palmeiro 66.0 1986 2005 12046 3020 569 1835 1353 97 .288 .371 .515
8 Willie McCovey 65.1 1959 1980 9686 2211 521 1555 1345 26 .270 .374 .515
9 Mark McGwire 63.1 1986 2001 7660 1626 583 1414 1317 12 .263 .394 .588
10 Keith Hernandez 61.0 1974 1990 8553 2182 162 1071 1070 98 .296 .384 .436
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 12/29/2011.

Really, a career .408 OBP and .540 SLG gets you 41.7% of the vote? Here are the only players to put up those stats over 2,000+ games…

Rk Player OBP SLG G
1 Ted Williams .482 .634 2292
2 Babe Ruth .474 .690 2503
3 Lou Gehrig .447 .632 2164
4 Barry Bonds .444 .607 2986
5 Rogers Hornsby .434 .577 2259
6 Jimmie Foxx .428 .609 2316
7 Todd Helton .421 .550 2054
8 Mickey Mantle .421 .557 2401
9 Frank Thomas .419 .555 2322
10 Stan Musial .417 .559 3026
11 Manny Ramirez .411 .585 2302
12 Jeff Bagwell .408 .540 2150
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 12/29/2011.

Helton will likely be hurt by playing in Coors Field and Manny for the obvious reasons but Bagwell has to eventually get into the Hall.

Tim Raines
Raines is a good example of where WAR doesn’t tell the whole story. Baseball-Reference has Raines at 64.6 WAR and Fangraphs has him at 70.9 WAR. In this case, I’ll defer to the great Tim Raines-Hall of Fame site.

Edgar Martinez
Martinez struggles in the voting because he spent most of his career at designated hitter. He was a monster with the stick though. He should already be in the Hall but this one might take some time. He finished his career with a .418 OBP. Sounds like a good time for another chart…

Rk Player OBP G PA HR RBI BA SLG OPS
1 Ted Williams .482 2292 9791 521 1839 .344 .634 1.116
2 Babe Ruth .474 2503 10617 714 2213 .342 .690 1.164
3 Lou Gehrig .447 2164 9660 493 1995 .340 .632 1.080
4 Barry Bonds .444 2986 12606 762 1996 .298 .607 1.051
5 Rogers Hornsby .434 2259 9475 301 1584 .358 .577 1.010
6 Ty Cobb .433 3034 13068 117 1938 .366 .512 .945
7 Jimmie Foxx .428 2316 9670 534 1922 .325 .609 1.038
8 Tris Speaker .428 2790 11988 117 1529 .345 .500 .928
9 Eddie Collins .424 2825 12037 47 1300 .333 .429 .853
10 Todd Helton .421 2054 8725 347 1308 .323 .550 .971
11 Mickey Mantle .421 2401 9909 536 1509 .298 .557 .977
12 Frank Thomas .419 2322 10074 521 1704 .301 .555 .974
13 Edgar Martinez .418 2055 8672 309 1261 .312 .515 .933
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 12/29/2011.

After Frank Thomas walks into the Hall, maybe Edgar can get a little more love for being a DH.

Alan Trammell
And Lou Whitaker too. In a perfect world, Trammell and Whitaker would have gone into the Hall together. Unfortunately, Sweet Lou fell off the ballot in his first year of elgibility in 2001 after not receiving 5% of the vote. Trammell is still treading water and will have to continue to do so until voters realize he was a great defensive short stop. He’s in the table above with Larkin. Just in case you though I had some Trammell-graphic bias.

Mark McGwire
McGwire hit a high 23.7% of the vote in 2010 before hitting his low 19.8% in 2011. It doesn’t look good. McGwire is an admitted steroid user so he can’t get into the Hall under the Old Guard’s watch. But before McGwire hit 70 home runs in 1998 during the evil steroid era, he hit 49 home runs as a 23-year-old rookie in 1987. Maybe I have a more laissez faire attitude about the steroid era than most. Maybe I think amphetimines were a performance enhancer in the 1970′s. Maybe I have an exgirlfriend who wouldn’t let people talk about Barry Bonds around me because I’d yell about him being the greatest hitter of all time for hours. Where was I? Oh, right. McGwire should be in the Hall but it’s probably going to take 10 years before we see an upward tick in his percentage. The rise of the Internet writer!

Here’s my awesome post about Larry Walker vs. Jim Rice on Off Base Percentage. Ask me tomorrow and I’d probably vote for Walker. I’m totally on the fence. He’s a former Expo. That’s like 10 bonus points. I’ll vote for him next year.

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Tags: Hall Of Fame