Edgar Martinez and the Hall of Fame

Edgar Martinez presents one of the most interesting debates about the hall of fame to date. Certainly, he was a hall of fame caliber hitter, regardless of the metrics you use. For his career, he hit .319 with 309 HRs, 514 2B, and 1261 RBI. His career OPS .933 is fantastic. His career wOBA was .405 – over 8600 plate appearances over 18 seasons, he produced at the level of Alex Rodriguez in 2009. This is phenomenal, especially when considering that this includes both his pre-peak and post-attrition numbers. His 544 wRAA translate to nearly 54 wins added with his bat alone, before considering credit for playing time and defense – he did play third base for roughly four full seasons and, according to Sean Smith’s TotalZone (seen here), he was a plus fielder.

Of course, Martinez is not known for his defense, and any argument against his hall of fame candidacy rests upon the fact that Martinez spent a large majority of his career – 1412 of his 2055 games – at the DH position. In the end, the decision of whether or not to vote for Martinez really comes down to a philosophical view of what the designated hitter position really means to baseball.

The dilemma of differentiating between positions is a difficult one in the first place. It’s obvious that a shortstop is more valuable than a first baseman given equal hitting lines due to the relative difficulty of SS and ease of 1B. Similarly, CF is more valuable than LF/RF, and a SP is more valuable than a middle reliever. One solution is the idea of the positional adjustment, which we employ in our WAR valuation here. It’s one way to quantify the value from playing a position given the scarcity of players that can adequately play it.

When it comes down to the designated hitter, there is no longer an issue of scarcity. Anybody in the major leagues can be slotted into the designated hitter position with no defensive detriment to their team. With players like Martinez and David Ortiz who have little to no defensive value, the question of how to properly value them is interesting. Firstly, they can only play in the American League. Secondly, roster flexibility is lost. Clearly, a designated hitter that can play no other position has a lower value to his team than other players.

Still, that doesn’t allow us to take away from the fact that the rules of the American League allow for Edgar Martinez, David Ortiz, Frank Thomas et al. to devastate pitchers and continually produce runs and wins for their teams. As mentioned above, Martinez produced about 54 wins with the bat alone. With Sean Smith’s position adjustment, Martinez produced 67 wins above replacement (vs. roughly 81 wins without any position adjustment). Most players within 5 wins of that mark are either in the hall of fame or will be once they become eligible.

This is where the baseball philosophy comes in. Unlike players like Tim Raines, whose wins were produced via methods unrecognized by traditional metrics, Edgar Martinez’s hitting accomplishments are hall-of-fame caliber by any metric. I believe that Edgar is a hall of famer because he was such a fantastic hitter that any detriment caused by his position is cancelled out. The question is whether or not the BBWAA will agree.




Print This Post



If you enjoyed this post, please consider subscribing to Jack's new project, The Sports Desk on Beacon Reader. Jack also writes for Sports On Earth, The Classical, and has written for Disciples of Uecker and The Score, among others. Follow him on Twitter at @jh_moore.


176 Responses to “Edgar Martinez and the Hall of Fame”

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
  1. 2nd Half Adjustment says:

    I’m sorry, Martinez’s numbers do not scream “HOF” at me. Do I think he was a good hitter? Yes. He was valuable to his team, but HOF should be transcendent talents. Like Frank Thomas. By the numbers, be they the primary stats baseball dummies use or the secondary and tertiary stats we love here, Frank Thomas is one of the greatest hitters. Of. All. Time. Period. Frank Thomas (and Jim Thome, for that matter) are so far beyond the league of Martinez (in my world) it’s ridiculous. Martinez is not a hall of famer. 300 home runs, from a run producing spot in the line up, doesn’t do it for me.

    -54 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • JoeR43 says:

      Count stat fail.
      He should be punished for being left to stew for 129, 95, and 32 games in his 24, 25, and 26 y/o seasons in AAA Calgary (where he hit .329, .363, and .345)?

      Frank Thomas was better, no one denies this, but Frank Thomas is NOT the standard for the Hall of Fame. Players of Frank Thomas’ caliber have NEVER been the standard. It’s disgraceful to think players like George Kell, Jim Rice, Chick Hafey, etc, are Hall of Famers but Martinez’ “doesn’t match up”.

      You realize there’s other ways to help a team outside of HR, right? Martinez won 2 batting titles, 3 OBP titles, led the AL in OPS, Runs Scored, and Doubles in 1995, RBI in 2001, and here were his OPS+’s the years he qualified for the batting title:

      185, 166, 165, 164, 160, 158, 157, 155, 152, 141, 139, 138, 132, 92 (age 41 season). Mark Teixeira’s this season was 149, and his career high was 152. That would’ve been Martinez’ 9th best season ever.

      But you’re right, you can have Dave Kingman. He hit 442 HR’s. That’s run production. I’ll put Martinez on my team and suck ass.

      +38 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • don says:

        Not getting a full time job until he was 27 counts against him, whether or not that’s fair. No voter is going to care that he was hitting .350 in AAA. It’s AAA.

        -6 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • JoeR43 says:

        I never said his minor league stats should count, I said it’s stupid to hold his lack of count stats against him because he didn’t get the same opportunity to accumulate said count stats. He was productive as hell once Seattle woke up and give him a job, as anyone could’ve guessed with his AAA numbers.

        Compare his career to any other player from 27 on, he matches up well with almost everyone.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • don says:

        Whether or not it’s stupid to hold it against him, I think it’s overwhelmingly likely that the voters will. That’s all I’m saying. There are lots of reasons guys lose out in counting stats and not all of them are fair.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Steve says:

        i don’t think it’s stupid at all to “hold his lack of counting stats” against him b/c he lost time in the minors.

        i agree with your conclusion: Edgar is a HoFer.

        but we still have to only consider things that ACTUALLY happened. doesn’t matter if it was out of his control or not. judge him on his body of work. i happen to think his body of work is good enough. but if it weren’t, i wouldn’t give him credit for his age 24-27 seasons to push him over the edge.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • BrettJMiller says:

      So Frank Thomas and Edgar Martinez aren’t that far apart as hitters…

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • dxc says:

      This has to be a troll, right? Why would anyone who would say “300 home runs, from a run producing spot in the line up, doesn’t do it for me.” actually be reading fangraphs?

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Minstrel says:

      I’m very amused by these two lines, in the same post, from 2nd Half Adjustment:

      “the primary stats baseball dummies use”

      AND

      “300 home runs, from a run producing spot in the line up, doesn’t do it for me.”

      Way to conclude your post/argument with a very standard use of traditional stats, the kind that, in your words, “baseball dummies use.”

      I assume I’ve been trolled, but that’s okay.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  2. JoeR43 says:

    I’ve argued on behalf of Martinez for years.
    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/33199-edgar-martinez-should-be-a-surefire-hall-of-famer

    This one was kind of dumbed down from my normal stuff (no WAR or WARP or EqA or blah blah blah), but I think it gets the point across.

    People will induct Mariano Rivera no problem. What makes Rivera any less one dimensional than Martinez? Rivera can come in and throw his best stuff as hard as he wants w/ no regard to fatigue or pitch count, a luxury starters don’t have.

    And SSS alert, but Rivera in his 10 starts had a 5.94 ERA, a 1.68 WHIP, and a 1.9 K/BB. Can’t make any conclusions on 10 measly starts, but who knows if Rivera would’ve been a Hall of Famer if he started.

    Anyway, he (Martinez) is being punished in the eyes of fans, not for bad defense, but for being used as a DH. There was no need for Martinez in the field, the Mariners had plus corner IF’s. How much did defense matter when they rolled the red carpet out for Jim Rice? Ralph Kiner? Orlando Cepeda? Ernie Lombardi? The implication is that Martinez would’ve been more valuable as a bumblef*** level 1B than as a DH. Not even saying he would’ve been, but it’s a stupid thought, and punishing him for his career situation is asinine.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • 2nd Half Adjustment says:

      I wasn’t talking about Martinez’s defensive numbers at all. I believe that some DH’s are Hall of Fame worthy. I just don’t think Martinez is one of them. I’m sorry, 300 home runs over 18 years, as a DH/run producer, don’t do it for me.

      -43 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • JoeR43 says:

        He didn’t get a FT job until age 27, and played in a difficult HR park. How about you check his Translated stats: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/dt/martied01.php.

        391 HR in a more hitter friendly park. He’s 55th all time in Runs Created on B-R (with about 3 years of service time removed from his career), 34th in OPS, 43rd in OPS+. Here’s some guys behind Martinez in OPS+:

        Jim Thome
        Vlad Guerrero
        Albert Belle
        Harmon Killebrew
        Frank Howard
        Ryan Howard
        Billy Hamilton
        Sam Crawford

        And tied with A-Rod, McCovey, and Schmidt. Those aren’t borderline Hall of Famers, those are slam dunks he’s matching up with. Stop fixating on one count statistic.

        +8 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Bill@TDS says:

        “I’m sorry, 300 home runs over 18 years, as a DH/run producer, don’t do it for me.”

        Ugh. Blech. Ew. I almost vomited from all the lack of comprehension evident in that one little sentence.

        Those “18 years” include seasons in which he played 13, 14, 65, 42, 89 and 97 games. If a “season” is 162 games, Edgar played 12.7 of them. If it’s 150 games, he played 13.7. In no way imaginable did Edgar play for “18 years.”

        He averaged 24 homers per 162 games. Different era and all that, but Dave Winfield averaged 25 per, Eddie Murray 27.

        Hitters — even DHes — can do a lot of things other than hit home runs. Like hit for a crazy high average and hit a ton of doubles and draw walks. And the fact is that Edgar was one of the best hitters in almost all of the 11 or 12 full seasons he played, and was much better than a lot of guys who hit many more home runs (and roughly equivalent to Thome). There are arguments against him (I think they’re all wrong, but there are arguments), but “he only hit 300 home runs,” by itself, is really not one of them.

        +14 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Typical Idiot Fan says:

        Joe Mauer sucks.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • JoeR43 says:

        Not to mention, Bill, isn’t it pretty obvious at this point that high RBI guys tend to be overrated as hitters?

        Saying he wasn’t a “run producer” is pigeon-holing him into a define role and subjecting him to criteria. It’s not a real anaysis, it’s a cherry pick.

        Different era and all, but his AB/HR is still better than guys like Dave Winfield, Gary Carter, and Al Kaline, and it’s not far off Stan Musial. By the way, this is the “weakness” that should keep him out of the hall of fame. This ignores that he hit well over .300 in his career (guys like George Kell and Pie Traynor have gotten into the Hall for absolutely nothing but this), OBP’d over .400 (22nd all time on b-r, for reference, 22nd all time in AVG and SLG is Riggs Stephenson (Al Simmons is 23nd, Pujols 24th) and Mickey Mantle), and like I said, this season where writers orgasmed over Mark teixeira and his brilliance, well, Edgar Martinez had EIGHT seasons that were better than that. If Teixeira cranked out 6 more years of ~ 150 OPS+ ball, no one would argue against his Hall of Fame candidacy, absolutely no one. Yet people do it to Martinez over a count stat fixation, ignoring his consistant level of awesome.

        +7 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • BrettJMiller says:

        Why do home runs matter? He’s in the top-20 all-time in OBP. He has a career .405 wOBA. Frank Thomas had a career .416 wOBA. They’re not that different as hitters. While Thomas’ production came from hitting the ball over the fence, Edgar’s came in other ways. If you’re trying to argue that Thomas is one of the best hitters of all-time, then so is Edgar. Over their careers, they were almost exactly as valuable with the bat.

        Also, Frank Thomas sucked in the field, and played there longer than Edgar did. If you’re gonna penalize Edgar for being a DH and being a 0 level contributor on defense, you have to penalize Thomas for being a negative contributor on defense.

        +14 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • JoeR43 says:

        Come on Brett, we all know defense only matters when it helps your argument. Sauer was the 1952 NL MVP for a reason.

        /sarcasm

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Teej says:

        I believe that some DH’s are Hall of Fame worthy. I just don’t think Martinez is one of them.

        I’m curious what DHs you would vote for. Edgar’s the best DH of all time, from where I’m looking.

        +10 Vote -1 Vote +1

  3. Boxkutter says:

    Its ridiculous to even entertain the idea of not letting a player into the HOF because they were primarily a DH. The Designated Hitter is part of baseball, but some are saying it shouldn’t be part of the place that celebrates the sport. That’s like the NFL not having any kickers in their HOF. If a player is playing a legitimate position in the sport, and plays it at a HOF level, then they should be in the HOF.

    +8 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • JoeR43 says:

      Maybe soon the DH will replace 3B as the Small Forward of baseball. See: Adrian Dantley, pre-2008.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Steve says:

      Neyer had a good post up about this. and he’s right.

      LHed setup man is a “position”, but we wouldn’t enshrine the best LHed setup man of all time.

      compare Edgar based on how many wins he produced. is that enough to stand aside the other Hall of Famers?

      i think it is.

      but “best DH” is not a good argument (conversely, neither is “no DH should get in”)

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Typical Idiot Fan says:

        I don’t think you can compare “LH Setup guy” with “DH” in terms of “position”.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Kevin S. says:

        TIF, I think the point was that just because a position exists doesn’t mean it needs to be represented, which is something I agree with. Edgar shouldn’t be in because he’s the best DH — he should be in because over the course of his career, he provided value above and beyond the roughly-accepted standard for Hall inclusion. Period.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Typical Idiot Fan says:

        Being a completely unbiased Mariner fan, I’m totally on the Edgar for HOF bandwagon. I do not see why it shouldn’t be mentioned about his DH status, though, as being part of his credentials. If we have to have a measuring stick for which all other DHs are to be compared to (and we do, when we figure out positional adjustments and such) then the relevance of he who legitimized the position should be important.

        I mean, the annual DH of the Year award is named for him for cripes sakes. Edgar as a DH is important.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Jack B says:

        If, Neyer said that, I think that he is wrong. “Left handed set-up man” is not a position. The position is called: Pitcher.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Kevin S. says:

        Mentioned, sure. If he was the best DH ever but only, say, a 40-WAR player, he’d get a ‘no’ vote from me. I guess what I’m saying is that his standing as the best DH shouldn’t affect his candidacy when we talk about him, though we can certainly put it on his HOF plaque.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Choo says:

        No, Neyer is dead wrong. LOOGY is a role player, not unlike LORGY (Long Reliever Guy), MUGY (Mop-up Guy), LIDERGY (Late Inning Defensive Replacement Guy), PRUGY (Pinch Runner Guy), NASOWRISPGY (Need a Strike Out with Runners in Scoring Position Guy) and even FITOGY (Final Three Outs Guy).

        Edgar Martinez was not a role player.

        +5 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Steve says:

        “If, Neyer said that, I think that he is wrong. “Left handed set-up man” is not a position. The position is called: Pitcher.”

        obviously this is true, but for the purposes of the Hall of Fame, there is a distinction between various “pitcher” positions. Closers are judged as a separate “position”.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Joser says:

        And closers don’t play every day. And rarely field their position. And in the AL, never bat. (Mariano Rivera’s hit this year off KRod being a very notable, and aberrant, exception). Heck, between the creation of the DH and the advent of interleague play, AL starting pitchers never batted. But we never hear arguments about those pitchers not being “hall worthy” because batting is such an important part of the game and they didn’t contribute at all.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Deelron says:

        “Closers are judged as a separate “position”.”

        I don’t know about that, I always thought they were judged as “relief pitchers” and the assumption was that if a RP was never a closer they never reached the top of their own position and didn’t merit a discussion as a possible HOF anyway.

        Regardless, DH is a position, it’s listed on the lineup card as such. P is the only position listed, there’s just different consideration for awards/performance based upon role, not much different then considering how a slap-hitting leadoff hitter contributes to his team in a different way then a power-hitting cleanup hitter.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Steve says:

        ok, but they are just separately from starters. this is indisputable.

        but they both play the position of pitcher.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Choo says:

        I’m pretty sure the word “closer” appears in the MLB rule book 0 times. It is not a position. It is a nickname used to describe guys who, due to artistic grooming techniques and dubious hygiene, are repeatedly deployed in low leverage game situations which allows them to earn a specific statistic known as “the save.”

        +7 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Steve says:

        really?

        you are missing the point.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  4. Dan Rosenheck says:

    Sean’s WAR give a 5 runs per year credit to DH’s for the supposed difficulty of hitting without having to field. Edgar drops off a good bit without that boost, although I do still support his induction (see http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/06/sports/baseball/06score.html).

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • JoeR43 says:

      Still 67th all time on Sean Smith’s database, and pretty much one robbed HR from being knotted w/ Carlton Fisk.

      Essentially, someone, anyone, justify why a guy like Lou Brock is a first ballot hall of famer, but Martinez doesn’t belong. I wouldn’t mind if there was a clear performance standard to the Hall, but the inconsistency kills me.

      I also chronicled how Tim Raines pretty much beat Brock in everything but stolen bases (but Raines generated more base value by minimizing times thrown out). Brock was 1st ballot, Raines is probably never getting in.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • dl80 says:

        I can’t stand the “well that guy is in and he is slightly worse than player X, so player X should get in.” That’s a bad argument. I happen to think that the Hall is way too diluted and I’d like to see some guys taken out, but that’s not going to happen. Regardless, I think Edgar has to be evaluated in the context of his time and not vs. Stan Musial, but rather as (Martinez vs. his era) vs. (Musial vs. his era). OPS+ and WAR obviously only help a certain amount, but I think we can make educated decisions about their relative value.

        I am, however, totally swayed by the idea that a non-defensive DH is as good as a bad defensive player (depending on how bad and what position). I mean, just because a team isn’t smart enough to move a bad defensive player to DH, that shouldn’t reward that guy. Dye and Dunn would almost certainly be helping their respective teams more if they were DHing, because at least they couldn’t do any defensive damage.

        One strike against Martinez, IMHO, was that he only averaged 132 games a year in his prime (1990-2001, though you can use different years and come up with similar averages). We can blame some of that on interleague play, but it still means his team either has to replace him or go without his offense for ~30 games a year. To me, that’s a pretty big negative. Even Griffey averaged 140+ for 11 years in a row in the beginning of his career. Still, Martinez actually played more from 1995 to the end.

        If you didn’t know what position he played, I think it would be a pretty easy choice to put him in. If he were a terrible-fielding player that spent half his career bumbling around in the field before being moved to DH (Thomas, Dunn, etc.), we’d put him in. Martinez spent a quarter of his career at 3b (not sure if it was bumbling), so I’d say he’s definitely in, though I don’t think he’s nearly the hitter Thomas was if we compare their primes.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  5. 2nd Half Adjustment says:

    I said, “numbers” plural, not just home runs, even though I was citing his homerun total. By no means is Frank Thomas the benchmark of the Hall of Fame, it’s a gross perversion of what I wrote to suggest otherwise. I simply stand by my opinion that Martinez is not a Hall of Famer. Plus, it’s not just a numbers case; the baseball Hall of Fame allows for a larger context (i.e. steroid use). I have legitimate questions as to the pure validity of Martinez’s numbers. Which is fair.

    -35 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • JoeR43 says:

      Wait wait wait, now we have unfounded theories on potential steroid use against Martinez?

      This is really turned into a reach quick.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Casadilla says:

      So despite all the numbers (OBP, OPS, batting titles, etc.) demonstrating he performed at HOF level over his entire career, you stand by your opinion.

      AND, you say that questioning the validity or his numbers is FAIR? Please-please-please educate us with your news-breaking evidence of his supposed steroid use!

      You have a good point. Oh wait, your arguments are based on idiocies and fallacies.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • dl80 says:

        I actually agree with 2HA in suspecting steroids with Martinez. But then you also need to do the same with Thomas, Thome, Bagwell, etc. (which I would). We need to come to a consensus that almost everyone, including the stars, used steroids and/or HGH from 1996 on (and many are still doing so today). Once we get past that, it makes this much easier. If Griffey was injury-prone because he refused to use, then that doesn’t get him extra points for being “clean.” If a guy is known/proven/nearly proven to have used, then I’m in favor of mentally discounting his numbers and then seeing if they still get in. Bonds, Palmeiro, Sosa, McGwire, Ortiz, Manny, ARod. It’s messy. It’s arbitrary. It’s subjective. But it’s the only way I can see for it to work. Since I’ve never seen anything about Martinez, I’m not going to assume he was clean and give him some kind of brownie points, but I’m also not going to discount his numbers at all.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • B says:

        Why 1996, though? There’s evidence steroids have been in baseball since the early 1970′s…..

        “If Griffey was injury-prone because he refused to use, then that doesn’t get him extra points for being “clean.””

        Especially since, using logic like that, you could also reason he was injury prone because he started using. :)

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Chris says:

        So a player is guilty until proven innocent of steroid use?

        Also I’d like to see some evidence of the widespread use of steroids. Some big names used them but that doesn’t mean everybody used them.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Nats Fan says:

        Steroids were in baseball in the 1920s. On the Yankees in the 1920s according to the inventor of roids. which were invented in NYC in 1918 for a WWI defense contract..

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • B says:

        “Steroids were in baseball in the 1920s. On the Yankees in the 1920s according to the inventor of roids. which were invented in NYC in 1918 for a WWI defense contract..”

        Anabolic steroids weren’t invented that early, if wikipedia is correct. They were in baseball as early as the early ’70′s, though, as Tom House has admitted to (he admitted to using them back then).

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • can-of-corn says:

      No, you do not have legitimate questions about the validity of Martinez’s numbers.

      If you are aware of some news that suggests that Edgar used steroids then put it on the table. If there is any credibility to this news, then yes, it would be fair and legitimate to question his numbers.

      But absent information like that of any kind, just throwing around the questions is neither fair nor legitimate. It’s a smear.

      And that kind of post–your post–is quite disgraceful.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Bite Me says:

      I’m sorry, you may have “questions” about anything you want but that doesn’t make them legitimate. If you even have the barest inkling that Edgar juiced, then you clearly know NOTHING about Edgar Martinez. You know nothing about the countless hours he spent watching film – even during games between ABs. You know nothing of the thousands of hours he spent doing eye exercises to overcome a condition called strabismus – also known as “lazy-eye” – which could have derailed his career completely if not for his near superhuman work ethic. In short…you know nothing.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Bob Swerski says:

        Just because Edgar Martinez had the discipline to watch extensive film does not mean that he did not supplement that advantage with the use of steroids.

        It’s clear Edgar Martinez was a competitor and wanted to win. Usually that is the goal of steroid users. To get better, to be the best, to win.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  6. 2nd Half Adjustment says:

    Plus, the other players you mentioned were not primary DH’s. I do believe that if a player is going to be primarily a DH and go to the Hall of Fame (WHICH IS FINE) I think he should have those eye popping numbers. Not playing in the field is a fair reason to question a HOF.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Typical Idiot Fan says:

      And what if they play the field like shit? Is wearing a glove such an important requirement that defensive prowess matters not at all? If Adam Dunn ends his career with 500+ bombs and gets inducted to the Hall of Fame, will you have a cow that he cost his team several wins a season because he can’t field a baseball?

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • B says:

      “I do believe that if a player is going to be primarily a DH and go to the Hall of Fame (WHICH IS FINE) I think he should have those eye popping numbers.”

      Interesting that you would come on Fangraphs and say something like that, obviously referring to things like HR’s as the eye popping numbers he needs. You realize Edgar put up a .405 wOBA for his career! How is that NOT eye popping? That would have made him one of the top 10 offensive players in baseball this past season….and instead of it being a good year for him, it was something he maintained over the course of his entire career! That’s eye popping offensive production. Frank Thomas’ career wOBA is .416, for instance. Alex Rodriguez is at .412 for his career. So I guess I’m just missing the part where Edgar DOESN’T have eye popping numbers?

      If you want to cite anything – point to his 8600 career PA’s as evidence he didn’t accumulate enough value, but don’t sit here and say he didn’t have eye popping offensive production. That’s just ignorant.

      +5 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • can-of-corn says:

      Your statement is reasonable. It’s you judgment in applying it that is in question.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  7. Ben says:

    I think you have to account for two things the stats don’t tell you about Edgar Martinez: 1.) As mentioned before, he didn’t get regular PT until he was 27 years old, because the Mariners believed in the immortal Jim Presley, and 2.) his shift to DH came largely after a hamstring injury affected his mobility. Give him three prime years back and he’s around 400 HR’s, 2,800 hits, and now even the BBWAA can’t deny him. But the fact of the matter is that if the BBWAA doesn’t take into account the affects of injury or circumstance (as oppose to performance) on Edgar’s numbers, they would be treating him differently than HOF’ers like Ralph Kiner, Bob Lemon, and Phil Rizzuto, among others.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Steve says:

      i would support Edgar for the Hall of Fame, but i’m sorry, i cannot support this type of argument unless the player in question went to war.

      why on earth would we “give him 3 prime years back”? and why should we excuse the fact that he was a DH b/c of a hamstring injury?

      there are dozens of players that make the Hall if we start making adjustments like that.

      i think Edgar’s numbers stand on their own, but giving back injury years, or even years spent in the minors is a VERY slippery slope.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • B says:

        “i think Edgar’s numbers stand on their own, but giving back injury years, or even years spent in the minors is a VERY slippery slope.”

        To further the point, I just don’t see the logic in extrapolating production like this. During that time period Edgar was injured, he wasn’t doing anything to help his team win. He wasn’t producing, he wasn’t accumulating value….so, what’s the argument that he should get credit for things he didn’t do? I just don’t see how that makes any sense? I mean, sure, Countrywide COULD have stopped making subprime loans to borrowers who couldn’t afford them…but they didn’t, and everyone’s paying the price…so why is that relevant?

        Like Steve, I do think going off to war is a valid exception to this.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Ben says:

        That’s right, ignore the “Ralph Kiner” part. We’re not dealing with your opinion; we’re dealing with the BBWAA’s.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Ben says:

        By your parameters, going off to war should not be an exception. Because that could become a VERY slipper slope as well.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • B says:

        I don’t see how going to war is a slippery slope. What other situation is even remotely similar? I just don’t see where the next step down the slippery slope is from making an exception to war…

        “That’s right, ignore the “Ralph Kiner” part.”

        Well, it’s the whole “two wrongs don’t make a right” theory here. Anyways, if you’re just talking about the BBWAA’s opinion, I don’t see the point in the discussion. They’re going to do what they do, I don’t care to speculate and I’ll wait and see what their decision is. I’m more interested in what intelligent people think is the correct decision, not what they think a bunch of idiots are going to do…

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Nathaniel Dawson says:

      I’d like to clear up a falsehood about EDgar Martinez. The idea that the Mariners held him back for years and ruined his Hall of Fame chances is a total myth. I don’t know where that got started, but I’ve heard it countless of times before, and it’s JUST NOT TRUE. If you want to take a good long look at it, you can see just that. Take a look at what was going on with the Mariners at that time, take a look at what was going on with Edgar at that time, and take a look at what was going on at Calgary at that time.

      The reason that Edgar didn’t get chances earlier in his career is solely because he wasn’t a good hitter early in his career. He made himself into a great hitter by working his butt off to become great. It’s got nothing to do with the Mariners making a huge mistake in evaluating his talent.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  8. Mike Green says:

    That’s interesting, DanR. Without the boost, Edgar is right near the in/out line, but probably above it. Larkin, Trammell and Raines are the ones clearly above it, it seems to me.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  9. paulb says:

    Regarding fielding, Edgar wasn’t an embarrassment in the field. Remember, he came up as a third baseman.

    He could have been a first baseman, and as such he would not have been a defensive liability to the scale that, say, a Frank Thomas or a David Ortiz was.

    Edgar spent a lot of time at DH because the Mariners always were able to come up with a good fielding firstbaseman (Segui, Olerud, et al), and they considered he would have a lower chance of injury as DH.

    My point is that although Edgar shouldn’t be credited with defensive runs, he shouldn’t be penalized because of some percenption that he was a horrible fielder.

    HOF Monitor and HOF Standards methods both indicate that he compares favorably to the average or likely HOF levels. He should get in, eventually, unless there is too much prejudice against DH and an unfair impression that he was a DH because he was a liability in the field.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  10. matthew says:

    Everything about edgar screams Steroid User to me…

    -49 Vote -1 Vote +1

  11. NEPP says:

    Hall of Very Good…not Hall of Fame.

    He’ll get consideration but I don’t see him getting in.

    -8 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Bill@TDS says:

      Why do people keep saying this? In what linguistic universe are “Very Good” and “Fame” interchangeable terms? This is (mostly) a serious question. I’ve never understood that.

      Anyway, there are dozens of “very good” ballplayers (and some who are less than that) in the Hall. Edgar is as good as or better than all of those. I suspect he won’t get in for several years, but if you actually look at his numbers and compare them to other candidates/Hall of Famers, rather than relying on nonsensical platitudes, I don’t really see how you can argue for keeping him out.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • NEPP says:

        First of all, just because there are many “very good” players in the HoF, it doesn’t mean they really belong there. Did Jim Rice deserve it? Not no but hell no…still, he’s a Hall of Famer now. Edgar was a very good DH for a decade. Personally, I think a HoF should be more than a glorified pinch-hitter. I think they should play in the field too. I’m weird that way. He was a great hitter, he did nothing else. Thus, for me, he falls just short. There are lots of guys that have had very good careers that I don’t think should be in the HoF. Jim Edmonds is one, Bobby Abreu is another. On paper both look like borderline HoFs (if Bobby retired right now) but I doubt either will ever be elected, nor should they be.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Bill@TDS says:

        On second thought, you did better when you were relying on nonsensical platitudes. I really wish you (or someone) had tried to explain “Hall of Very Good” to me, though.

        If you don’t think Jim Edmonds belongs, there are two possible answers for that:
        (1) you don’t understand what makes a good baseball player, or
        (2) you have this idea of the Hall as a tiny place reserved for Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, Ted Williams and maybe five or six other people, which has no relation to the Hall that has actually been created and is currently being discussed.

        Either way, your opinion on the ACTUAL Hall pretty much stops holding any weight at all.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • NEPP says:

        Funny, Baseball-Reference seems to agree with me on Jim Edmonds as he fails to meet both the HOF Standard and Monitor for entry. Guess I’m crazy. You seem to be one of those people that think everyone and anyone should be elected and thus we get guys like Jim Rice in the Hall.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • JoeR43 says:

        That metric is based on achievements that usually garner Hall of Fame attention, NEPP, not his actual performance. Jim Rice had a 144 on the HoF monitor, Edmonds was an 88, and a lot of it is due to Rice’s MVP win, the 4 extra ASG’s, and twice leading in RBI, while Edmonds never led the league in anything. Willing to come out and say Jim Ed was better than Jim Edmonds?

        According to baseball-reference:
        JR: 1384 RC, 6.0 RC/G, 28.9 Batting wins, 128 OPS+, 62.8% Off Win %, mediocre to bad LF
        JE: 1364 RC, 7.3 RC/G, 30.4 Batting wins, 132 OPS+, 65.9% Off Win %, great to good CF

        Comparing Edmonds to Rice is a damn insult to Edmonds.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  12. Bronnt says:

    Edgar falls just short of the line, for me. Not opposed to a DH getting in, but if a guy is primarily a DH, he needs to be just an incredible hitter in order to make up for his lack of defensive value. I’d vote for Frank Thomas, definitely.

    The problem with Edgar is that he peaked during the steroid era. As such, he’s not even among the top 5 hitters of his contemporaries. Aside from 1995, he doesn’t crack the top 5 of OPS or OPS+, and he’s outside of the top 10 for a few years as well. I do love the career .418 OBP.

    He just had the misfortune to play at the same time as Mark McGwire, Jeff Bagwell, Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez, Frank Thomas, and Jim Thome. Being the 8th-or-so best hitter of your era as a DH just isn’t enough for me.

    I think he’s just short.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Kevin S. says:

      If you want to judge him by his era, judge him against the mean, not the extreme. It’s far more informative than penalizing him because more outliers than usual were distributed during the time he played. The beautiful thing about OPS+ is that the number itself is a ranking that’s comparable across eras. It has its flaws, certainly, but the fact that five people had a better OPS+ than Edgar in a given season doesn’t diminish what he did, because the run-scoring environment isn’t defined by the league leaders here.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • B says:

        OPS+ will undervalue Edgar’s offense because he was so OBP heavy relative to SLG…

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • matthew says:

        what are you saying… OPs+ will NOT undervalue edgars offense.. if anything.. it is overvalueing it..

        -16 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Kevin S. says:

        Like I said, it has it’s flaws, but saying that his 166 OPS+ in ’96 is less impressive because McGwire, Thome and Thomas were higher is a misuse of the stat. 66% better than the league average is 66% better than the league average. Yes, an OBP-heavy OPS+ is more valuable than a SLG-heavy OPS+, but that wasn’t the argument being used against him.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Kevin S. says:

        matthew, care to explain how OPS+ overvalues Edgar’s offensive contributions?

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Greg says:

        Matthew is right.. OPS+ overvalues Edgars offense..

        -5 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • JoeR43 says:

        “So how does OPS+ overvalue Edgar Martinez’s offensive production?”
        “I said so.”

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • B says:

        Reason OPS+ undervalues Edgar’s offensive production – Edgar Martinez had a career .418 OBP and .515 SLG. I believe, relatively speaking, his OBP is higher compared to the norm than his SLG. I don’t have the complete data to prove it, what I can say along those lines is this: this past season, all of 3 players had an OBP of .418 or higher. 36 players had a SLG of .515 or higher. This suggests that his OBP was more unusually high than his SLG was.

        OPS+ does not correctly weight OBP relative to SLG, in terms of the actual run value they provide. It gives more weight to SLG than it should. If Martinez’s OBP is relatively higher than his SLG (compared to league average), as I gave some anecdotal evidence for, then he is not being credited properly for his offensive performance. His OBP, which is a truly special skill he had, is not being credited enough. This suggests that OPS+ undervalues Edgar.

        I would like to see a counter argument that it overvalues him laid out?

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Kevin S. says:

        B, B-R’s OPS+ formula is: OPS+ = 100 * (OBP/lgOBP* + SLG/lgSLG* – 1). Breaking that into components, OBP+ would be 100(OBP/lgOBP*), and SLG+ would be 100(SLG/lgSLG*). The lg* stats are park adjusted. Edgar’s OBP+ is 100(.418/.337) = 124, SLG+ = 100(.515/.420) = 122. So, Edgar got slightly more of his OPS+ value from the more important OBP – this is a feather in his cap. I think the general consensus is that OBP is worth 1.75 times as much as SLG (with some dissent – James has it 4x more valuable), so we could do a Properly Weighted OPS+ calculation as 1.75*OBP+ + SLG+ – 100, which gives us a PWOPS+ of 239. To bring it back into line with the scale OPS+ is on now, we’d have to multiply by 8/11, giving us 174. Obviously, this means nothing without someone to compare it to, so if we recalculate A-Rod’s career 147 OPS+ through the same methodology, we’d get 170. It’s minor, but there is a difference.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • B says:

        Good stuff Kevin. The other side of the argument (the OPS+ overvalues Edgar side) probably doesn’t realize this, but they do have one valid point. SLG probably overvalues Edgar’s offense somewhat. Basically, BA is double weighted, since it’s included in both OBP and SLG, and given his high BA, that probably inflates Edgar’s power numbers a bit. I wonder what the effect of using iso instead of SLG is? (At this point, we might as well start using linear weights. Are there park adjusted linear weights scaled to 100 available anywhere to use instead of OPS+?)

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Kevin S. says:

        And actually, I calculated that wrong. It should be (14/11)*OBP+ + (8/11)*SLG+ – 100, which gives us… the same thing, actually. Not surprising at all, given that his components were roughly equal. Let’s try it with A-Rod: 143. Again not surprising, given his OPS+ is driven more by his SLG than his OBP.

        If anybody actually cares, I got the 14/11 and 8/11 going from the fact that the weights are currently 1 and 1 (totaling 2), but we want the OBP weight to be 1.75x the SLG weight. So, we need 2 = 1.75x + x, where x is the weight on SLG. Algebra gives us x = 8/11 and 1.75x = 14/11, which add up to 22/11, or 2.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • tyrone says:

      The primary arguments here against Martinez seem to boil down to “He was a DH who wasn’t quite as good as Frank Thomas. Or Otherworldly Awesome Players X, Y, Z.” That seems suspiciously close to the kind of thinking that goes “Tim Raines was a leadoff guy who wasn’t as good as Ricky Henderson”, which I find equally unconvincing. How about comparing Martinez to the HOF as a whole rather than the guys who are so great that they are obvious no-doubters?

      A career .405 wOBA is ridiculously good. If a guy like that isn’t HOF-worthy, there better be an awfully good longevity or “intangibles” argument against him. I’d like to see one of those rationales rather than how he compares to Barry Bonds. So far I haven’t.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • JoeR43 says:

        I’m just wondering who got the Yahoo! Answers baseball community to talk on fangraphs.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Greg says:

        wow… someone disagrees and says edgar is not a hall of famer and they get voted -1 and get called yahoo answer baseball community… good one joe.. very matchure..

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • JoeR43 says:

        matchure
        matchure

        You know what a “matchure” thing to do is? Backing up statements with evidence.

        And using spellcheck.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Matthew says:

        nice…

        the spell check comeback..

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • JoeR43 says:

        BTW, Albert Belle had the same OPS as Edgar Martinez.

        Belle’s RC/G (# based on real data analysis) on b-r is 7.3 RC/G. Martinez? 8.3 RC/G. Because OPS overvalues SLG compared to OBP (and to a lesser extent, OPS+ does likewise).

        Joe Carter had an OPS of .770, Eddie Yost had a .766. Who’s prepared to argue that Carter did more to help his teams win w/ the bat than Yost, for example?

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • JoeR43 says:

        You’re either a troll or a clown, Matthew.
        If you’re a troll, you’re bad at it.
        If you’re a clown, well, I heard B&B is hiring.

        No, the basis of that was emphasizing that you can’t just say shit without evidence to back it up, in baseball, or in life, and that’s exactly what Greg did (and then pulled the immaturity card when he got a thumbs down, wah wah). Myself, and smarter people than I have hammered away and determined that OBP is a more important component to a player’s value than SLG. Edgar’s OBP was 24% better than average in his career, SLG about 22.6%. Therefore, OPS probably doesn’t do his numbers the justice they deserve, at least not as well as EqA, wOBA, and other metrics.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Matthew says:

        OBP is obviously more valueable..

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • JoeR43 says:

        And Edgar is 22nd of all time in OBP, and not exactly Max Bishop in the slugging department. So…what’s the problem?

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Matthew says:

        i said it in the beginning.. I think he is a steroids user.. Magically the guy became great.,

        -19 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Kevin S. says:

        What’s so magical about it? He posted a 132 OPS+ in his first full season and improved from there. It’s called career progression. We typically associate it with age, but part of it also comes with being in the league longer.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • JoeR43 says:

        His very first full season, he OPS+’d 132. His second, 138. His career was 147.

        So what part of his career progression was unnatural and steroid-implying?

        Is Kevin Youkilis on steroids because he didn’t become a regular until age 27 and just OPS+’d 143 and 145 in back to back years?

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Kevin S. says:

        Nah, he’s on the Red Sox. They would never stoop to such levels – just ask George Mitchell!

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • JoeR43 says:

        Kevin, you’re not helping.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Kevin S. says:

        Sorry, the Yankee fan in me couldn’t resist.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Steve says:

        No, he’s on steroids b/c his head is the size of Pluto.

        /gratuitous

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • CircleChange11 says:

        “matchure”

        THAT is awesome. In 1st grade this would be an example of what is termed “Brave Spelling”. *grin*

        Do you pronounce that with a French acccent? I say go for it.

        You have to admit that spelling is pretty darn funny.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  13. JoeR43 says:

    For some reason I just found the summary of why the Cubs have been so futile.

    Moving Ernie Banks full time to 1B in 1962 (after posting Total Zones of 12, 23, 10, and 8 from 58-61 at primarily SS) to make room for Andre Rodgers and (worse yet) Don Kessinger.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  14. Mike K says:

    Edgar is borderline, but I think he deserves to be in. BaseballProjection has him at 67.2 WAR, tied with Duke Snider and .1 ahead of Larry Walker, just a hair ahead of Jim Thome, etc. He’s right at that borderline level where *most*, but not all, players get in.

    The only penalty he should get for being a DH is the 140 runs he loses for position adjustment. He shouldn’t get credit for time missed, and his counting numbers being low *do* need to be takent into account. But overall, I think he’s done enough to get in, and he certainly deserves it.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • JoeR43 says:

      That’s pretty much what everyone in the pro-Edgar camp is saying.

      He *HAS* been penalized in win value databases. His offense isn’t held to the same standard as, say, Ozzie Smith, it was held way higher. And according to the numbers, he met those expectations.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Matthew says:

      WAR is the most overrated stat in the world. I really dont understand why people use this stat to evaluate players. One guys opinion on someones WAR determine if someone is a hall of famer? Ridiculous..

      -18 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • JoeR43 says:

      “WAR is the most overrated stat in the world”

      This is a joke, right?
      You have a better one? Maybe we’ll hang out hat on BA/HR/RBI. Old time sake.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Greg says:

        OPS OBP BA HR RBI Walks Doubles Triples..

        WAR is the dumbest thing ever created because the defense is such a toss up… Are you seriously telling me that some stupid UZR thing determines a good player from a great? its a joke WAR and UZR

        -8 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • JoeR43 says:

        First off, there’s limited data on Martinez’ glove since HE WAS A DH. Therefore, UZR, TZ, etc, is meaningless to his value.

        Second, if all we’re going to use basic count stats as the only way to compare, let’s kick out almost every C and SS in the hall, they don’t stack up.

        Third off, linear weights have been proven to be meaningful (an R-squared of like 96% if you go back through 40 years of team data, and that may be a lowball), making any stat using linear weights a valuable tool. And UZR/Total Zone/FRAA/Dewan/etc, are obviously not be-all end-alls. They are tools that are, over a period of time, generally in accordance to what we think we see every day watching baseball. But since we can’t quantify defense, I guess Ozzie Smith and Brooks Robinson suck balls.

        And thanks for your lack of understanding of statistics. WAR is an estimator, based off an estimated total (trying to correlate run production elements to actual wins). And once again, it’s been proven to do a good job of it. Statistics are not MEANT to measure an exact. It’s meant to APPROXIMATE. If stats told EVERYTHING, then we’d just let teams play 9 innings, not keep track of the score in all 162 team games, and in the end determine the standings by WAR.

        That being said, you could easily run a regression with the 8 team seasons of WAR on this site and see a very high correlation between WAR and actual team wins. But of course, you can just keep holding a stubborn opinion and bash those who oppose it as stat zealots who use WAR as gospel and not a useful tool to compare players of different eras and positions as it was meant to be used. Joe Morgan would be proud.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • B says:

        “OPS OBP BA HR RBI Walks Doubles Triples..

        WAR is the dumbest thing ever created because the defense is such a toss up… Are you seriously telling me that some stupid UZR thing determines a good player from a great? its a joke WAR and UZR”

        Now Greg, you do realize wOBA (which is used for the offensive part of WAR) is a measure of how many singles, doubles, triples, HR’s and walks a player accumulates, weighted by how important each one is to scoring runs, right…? Even if you don’t want to use the defense component of WAR, there are offensive stats out there that just put all those outcomes a player achieves together – like wOBA….

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • DeJay says:

        WAR is the dumbest thing ever created because the defense is such a toss up… Are you seriously telling me that some stupid UZR thing determines a good player from a great? its a joke WAR and UZR

        ——————————————–

        Just because you do not understand something does not make it “dumb”

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  15. Joser says:

    Baseball consists of pitching, batting, and fielding (plus baserunning). All of them are important. In fact, they’re all so important that a player who does only one of them has to be really exceptional at it to be considered for the HOF. A one-trick pony better have a heck of a trick.

    So what are we to make of all those AL pitchers who never stood at the plate? Between the introduction of the DH and advent of interleague play, a lot of pitchers were entirely one-trick ponies, and some of them are in (or will be in) the HOF. If we’re not going to penalize pitchers because of the existence of the DH, then why do we penalize the DHs themselves?

    And anyway, Edgar did play 3B early in his career, and I’d wager the total career contribution he made with his glove were greater than, say, Dennis Eckersley made with his bat.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Greg says:

      eckersley with the bat??

      you have got to be kidding me.. go back to yahoo message boards if you are gonna compare eck to the bat and edgar to the field

      -12 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • neuter_your_dogma says:

      Good point Joser. So the question is whether Edgar was a really exceptional hitter. For me it is a close call because of what “I” believe the requirements should be to get into the HOF. However, if you look at the players who are there now, Edgar deserves to be with them.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • B says:

      Joser, while I do see where you’re coming from, I don’t think that’s a good comparison. On the one hand, some players give tons of value through their defensive play. The difference in defense among various players can be pretty large and important. The difference in pitchers hitting ability, most of the time, is pretty minimal in terms of their overall value…

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Joser says:

        It may not be the best comparison; it was just the first one that popped into my head, meant to illuminate the point in general rather than proving it in particular. But there was a time when a pitcher’s hitting ability mattered quite a lot. I mean, I think Babe Ruth would’ve argued that at least. Since his era, players have gotten increasingly specialized; the DH is jut the latest and perhaps most extreme case, but from late-innings defensive specialists to LOOGYs to closers, that sort of evolution has been going on for a long time now and everybody — from the fans to the HoF voters — has adapted to it to some extent. Though it may take until the old guard shuffles off their mortal coils before it is accepted to the extent that a DH is welcomed into Cooperstown.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Joe R says:

        I just still find it funny that we’re supposed to discard Martinez’ career for how he was used and no other reason, according to some.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  16. Choo says:

    Didn’t first ballot Hall of Famer Paul Molitor accumulate the majority of his PA’s as a DH? He was the statistical equivalent of Carney Lansford until repeated injuries forced his move to DH, where he strung together an additional 12 seasons of Al Oliver production.

    Longevity has its value, but is a 21-season amalgamation of Carney Lansford and Al Oliver really more Hall of Fame worthy than an OPS+ of 153 during a 14-season stretch? Check out where Edgar ranks on this list: Career OPS+ Leaders

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  17. NEPP says:

    No, Molitor had under half (43.8%) of his PAs as a DH (5,328 of 12,160). He also had several other things that Martinez did not:

    1. 3,000 hits (well over 3,000 actually at 3,319.)

    2. 500 SB (he didn’t just hit well)

    3. World Championship (BS but it still factors in BBWA minds when voting).

    Molitor didn’t become a regular DH until he was 34 (after 13 seasons as a 3B & 2B). Its a weak comparison.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Choo says:

      It was a comparison of longevity versus strongevity. Feel free to replace Paul Molitor with another HOFer that had a long career but never scaled the glorious statistical peaks of Edgar Martinez. Don’t get me wrong – I do believe Molitor and others should be in the HOF, but my question still stands: “What makes 21 seasons of really good better/worse than 14 seasons of great?”

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  18. Matthew says:

    Edgars job was to hit the ball. Not play Defense. He did a great job at doing his Job. Just like Mo rivera. His role is not to hit. (something which he is asked to do) Its to pitch 1 or 2 innings and close out the game.

    Edgar defintly deserves to be in the Hall because he did his job.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Choo says:

      Lenny Harris’ job was to pinch hit, and he did it well – nobody has more career pinch hits in baseball history (that we know of). Does that make him HOF worthy?

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Matthew says:

        Troll..

        you can say the same with the freaking water boy..

        you are a damn troll..

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Choo says:

        *sigh* First of all, I am not a troll.

        Second, I know you are an Edgar supporter (I am too), but painting him as a role player won’t help his cause. The term “closer” is used to describe a role, but unlike designated hitter, it is not a position.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • gnomez says:

        Borderline.

        I’d love to see an article on Bill Freehan, and why the greatest defensive catcher of all time isn’t a HOFer.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  19. WilsonC says:

    For people who are opposed to Edgar Martinez due to longevity, what are your thoughts on Eddie Murray in the HoF? Both players played until the same age, and the ‘meat’ of their careers is roughly the same length, yet Murray’s counting stats are much better because he continued to play for a number of years when he was no longer very effective, whereas Martinez was a consistently excellent hitter through his age 40 season, but started his career late. When it comes to evaluating their credentials among the greats, is there really a big difference between the years Murray spent padding his stats as an mediocre-average player, and the years Martinez was stuck in the minors? Would Martinez’ credentials really be better if he had come up at 21, had a career like he did, and stuck around as a mediocre hitter for an extra six years to reach 3000 hits?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • JoeR43 says:

      I love when people call Pete Rose one of the greatest hitters of all time. He had 884 hits in the 80′s. These are his WARP-3′s from 1980-on:

      .9
      3.9
      .8
      -1.8 (!)
      1.1
      1.7
      -.9

      Total 1980′s WARP-3: 5.7. Total PA: 3,685. That’s exactly 1 marginal win per 650 PA. He deserves credit for eating up plate appearances with bench to marginal MLB’r production.

      But Edgar Martinez is hurt for not sticking around 2 extra years and getting 25-30 cheap HR’s while eating up PA’s from younger guys who could help the team more than he can.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  20. Klatz says:

    Paul Molitor is good comparison for Edgar Martinez. Both played primarily 3rd base and DH. Both were gap hitters and prone to injury. By counting stats Molitor has 3319 hits to Martinez’s 2247, 1307 RBIs to Martinez’s 1261, and 2683 games to Martinez’s 2055. Hmm, despite Molitor starting his full time playing career at age 21 and Edgar’s at age 27, their counting stats aren’t that far off. Martinez even beats Molitor in HRs, 309 to Molitor’s 234.

    By rate stats Martinez has him beat. Martinez hit .312/.418/.515 while Molitor hit .306/.369/.448. Ops+ has Martinez at 147 and Molitor at 122. Martinez had 1.09 hits, 0.15 HRs, 0.25 2Bs, 0.61 RBIs and 0.62 BBs per game while Molitor had 1.24 hits, 0.087 HRs, 0.23 2Bs, 0.49 RBIs and 0.41 BBs per game.

    Molitor is in the HOF while many consider Martinez either borderline or not even considerable. The main differences being Molitor’s longer (although by games not much) career and non-DH playing time. Martinez was a better hitter than Molitor, more patient and more power.

    So was Martinez a transcendent talent? If he wasn’t then neither was HOF Paul Molitor.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  21. can-of-corn says:

    I wonder how many people here saw Edgar a lot?

    I agree that numbers are the only tools really available to make a call on this.

    But I will add for the sake of argument that Edgar can’t be truly appreciated without watching a season of at bats. Every part of the hitting zone was a hot zone for him. You can always get ARod out by pounding him inside, or maybe a lefty can get Griffey low and away. There was no place where Edgar was weak–there was just no hole in his swing.

    Intimidation is a big part of baseball, I’ve seen countless pitchers and catchers driven mad because they absolutely no clue where to throw the ball.

    And as for doing his job, part of Edgar’s job was to protect Griffey. When Griffey left Seattle he was name to the All Century team, and his HOF invitation was secured. Why would anyone on any team ever have pitched to Griffey? In part because they had no clue how to get the guy behind him out.

    Edgar hit home runs, hit tons of doubles, maintained a crazy batting average, walked all the time, and was always amoung the lead leaders in OBP. He was the complete and total package. And had he not been Griffey would have never seen a pitch.

    There’s no question Edgar should be in the HOF.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  22. B says:

    Let’s just get this out of the way – I’m an NL fan and I despise the DH, for so many reasons. I hate the idea of crediting someone for it, and I hate the fact that it exists at all. On to my point.

    I guess one of my biggest holdups with voting a DH into the HoF is just what the DH does. He hits 4 times a game. It’s a joke. He’s basically a bench player. He gets to go chill in the clubhouse for innings at a time, he can study film/practice in the batting cage, take a nap….basically just do whatever while the game’s going on because all he has to do is hit once every 9 batters. I have a really hard time getting over what a small joke of a role it is. Edgar’s a truly great offensive player – I definitely see a strong argument for him in the HoF…but ugh, I really don’t want to credit a DH. To a degree I feel this way about relief pitchers, too, but at least when they do come in they have to exert effort and come in for more than 1 PA before going back to their nap (exaggerated for effect). Plus pitching puts a lot of strain on them (unlike DH’ing, which must be the least demanding position in all of sports from a physical standpoint), so that limits their innings. So there, that’s my rant. It’s just such an easy “position” or “role” or whatever you want to call it. I don’t like the idea of crediting that without above and beyond production (in other words, above positional adjustments). Edgar might have done that. It’s close.

    On another note, does anyone know of any research into the effects of the DH? Intuitively, I wouldn’t be surprised if it increased a players offensive performance (similar to how playing C decreases a players performance because of all the wear and tear, just the opposite of that), but I don’t know if that’s true or not. Anyone care to chime in on this subject?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • can-of-corn says:

      I can’t speak to the general effects of a DH counter to what a catcher does. I can say that a good DH as actually kind of hard to find. I don’t know why that is but a lot of teams turn the DH position over and over looking for a good one. I think it actually works in reverse, you can’t come up to the plate cold all the time, like a pinch hitter and put up monster numbers in MLB.

      As a rule the DH is usually a has-been with good power at the end of their career, a middle tier player with middle tier hitting, or they just outright suck.

      Edgar used to spend entire games on an exercise bike. The work that he did during the game was legendary–you’d have to look up the old Seattle Times and P-I columns to read about it. He worked harder off the field during the games than any of the players did on the field.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • B says:

        I imagnie one of the big factors is if you’re a good enough hitter, they’ll find a position for you. And there’s probably some correlation between athletic ability and hitting – so the really good hitters (guys with immense natural ability like ARod, for instance) are almost always athletic enough, especially during their primes, to provide defensive value, too. I also think to a degree some of it’s inefficiency…Adam Dunn should be a DH. Flat out that’s market inefficiency at it’s worst.

        I also don’t doubt Edgar was a hard worker – I’ve never heard anything about it but for someone to say he worked as hard as just about anyone in MLB doesn’t surprise me. You don’t become that good of a hitter (and especially with that kind of discipline/patience) by chance. Especially since Edgar’s minor league stats don’t suggest to me he had a tremendous amount of natural ability (by MLB standards).

        Mentally, I still have a problem with the fact that he participates in like…I dunno, 5% of the game overall? All that work he’s doing in the game – sounds to me like he’s able to do his workout routine during the game while everyone else has to, you know, participate in the game….

        God I hate the DH rule. :)

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Choo says:

      ” “On another note, does anyone know of any research into the effects of the DH? Intuitively, I wouldn’t be surprised if it increased a players offensive performance, but I don’t know if that’s true or not. Anyone care to chime in on this subject?” ”

      It’s the opposite actually. Unless recent research has proven otherwise, I believe the adjustment for a DH is +0.50 wins per 700 PA. History tells us it’s tougher to hit as a DH than as a fielder by approximately that amount. The mental disconnectedness that occurs when not involved on a pitch-by-pitch basis or the sitting around and getting stiff or whatever the cause may be has an overall negative impact. Strange but true.

      Edgar’s advice for other DH’s was always the same: incorporate a routine for the down time between at-bats. Don’t just sit around and wait – find a way to be active and involved. Edgar rode a stationary bike. Others go into the clubhouse and shadow-hit the opposing pitcher on TV, or play catch, hit off a tee, watch film, chew gum or tobacco, lift weights, etc. Guys who play defense do those things too – most hitters get antsy when waiting for an upcoming AB – but the DH has to account for all of the time he doesn’t get in the field where a player can let his mind relax a bit.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  23. twinsfan says:

    There hasn’t been an invasion like this since the great Royals incursion of the 2008 offseason.

    And Dave didn’t even write this one.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  24. CircleChange11 says:

    Nothing brings out the comments like a “Edgar Martinez” or “Bobby Abreau” Hall of Fame debate. *grin*

    I’ll start off by saying something completely irrelevant … I love Martinez for his plate discipline, batting approach, and hitting mechanics. When I taught my youngster how to bat, we looked at a lot of clips of Edgar and Albert. In my mind, Edgar is actually “Pujols-Lite” (and that’s a compliment).

    Approaches to the Hall of Fame seem to be …

    [1] Big Counting Numbers (Hits, Runs, HR, RBI, SB, etc), and Edgar slips in some of the big ones.

    [2] Based on dominance in their era (or being among the best at their position). Edgar was a 7-time All-Star, 5-time Silver Slugger, and top 10 MVP twice. The first 2 are nice, the MVP votes are less impressive although his 3rd place finish in 95 could be viewed as his “memory year” that fans/writers identify with a player.

    [3] Their performance over a career. This is where Edgar gets hurt a bit due to injuries and the late start to an MLB career.

    I, personally, am not a big fan of the players that get acceptance based on just hanging around long enough to achieve some sort of “Lock” counting numbers (3K Hits, etc) … but there is *something* to be said for longevity. My personal preference would be to look at a guy’s dominance over, say, a 10-year period of dominance versus looking at a (for example) 20-something year career.

    Edgar excelled in things that we are only recently starting to really value, like OBP. He has a good career BA, but isn’t that close to 3K hits. His 309 Hrs are nice, but not at all close to 500 HRs. I am not saying those numbers *should* be the markers, but they often are … or have been traditionally.

    The DH aspect is one that I don’t really care to engage in because [1] it’s not an emotional issue for me, and [2] the NL has their own version of DH called LF, where players are put in the position despite being a fielding liability to their team (with some exceptions).

    Edgar did play on 4 playoff teams. That could either work for him in the eyes of some voters, or work against him because there’s not a WS in there. It sometimes seems that if the voters want a guy in, they’ll find reasons to put him in, and if they don’t they’ll mine for reasons not to vote for him.

    I also find the issue of “Player X is borderline and he got in, so anyone borderline *could* get in” as not being a sound argument. The solution to me, on that issue, is to get more restrictive, not more accommodating. Lest, we end up entering the Cesar Cedeno’s, Mark Grace’s, Bill Buckner’s, Keith Hernandez’s, etc. (I would actually vote for Hernandez, despite throwing his name in there, namely due to his MVP, 2 WS titles, and his defense which has become the standard for 1B defense). I’m rambling now.

    In terms of Edgar, I’m 60/40 on his “not” getting elected. Meaning I would not vote him in, but if enough of the people did, I wouldn’t object.

    It’s interesting looking at Edgar’s post-season performance. 128 AB’s is limited, but the thing that jumps off the page to me is that in the series he raked, his team won … when he struggled, they lost. That could be coincidence or an indicator of how important he was to his team. .700+ OPS, SEA wins. Less than that, SEA loses.

    Just an absolutely beautiful hitter. But in terms of “offense”, he played in an era that rewrote the record books, and I’m not sure that enough writers are going to view him as one of the most dominant forces in his era.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  25. EdgarMartinez4HOF says:

    So here are my Hall-of-Famers from the recent era, IMO:

    Edgar Martinez
    Kevin Brown
    Roger Clemens
    Rafael Palmeiro
    Barry Larkin
    Roberto Alomar
    Jim Thome
    Frank Thomas
    Mark McGwire
    Barry Bonds
    Greg Maddux
    Curt Schilling
    Mike Mussina
    John Smoltz
    Tom Glavine
    Pedro Martinez
    Randy Johnson
    Mariano Rivera
    Trevor Hoffman
    Billy Wagner
    Derek Jeter
    Chipper Jones
    Albert Pujols
    Manny Ramirez
    Ken Griffey Jr.
    Jim Edmonds
    Gary Sheffield
    Alex Rodriguez
    Jeff Kent
    Jeff Bagwell
    Craig Biggio
    Larry Walker
    Todd Helton
    Mike Piazza
    Ivan Rodriguez

    Edgar makes the cut, and he’s in the middle of this group..a deserving HoFer..

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  26. Joser says:

    Well, here (pdf) is the case for Edgar sent to the actual HOF voters….

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Kevin S. says:

      It’s sad that they had to explain OPS+

      Jon Heyman read it, muttered something about dorks, and ripped it to pieces.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • JoeR43 says:

      That’s a lot of shit right there.
      Now watch as Jon Heyman & Co. completely ignore it all and vote for Jack Morris.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  27. NEPP says:

    Seriously…Larry Walker??? His numbers were brutally inflated by playing his peak years at Coors. He was still a pretty good player but he’s not a HoF.
    Same with Edmunds…he was a very good player in a great offensive era. His defense was also pretty impressive but he was never even the best player on his team. Kevin Brown never stayed healthy in his 30s, never won a CY, only had one really dominant season and several very good ones. He might have been a HoF guy had he stayed healthy but he didn’t. Several others are borderline but those three really stood out.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Derek says:

      Not that I’m disagreeing with you, but it shouldn’t matter if Kevin Brown won a Cy Young or not. There are dozens upon dozens of pitchers who have had Cy Young-caliber seasons, but were simply out-done by another terrific season. The amount of awards a player collects is another very misleading statistic considered by voters.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • JoeR43 says:

      Larry Walker’s last year in Montreal: .322/.394/.587.
      Larry Walker’s end of career in St. Louis: .286/.387/.520.

      He was helped by Colorado, but he was by no means Dante Bichette’ing it out there.

      His translated stats based on his BP DT card:
      .289/.381/.531.

      His career WARP-3 on BP is 62.4. Andre Dawson (another guy I’ve been on the fence for) is 59.6. So both are pretty much the epitome of borderline, but both deserve a look.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • JoeR43 says:

      1) Edmonds was the best player on those mid-90′s Angels teams before he was free to go to a real team.
      2) .284/.377/.528, top flight defensive CF, he was great
      3) Dude was a monster in 2004. His WAR was higher than Albert Pujols (Rolen, Edmonds, and Pujols accounted for 24.8 WAR. Rest of the team COMBINED, pitchers and hitters, accounted for 21.5 WAR).
      4) His WAR according to Sean Smith is .6 WAR below Martinez, which is like 2 more long outs going for HR’s over his career. I think he should be in. Lofton should get a look, too. In a Hall where Ichiro is a cinch to get in, Edmonds, playing equally good defense at a tougher position, and being a better hitter (.299 EqA vs. .286 EqA) should be, too.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • NEPP says:

        Counting stats matter and Edmunds falls short on several (HRs, Hits, etc). I have trouble giving a guy that was a power hitter but didn’t make it to 400 HRs or even 2000 hits into the HoF. As for his GGs (as BS as they are), he had 8. So did plenty of other non-HoFs. Look at his most similar players. He’s up there with Andruw Jones and Ellis Burks. Other guys that had as many OF GGs as him that aren’ in the HoF: Garry Maddox, Dwight Evans, Andre Dawson. I think Evans and Dawson deserve to be there before Edmunds.

        I’m not bashing Edmunds. He was one of my favorite players but I think he’s borderline at best.

        On Walker: Look at his Home/Road splits in Colorado…sometimes it was quite ridiculous….litterally a 100-150 point difference in AVG alone. Looking at the OPS and it was sometimes far more dramatic.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • B says:

        “Counting stats matter”

        Using arbitrary benchmarks is dumb. Accumulating value obviously matters – if a guy manages to rack up more PA’s while still being productive, he’s contributing more than a guy who doesn’t get as many PA’s – so it’s a fair point that accumulating value should, and does, matter, but an intelligent conversation would move past the stupid historical benchmarks that really are meaningless.

        “Look at his Home/Road splits”

        They would tell us that Colorado inflates his offensive production. We know that. Road splits are NOT a good indicator of “natural talent” (in other words, how he would do if he had played for a different team), though. Players hit better at home. There’s some convincing evidence (but certainly not proof) that Colorado takes this to the extreme – players tend to have a larger home/road split than you’d expect when they play for the Rockies, beyond just the park factor. Larry Walker was an extremely talented hitter, and his time in St. Louis is good proof of that (that’s impressive production for his age).

        The real point, though, is you can’t expect his road splits to be a telling sign that he would have done much worse than we’d expect after adjusting for park if he played for another team. The best method for park adjusting his numbers is to use park factors, and that’s exactly how you should handle Larry Walker’s inflated offensive production.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Joe R says:

        Yes, Walker had big home/away OPS splits. Here were his road OPS’s from 1995-2003:

        .845
        .523 (injury plagued year in 96)
        1.176 (higher than home in 97)
        .892 (big split, but that’s still pretty good, .403 OBP)
        1.135
        .770 (meh)
        .965
        .917
        .766

        Outside of Coors for his career, he went .282/.372/.501. In away games, he went .278/.370/.495. Not exactly HoF numbers, but remember that he was a plus fielder, too. And of course his home/road split was high, for his CAREER, he OPS’d 1.172 at Coors (.381/.462/.710). If you use the adjustment tool on baseball-reference, set it to 750 runs per team in a season (about what it is now), Walker checks in for his career at .305/.391/.550. Walker was a legit star and deserves a look.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Joe R says:

        I admit, though, that the positional adjustment still probably high-balls Walker. Generally the league normal home-road OPS split is around 30 points, so let’s say if Walker had an .865 road OPS in his career, he may have been around a .895 home OPS, .880 overall. Still top 100 of all time. Still higher than Sammy Sosa, who people would put in instantly if not for steroid hesitation. Essentially, he would be the Will Clark of corner OF’s

        And there was definitely an argument to put Clark in the Hall. So, there definitely should be one to put Walker in. Do I think he belongs? Well, I know he wouldn’t be the priority that I have on Martinez, Raines, and Blyleven, but I wouldn’t exactly be calling the BBWAA idiots for enshrining him.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  28. JoeR43 says:

    I think the bottom line here sums up my position perfectly:
    http://www.sportsargumentwiki.com/index.php?title=Edgar_Martinez

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  29. Nats Fan says:

    You guys are being kind to debate the idiots against Martinez. But, Edger is a first ballot hall of Famer to me. I will never understand any argument against it because thy can’t involve meaningful numbers. It’s as clear as gravity is the law he deserves the HOF. His career non counting stats numbers (for which he has control) are much better than the average HOFr. He has a a career on base % over 400 “which is mind boggling”. He spent his entire career in a pitcher friendly park and still was an awesome hitting threat. You put his career in Texas or Atlanta and he could easily have hit close to 500 home runs. It really is a no brainier.

    As is Raines for that matter!

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • JoeR43 says:

      We aren’t so much debating as willingly taking the troll bait and running with it.

      Martinez was fantastic on (and off) the field. It’s all either bitching about his count stats (Gary Gaetti hit 360 HR in his career and had an OBP of .308. Go get it, count stat lovers), or how he was a DH (like he had control of where he was used). Designated Hitter is a legit role in MLB (at least the AL), and it’s commonly used at many different levels. Some people just need to get over it, he’s one of the finest hitters ever.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • B says:

        I do think there is a fair point that a DH should at least be penalized more than the positional adjustment calls for. It really is a joke that someones entire role is to hit 4 times a game. In addition to that, he only had 8600 PA’s (as opposed to the stupid counting number benchmarks), which puts a limit on how much value he accumulated. Obviously, as I’ve said throughout the thread, Martinez was a fantastic hitter and has a legitimate case, but I do feel there’s a reasonable point of view to not vote for him…

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Joe R says:

        And those 4 PA’s / game is where most of the value from player comes anyway, and he did that way better than most (including most DH’s).

        And btw, Hank Greenberg had 6,096 PA’s in his career.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Kevin S. says:

        What Joe R. said.

        Having trouble doing this via the numbers available here, but I think that, on average, a position player’s offensive contribution is three times as valuable as his defensive contributions. I can’t do this via UZR, since it doesn’t present FRAR, only FRAA, which will cumulatively be ~0 for all of baseball, but the leaders in offensive value are typically much higher than the leaders in defensive value. Put another way, when Matt Carruth did his Highs and Lows of UZR series that factored the positional adjustments into a player’s defensive contributions above average, Chase Utley lead the field with 55 runs saved above average over three years. Martinez generated more runs above average with his bat in three different single seasons, and had four more within hailing distance. That’s comparing him to the absolute best of the best defensively. Not playing the field simply doesn’t take as much away from his value as people make it out to.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Kevin S. says:

        Oh, and to clear up any confusion, I’m not actually referring to BPro stats, just appropriating their acronyms for the generic terms.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Choo says:

        Agreed. Also, shouldn’t the DH rule and the individuals who DH be considered separate issues? I have no problem if somebody hates the DH rule with every fiber of their being – I definitely prefer the National League style of ball – but the fact is, Edgar was a good enough hitter (clearly) that any team in either league would have found a place for him to play. In other words, there was nothing to prevent Edgar from spending more time at 3B or taking a crack at 1B or LF beyond an abstract set of circumstances that conversely allows shameful glove men, such as Manny Ramirez and Adam Dunn, to play defense year after year.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • B says:

        Well, for me, it’s more of a philosophical thing. I don’t disagree with the points you guys are making in terms of the value Edgar provides over the next best option, and offense contributing more than defense to a players value and contribution to winning games, compared to the next best option.

        Rather, for me, it’s something more along the lines of you guys looking at defensive value relative to what other players provide. The thing is, Edgar (when he was DH’ing) provided nothing. Not average defense. Not below average defense. Not terrible defense. No defense. I’m picturing a team of DH’es in my head and a pitcher pitching while they all sit on the bench and each inning going until the pitcher accumulates 3 strikeouts because there are no fielders to make outs. :)

        Yes, Edgar was obviously capable of providing defensive value if he had been put into that role (and he proved it for part of his career), and you’ve made a good point that is was bad luck that he wasn’t. But the truth is, his actual production (when he was a DH) involved 0 defense. It’s not comparing what a guy who did play defense did against average defenders at his position (and including a positional adjustment). It’s comparing a guy who played defense to a guy who did nothing. Didn’t field a single ball. Didn’t contribute to a single out. Sure, he was capable of doing so, but he didn’t. If you start looking at it more along those lines (which is my preference, but it’s simply an opinion and I don’t claim to be “right”), you really are losing tons of value/production, and I think that’s the easiest way of describing why I have such apprehension against the DH. I’d personally value Adam Dunn’s defensive contributions much higher than someone like Edgar’s (not if I was a GM, because that would be dumb since the market doesn’t operate that way, but for awards like HoF) – even though I realize his defense actively hurts his team – because he’s actually going out there and contributing to outs (even if it’s a way below average number of outs), while the DH is contributing to 0 outs.

        Anyways, I’ll just end this by saying, again, that I recognize Edgar was a special hitter, and if a DH deserves to get in, he’s definitely close to the top of the list (depending on whether you look at someone like Frank Thomas as a DH or not). If he gets voted in, I won’t object or complain, I just don’t know that I’d vote for him if I was voting. I think I’m on the fence leaning towards no.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  30. sam says:

    The sum total of a position players value is his defensive and offensive contributions. Regardless of how you “feel” about a DH, the position exists, and someone must fill it (in the AL.) As a DH, Edgar provided a ton of offensive value and no defensive value. So a ton + zero = a ton of a value. A player who plays the field, but plays it poorly enough to take runs away from his team has negative defensive value. Negative is worse than zero folks . . . . The fact that the mariners were smart/had the luxury to DH martinez in favor of better fielders doesnt mean that terrible fielding first basemen and left fielders (frank thomas, mo vaughn, adam dunn, and the like) should recieve credit for their negative defensive value, rather it should be held against them, or if you like, you could evaluate them as if they were DH’s and give them no credit at all for their defense. It really has nothing to do with the players themselves that their teams failed to use them efficiently by DHing them.

    It is simply wrong to credit a bad defensive player simply for going out there and stinking it up, while discrediting a competent fielder because his team saw that it was more intelligent to DH him. The bottom line is, if two players have zero or negative defensive value, they should be judged based on their offense. Even considering his zero on the defensive side, Edgar was immenselt valuable player.

    He was also a class act, a man who never put himself ahead of his team and played his entire career with the Seattle Mariners while watching other superstars leave. Edgar was the one constant, the rock that could be counted on year after year to provide production in the mariners lineup. He was one of the greatest right handed hitters of all time, and you can find no better testament to his quality than in the comments of the pitchers that faced him. He was fantastic in the post season, providing the most memorable hit in Mariners history. He was the greatest Mariner of all time, the greatest DH of all time, and deserves to be in the hall of fame if anyone has ever deserved it.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • B says:

      I’m unsure why you’ve stated your case as fact, rather than opinion. Almost everyone that’s been involved in this conversation understands the case you’re making – but what you have to realize, is it’s simply one point of view. Yes, using Fangraphs methodology (which is a practical methodology to use for player valuation), playing in the field very poorly provides your team less value than not playing it at all. On the other hand, the fact remains that someone that plays in the field, no matter how poorly, does in fact contribute to outs, whereas a DH does not ever contribute to any outs. It’s simply another way of looking at things.

      “It really has nothing to do with the players themselves that their teams failed to use them efficiently by DHing them.”

      Another place where there seems to be room for multiple points of view. Sure, it doesn’t change the players ability the way their team uses them, but it surely changes their production. Some people may choose not to give a player credit for something they don’t do – even if they don’t do it simply because the team chose to use the player in a different way. I wouldn’t credit a reliever who’s capable of being a starter with having a starters value just because the team used him as a reliever. It’s a similar concept.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  31. sam says:

    I understand your philosophical problem with the DH, but the position exists, like it or not. You seem to be suggesting that we abandon the concept of replacement level players compeltely and evaluate players entirely on their absolute contributions, comparing them to zero. If this is indeed the case, then yes, every out Adam Dunn makes counts as a positive, even though even a mediocre AAA player would be making more outs. You can say it is my opinion and not a fact that it is completely misguided to judge a players value against zero. I argue that both logic and the vast weight of statistical evidence suggests that the alternative to playing adam dunn is not zero, it is the freely available waiver wire caliber talent. There is always an available body, and almost any reasonable baseball player can handle first base or left field.

    If we take Adam Dunn out of the lineup, the team will not play with eight men. Someone will replace him. Likewise with Edgar Martinez. Therefore their true value is whatever they contribute beyond the “replacement level player.”

    The DH occupies a lineup spot, and Edgar Martinez, throughout his career, provided massive value in that lineup spot, value far above that which the mariners might have recieved from any AAA call up or waiver wire talent.

    A team that chooses to play a good hit, no field player in the field understands the tradeoff they are making. Such a player would actually have more value as a DH, not less. How a player is used by his team does affect his value. And I agree with you, we should only consider what a player actually contributes (or detracts) when evaluating them. But one cannot simply put everything a player does on the positive side of the ledger.

    Consider two employees, one is brilliant but lazy, the other is an unstable schyzophrenic but a devoted worker. The lazy man puts in half a days excellent work every day, and the company profits from his labor. The other man works equally well for half a day, but in the afternoon, he rampages through the office, breaking coffee mugs and lowering the productivity of those around him. One adds positive value for have a day (not unlike a DH) while the other adds positive value for half a day, but largely negates this through the damage he does in the afternoon. Who would rather have in your company?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • B says:

      Look, I thoroughly understand the point you’re making, trust me. We are discussing this on Fangraphs, after all. I have yet to disagree with your opinion, as I do understand it and see it as a valid opinion. But again, I’m just bringing a different persective here. I am judging their total contributions against zero. I don’t particularly care to use a replacement level benchmark for something like the HoF, because I would rather reward a players total accomplishments, and playing the field and contributing to outs is accomplishing something a DH is not, whether whatever example player we want to use is above average or well below average as a fielder. I dunno, I could go on, but I think I’ve made all my points so I might as well just stop here. Just to reiterate my point – I’m just bringing a different perspective on things.

      I will take part in your office example, though…I don’t think the rampaging part is accurate. It’s more like said employee (who I’ll call #1) is doing productive things everyone is expected to pitch in and do, just not as many productive things as his hypothetical “replacement” employee would be doing. Meanwhile, the other guy, who I’ll call #2 (maybe he’s a higher level employee, so he’s not expected to pitch in to little things like decorating the office for the holidays or moving stuff in/out of storage or cleaning the fridge or whatever else?) isn’t doing any of those things. Sure, #2 might not be expected to because it’s not in his job description while it is in #1′s job description….but I just prefer to give credit #1 for helping out cleaning the fridge, etc…even if he’s not helping as much as his replacement would, and not credit #2 at all. Just my point of view. :)

      Oh (so much for me stopping my post), and I’m not suggesting abandoning replacement level players at all. As I’ve said, the baseball market does operate that way, so it is a necessary and accurate concept. I’m just suggesting that while I do think it’s an appropriate concept for valuing players and making GM/team building decisions, I don’t necessarily think it’s always the best way for giving out certain awards that recnognize a players accomplishments (like the HoF).

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  32. GarForever says:

    For those still hung up on “count stats” as opposed to more advanced metrics, here’s this from Doug Miller’s mlb.com piece on November 27 (my apologies if someone else already referenced this, but I didn’t see it among the comments):

    “Martinez is one of only 11 inactive players to play in 2,000 games and have a career batting average over .300 with a career OBP over .400 and a slugging percentage over .500. The other 10 are already on the wall in Cooperstown. Also, Martinez, Ted Williams, Babe Ruth, Stan Musial, Rogers Hornsby and Lou Gehrig are the only players in MLB history with at least 300 home runs, 500 doubles, a career batting average higher than .300, and a career on-base percentage higher than .400.”

    All while playing the equivalent of 13.7 seasons on the most generous of estimates. So, even if you think more advanced metrics shouldn’t count, or just being a DH should count against him, perhaps you should think again. Or, is someone among the other five likewise unworthy of HoF status?

    For an entire decade, there were two right handed batters in the AL no one wanted to face: Frank Thomas and Edgar Martinez. Both belong in the Hall.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  33. Brandon says:

    There was a time when I played a LOT of Tony Larussa II baseball — mostly doing drafts , then rapid-playing the season to see how it ended up. The single most important draft pick to make to maximize wins was Edgar Martinez (in the 7th round, I believe). He gave a TREMENDOUS boost to the run scoring potential of any team. He was a monster, even if he wasn’t hitting 45 bombs each year. He was ALWAYS on base, and that creates runs. So what if he was a DH! Besides, it IS a position and he WASN’T hurting his team with the glove, like so many other players do. And it’s apparently not an easy position psychologically. Most players HATE playing DH, because they aren’t in the rhythm of the game. If it was easy to find a DH, why is there such a shortage of great ones (Harold Baines, anyone?).

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • CircleChange11 says:

      The one thing I remember from my TL2 days, was that Rico Brogna was a “simulation monster”. *grin* In the “GM Challenge” aspect of that game (maybe it was TL3) he went on to have a “Palmeiro-esque” career and made the HoF. *Shrugs*

      Previous to that, in the days of Microleague and Earl Weaver Baseball, Will Clark was THAT guy.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  34. NearlyWetMyPants says:

    Hmmm, ok I don’t see him as a hall of famer and I’m hoping someone can catch me up as it seems like a no brainer. I just can’t make the numbers add up to legend.

    The arguments about having a shortened career and being unable to accumulate the “Count Stats” seem fairly self defeating. If a player has 4 WAR by the all star break then doesnt play any more (maybe he slept with the owners wife or something), should he beat a player who put up 7 WAR over the full season in the end of season awards? No, because even though he was better per game than Mr 7 WAR he had a statistically worse season. Is this not a similar argument but replacing a season with a career?

    If you compare his numbers to Todd Helton (who admittedly has the hefty mile high inflation on his numbers) then you’ll find that he’s inferior in pretty much every significant category including every value that every other response has preached about. If you trade off the Coors factor against the pretty good (if fairly erratic) defensive numbers from Helton, then surely if Edgar is a first ballot hall of hamer then Helton is worth a new religion?

    Oh, and election is all about being the best of those who are eligible at the time. Given that the ballot is new people and some people deemed not good enough last time there are always going to be weak years where lesser people get in…

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • JoeR43 says:

      Except, no, that’s wrong, in so many ways:

      1) So because Martinez doesn’t “stack up” in your mind to a borderline Hall of Famer who has had Coors Field to help boost his numbers, he’s a no?

      2) MARTINEZ STILL HAS 900 MORE PA THAN HELTON
      Martinez OPS+: 147
      Helton OPS+: 140

      Martinez neutral-park, 750 run slash stats + RC: .320/.428/.529, 1707 RC
      Helton neutral-park, 750 run slash stats + RC: .310/.408/.533, 1386 RC

      Martinez wRC+: 152
      Helton wRC+: 146

      In closing, STOP SAYING SHIT WITH NO FUCKING FACTUAL INFORMATION BEHIND IT. It’s lazy reasoning like that that’s why the Hall of Fame is messed up beyond repair as it is.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • JoeR43 says:

        And sure, let’s factor in defense. Sean Smith’s Total Zone WAR scores do that well:

        Martinez: 67.2 WAR, 5.088 WAR per 650 PA
        Helton: 57.3 WAR, 4.845 WAR per 650 PA

        So at best, for your case, they’ve been equal over a slightly longer time period for Martinez. And Helton’s a borderline Hall of Famer as it is, so if you’re going to crucify a guy, at least pick Frank Howard or something.

        Still, wah wah Martinez didn’t have a long enough career. Billy Herman, Bill Mazeroski, Jim Bottomley, Lloyd Waner, Pie Traynor, Dave Bancroft, and Duke Snider, among others, all had shorter careers in terms of PA than Edgar Martinez. Orlando Cepeda had 23 more PA’s.

        Martinez hit for average, ISO’d over .200 (98th of all time among players w/ 6000+ PA, and HEY same as Jim Rice), walked a ton, and of course, off the field, was an awesome guy. Sorry he wasn’t a 300 game winner, too.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  35. Frank says:

    Harold Baines I think is a good comparison. Harold was overall better imo.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Current ye@r *