Is Vladimir Guerrero a Hall of Famer?

When I saw that only two players had been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame earlier this week, my thoughts immediately turned to future years. With only two deserving candidates going in, there was still going to be a log jam. How would that impact the players who are coming onto the ballot next year? There are three who have a real case for being in the Hall of Fame: Vladimir Guerrero, Manny Ramirez and Ivan Rodriguez.

Ramirez and Rodriguez seem pretty easy to peg. Ramirez — one of the great right-handed hitters to ever grace this planet, but also a player with several off-field transgressions, including two failed performance enhancing drug tests — seems likely to get a middling level of support, similar to Mark McGwire. Enough to remain comfortably on the ballot, but not enough to be near induction. Rodriguez will vault firmly into the middle of the pack at the very least, and stands a strong shot at induction on his first go-round. He has 13 Gold Gloves, the most of any catcher, and while he had PED whispers, so did Mike Piazza, and he just got in. The tide seems to be turning on the “Steroids Era.”

Guerrero, however, is a total wild card. At least to me. I could see him vaulting into strong induction contention, or I could see him scraping the bottom of the barrel. It’s hard to get a good read on his candidacy.

Guerrero’s case boils down to who you regard as his peer group. Do you look at his statistical peers, or do you look at him as an MVP-winner? In which category does he belong?

First, let’s take a look at the statistical peer group. Here are all the right fielders who produced between 50 and 70 WAR in heir career, with their JAWS and Hall of Stats scores included for extra measure:

Career Stats, Right Fielders w 50.1-69.9 WAR
Name HoF JAWS HoS PA HR SB AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ BsR Off Def WAR
Harry Heilmann Yes 59.6 136 8960 183 113 .342 .410 .520 .427 144 -5.1 519.2 -129.1 69.0
Larry Walker No 58.6 150 8030 383 230 .313 .400 .565 .412 140 21.5 427.9 3.5 68.7
Manny Ramirez No 54.6 128 9774 555 38 .312 .411 .585 .418 153 -35.0 624.8 -276.6 66.4
Dwight Evans No 52.0 122 10569 385 78 .272 .370 .470 .375 129 -9.0 348.4 -68.6 65.1
Tony Gwynn Yes 54.9 126 10232 135 319 .338 .388 .459 .370 132 11.3 401.5 -92.2 65.0
Reggie Smith No 51.6 124 8050 314 137 .287 .366 .489 .379 137 -2.5 331.7 25.5 64.6
Gary Sheffield No 49.1 114 10947 509 253 .292 .393 .514 .391 141 9.7 575.7 -300.9 62.1
Joe Jackson No 57.4 128 5690 54 202 .356 .423 .517 .443 165 -10.6 418.6 -49.1 60.5
Sammy Sosa No 51.0 115 9896 609 234 .273 .344 .534 .370 124 -7.9 300.4 -8.1 60.1
Dave Winfield Yes 50.8 113 12358 465 223 .283 .353 .475 .364 128 5.9 406.5 -243.9 59.9
Andre Dawson Yes 53.5 121 10768 438 314 .279 .323 .482 .350 117 18.8 230.5 -11.8 59.5
Bobby Abreu No 50.7 109 10081 288 400 .291 .395 .475 .378 129 33.8 415.6 -143.4 59.2
Bobby Bonds No 49.4 110 8090 332 460 .268 .353 .471 .368 130 28.9 303.9 -34.6 57.1
Ichiro Suzuki No 51.0 105 10101 113 498 .314 .356 .406 .330 105 94.5 164.5 65.2 56.7
Elmer Flick Yes 47.2 103 6414 48 330 .313 .389 .445 .399 145 16.4 365.4 -41.8 56.0
Willie Keeler Yes 45.1 98 9594 33 495 .341 .388 .415 .383 124 13.3 345.0 -78.5 55.7
Brian Giles No 44.1 97 7836 287 109 .291 .400 .502 .388 136 17.9 384.8 -80.8 54.9
Vlad. Guerrero No 50.2 110 9059 449 181 .318 .379 .553 .390 136 -49.8 370.4 -115.0 54.4
Kiki Cuyler Yes 40.8 87 8098 128 328 .321 .386 .474 .393 126 54.1 334.7 -45.1 52.9
Harry Hooper Yes 41.5 82 10244 75 375 .281 .368 .387 .363 116 -2.4 188.4 -30.5 52.3
Enos Slaughter Yes 45.1 94 9084 169 71 .300 .382 .453 .384 126 8.3 286.6 -71.5 51.4
Jack Clark No 42.1 94 8230 340 77 .267 .379 .476 .377 138 -10.0 349.1 -135.7 50.6
Sam Rice Yes 41.8 81 10246 34 351 .322 .374 .427 .372 113 9.3 180.0 -33.0 50.3
SOURCE: FanGraphs, Baseball-Reference, Hall of Stats

As you can see, statistically, Guerrero is no slam dunk. He’s middle of the pack in many stats, though he grades out well in home runs, batting average and wOBA. He isn’t first in any category, grades out poorly on defense, and is dead last as a base runner. Guerrero was a really bad base runner. Of the 3,681 qualified position players in major league history, only 11 have/had a worse BsR than did Guerrero. Half of those 11 were catchers (or came up as catchers) and none of them were outfielders. Among the 1,523 qualified outfielders, Guerrero is dead last, and it’s not even remotely close. That matters. To me, anyway. I still remember Guerrero costing the Angels’ a potential rally in Game One of the 2005 American League Division Series with a caught stealing on an ill-advised hit-and-run.

Speaking of the postseason, Guerrero wasn’t so great in the postseason. People are often fond of giving extra credit for great postseason performances, but we rarely look to demerit for poor postseason performances. And that’s probably fair. But it’s definitely eyebrow-raising when a guy with a .931 career OPS could only manage a .664 OPS in the postseason. That poor postseason OPS is partially dragged down by his odorous final postseason with the Rangers, when he hit just .220/.242/.271 across 62 plate appearances. But two points there. One, Guerrero was still a good hitter that season, to the tune of a 119 wRC+ in the regular season. And two, even if you remove 2010, his postseason OPS is still a comparatively poor .740, across 126 PA. He only hit two postseason home runs, and disappeared for whole series, like when he went 1-for-20 in the 2005 ALCS.

But Guerrero was also an MVP. That’s a pretty big gold star on your resume. It’s also not the end all, be all. Of the 124 MVPs who are or were eligible to be voted into the Hall of Fame, only 66 — or 53% — have plaques in Cooperstown. And that still might be a touch high. Take a look at this breakdown.

MVPs in the Hall of Fame
Player Type Overall 1 MVP 2+ MVPs
Hall of Famers 66 43 23
Total 124 97 27
% HoFers 53% 44% 85%
SOURCE: Baseball-Reference
Full data here: http://tinyurl.com/hsxngop

While it’s overwhelmingly likely that a player with two-plus MVPs can assure himself a place in Cooperstown, the one-timers are less than a 50-50 proposition. Is that fair, though? I mean, not all players who produce an all-world season go on to have an all-world career. In fact, if we look at a custom leaderboard of these 124 MVP winners, we see that 25 of them had a career WAR less than 35. So, let’s look at the MVPs who tallied between 50 and 70 WAR, just to make it a little more fair of a comparison:

MVPs in the Hall of Fame, 50.1-69.9 WAR
Name WAR HoF?
Larry Walker 68.7 No
Willie McCovey 67.4 Yes
Barry Larkin 67.0 Yes
Robin Yount 66.5 Yes
Harmon Killebrew 66.1 Yes
Lou Boudreau 64.5 Yes
Yogi Berra 63.7 Yes
Ernie Banks 63.3 Yes
Willie Stargell 62.9 Yes
Joe Torre 62.3 Yes but no
Dennis Eckersley 61.8 Yes
Dazzy Vance 61.6 Yes
Dick Allen 61.3 No
Hank Greenberg 61.1 Yes
Ryne Sandberg 60.9 Yes
Hal Newhouser 60.7 Yes
Joe Gordon 60.6 Yes
Sammy Sosa 60.1 No
Andre Dawson 59.5 Yes
Keith Hernandez 59.4 No
Jackie Robinson 57.2 Yes
Carl Hubbell 56.5 Yes
Jeff Kent 56.1 No
Ken Boyer 54.8 No
Joe Medwick 54.6 Yes
Sandy Koufax 54.5 Yes
Gabby Hartnett 53.7 Yes
George Sisler 51.9 Yes
Jim Rice 50.8 Yes
Mickey Cochrane 50.6 Yes
Bob Elliott 50.5 No
Orlando Cepeda 50.3 Yes
SOURCE: Baseball-Reference, FanGraphs

Well, that’s more like it. Of the 32 players who won MVP and had between 50-70 WAR, 24 of them (or 75%) were elected to the Hall of Fame as players. (Joe Torre is in the Hall, but as a manager.) That’s a pretty strong point in favor of Guerrero. If he had another MVP, obviously, his case would be much stronger, but he did finish in the top five three other times (2002, 2005 and 2007).

And yet, the ballot is still going to be super crowded next year. There have been outfielders in his class who have been one-and-dones in recent years — Kenny Lofton (18 votes in 2013), Jim Edmonds (11 votes this year), Brian Giles (0 votes last year) and Luis Gonzalez (five votes in 2014) — and while Gary Sheffield, Larry Walker and Sammy Sosa remain on the ballot, they haven’t garnered much support thus far.

Walker, in particular, seems like a roadblock. Walker has an MVP, and is a fellow sentimental former Expos player, and compiled far more wins than did Guerrero. Walker scores higher in both JAWS and the Hall of Stats, and yet his high-water mark was 22.9% in 2012. Walker has the road-stats bias, but he not only didn’t spend his whole career at Coors Field, he also posted a .278/.370/.495 line on the road for his career, and hit 168 homers and stole 109 bases on the road. He’s just one of 49 players in the Away 100-100 Club. I’d find it hard to put Guerrero over Walker on any ballot.

And it’s not just Walker. Next year’s Hall of Fame ballot features 19 players who totaled 40+ career WAR, as well as three highly regarded closers.

We haven’t discussed peak value yet, and with good reason. But let’s do that, briefly, in the context of next year’s ballot. Guerrero doesn’t really separate himself from the field in that regard. He had five seasons with five WAR or better. Comparing him to the other 21 players that will be the most prominent on next year’s ballot, you see that his five best seasons (not consecutive, just five best) aren’t a difference maker.

Five Best Seasons, 2017 Hall of Fame Ballot Luminaries
Name WAR 5 Best Years Best 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
Barry Bonds 164.4 57.8 12.7 12.5 11.9 10.5 10.2
Roger Clemens 133.7 45.0 10.7 8.2 8.4 9.2 8.5
Curt Schilling 79.7 39.5 9.3 8.3 8.2 7.2 6.5
Jeff Bagwell 80.2 38.0 8.0 7.8 7.8 7.7 6.7
Sammy Sosa 60.1 33.6 9.9 7.1 5.8 5.5 5.3
Tim Raines 66.4 32.6 7.2 6.7 6.7 6.0 6.0
Larry Walker 68.7 32.4 9.1 7.6 5.4 5.3 5.0
Gary Sheffield 62.1 31.7 7.3 6.6 6.5 6.5 4.8
Vladimir Guerrero 54.4 31.2 7.1 6.7 6.2 5.9 5.3
Mike Mussina 82.2 30.8 6.9 6.4 6.0 6.1 5.4
Edgar Martinez 65.5 30.7 7.0 6.1 6.0 5.9 5.7
Ivan Rodriguez 68.7 30.0 6.8 6.4 6.2 5.6 5.0
Manny Ramirez 66.4 29.9 7.5 5.9 5.8 5.4 5.3
Fred McGriff 56.9 28.8 6.6 6.4 5.5 5.5 4.8
Javier Vazquez 54.0 28.6 6.5 6.1 6.0 5.2 4.8
Jeff Kent 56.1 27.4 7.4 6.7 4.9 4.2 4.2
J.D. Drew 45.9 27.2 8.6 5.6 4.8 4.2 4.0
Mike Cameron 50.7 26.1 5.5 5.5 5.3 5.3 4.5
Jorge Posada 44.3 26.1 6.1 6.0 5.6 4.3 4.1
Lee Smith 26.6 13.1 2.9 2.7 2.7 2.4 2.4
Trevor Hoffman 26.1 13.1 3.1 2.9 2.6 2.3 2.2
Billy Wagner 24.2 12.3 3.6 2.3 2.2 2.1 2.1
SOURCE: FanGraphs

You can see here that like Ken Griffey Jr. did, Bonds, Clemens, Schilling and Bagwell can make a good peak-value claim. And Sammy Sosa is sort of separated from the pack. But after him, there are 10 players within a five-win band. That’s where Guerrero is. Again, below Sheffield and Walker. And also, by the way, below the banished Edmonds, whose five-year peak totals 34.0 WAR (and Edmonds still has a six-win season to boot following his top five). On Guerrero’s Hall of Stats page, proprietor Adam Darowski has his value at 50% peak, 50% career. That’s not the breakdown of a guy who can get by touting his peak value.

Vladimir Guerrero was/is a very famous player. He won an MVP award, and came close three other times. He had a marvelous career, and was an outstanding hitter. But even allowing for his arm, he was a horrible defender, and an even worse base runner. He doesn’t have a great peak-value argument and, statistically, finds himself squarely in the middle of the pack. No one is going to complain if he is voted into the Hall of Fame, but on a crowded ballot he is merely one of the qualified candidates, rather than one of the most qualified candidates.



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Paul Swydan is the managing editor of The Hardball Times, a writer and editor for FanGraphs and a writer for Boston.com. He has written for The Boston Globe, ESPN MLB Insider and ESPN the Magazine, among others. Follow him on Twitter @Swydan.


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Dbacks4EVER
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Dbacks4EVER
4 months 16 days ago

Yes. Yes, he is.

MustBunique
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Member
4 months 16 days ago

Also yes.

francis_soyer
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francis_soyer
4 months 15 days ago

Yes.

DSCeee
Member
DSCeee
4 months 15 days ago

Yes.

tz
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tz
4 months 14 days ago

Yes for the HOF that includes Andre Dawson. No for the HOF that excludes Larry Walker.

(I favor the first option).

catholiclutheran
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catholiclutheran
4 months 16 days ago

Hank Greenberg is a HOFer.

http://baseballhall.org/hof/greenberg-hank

JtheExploder
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JtheExploder
4 months 16 days ago

#Giles4HOF

goyo70
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goyo70
4 months 16 days ago

Reggie Smith, Dwight Evans, and Walker are getting jobbed. Vlad stays out.

DSCeee
Member
DSCeee
4 months 15 days ago

Vladimir has 5 fewer total bases than Mantle in 850 fewer plate appearances. He has as many Extra-base Hits as Al Kaline in 2,538 fewer plate appearances. If he doesn’t get in the Hall of Fame, they can start broadcasting their ceremonies on the Comedy Channel.

Smokey Rivers
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Smokey Rivers
4 months 14 days ago

Do you even run environment, bro?

Jason B
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Jason B
4 months 13 days ago

That’s a disingenuous approach though. You can’t simply say “he compares well to this one player that I carefully selected in this one category that I chose, and compares favorably to this other carefully selected player in this other metric that I chose…”

The article does a good job of comparing his total value against his peer group. Compares him to similar players across all areas including batting, fielding, and baserunning. That’s a much fairer and more complete approach, and you can build a case for him if you want based on a fair comparison, not super carefully cherry-picked comps.

Matt
Member
Matt
4 months 16 days ago

Speaking as an Expos fan who has Vlad as one of my favourite players of all-time, I’d also be torn. I don’t think he’s a guaranteed lock, but definitely has a case.

Although really, this is where a 2-tier hall would make sense. Let guys like Griffey have a special place in the upper echelons of the game, and make a Hall of Honor for guys like Vlad, Walker, Edmonds, Sheffield and the like who had careers that are worth remembering, but not really in the same tier as the truly elites of the past.

Brent Henry
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Brent Henry
4 months 16 days ago

And then we could make a third tier and call it the Hall of Favorite Players where it would just be my favorite players. Mark Grace would be in there Mickey Morandini would join the party Glenallen Hill. Plaques on the wall. Anybody beyond the third tier would get a participation trophy because they’re not good enough.

rlwhite
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rlwhite
4 months 15 days ago

And appropriately enough, it could be located in your parents’ basement.

yahmule
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yahmule
4 months 15 days ago

Where the **** is Luis Soho!

francis_soyer
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francis_soyer
4 months 15 days ago

Sojo, not Soho.

formerly matt w
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formerly matt w
4 months 16 days ago

Seems like Shoeless Joe and Ichiro should get asterisks in their “no” columns for HoF, since (for different reasons) neither has ever been eligible.

Expo27
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Expo27
4 months 16 days ago

He’ll get heavy support. He’s got a decent borderline stats case, but his value is heavily weighted towards hitting for average and power, which are better rewarded than D, plate discipline, and baserunning. Plus he has a legendary aura, with all the stories of him hitting homers on balls that bounce, or long tossing balls 400 feet. Plus he’s got the clean reputation (whether he was or not we’ll never know, of course). I think he’ll probably poll better with non-sabr types the first time around, then pick up more analytical votes as it becomes clear he can get in

Expo27
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Expo27
4 months 16 days ago

I may not be totally impartial, though.

devo1d
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devo1d
4 months 14 days ago

That was really rational and an optimistic way to look look at his candidacy. I can see traditionalists looking at the MVP,”cleanliness,” and the crazy things he did. (Saw him homer off Kirk Reuter in Pac Bell on a broken bat….insane).

I hope the SABR crowd gets behind him. I know he was awful in RF (minus the cannon) and not the most efficient runner, but he was so damn fun to watch.

That said, if Larry Walker hasn’t got in, Vlad has a tough road ahead.

Walter
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Walter
4 months 16 days ago

This makes me sad for Edmonds.

southie
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southie
4 months 13 days ago

Edmonds was a CLEAR juicer. If others are punished with better numbers due to roids Edmonds should to. Whether right or wrong.

j_co88
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j_co88
4 months 16 days ago

I get the statistical arguments you’re making. However, Vlad was a really fun player to watch play baseball. I don’t know how to quantify entertainment value, but Vlad hitting a baseball off his shoelaces was much more fun to watch than what most of the others on that list offered. His arm also made for highlights. That stuff made him fun, famous and good. In borderline cases, I think it’s important to take that into account.

Heck even the bad (I say daring) base running made the game more entertaining for the viewer.

For me, the entertainment value of Vlad pushes him well past marginal HOF candidate and into an easy vote.

kevinthecomic
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kevinthecomic
4 months 16 days ago

From the HOF website: Voting shall be based upon the player’s record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character, and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played.

No mention of “entertainment value”, sorry.

yahmule
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yahmule
4 months 15 days ago

We want the most anhedonic Hall possible.

B N
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B N
4 months 15 days ago

Isn’t “entertainment value” part of “character”? Why else would we say, “That Vlad, he is a real character!”

francis_soyer
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francis_soyer
4 months 15 days ago

I think the things j_co88 are referring to fall under playing ability. His arm strength and plate coverage are outliers on the ability scale.

tramps like us
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tramps like us
4 months 15 days ago

Let’s vote Eddie Gaedel in too, then.

Jason B
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Jason B
4 months 13 days ago

Yes, because that’s EXACTLY what he was saying. *rolls eyes*

TheoHCH
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TheoHCH
4 months 13 days ago

Part of the problem is that “fun” doesn’t seem to factor into the vote. Going back to Edmonds, he was one of my favorite players ever to watch, and I can’t imagine I’m the only one who thinks that. That didn’t get him anything this year. When I lived in Pittsburgh, I loved watch Jason Kendall and Brian Giles, and both were fantastic and a lot of fun. That netted them a combined 2 votes. I imagine a lot of Colorado and Quebec residents loved watching Larry Walker, or that a lot of Seattle fans loved watching Edgar hit. They were both fantastic players, and I can’t imagine them being dull. Again, no love. This repeats again and again.

Hall of Fame voters don’t seem to consider how fun a player was to watch, and I mean that in the least dismissively way possible.

vivalajeter
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vivalajeter
4 months 16 days ago

I’m extremely interested to see how voting turns out for him. He’s one of those guys that you can see in person and think he’s a clear HOF player, then you look at his WAR and wonder wtf just happened.

He had one of the strongest arms I’ve ever seen, and many people think he was a great defensive player – but a lot of his throws were off target (which is forgotten by many fans) and he took terrible routes to balls. He stole a ton of bases early one, and many people think he was a very good baserunner – but the numbers say otherwise.

If I hadn’t heard of Fangraphs, I would think that he’s undoubtedly a first ballot HOF player. I thought that while watching him. But the numbers obviously aren’t as kind to him.

As a side-note, I’m not sure I agree that Rodriguez has a good shot at being a first ballot HOF’er. His PED whispers seem to be louder than Bagwell/Piazza’s whispers, and neither of them made it on the first ballot. Bagwell still hasn’t made it. They’re all slam dunk candidates from a numbers perspective, but I would expect Rodriguez to get the snub for a few years before finally making it.

francis_soyer
Member
francis_soyer
4 months 15 days ago

A lot of Hall of Famers rack up WAR from age 34-40. If you’re wondering wtfh with Vlad, it’s basically that he didn’t get that extra 15-20 WAR. Look at Biggio or Willie McCovey for example.

Some guys just age faster than others.

Walter
Member
Walter
4 months 15 days ago

And isn’t Guerrero kind of another case of high velocity players on turf with shorten careers, like Griffey? Maybe part of it was his own violent swings and what not, but he always seemed to have back and leg problems.

burts_beads
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burts_beads
4 months 14 days ago

I think Vlad is like Griffey in that they didn’t really take care of their bodies. They came into their 30’s looking overweight and untrained and then people wonder why they broke down.

DSCeee
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DSCeee
4 months 12 days ago

Five to seven knee surgeries before age 30 will do that to you.

Brian Reinhart
Member
Member
4 months 16 days ago

Okay, I’ll bite. Which four players won MVP multiple times, but never made the Hall of Fame?

There are three active players:
Miguel Cabrera
Albert Pujols
Alex Rodriguez

I can find two inactive guys:
Barry Bonds
Dale Murphy

Brian Reinhart
Member
Member
4 months 16 days ago

Oops, you can copy/paste the Tiny URL and see the answer. Juan Gonzalez and Roger Maris are the other two.

francis_soyer
Member
francis_soyer
4 months 15 days ago

If Roger Maris isn’t in the Hall of Fame, the word Fame needs to be stricken from the name of the Hall.

Call it the Hall of Sustained Moral Achievement or something.

TKDC
Member
Member
TKDC
4 months 13 days ago

This is patently ridiculous. You wanna put Vince Coleman and Johnny Vander Meer in, too?

kevintdame
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kevintdame
4 months 16 days ago

Vlad’s Rankometer, if you’re interested to see what is career looks like visually from a WAR perspective: http://kevindamebaseball.com/index.html#!player=Vladimir%20Guerrero%20(hitter)
You can also search for Manny and I-rod there. You might be surprised what you see…

francis_soyer
Member
francis_soyer
4 months 15 days ago

Todd Helton ?

Is WAR de-Coors-ing properly ?

jwise224
Member
4 months 16 days ago

I think he makes it, and although his case isn’t a slam dunk, he’s remembered very favorably. An interesting case will be Paul Goldschmidt, who I wrote about this week. If he were to follow the a HOF-type age curve, he’ll be slightly different than Guerrero in that he’ll have a little less bat but better defense and baserunner, but not as much bat. By then, voters may be a little more well-rounded. I’m not sure many will knock Guerrero for base running among the current group of voters.

LHPSU
Member
LHPSU
4 months 16 days ago

I always felt like Guerrero had something left in the tank with his bat and could have played a couple more seasons as a role player. Probably more than, say, Hideki Matsui, Jason Giambi or Manny Ramirez at the end, for example.

Jon L.
Member
4 months 15 days ago

He had a few seasons at the end of his career of not being very good, and in his last full season he was barely a league-average hitter, much less league-average anything else. He didn’t have big platoon splits either. Maybe he would have played better with more rest and been productive in mostly the short side of a platoon, but he wasn’t interested in doing that.

Baron Samedi
Member
Baron Samedi
4 months 16 days ago

I mean, Joe Sewell made it.

Also, nobody cares. Even the people who think they care, don’t.

Slappytheclown
Member
Slappytheclown
4 months 16 days ago

As hi WRC is 136 (still lower than Walker’s 140 though) he’ll get some support. Those Baserunning and Defense metrics are horribly, sheesh. Poor Evans too. My guess is he falls into that camp (evans) with Dick Allen of best players not in the hall.

bjsguess
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Member
bjsguess
4 months 16 days ago

I suspect that many voters view defense and base running as potential positives to boost the candidacy of mediocre hitters. Conversely, I don’t think guys are penalized for bad base running or defense unless it is obvious and egregious.

The base running and defense really were egregious but I don’t believe they are necessarily noticeable unless you dig into the advanced metrics. You see nearly 200 SB’s and don’t assume a bad base runner. You watch ESPN and all you saw were the rocket throws.

Let’s just say that the voters discount Vlad’s base running and defense. Let’s say they view him in those areas as neither a negative or positive. If you look solely at his offensive numbers then I think he is a slam dunk.

Like others have commented, Vlad also has some intangibles that will weigh in his favor. Nobody has ever accused the guy of PED use. He was a freak of nature to watch. Never had anything but a smile on his face. Great club house guy. He’s basically everything that Barry Bonds wasn’t. He loved playing the game and it showed. He was universally beloved by the fans. All huge points in his favor.

I also agree that guys like Walker should be in. It is really unfair how much he is penalized for playing in Coors. It certainly is a factor when you look at his numbers but still … Walker was an amazing player anywhere he went.

rosen380
Member
rosen380
4 months 15 days ago

Wouldn’t you want to figure in PA into those lists?

Using 50-70 career fWAR gives you these two players:
fWAR PA NAME
50.3 10246 Sam Rice
68.7 8030 Larry Walker

Not capping the PA just unnecessarily widens the range of talent of the players within. Setting the range to +/- 10% of Vlad’s PAs.

You used 50-70 fWAR; VG was at 54.4, would a range more centered on him be better? +/-10 to get the same size range. I now has 60 names with Vlad towards the top in wRC+, so picking a subset with similar wRC+ [and excluding anyone who hasn’t been on a ballot yet, or debuted before 1920], sorted by the percentage of votes they got their first year:

82% Willie Stargell
30% Jim Rice
17% Duke Snider
13% Orlando Cepeda
5% Keith Hernandez
5% Joe Torre
4% Will Clark
2% Jack Clark
1% John Olerud
0% Ken Singleton

StroShow
Member
4 months 15 days ago

I feel like this is actually an article to point out that Larry Walker is a HOFer and should get voted in but won’t. Someone should start a campaign, he’s got some years left to make it.

tz
Member
tz
4 months 15 days ago

I’d put his campaign in line behind Bagwell, Raines, Schilling and Mussina thanks to the HOF traffic jam, but I agree he deserves to be in.

zachbuccos
Member
zachbuccos
4 months 15 days ago

My guess is, he’s going to get a lot of votes from non-analytics guys who vote by the logic of “I know a Hall of Famer when I see one”

Personally, I think he is, but I can see a good faction of support coming his way from the old school guys.

yahmule
Member
yahmule
4 months 15 days ago

I would put him in the Hall. I don’t think his case is any worse because voters have screwed equally qualified candidates. I think that’s just inconsistency from the electorate.

jb21
Member
jb21
4 months 15 days ago

Wait, a runner getting thrown out on an ill-advised hit-and-run is the runners fault?

Barney Coolio
Member
Barney Coolio
4 months 15 days ago

Brian Giles has 55 WAR? Holy Crap!

And he was only a 2 time All Star!

So, that’s 27.5 WAR per ASG. Kirk Gibson probably has the highest WAR per ASG at 38.3/0 ASG, although that number is incomputable.

I would bet that most players are betwen 3-6. Most of the icons take a hit in that regard since they are perennial All Stars, even when they don’t deserve it. Robin Yount is 3/77 = 25.6666. Bert Blyleven is at 2/96 = 48. Yowza. And yeah, I was using b-ref for all of them except or Giles. If you do this exercise, you should keep in mind that there were multiple ASG for a few years in the late 50’s and early 60’s, and there was none before 1933.

tz
Member
tz
4 months 14 days ago

Tony Phillips’s WAR per ASG = 46.6/0

francis_soyer
Member
francis_soyer
4 months 15 days ago

One MVP, 2 3rd place finishes, one 4th place finish, and one 6th place finish during the height of the Steroids Era.

Compare this to Griffey or Biggio for perspective.

Unless he has a PED scandal I am unaware of, he is a first round lock.

DSCeee
Member
DSCeee
4 months 15 days ago

Defensive metrics are so biased and subjective, too. 17th all-time in put-outs by a RF. 17th. How does that happen if he was terrible? How, with bad knees all those years? And how did he lead the Angels to 5 division titles in 6 years, the Golden Age of Angels baseball their fans call it? He leaves, they don’t win a division since.

MGL
Member
4 months 15 days ago

They may be biased but they are certainly not “subjective.” You are confusing “arm” and other aspects of defense (like “range”).

As far as his arm is concerned, Fangraphs only starts their arm ratings since 2002, and that seems to be his last year for having a great arm. He may even have been a decent fielder prior to 2002 (again, UZR only goes back to 2002).

Also, he must have had terrible accuracy, at least later in his career. Plus, as a RF’er, he is compared to all players with very good arms.

Also, saying that his defense is “terrible” (as in the article) is misleading. According to the defensive metrics, he was a slightly below average RFer. It is just that RF is the “lowest” of the defensive positions, other than 1B. So, compared to the “average fielder” (at all positions), he was a “terrible” fielder. But not compared to the average RFer.

tz
Member
tz
4 months 15 days ago

If you look at his defensive stats prior to 2002, he was probably above average, to the point that I’d say his defense was average for a RF over his overall career.

Grabbing some Total Zone numbers from Baseball-Reference:

96-01 +31 (+21 arm, +10 other) per Total Zone
02-10 +13 (+12 arm, +1 other) per Total Zone
02-10 -17 (+6 arm, -23 other) per UZR

I’d of course use UZR for his 2002+ defensive value, since Total Zone was built to use the less granular batted ball data available over a longer historical period*. I included the 2002+ Total Zone values as a point of reference only; it is possible that Total Zone has a somewhat favorable bias on his defense, but even if that is the case, that would at most drop his pre-2002 defense to plus arm/average “plays made”.

So overall, I’d have to say Vlad was an average RF for his career.

*note – the DRS info from Baseball-Reference for 2003+ (+2 arm / -21 other) is consistent with the UZR info for the same period (-4 arm /-20 other)

francis_soyer
Member
francis_soyer
4 months 15 days ago

I’ll say this about Vlad’s defense. He had a strong arm, but he was a perennial top 5 in errors for a RF.

Still HOF IMO

francis_soyer
Member
francis_soyer
4 months 15 days ago

Actually he led the league in errors by a RF 9 times ( ! )

For perspective, Reggie Jackson led the league 8 times, so yeah, still HOF

Pinstripe Wizard
Member
Pinstripe Wizard
4 months 13 days ago

Leading the league in errors for an OF can be a little misleading. Did he lead the league in errors because he couldn’t catch or because he tried to show off that cannon and misfire? I don’t remember many issues with Vlad dropping a easy fly like say Alfonso Soriano did. It’s sorta the Rafael Furcal argument when he came up with the Braves. If you get to more stuff and have a cannon, you try to make plays and get errors others don’t because they just can’t even attempt to make such a play.

TKDC
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Member
TKDC
4 months 13 days ago

I remember him airmailing some throws pretty badly. If he weren’t playing in Montreal, it could have been dangerous.

Jason B
Member
Jason B
4 months 13 days ago

“For perspective, Reggie Jackson led the league 8 times, so yeah, still HOF”

Wait, what? I don’t think it works that way. Reggie had 73 career WAR to Vlad’s 54. That’s a rather large gap in career value to just wave away by saying they both made a lot of errors.

If the point is Vlad shouldn’t be disqualified due to his many errors, that’s fair, but (a) no one is disqualifying him because of that, and (b) his defensive value (good or bad) is already considered in an all-encompassing metric like WAR.

Barney Coolio
Member
Barney Coolio
4 months 15 days ago

I think Vladimir Guerrero will be elected. Absolutely without question. Compare him with Jim Rice. At 9059 plate appearances, Vlad has one more than Rice, so they’re an easy comp:

Guerrero: .318/.379/.553, OPS+ of 140, 2590 hits, 449 homers
Rice: .298/.352/.502, OPS+ of 128, 2452 hits, 382 homers

Neither were good at defense, they both have similarly unimpressive postseason resumes, and both won an MVP award. Rice is seen as a jerk, and Guerrero is seen as a good guy.

We can lament Larry Walker all day long, but I suppose I can understand why Rice is in and Walker is not. Vlad is quite clearly a better version of Rice.

Jason B
Member
Jason B
4 months 13 days ago

“I can understand why Rice is in and Walker is not.”

Help us understand! The numbers sure don’t support it. Coors Field stank? Red Sox love affair? “That Jim Rice was one scary dude”? Maybe all of the above?

Barney Coolio
Member
Barney Coolio
4 months 12 days ago

Rice just barely scooted over the voters’ line, and Walker falls short. Yeah, a lot of that comes from Walker’s low counting numbers, Coors Field, Red Sox Love affair, Walker’s steroid era career. These aren’t good enough for most fangraphers, but that’s pretty much what happened.

DSCeee
Member
DSCeee
4 months 15 days ago

How many guys hit over 400 HR, with a slash of over .315/.350/.550 and over 2500 hits? You’re looking at 4 other guys, all Hall of Famers. But Vlad faces the anti-Canada bias, the analytics bias, and the ‘I hate guys who didn’t cheat’ bias.

Another blogger pointed this out: his .931 OPS beats a lot of HoF players, including the last 2. Struck out over 90 times once. .300 or better 13 times. 10 seasons of 100 RBI’s, 6 of 100 runs. Lead the league in intentional walks 5 times. 8 seasons of 30+ HR, with a 29 and two 27’s. 200 or more hits 4 times. 9 times 30 or more doubles with those terrible knees. 8 Silver Sluggers while competing with steroid monsters.

Anyone who saw him in 1999-2002 saw a gazelle. Think of that player, then the one from 2006-2011 who had rocks in his knees, who got around by effort yet still hit for power and average and worked his way to 17th in RF put-outs. Playing on bad knees, 3 years as a DH. Bad defence? His effort got him some errors but a lot of errors were from hitting runners sliding into 2nd/ 3rd/home or bobbling a grounder but holding the runner to no base gained, yet still ‘earning’ an error for the no-impact bobble. Reputation got him a lot of errors (I saw Andruw Jones drop a simple pop-up in Atlanta once, scorer gave the hitter a double!). Plus 90 reached base on errors.

Should be a first-ballot HoF. Great team player (look up what other players say about his effect on the team, on winning). Think LAA gets 5 division titles and Texas to the WS in 2010 if Guerrero isn’t the HoF a lot say he is? BTW, Griffey gets a pass for his injuries hurting his advanced stats, Guerrero doesn’t for all his knee operations?

Barney Coolio
Member
Barney Coolio
4 months 15 days ago

Well, I think Guerrero will be inducted, so wait until he hits the ballot before listing off all of the “biases” against him.

Also, I have some questions about your analysis of defense (as we spell it in the States :))

1. 17th in RF put-outs isn’t really that impressive at all. There really aren’t that many guys who are playing full time RF, so ranking 17th in putouts pretty much means ranking last among full time RFers.

2. Errors: “hitting runners sliding into a base.” Yeah, you get an error from that. Outfielders should try to avoid that. Secondly, so he bobbled balls in the outfield, which effectively led to no advancement of the runners? Does that really result in an error charged? It seems to me that if a fielder straight up drops a ball, but picks it up and throws out the runner, it’s an assist, putout, and no error.

Barney Coolio
Member
Barney Coolio
4 months 15 days ago

If Vlad is a first ballotter, and Tim Raines is a last ballotter, then the Montreal Expos will have two “plaqued” guys at the same time! Has that ever happened before? And I know it has never happened with an expansion franchise.

If both are eventually enshrined, that will give the Expos the most plaqued HOFers of all of the expansion teams. They already share the lead with 2.

San Diego: Gwynn, Winfield
Mets: Piazza, Seaver
Milwaukee: Yount, Molitor
Montreal: Dawson, Carter

Houston seems primed to add Bagwell to Biggio to join the others with 2. San Diego seems destined to add Hoffman to get 3.

The Angels have zero HOFers wearing their plaque. And yeah, I think Guerrero is much more of an Expo than an Angel. He’ll probably prefer to not be enshrined as a member of a defunct franchise, but look where that got Dawson and Carter. But it’s closer than I thought. He only has 600 more plate appearances as an Expo.

Adam S
Member
Member
Adam S
4 months 15 days ago

“two “plaqued” guys at the same time! Has that ever happened before?”
Maddux and Glavine went in together two years ago. Or do I not understand what you’re saying?

That said while Vlad might get in, I’d say there’s very little chance he gets in on the first ballot. And sadly some change Raines doesn’t get in, which would be a tragedy in many ways. So don’t get your hopes up of a double Expos enshrinement.

Barney Coolio
Member
Barney Coolio
4 months 14 days ago

Ah yes, I think that you do understand me. However, Maddux decided to go in with a blank cap, so that was not technically a double Braves induction.

tz
Member
tz
4 months 14 days ago

If Vlad, Raines, and Walker all join Dawson in the HOF, that means 4 OFs who spent most of their 20’s in an Expos uniform.

I wonder how many franchises have 4 or more OF in the Hall right now.

Barney Coolio
Member
Barney Coolio
4 months 15 days ago

Ah, now I see. Guerrero is 17th ALL TIME in putouts in RF. And he is only 21st all time in games in RF. So, yeah, that is fairly impressive.

However, some of those “games played” lists are skewed by innings usage. A lot of guys like rank high on the “games” list, but low on the “innings” list, Paul Blair is a good example. He ranks high in games in CF, but so many incomplete games.

francis_soyer
Member
francis_soyer
4 months 15 days ago

Also 5th all-time in errors by a RF

DSCeee
Member
DSCeee
4 months 15 days ago

Reputation still has a lot to do with errors. Who gets the error, the guy who threw it a bit off or the guy who didn’t catch? Often depends on the scorer’s beliefs.

Jason B
Member
Jason B
4 months 13 days ago

“‘I hate guys who didn’t cheat’ bias.”

That…that’s not a thing. You can build a HOF case for Vad without resoring to wholesale making up things that absolutely do not exist.

Jason B
Member
Jason B
4 months 13 days ago

“But Vlad faces the anti-Canada bias, the analytics bias, and the ‘I hate guys who didn’t cheat’ bias.”

That last thing? That’s…that’s not a thing. You can build a reasonable case for Vlad in the HOF without making things up wholesale (or decrying things that simply don’t exist).

Jason B
Member
Jason B
4 months 13 days ago

Great point Jason B. The point so nice you made it twice. You’re a regular Johnny Two Times, Johnny Two Times.

bashfactory
Member
bashfactory
4 months 15 days ago

From 1998 to 2008 Vlad was in the Top 7 in BA, Runs, HR, and RBIs while never playing for the Rockies or being linked to PEDs, essentially making him one of the best 10 hitters in the league for over a decade. In his prime he was a perennial Triple Crown contender and true five tool player. I think anyone who puts together a stretch like that deserves to be in the Hall regardless of their baserunning or defensive abilities.

devo1d
Member
Member
devo1d
4 months 14 days ago

How can you be a five-tool player if you want voters to look past baserunning and defense?

Adam S
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Member
Adam S
4 months 15 days ago

I suspect Vlad will be very divisive among voters like closers and Jack Morris.

VivaLaJeter says it well. Remembering Guerrero I would have said he’s a sure Hall of Famer. And since I think most voters vote by feel, they’ll vote for him. Put simply, great hitter, stole a lot of bases, great arm so he must be a great fielder.

But if you take an analytic look at him, he gave back a huge amount of value with baserunning and defense and he’s truly a borderline candidate. And in a Hall of Fame that doesn’t include Raines, Walker, or Edmonds, he’s almost a “no”.

There are more analytical guys and fewer old school guys voting every year. Enough that I think he’ll get a fair amount of support but have trouble gaining.

bashfactory
Member
bashfactory
4 months 15 days ago

It’s the baseball Hall of Fame, not the analytics Hall of Fame. I don’t think people should or do care all that much that Vlad may have run into a few more outs every year than other players. When it comes to the basics–hitting, pitching, and fielding–I don’t think the HOF calculation should be a balancing of the scales where Vlad’s offense loses its luster because he wasn’t a great fielder.

Anyone who is one of the best 5 or 10 hitters for an entire decade without caveats like an extreme ballpark or a very short career should be in the HOF. Great fielding or base running can give you a boost but I don’t think poor fielding or base running should keep someone like Vlad out.

And suggesting that Vlad shouldn’t be in because some comparably worthy players might be out is a specious argument, since anyone could easily find dozens of HOFers Vlad is better than to argue that he as to be a “yes.”

Adam S
Member
Member
Adam S
4 months 15 days ago

“And suggesting that Vlad shouldn’t be in because some comparably worthy players might be out is a specious argument, since anyone could easily find dozens of HOFers Vlad is better than to argue that he as to be a “yes.””

Well I didn’t say anything about whether Vlad should be in, just whether people will VOTE for him. There are a lot of terrible choices in the Hall, so you can always find worse players who are in. Given an electorate that can’t decide on Raines and has given little support peer OFs, it’s hard to see that they all decide to vote Vlad in. The trend has been either a player is a slam dunk and gets 90%+ or he gets 30-60% and begins a slow crawl upwards.

devo1d
Member
Member
devo1d
4 months 14 days ago

It doesn’t take away from his hitting. It lowers his overall value as a player.

I loved watching the guy, but he took terrible routes in RF and made a ton of mistakes on the bases. The arm was amazing, but not very accurate. Over a 15+ year career, those things matter. The scale is still weighted offensively. He gets a ton of credit for his bat, as he should.

DSCeee
Member
DSCeee
4 months 15 days ago

Odd that Jeter gets so much love though his defence, at a far more critical position than RF, was epically bad no matter how you look at it (people who watched him play know it, people who didn’t know it, youngsters who wonder who he was know it). He was also a mediocre baserunner. Look at his stats and his year-by-year production and he looks like a classic compiler, 150 or so hits a year (and people call Biggio and other compilers, and don’t see the irony). So a compiler with truly bad defence is a lock for 1st ballot Hall, while Guerrero, who was no where near as bad honestly, and was, as several have pointed out, a dominant hitter for years, why is he so “borderline”?

Max G
Member
Max G
4 months 15 days ago

That Vlad was an abysmal base runner and terrible right-fielder is well-documented. However, he was one of those guys who’s at-bats I made sure I did not miss. The ball made a different sound off of his bat, and it was exciting as hell to watch him turn pitches at his ankles into laser-line drives down the left-field line. I’ve seen a lot of good hitters, and a few great ones, but nobody I saw before or since could hit balls out of the strike zone with that kind of authority. Kung Fu Panda, on occasion maybe. He comes to mind in terms of recent bad-ball hitters, but to my untrained eye, Vladdy was unmatched as a bad-ball hitter. It was remarkable how Vlad did not strike out a great deal for how much he’d swing at anything.

Although I don’t personally rank players this way, I think his overall counting stats combined with his peak years warrants a Cooperstown plaque, in spite of the horrendous baserunning and defense and lack of outstanding career WAR. I make this decision because of who has already been voted into Cooperstown based on their counting stats, not because I agree with counting stats, but because that has historically been the standard of the voting conditions. For example, based on who’s in Cooperstown now, how do we elect Andre Dawson and not elect Vlad?

And yes of course Bagwell, Sheffield, Walker, and other players superior to Vlad should definitely be in as well. Bonds and Clemens, too. I’m in favor of dismissing the PED nonsense. It’s too hard to tell who was using and who wasn’t, and these guys that used put up numbers against other guys who were using, too. So it all evens out for me. Vote them in based on performance, period. Even if you threw out several peak years from Bonds and Clemens, they’d still have the numbers to get in by my dirty math.

tramps like us
Member
tramps like us
4 months 15 days ago

Exciting player with tremendous physical skills. Great hitter. Great arm, but had 125 errors. Great speed, but was a lousy basestealer. Even with the great God-given abilities, he was a liability in the field and on the basepaths. He was one-dimensional with negative value in areas other than hitting. He’s not a hall of famer.

DSCeee
Member
DSCeee
4 months 12 days ago

As I pointed out below, he was 47% at taking the extra base (league average of 35%), held a ton of runners to one base by getting to balls others couldn’t/wouldn’t, and that arm kept a ton of runners from not advancing. No sabermatics cover most of those facts.

tramps like us
Member
tramps like us
4 months 15 days ago

Also…..when comparing eras, aren’t we giving Vladdy’s stats more credit than, say, a guy like Vada Pinson, who played during a time when offensive stats were signficantly reduced? Especially starting in 1962 and into the 70’s. Or Ron Santo, who took forever to get in. Can we get Joey Belle in, too? I think we need to take the offensive stats of the mid-80’s thru the late 90’s with a grain of salt.

tramps like us
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tramps like us
4 months 15 days ago

I meant 1963, not 1962.

tz
Member
tz
4 months 14 days ago

Joey Belle? I will say he’s a better candidate than B.J. Upton, Mike G. Stanton, Harry Rasmussen or Lew Alcindor ;)

Cidron
Member
Cidron
4 months 14 days ago

No Joey Belle.. maybe Albert though :p

Sn0wman
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Sn0wman
4 months 14 days ago

The peak numbers legitimately surprise me. Without checking, I’d have thought his would be sky high. Watching him bat against your team was always frightening, and you absolutely /felt/ like you were watching an easy HoFer.

devo1d
Member
Member
devo1d
4 months 14 days ago

Without a doubt. I remember looking at his career WAR after 2010 and being stunned. He hit pitches out of the zone better than anyone I saw, but he never struck out a bunch.

As a few have pointed out, he was a conundrum. Great speed (early on), not a great baserunner or fielder. Crazy arm, not very accurate.

I’m hoping the traditionalists (still plenty of them) look at the slash line and compare it to others.

Cidron
Member
Cidron
4 months 14 days ago

to me, yes, he is a HoF’r.

Sure, all the numbers above may not quite say he is. But, they put him in the discussion. But, the telling thing is that NO pitcher wanted to pitch to him with the game on the line. No pitcher could make him chase .. rather, no pitcher could make him chase poorly. You could throw the pitch a foot off the place, or near bounce it, pitch it well up in the zone and he would swing… effectively ! Game on the line, the entire batting area, both batters boxes, and the round around the plate were fair game for his swings. And, he could put the ball over the fence from anywhere. Nope, There was NO safe place to pitch him with the game on the line. That (as well as the article above) make him a HoF’r. His own form of dominance. No pitch, or pitcher was safe from being parked over the wall.

LHPSU
Member
LHPSU
4 months 14 days ago

What are you talking about, near bounce? You can literally bounce the ball and he’ll still hit it.

Cidron
Member
Cidron
4 months 14 days ago

I stand corrected

Paul22
Member
Paul22
4 months 14 days ago

Without looking at the stats, I would say Vlad no, Manny and Pudge yes, simply because Vlad was never a player that stuck in my mind like the great ones are supposed to. After checking the stats, this is confirmed, especially when you adjust based on the offensive environment he played in. However, the stats give me a bit pause for thought on Pudge, but then he did have more positional and defensive value. Borderline. Manny, no doubt HOF’er even with his defense stats which still suffers from the Fenway effect despite some adjustments.

tramps like us
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tramps like us
4 months 13 days ago

Really think there’s only one argument against Man Ram and Pudge, and that’s the steroids issue. I remember Pudge shutting down the running game of opposing teams by simply walking on the field. His offensive prowess, while more than solid and occasionally top shelf, pales in comparison to his defensive talents. Manny’s numbers are easily HOF worthy. But so are Rafael Palmeiro’s.

rbemont
Member
rbemont
4 months 12 days ago

Pudge is my favorite. But, one also has to look at the number of games he caught in TExas (and its climate), as well as, other members of the Rangers and their reputations for PED use. Does it convict him? Of course not. Does it play into this decision? Yes.

PED primarily aid recovery. Pudge played the toughest position in the toughest climate for a long time. It’s a red flag. A certainty? Heck no, but a red flag.

Jon C
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Jon C
4 months 13 days ago

Maybe. If he never tried to play on the field and just was a dh and if that designated runner rule was ever adopted. Things didn’t happen that way so no. Or maybe. Probably not.

burritooverdose
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burritooverdose
4 months 13 days ago

If I had a ballot, I would absolutely vote for this guy. He mixed great value with just being really, really fun to watch.

Nats Fan
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Nats Fan
4 months 13 days ago

You mention in this article that Manny Ramirez is a sure fire Hall of Famer. I think that is some what debatable! I looked at the leader board here and listed every OF since 1920 to 2015. Then I clicked on Def twice to see who cost he team the most runs as an outfielder in history over his career and I got: 1. Gary Sheffield at -300, 2. Manny Ramirez at -277, 3. Adam Dunn -255, 4. Dave Winfield -244. Being terrible at a very important aspect of your job called defense should at least raise the question of your Hall of Fame worthiness.

LHPSU
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LHPSU
4 months 13 days ago

Is Derek Jeter not a Hall of Famer?

KCDaveInLA
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KCDaveInLA
4 months 13 days ago

Not if he had played for the Expos.

Ebenezer
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Member
Ebenezer
4 months 13 days ago

I don’t see Guerrero getting close to elected in his first few years on the ballot. You’ve got Raines, Bagwell, Martinez, Mussina, Schilling, Bonds, Clemens, Walker and Hoffman as ballot holdovers, all with more WAR than Guerrero, plus IRod and Ramirez on next year’s ballot. With voters limited to ten votes, there’s no way he gets in soon. And with only 59.3 rWAR and 54.4 fWAR, Guerrero doesn’t do well under sabermetric scrunity. With the old guard being weeded from HOF voting, and more enlightened journalists becoming eligible to vote each year, I doubt he will ever get elected.

DSCeee
Member
DSCeee
4 months 12 days ago

See, if you go by WAR, a biased stat, you aren’t making an argument. WAR is a moving target, based on a mythical player and substandard evaluations. Like, Angels Stadium was a hitter’s park according to WAR from 2000-2009 yet from 20010-2015 it’s been called a pitcher’s park and grades of players with exactly the same stats go up accordingly. Or down for pitchers.

KCDaveInLA
Member
KCDaveInLA
4 months 13 days ago

Whenever I think about these less-than-slam-dunk cases, I remind myself: “Jim Rice is a Hall-of-Famer”. Therefore, I think Vlad should be too, and I’m not just basing that on WAR totals. It’s not that Rice isn’t deserving (he is), but to me, he’s the baseline HOF’er, which create so many logical fallacies – Tim Raines and Alan Trammell missing out, Larry Walker’s low vote total, Jim Edmonds’ total lack of support just to name a few.

rbemont
Member
rbemont
4 months 12 days ago

I would not vote him in.

He’s with Edmonds and others in the Hall of Very Good or whatever we want to call it.

Surprisingly, the perception of his defense is likely “pretty good” … given that his defensive highlights (namely, throwing people out from long distances) are some of the most amazing things we’ve ever seen.

The guys whose defensive value are overlooked are the guys that are (1) consistently very good (ALan Trammel), or (2) guys that have great range/anticipation but don’t make “Jeter throws” because they good to those balls and are able to plant and throw (Brendan Ryan, etc).

My guess is that many voters would rate Vlad’s defense as “pretty good” because our memories of Vlad’s defense are tremendous throwing highlights in the realm of Ichiro, Bo Jackson, Rick Ankiel, and Roberto Clemente.

I still can’t figure out how Jim Rice got in. Along with Dawson, their inclusions just present a recent mess in terms of “who gets in”. There are going to be players that were far more valuable than those two that “don’t get in” just because of the timing/ballot issue.

Edgar Martinez has a better career OPS+ than Hack Wilson and George Brett
Member
Edgar Martinez has a better career OPS+ than Hack Wilson and George Brett
4 months 12 days ago

I would say yes. He was an elite offensive player the majority of his career. He had 12 years in which he qualified to be on the leaderboards, and his resume is stacked with top ten leaderboard appearance, be it OPS+, batting average, MVP voting, or whatever. The dude was a stud.

The stat that may be most telling, he led the league in intentional base on balls 5 times, and is 5th all time in that category. Pitchers didn’t want anything to do with him. My only question is, did he ever get a hit when a pitcher was trying to intentionally walk him? Knowing Vladdy could hit just about anything within the same area code that he was playing, the question isn’t so far fetched.

DSCeee
Member
DSCeee
4 months 12 days ago

In baserunning he took the extra base 47% of the time (league average is closer to 35%) and was above 50% for the first 6 years of his career. He hit into a lot of DP because he hit a lot, a lot, of pitches, and later in his career had knee injuries. Other guys strike out a ton, how can they hit into DP with so many K’s and fly balls? Fangraphs includes DPs in their base running metrics, which makes no sense as hitting into a DP is a factor of ground balls and contact rate, and sometimes bad base running by the guy actually already on base. Taking all that into account he was either a decent base runner or mediocre, based on your personal perception. Bad? Dream on.

Also, look at how many chances he got in the field. More chances means he cut a lot of doubles into singles, triples into doubles. What stat encompasses that? What stat encompasses runners held? Would you take off from first if a FB was hit to Vlad? Would you tag up if a fly ball was hit to Ellsbury (I would, with that noodle arm)? So many stats evade wind, miss out on day/night, ignore true range and how many runs an OF gets by getting to the ball before it gets to the wall. Bad defender? Decent or mediocre again. So far voters who admit who’ll they’ll vote for (15 on some sites, 23 on others) have Vlad running at 73% to 78% of the vote. And the vast majority of those stated voters are pro-analytics, and you know old-school voters will vote much the same.

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