Saturday, December 31, 2016

The HOF Case for (Almost) Every Player on the 2017 Ballot

The title's misleading: I've made a case for 19 players, and there's 34 players on the 2017 ballot. And I haven't really "made a case" for any of them (other than Barry Bonds, who I consider a no-brainer).

All I've done is listed each player's career ranks within his generation. There are two generations of players on the ballot, Boomers (two) and Gen-Xers (thirty-two). Players who don't rank in the top 10 in their generation in any reasonably-meaningful statistical category aren't listed.

A couple more caveats: players' ranks are by generation, not by position. So even though Pudge Rodriguez is probably the greatest catcher of Generation X, he only ranks in the top 10 of a couple categories, and then just barely, because he's competing with all batters in his generation.

Also, pitchers need 1,000 innings to qualify for rate statistics, which is a total only a handful of career relievers reach anymore. So even though Billy Wagner only pitched 186 fewer innings than Trevor Hoffman, Wagner is on the wrong side of the 1,000-inning threshold, and thus doesn't qualify for rate stats (even though many of his rate stats are better than Hoffman's).


Tim Raines - 1st in SB% (84.7%), 2nd in Stolen Bases (808), 6th in Triples (113), 8th in Runs (1,571), 8th in Walks (1,330), 10th in OBP (.385)

Lee Smith - 1st in Saves (478), 2nd in FIP (2.93), 2nd in K/9 (8.73), 4th (tied) in ERA+ (132), 10th in ERA (3.03)

Generation X

Barry Bonds - 1st in Runs (2,227), 1st in Homeruns (762), 1st in Walks (2,558), 1st in Intentional Walks (688), 1st in OBP (.444), 1st in Slugging (.607), 1st in OPS (1.051), 1st in OPS+ (182), 1st in Total Bases (5,976), 1st in Extra Base Hits (1,440), 1st in Times on Base (5,599), 1st in WAA (123.5), 1st in WAR (162.4), 2nd in RBI (1,996), 2nd in Isolated Power (.309), 3rd in Stolen Bases (514), 4th in Doubles (601), 7th in Hits (2,935)

Gary Sheffield - 4th (tied) in Sac Flies (111), 6th in Walks (1,475), 6th in Times on Base (4,299), 9th in Runs (1,636), 10th in RBI (1,676)

Ivan Rodriguez - 9th in Hits (2,844), 10th in Doubles (572)

Sammy Sosa - 5th in Homeruns (609), 10th in Isolated Power (.261)

Manny Ramirez - 2nd in OPS (.996), 3rd in Slugging (.585), 4th in Isolated Power (.273), 5th in RBI (1,831), 5th in Intentional Walks (216), 5th in OBP (.411), 5th in OPS+ (154), 6th (tied) in Batting Avg. (.312), 7th in Extra Base Hits (1,122), 8th in Total Bases (4,826), 9th in Homeruns (555)

Jeff Bagwell - 6th in OBP (.408), 6th in OPS+ (149), 6th in WAA (51.8), 7th in Walks (1,401), 7th in WAR (79.6), 9th in OPS (.948), 10th (tied) in Sac Flies (102)

Vladimir Guerrero - 1st in Batting Avg. (.318), 3rd in Intentional Walks (250), 10th in Slugging (.553)

Jeff Kent - 8th (tied) in Sac Flies (103)

Larry Walker - 3rd (tied) in Batting Avg. (.313), 5th in Slugging (.565), 5th (tied) in OPS (.965), 7th in WAA (48.2), 10th (tied) in OBP (.400), 10th in WAR (72.6)

Edgar Martinez - 3rd in OBP (.418), 6th (tied) in Batting Avg. (.312), 7th (tied) in OPS+ (147)

Magglio Ordonez - 9th (tied) in Batting Avg. (.309)

Roger Clemens - 1st in Complete Games (118), 1st in Shutouts (46), 1st in WAA (94.5), 1st in WAR (139.4), 2nd in Wins (354), 2nd in Innings (4,916 2/3), 2nd in Strikeouts (4,672), 3rd in ERA+ (143), 4th in W-L% (.658), 4th in ERA (3.12), 4th in FIP (3.09), 9th in HR/9 (0.66), 9th in H/9 (7.66)

Mike Mussina - 5th in Wins (270), 5th in WAR (82.7), 6th in Shutouts (23), 6th in Innings (3,562 2/3), 6th in WAA (48.6), 7th in W-L% (.638), 7th in Strikeouts (2,813), 10th (tied) in Strikeouts per Walk (3.58)

Trevor Hoffman - 2nd in Saves (601), 2nd in ERA (2.87), 2nd in H/9 (6.99), 3rd in FIP (3.08), 3rd in WHIP (1.058), 4th in K/9 (9.36), 5th in ERA+ (141), 6th in Strikeouts per Walk (3.69)

Billy Wagner - 3rd in Saves (422)

Curt Schilling - 1st in Strikeouts per Walk (4.38), 4th in Complete Games (83), 5th in Strikeouts (3,116), 5th in WHIP (1.137), 5th in WAA (54.1), 6th in FIP (3.23), 6th in WAR (80.7), 9th (tied) in Shutouts (20), 10th (tied) in K/9 (8.60)

Arthur Rhodes - 8th (tied) in K/9 (8.73)


  1. Yay Vladimir Guerrero! When you think of what a HoF should be, you think of him. Not compilers, not mediocre players in big markets, not cheaters, not mean-spirited, not quitters. Him!

    1. And you could say the same thing about Raines, Bagwell, and Walker