A Baseball Blog - Scientific and Speculative Thoughts from Third Base
Showing posts with label Ken Boyer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ken Boyer. Show all posts

Saturday, September 20, 2014

The Most Underrated Players of (Offset) Decades, Part Two

This is part two of the most underrated players by offset (as in, starting in years than end in a 5) decades. It took me a while to come back to it, but I finally did. For part one, see here.

Friday, December 14, 2012

50 Best Players Not in the Hall of Fame 2012, Part 2

For the second year, I’m participating in Baseball Past and Present’s 50 Best Players Not in the Hall of Fame project. Last time, I covered players still on the ballot. Now, I’m delving into the backlog of worthy candidates. Each player is listed with their teams (in order of games played), position, and Hall Rating from the Hall of Stats (which works similar to OPS+; 100 is the baseline for a Hall of Famer).

Dick Allen, Phillies/White Sox/Dodgers/Cardinals/Athletics, 1B/3B, 115-Most of these players appeared on my ballot last year, so I’ll probably just do a quick rundown for each player. Allen was a great hitter in a difficult hitting environment, hitting 351 home runs and posting a .292/.378/.534 (average/OBP/slugging) batting line that translates to a 156 OPS+ and places him nineteenth all-time. Granted, his career was a little short at fifteen seasons, but right ahead of him are Johnny Mize and Hank Greenberg, who each played 15 and 13 seasons, respectively. And his shortened career still led to almost 68 fWAR. I’d say he’s good enough to make it.

Kevin Appier, Royals/Angels/Athletics/Mets, P, 110-One of my two additions to the list this year that isn’t actually on an official ballot. I’ve long felt that the Hall needs to do a better job of recognizing modern pitchers. The most recent debut of a Hall of Fame starter was 1970, that being Bert Blyleven’s. Now, this isn’t to say that Appier’s case is a strong as someone like Blyleven’s; just that the Hall probably needs to do a better job of evaluating modern pitchers.

Appier would fall towards the lower end of the Hall, but that would still be enough, as seen in his 110 Hall Rating. In around 2600 innings, he had a 121 ERA+ (even though he had a 3.74 ERA) and 1994 strikeouts. He played for sixteen seasons, but only thirteen of them could be considered full seasons (the other three each saw him throw between 4 and 22 innings). In those thirteen seasons, he was worth 52 bWAR and 55 fWAR. His peak was impressive, with six of his seasons registering above 5 WAR (and a sixth that would have made it were it not for the 1994 strike)

Monday, January 9, 2012

50 Best Players Not in the Hall of Fame Ballot Explanations, Part 4

To see the early portions of my ballot: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

Round 2
Ross Barnes, Red Stockings (NA)/White Stockings/Reds/Red Stockings (NL), 2B/SS - Ross Barnes had a very short career; so short that, if he were to retire today, he actually wouldn’t make the ballot. He only played 9 seasons. In addition, he never played more than 78 games in a season. However, to say that the game was very different when Barnes played would be an understatement. Barnes played from 1871-1881 (taking 1878 and 1880 off), and only played in 499 games. The seasons were much shorter in the 1870s, though. For example, Teixeira also has nine seasons under his belt, but those nine seasons have equaled 1374 games. Rate stats do a better job of conveying just how dominant Barnes was; he had an OPS+ of 168. Also, despite his very short playing time, he managed to get 33.1 bWAR and 30.0 fWAR.

Buddy Bell, Indians/Rangers/Reds/Astros, 3B - You know that group of four deserving third basemen I mentioned in Part 2? The one with Sal Bando, Darrell Evans, Graig Nettles, and one mystery person in that got added in my second round of additions? Well, Buddy Bell should probably get added to that group; for some reason, I didn’t automatically think of him as a Hall of Famer, but he compares to that quartet quite well. Like the others, he was very well-rounded at a difficult position; the difference is that more of Bell’s value came from his glove. Both Fangraphs and Baseball-Reference put him at over 17.5 wins through his fielding alone. That makes up for his .279/.341/.406 line and 109 OPS+ (lower than the other four mentioned third basemen). Overall, Fangraphs has him at 66.6 WAR, while B-R puts him at 60.8, both of which put him in good standing (for reference, both figures but him on the same level as first-ballot pick Dave Winfield).

Ken Boyer, Cardinals/Mets/Dodgers/White Sox, 3B - Ken Boyer was actually the last member of the quartet I had in mind. I scrutinized him a little more, as he came up on the Veteran’s Committee ballot this year. However, I determined that third base is underrated enough and all five third basemen mentioned so far are good enough that all of them could be added to the Hall while raising it’s standards. Again, Boyer was a third baseman in the “do everything well” vein, posting a 116 OPS+ while saving over 70 runs (worth over 7 wins) with his glove. The difference is that most of Boyer’s value came over a shorter peak rather than a long, spread out career. He played for roughly 15 seasons, so his 58.4 bWAR and 63.3 fWAR look underwhelming. However, going by weighted WAR (wWAR), which gives extra credit for stronger peaks, Boyer comes in with a solid 87.0, equal with Ozzie Smith and better than Hall members like Harmon Killebrew, Jimmy Collins, and Willie Stargell.

Eddie Cicotte, White Sox/Red Sox/Tigers, P - It’s actually kind of easy to make a case for Cicotte. In fourteen seasons, he had a 209-148 record, a 2.38 ERA, a 123 ERA+, 3226 innings pitched, 49.7 bWAR, etc. He’s not in because he was one of those meddling Black Sox. I’ve made my case on Shoeless Joe, and that applies here as well: at the very least, Cicotte’s been dead since before the 1970s, and the Hall is losing more at this point keeping him out than he is by being kept out.