Average WAR for 2014 Hall of Fame Candidates

January 1, 2014 by TheUmpire

Todd Jones

Mike Mussina leads the pack of non-first-year candidates.

Todd Jones looks to be this year’s Lenny Harris.

We have converted a baseball player’s career Wins Above Replacement (WAR) into a rate statistic which indicates the average number of wins above replacement a player would give his team per single season (avgWAR). Baseball-Reference.com uses the following scale for WAR values:

  • 8+ MVP Quality
  • 5+ All-Star Quality
  • 2+ Starter
  • 0-2 Reserve
  • <0 Replacement Level

It is our proposal that players having an avgWAR of 5.0 or higher are worthy of induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Player avgWAR
Barry Bonds 8.82
Roger Clemens 6.74
Jeff Bagwell 5.99
Larry Walker 5.92
Curt Schilling 5.41
Edgar Martinez 5.38
Mark McGwire 5.36
Mike Mussina 5.26
Frank Thomas 5.13
Mike Piazza 5.02
Alan Trammell 4.97
Greg Maddux 4.89
Tim Raines 4.47
Rafael Palmeiro 4.11
Tom Glavine 4.06
Sammy Sosa 4.02
Jeff Kent 3.89
Don Mattingly 3.83
Craig Biggio 3.69
Fred McGriff 3.46
Moises Alou 3.31
Luis Gonzalez 3.22
Kenny Rogers 2.83
Jack Morris 2.79
Ray Durham 2.76
Paul Lo Duca 2.68
Hideo Nomo 2.24
Richie Sexson 2.12
Lee Smith 1.96
Sean Casey 1.88
Eric Gagne 1.80
Armando Benitez 1.58
Jacque Jones 1.43
Mike Timlin 1.25
J.T. Snow 1.04
Todd Jones 0.75

Stats from Lahman’s Baseball Database and Baseball-Reference.com.

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Average WAR for 2013 Hall of Fame Candidates

December 6, 2012 by TheUmpire

Barry Bonds Led by Barry Bonds, this year’s ballot features five avgWAR 5+ players.  Sammy Sosa ain’t one of ‘em, despite his 609 career home runs.

Jeff Bagwell leads the pack of non-first-year candidates.

José Mesa looks to be this year’s Lenny Harris.

We have converted a baseball player’s career Wins Above Replacement (WAR) into a rate statistic which indicates the average number of wins above replacement a player would give his team per single season (avgWAR).

Baseball-Reference.com uses the following scale for WAR values:

  • 8+ MVP Quality
  • 5+ All-Star Quality
  • 2+ Starter
  • 0-2 Reserve
  • <0 Replacement Level

It is our proposal that players having an avgWAR of 5.0 or higher are worthy of induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Player avgWAR
Barry Bonds 8.58
Roger Clemens 6.43
Jeff Bagwell 5.78
Larry Walker 5.68
Curt Schilling 5.15
Edgar Martinez 5.07
Mark McGwire 5.07
Kenny Lofton 5.00
Mike Piazza 4.75
Alan Trammell 4.74
Tim Raines 4.29
Rafael Palmeiro 3.78
Sammy Sosa 3.77
Don Mattingly 3.61
Bernie Williams 3.58
Craig Biggio 3.53
Reggie Sanders 3.35
Jeff Cirillo 3.21
Fred McGriff 3.17
Dale Murphy 3.16
David Wells 2.91
Rondell White 2.80
Shawn Green 2.61
Julio Franco 2.54
Steve Finley 2.53
Woody Williams 2.53
Jack Morris 2.48
Ryan Klesko 2.29
Lee Smith 1.83
Aaron Sele 1.57
Sandy Alomar 1.36
Jeff Conine 1.30
Royce Clayton 1.26
Roberto Hernandez 1.15
Todd Walker 1.04
Mike Stanton 0.77
José Mesa 0.58

Stats from Lahman’s Baseball Database and Baseball-Reference.com.

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2013 Pre-Integration Era Ballot – avgWAR vs Auditioning for Cooperstown

November 17, 2012 by TheUmpire

Bill Dahlen In our last post, we introduced Andre Lower’s new book, "Auditioning for Cooperstown:  Rating Baseball’s Stars for the Hall of Fame."

Today we compare Lower’s rating system with Baseball Ink’s avgWAR scores for the six players on the 2013 Pre-Integration Era ballot for the National Baseball Hall of Fame:

Lower writes:

Bill Dahlen ranks 49th all-time among hitters, including 38th in career production. He definitely belongs in the Hall of Fame.

Wes Ferrell ranks 44th all-time among starting pitchers, including 26th in peak seasons production. He absolutely belongs in Cooperstown.

Marty Marion ranks 436th all-time among hitters in Hall of Fame points. Only three hitters in the Hall of Fame, none remotely deserving, rank below him. Ranking just under Del Crandall and Gene Woodling, Marion does not belong in the Hall of Fame.

Tony Mullane ranks 57th all-time among starting pitchers in Hall of Fame points. For that and being the greatest pitcher in American Association (as a major league) history, he is certainly a Hall of Famer.

Bucky Walters ranks 35th all-time among starting pitchers, his point totals including his hitting career prior to his conversion to pitching. He ranks 16th in peak seasons production among starting pitchers, a testament to his great 1939, 1940 and 1944 seasons. He surely belongs in Cooperstown.

Deacon White ranks 34th all-time among hitters, including 27th in career production and 18th in peak seasons production thanks to the schedule adjustment made to level the playing field between 19th Century players who played in short seasons and those playing in longer seasons. White absolutely is a Hall of Famer.

The Baseball Ink avgWAR scores:

Players with 8+ seasons Career Batting Career Pitching
Rank Player avgWAR Career WAR G Seasons G GS Seasons NB HoF
55 Wes Ferrell 5.58 57.2 548 3.38 374 323 10.25 N
125 Bill Dahlen 4.70 70.9 2444 15.09 0 0 0.00 N
153 Deacon White 4.57 44.0 1560 9.63 2 0 0.03 N
207 Bucky Walters 4.28 52.0 715 4.41 428 398 12.15 N
275 Tony Mullane 3.95 61.5 784 4.84 555 504 15.57 N
542 Marty Marion 3.05 29.6 1572 9.70 0 0 0.00 N

(WAR scale:  8+ MVP, 5+ All-Star, 2+ Starter, 0-2 Substitute, < 0 Replacement)

Typically, we here at Baseball Ink consider an avgWAR value of 5 (+/- .5) as a cutoff point.  Ferrell is definitely worthy; Dahlen, White, Walters are arguably worthy; Mullane and Marion not.

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Auditioning for Cooperstown – Who Makes The Cut?

November 14, 2012 by TheUmpire

Auditioning for Cooperstown Andre Lower over at BaseballByPositions.com has released his new book, “Auditioning for Cooperstown:  Rating Baseball’s Stars for the Hall of Fame,” in which all 3,000+ qualifying players are systematically evaluated as to whether they belong in the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Using a formula based primarily on Win Shares, players are equally rated by their total regular season career production, their five “peak” seasons of production and their positional dominance (that is, were they the best players at their position when they played?).

This book uncovers (and corrects) the reason why 19th Century hitters, particularly those from the 1870′s and 1880′s, as well as Dead Ball Era stars are underrepresented in the Hall of Fame.  This plus adjustments to the imbalance between starting pitchers of various eras allows for a truly even-handed comparison of every player’s Hall of Fame credentials.

The raging issue today concerning players (e.g., Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens) now eligible for the Hall of Fame is steroids. That issue, as well as gambling, is discussed in the player commentaries section for the affected players. These and other observations make the 550 player commentaries memorable reading.

From Chapter Two – How the Ratings Work:

A tale of two Hall of Fame teammates (for the 1966 season, anyway) demonstrates the difference between career and peak values. Sandy Koufax was the ultimate pitcher of his generation, ranking 23rd in adjusted peak Win Shares. Since he retired after 1966 due to a debilitating elbow injury and would assuredly have achieved so much more in good health, he was rewarded with election to the Hall in his first year of eligibility.

On the other hand, Don Sutton was the ultimate plodder, never dominating and winning 20 games only once. Yet, he parlayed a dozen 15 win seasons into a 324 win career. He ranks only 125th in peak value, well below Koufax. But their career values are virtually mirror opposites of the peak values, Sutton’s 19th career value ranking trumping Koufax’s 132nd ranking. Adding in the positional dominance factor to the other two factors, Koufax ranks 64th all-time among starting pitchers and Sutton 68th.

More exceprts here.  Available in paperback and for the Kindle here.

Up next:  A comparison of this year’s Pre-Integration Era ballot candidates using Baseball Ink’s avgWAR vs Lower’s rating system.

Teaser:

Players with 8+ seasons Career Batting Career Pitching
Rank Player avgWAR Career WAR G Seasons G GS Seasons NB HoF
132 Sandy Koufax 4.66 48.7 397 2.45 397 314 10.46 Y
533 Don Sutton 2.92 65.6 785 4.85 774 756 22.50 Y

(WAR scale:  8+ MVP, 5+ All-Star, 2+ Starter, 0-2 Substitute, < 0 Replacement)

Typically, we here at Baseball Ink consider an avgWAR value of 5 (+/- .5) as a cutoff point.  Koufax is arguably worthy; Sutton is not.  And this coming from a guy who really likes Don Sutton.

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The Million-Dollar Sock?

October 16, 2012 by TheUmpire

by Douglas J. Gladstone

Worth a bloody million?

Seven years ago, American-born Canadian children’s author Robert Munsch and his illustrator, Michael Martchenko, published a children’s book about a girl named Tina, who loves her brand-new socks so much that she doesn’t take them off. Titled, appropriately enough,”Smelly Socks,” (Scholastic Cartwheel Books, 2005), The Globe and Mail had nothing but praise for the story – in its review, the newspaper described the book as “more witty, creative and entertaining than most of what passes for adult literature.” The Toronto Star even referred to Munsch as “arguably the most successful kid-lit writer in North America.”

I know about books like this because I’m the parent of a four-year-old girl who loves when I read to her at night. She also routinely smells my feet. Maybe that’s why I haven’t purchased the book for her yet.

Of course, my four-year-old’s fascination with smelly feet and socks is to be somewhat expected. What’s not expected is when countries actually advocate using them to ward off malaria.

(more…)

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