Sunday, July 26, 2009

Hall of Fame--what this year tells us (if any) about future classes: Jim Rice

In light of Rickey Henderson and Jim Rice being inducted into the hall of fame...I decided to look and see what (if anything) their induction indicates about other players who may or may not have a chance to get in. With both of these players, I based this information off of their baseball-reference pages....specifically the part towards the bottom where it shows the 10 players most similar to them statistically......for no particular reason Jim Rice will get examined first....also, I examined the black ink, gray ink, hall of fame monitor and hall of fame standards categories where I feel that it enhances the discussion.

Out of the 10 players most similar to rice the following are hall-of-famers:

Orlando Cepeda
Duke Snider
Billy Williams
Willie Stargell

Next, on to the remaining similar players and whether they have a chance of being inducted to the hall of fame one day...

Andres Galaraga .288/.347/.499 118 OPS+ Career

Out of the Hall of Fame statistic metrics on baseball-reference, Galaraga is only above the HOF--average in one of them...Also, he had his best years a) in the 90s when power numbers were inflated b) out of 5 best years...4 of them were with the Rockies where the high elevation leads to inflated power numbers.....good player but these two factors make him look like a better player than he was....we'll begin to know if the HOF writers agree on this one when he becomes eligible in 2010

Un-Likely HOF

Ellis Burks .291/.363/.510 126 OPS+

If he hadn't of been as injury prone (he only played more than 150 games twice in his career)...maybe some of his numbers would merit further consideration. Like Galaraga, he did benefit from playing in Colorado....however, he does have an edge over his former teammate as he was able to maintain his power numbers for longer after leaving the Rockies.....this helps, just not enough to get in

Un-Likely HOF

Joe Carter .259/.306/.464 105 OPS+

The further down this most similar players list...the easier it is to see why there was so much dispute over whether or not to make Rice a hall of famer.....Carter's is of course remembered mostly for his World Series winning home run off of Mitch Williams.....otherwise he was a consistent power hitter whose overall value to his team is undermined by ghastly on-base percentage

Definitely not HOF material

Dave Parker .290/.339/.471 121 OPS+

Un-like Carter, Parker has at least somewhat of an argument.....he put up his numbers in an era that wasn't as power friendly as the look at the HOF statistic monitors at baseball-reference show that Parker's offensive numbers are average in the context of current hall of famers...still when he went up for voting in the late 90s he was getting about 20 percent of the vote...he may or may not get in but it won't be for at least several years

HOF--Veterans Committee Several Years Down the Road

Moises Alou .303/.369/.516 128 OPS+

Doesn't come up for voting until at least '14....had the same career OPS+ as Rice at 128....personally I have some bias in favor of Alou due to his higher batting and on-base average even if no one's really mentioned him as one of the greater players of this generation....unfortunately a look at the HOF monitor statistics show's that Alou fell way too short to get his shrine at Cooperstown.....if I had a vote i'd at least consider voting for him but I don't see him getting in

HOF Unlikely

Chili Davis .274/.360/.451 120 OPS+

Continuing on the theme of similar but non-hall of fame players numerically related to Jim Rice, Chili Davis is another player that had a strong, solid above average career but falls way short of hall of fame consideration

HOF Unlikely

What Jim Rice being in the Hall of Fame says about the future: not too much looking at this breakdown it is easy to see why it took Rice longer to get into the hall of fame......while all of the players on the similar list had long, steady careers Rice fell squarely in the middle.....the ones who did get enough to go to Cooperstown are already there.....the one's who haven't are unlikely to join him

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