Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Another Season, Another Hall of Fame Voting Guide

It's almost time for another season, and while the free agent pickings look pretty sparse there are a number of Hall of Fame candidates who warrant attention.

This season I took a hard look at my formulas and decided that two things needed tweaking.  First, the unreliability of award distribution (e.g. John Chen's relatively small number of All-Star selections) led me to devalue awards somewhat.  I still think awards are an somewhat useful indicator of performance relative to other players of their era, but I'm placing more weight on statistical measures.

The second change was intended to help better gauge the performance of more recent retirees.  In the case of rate stats (BA, OBP, SLG, ERA), I set playing time limits (1500 games for hitters, 1500 IP for the pitchers) that would clear out the noise created by guys who put up great rates in relatively few AB during the era of inflated hitting numbers.  In my opinion, it gives a truer measure of value for the guys who played lengthy careers.

Rather than give a full assessment of each player right now, I'll give you a quick rundown of the results of my analysis (note that points for position players and pitchers aren't quite equivalent):

Position players:
1) Russell Cook, DH (5190 points)
2) Dennis Perez, 3B (3604)
3) Happy Moore, 1B (3312)
4) Gerald Bradley, C (3190)
5) Esteban Montanez, LF (3084)
6) Rafael Alicea, SS/3B (2888)
7) Horace Polcovich, 1B (2868)
8) Steve Taylor, SS (2853)
9) Juan Moreno, RF (2508)
10) Stone Rivera, 2B (2219)

1) Leo Mackowiak (4740 points)
2) Danys Guzman (3033)
3) Louie Alvarado (2592)
4) Rocky Duvall (2418)
5) David Larson (2184)
6) Virgil Quinn (2072)
7) Del Martinez (2013)
8) Ramon Ramirez (1989)
9) R. J. Bautista (1926)
10) Pedro Acosta (1903)

Shockingly, we'll have a pitcher on the ballot this year who should be assured of election.  Mackowiak's health and stamina were a bit of a hindrance, especially as he got older, but few were better at getting guys out.

I like those top 4 position players.  Cook was a hitting machine.  Even without a defensive position, I can't see how you keep him out.  Perez was the best third basemen of his era, and Gerald Bradley was an on-base machine fully deserving of being the first catcher inducted.  I've admitted my bias for Happy Moore before (you can go back to previous Hall columns), but his .998 OPS is the highest of any player with 1500+ games played who isn't already inducted.

So there are my votes:  Mackowiak, Cook, Perez, Bradley, and Happy Moore.

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