31 August 2013

Season 29 HOF rundown

 
Here’s my take on this season’s HOF nominees. Way too many deserving players at this point – hopefully we can agree on a few and get some people in! I would vote for the first 10 if I could. Sadly, Pablo Vincente joins Desi Rodriguez and Dennys Yamakazi on the list people who should be in the HOF but we couldn’t get enough voters. Please vote if you want to have a HOF at all!

No Doubt

Bruce Harper – Do I need to say more than 4 MVPs? He also won 6 SS (somehow he only went to 4 ASGs though). 4th all-time with 722 HRs, 1st all-time in RBI’s at 2,067, 2nd all-time in AVG at .339, 2nd all-time in runs created. He retired with a .339/.426/.631 line, for a 1.057 OPS. A no-brainer.

Michael Dransfeldt – If the HOF criteria is being the best at your position, there is no doubt whatsoever about Dransfeldt. 11 ASG, 10 SS and 5 GG prove that he was the best 3B of a generation. His raw numbers are fantastic as well, as he slugged .283/.363/.538 for a .901 OPS, drove in over 1600 runs and scored over 1500. Add in the 572 HR and he’s a HOF.

Santos Flores – Not quite as high a peak as Dransfeldt, Flores gets the nod for outstanding longevity at a very high level of production. He played more games than anyone else, with 3,107 games played. That left him 1st all-time in doubles with 670, 2nd in hits with 3,050, and 2nd in runs with 1,900. He might be slightly light on awards, with 6 ASG, and 1 each of SS and GG, but how can you deny this guy the HOF.

Kelly Grace – Still the best pitcher on the list, Grace went 213-143 (.598). He won a CYA, went to 6 AS games, and finished with a 1.22 WHIP and a 3.52 ERA, half in the NL, half in the AL. Great longevity with 3294 IP.

Kevin Myers – The sort of pitcher who only exists in HBD, and the first of this type to truly deserve the HOF. Averaged 140 relief IP per season during his peak, and had a career ERA of 2.62 over 1800 IP. Went to 6 All-Star teams, and would have gone to more had he been a closer, but he would have been less valuable. Double the innings and a way better ERA than Bowie, and there’s really no comparison.

Solid chance

Domingo Padilla – The greastest base stealer in Capra history contributed in more than one way.  He smacked over 600 doubles and almost 400 HRs.  He played 2B, LF and RF, solidly if unspectacularly. His OPS of .828 is a bit low for the Hall, but by stealing over 950 bases, he managed to score over 1750 runs, putting him at 5th all-time, and in company of 4 other HOFers. He deserves to join their ranks. 6 All-Star games and 5 Silver sluggers.

Damaso Colome – A full-time DH who obviously suffers from not playing the field, but put up astounding offensive numbers. .293/.370/.587 makes for a .957 OPS.  4th all-time in HR with 720 and 7th all-time in RBIs with 1735.  Won an MVP but amazingly only went to 1 All Star game, and just 2 Silver Sluggers. He’s a notch behind Vincente, and I put him behind Maurer too, whose overall contributions were higher.

Jimmie Franco – Franco is the best example of why we need more votes for the HOF.  He has an amazing slash line of .326/.414/.603 for a huge OPS of 1.017! He hit 442 HRs, 1284 RBI and 1103 R. He played quite a bit of (very poor) catcher, and some DH. He only went to 3 ASG and won 3 SS. With those offensive numbers, he should be a HOFer, but comparing one-to-one with all the players above him, I just can’t move him up.

Rudy Hayes – He has a very high peak, winning back-to-back MVPs as a 2B. He didn’t quite put up the gaudy numbers that some of the other HOFers did, with 429 HRs, slightly under 1500 R and RBI, and an .882 OPS. He did contribute over 200 SBs. He also only went to 5 AS games. Without the great peak, he’d probably be borderline. But those 2 MVPs probably put him over the top.

Livan Lee – An excellent pitcher who pitched at a very high level for a pretty long time. An astounding W/L of 212-109, with a 3.86 ERA and 2679 IP.  He twice topped 20 W and was under 3.00 ERA two other seasons. And all this in the AL! A very high level HOF candidate.

Melvin Hernandez – The next best every day reliever, pitched slightly less than Kevin Myers (1677 IP) with a slightly higher ERA (2.87). He went to one more ASG than Myers (7), and won a Fireman award. Certainly worthy of consideration, but probably a step behind.

Wesley Smith – A difficult player to position, Smith was the best hitting SS in the league for almost a decade. Normally, that would be enough to get a HOF nod. He had excellent gap power, hitting over 500 2Bs, and adding 320 HRs and 439 SBs. Career OPS of .878, with over 1500 Rs. But he was out of position at SS, and was a terrible defender (in 1650 G at SS he made 389 E, 8 + and 92 – plays). Despite winning 8 Silver Sluggers at SS he only went to 5 All-Star games. He certainly is not a poor choice for the HOF, but I’m not 100% convinced myself yet.

Sammy King – It’s always funny when two players are so similar, and these two catchers are neck-and-neck. They sport nearly identical OPS – King one point higher at .899. King played a significantly longer, with 7100 PAs. 6 ASG, 3 GG and 2 SS for King, who was better at throwing out baserunners, but Alexander was the better pitch caller.  Both are solid candidates for the HOF.  I would choose King first, but it’s awfully close.

Doug Alexander – Another member of the Fargo Woodchippers dynasty, and another guy who isn’t a bad choice for the HOF.  A spectacular slash line of .327/.425/.473 gives him an OPS of .898. He finishes with 5800 PAs, so his career is a hair on the short side. But he’s one of the best catchers we’ve seen in the league.

Mel Barfield – An excellent 2B, went to 7 ASGs and won 4 SS and 1 GG. He batted .313/.371/.514 for an outstanding .885 OPS, and added 512 SB. He scored more than 1500 R and drove in over 1200. He might get my HOF vote except that Rudy Hayes and his two MVPs is ahead of him for me.

Javier Leon – Another DH whose peak was even higher than Colome, but had a little less longevity. Leon went .318/.379/.623 for a 1.002 OPS! 556 HR and 1482 RBI, 1 MVP and 3 All-Star games. He was a great player, and worthy of a vote, but there’s just too many players ahead of him.

Stan Lee – Yet another player whose numbers would be good enough in another system, but will probably not see the HOF in HBD. 462 HR with over 1600 R & RBI, plus 380 SB. A .953 career OPS. 4 AS teams, 5 Silver Sluggers and 2 MVPs! But I doubt he’ll get enough support.

Denny Cooper – Third all-time in SBs with 721, this speedster also got on base and hit for power, giving him an .897 career OPS.  4 All Star games and 4 Silver Sluggers. He also played an excellent 2B.  Another high-level candidate.

Taylor Bowie – One of the top closers we have had in the league, but still maybe not quite dominant enough. He has roughly the same amount of saves (500) and innings (900) as Nerio Miller, but his ERA (3.24), is a bit higher than Miller’s (2.93). And remember, Miller played in a higher offensive era. And most importantly, Nerio didn’t make the HOF. In Bowie’s favor, he went to 8 All-Star games and won 5 Fireman awards. He’s not a bad choice.

Borderline

Lewis Boswell – Another excellent every day reliever who deserves some consideration, but pales beside Kevin Myers. Boswell pitched over 2100 innings, all as a reliever and put up a 1.19 WHIP and a 3.66 ERA, mostly in the AL. He won over 100 games and saved almost 300, and went to 4 ASG (like Myers, it would have been more had he been a closer).

Denny Martin – Another 200-game winner retires, but this one is probably a hair short of HOF. He went 221-124 (.640), and pitched 2925 innings to a 4.09 ERA.  Went to 5 All-Star teams and won a CYA.

Desi Martin – The other Martin also has some impressive numbers, retiring at #4 all-time in wins, with 247. But his longevity is his only Hall claim – his career ERA is 4.45. He didn’t even have a high peak; his best season was probably when he went 19-10, 3.72 for Fresno. Only 2 All-Star games underscore this highly-consistent yet average player.

Sid Watson – Another solid closer, but clearly inferior to Bowie.  Mostly similar numbers – 479 Saves, 9 ASG, 850 IP, but a higher ERA at 3.61. Not quite.

Jim Heathcott – Played 2B/3B, and batted .300.  Comes in with a mediocre .813 OPS.  His claim to HOF is his 3153 H, and would probably deserve some consideration if we had 10 votes each.  But despite his high level consistency I just don’t think he was as good as the players above him.  I know some will disagree, but how many HOFers only play in 1 all-star game?

Lou Witt – Played 2B and CF, got just over 2000 H, batted over .300.  A very nice player who finished with an .882 OPS and over 270 SB. He was very good, but not unbelievable. He went to 3 All-Star games and won 4 Silver Sluggers.

Al Perez – Played a long and productive career, amassing over 2300 H and almost 1500 R. A career OPS of .830 while playing some CF and more RF. He went to 8 All-Star games, demonstrating that he was well above average consistently, but just didn’t quite put up big enough numbers.

Al Cedeno – Three similar players in a row, Cedeno played SS, 3B and RF, almost 2300 H and 1200 R, .840 OPS.  A notch behind the other two, he played in just one AS game, and a GG in RF, and he’s clearly not quite a HOFer.

Short Career

Dean Brennaman – Won an MVP, went to 3 all-star games, and put up an amazing 1.045 OPS.  But he only played 5 full seasons.  Was old when the league started. How is he still getting nominated?

No Shot

Bobby White – A nice save total, at 419, but that’s all that’s particularly outstanding about White. He did pitch a lot, amassing 1400 IP, but with an ERA of 4.08. He notched 2 Fireman awards, but only 3 All-Star games.

Rob Ojeda – An above average reliever, but not spectacular. 850 IP with a 3.92 ERA, plus 284 saves. His closing got him to 6 All-Star games, but it’s not enough to stand out in this crowd.

Carlos Pulido – Gets a HOF nomination for his 527 HRs, but a 1B with a .913 OPS and only 1 ASG doesn’t get a sniff in this HOF.

Adam Williams – A C/DH who hit a nice .307/.413/.507 (.920 OPS), but only 261 HR and less than 1000 R/RBI. 3 ASG and a SS. Not enough.

Jorge Lima – Had some huge seasons early, but for his career was much too pedestrian for this HOF. 353 HR and and .886 OPS for an outfielder won’t quite do it.

Alex Lopez – I’m a fan of the everyday reliever in this game, but the overall numbers have to be higher.  He pitched over 1300 innings, but 1.37 WHIP and 4.04 ERA aren’t HOF numbers, even in Capra.

Aurelio Astacio  - A sub .800 OPS and no really outstanding moments mean Astacio doesn’t even belong on this list despite being a CF.

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