Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Do They Belong in the Hall: Lieber, Lo Duca, Loaiza, Maddux

And now,on to our continuing series of Do They Belong In the Hall

Jon Lieber:

In the movie Idiocracy, a very average man is set to be cryogenically frozen for a year only for it to be forgotten and to wake up 500 years in the future to find himself to be the smartest man in the universe. If they would have sent a baseball player instead, it may have been Jon Lieber and his 103 ERA+ and .514 winning percentage.

While he was always a solid contributor, he never really stood out (in either a good or bad way). Even the one year perceived to be good (2001 where he finished fourth in Cy Young Voting) had more to do with him stumbling into 20 wins than having one good season (109 ERA+, 5.7 SO/9).

A lot of his similar players are still active (Lohse, Arroyo, Haren) but none of them are in the hall of fame discussion.

Verdict: No

Paul Lo Duca:

Didn't start playing regularly until 29 when he had his best season .320/.374/.543. From there, he put up average production and somehow was an all-star on four separate occasions. On the similarity scores list, Yuniesky Betancourt ranks #10.

Verdict: No

Esteban Loaiza

A slightly worse version of Jon Lieber, a relatively average pitcher who managed to stick around for a good while. The only differences are in extremes. Loaiza had quite a few seasons where he was not very good. On the other side, he had one season (2003) where he was legitimately very good and came very close to being one of the more random Cy Young award winners in recent history. They also have the connecting link of having Kyle Lohse being the most similar pitcher to them career wise.

Verdict: No

Greg Maddux:

What is there to say that hasn't already been said about Greg Maddux. He was heads and shoulders the most dominant pitcher from about 1992-1998. While the record books were being re-written on the offensive side, all Maddux was doing was getting players out left and right.

By common sense measures, he should be voted in on all 100% of ballots but it will be more like 97%-98% since there are some hard core voters out there that think the vote should never be unanimous. On a side note, his brother Mike while not a hall of fame pitcher turned out to be one of the greatest pitching coaches of this generation.

By all measures available on Baseball-Reference, Maddux should have no problem getting into the hall of fame. Out of his 10 most similar pitchers, nine of them are already in the Hall of Fame and the 10th one should be (Clemens) at some point in the near future.

Verdict: Yes