Thursday, December 12, 2013

Do They Have A Chance? Piazza, Raines, Rogers & Schilling

Do they have a chance?, Let's see.

Mike Piazza:

One of the greatest hitting catchers of all-time is on his second trip to the ballot after getting 57% of the vote last year. While he never won any MVPs, he was in the top 10 7 times indicating that he was good for a long time. He even led the league in OPS+ twice (1995 & 1997) with both of these coming during his time with the Dodgers. This leads to the question of how much better his numbers would look if he played in a more offense friendly ballpark.

Based on past precedent, his case is very strong. 3 of the 4 HOF statistics used in Baseball-Reference led to a favorable hall of fame case. In addition 7 of his 10 similar players (Bench, Berra, Carter, Fisk, Hartnett, Dickey & Snider) are all Hall of Famers and its only a matter of time before Piazza joins them.

Verdict: Yes

Tim Raines:

Is on the ballot for the 7th time and coming off a 52% voting showing. Despite having limited power, he was still a very good hitter (123 OPS+) who did a lot of damage on the base paths (he stole 30 bases every year from 1981-1992). While he was good, one thing that doesn't help his case is that he was never MVP caliber (he had 5 seasons with >5 WAR with the highest being 6.7) and was only in the top 10 for MVP voting three times.

I came into this thinking he had a stronger case but out of the 5 HOF Statistics on B-R, only JAWS rates him favorably as a hall of famer and of the four similars in the hall of fame (Lou Brock, Max Carey, Fred Clarke & Enos Slaughter) all played during an earlier era. In looking at this, the second most similar player ( Kenny Lofton) didn't even make it out of the first year on the ballot. As cool as it would be to see some Montreal Expos representation in the hall, I just don't think Raines has a strong enough profile to get in.

Verdict: No

Kenny Rogers:

Rogers is likely one of those players that is one and done. He did good for himself sticking around for almost 20 years and appeasing people who's statistical measurements are stuck in the 20th century by winning 219 games. While not the greatest pitcher, he still managed a better ERA+ (107) than Jack Morris and he somehow might end up in Cooperstown. He had a lot of good years as a starter and even managed four seasons with a WAR above 5 (which I found surprising).

By the objective and statistical measurements available, there is no precedent in someone of Rogers caliber getting in the hall of fame (similar pitchers include Jerry Reuss, Bob Welch & Orel Hershiser).

Verdict: No

Curt Schilling:

One of the more interesting hall of fame cases. Hes in his second year and received 38% of the vote last year. Overall, his case could be construed as stronger than Jack Morris due to a higher ERA+ (127 to 105) higher peaks in performance and not to mention a much stronger track record of post-season performances in 2001 & 2004 with a bloody sock thrown in for good measure. But then that isn't the best comparison since Morris' case is construed around the myth of pitching to the score.

 His case isn't a slam dunk either way. Two of his similar players are in the hall (Drysdale & Vance) but on the other side 4 of the 5 HOF Statistic measurements have him ranked favorably. Quite frankly, this one is a toss up but i'm going with yes due to some very strong post-season performances.

Verdict: Yes