MLB Hall of Fame: A Silly Blogger’s HOF Ballot

2 of 2

Sep 29, 2013; New York, NY, USA; New York Mets former catcher Mike Piazza acknowledges the fans during his induction into the Mets Hall of Fame prior to the game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports


5. Mike Piazza, C

bWAR: 59.2 (Avg. HOF C bWAR: 52.4)

By OPS and OPS+, Mike Piazza is the greatest offensive catcher of all-time. His 427 career homers ranks first among all catchers, and his .308 batting average ranks third among all catchers with at least 6,000 plate appearances.

Piazza also has one of the most dramatic home runs in baseball history.

He was defensively challenged, which kills his argument for best catcher of all-time, but he is no-brainer when it comes to the Hall of Fame.

6. Jeff Bagwell, 1B, Houston Astros

bWAR: 79.5 (Avg. HOF 1B WAR: 65.7)

Bagwell is sixth all-time in baseball history in WAR for a first baseman, and his .948 OPS ranks fourth all-time among first basemen with at least 9,000 plate appearances (ranks 8th when minimum is lowered to 5,000 PAs). The only other first baseman to have accumulated more WAR  without making the HOF is Albert Pujols, and Mark McGwire is the only other HOF eligible first baseman with a OPS higher than Bagwell’s to not be in the HOF.

7. Edgar Martinez, DH, Seattle Mariners

bWAR: 68.3 (Avg. HOF 3B WAR: 67.4)

Martinez’s WAR numbers are hurt because he was primarily a designated hitter, but even with the penalty he still accumulated enough value to have career WAR greater than the average HOF third baseman. He has a career .312/.418/.515 slash line, had more career doubles than Brooks Robinson, a higher slugging percentage than Eddie Mathews, and higher career batting average than George Brett.

What kills Martinez’s resume – aside from the designated hitter tag – is that he has fewer plate appearances than any other third baseman who was elected to the Hall of Fame since George Kell, who retired in 1957 and batted in the middle of lineups that featured Ken Griffey Jr. and Alex Rodriguez.

This doesn’t change the fact that Martinez is the greatest designated hitter of all-time, and one of the best pure hitters in baseball history. Martinez career OBP and OPS rank 21st and 34th in baseball history respectively, and his adjusted batting wins ranks 38th all-time.

8. Alan Trammell, SS, Detroit Tigers

bWAR: 70.3 (Avg. HOF SS WAR: 66.7)

The WAR argument for Trammell is simple: There are only seven shortstops in the modern era of baseball who have accumulated as much or more WAR than Trammell and only Derek Jeter is not in the Hall of Fame. Also, every shortstop who played in 1912 or later who had a WAR of at least 53.7 is in the Hall of Fame (minus Jeter and Alex Rodriguez).

In terms of counting stats, Trammell is in the top 20 all-time amongst all shortstops in hits, doubles, home runs, and RBI. His career .285/.352/.415 slash line is nearly identical to HOFer Robin Yount (.285/.342/.430).

Trammell’s 22.1 defensive WAR, compared to all players in MLB history, is 33rd all-time, and is 20th all-time amongst shortstops. Of the 20 shortstops with a 22 dWAR or higher, Trammell’s OPS ranks fourth and his offensive WAR ranks second (behind only Cal Ripken).

Only five shortstops have accrued at least 22 dWAR and oWAR  since 1955, three are in the HOF and the other two are Omar Vizquel (not HOF eligible) and Trammell.

9. Roger Clemens, SP

bWAR: 140.3

From 1984-1996, before Clemens is alleged to have taken steroids, Clemens was 192-111 with a 3.06 ERA (144 ERA+), 100 complete games in 382 starts, 2,509 strikeouts, 1.158 WHIP, and 38 shutouts. Had he stopped his career there – he turned 34 in 1997 – he would have ranked 2nd all-time in ERA+ since integration (min. 2,000 innings pitched), 14th all-time in strikeouts, 13th in ERA since integration (min. 2,000 IP), 28th in WHIP (min. 2,000 IP), 46th in shutouts (19th since expansion in 1961), and 88th all-time in wins (43rd since integration). By 1996, Clemens had three Cy Young awards (finished second and third once each) and an MVP award (finished third once).

Point is that Clemens was likely a Hall of Fame player prior to his alleged steroid use, and still would probably be selected as one even if you nullified all of his numbers from 1997 to 2007.

10. Barry Bonds, OF, San Francisco Giants

bWAR: 162.5

Same song, different verse.

Barry Bonds hit .288/.409/.559 (163 OPS+, 103.4 WAR) with 445 home runs, 460 stolen bases, 423 doubles, and had earned three MVP awards, eight Gold Glove awards, and seven Silver Slugger awards by the end of the 1999 season. During none of that time was Bonds ever accused of taking or linked to steroids.

Take out all of the “tainted” numbers and Bonds is Hall of Fame player and one of the all-time greats.


11. Mike Mussina, SP

bWAR: 83

12. Curt Schilling, SP

bWAR: 79.9

If the HOF allowed for unlimited votes, both Mussina and Schilling would have been on my ballot for sure. Tim Raines and Fred McGriff would each get very hard looks from me, but I did not study them for this post because I knew neither would be able to crack the top ten.

What are your thoughts? Who should be in and who should be out?