Hall of Fame By the Numbers Pt 4: OF and DH

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One time, I had a friend ask me if I thought Jim Edmonds was a Hall of Famer. I really didn’t think so, but I wanted to compare his stats to others in the Hall. As a result, I wanted to know about other players who weren’t in the Hall or seemed questionable.

I had a problem deciding what would be the best way to determine who would be in, so I created a few different ways.

First off, I decided to look at rates rather than most stats. While not all players have over 500 home runs, they could average more home runs per at bat than other players; this was useful for players that had great careers but missed time for various reasons, like being drafted into the military or injured. So, I took various rates and gave a point for being above the average and took a point for being below average.

I also looked at the player versus Hall of Famers at their position and versus Hall hitters/pitchers as a whole. This would give a position specific score and a general score.

The score is in 2 points; first is the position score and the second is the general score and both are based off the point scale listed above.

So, this is the fourth part – Outfielders and Designated Hitters.

I first broke the outfielders out in to specific positions (LF, CF, RF); there was one player who is at the end of the outfielders who didn’t have a breakout of which position he played, so I just compared his numbers to general outfielders (“Indian” Bob Johnson). I compared the players with their specific position, HOF outfielders in general, and HOF hitters in general.

Tim Raines
The “Rock” spent most of his career north of the border with the Expos before bouncing around the league. He was known for his speed, which was second to Rickey Henderson in this era.

Raines was a very solid player and a great lead off hitter. His numbers aren’t quite HOF worthy. He only had 1 positive scoring compared to left fielders and hitters; he didn’t have any versus outfielders in general.

Score: -3/-4/-3
Ruling: Not in the Hall

Jim Edmonds
Edmonds spent most of his career with the Cardinals. He’s the inspiration for this research. He’s also the first player to be examined that still playing (or attempting to play since he’s joining the Brewers on a minor league deal with spring training invite). He’s had a solid career, but I never considered him HOF caliber.

I’m pretty surprised how his numbers came out. He’s positive compared to other centerfielders, which really surprised me. He was also positive as an outfielder and a hitter. This could all change though; if he makes the Brewers and has a subpar season, these rates could drop.

Score: 1/2/3
Ruling: In the Hall.

Vada Pinson
Pinson would be a Red if inducted. I was unfamiliar with him coming into my research. Looking at his numbers though, he didn’t appear to score a lot. He did have a long career though.

Pinson’s numbers were OK, but he only was even with home runs compared to position, outfielders, and hitters; everything else was negatives. He had more RBIs and homers, but he also had 400 more at bats than the average centerfielder.

Score: -4/-4/-4
Ruling: Not in the Hall

Juan Gonzalez
Juan Gone was a fixture with the Rangers during most of his career. He had a decent career that was cut short by injuries. Questions regarding steroid use have come about since he finished playing, but who in this era doesn’t have that question.

Gonzalez has good numbers, but the one issue is his health. He couldn’t stay healthy in his career, so his games and at bats were much lower than those already in the Hall (500 games and 1866 at bats). Even with the good rates, I couldn’t get past this.

Score: 1/1/1
Ruling: Not in the Hall

Roger Maris
The former single season home run record holder played most of his career with the Yankees. Many feel that he should be in the Hall for this one time long standing record.

Maris has the same problem as Gonzalez – his career wasn’t really long. His rates aren’t bad, but with 800 fewer games than those at his position and over 3000 at bats less, it’s hard to ignore. The record was a nice touch for his career though.

Score: -1/-1/1
Ruling: Not in the Hall

Dale Murphy
Murphy was a fixture in the Braves clubhouse during the down period in the ‘80s. He was a solid overall players and multi-time All Star.

His rates are good and he’s closer to average on games and at bats. He’s pretty similar to Jim Rice, in my opinions. Since he’s close to positive as a right fielder and an outfielder, I’d say he’s borderline and would be a low end Hall of Famer.

Score: -1/-1/1
Ruling: In the Hall

Dave Parker
Parker was part of the better Pirates teams of the last 50 years. I always classified him with Murphy, Rice, etc – a solid player.

Parker mirrors Murphy and Rice perfectly. He’s close to positive as a right fielder and outfielder and had a longer than average career. If Rice can get in and Murphy looks close, I’d say he’s close as well.

Score: -1/-1/1
Ruling: In the Hall

Larry Walker
Walker played a majority of his games with the Rockies; he could also be close to being in as an Expo. Walker was always a solid hitter, even before he hit in the launching pad in Colorado. His Home/Road splits definitely show a favor to his home park, but I think if you checked 99% of players, their home numbers will probably be better than their road numbers. I do expect the “Coors Effect” to be heavily debated in the next year.

Walker’s numbers compare extremely well to those already in the Hall. He has 0 negatives as far as right fielders and hitters; he’s also got 4 positive and a neutral versus all HOF outfielders. “Coors Effect” or not, he’s in.

Score: 5/4/5
Ruling: In the Hall

“Indian” Bob Johnson
Johnson played more games with the Athletics than he did with any other team. He played before they kept track of which position in the outfield they played at. I was only able to compare him to other HOF outfielders.

Johnson had a very solid career. He’d only below average on batting average compared to HOF outfielders and hitters. He’d be worth enshrining.

Score: 2/3
Ruling: In the Hall

With DHs, there was only one man to compare them to: Paul Molitor. There were plenty of hitters that played the DH, but Molitor made a career out of it. For these 2 players, I weighed equally what they did with Molitor to what they did with HOF hitters in general.

Harold Baines
Baines played for plenty of teams in his career, but spent the most time with the White Sox. I remember getting baseball cards of Baines each year and trying to guess which uniform he’d be in.

Baines had a long career and it was pretty much what I expected: power and slugging, lacking on runs. As more DHs get into the Hall, I’d expect Baines to be included.

Score: 1/1
Ruling: In the Hall

Edgar Martinez
Martinez played with the Mariners for his whole career. He became the quintessential DH for my generation. He could hit with the best of them. Unfortunately, health issues were a problem for him.

His numbers hold up pretty well to Molitor’s and HOF hitters in general; Molitor did play much longer than Martinez though. I see no way that he can’t be voted in.

Score: 5/4
Ruling: In the Hall

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