One of my favorite things about advanced stats is how they allow us to measure all the different ways a player helps his team win. There’s certainly a romanticism to the classic scoreboard stats, but we know there’s much more to the game than that. Here we’ll fill those other pieces of the puzzle and re-evaluate players from the past in the light of deeper statistics and with some historical distance on their times and the myth (or lack thereof) that surrounded them.
Mike Mussina’s Hall of Fame credentials have been under debate the past few years. While he ranks high in most career measures, he never won a Cy Young award, won 20 games only once, and if elected, he would have the third-highest ERA of any pitcher in the Hall of Fame.
However, that ERA was inflated by playing in the American League East during the height of the PED era. When compared to league average, he looks much better than not only many pitchers in the hall, he’s equal or better than some of his contemporaries already in the Hall. Read more
As good as Tim Raines, 2017 Hall of Fame inductee,was as a baserunner, it is almost heresy to suggest that any player in Major League Baseball history was a better base stealer than Ricky Henderson. Henderson has by far the most stolen bases in history. Lou Brock at #2 would have had to steal almost 50% more in his career to match Rickey. The gap between Henderson at #1 and Brock at #2 is the same as between Brock and Jimmy Rollins at #46.
However the question of Ricky Henderson v. Tim Raines is actually closer than you’d think. And we think that an argument can be made that at the “height of their powers,” Raines might actually have been the better runner overall. (*gasp*) Read more
Other than players still playing, still eligible for eventual BBWAA voting into the Hall, or banned from the game, Lou Whitaker has the highest WAR total of any player not yet in the Hall of Fame. By either calculation of WAR, Whitaker ranks in the Top-100 of all players (both position and pitchers) since the beginning of the game, so it’s mind-boggling that not only is he not in the Hall of Fame, he didn’t even receive 5% of the vote in his first year – dropping him off the ballot entirely. How was/is such a productive player so underrated? Well, there are several reasons, some better than others. Read more
As Ichiro nears 3000 hits in MLB and tops 4256 for his professional career, we’re reminded (by no one more than the man himself) that Pete Rose is MLB’s “Hit King.” Never forget, however, that Pete Rose (the player) only has that record because Pete Rose (the manager) placed his personal interests above those of his team. We begin Hall of Fame week with a close look at the most prominent player barred from entry. Read more