Hall of Fame Hopefuls-Centerfield

Centerfield is the most glorious position on the diamond, so it should have the highest standards for induction to Cooperstown.  If a player is going to be in the same group as Ty Cobb, Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle, then he better be one of the best of all-time.  That’s why the median score of 19553 seems like it’s lower than it should be, ranking between Kirby Puckett and Earl Averill.  It’s brought down quite a bit by having three players (Edd Roush, Hack Wilson and Lloyd Waner) rank in the bottom 200’s, and four additional players (Duke Snider, Max Carey, Earle Combs and Larry Doby) rank below 150.  So, it’s time to up the ante.  Snider is the worst CF that the BBWAA elected, and setting him as the bottom score resets the median to 28717, between Griffey and Hamilton.  Now, let’s see how some hopefuls do:

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Hall of Fame Hopefuls- Left Field

Left field is always difficult to judge due to the fact that it is typically occupied by big bulky sluggers who are poor defenders.  As such, those few that can actually field well (Yaz, Rickey, Bonds) tend to get a boosted ranking because they can stand out more.  Still, if a player isn’t a big power hitter, it’s tough for them to be considered a great left fielder.  Left fielders have a median score of 22948, which would be Fred Clarke’s score with 19 left fielders in Cooperstown already.  Here’s how a few outsiders look:

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Hall of Fame Hopefuls- Catchers

Catching is the most stressful and demanding position on the diamond defensively.  Accordingly, there tends to be less offense expected from catchers than from other players as long as they field well.  However, all that changed in the 1930’s with the advent of catchers like Mickey Cochrane, Gabby Hartnett and Bill Dickey who were very good hitters.  Cooperstown houses 15 catchers in the gallery, with the median score belonging to Buck Ewing, 24573.  Let’s see how some outsiders rank:

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Hall of Fame Hopefuls- Shortstops

Shortstops tend to be the most underrated hitters in history, mostly because they are typically known for their gloves first.  However, without some positive contributions offensively, even an Ozzie Smith level defender would have difficulty making it into the Hall of Fame.  Shortstop is one of the more populated positions in Cooperstown, with 22 inductees at the position.  The median score for shortstops comes in between Luis Aparicio and Barry Larkin at 26116.  Here are how some outside shortstops rank:

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Hall of Fame Hopefuls-Third Basemen

Third basemen tend to be players with limited range, but quick reflexes and strong arms.  Ever since Eddie Mathews hit the scene, third basemen have needed to possess some power in order to get noticed, with the exception of great OBP skills (Wade Boggs) or tremendous defense (Brooks Robinson).  Third base is criminally underrepresented in the Hall of Fame with merely a dozen inductees.  The median score for third basemen is 27782, which is between Robinson and Ron Santo.  Let’s see how well some outsiders rank for potential Hall of Famers. Continue reading

Hall of Fame Hopefuls- Second Basemen

Second basemen tend to be the smaller, less powerful players on a team.  Most are good base runners, and most hit for a high average.  Like at first base, there are twenty second basemen inducted in the Hall of Fame, ranging from Rogers Hornsby to Johnny Evers.  Second basemen check in with a median score of 24104, ranking between Ryne Sandberg and Joe Gordon.  Let’s see where a few outside players rank: Continue reading

Hall of Fame Hopefuls-First Basemen

First basemen are typically big sluggers (ie Willie McCovey and Harmon Killebrew) that are poor to average defenders, but there will occasionally be one that hits for a high average without a ton of power (ie George Sisler) or is a good defender.  The Hall of Fame currently hosts 20 first basemen, ranging from Lou Gehrig to Frank Chance.  The median score for first basemen is 21066, which ranks between Hank Greenberg and Jake Beckley.  The best way to determine a player’s Hall of Fame candidacy would be to calculate what his score will be, then compare it within his position.  If he grades out with similar Hall of Famers, then he probably would be a good candidate.  If he grades only with low-ranking Hall of Famers, then he probably shouldn’t be inducted.  While the following list isn’t meant to be exhaustive (and isn’t for any position that will be covered here), here’s a list of former, current and future candidates for induction at first base: Continue reading