Ichiro Reaches 1,000 Hits

Ichiro Suzuki became the third player since 1900 to reach 1,000 career hits in under 700 games yesterday night against the Phillies. Ichiro was not the fastest to 1,000 hits though:

Ichiro Suzuki: 696 G
Lloyd Waner: 686 G
Chuck Klein: 683 G

Chuck Klein and Lloyd Waner are both in the Hall of Fame thanks to the Veterans Committee infinite wisdom. You know why they basically don't have the power to vote Ron Santo in the Hall of Fame? Because they had their power stripped thanks to inducting guys like this:

Career WARP: 55.4
Peak WARP: 23.7
JAWS: 39.55
BRAR: 285
BRAA: 37
FRAA: -47

Career WARP: 73.1
Peak WARP: 46.8
JAWS: 59.95
BRAR: 545
BRAA: 330
FRAA: -25

The first one is Lloyd Waner (inducted 1967) and the second is Chuck Klein (inducted 1980). Atleast Klein had a Hall of Fame worthy 5 year peak; it was just that he never really padded his career numbers enough, and still got in. Of course detailing these two player's careers is not the point of the article, but I figured I'd throw them in for readers who do not know about the Veterans' Committe incompetence.

Back to Ichiro...let's take a look at his Similar Batters list at Baseball Reference:

  1.  Bill Everitt (900)
  2.  Lance Richbourg (899)
  3.  Danny Taylor (899)
  4.  Pat Duncan (898)
  5.  Lyman Bostock (897)
  6.  Dick Porter (894)
  7.  Harvey Hendrick (894)
  8.  Dusty Miller (893)
  9.  Johnny Moore (892)
  10.  Jimmy Welsh (892)
I also took a look at Ichiro's Comparable Players list on his PECOTA projection:
  1. Matty Alou 1970, Sim Score 72
  2. Lance Johnson 1995, Sim Score 39
  3. Cesar Tovar 1972, Sim Score 36
  4. Mickey Rivers 1980, Sim Score 25
  5. Tony Gwynn 1992, Sim Score 22
Similarity Score is a relative measure of a player's comparability. Its scale is very different from the Bill James similarity scores; a score of 100 is assigned to a perfect comparable, while a score of 0 represents a player who is meaningfully similar. Players can and frequently do receive negative similarity scores, and they are dropped from the analysis. A score above 50 indicates that a player is substantially comparable, and scores in excess of 70 are very unusual. The comparable player observations are weighted based on their similarity score in constructing a forecast.

There is the definition straight from the BP Glossary. Here is a more interesting note though:

Similarity Index is a composite of the similarity scores of all of a player's comparables. Similarity index is a gauge of the player's historical uniqueness; a player with a score of 50 or higher has a very common typology, while a player with a score of 20 or lower is historically unusual. For players with a very low similarity index, PECOTA expands its tolerance for dissimilar comparables until a meaningful sample size is established.

Ichiro's Similarity Index is 21, making him pretty close to historically unusual. Basically, it is going to be pretty tough to compare him to other players who may or may not be in the Hall of Fame, so we'll just have to do it the old (or is it new fashioned?) way: JAWS scores!

Career WARP3: 37.3
Peak WARP3: 37.3
JAWS: 37.3
BRAR: 239
BRAA: 146
FRAA: 29

Ichiro is going to have a problem on all fronts with the JAWS scores when he retires. He most likely won't make up the career value, his Peak might fall a tad short unless he goes nuclear in the second half of 2005, and his JAWS will suffer for it. His defense is well above average though, as you can see. Luckily for Ichiro, JAWS isn't voting him in. I think Ichiro could cause me to break down my JAWS walls as an exception to the rule, simply because of what he historically is doing. To put it another way, he will most likely pass the Keltner Test for Hall of Fame admission but fail the JAWS test. I put stock in both (although the HoF Monitor and Gray and Black Ink tests don't do it for me) so in my mind, if Ichiro can atleast pass that, he should be in the Hall of Fame. I'm talking a ways off though, so for now enjoy Ichiro. If he does happen to fall precipitously like his PECOTA projection...well, projects, then I will obviously not agree so much about Ichiro's inclusion into the Hall. For now though, he has my imaginary vote that doesn't mean much to anyone.

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