My new toy is Weighted WAR (wWAR)—a peak-adjusted version of Rally's Wins Above Replacement (from Baseball-Reference) that, quite simply, just combines Wins Above Replacement, Wins Above Excellence, and Wins Above MVP. Last week I showed you how players on this year's Hall of Fame ballot stack up against current Hall of Famers using this metric. Because of all the festivities of the past week, I wasn't able to cook anything brand new up. But I did want to apply wWAR elsewhere. Since I've beaten this year's ballot to death, let's look at the upcoming ballots!
So, here are the current Hall of Famers, by wWAR, with ballot newcomers from 2012 to 2015 mixed in (in green). Be sure to see the full version here—the screen shots are trimmed at the Hall of Fame Median.
Let's do some observations:
- Barry Bonds jumps ahead of Babe Ruth. But, of course, that's position player wWAR. From 1914-1918, Ruth only received 785 plate appearances by the Red Sox. In those, he excelled with a 171 OPS+. Imagine if he received five full seasons at the plate instead of essentially one? What the heck was he doing? Oh, right. He was just being a very good pitcher who accumulated 26.6 wWAR. That gives him 358.8 for his career (to Bonds' 335.5).
- Besides Bonds, Frank Thomas, Craig Biggio, Kenny Lofton, Sammy Sosa, Mike Piazza, and Gary Sheffield all rate above the Hall of Fame median. I can see Lofton, Sosa, and Sheffield all struggling to be considered Hall of Famers.
- Jeff Kent is just a bit below the Hall Median, right along with guys like Dave Winfield and Andre Dawson. Keep in mind that WAR already factors in position. He should get some support, but it'll be a fight. After Kent is Nomar Garciaparra and Bernie Williams, who were great players but probably won't be on the ballot a second time.
- If Julio Franco played in the first half of the century, the Veteran's Committee would have put him in.
- Roger Clemens rates third all time, right behind Cy Young and Walter Johnson. This is both ridiculous and not terribly surprising.
- Randy Johnson and Greg Maddux are in the Top 15. Johnson's peak actually causes him to leapfrog Maddux by a bit.
- In case you were wondering: Randy Johnson 148.6, Greg Maddux 146.9, Bert Blyleven 131.1.
- Pedro Martinez's peak boosts him ahead of the likes of Nolan Ryan. I still would have thought Pedro would rate higher, though. After all, he is the top starting pitcher ever in WAR/200 IP. He just didn't have the durability.
- Mike Mussina and Curt Schilling rate ahead of the Hall of Fame median. Both, I believe, will get in. But they'll probably hang around on the ballot for a while.
- Tom Glavine and John Smoltz actually rate below the median. Smoltz surprises me more than Glavine. Sure closing hurts him a bit, but not much. Rally's WAR doesn't like Smoltz quite as much as I do.
- David Wells, Kenny Rogers, and Brad Radke all rate ahead of Catfish Hunter. Of course, so do relievers Rich Gossage and Hoyt Wilhelm.
So, what jumps out at you? In addition to the 10+ worth Hall of Fame candidates we have this year, I see sixteen more hitting the ballot in the next four years. The Hall of Fame median is about to go way up.
Update: (3/15/2011) I just posted the last of a series of articles where I created the "Hall of wWAR". I re-populated the Hall of Fame based purely on wWAR. Have a look!