The Hall of wWAR: Designated Hitters

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This is a quick one. Just one current Hall of Famer played DH more than any other position, and that's Paul Molitor. It's time to welcome another.

Who's Out?

None.

Who's In?

This one player is not in the Hall of Fame, but is now being inducted to the Hall of wWAR:

  • Edgar Martinez: From 1995 until the end of his career Edgar Martinez is clobbered with a –140 positional adjustment because of his time spent at DH. It seems some view the fact that he DHed as a complete deal-breaker. They won't put a DH in the Hall of Fame. Kind of like how they won't put a Coors hitter in (Larry Walker). What if Babe Ruth had DHed? (Let's face it, he would have if he played today.) What if he played in Coors? I'm not saying Larry Walker and Edgar Martinez were Babe Ruth. But they're a lot closer to Babe Ruth than they are to Babe Dahlgren. Edgar was worth 559 batting runs. That's way beyond an eilite bat. And here's the thing about Edgar. People assume he was moved to DH at an early age because he was a terrible fielder. First of all, it wasn't at an early age. His age 32 season is when he became a DH. And second of all, it was a move to keep him on the field. He actually rated as a slightly above average third baseman. There are few players I'm as passionate about for the Hall than Edgar. Molitor, the only other DH in the Hall, is a decent comp. They actually finish within 0.6 wWAR of each other.

Who's Next?

This player is either still active or retired and not yet eligible for the Hall, but has already met the threshold to be inducted to the Hall of wWAR:

  • Frank Thomas: We'll get to test people's "no-DH" rule when Thomas hits the ballot. I'm actually convinced it's a "no-Edgar" rule and not a "no-DH" rule. I'm pretty sure Thomas will coast in the Hall. Edgar, for whatever reason, didn't "feel" like a Hall of Famer to some. They obviously never pitched to him. Thomas is the owner of 75.9 WAR that boosts to 112.2 wWAR. Thomas' 766 batting runs are nearly unfathomable. In this offensive era, he still posted a 156 OPS+. Thomas maintains those WAR figures despite being cut down –195 runs for the positional adjustment, –67 for Total Zone when he actually did play the field, –26 on the bases, and –27 in grouding into double plays. His bat was that good.

That's it for the position players. We'll kick things back off next week with the pitchers. For now, feel free to go back and peruse the past posts:

The Hall of wWAR
Catchers | First Basemen | Second Basemen | Third Basemen | Shortstops
Left Fielders | Center Fielders | Right Fielders | Designated Hitters
Pitchers

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