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Will the Thrill for Cooperstown

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Anyone who kept up with the development of the Ray Lankford Wing of the Hall of Fame knows that I planned on writing a "Will Clark for the Hall of Fame" article. Rob Neyer beat me to it yesterday on his all-time underrated team, so I might as well follow up with what I had been planning to write:

Will Clark career line (1986-2000)
.303/.384/.497; 284 HR, 440 2B, 2176 H

Fielding Stats, Career
103 Rate (1B), 204 RAR, 62 RAA

He was great with the bat (and in the 1980's as Neyer pointed out, before the offensive explosion of the 90's) as the traditional stats show, but how about his DT translated stats?

Will Clark
WARP3: 101.8
Peak: 50.4
JAWS: 76.1
BRAR: 750
BRAA: 515
FRAA: 57

What does that all mean though? Well, here the average HoF'er DT scores for first basemen:

WARP3: 98.2
Peak: 43.1
JAWS: 70.7
BRAR: 717
BRAA: 465
FRAA: 2

Besides career WARP3, Clark is ahead by a good deal in every criteria. His WARP3 is still higher than the average, and he retired at age 36 (.345/.426/.655 was his 2000 line with the Cardinals, with a .301/.413/.473 for the Orioles; .319/.418/.546 overall). Translation: He was still productive, and not hurting his stats in any way).

We can see that Clark is over-qualified for the Hall of Fame, since he can beat out the average scores. Let's look at some notable gaffes by the Hall of Fame Veterans Committee at first base in order to see just how overqualified Clark is:

Jim Bottomley
WARP3: 62.6
Peak: 34.6
JAWS: 48.6
BRAR: 492
BRAA: 248
FRAA: -55

To put this into perspective, I accidentally inducted Bottomley into the RLWHF thinking that there was no way he was in Cooperstown. I'm not sure if I should be embarassed or if Cooperstown is the one who needs to curl up in the fetal position.

Frank Chance
WARP3: 55.7
Peak: 34.3
JAWS: 45.0
BRAR: 360
BRAA: 211
FRAA: 26

Note: Frank Chance was an extremely successful manager back in the early 1900's, so we'll act like he got in on the combination merits of being a player manager in order to keep me from foaming at the mouth in anger. He most likely got in on those merits, but is listed as a first basemen, hence the issue.

George Kelly
WARP3: 50.1
Peak: 29.2
JAWS: 39.65
BRAR: 240
BRAA: 39
FRAA: 81

Want some perspective? Doug Mientkiewicz has 33 BRAA at this stage of his career. Minky is a decent enough hitter at times, and I like him, but he is not going into the Hall of Fame.

Now, my point is not to say induct all the first basemen who are more qualified than these three into the Hall; I really just am trying to show how much of a difference there is between these three players whose inductions are questionable versus a player like Will Clark who has first ballot potential from his numbers. Clark hopefully will pull this one out and get inducted somehow, but for some reason I do not see it happening, especially with Jeff Bagwell, Frank Thomas, Rafael Palmeiro, and others nearing the end of their careers. I would include McGwire, but I have no idea where that one is going.

One last note, here are Fred McGriff's DT Card stats, since his career appears to be over:

WARP3: 96.5
Peak: 42.9
JAWS: 69.7
BRAR: 847
BRAA: 557
FRAA: 22

He makes it in some respects, but not so much in others. The Crime Dog had a serious 3 year run, with two very good seasons thrown in at the end to bring his peak to 42.9. If he had kept up his 9-10 Wins Above Replacement for two more years, his scores would have finished with a peak of 45, and therefore a JAWS score over 70. Ahh, what could have been.

Just so everyone knows, I included a simple Yes/No poll for this article on Will the Thrill's induction.

Poll

Does Will Clark Deserve HOF induction?

This poll is closed

  • 79%
    Yes
    (84 votes)
  • 20%
    No
    (22 votes)
106 votes total Vote Now