Hall-of-Fame Class of 2018 Announced

Chipper Jones, Jim Thome, Vladimir Guerrero and Trevor Hoffman Are Headed To Cooperstown

Tonight, Chipper Jones, Vladimir Guerrero, Trevor Hoffman, and Jim Thome got elected to the Baseball Hall-of-Fame.

Chipper Jones

Jones played 18 full years in the big leagues from 1995-2012. He hit .303/.401/.533 with a 141 OPS+ in that time frame. “Larry” tormented the Mets and all other teams. I refuse to call him a Met killer because he killed every team, not just the Mets. Gaby Sanchez, Pat Burrell? Sure those guys are Mets killers.

Among all third basemen, Jones has the sixth highest WAR at 85. And Baseball Reference shows that he was a one of a kind hitter. He currently ranks 33rd on the all-time home run list with 468 but will likely fall this year to Miguel Cabrera and Adrian Beltre. There’s really nothing more to say about Chipper that hasn’t already been said. Congrats, Chipper.

Jim Thome

One of the more underrated hitters of his ERA. Thome played on a team with guys like Albert Belle and Manny Ramirez but put up great numbers on his own. Thome through his career hit .276/.402/.554 with a 147 OPS+. Thome ranks on the eighth on the all time home run list with 612 and is well deserving of the Hall of Fame.

Vladimir Guerrero

Vlad hit .318/.379/.553 with 449 home runs, and a 140 OPS+ through his career. I like Vlad but I’m not sure he’s as good as his vote percentage says he was. Vlad’s career numbers are like that of Gary Sheffield‘s and he was not a better hitter than Edgar Martinez.

Guerrero’s 59.3 WAR is actually lower than Andruw Jones‘s. He’s a Hall of Fame player who is getting overrated due to the rule of 10 in my opinion.

Trevor Hoffman

Ah, the beloved saves stats. I do not see how Hoffman is a Hall Of Famer, I really don’t. Here’s two pitchers:

A: 1089.1 IP, 2.87 ERA, 141 ERA+, 3.08 FIP, 9.4 K/9, 3.7 K/BB, 25.8% K-rate

B: 903 IP, 2.31 ERA, 187 ERA+, 2.73 FIP, 11.9 K/9, 4 K/BB, 33.2% K-rate

Both pitchers have a near identical WAR but which pitcher would you want in the make or break part of Game 7 of the World Series? Probably B. B is Billy Wagner while A is Trevor Hoffman. Hoffman has 601 saves and that is the only reason he is getting so much love on this ballot. Personally, Wagner isn’t a Hall of Famer but I don’t see how Hoffman is while Wagner isn’t. And no, saves isn’t a valid reason as to why Hoffman is a Hall of Famer.

To see the full list of votes, click here.

Notable Omissions

Edgar Martinez: Martinez could un-retire, go 0-for-982, and still have a higher OBP than Vlad. Edgar hit .312/.418/.515 with a 147 OPS+, the same OPS+ as Jim Thome. Thome and Vlad also used the DH to extend their careers.

The biggest knock on Edgar is his inability to play in the field. But that knock that he “wasn’t good enough” doesn’t seem to hurt Hoffman’s inability to be a starting pitcher. Edgar wasn’t a perfect player but the process of justifying not putting him in the Hall is extremely flawed. He helped the team win just as much even though he was DH’ing. He could have been a bad defensive first baseman and still been very good because DH is a negative value adding position.

Mike Mussina: Mussina spent his career in the AL East band boxes during the peak of the steroid ERA while posting a 123 ERA+ and averaged almost 200 innings a year over 18 years. He also had an 83 WAR and if that isn’t good enough for the Hall Of Fame, then I’m not sure what is or isn’t anymore.

Barry Bonds/Roger Clemens: The traditional, Do Steroids Belong in the Hall Question? Here’s my thing, Bud Selig, the steroid enabler, is in. Jeff Bagwell and Ivan Rodriguez had some question marks about whether or not they used but it was never proven.

How is it fair to say some guys deserve it and some don’t? Both were Hall of Famers and both put up great numbers even after the steroid ERA. Bonds is arguably one of the best hitters of all time (the best in my book) while Clemens was arguably one of the best pitchers of all time. Want to put asterisks next to their name? Sure. But can’t we do the same for Babe Ruth because he played in a league that was not integrated? There’s so many “What Ifs” that I don’t think Bonds or Clemens should be punished for it.

Larry Walker: As Julian Levine of Beyond the Box Score explains, Walker was much more than just a product of Coors field. He did well both at home and on the road. Walker is starting to trend towards the direction that I am almost hopeful that he might finally make the Hall soon. He should get a significant push in 2019 when the ballot becomes less crowded.

Scott Rolen: I’ve had arguments with people on this one before. Rolen was a pretty darn good hitter, for a a long period of time while also being great defensively. His WAR ranks him 10th all time behind 8 Hall of Famers and Adrian Beltre (who will be in on his first chance and could easily pass Eddie Matthews this season). Rolen will hopefully get the love that he deserves because he is a deserving candidate.

The Fallen

Johan Santana, Livan Hernandez, Jason Isringhausen were all removed from the ballot.

About Dilip Sridhar 502 Articles
I became a Mets fan in the 2008 season. Since the Alderson regime, I've embraced saber-metrics and advanced stats to back up my eye tests.