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OC Register: Former Angels Gold Glover Torii Hunter among those to debut on Hall of Fame ballot


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Perennial Gold Glove outfielder Torii Hunter can add another accomplishment to his resume.

Hall of Fame candidate.

Hunter is among 11 players to make their debut on the Hall of Fame ballot, which was sent to voters on Monday.

A nine-time Gold Glove winner and five-time All-Star, Hunter achieved each of those twice during his five years with the Angels, from 2008 to 2012. Hunter played the bulk of his career with the Minnesota Twins, and would likely be inducted representing the Twins if he did get elected.

Hunter is the most accomplished former Angels player on the ballot, but three others had at least brief stints with the Angels: Dan Haren, LaTroy Hawkins and Shane Victorino.

It is likely that none of this year’s first-timers will be elected, but Mark Buehrle, Tim Hudson and Hunter are the three most likely to collect some votes.

A.J. Burnett, Michael Cuddyer, Aramis Ramirez, Nick Swisher and Barry Zito are also making their debut on the ballot this year.

A screening committee determines which players are added to the Hall of Fame ballot each year. A player must have played at least 10 years in the majors, and played his final game at least five seasons ago, in order to eligible for consideration.

Voters must cast their ballots by Dec. 31, and the results will be announced on Jan. 26. Writers who have been active members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America for at least 10 consecutive years are eligible to vote. Last year there were 397 ballots cast, and Derek Jeter and Larry Walker received the 75 percent of votes necessary for election.

Curt Schilling (70 percent), Roger Clemens (61 percent), Barry Bonds (61 percent) and Omar Vizquel (53 percent) are the only returning candidates who received at least 50 percent of the vote last year.

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41 minutes ago, eligrba4ever said:

Hunter appears to be the only member of this class with a chance to stay on the ballot for at least one more year. Probably several, in fact. He even might make the Hall.

And it's past time to end the Bonds and Clemens boycott nonsense.

Tim Hudson and Mark Buehrle could also stick around the ballot. But none of the new guys will get in. 

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Torii is a nice guy and all, and was a good player for longish time, but a Hall of Famer he is not. He's pretty classic Hall of the Very Good.

Or to put it another way, he's 34th all-time among center fielder in JAWs, right between two other HoVGs, Curtis Granderson and Willie Wilson:

https://www.baseball-reference.com/leaders/jaws_CF.shtml

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12 minutes ago, Angelsjunky said:

Torii is a nice guy and all, and was a good player for longish time, but a Hall of Famer he is not. He's pretty classic Hall of the Very Good.

Or to put it another way, he's 34th all-time among center fielder in JAWs, right between two other HoVGs, Curtis Granderson and Willie Wilson:

https://www.baseball-reference.com/leaders/jaws_CF.shtml

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2 hours ago, eligrba4ever said:

Hunter appears to be the only member of this class with a chance to stay on the ballot for at least one more year. Probably several, in fact. He even might make the Hall.

If Jim Edmonds, who had a better career, was one and off, Hunter isn't making the Hall. He'll be doing well to make the percentage needed to stick around a year or two. 

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13 minutes ago, Pancake Bear said:

If Jim Edmonds, who had a better career, was one and off, Hunter isn't making the Hall. He'll be doing well to make the percentage needed to stick around a year or two. 

The Hall of Fame seems to be a step or two behind the contemporary awards, in that voters don't seem to have caught up with modern analytics and still tend to favor the nice guys who were pretty good over the controversial or quieter guys who were great. 

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19 minutes ago, Angelsjunky said:

The Hall of Fame seems to be a step or two behind the contemporary awards, in that voters don't seem to have caught up with modern analytics and still tend to favor the nice guys who were pretty good over the controversial or quieter guys who were great. 

I mean, I like Torii, but Edmonds deserved serious consideration for the Hall and Torii just doesn't.

Higher HR totals, higher career average, substantially higher career OBP. Torii's advantage in runs scored is due to playing 2 more seasons than Edmonds, and it's still roughly the same as the amount of HR's Edmonds leads Hunter by.

When you get into more advanced stats, it isn't even remotely close. Just starting with WAR: fWAR - 64 to 43; bWAR - 60 to 50 (Baseball Reference liked Hunter's defense; Fangraphs didn't). Career wRC+ : 131 to 110. wOBA : .385 to .342 . OPS+ : 125 to 110.

Basically, it isn't at all close. Even neanderthals should be able to recognize Torii was just not a great player. A very good player, sure. Great? Not even a little bit.

Torii's best season per FG never broke 5 WAR. Only > 4 three times in nineteen seasons. BR allows him two 5 WAR seasons. Still only four seasons over 4 bWAR, though.

Heck, compare him to Kingfish: Salmon was unquestionably the better hitter (worse glove by either metric), but played a few seasons less. His overall WAR is similar. He was also one and done.

I understand what you're saying, I just don't get how anyone could look at the numbers and go, "Yeah, that guy deserves to be in the Hall."

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3 hours ago, Pancake Bear said:

I mean, I like Torii, but Edmonds deserved serious consideration for the Hall and Torii just doesn't.

Higher HR totals, higher career average, substantially higher career OBP. Torii's advantage in runs scored is due to playing 2 more seasons than Edmonds, and it's still roughly the same as the amount of HR's Edmonds leads Hunter by.

When you get into more advanced stats, it isn't even remotely close. Just starting with WAR: fWAR - 64 to 43; bWAR - 60 to 50 (Baseball Reference liked Hunter's defense; Fangraphs didn't). Career wRC+ : 131 to 110. wOBA : .385 to .342 . OPS+ : 125 to 110.

Basically, it isn't at all close. Even neanderthals should be able to recognize Torii was just not a great player. A very good player, sure. Great? Not even a little bit.

Torii's best season per FG never broke 5 WAR. Only > 4 three times in nineteen seasons. BR allows him two 5 WAR seasons. Still only four seasons over 4 bWAR, though.

Heck, compare him to Kingfish: Salmon was unquestionably the better hitter (worse glove by either metric), but played a few seasons less. His overall WAR is similar. He was also one and done.

I understand what you're saying, I just don't get how anyone could look at the numbers and go, "Yeah, that guy deserves to be in the Hall."

Yeah, I know. But...people are dumb.

In addition to Edmonds, I'd instantly vote in Bobby Grich, Lou Whitaker, Kenny Lofton, and Scott Rolen. While we're at it, Dick Allen, Graig Nettles, and Dwight Evans. 

And yes, I'd also put in these outcast guys: Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mark McGwire, Manny Ramirez, Rafael Palmeiro, Andruw Jones, Gary Sheffield, Sammy Sosa, Curt Schilling, and Shoeless Joe.

Some borderline, but with legit cases: Willie Randolph, Keith Hernandez, Lance Berkman, Kevin Brown, Buddy Bell, Sal Bando, Ken Boyer, Darrell Evans, Todd Helton, Jack Clark, Reggie Smith, Bobby Abreu, and plenty of others. Not because I think they deserve it (although some may), but because they were better players than a lot of guys voted in and deserve a second look.

 

Edited by Angelsjunky
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Growing up and for many years after, Roberto Clemente was my favorite player. Bobby Grich was my all time favorite Angel...

Until Torii Hunter came along and became both for me.

Clemente is in the HOF. Bobby Grich should be. Torii isn’t going in, nor should he.  That doesn’t take away from my appreciation for him as a terrific baseball player, who always made time for the fans.

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Torii should definitely get into the Hall. He was consistent and a good to great hitter but he was also an elite defender. 
 

This is where the HoF needs two levels, because he wasn’t among the best ever but had a very good consistent career.

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42 minutes ago, Hubs said:

Torii should definitely get into the Hall. He was consistent and a good to great hitter but he was also an elite defender. 
 

This is where the HoF needs two levels, because he wasn’t among the best ever but had a very good consistent career.

So he isn't a Hall of Famer. 

I loved Torii when he was here, but come on. Let's not water it down more.

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