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Bobby Abreu HOFer?


Stradling

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50 minutes ago, Stradling said:

I came across this tweet and it got me thinking, is Abreu hall of fame worthy?  He absolutely should be in the discussion.  

I think he’s a guy that will probably get a long look by the veteran committee in a couple decades.  He was ahead of his time.  

I would say no, but holy crap, never realized how similar the two were.

Abreu was actually pretty decent here... we were just spoiled at that point. But before he got here he was a badass.... 

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1 hour ago, Stradling said:

I came across this tweet and it got me thinking, is Abreu hall of fame worthy?  He absolutely should be in the discussion.  

I think he’s a guy that will probably get a long look by the veteran committee in a couple decades.  He was ahead of his time.  

https://stathead.com/baseball/player-comparison.cgi?player_id2=abreubo01&type=b&player_id1=gwynnto01&sum=0&request=1

A lot closer than I thought it would be.  But what number is striking is that with similar times on base.  The big difference between players is BA did it by walks and TG did it by hits.  

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Definitely i the Hall of the Very Good, and somewhat underrated because he was very good at everything, but didn't have big-time power or win batting titles, and WAR wasn't a thing when he was in his prime.

But at 59.8 WAR, he's in a group with a bunch of other guys that deserve consideration. I mean, even ignoring the roiders, Grich, Whitaker, Nettles, Dwight Evans, Reggie Smith, and Willie Randolph are all ahead of him, as well as a few others. 

Abreu also had a relatively short peak, and I think peak level is an important factor to consider for the Hall, which is why JAWS may be a better barometer than straight up WAR. He had seven straight seasons of 5+ WAR from 1998-2004, but then never reached 4 WAR again. Abreu's JAWS of 50.9 is below the average for RF HOFers (56.7), but higher than HOFers like Vlad (50.3) and a bunch of older players, and very close to Winfield and Suzuki - but below Dwight Evans (52.2) and Reggie Smith (51.6).

JAWS Leaders Among Eligible Non-HOFers (post WW 2, 50+ JAWS)

  1. Barry Bonds 117.7
  2. Alex Rodriguez 90.9 (eligible this year)
  3. Pete Rose 62.2
  4. Bobby Grich 58.7
  5. Carlos Beltran 57.3 (eligible next year)
  6. Scott Rolen 56.9 (eligible this year)
  7. Lou Whitaker 56.5
  8. Kenny Lofton 55.9
  9. Rafael Palmeiro 55.4
  10. Graig Nettles 55.2
  11. Manny Ramirez 54.6
  12. Andruw Jones 54.6
  13. Ken Boyer 54.5
  14. Todd Helton 54.2
  15. Buddy Bell 53.0
  16. Dick Allen 52.3
  17. Dwight Evans 52.2
  18. Mark McGwire 52.0
  19. Reggie Smith 51.6
  20. Jim Edmonds 51.5
  21. Willie Randolph 51.1
  22. Bobby Abreu 50.9
  23. Keith Hernandez 50.8

So again, Abreu is way down the list. He might get in via the Golden Days Era Committee some day, but there's quite a queue ahead of him.

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Uh, I think as Stradling said, he's at least worthy of discussing beyond a simple "No."

As I implied above, I wouldn't vote him in--at least not until a bunch of guys ahead of him in JAWS got elected. For instance, if I was a voter, I'd immediately vote for Bonds, Clemens, Ramirez and Schilling, and then for older players, Grich, Whitaker, and Allen would be first on my list. To me, those guys are all definite Hall of Famers. The rest are more arguable.

One more nod to Allen. His 155 wRC+ is 19th all-time. Meaning, he's one of the twenty greatest hitters in baseball history. How is that itself not worthy of the Hall of Fame? Everyone ahead of him--aside from Bonds, Trout, Jackson, McGwire, and Soto--are in. Just behind him are Mays (154), Frank Thomas (154), Frank Robinson (153), and Hank Aaron (153).

The only thing going against him is that he only played in 1749 games, but that isn't much less than Johnny Mize (157, 1884 games). And for the life of me, I don't see how they can vote in a guy like Tony Perez (58.9 WAR, 121 wRC+ in 2777 games)--who was a far inferior hitter, with only two seasons above Allen's career average wRC+--simply because he had a bunch of mediocre .270, 20 HR seasons to pad his career numbers (which still aren't all that impressive: .279/.341/.463, 379 HR). Perez was known as a power hitter, but it took him over 1000 games to have 28 more HR than Allen. 

Edited by Angelsjunky
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To me Abreu is a Hall of Very Good type player. He was probably better than Gwynn but I don't like the idea of putting guys in the hall simply because other players have been overrated.

In a lot of ways that's how I define Hall of Very Good tier players. The ones who were overrated end up in the HoF while the ones who were underrated get a bunch of "No" responses by posters on message boards when the topic of their candidacy comes up. 

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36 minutes ago, AngelsLakersFan said:

To me Abreu is a Hall of Very Good type player. He was probably better than Gwynn but I don't like the idea of putting guys in the hall simply because other players have been overrated.

In a lot of ways that's how I define Hall of Very Good tier players. The ones who were overrated end up in the HoF while the ones who were underrated get a bunch of "No" responses by posters on message boards when the topic of their candidacy comes up. 

Gwynn is a good example of how sabermetric stats, be it the more sophisticated WAR or the 90s darling OPS, shouldn't be made into some sort of absolute criteria.

The reason I think Gwynn is a no-brainer for the Hall is that, aside from his longevity, he was the best of his era in certain skill: batting average. I mean a lifetime .338 BA and eight batting titles is might impressive and historically rare. I believe that's the highest lifetime BA since Ted Williams retired. The only close contemporaries were Boggs and Carew, both at .328.

And a 132 wRC+ in 2440 career games is nothing to sneeze at - that's actually slightly better than Abreu (129). Not to mention, Gwynn has a small edge in career WAR (65.0 to 59.8).

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39 minutes ago, Angelsjunky said:

Gwynn is a good example of how sabermetric stats, be it the more sophisticated WAR or the 90s darling OPS, shouldn't be made into some sort of absolute criteria.

The reason I think Gwynn is a no-brainer for the Hall is that, aside from his longevity, he was the best of his era in certain skill: batting average. I mean a lifetime .338 BA and eight batting titles is might impressive and historically rare. I believe that's the highest lifetime BA since Ted Williams retired. The only close contemporaries were Boggs and Carew, both at .328.

And a 132 wRC+ in 2440 career games is nothing to sneeze at - that's actually slightly better than Abreu (129). Not to mention, Gwynn has a small edge in career WAR (65.0 to 59.8).

The point isn't that Gwynn wasn't a really good player, the point is that batting average has always been valued more highly than it's actual contribution to winning games merited. It is called the Hall of "Fame" though, which does imply that a players contribution to winning does not matter beyond it's impact on a players fame. In that sense Gwynn is a significantly more viable candidate than Abreu, and the only real distinction between the two with regards to why one is in the HoF and the other isn't.

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1 hour ago, AngelsLakersFan said:

The point isn't that Gwynn wasn't a really good player, the point is that batting average has always been valued more highly than it's actual contribution to winning games merited. It is called the Hall of "Fame" though, which does imply that a players contribution to winning does not matter beyond it's impact on a players fame. In that sense Gwynn is a significantly more viable candidate than Abreu, and the only real distinction between the two with regards to why one is in the HoF and the other isn't.

I realize that BA was, in the past, over-valued. But I would also argue that it is somewhat under-valued today. I mean, OBP is much more important, but BA is still significant, and for a variety of reasons a guy hitting .320/.400 is more valuable than one hitting .280/.400 (e.g. with men in scoring position).

I'm singling Gwynn's BA out because it is what he was known for, and a .338 BA is quite impressive, even with it being a historically over-valued stat. And of course Gwynn did other things well, including stealing bases and at least a few extra-base hits, an average walk rate, and almost never striking out. A 132 wRC+ is nothing to sneeze at, especially for a player's career, even if it isn't quite elite. It ties him with players like Corey Seager, George Brett, Nelson Cruz, and Rickey Henderson. Tim Salmon's is 130.

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One of the points I was trying to make is just about everyone will say, "yea, Gwynn is a first ballot Hall of Famer".  Most people would say, "Abreu isn't a hall of famer, he is hall of very good".  Then you see they had very similar careers as it relates to actual results.  In many areas Abreu outperformed a first ballot hall of famer, however he is quickly dismissed.  He should absolutely get more consideration, or Gwynn should get less.  

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