Monday, January 12, 2009

All Sorts of Fun and Geeky Stuff Inspired by Jim Rice's HOF Induction

Congrats to Jim Ed on making the Hall of Fame. And congrats to anybody who reads national baseball blogs or even the Boston Globe because you never need to hear a should he/shouldn't he debate again about Rice's HOF merits. Good for us there because everybody wins. Just cover your eyes and ears for the next few days as the pro- and anti-Rice factions gloat or pout and soon it will all be over.

Having either not been alive or a cognizant fan during his glory years I cannot harp on days of yore about when he was the most "feared" hitter in MLB and all that jazz. Therefore, with only statistical - and not anecdotal - evidence to guide me, I tend to fall in the no-go camp. Still, who am I to judge his merits having never seen him in his prime. Some day, in probably 10 years or so Big Papi, is going to be eligible for the Hall. I think we all know in our heart of hearts that 5 awesome years from a DH does not a Hall of Famer make. Even still though, we will talk about how clutch and feared he was and blah, blah, blah and hardcore stat-heads will tell us to quit whining. Plus, did we mention he only had five GREAT years? We'll go back and forth and bitch and moan and probably lose that battle, but we'll still tell our kids the legend of Big Papi, Hall of Fame or not. So in that way, Papi will be our Jim Rice. Except with a flimsier case and a smaller body of work. Whereas with the case of Rice I have always felt disinterested, but for Papi, I can't wait for the conversations on him down the road.

Anyway, time to have some fun with adjusted OPS+. Sound geeky? Of course it does! I bring this up because Jim Rice's career OPS+ of 128 was not exactly jaw dropping. Now, using this as a baseline, let's use it to gauge some current and semi-current players in both Hall odds but also for fun. There are going to be some shocking names on this list.

Top 5 Current OPS+ Leaders for Their Career
Barry Bonds - 182
Pujols - 170
Frank Thomas - 156
Manny - 155
Lance Berkman and Jim Thome - 148

Hall Odds:
Bonds and Manny are shoo-ins. Pujols should be after another couple of years at the relative pace at which he is going. Thomas I think will get in relatively soon after hitting the ballot. Thome is similar to Thomas, with more consistency but lower "highs" if that makes sense and his candidacy will depend a lot on how Thomas moves through the process.

Other Slam Dunk Hall of Famers and Their Current OPS+
A-Rod - 147
Mike Piazza - 142
Ken Griffey Jr. - 138

Biggest Surprises on the List
Jason Giambi - 146
Travis Hafner - 142
Brian Giles - 139
Jason Bay - 131
Bobby Abreu - 133
Jim Edmonds - 132
Adam Dunn - 130
JD Drew - 129
Magglio Ordonez - 129
Moises Alou - 128
Ryan Klesko - 128
Sammy Sosa - 128

OK, not to be a dick but when you look at that list, a 128 OPS+ for a career gets massively de-valued right? All those guys are good to great players, but are any of them Hall of Famers? The only one out of there that I think you could make a case for would be Jim Edmonds. As for Jim Rice, can you believe that he finished his career with the same OPS+ as Ryan Klesko?

Did You Realize That You are Probably Watching a Hall of Famer Play?
Vlad Guerrerro - 147
Chipper Jones - 145
Gary Sheffield - 141

Not Sure What to Make Of....
Todd Helton - 141
Carlos Delgado - 138
David Ortiz - 138

If They Stay Going Like They are Now, HOF
Miggy Cabrera - 140
David Wright - 139
Chase Utley - 128

And that concludes the fun with OPS+ portion of our program. I much enjoyed that. Oh, and don't say that these guys benefited from putting up huge numbers during the Steroids Era because OPS+ looks at OPS relative to league average so that would be a non-factor.

That is it!

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