So the Baseball Hall of Fame elected Scott Rowland yesterday and there are people mad about that. And I am here to tell you that you shouldn't be mad that Scott Rowland is in the Hall of Fame. Jay Jaffe, fan graphs, the man who is behind Jaws, which is like a Hall of Fame predictor. He joins us now on the Adam Gold Show.
I thank you very much, Jay Jaffe. Explain to people why Scott Rowland is in fact Hall of Fame worthy. Okay, well he is just a great example of a player who had a tremendous combination of offensive and defensive skill. By the measures we use that go into wins above replacement, he was the third best third baseman of all time despite a comparatively short career to the guys, the two guys above him, Brooks Robinson and Adrian Beltre. And by most measures he was, you know, somewhere between a top 10 and a top 20, roughly top 15 in terms of offensive capabilities at third base. More so on the rate stat side than on the counting stat side because again his career was a little bit pertailed by injuries. But that combination placed him 10th in career war among third baseman and 10th in my Jaws system which factors both career war and seven year peak war. He is a very good player, like very fully qualified for the Hall of Fame and a position that's underrepresented and man, that guy could play.
Yeah, see that's the thing. Sometimes the numbers, and this is what gets people, Jay Jaffe is joining us here to talk Hall of Fame. We look at the overall offensive numbers and Scott Roland's offensive numbers overall, I mean they're good but they're not Hall of Fame numbers. I mean 316 home runs, 1287 runs batted in. Those are good.
Nobody's saying that those are not good. But at his position, which I know necessarily isn't a premium defensive position, think about center field, shortstop, catcher as the premium defensive positions, but he was one of if not the best to ever play the position. And I would argue if Brooks Robinson is in the Hall of Fame, I mean who has the offensive numbers for Brooks Robinson were not staggering, then it's a no brainer for Scott Roland to be in the Hall of Fame. He was a complete baseball player and there's only what, 18 third baseman total in the Hall of Fame? Yeah, and I believe that count includes Negro Leagues third baseman too. So it's the fewest of any position besides catcher.
Although I believe now we've broken the tie for counting non-Negro Leagues, AL, NL, bygone, White Leagues third baseman, for whom we can make a lengthy statistical comparison on any one of the number of levels. So let me ask you now about the guy who came closest yesterday but fell short and that's Todd Helton. And I fear and I respect everything that you have done and written Jay Jaffe.
I fear we are going to disagree on this. I for the life of me cannot figure out Todd Helton's case for the Hall of Fame. I know you wrote about the Coors Field effect isn't quite what people think. And I know it had a dramatic effect on Larry Walker's numbers. But the home and away splits for Todd Helton are, first of all, he was a really good player.
I had zero problem with him being called a really good player for a really long time. But to me there's a big difference between that and being a Hall of Famer. Because the home and road splits are just, I mean, they're massive.
They're big, but you know what? I think he's got something like an 850 OPS for his road stats. That's still really good. The thing that people forget when looking at Coors stats is that the falloff is greater because of the dramatic contrast between the way pitches move at altitude versus lower down. We've seen this recently, amply demonstrated in recent years. You can't just take the road half of a guy's Coors Field players split and assume that's going to be his level of production when those splits are wider. D.J. LeMayhew, Nolan Arenado, Matt Holliday, three great examples.
Larry Walker, of course. These guys could freakin hit once they left Coors Field and adjusted. The other thing is that there's a physical factor there too.
Players do not recover as well from exertion and injuries when they're playing half their games at high altitude. That partially, I think, explains some of Helton's late career troubles. The other thing that's easy to forget here is that he was an outstanding defensive person baseman. He's 76 runs above average in the field, and that factors into his wins above replacement as well.
I have been 15th all time in Jaws, a little short on the career mark, but well above the peak mark. Is he a perfect candidate? No. He makes them convince me, but he goes into next year, his sixth on the ballot, in better shape than Roland was entering this year. He's going to get in.
And I'm excited about that. Fair to say he's probably the best quarterback in the Hall of Fame? Might be the best quarterback in the Baseball Hall of Fame?
It could be. Peyton Manning might have something to say about Todd Helton going into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Where are you on the candidacy of a guy like Keith Hernandez for the Hall of Fame? Keith Hernandez is the best defensive first baseman of all time. Non-traditional offensive profile for a first baseman. A bit of a short career in that he petered out around 36 or 37 because of his back problems. I'm certainly in favor of putting him on an Air Committee ballot, and I would probably endorse his election. He's a little short in jaws, but has a historical importance in terms of both the way he played first base defensively and his role on both the Cardinals and Mets World Series winning teams.
There's a lot to be said for that. I don't really understand why he hasn't been able to get on an Air Committee ballot. Unfortunately, he had that issue with cocaine early in his career or in the middle of his career, but Tim Rains came back from something similar and was elected. Hernandez never really moved the voters on the writer's ballot. Maybe he would have fared better in a period where we're taking a closer look at more comprehensive defensive measures. I've always been a little bit mystified about why he hasn't gotten more traction.
There must be some backroom politics in play there that I can't penetrate in terms of figuring out why he's not getting another look. We're in North Carolina, but I think we're pretty much Braves country here. Jay Jaffe is joining us. Fangraphs, we're talking about baseball's Hall of Fame. Scott Roland will join Fred McGriff, by the way, as the only two players who will get inducted coming up this summer. So two former Braves that I want to ask you about.
The first is Dale Murphy. My opinion is that Murphy was probably the best player in the sport for about seven years. I realize when he went when his career dropped off, it dropped off. I don't understand why we don't spend more time rewarding those peak years where he really was the best player in the game. Yeah, look, I think that's I think that's fair, especially when you look at some of the Veterans Committee inductions from the from the 60s and 70s further for what they did in the 20s and 30s, the high offense era. I have said this several times in the last few years. I would put Dale Murphy in the Hall of Fame before Harold Baynes.
No contest. I would put I would put Dale Murphy in the Hall of Fame before Fred McGriff. I really do like that combination that that high peak short career combination much more than the low peak, you know, compiler simulator profile, especially at a defensively important position. Although even there, Murphy's defense did drop off, but he was, you know, those knees gave out because he started out as a catcher. That's six four catcher at that. And the Braves were wise to move him out from that. They moved into a skill position. And, you know, really, I think he drove, you know, the first era of Atlanta baseball success since the late 60s. You know, the 1982 team. You know, and I've I've come around on on the meaning of Del Murphy in the larger sense as well in terms of the character issues, and we've spent so much of the last decade, you know, focusing on PDD guys.
Right. And and the bad, you know, the domestic, you know, there's domestic violence issues up and down the ballot, you know, and it's a lot of unsavory characters. And Dale Murphy, I mean, just a guy who stayed out of trouble. Dale Murphy is a guy who has gone out of his way to be a positive example in ways that resonate.
I mean, I think I think, you know, the things he said. In 2020, regarding Black Lives Matter and things like that, and I just I looked at a guy and I think, you know, if you're ever going to reward a character guy with a short, shorter career, Dale Murphy stands to me as a perfect opportunity to do so. So I was, you know, I was surprised that he was on the era committee ballot in 2023, given that he hadn't fared very well in the two previous times he'd been on. He was below the reporting threshold where they tell you exactly how many votes a guy gets out of the dignity cloak, so to speak. But he got thirty seven and a half percent this time in a let's face it.
It was a it was a an electoral slate that seemed very rigged to reward character in the first place with the vocal anti PD voices of Frank Thomas and Ryan Sandberg. But, you know, I think he'll continue to get a look. I hope so. Finally, just a couple of seconds left. Andrew Jones. Yes or no? I'm for him.
He got to 58 percent or just jump yet above the 50 percent threshold trending towards elections. Still has four chances left. You know, he's the he's the pillar of that Braves dynasty on the defensive side.
The guy where where the runs that Maddox and Glavin, who would strike out pitchers, you know, went to die and made them great. No question about it. Jay Jaffe, I appreciate your time.
Fan graphs. This is your time of the year. Maybe we'll do it again next year. Hopefully I'll talk to you before then. All right. Sounds good, Adam. Thanks a lot for having me. Thank you very much. Jay Jaffe from fan graphs here on the Adam Goldshaw.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-25 18:06:04 / 2023-01-25 18:11:00 / 5