M-SABR Hall of Fame Voting Results 2017

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(Stephen Dunn / Allsport)

Later today, the Baseball Writers’ Association of America will reveal the results of voting for the Baseball Hall of Fame Class of 2017. The rules are simple: A writer can include up to 10 players on his ballot; a player must be on at least 75% of all ballots to get approved. Sadly, none of our members were eligible to vote for the 2017 class—to be eligible to vote, a writer must be employed on a baseball beat job for 10 consecutive years. Nonetheless, we proudly held a Michigan Baseball and Sabermetrics mock election.

This year was a very interesting year, as many factors played a role in how club members filled out their ballots. For instance, a number of new Steroid Era players are now eligible for induction, forcing voters to take into account the integrity of the game. The headliners from that period on this year’s ballot are Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, both in their fifth years of eligibility. They each hovered around the 45%-mark last year, well short of Cooperstown but hopeful that those percentages will continue to rise.

Another integrity question comes with former starting pitcher Curt Schilling. He has voiced his uncommon opinions throughout the last year on social media, ultimately leading to his dismissal at ESPN. Voters will try to weigh Schilling’s play on the field and his morals off the field. One other debated topic, albeit a less morally controversial one, is whether a designated hitter deserves induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Should a player who only helps his team out in primarily one facet of the game be allowed into the most enshrined place in baseball history? This question will be answered this year, as Edgar Martinez, often considered the greatest DH of all time, sits on the 2017 ballot.

So, let’s get to it. We had 111 total votes cast by 13 people. There was a total of four people elected into the M-SABR Hall of Fame this year: Jeff Bagwell, Ivan Rodriguez, Trevor Hoffman, and Vladimir Guerrero. The chart below lays out the voting percentages for each player.

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There were 34 names on the ballot; only 20 of those 34 received votes. As for the four that got elected, two of them were first-timers (Guerrero and Rodriguez). This was Hoffman’s second year of eligibility, while it was Bagwell’s seventh. Vladimir Guerrero played in the outfield and served as designated hitter for the Expos, Orioles, Rangers, and Angels during his 18-year career. He made nine All-Star teams, won eight Silver Slugger awards, and won MVP during his dominant 2004 season in Anaheim. The swing-or-die-trying slugger accumulated 59.3 career WAR and had two seasons in which he stole over 35 bases. Some other stats show just how dominate Vlad was.

Stat Total for Career Career Rank
Slugging Percentage (SLG) .553 24th
HR 449 38th
Intentional Walks 250 5th

Next up is Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez. He played catcher for the Rangers, Marlins, Tigers, Yankees, and Nationals during his 21-year career. (Writer’s note: Ivan Rodriguez is the reason I wore #7 and played catcher throughout my baseball career. Needless to say, he was on my ballot). He was a 14-time All-Star, 13-time Gold Glover, 7-time Silver Slugger, and won MVP for his 1999 campaign with the Rangers. He was known for his defense, yet still managed to total up to a 68.4 WAR over the course of his career. Some of his career numbers give a good reason for his being inducted into our Hall of Fame.

Stat Total for Career Career Rank
Doubles 572 26th
Defensive WAR 28.7 9th
Total Zone Runs as C 167 1st

Trevor Hoffman spent his 19-year career with the Marlins, Brewers, and, most notably, the Padres. He made seven All-Star teams and was a runner-up for the Cy Young award twice. To be runner up for a Cy Young award as a reliever is quite impressive; Hoffman averaged only 1.05 innings per appearance throughout his career. As shown below, Hoffman is a mainstay among the top 15 in many statistical pitching categories.

Stat Total for Career Career Rank
Saves 601 2nd
Hits/9 6.99 7th
K/9 9.36 9th
Adjusted ERA 141 14th

Lastly, we have Jeff Bagwell. The Astros first baseman played all 15 years of his luxurious career in Houston, where he made four All-Star teams and was the 1991 Rookie of the Year. In 1994, he was awarded NL MVP. On top of that, he was a four-time Silver Slugger and took home one Gold Glove. He was a talented hitter with a great eye and tremendous power. He also stole more than 30 bases in two of his seasons.

Stat Total for Career Career Rank
HR 449 38th
OPS+ 149 38th
Position Player WAR 79.6 38th
Walks 1,401 28th

This was a fun mock election, and we are curious to see how representative our voting is once the real results come out later today. One more interesting note: None of the aforementioned controversial players—Bonds, Clemens, Schilling, Martinez—notched over 69.2%. Next year, we’ll vote again on who joins the most prestigious club of them all: The M-SABR Hall of Fame.

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