Wednesday, September 30, 2009

This is the Yankees' 19th 100-Win Season. What about everyone else?


The Yankees, with 102 wins this season, will be the only team with 100 victories during the 2009 season. It is their fifth 100 win season since 1998 (1st since 2004), and it is no surprise they have been great at accumulating 100-win seasons throughout their history. They did not have their 1st 100 win season until 1927, but they then had an incredible 8 100-win seasons between 1927 and 1942, which produced 7 WS titles and 1 WS loss.
# of 100-Win Seasons (since 1910)
NY Yankees (last in 2009): 19
A's (last in 2002): 10
St. Louis Cardinals (last in 2005): 8
Atlanta Braves: 6 (1993-2003)
Dodgers (Brooklyn 3/LA 2) (last in 1974): 5
Baltimore Orioles (1969-1980): 5
Giants (NY/SF) (last in 2003): 5
Detroit Tigers (last in 1984): 5
Cincinnati Reds (last in 1976): 4
Boston Red Sox (1912, 1915, 1946): 3
NY Mets (1969, 1986, 1988): 3
Philadelphia Phillies (1976-77): 2
Cleveland Indians (1954, 1995): 2
Chicago Cubs (1910, 1935): 2
Arizona D-Backs (1999): 1
Chicago White Sox (1917): 1
Houston Astros (1998): 1
LA Angels (2008): 1
Minnesota Twins (1965): 1
Kansas City Royals (1977): 1
Seattle Mariners (2001): 1
Pittsburgh Pirates: 0
Tampa Bay Rays: 0
San Diego Padres: 0
Texas Rangers: 0
Toronto Blue Jays: 0
Washington Nationals/Montreal Expos: 0
Florida Marlins: 0
Milwaukee Brewers: 0
Colorado Rockies: 0

I don't want to pick on the Pirates too much, but it is a bit surprising that they have not won 100 games in a season since 1910 (in fairness, the last time was 1909), and are the only non-expansion team not to have one. Their highest total was 98 wins in 1979 (WS Champs) and 1991 (came close to NL pennant). Also surprised at the Red Sox total, although I probably shouldn't be.


Sunday, September 27, 2009

Twins' improved pitching behind surprise playoff run

The Minnesota Twins are making a surprise run at the playoffs, going 15-8 in September. They are 2 games behind Detroit, after being a season-high 7 games back on September 7th.

It is a surprise because their team ERA ranked near the bottom of the league in both July (28th in ML) and August (26th), although they were scoring plenty of runs in July (8th in ML) and August (6th), but only went 26-26. Their pitching has improved dramatically in September:

Twins team ERA by month
April: 5.26 (24th in ML)
May: 4.43 (17th)
June: 3.31 (5th)
July: 5.32 (28th)
August: 5.21 (26th)
September: 3.59 (9th)

One of the biggest reasons for the improvement is the emergence of rookie left-hander Brian Duensing, who is 3-0 with a 1.74 ERA in 5 September starts.

Prior to September, in his career, he only had 3 starts, 14 relief appearances and a 4.39 ERA. If you include his 2 starts late in August, he is 5-0 with a 1.88 ERA in his last 7 starts. Impressively, he has only allowed 1 HR and 11 BB over those 7 starts.

A lot is going to be put on him, as he is scheduled to face off against Justin Verlander in Detroit on Tuesday and then possibly, the final game of the season, at home vs. Kansas City.

Which other AL pitchers have 3 wins and an ERA lower than 2.00 in September? Felix Hernandez, Clay Buchholz, C.C. Sabathia and Roy Halladay.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Top Run Producers


A player's RBI/PA average can show a decent amount, especially if they are supposed to a middle-of-the-order power hitter/run producer. It is nice if a run producer has a high OBP or steals bases or doesn't strike out, but they are really there to drive in runs.

Some hitters, of course, have been very fortunate to hit in the middle of a great lineup (Albert Belle or David Ortiz, for instance) for many years or play in a great hitters' ballpark (Larry Walker, ), but it is still extremely difficult to be an elite run producer over a long period of time even with those advantages. These are the only players (if I missed any let me know) with at least 1000 plate appearances to to have a .200 RBI/PA average (or at least easily rounded to .200).

In other words, these are the only players to have, on average, 2 RBI per every 10 times they come to the plate, for their entire career. There are numerous instances of a player getting .200 RBI/PA for an extended period of their career, such as Ken Griffey Jr. from 1996-2000, when had 685 RBI in 3399 PA. We'll have to see how Ryan Howard's career progresses, as he is the only active player on the list.

Career: .200 RBI/PA 1000+ PA
1930-1947 Hank Greenberg: .209 (1276 RBI, 6096 PA)
1914-1935 Babe Ruth: .209 (2217, 10616)
1923-1939 Lou Gehrig: .207 (1995, 9660)
2005-present Ryan Howard: .203 (active) (631, 3107)
1936-1951 Joe DiMaggio: .200 (1537, 7671)
1925-1945 Jimmie Foxx: .199 (1922, 9670)
1989-2005 Juan Gonzalez: .196 (1404, 7155)

If you're wondering how far down the RBI list you have to go find another player who is at .200, it appears to be Landon Powell, an Oakland rookie this year, with 29 RBI in 145 PA despite a .231 BA.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

All-Around Hitters


300 HR - 125 players (20 active)
+ .300 BA - 26 (6 active)
+ less than 1000 SO - 15 (3 active)

Active
1996-present: Vladimir Guerrero: .322, 407 HR, 863 SO
1997-present: Todd Helton: .327, 324, 877
2001-present: Albert Pujols: .334, 366, 567

Pujols' strikeouts are actually up this year, at 61. He had not gone above 60 since 2005. He will probably finish up the season with about 575 strikeouts, and averaging about 60 per season, he would not hit 1000 career strikeouts until early 2017.

Non-Active
1915-1937 Rogers Hornsby
1923-1939 Lou Gehrig
1924-1944 Al Simmons
1926-1947 Mel Ott
1928-1944 Chuck Klein
1930-1947 Hank Greenberg
1936-1953 Johnny Mize
1936-1951 Joe DiMaggio
1939-1960: Ted Williams
1941-1963 Stan Musial
1973-1993 George Brett
1990-2008 Moises Alou

Monday, September 21, 2009

MLB Notebook

I have made my first guest post at MLB Notebook. It is a short post about Andrew Bailey's rookie season.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

An exciting finish in the AL Central?


Great news for the Tigers: they don't have to face the Royals juggernaut again this season.

Tigers vs. Royals, since Sept. 8 (6 games): 1-5, outscored 42-17. The Tigers have actually played well in September at 9-7 (1-5 vs. Royals, 8-2 vs. rest of league). The Royals were probably spared the 5th 100 loss season in their history (all since 2002). They are currently 59-87 with 16 games to go.

This weekend could be exciting because the Tigers have a 3 game series at the Metrodome and the Twins are 4 games out. If the Twins win 2, they'll be only 3 games out, and a sweep would put them 1 game out. If the Tigers win the first game, though, it becomes 5 games out with 15 games to go.

If the Tigers don't extend their lead soon, their final homestand could produce some drama: 7 games - 4 vs. Twins, 3 vs. White Sox (final series of the year). With pretty much every other race already decided, it is nice to have the potential for meaningful games before the postseason.

Vada Pinson


Despite some apparent controversy, Vada Pinson (who had his best seasons playing at Crosley Field (above) with the Reds from 1958-1968) put up some amazing numbers for a guy not in the Hall of Fame. He had a rare combination of power, speed and decent good batting average: he was putting up numbers like Hanley Ramirez (maybe slightly less gaudy) in the late 50's and early 60's (more than 20 years before Hanley Ramirez was born).

While Pinson's numbers trailed off a little too soon, his best seasons hold up amazingly well even with the barrage of players with power and speed over the last 20 years.
1959-1965 avg: .303, 193 H, 105 R, 35 2B, 10 3B, 21 HR, 88 RBI, 23 SB

.280 BA, 2500 H, 250 HR, 300 SB
1951-1973 Willie Mays (Giants, Mets) .302, 3283, 660, 338 (Hall of Fame)
1958-1975 Vada Pinson (Reds, Cardinals, Indians, Angels, Royals): .286, 2757, 256, 305
1986-2007 Barry Bonds (Pirates, Giants) .298, 2935, 762, 514
1988-2007 Craig Biggio (Astros) .281, 3060, 291, 414

.280, 20 HR, 20 SB: 5+ Seasons: 1900-present
Barry Bonds: 9 Seasons
Bobby Abreu: 8
Alex Rodriguez: 6
Willie Mays: 6
Hank Aaron: 5
Vada Pinson: 5

200 H, 20 HR, 20 SB
Vada Pinson: 3 (1959, 1963, 1965)
Jimmy Rollins: 1 (2007)
Hanley Ramirez: 1 (2007)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Adam Lind

Adam Lind has had a breakout season, with a high batting average and a lot of extra base hits:

.300, 30 HR, 101 RBI, 46 2B, 0 3B, 1 SB...

2009: .300, 25 HR, 35 2B, 90 RBI
Albert Pujols (Cardinals)
Adam Lind (Blue Jays)
Kendry Morales (Angels)

It is odd that he has no triples at all with so many doubles and home runs: The only player in ML history with 30+ HR and 45+ 2B with no triples was Shawn Green for the Blue Jays (42 HR, 45 2B) in 1999.

30 HR, 46 2B, 0 3B, since 1900
2009 Adam Lind (17 games to go)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Jonathan Papelbon is good, Jimmie Foxx was better


Pitchers who started their career after 1920 and retired with 200+ IP and sub-2.50 ERA
1942-1946 Joe Berry (Cubs, A's, Indians) 2.45 ERA, 294 IP
1987-1995 Bryan Harvey (Angels, Marlins) 2.49, 387
2004-07 Akinori Otsuka (Padres, Rangers) 2.44, 232

Active Pitchers with 250+ IP, sub-2.50 ERA
2005-2009 Jonathan Papelbon (Red Sox) 1.86 ERA, 291 IP
2006-2009 Takashi Saito (Dodgers, Red Sox) 2.08, 238.1
1995-2009 Mariano Rivera (Yankees) 2.26, 1081.1
1995-2009 Billy Wagner (Astros, Phillies, Mets, Red Sox) 2.39, 824.1
2002-2009 Francisco Rodriguez (Angels, Mets) 2.43, 514
Red Sox rank 3rd in ML in bullpen ERA, 1st in AL in 2009 at 3.66; 17th in starter's ERA, 8th in AL at 4.61.

3.00 ERA, 1000 IP, 7 K/9 since 1895
1897-1910 George Edward "Rube" Waddell (must read) 2.16 ERA, 7.04 K/9, 2961.1 IP
1955-1966 Sandy Koufax 2.76, 9.28, 2324.1
1959-1975 Bob Gibson 2.91, 7.22, 3884.1
1965-1980 John Hiller (Tigers) 2.83, 7.51, 1242
1976-1988 Bruce Sutter 2.83, 7.43, 1042.1
1984-2005 John Franco 2.89, 7.04, 1245.2
1995-2009 Mariano Rivera 2.26, 8.31, 1081.1
1993-2009 Trevor Hoffman 2.74, 9.54, 1033
1992-2009 Pedro Martinez 2.92, 10.06, 2812.1

Lowest Career ERA, 20+ IP, since 1920: 1939, 1945 Jimmie Foxx - 1.52 ERA, 23.2 IP (22.2 IP in 1945)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Evan Longoria


Through Evan Longoria's first 2 seasons, he has been very good. He won the 2008 AL Rookie of the Year Award (11th in MVP voting), has improved his numbers this year, and will probably get a decent number of MVP votes again:

Career: .276 BA, 57 HR, 188 RBI, .885 OPS
2008: .272, 27 HR, 85 RBI, .874 OPS
2009: .280, 30 HR, 103 RBI, .895 OPS

He will probably join this list, which has the only players in ML history who finished their 1st 2 seasons with 1000 PA, .875 OPS, 55 HR, 190 RBI
1930-31 Wally Berger (Boston Braves)
1936-37 Joe Dimaggio (Yankees)
1952-53 Eddie Mathews (Milwaukee Braves)
1946-47 Ralph Kiner (Pirates)
2001-02 Albert Pujols (Cardinals)
2007-08 Ryan Braun (Brewers)
2008-09 Evan Longoria (Rays)

To be fair, he still needs to improve his numbers in some areas. He also might join the following list of players, but which he probably hopes to avoid. He currently has 244 career strikeouts and only 105 walks.

1st 2 seasons: 250+ Strikeouts, Less than 120 walks:
1968-69 Bobby Bonds (Giants) 271, 119
1986-87 Pete Incaviglia (Rangers) 353 103
1986-87 Cory Snyder (Indians) 289, 47
2006-07 Dan Uggla (Marlins) 290, 116
2007-08 Alex Gordon (Royals) 257, 107
2007-08 Mark Reynolds (D-Backs) 333, 101
2008-09 Evan Longoria (Rays)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Justin Verlander: strange season, but good chance at Cy Young Award


Justin Verlander's Cy Young hopes took a but of a hit last night when he got the loss to the Royals, even though he pitched well (6 IP, 1 ER, 8 SO, 3 BB). He probably has 4 more starts, so he could end up with 18 wins and 250 SO. If things break right for him, he still has a pretty good shot at the AL Cy Young Award. His ERA (3.24) is hurting him a bit, and a lot of that has to do with his 6.75 ERA in April (1st start was 3.2 IP, 8 ER).

2009: 16-8, 3.24 ERA, 230 SO

It's unusual for a pitcher to have a high number of wins and strikeouts, with a high winning percentage and have an ERA over 3.00. Here are the pitchers, since 1900, who have had:

17+ Wins, 3.00+ ERA, 240+ SO, .650+ W-L%
1941 Bob Feller (Indians) 25-13, 3.15, 260
1967 Jim Lonborg (Red Sox) 22-9, 3.16, 246 (Cy Young)
1970 Bob Gibson (Cardinals) 23-7, 3.12, 274 (Cy Young)
1982 Steve Carlton (Phillies) 23-11, 3.10, 286 (Cy Young)
1986 Fernando Valenzuela (Dodgers) 21-11, 3.14, 242
1993 Randy Johnson (Mariners) 19-8, 3.24, 308
2002 Curt Schilling (D-Backs) 23-7, 3.23, 316
2004 Jason Schmidt (Giants) 18-7, 3.20, 251
2009 Justin Verlander (Tigers)? 16-8, 3.24, 230

Verlander is having an unusual season, as there are only two other pitchers on the list who won less than 20 games, which Verlander likely to miss as well: Randy Johnson in 1993 and Jason Schmidt in 2004. There will likely not be any AL pitchers with 20 wins, which gives Verlander a chance to win the Cy Young is his ERA keeps coming down closer to 3.00, he gets to 18wins and finishes with 250 strikeouts.

It's going to be close: ESPN's Cy Predictor (created by Bill James and Rob Neyer) has Verlander in front, barely, over C.C. Sabathia, Felix Hernandez, Zack Greinke and Mariano Rivera. It's up for grabs, and the final vote will likely be close, but with his high strikeout total, tied for lead in wins and lower ERA than Sabthia, he is in a prime position to win it.

How many AL Cy Young Award winners (non strike-shortened seasons) have been starters with less than 20 wins and higher than a 3.00 ERA? Just two: C.C. Sabathia (Indians) in 2007 (19-7, 3.21) and Pete Vuckovich (Brewers) in 1982 (18-6, 3.34).

Monday, September 7, 2009

Chris Carpenter Pulls Ahead

Chris Carpenter's season has been taken to a whole new level after tonight. He had a 1-hit shutout with 10 SO and 2 BB vs. the Brewers tonight, taking his season totals to...

16-3, 2.16 ERA, .842 W-L%, 129 SO, 30 BB, 4.3 SO/BB

He is having one of the most dominant pitching seasons in the history of baseball. While Tim Lincecum (13-5, 2.34) is certainly not out of the running for the NL Cy Young Award, Carpenter pulled ahead tonight, as he leads Lincecum now in Wins, W-L%, K/BB, WHIP and ERA. If his season ended today, Carpenter would join the following list of pitchers with...

16+ Wins, .835+ W-L%, 4.3+ K/BB, 2.20- ERA
1913 Walter Johnson (Senators): 36-7, 1.14 ERA, .837 W-L %, 8.46 SO/BB
1968 Denny McLain (Tigers): 31-6, 1.96, .838, 4.44
1995 Greg Maddux (Braves): 19-2, 1.63, .905, 6.39
1999 Pedro Martinez (Red Sox): 23-4, 2.07, .852, 7.87
2009 Chris Carpenter (Cardinals): 16-3, 2.16, 8.42, 4.3

Strikeouts Without Home Runs

I wrote about this a while ago, and there is a chance for 2009 to be another bad year in this regard.

130+ SO, 10- HR since 1900

1900-1966
None

1967-1975
1967 Bobby Knoop (Angels): 9 HR, 136 SO
1968 Rick Monday (A's): 8, 143
1970 Larry Hisle (Phillies): 10, 139
1975 Ron LeFlore (Tigers) : 8, 139

1976-1985
None

1986-1997
1986 Gary Pettis (Angels): 5 HR, 132 SO
1991 Delino DeShields (Expos): 10, 151
1995 Benji Gil (Rangers): 9, 147
1997 Rich Becker (Twins): 10, 130

1998-2007
None

2008
2008 Carlos Gomez (Twins): 7 HR, 142 SO
2008 B.J. Upton (Rays): 9. 134
2008 Jack Hannahan (A's): 9, 131
2008 Akinori Iwamura (Rays): 6, 131

2009
2009 B.J. Upton (Rays): 9, 142
2009 David Wright (Mets): 8, 113
2009 Michael Bourn (Astros): 3, 110

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Most Hits by Decade

1880's-1930's
1880's: Cap Anson: 1502
1890's: Ed Delahanty: 1862
1900's: Honus Wagner: 1847
1910's: Ty Cobb: 1948
1920's: Rogers Hornsby: 2085
1930's: Paul Waner: 1959

1940's-2000's
1940's: Lou Bodreau: 1578
1950's: Richie Ashburn: 1875
1960's: Roberto Clemente: 1877
1970's: Pete Rose: 2045
1980's: Robin Yount: 1731
1990's: Mark Grace: 1754
2000's: Ichiro Suzuki: 1996

The hit totals in 1940's were skewed because of WWII. Many players missed significant playing time due to the war, such as Ted Williams and Joe Dimaggio, who did not play at all from 1943-1945.

Ted Williams had 1303 hits over the other 7 years that he played during the decade, which is an average of 186 hits per year. Assuming he would collected 186 hits per year from 1943-1945, he would have finished the 40's with 1861 hits, nearly 300 more than Boudreau's total.

Multiple Decade Leaders:
1900-1920: Honus Wagner: 2967
1921-1940: Al Simmons: 2894
1941-1960: Stan Musial: 3294
1961-1980: Pete Rose: 3557
1981-2009: Cal Ripken: 3184

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Appearing in 70+ Games Per Year

These are the only pitchers to appear in 70+ games every year since 2005 (none of them appeared in 70+ G in 2004):

Dan Wheeler - 71, 75, 70, 70 - Astros, Rays (2009: Rays, 57 G, 3.51 ERA) - on pace for 70

Chad Qualls - 77, 81, 79, 77 - Astros, D-Backs (2009: D-Backs, 51 G, 3.63 ERA) DL, Out for Season

Bobby Howry - 79, 84, 78, 72 - Indians, Cubs (2009: Giants, 51 G, 3.61 ERA)

Scott Schoeneweis - 80, 71, 70, 73 - Blue Jays, Reds, Mets (2009: D-Backs, 38 G, 8.24 ERA) DL

Dan Wheeler is on pace to just barely appear in 70 games (again), but it does not look like any of the others have a chance at extending their streak.

Best Streak Ever, 70+ G? 7 consecutive years
Buddy Groom: 1996-2002 (A's, Orioles)

80 + G? 4 consecutive years
Paul Quantrill: 2001-2004 (Blue Jays, Dodgers, Yankees)

More Pujols Stats

120+ BB, 80- SO, 20+ HR, 35+ 2B since 1900
1920 Babe Ruth (Yankees)
1937 Lou Gehrig (Yankees)
1947-49 Ted Williams (Red Sox)
1970 Willie McCovey (Giants)
1987 Von Hayes (Phillies)
1992-93 Barry Bonds (Giants)
2002 Brian Giles (Pirates)
2004 Todd Helton (Rockies)
2009 Albert Pujols (Cardinals): (99 BB, 55 SO, 42 HR, 35 2B through 134 games)

This is kind of a statistical quirk, although this is an impressive set up numbers for anyone to put up in a season, which might explain how Von Hayes, aka "5 for 1", snuck in, despite not having incredible overall numbers (.277 BA, .404 OBP, .473 SLG). Still, this has not been done in the AL since Ted Williams in 1949.

Albert Pujols is on pace for exactly 120 BB and only 66 SO (and 50 HR), so it should be close. In case you're wondering, has anyone ever had 120+ BB, less than 70 SO and 50+ HR in a season? Nope, he would be the first.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

August Totals

Batting Average (min. 100 PA)
Matt Diaz (Braves): .404
Hanley Ramirez (Marlins): .395
Joe Mauer (Twins): .391
Kendry Morales (Angels): .385

On Base Percentage
Matt Diaz (Braves): .467
Adrian Gonzalez (Padres): .460
Denard Span (Twins): .458
Adam Dunn (Nationals): .453

Slugging Percentage
Kendry Morales (Angels): .734
Carlos Pena (Rays): .685
Ryan Howard (Phillies): .682
Matt Diaz (Braves): .681

OPS
Matt Diaz (Braves): 1.148
Kendry Morales (Angels): 1.143
Adam Dunn (Nationals): 1.112
Ryan Zimmerman (Nationals): 1.112

HR
Carlos Pena (Rays): 12
Prince Fielder (Brewers): 11
Ryan Howard (Phillies): 11
Mark Reynolds (D-Backs): 11

RBI
Ryan Howard (Phillies): 33
Kendry Morales (Angels): 33
Carlos Pena (Rays): 29
Prince Fielder (Brewers): 28

Runs
Derek Jeter (Yankees): 27
Grady Sizemore (Indians): 23
Ryan Zimmerman (Nationals): 22
Kendry Morales (Angels): 22
Matt Kemp (Dodgers): 22
Hanley Ramirez (Marlins): 22

Wins
Chris Carpenter (Cardinals): 5-0
C.C. Sabathia (Yankees): 5-0
Scott Feldman (Rangers): 5-0
Ubaldo Jimenez (Rockies): 5-1

ERA (20 IP)
Adam Wainwright (Cardinals): 1.30
J.A. Happ (Phillies): 1.67
Ubaldo Jimenez (Rockies): 1.77
Barry Zito (Giants): 1.93

Strikeouts:
C.C. Sabathia (Yankees): 49 (6 BB)
Zack Greinke (Royals): 49 (12 BB)
Clayton Kershaw (Dodgers): 47 (18 BB)
Justin Verlander (Tigers): 43 (10 BB)

Batting Average Against (20+ IP)
Rich Harden (Cubs): .172
Jon Lester (Red Sox): .178
Tim Lincecum (Giants): .190
Jonathan Sanchez (Giants): .194

Saves
Ryan Franklin (Cardinals): 11 (0.00 ERA)
Jose Valverde (Astros): 9 (1.15 ERA)

Blown Saves
Brad Lidge (Phillies): 3 (7 SV, 6.75 ERA)
Kevin Gregg (Cubs): 3 (2 SV, 6.75 ERA)

Teams

Wins
Yankees: 21-7
Cardinals: 20-6
Angels: 17-12
Braves: 17-11

Losses
Orioles: 10-20
Pirates: 9-19
Royals: 10-19
Mets: 10-19

ERA
Cardinals: 3.06
Dodgers: 3.17
Phillies: 3.33
Braves: 3.39
Giants: 3.68
Mariners: 4.09

Runs
Angels: 180
Yankees: 175
Braves: 165
Brewers: 151

Batting Average
Marlins: .298
Angels: .298
Yankees: .296
Twins: .291

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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Larry Walker: Hall of Famer?

I think Larry Walker's candidacy for the Hall of Fame, which will come up in 2011, is very interesting because of how Coors Field fits into his legacy. He was also a relatively quiet star, who had numerous injuries and played for many years on the generally uncompetitive Rockies.

There are several issues to address regarding Larry Walker's Hall of Fame candidacy for the Hall of Fame.

1. Are his numbers good enough?
2. How does Coors Field factor in?

There are many different methods to use and questions to ask when evaluating a player's HOF candidacy. Sometimes, the simplest method can work best. Due to various factors, including injuries, he did not get 500 HR or 3000 hits, so he will need quality of stats over quantity.

Larry Walker: 8030 PA, .313, BA .400 OBP, .565 SLG , .965 OPS, 2160 H, 383 HR, 1311 RBI, 230 SB

1995-96 (Rockies): .766 AB, .296 BA, .593 SLG
1997-2002 (Rockies): 2748 AB, .353 BA, .648 SLG (3 Batting Titles, MVP)

This surprised me a little:

All-Time .300 BA, .400 OBP, .550 SLG, 8000+ PA
Babe Ruth
Rogers Hornsby
Stan Musial
Frank Thomas
Jimmie Foxx
Lou Gehrig
Manny Ramirez
Ted Williams
Larry Walker

All-Time: .300 BA, .400 OBP, .550 SLG, 200+ SB, 8000+ PA
Larry Walker

With only 8030 PA, he is 248th on the all-time list. How does 8000 PA stack up against other Hall of Famers? It's not common, but there are others:
Yogi Berra: 8364
Duke Snider: 8237
Kirby Puckett: 7831
Joe Dimaggio: 7671
Kirby Puckett: 7528

Coors Field: 2136 AB, .381 BA, HR/16.2 PA
Elsewhere: 4771 AB, .282 BA, HR/24.1 PA

Would he be in the discussion if he had played at Wrigley Field from 1995-2003. Perhaps not, although there is no way to know for sure. Here are two small examples of Hall of Famers who benefited mightily from playing where they played:

Jim Rice (Red Sox - Fenway)
Home: .320, .546 SLG, 4507 PA
Road: .277, .469 SLG, 4551 PA

Don Drysdale (Dodgers - Dodger Stadium)
Home: 114-74, 2.53 ERA , 230 GS
Road: 95-92, 3.41 ERA, 235 GS

The Hall of Fame might look a lot different if there had been some minor changes in where people played. For instance, imagine Jim Rice at Dodger Stadium or Don Drysdale at Wrigley Field for their whole careers. There is some luck involved in baseball in where you get to play. Certain hitters who played in pitcher-friendly parks probably would have made the Hall of and vice-versa.

Ok, so let's say Walker is a product of Coors Field. I'm not sure how much this should matter. For instance, what if he had stayed healthy and won 4 MVP awards between 1995 and 2002? If he had stayed healthy (as he did in 1997), it could have happened. He would have been issued multiple MVP Awards (greatly enhancing his HOF resume), despite the fact that everyone knew he was playing in the thin air of Colorado. Yes, it didn't happen, but he did hit .350 from 1997-2002, which is pretty unreal. That's Ty Cobb and Rogers Hornsby territory.

This is not a slam-dunk. He was hit pretty hard by injuries throughout his career and rarely dominated in quantity of numbers (never placed higher than 3rd in RBI). He was also a very good right fielder who won 7 Gold Gloves. His remarkably high career OBP (On Base %) and SLG put him in elite company and 8000 PA is enough to give him serious consideration. Add in the stolen bases (230) and 7 gold gloves and I think he should gain admission when he is eligible.
 
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