Almost Unbiased Hall of Fame Breakdown

by 7:16 PM 0 comments

Greetings Plumpertons.  As you know, life is miserable right now.  The icy chill of the polar vortex pierces us to our souls, which are already wanting and empty by the lack of professional baseball and football.  And of course, nothing extinguishes the last vestiges of warmth within us like the existential nightmare that is coach hiring. Plagued by these decidedly first world problems, the last thing anyone wants to do spend time researching HOF candidates.  After all, examining and discussing Hall of Fame worthiness is a tired, often frustrating exercise.  However, since we devote an absurd amount of our lives to these fake players, we may as well create a fake Hall of Fame worthy of those we adulate.  Hopefully, one man's almost-unbiased overview of the most eligible candidates will provide a little background and at least ensure maximum voter turnout.

For background purposes, to be eligible for any HBD HOF, players must meet the following requirements: Position players: 10+ years of ML experience with 400+ PA per season; Relief pitchers; 10+ years of ML experience with 50+ IP per season; Starting pitchers: 10+ years of ML experience with 150+ IP per season.  As far as I can tell, players do not have a maximum numbers of years eligible as in MLB.

Just because I was curious, I looked up how our HBD Hall of Fame compares to the MLB Hall of Fame by position distribution:

Count of Hall of Fame Members by Position
Numerical Order
Number of Inductees
Center Fielders
First Basemen
Left Fielders

Right Fielders

Second Basemen
Third Basemen
Designated Hitters
Number of Inductees
Hall of Fame Positional Frequency

HBD Hall of Fame by position (as determined by me):
1B – 5; COF – 4; SP – 7; 2B – 2; 3B – 3; CF – 1; C – 2

At least three caveats apply here.  One, HBD positions are more fluid than MLB positions, since the ratings are all that dictates fielding ability (experience at a position doesn’t matter).  Two, the MLB Hall features many inductees appointed by a Veterans Committee and formerly a Negro Leagues Committee, which muddles the comparison to the strict merits-based voting of HBD.  Finally, our HBD Hall obviously reflects a tiny sample.  

With those in mind, the only clear trend (based on ZERO mathematical analysis) I see is that Plumpy voters are more likely to vote for power-hitting 1B/COF than MLB voters, and less likely to vote for players at defensive skill positions like CF and SS.  This may be due to the lingering effects of the season 1-14 steroid era (see Todd Ford – a 1st ballot HOFer without the juice, but season 10 gives you an example of easy HRs came during the golden age of Plumpy), the relative ease of hitting HRs in HBD compared to MLB, or the dead defense era (check out the + play stats until about season 14).  In any case, I would argue Plumpy voters should pay a little more attention to value provided at tough defensive positions, and a little less attention to traditional MLB HOF statistical benchmarks like 400 HR.  

Okay let’s actually look at the players and stop this pseudo-intellectual babbling.  I have narrowed the candidate pool down to only players I think could arguably be included in this year’s top 5:


Einar Pena – SP

Key Stats:  325-128 W/L, 3.00 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 3724/1348 K/BB
Best Season:  23-1, 2.26 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, all in San Juan’s slugger’s paradise.  Lost second to last start of the season 1-0 or would have been undefeated.
Argument: Um, he’s the best pitcher Plumpy’s ever seen?  


Andrew Fox – CF

Key Stats:  .277/.351/.574, 533 HR, 1246/1383 R/RBI, 227 SB
Bling:  1 lonely Gold Glove-CF, 1 AS nod, and two SS-CF…the award logic is the worst
Best Season:  .299/.378/.640, 45 HR 105/105 R/RBI
Argument:  Andrew Fox requires you to look past the surface to see how clearly he deserves to be a HOFer, although a lifetime .925 OPS and 533 HR with gold-glove defense in CENTER FIELD and base-stealing ability should be enough on its own.  But he did all this playing most of his career in the offensive wasteland that is Tacoma, a -4 -4 -4 -4 -4 black hole where enjoyable fake baseball goes to die.  He’s probably the best true CF Plumpy has ever seen.


Barry Bowman – CF

Key Stats:  .289/.360/.479, 383 HR, 1731/1513 R/RBI, 428 SB, 2805 H
Bling:  10 AS appearances, 8 SS (CF) and two Gold Gloves
Best Season:  .308/.376/.560, 36 HR 108/109 R/RBI, 39 SB – BANANAS for a true SS
Argument:  Like Fox, Barry Bowman’s batting resume only shines brighter when you consider the heartland dump (-1 -2 -1 -2 -2) he called home for his entire career.  This sweet-swinging lefty is one of only 8 Plumpy players to notch 1500 Runs and 1500 RBI, and guess where the other 7 are enshrined.  The career Settler also played gold-glove defense in Center, totaling 107 plus plays and only 3 minus plays for his career in CF.  Pepper in elite base-stealing ability and you’ve got a clear-cut Hall of Famer. 

Pedro Campos – SS

Key Stats:  .291/.354/.493, 311 HR, 1362/1205 R/RBI, 288 SB
Bling:  2 MVPs, 10 AS appearances, 5 SS (3Band SS) and two Gold Gloves
Best Season:  .307/.364/.593, 36 HR 112/141 R/RBI – BANANAS for a true SS
Argument:  If Campos doesn’t get in, we may as well declare positional value dead.  He is the best all-around SS Plumpy has ever seen – power, speed, patience, solid defense at SS, on-base ability, even chiseled good looks.  He’s got all the hardware: two-time MVP (one of 12 in Plumpy history, 6 of the others are already HOFers), ten-time all-star, and even won a Home Run derby.  Only real nit to pick is the power numbers are aided by a career in sunny San Juan +0 +2 +0 +2 +3, but that shouldn't stop him from being the long overdue first SS in Plumpy HOF history. 

Vic Herrera – SP

Key Stats:  275-182 W/L, 3.61 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 3542/1380 K/BB
Bling:  1 Cy Young, 6 AS appearances
Best Season:  21-8, 2.21 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 203/76 K/BB
Argument:  3rd on the Plumpy all-time Wins leaderboard, more than any current HOFer.  Classic great for 20 years over elite for 12 example, the Bert Blyleven of Plumpy.  4000 innings of clear No. 1 starter level pitching, incredibly durable.  Better career than some of the SPs already inducted.


Rich King – 1B/LF

Key Stats:  .293/.370/.533, 420 HR, 1722/1353 R/RBI, 814 SB
Bling:  10 AS appearances, 5 SS (LF and 1B)
Best Season:  .316/.395/.597, 43 HR 177/136 R/RBI, 73 SB – BONKERS for anyone
Argument:  Rich King is a terrifying offensive triple threat: he gets on base, steals bases efficiently and prolifically (top 5 all time in career steals), and can hit HRs like a man who’s much, much slower and fatter.  Ireland's best baseballer (look it up) flat-out produces runs (top 10 in career runs scored) like a night of Guiness and Bangers, or something.  However, he did most of it in Hartford, the +2 +3 +1 +4 +4 insurance runs capital of the world.  Given that discount, his offensive output remains outstanding, but below the standard set by the roided-out 1B/COFs already in the Hall.  He may well be deserving, but I don't think it's this year.


Geoffrey McNamara - SP

Key Stats:  221-130 W/L, 3.61 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 2800/1074 K/BB
Bling:  7 AS appearances
Best Season:  21-7, 2.87 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 237/80 K/BB
Argument:  Clear-cut Ace for better part of two decades.  Eerily similar numbers to Herrera, but 1000 fewer innings logged.  Pretty darn similar resume to an SP that snuck in during the early years of the Plumpy HOF (I'm looking at you Nate Maduro).  Without Herrera's longevity, the ERA/WHIP are great but not Hall-worthy, especially with no Cy Youngs.  For me, McNamara is just about the best pitcher I'm willing to put comfortably outside the hall.  There's McNamara, a gray area, and then eternal greatness.  Not a great epitaph.

Mateo Bennett - 3B

Key Stats:  .282/.342/.487, 485 HR, 1376/1632 R/RBI, 2711 H
Bling:  Just 2 AS appearances, 1 Gold Glove, Rookie of the Year
Best Season:  .293/.366/.550, 37 HR 84/109 R/RBI
Argument: Hitting 485 bombs and playing gold glove caliber defense at 3B is a very good start - could even play a subpar SS for a couple years at his peak.  This switch-hitter was a stalwart in the middle of the lineup and at a skill defensive position for 15 solid seasons, playing 162 games 5 times.  However, due to defensive interchangeability in Plumpy, 3Bs aren't as tough to find as in the MLB.  But the clincher is that Bennett only OPSed over .900 one time.  To use a contrived, largely imperfect architecture metaphor, he was a cornerstone but never the keystone.

Miguel Rojas - RP

Key Stats:  552 Saves, 72-89 W/L, 3.58 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 710/341 K/BB
Bling:  9 AS appearances, 3 Fireman of the Year
Best Season:  40/45 SV/SVOpp, 5-4, 2.09 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 51/18 K/BB
Argument:  Most Saves in Plumpy history, by a lot - 100 more than the no. 3 closer, 38 more than 2nd place.  Great longevity, solid ERA and WHIP compared to HOF SPs, but a much worse ERA and WHIP than other elite relievers like Pascual Fernandez and Doug Caruso.  In fact, among HOF-eligible RPs, Rojas's ERA ranks a pedestrian 12th, despite playing his whole career in HR-depressing San Fran (+1 0 +3 -3 -3).  Pitched less than 1000 innings for his career, or 3.5 seasons for Vic Herrera.  Personally, I don't think he's close, but those who appreciate closers would disagree.


Steve Myatt, Rafael Henriquez, Julius Moreno:  If you're looking for a 1B/COF with a career OPS of .874-.887, 470-575 HR, and 1200-1500 R/RBI, you've got enough choices here to convince me that none of them is a special enough snowflake for our fake Hall of Fame.

Philip Gardner: Your .415 lifetime OBP makes me so, so moist, but it isn't enough on its own.

Jim Maxwell, Rico Rosa:  James, your roid-era-free .886 OPS at 2B is outstanding, at LF not quite enough.  Rico, your elite 2B defense and crazy pop for a skill position are amazing, but not so amazing considering you played exclusively during peresteroidka...SOVIET DOPING PUN.

Aaron Hinske: You have a 4.00+ ERA.  Kindly leave.

Lots of Steroid-era players who didn't play very long:  Tough cannolis.

So there you have it.  1000 words on RETIRED fake ballplayers when I could have just gone on world chat and posted Pena/Fox/Campos/Bowman/Herrera.  Let's Get out the Vote.  





Commissioner of the fakest fake baseball league on the planet: Plumpy Rules!!!!111