Loading... Please wait...

John Dewan's Stat of the Week

Stat of the Week: The Hall of Fame Value Standard Part II


Last week's Stat of the Week looked at Bill James’ newest creation, the Hall of Fame Value Standard (HOF-V), and how it analyzes the worthiness of some of the debatable position player candidates on this year’s Hall of Fame ballot. To supplement that, here’s a look at the pitcher candidates of a similar debatable status.

As a reminder, HOF-V is calculated by adding a player’s Win Shares and four times their Baseball-Reference Wins Above Replacement (WAR). A score of 500 is considered to be the standard for Hall of Fame worthiness.

Mike Mussina has the highest HOF-V score of any pitcher on the ballot not named Roger Clemens (who would be a certain Hall-of-Famer if not for PED allegations against him). Mussina’s HOF-V of 601.6 is higher than those of fellow former Orioles ace Jim Palmer (587.6) and a contemporary Hall-of-Famer, John Smoltz (565.0).

Curt Schilling is a notch below Mussina statistically, with 252 Win Shares and 79.6 WAR (to Mussina’s 270 and 82.9). Schilling crosses the threshold with an HOF-V of 570.4, and that's without even counting his postseason numbers (2.23 ERA in 133 1/3 innings).

Roy Halladay is polling very well among Hall of Fame voters, indicating that his election is likely. By the HOF-V, he comes up a little short at 479.2. James’ assessment is that the system looks at overall numbers rather than peak performance, and that penalizes Halladay enough to bring him below the line. There are Hall-of-Fame pitchers with an HOF-V below 500 -- among them is ex-Yankees ace Whitey Ford (488.6) -- so Halladay wouldn't be alone in that regard. James acknowledged he would vote for Halladay if he had a vote.

Andy Pettitte is also below the HOF-V line at 465.2, as he was deemed to have had a number of very good years, but not enough great years to add up to Hall of Fame status.

The system has imperfections when it comes to evaluating relief pitching. Both Mariano Rivera (497.8) and Billy Wagner (292.8) come in below the HOF-V bar. Rivera is widely considered to be the best relief pitcher of all-time. Wagner posted incredible numbers in strikeouts and saves.

But as James wrote in the 2019 Bill James Handbook, WAR and Win Shares don’t produce a number that represents a closer's true value.

“Although MLB field staff don’t think in those terms, they act as if they believe that the Leverage Index for a closer is about four to five … Win Shares and WAR both use Leverage Indexes for closers around 2.00. Let’s say Billy Wagner works 70 innings a year. With a Leverage Index of 2.00 his impact is more as it would be if he was pitching 140 innings a year at the same level of effectiveness … Wagner appears to have much less impact on his team than a good starting pitcher … But is this fair to Billy Wagner? … Wagner’s value is in essence kept in a cage because other people are acting on false assumptions. It’s not his fault. His value doesn’t reflect his performance level.”

If you want to check where your favorite player stands in the Hall of Fame Value Standard, go to Bill James Online. If you would like to read more about the Hall of Fame Value Standard, purchase the 2019 Bill James Handbook or visit the SIS Blog. The BBWAA will announce the newest inductees on January 22. Happy debating!

2019 HOF Eligible Pitchers
Roger Clemens995.4
Mike Mussina601.6
Curt Schilling570.4
Mariano Rivera497.8
Roy Halladay479.2
Andy Pettitte465.2
Roy Oswalt372.4
Derek Lowe311.6
Billy Wagner292.8
Freddy Garcia275.6
Ted Lilly220.4
Jon Garland209
Darren Oliver207.8

Cody Parkey and the Chicago Bears' Kicking Woes

During the 2015 NFL season, Bears kicker Robbie Gould missed six field goals, which was the most since his rookie season. Right before the 2016 season, the Bears decided to move on from [...]

Read More »

Stat of the Week: The Hall of Fame Value Standard

In the 2019 Bill James Baseball Handbook, Bill introduced a new stat meant to evaluate worthiness for induction to Cooperstown. He’s called it The Hall of Fame Value Standard. The Hall of Fame Value Standard (HOF-V) combines two statistics that assess player value -- Win Shares and Baseball-Reference.com Wins Above Replacement (the latter is multiplied by [...]

Read More »

Ban The Shift?

By JOHN DEWANOver the years in Stat of the Week we’ve analyzed the significant increase in shifting in baseball that has occurred since 2012. We have been proponents of this defensive strategy as we have demonstrated in many different ways that, when employed against the right batters in the right situations, shifting is very effective. [...]

Read More »

Stat of the Week: 2018 Year-End Awards Part II

Last week, we gave out some year-end MLB Awards to hitters, infielders, and outfielders. This week, we’re specifically rewarding the work of pitchers and catchers. Here are some honors that celebrate their outstanding performance.The Contact MinimizerThe Contact Minimizer goes to the pitcher who limited hard contact best in 2018. The winner of that honor is [...]

Read More »

Stat of the Week: 2018 Year-End Awards

We’re nearing the end of the year, so this seems like an appropriate time to bestow some statistically-driven baseball awards for 2018. These will round out the awards already given by the BBWAA. Without further ado…The Hard-Hitter AwardBaseball Info Solutions charting is such that every batted ball is deemed hard, medium or soft-hit, based on [...]

Read More »

Stat of the Week: A Statistical View of the College Football Playoff Field

The College Football Playoff field is set: the semifinal games on December 29 will feature No. 1 Alabama against No. 4 Oklahoma, and No. 2 Clemson against No. 3 Notre Dame. All four teams have had interesting storylines at quarterback, while also dominating in other facets of the game. Using Sports Info Solutions’ advanced metrics and [...]

Read More »

Stat of the Week: Adrián Beltré’s Excellence

Adrián Beltré’s highly-successful MLB career ended last week when he announced his retirement after 21 seasons and more than 2,900 games. [...]

Read More »

Stat of the Week: A Look at NFL & NBA Power Ratings

With the baseball postseason over, it’s time to immerse ourselves in the NFL and NBA. If you haven’t paid close attention to this point, or are just curious for some interesting analysis, the Bill James Online Power Ratings are here to help. NFL Bill James Online Power Ratings AFC Teams 1. Chiefs 110.9 2. Steelers 109.5 3. Ravens 108.5 4. Chargers 104.6 5. Patriots 103.8 Bill James Online Power Ratings NFC Teams 1. Saints 111.7 2. Rams 110.2 3. Bears 106.3 4. Seahawks 104.5 5. Panthers 101.4 The top NFL [...]

Read More »

Stat of the Week: Who are the best defensive free agents?

By MARK SIMONBaseball moves quickly these days. Free agency is already upon us, with some highly-coveted names in this year’s market. But who are the free agents who will be most coveted for their defense?Thirty-year-old second baseman DJ LeMahieu won his third career Gold Glove (he finished a close second to Kolten Wong in the [...]

Read More »

Sign up to our newsletter

Recent Updates