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Hall of Fame Twitter Chatter

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We are very close to finding out who will be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2018. Thanks to some writers releasing their ballots publicly, we know just about half of the results, and there are a number of candidates who we know for sure won't make it this season. We wanted to shine a light on two of those guys who have been the subject of extensive Twitter discussions recently: Andruw Jones and Scott Rolen.

Let's start with Jones. Benjamin Hoffman of the New York Times discusses Andruw at length in this article, which includes information provided by us at Sports Info Solutions. We've included one of the tables from that piece below. It lists Jones as the fourth-best defensive outfielder of all time by the fielding portion of Bill James' Win Shares system, which is the best way to compare defense across eras. Ben quotes me in his article: There is no question that Andruw Jones was one of the best defensive outfielders of all time.

Career Fielding Win Shares Leaders, Outfielders
Player Fielding Win Shares
Tris Speaker* 117.8
Willie Mays* 103.6
Max Carey* 94.8
Andruw Jones 85.5
Ty Cobb* 82.6
Marquis Grissom 79.2
Torii Hunter 78.7
Willie Davis 78.3
Curt Flood 75.1
Richie Ashburn* 73.8
*Hall of Famer

Jones is one of those rare candidates who was so good in one aspect of the game that a case is being made for him based on that alone. That said, his injury-riddled thirties robbed him of the opportunity to achieve the longevity and late-career consistency that might have made him a shoo-in.

As for Rolen, he played the hot corner as well as or better than anyone of his era. He still ranks second among players who have played in the last 16 years in Defensive Runs Saved at third base despite being retired for five years and the statistic not existing for the first six-plus years of his career. Moving to Win Shares as a way to compare players' overall value to their teams, Rolen falls in the group just below the inner-circle Hall of Famers at the position.

Career Win Shares Leaders, Primary 3B
Rank Player Win Shares
1 Mike Schmidt* 467
2 Eddie Mathews* 450
3 George Brett* 432
4 Chipper Jones 416
5 Wade Boggs* 394
6 Adrian Beltre 366
7 Darrell Evans 363
8 Brooks Robinson* 356
9 Ron Santo* 324
10 Graig Nettles 321
11 Stan Hack 316
12 Scott Rolen 305
T-13 Home Run Baker* 301
T-13 Buddy Bell 301
T-15 Toby Harrah 287
T-15 Bob Elliott 287
*Hall of Famer

With Chipper Jones' expected election next week, seven of the top nine third basemen in Win Shares will be in the Hall of Fame, and Adrian Beltre could make it eight when he calls it a career. Only Darrell Evans would be missing. Unfortunately for Rolen, he falls below that group, but is very much in spitting distance of those already enshrined.

Several very interesting articles on this topic were recently posted by Bill James at Bill James Online.

About Win Shares: Developed by Bill James to assess a player's value to his team, one Win Share is set equal to one-third of a win. If you add up all the wins a team has, the team Win Share total is exactly three times that number. A player's hitting, fielding, and pitching performance are each taken as a separate component of Win Shares, the sum of which is his overall Win Shares total.

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