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The Grich Factor

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  • The Grich Factor

    Since the election of Blyleven and Santo, Grich has become the de facto #1 HOF cause (for me at least) among retired players no longer on the BBWAA ballot from the past 50 or so years. Among those who have retired and who's careers make them eligible for the Modern Era ballot through those who have retired as of the end of this season, how many other second basemen have a HOF case that are not in the HOF?

    I have the following as HOF worthy:

    1. Bobby Grich
    2. Lou WHitaker
    3. Jeff Kent
    4. Chase Utley

    Who am I forgetting? Who do you support at this position? How to you rank them? How to they compare to Bobby Grich's HOF case?

  • #2
    I agree with this list. Some people are going to throw in Willie Randolph, but I disagree with that. These are the 4 with Grich being the best.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by DaKid12 View Post
      I agree with this list. Some people are going to throw in Willie Randolph, but I disagree with that. These are the 4 with Grich being the best.
      Randolph was a great defensive 2B, but I agree. I put his overall career just a notch below the HOF.

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      • #4
        For me the clear #1 player from the last 50 years is Dick Allen, no question.

        Although Ross Barnes is the most deserving of all 2B, I have Jeff Kent as the most deserving of Modern Era 2B.

        1. Jeff Kent - by a noticeable margin
        ----------------
        2. Lou Whitaker
        3. Bobby Grich
        ----------------
        4. Chase Utley
        5. Willie Randolph

        All others are below the HOF line
        Last edited by dgarza; 11-08-2018, 04:38 AM.

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        • #5
          Looking at JAWS. There are 20 second basemen in the HOF. In the top 20 at 2B we see these non-hall-of-famers:

          7 - Cano
          8 - Grich
          11 - Utley
          13 - Whitaker
          17 - Randolph
          18 - Kinsler
          19 - Pedroia
          20 - Kent

          Among the next ten we see these six HOFers: Herman, Doerr, Fox, Lazzeri, McPhee, Evers. At the bottom we see: 36 - Schoendienst and 51 - Mazeroski. Ross Barnes is #66, but when you adjust for the short schedules he's in the top five 2B all-time.
          Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam, circumspice.

          Comprehensive Reform for the Veterans Committee -- Fixing the Hall continued.

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          • #6
            I do not want to derail this conversation, but I still cannot get over how Kent isn’t higher in all in these rankings. I watched his entire career and from San Francisco on, there was no doubt in my mind I was watching a Hall of Famer. Never did I think Craig Biggio was the better player. I honestly thought he’d be a first ballot guy when he retired, and now it looks like he won’t even be voted in within 10 years. I hope he eventually finds a way in.

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            • #7
              For a guy who didn't 'feel' like a HOFer, he needs great counting stats to make it. Whitaker lasted a long time and almost made the cut..I think he needed 3000 hits or something like that. Grich wasn't consistent, but he did have 2 or 3 nice peak seasons. I suppose a guy with Whitaker's longevity and consistency, combined with Grich's peak would be a HOFer. Maybe that would be Trammell.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by DaKid12 View Post
                I do not want to derail this conversation, but I still cannot get over how Kent isn’t higher in all in these rankings. I watched his entire career and from San Francisco on, there was no doubt in my mind I was watching a Hall of Famer. Never did I think Craig Biggio was the better player. I honestly thought he’d be a first ballot guy when he retired, and now it looks like he won’t even be voted in within 10 years. I hope he eventually finds a way in.
                One of the main reasons Kent tends to get dinged is that second base is traditionally seen as a defensive position and while Kent wasn't a bad defensive player, he is not in the same class as Grich or Randolph defensively. Offensively, he was one of the most dominant players ever to field the position and I share your bewilderment over how much of a struggle it has been for him just to stay on the ballot.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by jjpm74 View Post

                  One of the main reasons Kent tends to get dinged is that second base is traditionally seen as a defensive position and while Kent wasn't a bad defensive player, he is not in the same class as Grich or Randolph defensively. Offensively, he was one of the most dominant players ever to field the position and I share your bewilderment over how much of a struggle it has been for him just to stay on the ballot.
                  Kent is a short career, traditional, peak candidate. He didn't do anything of note until age 29 when he joined the Giants. Kent has the traditional stats of a HoF caliber second baseman (.290 BA, 500 SLG, 376 HR, 1,518 RBI, 1,320 R, 560 doubles. The modern metrics aren't as high on Kent due to hsi defense and late career start.
                  Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules View Post

                    Kent is a short career, traditional, peak candidate. He didn't do anything of note until age 29 when he joined the Giants. Kent has the traditional stats of a HoF caliber second baseman (.290 BA, 500 SLG, 376 HR, 1,518 RBI, 1,320 R, 560 doubles. The modern metrics aren't as high on Kent due to hsi defense and late career start.
                    What about the theory that it's best to finish strong than start strong? I wonder if Kent would be viewed differently if he was great up until age 29 then faded in his 30s?

                    At 2298 games, he certainly is not a 'short career guy'.

                    He is basically Jim Rice at second base.
                    Last edited by willshad; 11-08-2018, 10:33 AM.

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                    • #11
                      I have the following as HoF worthy:

                      1. Bobby Grich
                      2. Lou Whitaker
                      3. Chase Utley

                      Kent's poor defense excludes and the dubious league quality,until a few years ago the National Association 1871-1875 wasn't classified as a major league, excludes Ross Barnes.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by willshad View Post

                        What about the theory that it's best to finish strong than start strong? I wonder if Kent would be viewed differently if he was great up until age 29 then faded in his 30s?

                        At 2298 games, he certainly is not a 'short career guy'.

                        He is basically Jim Rice at second base.
                        What I meant by short career guy is that his packed his best seasons in his 30's. Even his age 29 season with the Giants wasn't that great. Yes, he hit 29 HR with 128 RBI, 90 R, 38 doubles. But he only hit .250/.319/.472, 105 OPS+. Kent did have 4.1 WAR which is just short of borderline All Star. So through age 29 Kent had a career 106 OPS+. That is decidedly non Hall of Fame caliber. Then from age 30-39 Kent hit .301/.373/.529, 133 OPS+. Kent's lack of great production in his 20's hurts his Hall of Fame case. Had he started his run even just two years earlier that would have helped him a lot IMO. Even so, Kent is the career leader in HR by second basemen and is just one of three second basemen (Hornsby, LaJoie) in history with over 1,500 RBI. Kent is just the second second baseman to have a career .500 slugging percentage. Kent also has 560 doubles which is fourth all time among second basemen (Biggio, LaJoie, Gehringer).
                        Last edited by Honus Wagner Rules; 11-08-2018, 11:26 AM.
                        Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by jjpm74 View Post
                          how many other second basemen have a HOF case that are not in the HOF?
                          I know he gets knocked around a lot on these boards, but I do have Chuck Knoblauch as my highest ranked Modern Age 2B not in the Hall and not quite worthy of the Hall. While I dont believer he belongs, I think his case is very strong. Multi-position players Tony Phillips and Julio Franco are in the same tier.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules View Post

                            Kent is a short career, traditional, peak candidate. He didn't do anything of note until age 29 when he joined the Giants. Kent has the traditional stats of a HoF caliber second baseman (.290 BA, 500 SLG, 376 HR, 1,518 RBI, 1,320 R, 560 doubles. The modern metrics aren't as high on Kent due to hsi defense and late career start.
                            He really isn't a short career guy. He's 117th all time in plate appearances, and qualified for the batting title 13 times. In his four other seasons, he was in the 470's for PA's three times, and had 343 PA's as a rookie. If anything, he is a long career candidate at 2B. Only Biggio, Collins, Morgan, Carew, Lajoie, Alomar, Fox, Gehringer, Frisch, and Whitaker have more PA's amongst primary second basemen (and Carew is a partial second baseman). He's 11th in PA's at second all time with second as their primary position.

                            He might seem like it versus Biggio, but Biggio is 11th all time in PA's. Everyone from Alomar downwards on the above list is less than 1000 PA's in front of Kent.


                            Edit: I was typing this up before Honus' clarification. But my points are still valid in general.
                            Last edited by Toledo Inquisition; 11-08-2018, 11:41 AM.
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                            • #15
                              My Top 10 Second Basemen (MLB only) Outside Cooperstown

                              1. Bobby Grich (eligible for 2020 Modern Era)
                              2. Lou Whitaker (eligible for 2020 Modern Era)
                              3. Ross Barnes (eligible for 2021 Early Baseball)
                              4. Robinson Cano (ineligible due to active player status)
                              5. Chase Utley (ineligible due to 5-year wait for BBWAA)
                              6. Jeff Kent (eligible for 2019 BBWAA)
                              7. Willie Randolph (eligible for 2020 Modern Era)
                              8. Ian Kinsler (ineligible due to active player status)
                              9. Hardy Richardson (eligible for 2021 Early Baseball)
                              10. Fred Dunlap (eligible for 2021 Early Baseball)
                              "It is a simple matter to erect a Hall of Fame, but difficult to select the tenants." -- Ken Smith
                              "I am led to suspect that some of the electorate is very dumb." -- Henry P. Edwards
                              "You have a Hall of Fame to put people in, not keep people out." -- Brian Kenny
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