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  • Stephen Strasburg

    Somehow Stephen Strasburg does not appear to have a thread here.

    The newly minted 2019 World Series MVP just completed his tenth season at 112-58, .659 W% 3.17 ERA, 130 ERA+, 33.9 bWAR (32.6 pitching), 1695 strikeouts, 10.6 K/9, 1.09 WHIP, 2.96 FIP, 4.50 K/BB, 3 ASG, led the NL in innings and wins this year and just completed a dominating undefeated postseason.

    Strasburg has famously missed a lot of time due to injury while being excellent when healthy, but has only one top three Cy Young finish to date (although possibly another top 3 this year, likely top 5). Next year is his age 31 season, and he may be headed towards free agency if he exercises his opt out. What are his chances for the HOF going forward?

  • #2
    Strasburg's pitched at a HOF level when healthy; he just hadn't been healthy enough often enough in his career so far to have an unimpeachable case. A 3.17 career ERA in 2019 is fantastic.

    To have such an unimpeachable case, he will have to be healthy enough in his thirties to roughly double what he's done so far.

    The pitcher win may be dead in some quarters, but starters without 200 wins have had very poor fortunes to date with the BBWAA & the various VC's.

    Strasburg has a better shot at 3000 K's; he's only got about 1300 to go, and they're easier to come by than ever in today's game. It's probably just a matter of getting enough innings.

    The key for him is to retain his ability and stay healthy. (This feels kind of like a Captain Obvious statement, but so be it.)

    The fabulous postseason Strasburg just recorded, leading his squad to a ring, will be a wonderful narrative hook for him.

    It would help from an aesthetic perspective if he stayed with Washington & enmesh his legacy with one team. Stars that bounce around a lot have a harder time. (McGriff and Sheffield come to mind, although there are other reasons why they're not in, especially in Sheffield's case.)
    Last edited by Cougar; 10-31-2019, 08:50 AM.

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    • #3
      In ten seasons, only 2 with 200+ IPs and only 3 with 150+ IPs. That definitely hurts his case. Sitting out the 2012 post season because of a pitch limit also doesn't help his case, but might have saved his career (look at Harvey). What does help is his stellar post season record this year and what will help is if he can win a couple of Cy Youngs and stay healthy and dominant for the next 5-6 seasons he will have a great case. I wouldn't count him out, but to this point in his career, he has been a great pitcher, but has not done enough for HOF consideration.

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      • #4
        The type of guy you would like on your team..but a HOFer? I don't see it, unless he can be like Verlander, Greinke or Scherzer in his 30s.

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        • #5
          No chance unless he has a randy johnson late surge. He is a very good pitcher but he hasn't really had top3 in the league years and he also regularly has underperformed his peripherals (2.96 fip vs 3.17 career era). Also some injury issue albeit not as bad as people feared when he got TJ almost right away in pro ball.

          Stil the notion that he is a bust was way overblown. He of course was the best pitching prospect of all time and one of the most hyped first overall picks and didn't quite become that superstar but still a 3-5 war pitcher every year, that is well above the average first overall pick albeit expectations of course were higher.
          I now have my own non commercial blog about training for batspeed and power using my training experience in baseball and track and field.

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          • #6
            If Strasburg can stay healthy, then I think that he'll get into the Hall of Fame. I give him a 60% chance right now.

            Two of his last three seasons have been excellent. And to top it off, he's been a beast in the postseason.

            Take a look at Kirby Puckett. His regular season numbers aren't that great at all. But he was a first-ballot Hall of Famer. I strongly believe that his postseason heroics got him to the Hall so quickly. Puckett has a 124 career OPS+, 134 steals at a below-average 63.8% clip, and 51 WAR. Those are hardly Hall of Fame numbers.

            If Strasburg can put together 2 more great seasons, and two more good ones, then he'll get into the Hall. I see Strasburg ending up with around 51 WAR(like Puckett). The different with Strasburg is that he won't get in on his first attempt. He'll need several attempts to get into the Hall of Fame; perhaps 6-7 attempts.

            But I see Strasburg in the Hall. His postseason pitching has been insane.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by pheasant View Post
              If Strasburg can stay healthy, then I think that he'll get into the Hall of Fame. I give him a 60% chance right now.

              Two of his last three seasons have been excellent. And to top it off, he's been a beast in the postseason.

              Take a look at Kirby Puckett. His regular season numbers aren't that great at all. But he was a first-ballot Hall of Famer. I strongly believe that his postseason heroics got him to the Hall so quickly. Puckett has a 124 career OPS+, 134 steals at a below-average 63.8% clip, and 51 WAR. Those are hardly Hall of Fame numbers.

              If Strasburg can put together 2 more great seasons, and two more good ones, then he'll get into the Hall. I see Strasburg ending up with around 51 WAR(like Puckett). The different with Strasburg is that he won't get in on his first attempt. He'll need several attempts to get into the Hall of Fame; perhaps 6-7 attempts.

              But I see Strasburg in the Hall. His postseason pitching has been insane.
              Puckett had a short career, just 7,831 PA's. He had five 200+ hit seasons (led in hits 4x) , won a batting title, let in RBI once, led twice in totals bases. He was also a 12x All Star. Strausberg's case is nothing like Kirby Puckett.
              Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

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              • #8
                I think if he gets to 3,000 strikeouts he's got a shot but it will be tough. If he could supplement that with a Cy Young it would really help his chances.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by pheasant View Post
                  If Strasburg can stay healthy, then I think that he'll get into the Hall of Fame. I give him a 60% chance right now.

                  Two of his last three seasons have been excellent. And to top it off, he's been a beast in the postseason.

                  Take a look at Kirby Puckett. His regular season numbers aren't that great at all. But he was a first-ballot Hall of Famer. I strongly believe that his postseason heroics got him to the Hall so quickly. Puckett has a 124 career OPS+, 134 steals at a below-average 63.8% clip, and 51 WAR. Those are hardly Hall of Fame numbers.

                  If Strasburg can put together 2 more great seasons, and two more good ones, then he'll get into the Hall. I see Strasburg ending up with around 51 WAR(like Puckett). The different with Strasburg is that he won't get in on his first attempt. He'll need several attempts to get into the Hall of Fame; perhaps 6-7 attempts.

                  But I see Strasburg in the Hall. His postseason pitching has been insane.
                  51 WAR in 11 full seasons, though IS in HOF territory. Plus very good postseason and leveraging numbers. Potential park issues (rrOPS+) brings him down to REALLY borderline, though.
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Bothrops Atrox View Post

                    51 WAR in 11 full seasons, though IS in HOF territory.
                    51 WAR in Puckett's 12 seasons from 1984-1995 sandwiches him between HOFers Tim Raines and Alan Trammell. That's definitely in HOF territory.
                    Plus hits 2300+ hits in just 12 seasons is like what Pete Rose was doing in his first 12 years or so. That was more hits than Gwynn or Boggs had in that time period.
                    Puckett had the 3rd highest BA for players with 1000+ games.
                    2nd in RBIs, 3rd in doubles, 5th in runs.
                    10x AS, 9x MVP candidate, 53rd in all time MVP shares

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by lyrical View Post
                      Somehow Stephen Strasburg does not appear to have a thread here.
                      This is a small miracle indeed.

                      Where have you gone, Cowtipper?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by dgarza View Post
                        51 WAR in Puckett's 12 seasons from 1984-1995 sandwiches him between HOFers Tim Raines and Alan Trammell. That's definitely in HOF territory.
                        Plus hits 2300+ hits in just 12 seasons is like what Pete Rose was doing in his first 12 years or so. That was more hits than Gwynn or Boggs had in that time period.
                        Puckett had the 3rd highest BA for players with 1000+ games.
                        2nd in RBIs, 3rd in doubles, 5th in runs.
                        10x AS, 9x MVP candidate, 53rd in all time MVP shares
                        And WAR is almost certainly not giving Kirby enough credit for his defense. He has -14 Rfield despite winning six gold gloves.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by willshad View Post

                          And WAR is almost certainly not giving Kirby enough credit for his defense. He has -14 Rfield despite winning six gold gloves.
                          First of all, "WAR" in this context is Baseball-Reference's version (rWAR or bWAR if you will). Secondly, dWAR is more appropriate than merely Rfield if you're talking about how "WAR" measures his defense. Puckett's dWAR on BR is -0.3, which means he was basically average.

                          Thirdly, this is a career number, which means it includes Puckett's defense throughout his career. Essentially, the metric is saying that Puckett was roughly average (on average) throughout his MLB career, which lasted from age 24-35. That's no slight on a guy who managed to stay in center until he reached his mid-thirties.

                          Finally, the metric shows Puckett to have been an outstanding fielder early in his MLB career, but that he dropped to roughly average from his prime years forward.

                          In other words, that's a reasonable assessment of any defensive center fielder. It accounts for the change in performance over the player's career arc.

                          The metric demonstrates nuance in how it explains Puckett, as contrasted to your statement. You're looking at cumulative defensive value and comparing it to a handful of awards for specific individual seasons, for example.

                          Finally, the fact that Puckett received awards in years immediately following his fantastic defensive performances (in which he initially established his reputation as a great defender), is as likely proof that Gold Glove voters were at least going off the man's reputation - as opposed to his specific performance that season - as it is that "WAR" (not the voters) might be off in its assessment.

                          Your statement is based on the assumption that the voters accurately assessed Puckett's performance and that "WAR" did not. That's an assumption - your assumption; it is not a fact.
                          "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
                          "There's no such thing as a perfect ballot." -- Jay Jaffe

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                          • #14
                            Here are the top 5 each year in fielding component for rWAR for the relevant years (when Puckett started in CF):

                            1984 – Kirby Puckett (3.1), Chet Lemon (2.0), Lloyd Moseby (2.0), Gary Ward (1.5), Gary Pettis (0.8)
                            1985 – Rickey Henderson (1.3), Gary Pettis (1.2), Kirby Puckett (0.9), Chet Lemon (0.9), John Shelby (0.7)
                            1986 – Gary Pettis (2.2), Dwayne Murphy (1.7), Chet Lemon (1.4), Rickey Henderson (0.6), Daryl Boston (0.6)
                            1987 – Gary Pettis (1.5), Ken Williams (0.8), Rickey Henderson (0.8), Bill Bean (0.7), Daryl Boston (0.4)
                            1988 – Devon White (1.1), Gary Pettis (1.1), Dave Henderson (1.0), Brady Anderson (0.8), Kirby Puckett (0.7)
                            1989 – Devon White (2.4), Dave Henderson (1.9), Randy Kutcher (1.1), Cecil Espy (0.7), Mike Devereaux (0.6)
                            1990 – Roberto Kelly (2.2), Mitch Webster (1.8), Dave Henderson (1.2), Mookie Wilson (0.6), Ken Williams (0.5)
                            1991 – Devon White (1.8), Lance Johnson (1.8), Mike Devereaux (1.6), Milt Cuyler (1.5), Steve Lyons (1.0)
                            1992 – Devon White (3.5), Kenny Lofton (1.9), Lance Johnson (1.5), Gary Pettis (0.9), Mike Devereaux (0.7)
                            1993 – Kenny Lofton (1.7), Lance Johnson (1.7), Devon White (1.6), Ken Griffey (0.6), Milt Cuyler (0.6)

                            You’ll notice several things here:

                            1 – No individual stays at the top of this list for long. Center field is where the best defensive outfielders go and it’s dominated by younger players, as one would expect, given the importance of speed/range.

                            2 – Seldom are the top defenders more than marginally better than the average defenders at the position. You see above a top 5 for 10 straight seasons, a total of 50 individuals. Only two of those 50 (4%) put up 3.0 dWAR, only 7 (35%) had 2.0; only 30 (60%) were 1.0 WAR above an average centerfielder in terms of defensive output. The difference between an average defensive CF (which is already a great fielder) and a great defensive CF isn’t nearly as great as, say, the difference between a great hitter and an average hitter.

                            3 – The other names on this list were highly thought of as defensive players, by reputation. Ken Griffey Jr. won 10 Gold Gloves. Devon White won 7. Gary Pettis won 5. Kenny Lofton won 4.

                            Puckett’s 6 Gold Glove Awards came, by the way, in the following seasons:

                            1986 (Pettis and Jesse Barfield also won)
                            1987 (Dave Winfield and Barfield also won)
                            1988 (Pettis and White also won)
                            1989 (Pettis and White also won)
                            1991 (White and Griffey also won)
                            1992 (White and Griffey also won)

                            Defensive WAR components in other systems may order players differently, but most will have mostly the same names at or near the top. It’s possible, perhaps probable, that all of Puckett’s Gold Gloves were at least awarded because he hit well at center and was a solid defender there after having been an outstanding one. It’s the same reason Ken Griffey would win at least a few of his.

                            Another, perhaps more unfair reason is that Gold Glove voters made no distinction between left fielders, center fielders and right fielders during most of the award’s history, thus seeing that a vastly disproportionate number of outfield Gold Glove Awards went to center fielders.

                            Your contention that “WAR” is wrong because you mistakenly think it says “Puckett sucks” on defense and because it challenges whether he deserved 6 Gold Glove Awards (which it does) is a false premise with faulty logic. Perhaps you should spend more time looking at things in context and less hasty to attack something you don’t understand.

                            How is “WAR” and Rfield so accurate with these other guys, but we’ve got to throw the baby out with the bathwater just because you’re as blind to Kirby’s late-20s decline in the field. Is it surprising that an extremely popular player with a great bat who had been a stellar fielder just years earlier would benefit from that reputation despite diminished performance due (presumably) to his weight gain.

                            On May 4, 1986 in The Orlando Sentinel, Brian Schmidtz wrote the following:

                            “Kirby Puckett has caused almost as many nervous breakdowns among American League pitching staffs this season as he did the day he stepped on a scale for Minnesota Twins officials in February at Tinker Field.

                            “Puckett sent trainers scrambling to revive alarmed Manager Ray Miller when he weighed in at a fleshy 212 pounds. Apparently on the Tommy Lasorda Diet, Puckett gained a whopping 17 pounds during the winter, give or take a few doughnuts.

                            “The problem was that 212 pounds on the stocky, 5-foot-8 Puckett made him look more like a Saturday night bowler than a ball-hawking center fielder. Miller was worried that the extra set of Samsonite Puckett was carrying around would affect Kirby’s speed….”

                            Heck, fellow sportswriter Jim Murray quipped that Puckett had become a “cantaloupe with legs”.

                            Perhaps “WAR” is accurately reflecting Puckett’s performance and that the Gold Glove voters were not?
                            "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
                            "There's no such thing as a perfect ballot." -- Jay Jaffe

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Strasburg

                              His only hope for election is a case built on career production. His peak hasn't been high enough and it's even less likely at this age that he'll set a new peak level than that he'll stay healthy for another decade.
                              "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
                              "There's no such thing as a perfect ballot." -- Jay Jaffe

                              Comment

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