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Would Edgar Martinez be a HoF is he played 3B for his entire career?

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  • Would Edgar Martinez be a HoF is he played 3B for his entire career?

    One thing that really hurts Edgar is that he doesn't really have a position so we can't put him into context against the games greatest players. If he would have stayed at 3B that would have given him context. Let's assume that he is/was a 3B. Where would you rank him among the greatest 3B?
    Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

  • #2
    It would depend on how good of a 3Bman he was. He would be a HOFer if he didn't spend most of his career as a DH. However, there was a reason he had to DH - he wasn't good enough to play a position. Who knows, if he had to field each day, maybe he doesn't hit as well for as long as he did. That being said, if Martinez were average at 3rd with the same offense (two big iffs), I would rank him around seventh or eighth all-time.
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    • #3
      If he had stayed a third baseman and had numbers similar to the ones he has now... sure, I guess, it'd be hard to say no him.
      "Hall of Famer Whitey Ford now on the field... pleading with the crowd for, for some kind of sanity!"

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      • #4
        He's a legitimate HoFer as is. What I think gets overlooked is that maybe he would've been a bad defensive 1Bman if he played his whole career there (why is 3B the criteria?), but there was the option of keeping his bat in the lineup without having to take the field and having an extra bat fill the easiest position to fill in baseball. That has value. What's to say that if the DH rule had never been adopted that Edgar would have been out of a job? It's a 1Bman's job to be a hitter, and a team's DH on a given day isn't always it's best hitter. That was rarley the case when Edgar was DH.

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        • #5
          If he'd have been a poor-to-average defensive third baseman for two-thirds of his career and ended up at 1st or DH for the final third, he'd be a shoo-in for the Hall and would rate among the top 10 third basemen in history. A majority of his detractors are primarily hung-up on the DH issue alone.
          "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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          • #6
            Originally posted by STLCards2
            It would depend on how good of a 3Bman he was. He would be a HOFer if he didn't spend most of his career as a DH. However, there was a reason he had to DH - he wasn't good enough to play a position.
            Edgar was easily good enough to play third base. In fact he played 562 games at third base, where he was a below average, but not really terrible fielder, and a great hitter. His overall performance as a third baseman was very good. Without the DH rule, he certainly would have continued to play there, injuries permitting, or moved to 1st.
            Last edited by mac195; 03-11-2005, 10:18 PM.
            "The numbers are what brought me here; as it appears they brought you."
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            • #7
              --Edgar's fielding wasn't what pushed him into the DH job. He wasn't a very good fielder, but he wasn't so terrible you couldn't live with it either. What pushed him to DH was that he couldn't stay healthy and in the lineup when playing the field (same with Molitor only more so - Paul was a pretty good defender).
              --If the DH didn't exist his career would most likely have ended 3-4 years earlier and half his good seasons would have been wrecked by injuries. He would not have been a Hall of Famer under that scenario. Now if you assume he could have put up similar numbers while playing 3B then, of course, he would be a Hall of Famer. Unfortunately, he couldn't.
              --This probably exaggerates the point, but in 2001 the Mariners wanted to get Edgar's bat in the lineup in an interleague game. His first game at 1B he was chasing a foul popup, tripped and injured himself bad enough to go on the DL. That was, not coincidentally, his last game in the field until he took third for 1 pitch in his final game. He would not have had a real career without the DH rule.
              --Whether that disqualifies him from Hall of Fame consideration is something for each voter to decide for themselves. However, it was never in the cards for Edgar to be a Hall of Fame thirdbaseman.

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              • #8
                Since the AL has adopted the DH (which I detest), it would be fitting for the HOF to recognize the position.... Why not honor the best "nearly career long" DH of all time? Edgar is deserving.
                John

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Chancellor
                  If he'd have been a poor-to-average defensive third baseman for two-thirds of his career and ended up at 1st or DH for the final third, he'd be a shoo-in for the Hall and would rate among the top 10 third basemen in history. A majority of his detractors are primarily hung-up on the DH issue alone.
                  I think there are just as many people getting hung up on the DH issue the other way, thinking that just because he's the "best DH ever" he should automatically go to the Hall of Fame.
                  "Hall of Famer Whitey Ford now on the field... pleading with the crowd for, for some kind of sanity!"

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by leecemark
                    --Edgar's fielding wasn't what pushed him into the DH job. He wasn't a very good fielder, but he wasn't so terrible you couldn't live with it either. What pushed him to DH was that he couldn't stay healthy and in the lineup when playing the field (same with Molitor only more so - Paul was a pretty good defender).
                    --If the DH didn't exist his career would most likely have ended 3-4 years earlier and half his good seasons would have been wrecked by injuries. He would not have been a Hall of Famer under that scenario. Now if you assume he could have put up similar numbers while playing 3B then, of course, he would be a Hall of Famer. Unfortunately, he couldn't.
                    --This probably exaggerates the point, but in 2001 the Mariners wanted to get Edgar's bat in the lineup in an interleague game. His first game at 1B he was chasing a foul popup, tripped and injured himself bad enough to go on the DL. That was, not coincidentally, his last game in the field until he took third for 1 pitch in his final game. He would not have had a real career without the DH rule.
                    --Whether that disqualifies him from Hall of Fame consideration is something for each voter to decide for themselves. However, it was never in the cards for Edgar to be a Hall of Fame thirdbaseman.
                    What kind of injuries did he have in the early 1990s? I can't seem to find out that info. Where they chronic injuries like pulled muscles or non-chronic like tripping and injurying oneself. Falling down chasing a pop-up is just bad luck, not a chronic injury. Where his early injuries caused by bad luck? We can't assume that had he stayed at 3B that he would have continued to have injures. That's just speculation.
                    Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules
                      Where his early injuries caused by bad luck? We can't assume that had he stayed at 3B that he would have continued to have injures. That's just speculation.
                      I would have to say that it was half-and-half. In 1993 (after his '92 Batting Title year), he hurt his Hamstring at the end of Spring Training, and could only play a few games that year.

                      Then in 1994, on opening day, he got hit on his wrist and again could only play in a few games.

                      The next year ('95), he came back, won another batting title, and destroyed the league w/ his hitting, and had an amazing stretch for the next 5-6 years.

                      So think about it, while he may not have been able to prevent the '93 injury, assuming it didn't happen, he had just had his first breakout year in .'92, and was only going to get better. He had his next shot in 1994 but due to one bad ball, his season was destroyed, and again, he lost what could have been another amazing year.

                      On another note, when you look back at 1995, where there were only 145 games, 17 less than normal, he played in all of them, and was the best hitter out there. So think about what he could have done if it had been a full season!

                      his number line from that year is impressive enough, but if you add some numbers to make up for the lost games, it becomes more amazing.

                      145 Games, 511 AB, 121 R, 182 H, 52 2B, 29 HR, 113 RBI, 116 BB, 87 SO, 321 TB, .356 BA, .479 OBP!!!, .628 Slg, 152 RC

                      If we were to change his numbers to fit a full 162 game schedule, even assuming that he only played in ~158 games, here is what it would look like:

                      158 G, 553 AB, 131 R, 195 H, 56 2B, 31 HR, 123 RBI, 126 BB, 94 SO, 347 TB, .356 BA, .479 OBP, .628 Slg, ~161 RC.

                      And since he had played in all of the games that season, there is no reason you couldn't assume that he would have played in all 162 games, which would have meant 200+ hits, more walks, RBI, and more of everything else.

                      I made note of the .479 OBP, as it is particularly impressive.

                      There have only been 57 instances in all of baseball where a player has had an OBP of .475 or higher, and of those, 17 occured before 1900.

                      So since 1900, this has only happened 40 times. There are 4 Active players who have achieved this feat - Edgar Martinez, Barry Bonds, Frank Thomas, and Jason Giambi.

                      Of these players, Bonds and Giambi used Steroids to reach their heights, and there is no way they could have attained these numbers w/o the drugs - especially in the case of Giambi, but while Bonds did have the talent to do such thing, he still did use steroids to get there, so therefore his numbers are tainted, and a skewed because he has been Intentionally wallked unlike anyone before.

                      In one way, it was like when Ruth first his HR's, his Slg (compared to the league) was astronomical, but it is unlike Ruth, as he they walked him so he wouldn't hit HR's, because he used steroids to hit more of them.

                      So it was an even more impressive and historic Season, not to mention that he had the highest BA by a Right handed hitter over the past 30-40 years.

                      He was an amazingly well rounded hitter, he had the BA, he could get walks, and he had power. He could hit to the gaps, and he could hit it out of there. When he was at the top of his game, no one wanted to pitch to him.

                      The reason Griffey wasn't walked a lot is because he had Edgar hitting behind him!!!

                      That shows that they would have rather pitched to Griffey jr!!! - The Kid!!! - Than to an Old-Pidgeon-Toed-Hitter named Edgar Martinez!!!

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Edgartohof
                        I would have to say that it was half-and-half. In 1993 (after his '92 Batting Title year), he hurt his Hamstring at the end of Spring Training, and could only play a few games that year.

                        Then in 1994, on opening day, he got hit on his wrist and again could only play in a few games.

                        The next year ('95), he came back, won another batting title, and destroyed the league w/ his hitting, and had an amazing stretch for the next 5-6 years.

                        So think about it, while he may not have been able to prevent the '93 injury, assuming it didn't happen, he had just had his first breakout year in .'92, and was only going to get better. He had his next shot in 1994 but due to one bad ball, his season was destroyed, and again, he lost what could have been another amazing year.

                        On another note, when you look back at 1995, where there were only 145 games, 17 less than normal, he played in all of them, and was the best hitter out there. So think about what he could have done if it had been a full season!

                        his number line from that year is impressive enough, but if you add some numbers to make up for the lost games, it becomes more amazing.

                        145 Games, 511 AB, 121 R, 182 H, 52 2B, 29 HR, 113 RBI, 116 BB, 87 SO, 321 TB, .356 BA, .479 OBP!!!, .628 Slg, 152 RC

                        If we were to change his numbers to fit a full 162 game schedule, even assuming that he only played in ~158 games, here is what it would look like:

                        158 G, 553 AB, 131 R, 195 H, 56 2B, 31 HR, 123 RBI, 126 BB, 94 SO, 347 TB, .356 BA, .479 OBP, .628 Slg, ~161 RC.

                        And since he had played in all of the games that season, there is no reason you couldn't assume that he would have played in all 162 games, which would have meant 200+ hits, more walks, RBI, and more of everything else.

                        I made note of the .479 OBP, as it is particularly impressive.

                        There have only been 57 instances in all of baseball where a player has had an OBP of .475 or higher, and of those, 17 occured before 1900.

                        So since 1900, this has only happened 40 times. There are 4 Active players who have achieved this feat - Edgar Martinez, Barry Bonds, Frank Thomas, and Jason Giambi.

                        Of these players, Bonds and Giambi used Steroids to reach their heights, and there is no way they could have attained these numbers w/o the drugs - especially in the case of Giambi, but while Bonds did have the talent to do such thing, he still did use steroids to get there, so therefore his numbers are tainted, and a skewed because he has been Intentionally wallked unlike anyone before.

                        In one way, it was like when Ruth first his HR's, his Slg (compared to the league) was astronomical, but it is unlike Ruth, as he they walked him so he wouldn't hit HR's, because he used steroids to hit more of them.

                        So it was an even more impressive and historic Season, not to mention that he had the highest BA by a Right handed hitter over the past 30-40 years.

                        He was an amazingly well rounded hitter, he had the BA, he could get walks, and he had power. He could hit to the gaps, and he could hit it out of there. When he was at the top of his game, no one wanted to pitch to him.

                        The reason Griffey wasn't walked a lot is because he had Edgar hitting behind him!!!

                        That shows that they would have rather pitched to Griffey jr!!! - The Kid!!! - Than to an Old-Pidgeon-Toed-Hitter named Edgar Martinez!!!
                        Good info Edgartohof! A quick glance at his defensive numbers suggests an average defensive 3B, not great but good enough...
                        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 Honus Wagner Rules
                          Good info Edgartohof! A quick glance at his defensive numbers suggests an average defensive 3B, not great but good enough...

                          Well, that's the short version!

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                          • #14
                            --Edgar did have a variety of injuries with a recurring hamstring problem the one that was most damaging over time. Not only did it cause him to miss alot of games and play almost exclusively DH, but it turned him into the slowest baserunner of his generation. Not that he was ever fast, but over the latter part of his career he was a serious liability on the basepaths.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by leecemark
                              --Edgar did have a variety of injuries with a recurring hamstring problem the one that was most damaging over time. Not only did it cause him to miss alot of games and play almost exclusively DH, but it turned him into the slowest baserunner of his generation. Not that he was ever fast, but over the latter part of his career he was a serious liability on the basepaths.
                              Slower than Mo Vaughn?
                              Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

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