Taylor's Twins Talk

Focusing on the Twins, with a few ramblings on other things that catch my attention

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Hall of Fame Predictions

Hall of Fame voting results will be released in a week, and this seems the appropriate time to reveal my predictions for what will actually happen when the ballot is released, including vote percentages. My previous post stating who I would vote for if I were lucky enough to have a ballot can be found here.

A few quick comments before I post my predictions. First, I think that many voters consider future elections when voting for Hall of Famers. I wish they didn't - I think voters should be free to change their minds from year to year as they consider new evidence, but I don't think that things such as who a player would be elected with, or the paucity of suitable candidates for a future year, should be considered by a voter. Nevertheless, this does happen - and I think it will have a significant impact on this year's balloting. The class of newly eligible players NEXT year is not a strong one - Shawon Dunston, Travis Fryman, David Justice, Mike Morgan, Tim Raines, and Randy Velarde are listed as the top choices on the Hall of Fame website - and many voters may be holding off on voting for players like Bert Blyleven, Goose Gossage, and Jim Rice until next year when there are no obvious first-timers.

Largely based on the results of last year's voting, and the trends that have developed over the last few years, here are my predictions for this year. The numbers in parentheses are the results for the last five years, if the player has been eligible for that amount of time. This is to make it easier to see trends, if any, in that player's vote percentages. My predicted totals don't necessarily have a linear relationship to previous vote results - there are certain players who seem to have gained steam over the last year, and vice versa.

Names in Bold are those I'm predicting will be elected. Names in Italics are those I'm predicting will be removed from the ballot, either due to time (if this is the 15th and last year of eligibility) or because of a failure to receive 5% of the vote.

Tony Gwynn - 92%
Cal Ripken, Jr. - 85%

Jim Rice - 68% (64.8 / 59.5 / 54.5 / 52.2 / 55.1)
Goose Gossage - 66% (64.6 / 55.2 / 40.7 / 42.1 / 43)
Bert Blyleven - 62% (53.3 / 40.9 / 35.4 / 29.2 / 26.3)
Andre Dawson - 61% (61 / 52.3 / 50 / 50 / 45.3)
Jack Morris - 50% (41.2 / 33.3 / 26.3 / 22.8 / 20.6)
Lee Smith - 47% (45 / 38.8 / 36.6 / 42.3)
Mark McGwire - 35%
Steve Garvey - 34% (26 / 20.5 / 24.3 / 24.3 / 28.4)
Tommy John - 28% (29.6 / 23.8 / 21.9 / 23.4 / 26.9)
Alan Trammell - 16.5% (17.7 / 16.9 / 13.8 / 14.1 / 15.7)
Dave Parker - 15% (14.4 / 12.6 / 10.5 / 10.3 / 14)
Don Mattingly - 12.6% (12.3 / 11.4 / 12.9 / 13.7 / 20.3)
Dave Concepcion - 12% (12.5 / 10.7 / 11.3 / 11.1 / 11.9)
Harold Baines - 11.5%
Dale Murphy - 11% (10.8 / 10.5 / 8.5 / 11.7 / 14.8)
Orel Hershiser - 9% (11.2)
Albert Belle - 6% (7.7)
Jose Canseco - 5%
Bret Saberhagen - 2.5%
Paul O'Neill - 2%
Bobby Bonilla - 1%
Tony Fernandez - 1%
Jay Buhner - 0.5%
Eric Davis - 0.5%
Wally Joyner - 0.5%
Ken Caminiti - 0.2%
Dante Bichette - 0.2%
Devon White - 0.2%
Bobby Witt - 0%
Scott Brosious - 0%

5 Comments:

  • At Tue Jan 02, 03:59:00 PM , Anonymous James M. said...

    Thanks for posting the historic percentages. Could you also show what the first year of eligibility was for each player? Is there any pattern to how a player that fails in Year 1 eventually gets in? I find it fascinating that Blyleven has already doubled his vote in the last 4 years and figures to substantially increase it again in 2007. I know there is a campaign on for him but that seems like a huge change in the collective opinion of him.

     
  • At Tue Jan 02, 04:37:00 PM , Blogger JST said...

    Thanks for the comment James. At the end of this post, I'll give you the first year of eligibility for the returning players along with first year vote totals. First, I want to address your comment on Blyleven, and the swings that some players go through.

    Blyeleven is a really interesting case. He first appeared on the ballot in 1998, and received just 17.55 percent. In comparison, Steve Garvey (41.23), Tommy John (27.27), and Dave Parker (24.52), who are all still on the ballot, were considered by more voters to be Hall of Fame worthy. The next year, things got worse - Blyleven actually fell to 14.08 percent. In 2000, he bounced back to 17.43, and then was up to 23.5 by 2001. By 2004, Blyleven was on 35.38 percent of the ballots, and then things took off - a jump to 40.9 in 2005, and 53.3 in 2006. I'm predicting a similar hefty jump this year, based on anecdotal evidence (always dangerous), and I believe that he has an excellent shot of being elected next year.

    So, why does this happen? Well, you hit the nail on the head - there is a huge campaign for Blyleven, amongst fans for sure, but more importantly among members of the BBWAA, many of whom are actively trying to convert their peers. The key to the campaign, though, is that Blyleven's numbers really are Hall of Fame worthy. As more and more writers look at his career, they are realizing that their objections to his candidacy ring a little hollow, and so more and more are coming to the conclusion that he should be supported.

    Of course, the opposite course can also happen. Dave Parker and Don Mattingly have both gone in reverse, as do many players - writers vote for a guy who they particularly liked, but realize quickly that they are in the minority and abandon ship. Blyleven's rise truly has been meteoric, however, and hopefully it will culminate with his eventual election. It would be heartbreaking if he got up to, say, 70% of the vote and then levelled off.

    As for the first year of eligibility for the players on the ballot - here goes:

    Tony Gwynn - 1
    Cal Ripken, Jr. - 1
    Jim Rice - 13 (29.8)
    Goose Gossage - 8 (33.3)
    Bert Blyleven - 10 (17.6)
    Andre Dawson - 6 (45.3)
    Jack Morris - 8 (22.2)
    Lee Smith - 5 (42.3)
    Mark McGwire - 1
    Steve Garvey - 15 (41.6)
    Tommy John - 13 (21.3)
    Alan Trammell - 6 (15.7)
    Dave Parker - 11 (17.6)
    Don Mattingly - 7 (28.2)
    Dave Concepcion - 14 (6.8)
    Harold Baines - 1
    Dale Murphy - 9 (19.3)
    Orel Hershiser - 2 (11.2)
    Albert Belle - 2 (7.7)
    Jose Canseco - 1
    Bret Saberhagen - 1
    Paul O'Neill - 1
    Bobby Bonilla - 1
    Tony Fernandez - 1
    Jay Buhner - 1
    Eric Davis - 1
    Wally Joyner - 1
    Ken Caminiti - 1
    Dante Bichette - 1
    Devon White - 1
    Bobby Witt - 1
    Scott Brosious - 1

    So, next year is last call for Dave Concepcion, while Jim Rice and Tommy John will last be eligible in 2009.

     
  • At Tue Jan 02, 04:39:00 PM , Blogger JST said...

    Sorry James - I lied - I said I'd give you first year of eligibility, but I gave you number of years on the ballot instead. For a frame of reference, Garvey was first eligible in 1993; Blyleven was first eligible in 1998; Smith was first eligible in 2003.

     
  • At Wed Jan 03, 12:06:00 AM , Blogger Marty said...

    How does Jose Canseco get 5% of the vote? The guy couldn't win a popularity contest against Leni Riefenstahl.

     
  • At Wed Jan 03, 10:16:00 AM , Blogger JST said...

    Martin - obviously these are all guesses, and Canseco is hard to read. The guy put up some impressive numbers, and while you're right that he is incredibly unpopular, I think there are a number of voters who will think that his "contribution" to the game - i.e. breaking wide open the steroid scandal, in a way that no mere positive test could have done - and accordingly vote for him. The 5% prediction was a cop-out on my part - I'm basically saying that I think enough voters will vote for him to keep him on the ballot another year.

     

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