December 14, 2005
Will the Thrill

Jay Jaffe uses his JAWS system to evaluate the Class of 2006 hitters in this BP Premium article, and suggests that three current players on the ballot are Hall-worthy. One is Allen Trammell, whom I'd briefly pondered previously. I'm convinced now - Trammell will be on all my future ballots till he's enshrined or eliminated. The second is the controversial Albert Belle. I'm still not quite fully convinced, based on the relative shortness of Belle's career, but Jaffe makes a pretty good case for Belle based on career peak. It kind of doesn't matter, since the writers, who universally loathed Belle, will gleefully screw him in the voting. I will say that I'm with Jaffe in reminding everyone that the writers loved Kirby Puckett as a person, and he turned out to be a much bigger turd than Belle was ever accused of being.

And the third luminary? That would be Will Clark, someone who I confess I never seriously considered.

Clark fares quite well when compared to the average Hall of Fame first baseman; his JAWS score of 82.9 is comfortably above the position's standards and would rank him eighth among inducted 1Bs. He tops the likes of Tony Perez (79.8), Willie McCovey (79.2), Hank Greenberg (78.3), Harmon Killebrew (78.0), and seven other Hall first basemen, and is just behind Dan Brouthers (84.4) and Johnny Mize (84.2). He may not get in--it would be a surprise to see him outpoll Mattingly or Garvey, both of whom won MVP awards--but he is certainly no slouch.

Jaffe made some adjustments to his scoring system which actually make it a little harder to compare favorably to other Hall of Famers, so I have to give this some thought. I still don't quite see Clark measuring up in terms of career numbers, but as JAWS factors in defense, perhaps I'm giving him short shrift. It's worth talking about, in any event.

He'll be doing pitchers next. If for no better reason than morbid curiosity, I can't wait to see how Doc Gooden scores.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on December 14, 2005 to Baseball | TrackBack