August 2, 2014

The Hall of Famers: The 5 Levels of Greatness – Part 3

September 12, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

In this article, I will present the Level 3 and Level 4 position players.  There were a total of thirty-one (31) players in Levels 1 and 2 – the position players with the best careers of the 20th century.  In Levels 3 and 4, we have the fifty-seven (57) next best careers of the century – twenty-five (25) in Level 3 and thirty-two (32) in Level 4.

Level 3  -  Players with a CAWS score > 300 & <330

Here are the twenty-five great position players whose rank for career value in the 20th century is from #32 to #56.  They each have a CAWS score of better than 300 but less than 330.  This means that there are only fifty-six (56) position players since 1901 who achieved a CAWS career score of 300 or better.

All numbers include the 2010 season

Bold  =  Hall of Famer
CWS  =  Career Win Shares
CV      =  Core Value (sum of win shares for 10 best seasons)
CAWS  =  Career Assessment/Win Shares  =  CV  +  .25(CWS – CV)
*  =  deadball era

Player POS. CWS CV CAWS
32. Craig Biggio 2B 428 294 328
33. Frank Thomas 1B 400 301 326
34. Arky Vaughan SS 356 308 320
35. Wade Boggs 3B 394 291 317
36. Willie McCovey 1B 408 285 316
37. Manny Ramirez
LF 408 285 316
38. Dick Allen 1B 342 304 314
39. Eddie Murray 1B 437 273 314
40. Cal Ripken Jr. SS 427 276 314
41. Robin Yount SS 423 278 314
42. Jeff Bagwell 1B 388 287 312
43. Al Kaline RF 443 268 312
44. Ken Griffey Jr. CF 383 278 304
45. Johnny Mize 1B 339 296 307
46. Charlie Gehringer 2B 383 280 306
47. Paul Molitor DH 414 270 306
48. Fred Clarke* LF 400 273 305
49. Duke Snider CF 352 289 305
50. Tim Raines LF 390 275 304
51. Harmon Killebrew 1B 374 279 303
52. Billy Williams LF 374 279 303
53. Roberto Alomar 2B 375 278 302
54. Luke Appling SS 378 275 301
55. Yogi Berra C 375 276 301
56. Al Simmons LF 375 276 301

The twenty-five (25) Level 3 players are interesting for a number of reasons.  For one thing, seven of them are not yet in the Hall of Fame.  Two are currently on the HOF ballot (2011):  Jeff Bagwell and Tim Raines.  Four others are not yet eligible: Craig Biggio, Frank Thomas, Manny Ramirez and Ken Griffey Jr.  And one of these players becomes the highest-ranked position player of the century who has been passed over for election to the Hall of Fame: Dick Allen.

Most fans are familiar with why Dick Allen is not in the Hall.  There are those who believe that he had “an attitude problem” and was a “cancer in the clubhouse.”  And, of course, most of this is hearsay.  Whether his exclusion is just or unjust, there is one clear fact – Dick Allen has the best career numbers of any player since 1901 who has been excluded from the Hall of Fame (with the exception of Pete Rose who has been formally banned from consideration).  I have a concern that Tim Raines may also fall prey to the same fate.  Let us hope not.

Level 3 also contains the first catcher to appear on the lists: Yogi Berra.  Johnny Bench at a CAWS score of 297 (in Level 4) is fairly close behind.  Note also that the first designated hitters with outstanding careers are in Level 3: Frank Thomas and Paul Molitor.

Only three players on this list have a core value (CV) of 300 or better: Frank Thomas, Arky Vaughan and Dick Allen.  That means that for their ten best seasons, each of these players averaged better than 30 win shares per season.  That is a remarkable achievement.  Only thirty-one (31) position players of the 20th century have accomplished this feat.

Here is the breakdown of these top fifty-six (56) players by position: twenty-seven (27) outfielders, nine (9) first basemen, seven (7) second basemen, six (6) shortstops, four (4) third basemen, two (2) designated hitters and one (1) catcher.

This ranking also serves to give some needed recognition to some recent players who might be considered “underappreciated” as they have become (or will become) eligible for election to the Hall: Craig Biggio, Frank Thomas, Jeff Bagwell and Tim Raines.

Level 4 contains the names of the thirty-two players whose CAWS career score is 280 or better but less than 300.  A score of 280 is the HOF benchmark for left fielders, right fielders, first basemen and designated hitters.  Level 5 (the last level) will include the names of those players at other positions who did not reach a score of 280 but did reach the benchmark for their respective positions.

All numbers include the 2010 season

Bold  =  Hall of Famer
CWS  =  Career Win Shares
CV      =  Core Value (sum of win shares for 10 best seasons)
CAWS  =  Career Assessment/Win Shares  =  CV  +  .25(CWS – CV)
*  =  deadball era

Level 4  -  Players with a CAWS score > 280 & <300

Player POS. CWS CV CAWS
57. Chipper Jones
3B
382
271
299
58. Mark McGwire 1B 342 283 298
59. Dave Winfield RF 415 259 298
60. Johnny Bench C 356 277 297
61. Derek Jeter SS 301 264 273
62. Roberto Clemente RF 377 269 296
63. Ryne Sandberg 2B 346 278 295
64. Tony Gwynn RF 398 269 294
65. Sherry Magee* LF 354 272 293
66. Zack Wheat* LF 380 264 293
67. Jim Thome 1B 366 267 292
68. George Davis* SS 398 255 291
69. Joe Jackson* LF 294 290 291
70. Joe Cronin SS 333 275 290
71. Rafael Palmeiro 1B 387 257 290
72. Willie Stargell LF 370 263 290
73. Rod Carew 2B 384 257 289
74. Harry Heilmann RF 356 267 289
75. Ron Santo 3B 324 275 287
76. Bill Dahlen* SS 394 250 286
77. Goose Goslin LF 355 263 286
78. Mike Piazza C 325 273 286
79. Frank Baker* 3B 301 280 285
80. Lou Brock LF 348 264 285
81. Will Clark 1B 331 269 285
82. Frankie Frisch 2B 366 256 284
83. Bobby Abreu
RF
332
266
283
84. Elmer Flick* RF 291 280 283
85. Gary Carter C 337 263 282
86. Jason Giambi 1B 315 271 282
87. Darrell Evans 3B 363 253 281
88. Barry Larkin SS 347 258 280

Keep in mind that all of these players have HOF numbers according to the strict and tough standards of the CAWS Career Gauge.  And only one hundred sixteen (116) position players in the 20th century qualify under those standards.

Some observations:

  1.  Note the active players (in 2010) on this list.  Chipper Jones, Derek Jeter and Jim Thome may not be big surprises.  But what about Bobby Abreu and Jason Giambi?
  2. On this list, Sherry Magee and Bill Dahlen from the deadball era have been eligible and passed over for election to the Hall of Fame.
  3. And only three other players on this list have been eligible for election and have so far been snubbed: Ron Santo, Will Clark and Darrell Evans.
  4. The three catchers on this list join Yogi Berra as the only four to achieve a CAWS career score of 280: Yogi Berra, Johnny Bench, Mike Piazza and Gary Carter.  Did you think that Carter’s career numbers would rank him that high among the catchers?
  5. These numbers indicate that Chipper Jones is the third baseman with the #5 best career numbers in the century and Derek Jeter is the #7 best shortstop.

Levels 1 through 4 contain the names of the eighty-eight (88) position players (since 1901) with the highest CAWS career scores (280 or better) – that is, the best career numbers.  But there are one hundred sixteen (116) position players who posted Hall of Fame numbers during this time frame.  So, who are the other twenty-eight (28)?

In Part 4 of this series, we will look at Level 5 (the last level) and that list will contain the names of those twenty-eight (28) players who did not reach a CAWS score of 280 but did post HOF numbers according to the benchmark for their position.  In Part 4, I will also list the names of the forty-seven (47) major league position players who are currently in the Hall of Fame but who do not have the career numbers to be there according to the CAWS Career Gauge.

Thanks for your time.

Mike Hoban
Professor Emeritus – City U of NY
Author of A GOOD CAWS: A Hall of Fame Handbook (2011)
http://booklocker.com/books/2968.html

Comments

2 Responses to “The Hall of Famers: The 5 Levels of Greatness – Part 3”
  1. David says:

    Interesting notes:

    As a Brewers fan, I have to say that it really pains me to hear people discount Robin Yount as one of the 5 best SS of all-time. Particularly because I think he and Ripken are very comparable, and I believe Yount to have had a better career than Jeter (though only marginally, and I’m actually willing to be persuaded of otherwise on that one once Jeter’s career is over). Anyway, seeing him tied with Ripken up there is really great.

    Also, regarding Yount, Ripken and Murray. Since they’re all tied up there at the same CAWS score, I thought I’d mention this – they’re also numbers 1, 2, and 3 on the career Sac Fly list. That has nothing to do with anything, but they’re kind of linked in my mind because of that odd fact, and because they were fairly contemporary players to one another. And here they are, intersecting once again.

    It’s nice to see the catchers showing up. One thing I’ve been wondering all along this process reading these lists is if we should be giving catchers some sort of additional “bonus,” because their position is so demanding. Obviously, we wouldn’t do that for Win Shares in general (which already take position into account), but it would be interesting for the purposes of comparing their CAREERS, as playing catcher causes much, much more wear-and-tear. Basically, I find it odd that we haven’t really seen any until now. It doesn’t strike me as right. I know it’s just a framework, but that’s one thing I’ve found interesting about the whole exercise.

  2. MIKE HOBAN says:

    David,

    At the end of 2010, these were the top shortstops of the century:

    1.Honus Wagner (1897-1917) 655 422 480
    2.Alex Rodriguez (1994- ) 443 329 358
    3.Arky Vaughan (1932-1948) 356 308 320
    4.Robin Yount (1974-1993) 423 278 314
    5.Cal Ripken Jr (1981-2001) 427 276 314
    6.Luke Appling (1930-1950) 378 275 301
    7.Derek Jeter (1995- ) 368 273 297

    So, Robin Yount is right up there tied for 4th place.

    And I am sure that you are aware that catchers and shortstops share the same CAWS becnhmark for HOF numbers (250).

    Thanks for your comments.

    Mike

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