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Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Thome HOF Follow-up

Thome hits number 536 tying Mantle for career home runs. We had a discussion about Thome's HOF credentials before. Link. Wilson pointed out that the comparable players in stats are mostly not Hall of Famers--although if you look at the list, Manny is clearly in the HOF, and Conseco and McGwire aren't in for political (and steroids) reasons, not because they weren't great (offensive) players.

If the ChiSox win it all this year, and Thome has a big post-season . . . that burnishes the resume, no?


At 3:22 PM, Blogger Wilson said...

So I don't think you're a regular reader of Baseball Prospectus, but Jay Jaffe there has a really interesting way of evaluating hall of fame contenders called JAWS (Jaffe Warp Score System). This system uses a metric which is produced by baseball prospectus called "WARP" which stands for "Wins over replacement player". This metric encompasses both offense and some measure of defense to calculate how many wins a given player is worth to his team over a 'replacement player', that is, freely available talent. This number is then adjusted for ballpark and for time period.

The JAWS formula looks at a player's top 7 years by WARP (peak score) and their career WARP score, and averages the two to come up with a JAWS score. Since WARP scores are available for all baseball players, you can compare that to the current hall of fame average for that position to calculate a rough 'worthiness' metric.

Using this metric, back in April Jaffe put together an analysis for Thome:

Player Career Peak JAWS
Frank Thomas 127.7 75.6 101.7
Jim Thome 108.0 61.2 84.6
Avg HoF 1B 115.1 66.9 91.0

Some additional text: "From a JAWS standpoint, Thome's numbers are still a little shy of the Hall benchmarks despite the home runs, mainly because he's only had one season above 9.1 WARP. To a lesser extent than Chipper Jones, defense is also a problem for him. While Thome is only 24 runs below average for his career, with career rates of 99 at first base and 95 at third, he's just 114 runs above replacement for his career, and just 24 above from 2001. Since coming back from a stint with the Phillies, he's been almost exclusively a DH over the last two-plus years."

However, this was written in April. As of today his WARP for this year appears to be 5.1. Combine this year and assume he plays one more year and he should surpass those benchmarks.

I now think he'll get in, as this year has been reasonably strong for him.


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