Votto, Verlander, and Pedroia Surpass 100Nov 1, 2017 by Adam Darowski
When I updated the site at the end of the 2016, I found that a personal favorite of mine—Dustin Pedroia—was stuck with a 99.9 Hall Rating. While that was disappointing, I felt confident that Pedroia would cross the 100 threshold in 2017. And that he did, bringing his Hall Rating up to 101 with a 1.5 WAR season.
Some players tiptoe over that 100 threshold like Pedroia. Others, like Joey Votto and Justin Verlander, catapult over it.
Votto’s 2017 season was among his very best. His .320/.454/.578 slash line (aided by a league-leading 134 walks) translated to a 168 OPS+ (tops in the league). He crushed 36 homers (one short of his career high) and (hopefully?) silenced the haters by driving in 100 runs for the first time since 2011. The 7.5 WAR/5.4 WAA season brought his Hall Rating way up to 113.
From 2013 to 2015, it looked like Justin Verlander’s prime might be coming to an end. A combination of weak records (13–12 in 2013 and 5–8 in 2015) and higher-than-usual ERAs (4.54 in 2014) didn’t look promising. However, he still totaled 7.9 WAR across those three years. He has followed that slight dip with a pair of 4.5 WAR seasons, bringing his Hall Rating up to 111th. That’s 62nd among pitchers and another solid season away from the Top 50.
Let’s check on the progress of some active players already over 100…
- Albert Pujols and Miguel Cabrera are already so far over the Hall of Stats borderline that they’re in the “all time great” discussion. But neither did their legacies any favors this year. Cabrera’s Hall Rating remained at 133 while Pujols actually dropped a point to 210.
- Adrian Beltre, meanwhile, was as good as ever in an injury-shortened season. He still brought his Hall Rating all the way up to 183. He now ranks 44th all time—and fourth among third basemen after passing George Brett.
- Robinson Cano silently climbed up the second baseman rankings, leapfrogging several players to land at 11th with a 128 Hall Rating.
- Everyone wants to know where Clayton Kershaw and Mike Trout are. Despite his significant injury, Trout is up to 122. He’s just about climbed into the Top 150 already. Reminder—there are 220 players in the Hall of Fame. Kershaw is all the way up to 127 and has joined the Top 40 pitchers all time by Hall Rating.
- Zack Greinke had already cleared a 100 Hall Rating, but with a strong season he brought his Hall Rating all the way up to 119. That’s basically Hall of Fame median territory.
- A solid (if unspectacular) season for CC Sabathia padded his Hall Rating and it now sits at 113. He’s one of many pitchers from a generation who will struggle to get into Cooperstown, but he keeps adding to his case.
- Joe Mauer also bounced back with a nice season to move his Hall Rating to 112.
Who’s knocking on the Hall of Stats’ door at this point?
- A couple years ago, it seemed like a sure thing that Felix Hernandez would leap over the 100 line like Kershaw did. But a pair of subpar seasons see him still sitting at 99.
- Meanwhile, Evan Longoria keeps quietly producing and suddenly sits an average season (by his standards) from the borderline (with a 95 Hall Rating).
- It seemed as though Max Scherzer got way too late of a start to reach a 100 Hall Rating, but he’s suddenly just 8 points shy at 92. A repeat of any of his past six seasons would get him there.
- Buster Posey has seemed destined for the Hall since his debut and he now has an 88 Hall Rating. If Baseball-Reference’s WAR used Baseball Prospectus’ catcher framing metrics, he’d probably already be in.
See anything else interesting in this update? Let me know in the comments.