2019 BBWAA Hall of Fame Contest Update

December 8, 2018
 
The 2019 "How Well Do You Know Your BBWAA" contest is now closed.  20 entries were submitted, which was lower than last year (26), although slightly higher than our 2017 version (18).
Here are some results gathered from the entries submitted:
 
Average, High, Low, Range (Distance between high and low), and Standard Deviation
(Sorted by the player’s average predicted vote %)
*-First time on the BBWAA ballot
 
Player
Average
High
Low
Range
Std Dev
Mariano Rivera*
95.8
99.0
88.0
11.0
3.3
Edgar Martinez
78.8
86.0
72.0
14.0
3.2
Mike Mussina
70.7
78.0
45.0
33.0
7.6
Roger Clemens
61.9
75.0
51.0
24.0
4.8
Barry Bonds
60.9
75.0
48.0
27.0
5.2
Roy Halladay*
60.7
83.0
15.0
68.0
17.1
Curt Schilling
55.5
65.0
40.0
25.0
5.6
Larry Walker
40.5
62.0
29.0
33.0
7.9
Omar Vizquel
39.6
55.0
15.0
40.0
9.2
Todd Helton*
33.3
62.0
15.0
47.0
13.2
Fred McGriff
26.4
35.0
19.0
16.0
4.5
Manny Ramirez
22.7
40.0
13.0
27.0
6.6
Scott Rolen
21.5
70.0
12.0
58.0
12.4
Andy Pettitte*
20.5
36.0
3.6
32.4
8.7
Jeff Kent
17.0
37.0
8.0
29.0
6.0
Gary Sheffield
14.4
27.0
10.0
17.0
4.9
Billy Wagner
13.7
46.0
5.0
41.0
8.2
Andruw Jones
12.2
50.0
-
50.0
10.3
Lance Berkman*
11.2
22.0
3.0
19.0
5.8
Sammy Sosa
10.0
31.0
6.0
25.0
5.5
Miguel Tejada*
6.1
20.0
1.0
19.0
5.3
Roy Oswalt*
5.4
25.0
1.0
24.0
5.8
Michael Young*
2.7
15.0
-
15.0
3.6
Derek Lowe*
0.9
8.0
-
8.0
2.0
Jason Bay*
0.7
10.0
-
10.0
2.3
Travis Hafner*
0.7
5.0
-
5.0
1.3
Juan Pierre*
0.5
3.0
-
3.0
0.9
Kevin Youkilis*
0.5
4.0
-
4.0
1.0
Freddy Garcia*
0.4
5.0
-
5.0
1.1
Placido Polanco*
0.3
3.0
-
3.0
0.8
Vernon Wells*
0.1
2.0
-
2.0
0.4
Rick Ankiel*
-
-
-
-
-
Jon Garland*
-
-
-
-
-
Ted Lilly*
-
-
-
-
-
Darren Oliver*
-
-
-
-
-
 
 
Observations:
  • If you go by the average prediction of our group, 2 players will be elected this year: Mariano Rivera in his first year, and Edgar Martinez in his 10th (and final) year.

  • 100% of the entries predict Mariano Rivera will receive at least 75% of the vote. In fact, the lowest percentage he received was 88%.

  • 19 of the 20 entries (95%) predict Edgar Martinez will receive at least 75% of the vote, with the other entry predicting he will just miss (72%).

  • 8 of the 20 entries (40%) predict Mike Mussina will receive at least 75% of the vote, although those who are predicting he’ll get in think he’ll just barely get enough support (the highest prediction is for 78%)

  • 5 of the 20 entries (25%) predict Roy Halladay will receive at least 75% of the vote.

  • Roy Halladay had the greatest range of predictions, from a low of 15% to a high of 83%, and he also had the highest standard deviation (17.1). Another newcomer to the ballot, Todd Helton, also had a great deal of variation of predictions, ranging from a low of 15% to a high of 62%, with a standard deviation of 13.2.

  • Out of the players who were predicted to receive more than just a token amount of votes, Mariano Rivera and Edgar Martinez had the smallest variation of predictions. Rivera’s predictions ranged from 88% to 99%, and Martinez ranged from 72% to 86%, with standard deviations of 3.3 and 3.2, respectively.

  • 4 entries (including mine) predict that four players will be elected this year, 7 predict that three will be elected, 8 predict that two will be elected, and 1 entry predicts that just a single player will be elected. My entry predicts that Rivera, Martinez, Halladay, and Mussina will be elected this year. A little elaboration on those decisions:

    1. I think Rivera is an easy decision, and he should receive mid-to-upper 90% support. There are some who think he might be the first player to be elected unanimously by the writers, but I think there will be a few holdouts. The only voters who might not vote for him are those who refuse to vote for any first-timers and those who think that relievers don’t pitch enough innings to justify the praise heaped on them, but I think we’re talking a mere handful.   From my perspective, Rivera is a no-brainer.

    2. Martinez didn’t miss by much last year (70%). With this being his 10th and final attempt on the ballot, I feel pretty confident he’ll make it with plenty of room to spare.

    3. Although I think he would have had a solid enough debut anyway, Halladay may also receive a "sympathy" boost due to his tragic death last year, and I think it will be enough to get him in on his first try. 

    4. Mussina has built up some nice momentum (his first 5 years on the ballot has yielded, in order, results of 20.3%, 24.6%, 43.0%, 51.8%, and 63.5%), and I think he will be able to pick up enough additional converts to put him over this year, although I’m not completely confident of that. Of the four that I’m predicting to get in, he’s the one I’m least confident of. If he doesn’t make it this year, I think he’ll set himself up to go in next year.

  • The BBWAA has been pretty busy the last 5 years, voting in 16 players over that span. In 2018, the BBWAA voting yielded a very high average of 8.5 players per ballot. In 2017, the figure was 8.1 players per ballot, and in 2016 it was 7.9. The trend has been generally pushing the figure higher over several years.

    Our predictions, as a group, imply that voters will average voting for 7.9 players per ballot. So, our members are predicting that the recent trend of voting for more and more players on a ballot will reverse course a bit this year. I happen to agree (the figure implied by my entry is also for 7.9 players per ballot). 

    Although this year’s ballot continues to have several players with good Hall of Fame cases, and I do think we could potentially see up to 4 players elected this year, I am of the opinion that the ballot is slightly less crowded and just a little less deep than in prior years. It’s still a strong ballot with several worthy candidates, but a slight downturn in terms of the number of players per ballot may occur.
Results of the BBWAA Hall of Fame vote will be announced January 22, 2019, so we’ve got a fair amount of down time until that announcement. In the interim, I will be checking in on Ryan Thibodaux’s excellent "Hall of Fame tracker" and posting occasional articles with some observations about how the voting is tracking, as well as other potential topics along the way.
 
Thanks for reading,
 
Dan
 
 
 

COMMENTS (10 Comments, most recent shown first)

DavidTodd
Harold Baines and Lee Smith via the oldtimers committee

would never guess that

9:44 PM Dec 9th
 
MarisFan61
(One revealed ballot already does do that.)
9:02 PM Dec 9th
 
DaveNJnews
I like Pettitte. I think he should remain on the ballot, as with Jorge Posada last year.

I am curious whether anyone votes for him who does not vote for Clemens, since their late-career controversy seems linked together in my mind.
12:15 PM Dec 9th
 
DMBBHF
George,

Yes, I'll definitely include "Wisdom of Crowds" when tabulating the actual results.

shthar,

Could be that they anticipated that.....I agree that there didn't seem to be much backlash from the writers about the Hall of Fame rejecting their vote to go public.

If you happen to see a picture of the ballot (which some writers post an image of in their articles or on Twitter) the bottom of the ballot has a checkbox that reads "Do you wish the BBWAA make public your vote 14 days after results are announced Yes/No". Certainly, most opt to do so. Last year, about 75% of the ballots were public.

Dave,

Yeah, Pettitte's a tricky one. Even though he was an admitted user, I get the feeling that he's still very much liked by a lot of writers, and they don't seem to generally have the same level of disdain towards him as they do towards some of the others who have been tied to PED's. I feel he's actually kind of well-respected.

Absent the PED's, Pettitte's case seems kind of similar to Jack Morris - About 250 wins, high ERA (although Pettitte's ERA+ is much better, and his rWAR is significantly higher), lots of championship rings/postseason success.

Low-to-mid-20% seems about right for Pettitte in his debut on the ballot. That's about where he's tracking in the early results, and that's also where Morris was in his first few years on the ballot (he was in the 20-23% his first 4 years) before he started gaining some momentum. Pettitte might be one of those guys that looks more appealing a few years down the road. It wouldn't surprise me to see him gain support as he goes along, especially if future ballots aren't quite so "deep" as we've seen in recent years.

Thanks,
Dan
8:56 AM Dec 9th
 
DaveNJnews
I am the one who put Pettitte so low and not entirely sure why, other than I looked at recent results for Jorge Posada and, before, that, Bernie Williams, combined with his steroids situation. I am pretty sure I have him too low.
7:53 AM Dec 9th
 
shthar
Huh, the writers sure didn't talk that up as much as they did when they said they'd stop with the secret ballot.

Wonder if they knew it was going to work out that way?
2:38 AM Dec 9th
 
MarisFan61
Dan: I join in the great thanks to you for doing this again!!

Just a little detail about how you put it regarding Mussina:
It's not exactly true that 8 out of the 20 of us said he'll get what he needs.

I mean, it's true, but not exactly true. :-)

Because: 3 of those 8 of us said "75."
That's not necessarily at least 75.0.

In fact, when I said "75" (which I did), I was consciously hedging.
My best guess is that he'll be real close, on either side of 75, and I can well imagine him pulling a Biggio and getting 74.8% or something like that.
If we were giving just integers, we'd express that as 75.
Just saying. :-)
10:15 PM Dec 8th
 
DMBBHF
It IS still a secret ballot, unless, the voter opts to make his ballot known.

From Wikipedia:

The BBWAA voted at the 2016 winter meetings to make all Hall of Fame ballots public one week after the results were announced, effective with this election. However, the Hall rejected the BBWAA's proposal, and ballots remain confidential unless individual voters choose to reveal them (which is allowed by Hall of Fame rules
2:41 PM Dec 8th
 
shthar
Would not bet money on these numbers. Who knows who the writers will vote for, now that it's not a secret ballot.
2:32 PM Dec 8th
 
George.Rising
Daniel, thanks for doing this contest.

I'd be interested to see if the "wisdom of the crowd" (i.e., average score of all participants) does better than any individual participant. Hopefully, you'll check that after the BBWWA vote.

The Halladay vote is going to be interesting.​
12:20 PM Dec 8th
 
 
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