2020 BBWAA Hall of Fame Contest Update

December 5, 2019
 
The 2020 "How Well Do You Know Your BBWAA" contest is now closed.  15 entries were submitted.
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
 
 
 
 
 
 
Avg
 
 
 
 
 
 
High
 
 
 
 
 
 
Low
 
 
 
 
 
 
Range
 
 
 
Last Year’s Actual Results
 
Predicted Change from Last Year’s Actual Results
Derek Jeter*
99.2
100.0
97.0
3.0
-
 
Larry Walker
67.9
80.0
50.0
30.0
54.6
13.3
Curt Schilling
67.7
78.0
56.0
22.0
60.9
6.8
Roger Clemens
66.6
76.0
60.0
16.0
59.5
7.1
Barry Bonds
66.6
76.0
60.0
16.0
59.1
7.5
Omar Vizquel
47.3
56.0
40.0
16.0
42.8
4.5
Scott Rolen
27.4
38.0
18.0
20.0
17.2
10.2
Manny Ramirez
26.1
34.0
14.0
20.0
22.8
3.3
Todd Helton
24.2
36.0
15.0
21.0
16.5
7.7
Jeff Kent
21.7
32.0
11.0
21.0
18.1
3.6
Billy Wagner
21.4
28.0
16.0
12.0
16.7
4.7
Gary Sheffield
17.7
23.0
11.0
12.0
13.6
4.1
Andy Pettitte
14.5
23.0
9.0
14.0
9.9
4.6
Bobby Abreu*
12.0
40.0
2.0
38.0
-
 
Andruw Jones
10.5
14.0
8.0
6.0
7.5
3.0
Sammy Sosa
9.5
14.0
6.0
8.0
8.5
1.0
Jason Giambi*
7.0
16.0
-
16.0
-
 
Paul Konerko*
4.5
16.0
-
16.0
-
 
Cliff Lee*
3.5
10.0
-
10.0
-
 
Alfonso Soriano*
3.3
9.0
-
9.0
-
 
Eric Chavez*
1.1
5.0
-
5.0
-
 
Raul Ibanez*
1.1
5.0
-
5.0
-
 
Josh Beckett*
0.9
6.0
-
6.0
-
 
Adam Dunn*
0.7
3.0
-
3.0
-
 
Brian Roberts*
0.5
3.0
-
3.0
-
 
Rafael Furcal*
0.3
2.0
-
2.0
-
 
Carlos Pena*
0.3
2.0
-
2.0
-
 
Brad Penny*
0.3
2.0
-
2.0
-
 
Chone Figgins*
0.1
1.0
-
1.0
-
 
Jose Valverde*
0.1
1.0
-
1.0
-
 
Heath Bell*
-
-
-
-
-
 
J.J. Putz*
-
-
-
-
-
 
 
 
Observations:
  • If you go by the average prediction of our group, only one player will be elected this year: Derek Jeter, who should easily get elected in his first year on the ballot.

  • 100% of the entries in our contest predict Derek Jeter will receive at least 75% of the vote. In fact, the lowest percentage he received was 97%.

  • 5 of the 15 entries (33%) predict Larry Walker will receive at least 75% of the vote and be elected on this, his final ballot. However, the consensus of the overall entries predicts that he will come up short.

  • 2 of the 15 entries predict that Roger Clemens get at least 75% of the vote this year, and both Barry Bonds and Curt Schilling received a prediction of 75% or higher on one ballot.

  • Bobby Abreu, who is in his first year on the ballot, had the greatest range of predictions, from a low of 2% to a high of 40%.

  • The group predicts Larry Walker, in his final year, will have the biggest gain over last year (+13.3 points), and also predicts that Scott Rolen will gain about 10 points over last year’s results.
Our predictions, as a group, imply that voters will, on average, vote for 6.2 players per ballot. If that turns out to be accurate, it would be the lowest figure since 2012 (when the average was 5.0). In recent years, the average has generally been 8 or above as we have seen several "loaded" ballots in a row, but the BBWAA has been pretty busy electing a high number of players, and whatever serious backlog there was appears to have been largely cleared. The historical average over the past 50 years is around 7.0.
 
So, can we put much faith in our consensus predictions? I went back and checked to see how we’ve done in our prior contests:
  • In 2019, the average entry in our contest predicted 7.9 names per ballot. The actual was 8.0.

  • In 2018, the average entry in our contest predicted 8.5 names per ballot. The actual also turned out to be 8.5.

  • In 2017, the average entry in our contest predicted 8.0. The actual turned out to be 8.1.
That’s a pretty good track record, and even though, as they say in the investment industry, past performance is no guarantee of future results, I have a lot of faith in our group. Don’t be surprised if the overall actual average ballot contains something close to 6.2 names.
 
Results of the BBWAA Hall of Fame vote will be announced January 21, 2020, 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)

brewers_paul
Sorry I missed it this year. Life gets in the way. Next year!

8:41 PM Dec 9th
 
MarisFan61
KL: This leaped immediately to mind from what you said about Bill's take on Sheffield as a hitter (which I hadn't recalled).

Bill talked in an article early this year about how high he is on Miguel Andujar as a hitter. He loves him. (Let's forget about Andujar having just missed almost the whole year with an injury.)

Andujar, more than any other player since Sheffield and really more than anyone before him that comes to mind too, is very reminiscent of Sheffield as a hitter -- just IMO of course, but I'd expect that others would say it too.
7:16 PM Dec 9th
 
klamb819
Thanks, Dan. I like to see the consistency pattern that standard deviations reflect, although in this case they turned out pretty much mirroring the range column so I can see why you left them out. One interesting guy was Konerko, whose StdDev is larger than his average. That surprised me. I see him as no more than a solid White Sox Hall of Famer. (His Hall of Fame Value Standard is 50 lower than Freddie Freeman's.) But again, the range column told us that at least one person had him getting at least 17% of the vote.

At the top of the list, Abreu will be an interesting guy. His Hall of Fame Value Standard is 596, just below Mussina's 602 and Walker's 599 — and better than Rolen's 585, Schilling's 570, Helton's 563, Vlad's and Piazza's 562, Kent's 560 and Sosa's 555 (keeping in mind that comparing pitchers and catchers to other players is tangerines-to-oranges). I frankly never thought of him as a Hall of Famer when he played, partly because his prime years were with mediocre Phillies teams but mainly because he made two All-Star teams (same as Babe Ruth[!] although in fairness! Ruth was an active player for only two All-Star games). But Abreu isn't just a New Stats darling. His 8 years with 100 RBIs and 8 with 100 Runs Scored — 5 years with both and 6 more with one or the other — make a pretty good Old Stats case.

Maris: yes, PDE was a typo (even though I did it twice). Oddly, though, when you pointed it out, I thought of the fractured French Pièce d'Exploitation. Semi-related thought: Is Dave Parker the only player to lose Hall of Fame votes for using a Performance Impairing Drug?

I probably can't shed any light on why others didn't participate, because these are my reasons: (1) Thanksgiving is when we celebrate Christmas with my son's family; then on Actual Christmas, they're with my daughter-in-law's family near Pittsburgh and my wife and I are with our daughter in St. Petersburg (We win!). (2) I got off on a tangent in my quest for improving upon JAWS with something that incorporates Win Shares. I'm trying to finish it by Christmas for GoR voting, but that's a long shot.

Thanks for the Sheffield run-down. Bill, among others, has called him the most dangerous hitter of his time, but you've made an excellent case that Threat didn't translate well into Impact. And, of course, there was his off-putting personality.
.... One more reason to periodically remind Bill not to leave his series hanging without right fielders.
5:33 PM Dec 9th
 
DMBBHF
klamb,

Yeah, I left off the standard deviation this time, because I wasn't sure how interesting it was. I did add a couple of extra columns in its place, though. I'll go ahead and put it below.

3 of the 15 voters predicted 5% or more for Konerko, 2 voters do so for Soriano, and 4 did so for Lee.

Thanks,
Dan

Standard Deviations - High to Low:

Std Dev - Player
9.5 - Bobby Abreu
9.2 - Larry Walker
6.4 - Todd Helton
6.0 - Curt Schilling
5.7 - Scott Rolen
5.5 - Manny Ramirez
5.3 - Jeff Kent
5.2 - Roger Clemens
5.2 - Omar Vizquel
4.8 - Barry Bonds
4.7 - Jason Giambi
4.6 - Paul Konerko
4.0 - Andy Pettitte
3.3 - Billy Wagner
3.2 - Gary Sheffield
2.4 - Cliff Lee
2.3 - Alfonso Soriano
2.2 - Sammy Sosa
1.8 - Raul Ibanez
1.7 - Josh Beckett
1.6 - Andruw Jones
1.6 - Eric Chavez
0.9 - Derek Jeter
0.9 - Brian Roberts
0.9 - Adam Dunn
0.7 - Carlos Pena
0.6 - Rafael Furcal
0.6 - Brad Penny
0.3 - Chone Figgins
0.3 - Jose Valverde
- - Heath Bell
- - J.J. Putz


11:00 PM Dec 8th
 
MarisFan61
KL: Good to see you! Hope you've been OK.
And BTW, how come you didn't dip your feet into this competition?
I'm asking not just because I'm wondering why you didn't, but also because maybe it'll tell us why a lot of other people didn't too.

About Sheffield: I don't find it at all surprising that he doesn't get more support.
First of all, about the PED question (and BTW, what are PDE's? :-) Just a typo, or is that what you really call them?) ......I, for one, pretty much assume that he was a user. Dunno if others do, but anyway, irrespective of that, I can offer a pretty good answer for why he doesn't get more support.

I don't mean that this demonstrates that he's not a Hall of Famer, but I do mean that it's a quick way of seeing that he isn't by any means a clear one.

What did he ever lead the league in?
Batting average, once. On-base, once. That's all. It's good, but that in itself would tend to keep people from seeing him as a clear HOF'er. And I don't mean necessarily that people would look it up to see how many times he led in whatever, but that people usually have some concept of how much a player was or wasn't a league leader, and this kind of record tends to keep a player from being seen as transcendent.

OK, so he didn't lead the league very much. How about Gray Ink?
Not great either. It's OK but not a level indicative of a clear HOF'er either, especially one with very low Black Ink.
(BTW, I didn't say what his Black Ink is. It's 4; average HOF'er, 27.)
I mean, if a real good player was #1 in the league so little, it leaves extra room for his Gray Ink -- y'know, for when he was maybe 2nd or 3rd in the league.
His Gray Ink is 123; average HOF'er, 144.
123 is good. For a HOF candidate, it's OK. But just OK.

How about his career ranking at his position?
Ideally I'd like to do this by Win Shares but that's harder, so, I'll hold my nose and do it by "WAR" stuff. :-)
Baseball-ref.com has him at #23 for right field.
Like with that other stuff, it's real good, but it's far from a clear HOF'er.
It's right behind Bobby Abreu (who's not going to get in), Vlad Guerrero, and Bobby Bonds (who probably won't ever get in either), and just ahead of a couple of marginal HOF'ers -- Elmer Flick and Enos Slaughter -- and a HOF'er that I don't think we can say exactly what his level is, Willie Keeler; then come Brian Giles and Jack Clark.

I know that there are other numerical ways we could look at him which would make him look better. All I'm saying is that these things that I cited show pretty clearly (I think that's fair to say) that he's absolutely not a very strong HOF candidate, and certainly not a clear HOF'er. He's someone that you might feel like seeing as one, but it's very understandable that people might think he isn't.

(I think he isn't.)
7:31 PM Dec 8th
 
klamb819
I have one general question (with two parts) and two specific ones for Dan.

Not only do I agree completely with shthar's sentiment, but I demand to know the precise number of dogs (+/-5) that Sheffield has kicked. I can't find that stat at Baseball Reference, Fangraphs, Baseball Gauge (including Seamheads), Baseball Prospectus, Baseball Cube, Encyclopaedia Britannica or Wikipedia. :-)

Seriously, I don't remember any connection between Sheffield and PDEs, at least nothing as convincing as for Bagwell and I-Rod. So did I miss something, or does the baseball world just assume he must have used PDEs because he was such a piece of work in his younger years and a vagabond throughout his career? [He would be the first Marlins HoFer. He (a) led them to the '97 World Series crown by slashing .320/.521/.540//1.061 in 16 post-season games, and (b) played a plurality of his 22 seasons for them, never mind that the plurality totaled five (5!), including two fragments.] Much to my surprise, Sheffield has turned out to be both pleasant and insightful on TBS's studio shows. Anyway, the data and contemporaries' judgment both endorse him overwhelmingly for the Hall of Fame.
.... As for Bill's HoF Value Standard, with 500 the approximate line of demarcation, Sheffield scores 672, about the same as Thome's 675 or Raines's 668. For comparison, Jeter has 703, Chipper 757, Edgar Martinez 579, Vlad Guerrero 562.

For Dan: (1) Did you leave out the Standard Deviations, or did I read this too fast?

(2) How many of the 15 voters predicted 5% or more for Lee, Soriano and Konerko? I didn't enter because I wound up without the time to finish, but I did estimates for the first-year guys and picked Lee to clear the 5% (along with Jeter, Abreu and Giambi).

I was probably wrong:
If the projection is correct that three first-time players will exceed 5% of votes, this will be the seventh consecutive year that exactly two new players will remain on the ballot. Those years have had one, two or three players elected on their first ballots, but the number of players with at least 5% and less than 75% has always been two. The streak goes back to 2013, when Bonds and Clemens were among six new players on the ballot to receive more than 10% of the votes. The effect was to spread the voting so thin that the writers elected nobody (yet another outrage from Roger and Barry), and also to deny a second ballot to Kenny Lofton with his 68.3 WAR and 560 HoF Value.
6:35 PM Dec 8th
 
MarisFan61
......The post below was a mistake. I was incorrectly seeing what the columns are.
11:47 AM Dec 6th
 
MarisFan61
The most interesting thing to me about these numbers is how relatively narrow is our range on almost all the candidates. I expected much larger ranges, because there's so much about this year's vote that seems very hard to predict.
11:25 PM Dec 5th
 
MarisFan61
Just a technical detail re how many of us are saying that 'whomever' will get in.
(I made this same point in a previous year)

When we give "75" as our number for a guy, or at least when I do, it's not a projection that he'lll make it, because it can mean 74-point-something.

I said 75 for Larry Walker, which doesn't equal saying he'll have enough to get in. I think he's about 50-50, and I think "75" (including rounding) is just about his median expectation.
11:14 PM Dec 5th
 
shthar
Man. How many people's dogs did Sheffield kick?
9:33 PM Dec 5th
 
 
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