Baseball Player Won-Loss Records
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Jeff Kent

2015 Hall of Fame Ballot Series: Jeff Kent



The first table below presents Jeff Kent's career as measured by Player won-lost records.

Jeff Kent
Basic Player Won-Lost Records
Value Decomposition
Season Team Age Games pWins pLosses pWin Pct. pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWin Pct. eWOPA eWORL
24
102
10.09.40.5160.3
1.0
10.19.60.5140.21.0
1993NYN25
140
16.118.00.471-1.0
0.4
16.116.20.498-0.01.2
1994NYN26
107
14.912.70.5411.2
2.3
13.912.20.5320.92.0
1995NYN27
125
15.015.40.493-0.1
1.1
15.814.70.5170.61.9
28
127
13.613.20.508-0.1
1.0
13.813.00.5140.11.2
1997SFN29
155
21.618.20.5421.7
3.3
19.417.80.5210.92.3
1998SFN30
137
20.816.70.5562.1
3.6
19.716.10.5491.83.2
1999SFN31
138
18.115.10.5461.5
2.8
16.114.30.5290.92.0
2000SFN32
159
22.816.30.5843.3
4.9
20.616.00.5642.43.9
2001SFN33
159
21.517.20.5552.0
3.7
20.517.10.5451.63.2
2002SFN34
152
23.616.80.5853.6
5.2
22.217.60.5582.54.1
2003HOU35
130
18.716.40.5331.2
2.6
16.615.50.5180.61.9
2004HOU36
145
20.216.90.5451.8
3.2
18.317.30.5140.62.0
2005LAN37
149
21.018.70.5301.0
2.4
20.917.60.5421.42.8
2006LAN38
115
14.312.90.5260.8
1.8
13.512.60.5180.61.5
2007LAN39
136
16.916.60.5040.1
1.3
16.615.60.5160.41.6
2008LAN40
121
13.414.40.482-0.5
0.5
12.413.30.482-0.50.4
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER (reg. season)
2,297
302.6264.80.53318.9
41.1
286.4256.60.52814.936.2
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
PostSeason (career)
49
5.44.70.532 0.75.45.10.515 0.6
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
COMBINED
2,346
308.0269.60.533
41.8
291.9261.70.528 36.8


This is Jeff Kent's second year on the Hall-of-Fame ballot. In my 2014 Hall-of-Fame ballot series, I compared Kent to the most recent second baseman to be elected to the Hall of Fame, Roberto Alomar.

For this year's article, I am going to take a look at the players most similar to Jeff Kent in career value, as measured by Player won-lost records. The 10 players most similar to Jeff Kent in career value are shown in the table below.

Wins over Baseline
Player Games pWins pLosses pWOPA pWORL Batting Baserunning Pitching Fielding
Jeff Kent
2297
302.6264.818.9
41.1
12.5-1.10.05.0
Ron Santo
2243
293.6258.812.7
35.2
16.3-1.80.06.0
Ron Cey
2070
255.8217.414.5
32.8
13.2-1.80.04.9
Darrell Evans
2683
302.8259.214.9
37.6
17.2-0.30.04.0
Robinson Cano
1998
265.2227.221.4
39.6
9.80.00.06.0
Scott Rolen
2036
265.5220.819.2
37.9
12.0-0.00.06.8
Enos Slaughter
2340
300.2249.416.2
38.8
13.80.10.04.3
Graig Nettles
2692
308.7270.316.3
39.2
9.0-0.20.07.1
Ernie Banks
2525
310.4279.211.8
35.7
15.2-0.80.07.5
Vladimir Guerrero
2147
292.3247.714.0
37.0
18.8-0.50.02.9
Rocky Colavito
1840
252.6214.19.8
28.5
16.3-1.20.05.4


Eight of the ten players most similar to Jeff Kent have been retired long enough to be eligible for the Hall of Fame. Three of the eight are in the Hall of Fame. That feels about right to me: Kent is a borderline Hall-of-Fame candidate, perhaps somewhat less likely than not to deserve to be elected.

One interesting feature about Kent's most-similar list is that none of the ten players played the same position as Kent. Jeff Kent was primarily a second baseman in his career. His 10 most-similar players includes 1 catcher, 1 shortstop (who actually played more career games at first base), 2 third basemen, 2 center fielders, and 4 corner outfielders (two of whom closed their career playing a fair bit at DH). This seems reasonably fair to me: a below-average defensive middle infielder is comparable in value to a below-average defensive centerfielder or a mediocre corner IF/OF or a guy who split time between SS and 1B. Viewed in that way, the two defensive outliers here would seem to be Gary Carter and Scott Rolen, who were both legitimately great defensive players.

The other player who maybe isn't a particularly good comp would probably be Ernie Banks, who moves more clearly ahead of Jeff Kent in career value when Player won-lost records are adjusted for context and the quality of one's teammates. Banks beats Kent 42.1 - 36.2 in eWins over replacement level (eWORL).

Unfortunately for Kent, removing Carter, Rolen, and Banks from his list of most similars arguably removes the three best players in the above table. Nevertheless, Jim Rice is in the Hall of Fame, Vlad Guerrero has an excellent chance of joining him some day (in my opinion), and Rocky Colavito had a good enough career that I wrote an article about him already.

Overall, I think that Jeff Kent has a quite credible Hall-of-Fame case. Unfortunately, on the 2015 Hall-of-Fame ballot, the strongest argument against him is probably the ballot cap.

2015 Hall of Fame Ballot Series




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