2016 Hall of Fame Ballot
|2015 Hall of Fame Ballot
Player Won-Lost Records, sorted by pWORL
|Ken Griffey Jr.||339.2||300.4||16.4||345.7||293.9||23.0||48.5|
|Tim Raines Sr.||313.5||276.2||10.8||316.9||272.8||14.2||37.5|
|Luis A. Castillo||203.0||204.2||0.6||203.7||203.5||1.3||16.9|
Preliminary Prediction of 2016 Hall-of-Fame Election ResultsFollowing the release of 2015 Hall-of-Fame election results, I posted an article that analyzed the results and offered a very early prediction for 2016 voting results. Taking those very early predictions as a starting point, I make a somewhat updated set of predictions next. The first few paragraphs here are repeated from my earlier article.
The average full 2014 Hall-of-Fame ballot included 3.58 names of players who were no longer on the 2015 Hall-of-Fame ballot. These were replaced with 3.05 players who were new to the 2015 Hall-of-Fame ballot and, since these ballots were full by definition, an additional 0.53 votes per ballot for returning players.To a large extent, then, the logjam that was such a dominant feature of the 2015 and 2014 (and, to a less-publicized extent, 2013) Hall-of-Fame ballots should be far less of an issue in 2016. If full-ballot voters are seeing 4 ballot spaces opening up and only 2 new players worth filling them, this will go a long way toward enabling full-ballot voters to put most of the players who were ballot-cap casualties last year back on their ballots in 2016. There may still be issues for some voters whose ballot-cap backlog stretches 5 or 6 players deep, but the fact is, it seems very unlikely that this year there will be a significant number of ballot-cap casualties.
The average full 2015 Hall-of-Fame ballot included 3.85 names of players who are no longer on the 2016 Hall-of-Fame ballot - the four players elected last year were all supported overwhelmingly by full-ballot voters. Players debuting on the 2016 Hall-of-Fame ballot seem extremely unlikely to earn 3 Hall-of-Fame votes per ballot like last year's debut class did. Ken Griffey, Jr. will almost certainly fill up one available ballot slot for the overwhelming majority of last year's full-ballot voters. And there are several other candidates with potentially intriguing Hall-of-Fame credentials, including Jim Edmonds, Trevor Hoffman, and perhaps Billy Wagner, Jason Kendall, Troy Glaus, and/or Mike Hampton (not to the mention the sorts of single votes thrown to past players such as Aaron Sele, Jacque Jones, and Darin Erstad, which could be tossed toward Garrett Anderson or David Eckstein this year). But I would expect first-year players to take up an average of maybe 2 votes per ballot and certainly no more than 2.5.
|2015 Vote Pct.
(est., incl. Ballot-Cap Casualties)
|Player||2015 Vote %|
|Tim Raines Sr.||62.5%|
|Avg. Names per Ballot||5.4|
|2015 Vote Pct.
(est., incl. Ballot-Cap Casualties)
|Player||2015 Vote %|
|Tim Raines Sr.||65.2%|
|Avg. Names per Ballot||5.6|
Mike PiazzaMike Piazza was the top 2015 vote-getter among players returning for the 2016 Hall-of-Fame ballot. Piazza was named very infrequently as a ballot cap casualty (in fact, he was named exactly once). He did, however, do somewhat better among Public voters than Non-Public voters, so removing some of the latter improved his expected vote percentage. If the total number of ballots in 2016 is 469, then the number of votes needed for election will be 352.
Tim RainesThe potential good news for Tim Raines is that there were a number of full-ballot voters (10) who apparently considered Tim Raines to be Hall-of-Fame worthyy but were unable to fit him on their 10-person ballot. With the ballot clearing up considerably for 2016, it seems very likely that Tim Raines should be able to pick up most of these votes. Tim Raines also performed better on Public ballots than Non-Public ballots.
Jeff BagwellIn many ways, Jeff Bagwell may be the Hall-of-Fame candidate worth watching most closely. While 3 of the top 4 returning vote getters saw significant increases in support in 2015 (Biggio, Piazza, and Raines), Jeff Bagwell's vote total basically stagnated. He actually lost 4 votes from 2014 to 2015, although the smaller electorate meant that his vote percentage increased slightly, from 54.3% to 55.7%. But that latter number remains lower than Bagwell's vote percentage in both his second and third years on the ballot (2012 and 2013, 56.0% and 59.6%, respectively). And the ballot cap numbers do not suggest a hidden reservoir of support for Bagwell as they do for Raines. Nor did Bagwell do appreciably worse among Non-Public voters than he did among Public voters. Even adding in full-ballot voters who excluded Bagwell because of the ballot cap and removing one-third of Non-Public voters only pushes Bagwell's percentage to 58.5%, which would still be about 1% below the high-water mark of Bagwell's third year on the ballot.
One possibility, and I think by far the most optimistic for Bagwell, is simply that voters were overwhelmed by the last two exceptionally strong ballots and had no opportunity to really evaluate Bagwell's candidacy. It could be, then, that Bagwell's candidacy will essentially reset in 2016, picking up where it left off in, say, 2012 - when Bagwell's support grew 14.3% (from 41.7% to 56.0%) from his first to second ballot. Bagwell has five years left on the ballot and needs to increase his support by 15-20%. A solid gain in 2016 of 6-8% by Bagwell - into the low-to-mid 60's would put Bagwell back on a path to 75% that would be attainable before his ballot eligibility expires.I do not really have a good feel for which of these three possibilities is the most likely. As such, my first guess as to Bagwell's 2016 vote total would probably be something very similar to the number in the above table, perhaps plus 5-10 votes. I think that 60% is probably the magic number for Bagwell. If his 2016 vote total ends up below 60%, I suspect that the second and third possibilities raised above are the dominant factors affecting Bagwell's case and I would bet against him being able to overcome them in time to be elected by the BBWAA.
A second possibility is that voters have considered Bagwell's case but are simply unpersuaded by it. Using traditional statistics, Bagwell's Hall-of-Fame case is fairly subtle. He wasn't a .300 hitter (barely, he was a career .297 hitter), he failed to hit 500 home runs (he hit 449 and added 488 doubles), he made only 4 All-Star games, he won only one Gold Glove. Digging more deeply, Bagwell's case becomes much stronger - he had a career on-base percentage of .408, he was an excellent base runner and fielder for a first baseman. Controlling for context, for example, his career value is similar to Hall-of-Fame first basemen Eddie Murray and Willie McCovey. If the problem is simply that voters can't see that, Bagwell's case could still be won yet, but may require a more concerted effort at persuading the doubters among the electorate. Given the relatively light rookie class on the 2016 Hall-of-Fame ballot - none of whom are very similar to Bagwell - the electorate could be open to this sort of persuasion to a greater extent than in years past. But half of Bagwell's eligibility has already been used up, and such persuasion could be an increasingly difficult sell.
The third possibility is probably the most damning to Bagwell's candidacy. There are undoubtedly some Hall-of-Fame voters who are reluctant to vote for Jeff Bagwell because of a belief that he might have used steroids during his playing career. It is clear that the number of voters who view verifiable (or even reasonably certain) steroid use as an absolute disqualifier for the Hall of Fame is sufficient to deny election. The question, however, is how many such voters are placing Bagwell into the "known steroid user" bucket. If 30% of the electorate are not voting for Bagwell because they believe he used steroids then, absent some compelling evidence that Bagwell did not use steroids (and it's very difficult to prove a negative), his Hall-of-Fame candidacy would seem doomed.
Curt Schilling and Mike MussinaCurt Schilling and Mike Mussina potentially stand to gain more from the clearing of the last two Hall-of-Fame ballots than anybody else. In both 2014 and 2015, Mike Mussina was named as a ballot-cap casualty more frequently than anybody else. The reason for this seems fairly clear: the Hall of Fame has just elected five starting pitchers who were exact contemporaries of Mussina (and Schilling) to the Hall of Fame over the past two years. In 2016, Schilling and Mussina should move from the 4th- and 5th-best "steroid-free" starting pitchers on the ballot to the 1st- and 2nd-best "steroid-free" starting pitchers on the ballot.
Barry Bonds and Roger ClemensHall of Fame support for Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens has held fairly steady in their three years on the ballot, at 35-39%. And, in both 2014 and 2015, I found very few writers who excluded either Bonds or Clemens (or both) because of the ballot cap. So, my first guess would be to expect support for Bonds and Clemens to continue to hold relatively constant in 2016 (and thereafter), at something just under 40%.
Everybody ElseFrankly, nobody else who will be returning to the 2016 Hall-of-Fame ballot looks to be an obvious candidate to gain any traction.
Ken Griffey, Jr., will be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2016. I am probably more confident in this prediction than in any other prediction I am making here - regardless of how fuzzy some of those other predictions are. The simple fact is there's no real reason why any voter would vote against Ken Griffey, Jr. True, his post-age 30 career was something of a disappointment, but yet, he still ended up hitting 630 home runs (6th all-time) and driving in 1,836 runs (15th all-time). He made 13 All-Star teams, he won 10 Gold Gloves (1 in every year of the 1990's). He won an MVP award and finished in the top 5 in MVP voting 4 other times.Ken Griffey, Jr.
Among players debuting on the 2016 Hall-of-Fame ballot, I would expect the second-highest vote total to go to Trevor Hoffman. Lee Smith has lasted 13 years on the Hall of Fame ballot (which, because of a rule change, Trevor Hoffman has no chance of matching), peaking at 50.6% support in 2012 on the basis of having held the career record for saves when he retired, with 478.Trevor Hoffman
The only other player debuting on the 2016 ballot who I think has any chance of actually being elected to the Hall of Fame is probably Jim Edmonds. Edmonds has some things going for him - a career OPS of .903, OPS+ of 132, 393 home runs, 8 Gold Gloves. Measured by Player won-lost records, Edmonds looks much stronger, for example, than Hall-of-Famer Andre Dawson.Jim Edmonds
Troy Glaus hit 47 home runs as a 23-year-old. But he only hit 30 home runs twice after the age of 25 and was named in the Mitchell Report. He may get a handful of token votes, but that's it.Other Players
|2015 Vote Pct.
|Player||2015 Vote %|
|Ken Griffey Jr.||95.3%|
|Tim Raines Sr.||69.9%|
|Luis A. Castillo||0.0%|
|Avg. Names per Ballot||7.5|
Performance-Enhancing Drugs and the Hall of FameUnfortunately, lately, it has become impossible to talk about the Hall of Fame without bumping up against the subject of performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs). This is not a topic that I'm particularly keen on discussing here. My interest is in the data and, as far as the data are concerned, a home run is a home run and a Player win is a Player win, regardless of what a player did to hit that home run or earn that Player win. I gave my opinion on PEDs in baseball in my first Hall-of-Fame ballot article about the 2013 Hall of Fame ballot if anybody cares about my opinion.
The Individual Players on the 2016 Hall of Fame BallotOver the next several weeks, I will write up an article about each of the 32 players on the 2016 Hall of Fame ballot. For the most part, these will not be advocacy articles: plenty of other people will post plenty of those. But hopefully, they will be interesting articles that may reveal something new and/or interesting, or at least a little fun, about these players, using Player won-lost records. I hope you enjoy them.
2016 Veterans' Committee Hall-of-Fame BallotWes Ferrell
2016 BBWAA Hall-of-Fame Ballot2016 Hall-of-Fame Vote: How Good Were My Predictions?Garret Anderson
Ken Griffey, Jr.
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