This has been an interesting year for Hall of Fame voting. Some really interesting choices on the ballot and some equally interesting votes as well. If you are interested in following votes made public before the Hall announcement on the 24th (this coming Wednesday) there are great resources for you to follow. Ryan Thibodeaux’s Hall of Fame Tracker is a must, with loads of detail about past and present votes, predicting the number of additional votes previous candidates received. Really valuable information if you’re following candidates closely.
Equally as interesting, but I hesitate to put as much faith in them, are the three fellows using data as well as past and present trends to project likely voting outcomes. All three project a sizable Hall of Fame class, and I think that’s good news.
Scott Lindholm’s January 19th projection has four players making it into the Hall of Fame.
So good news if you’re an Edgar Martinez advocate. Not so great if you’re rooting for Trevor Hoffman. Not sure how much faith i put in Lindholm’s numbers. Hoffman has gotten a net 11 voters to change their votes, and only needed five. There would have to be a lot of changes against him to fail election. Edgar just needs more votes, and with only 46.9% of the votes known, things will have to break his way. You can follow Lindholm on Twitter
Nathaniel Rakich, also on Twitter, has a somewhat different view, with five players making it in.
This January 19th projection should be encouraging to Edgar supporters because earlier Rakich projections had him falling short. Within a margin of error, but still good news. Rakich updates his projections regularly as votes dribble in daily.
Jason Sarsdell’s projection, while encouraging, leaves Edgar on the outside, with votes as follows
Sarsdell, on Twitter, is a bit less exact than Lindholm and Rakich, but also offers a confidence factor on his table. Look, all these guys use math and probability in ways I can’t begin to understand.
But for ardent Edgar followers the news should be encouraging as Sarsdell, Rakich, and Lindholm all have him within 1.2% of election. Nobody would have suggested that possibility after 2015 when Martinez garnered a scant 27.0%.
The numbers I’m watching are these:
- Edgar missed election by 73 votes last year
- Edgar picked up eight of those from new voters–he received 8 out of 10 votes from new voters
- Edgar has received 24 additional votes from returning voters, and lost three, so a net +21. So Edgar has received 29 of the 73 additional voters left.
- Edgar needs to appear on 70.2% of the remaining ballots. His current rate is 80.4% with 199 votes publicly counted
My heart says yes, but my head says no. But it will be close, either way.
This Hall of Fame season has been one of real reflection for me as I revisit the PED users. I’ll be having a long conversation with myself in the coming year about Gary Sheffield, Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens. I’m not sure I’m there yet on Bonds and Clemens, but I am becoming more sympathetic to the notion they were Hall-worthy before their steroid use, and should not be held out simply because they were ethical idiots. This great story by Jay Jaffe at SI.com will at least get me looking more closely at Sheffield, whereas before, I wasn’t really interested. Manny Ramirez and Sammy Sosa don’t even start the outboard engine of inquiry going.
One last comment before my speculation on HOF voting ends for 2018. Ran across one more Lindholm graph comparing third basemen by their production (batting + baserunning runs scored–vertical axis) and fielding run (defensive prowess) Look at Edgar way up at the top of the chart. He should be in red.
Hang in there Edgar fans–the Hall of Fame isn’t far away.