Rice, Andre, and My Retroactive Hall of Fame Predictions
Rob invited us to pitch in with our Hall of Fame predictions on Sunday night, but I didn't have a chance to reply until now. Here goes:
Speaking of Rice and the Hall, Dan Turkenkopf of Beyond the Box Score came up with the 10 best player comps for each of this year's leading HOF candidates.
(Turkenkopf tweaked Bill James' formula for player Similarity Scores to better account for park effects and playing era, thus the differences between the lists below and what you'll find at Baseball-Reference.com.)
Rice's comps, starting with the most similar hitter, include:
1. Willie Horton
2. Frank Thomas
3. Ellis Burks
4. George Hendrick
5. Vic Wertz
6. Bobby Thomson
7. Roy Sievers
8. Fred Lynn
9. Andres Gallaraga
10. Gil Hodges
Here is what Turkenkopf has to say about the Rice comparisons:
Not a Hall of Famer on the list. In case you were wondering, that's
not the Big Hurt in the number two spot. Rice's most similar players
were all very good players, but no one really is pushing any of them
for the HOF except for Hodges. There's been a lot of virtual ink
spilled discussing whether or not Rice deserves to be elected and I'm
not going to rehash them here, but I will say that I think Rice will be
one of the least-deserving players elected when he goes in.
Now here are Turkenkopf's 10 best comps for the guy who finished third in this year's HOF balloting, former Cub Andre Dawson:
1. Billy Williams
2. George Foster
3. Goose Goslin
4. Chuck Klein
5. Dave Parker
6. Tony Perez
7. Dave Winfield
8. Duke Snider
9. Juan Gonzalez
10. Al Simmons
And his commentary:
Dawson's top ten strongly suggests he should be elected. However, this
is one of those cases Bill James warned about where similarity scores
can be deceiving. All of the Hall of Famers on the list were
substantially better offensive players than Dawson. I think Dawson is
helped by the lack of an explicit category for OBP in the sim score
one of those players who almost perfectly represents the dividing line
between the Hall of Fame and the Hall of Very Good. He doesn't make my
Hall, but I don't begrudge any one who would vote for him.
For the record, the Dawson list includes seven Hall of Famers--Williams, Goslin, Klein, Perez, Winfield, Snider, and Simmons.
You can look up Jay Bell's top 10 comps on your own.
Arrieta’s 2.85 ERA would be good enough to lead 26 other teams. He's 3rd on #Cubs behind Hendricks (1.99) and Lester (2.28)
Meanwhile on the SouthSide
For sure! Russell and Baez are the first infielders in a while to make me think of star defensive players in football or basketball--it's almost like they force turnovers, and they definitely play the field with a degree of athletic aggression I'd expect from a linebacker.
[Edit: Was meant to be a response to JB above.]
tebow hit a HR in the 1st pitch he sees in instructs..lulz.
I don't think his issue(s) will have anything to do with it. He hasn't hit since he's been back. Coghlan has the hot hand.
I'm not a denier but definitely a skeptic on Strop and Grimm, who struggle with fastball control. Strop doesn't go near the ninth inning, and note how Grimm couldn't close the deal even with a 5-run lead. So Felix Pena comes in and gets the 3-pitch game-ending strikeout like it was nothing.
And how about Almora missing that very catchable ball? That was unexpected after all the hype about his glove.
When Trea Turner misses balls like that--which he does--I draw conclusions from it. It seems to be the one chink in his armor. But I'll give Almora another chance.
Assuming Soler is good to go, I think it comes down to 3 of the following 4: Coghlan, TLS, Sczcur, Almora. Of the 4, TLS seems to be the hardest to justify, particularly given his behavioral issues.
I'm wondering if both Coghlan and LaStella make it. With Javy being able to play all the infield spots and Joe maybe wanting late-inning D when Soler plays (assuming he plays), hence either Szczur or Almora, I think LaStella might be the odd guy out.
Hendricks needs the win, anyway, plus a couple more.
My hunch is that Hendricks wins the Cy Young . . . for Lester. That is, without Hendricks tipping the scale toward the Cubs, Scherzer tops Lester.
Old Cub fans remember when Ken Hubbs died at 22 in the crash of a small plane he was piloting in a storm in Utah in 1964. But Hubbs was not an elite power pitcher like Score and Fernandez. Score lived a long time after the accident but it was (effectively) career-ending.
HAGSAG: Since I've only seen them throw in one game and in one "live" BP session, all I can do is provide initial first impressions.
Brailyn Marquez is listed at 6'4 but is probably more like 6'5 or 6'6. I would describe him as a younger version of Bryan Hudson, throwing a ton of ground balls but not getting a lot of swings & misses (yet). Because of his size he could eventually grow into more velocity, but right now he's mostly a pitch-to-contact guy. He generally throws strikes.
Phil, do Marquez and Ocampo look like prospects?
It helps when your defense has declared war against the H in WHIP.
Lackey finishes with a 3.35 ERA. Currently good for 13th in the NL. Not bad for a guy signed to be a #3 starter in a 15-team league.
He is also 6th in WHIP. Pretty amazing: Cubs have the #2, #3, #5 and #6 starters in WHIP.
Completely meaningless game, but Pena striking out Sean the Turd to with the bases loaded was very fun.
Other than one bad game in SD, Pena has been very good. Even with that game, 9.0 IP, 13 K, 0.89 WHIP.
101 wins...most since 1910 (104).
neat. ...or sad. pick one. pick both. 'murica.