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HoF debate: Kirby Puckett

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HoF debate: Kirby Puckett

Postby giants! » Tue Aug 15, 2006 1:51 pm

He is in, but does he deserve it.
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Re: HoF debate: Kirby Puckett

Postby mikhayl » Tue Aug 15, 2006 2:06 pm

giants! wrote:He is in, but does he deserve it.


Possibly the top right handed hitter of his era, 2 time world series hero, and a tremendous fielder. I'm not a fan of cutting a guy slack because of injury (i.e. what could have been) but he was at the top of the game for a long time and he showed zero signs of slowing down when he was forced into retirement.

I think he deserved to be in there.
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Postby Pogotheostrich » Tue Aug 15, 2006 2:21 pm

He falls short in my book.
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Postby joshheines » Tue Aug 15, 2006 2:36 pm

Nope. No way. No how. By the stats, by the metrics and by the "fear factor" which are all traditional and non-traditional ways to determine a HOFer. Puckett doesn't measure up.

First, we'll look at lifetime achievements. All stats are close approximations. 400 doubles, 50 triples and 200 HR. 1100 RBIs and 1100 runs. Strong .318 career average. Pretty Weak .360 OBP. Weak .477 SLG. 2300+ career hits is OK, but nothing amazing. Puckett has 134 career SB, but also 76 career CS for a 63% success rate. Generally you need to succeed about 72% of the time in SB for it to be of value to your team, so Puckett's "speed" was not an asset and was actually a detriment to his team.

It's not fair given that Puckett played in the 80s and 90s, but today 21 active players have scored more runs than Puck. 10 players including Julio Franco and BJ Surhoff have more hits. 16 players including BJ Surhoff and Ruben Sierra have more doubles. Well over 30 active players have more HR than Kirby. About 28 players have more RBIs.

No MVPs. Although he finished in the top 3, 3 times. He has 6 gold gloves, although it appears as if that is about 2 too many. In 1986 and 1987 when he won the gold gloves, he actually played below average CF. His FRAA those years were -5 and 06 respectively. He was an all-star every year from 1986-1995. Although from 1989-1991, you've got to question every all-star selection. Those numbers are hardly notable for any all-star. Same with 1993 and 1995. To me, the only all-star seasons I see are 1986-1988 and 1992 and 1994. Those are the years he won the silver slugger.

His career OPS+ is +124. Which means his OPS was 24% higher than the average player of his time. His career RC/27 was 6.34 over about 7800 plate appearances. Mattingly had a career OPS+ of 127 and 6.29 RC/27 of 7700 career plate appearances. They both played about the same defense over their careers too.

Puck finished in the top ten in OPS only 3 times in his career and never finished higher than 4th. He led the league in RBIs once and finished second another time.

His career adjusted WARP3 is 93.5 In my opinion, you need a 100.00 minimum to justify the HOF.

Puck, like hundreds of other players belong in the Hall of Very Good. Too few at bats and just not enough with the at bats he had. With a career of his length I'd want to see Pujols type seasons consistently.

VORP (Value over replacement player) (rank overall in parenthesis)
1986 - 65.4 (4)
1987 -55.1 (14)
1988 - 75.1 (2)
1989 - 59 (6)
1990 - 29.8 (54) [Bo Jackson was 55 that year]
1991 - 40.8 (30)
1992 - 56.2 (12)
1993 - 36.4 (47)
1994 - 31.4 (37)
1995 - 40.5 (28)

For comparison here is Pujols so far:
2002 - 62.4 (15)
2003 - 97.9 (2)
2004 - 92.3 (2)
2005 - 88.3 (3)
2006 - 64.5 (2) (to date)

Puck had a few really great, maybe HOF seasons, but in the end they weren't that great to get him in with how short his career was.

Man was this a rambling jumbling argument.
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Postby slomo007 » Tue Aug 15, 2006 2:46 pm

Nice post josh! I agree with most of what you said, Puckett's a great PR story but not a HOF worthy player.
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Postby Nerfherders » Tue Aug 15, 2006 3:22 pm

Yep this will be the man every fan of a marginal HoF player will look at and say, "But if he's in..."

He got in for being an ambassador of the game, and in part because he had to leave the game because of a freak health issue. Now if had continued to play and got the magical 3000 hits, yeah he's in on numbers. That's really all he would need.
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Postby CircleMeBert » Tue Aug 15, 2006 3:31 pm

Fastest player to accumulate 2000 hits. Sounds Hall worthy to me.
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Postby joshheines » Tue Aug 15, 2006 3:58 pm

CircleMeBert wrote:Fastest player to accumulate 2000 hits. Sounds Hall worthy to me.


That's a slippery slope argument if ever I heard one. Do we vote in the fastest player to 1750 hits? or 1500 hits? or 1000 hits?

If 3000 is traditionally a magic number, what does it matter how fast he got 2000 hits which is 66% of 3000. Are we going to reward a guy who is the fastest to 333 HR (which is 66% of 500).

Puckett got to 2000 hits so fast in part because the word walk was not high on his vocabulary list.

All that I just checked and Tony Gwynn was younger when he got to 2000. Jeter was younger too. Actually I think a few guys did it younger and faster.
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Postby Armed and Hammered » Tue Aug 15, 2006 4:30 pm

If this debate is just based on stats then I could see some argument. I see the HOF as taking into account more than what can be determined using a calculator though. Intangibles cannot be found on the stat sheet and this guy had just about every one in his favor. I say he shoulda been a no-doubter as he was. 10 time All-Star during 11 yr career. 6 time gold glove. Don't they take into account that his career was cut short by injury?
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Postby looptid » Tue Aug 15, 2006 6:03 pm

joshheines wrote:His career OPS+ is +124. Which means his OPS was 24% higher than the average player of his time. His career RC/27 was 6.34 over about 7800 plate appearances. Mattingly had a career OPS+ of 127 and 6.29 RC/27 of 7700 career plate appearances. They both played about the same defense over their careers too.

I don't think he's in either, but don't compare the defensive contributions of a center fielder to a first baseman. Being a great defensive first baseman is like being the prettiest girl at fat camp.
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