The frontpage poll got me thinking, and that tends to be dangerous. Is Chipper Jones a HOFer, if he retired today?
There are only a few modern day(elected after 1960) third basemen in the HOF, including: George Brett, Wade Boggs, Eddie Matthews, Brooks Robinson and Mike Schmidt. Although, it's not that much different from SS, 2B or catchers. I'm not a fan of saying, well there have only been 2 guys at this position in the hall and this guy is almost as good, so he should be in. Times change. I'll look to Chipper's contemporaries.
One MVP. Five All-Star Games. Two Silver Sluggers. One World Series ring. Who else won Silver Sluggers during Chipper's time? Vinnie Castilla, Scott Rolen, Albert Pujols, Mike Lowell, Adrian Beltre, also look to AL guys like Eric Chavez and Troy Glaus.
Chipper's got 2056 career hits, 375 HR, 1255 runs and RBIs. He's also got a .306 AVG, .404 OBP and .544 SLG. That makes for a .948 career OPS. His career OPS+ is 144.
For my sabermetric brothers, he's got a career .317 EqA, but only a WARP3 of 91.7. Why? Deplorable defense. Sabermetrically speaking, Rolen has been more valuable throughout their respective careers. Rolen has a .298 career EqA, but has a WARP3 of 95.6, due to Rolen's defensive ability. That WARP3 also takes into that Rolen has played 400 less games. Per 162 games, Rolen scores a 10.4 WARP3 compared to 8.05 WARP3 for Chipper. That equates to 2.35 wins per year. So Chipper may not even be the best 3B of his own generation.
Chipper definitely doesn't compare with Mike Schmidt who hit like Chipper (.313 EqA) and fielded like Rolen. Schmidt had a 160.1 WARP3, or a 10.8 WARP3 per 162 games. He also lags behind Brett, Boggs, and Matthews. He has better numbers than Brooks Robinson who had a .267 EqA and 119 WARP3 or 6.65 WARP 3 per 162 games.
It's hard to say, but I think the glut of 3B today with HOF talent could hurt Chipper's chances. A-Rod, Miggy, David Wright. Clearly, A-Rod will be in talks for one of the top 10 players of all-time when all is said and done. At Miggy's age he's already put up two seasons comparable to Chipper's best offensive season. David Wright is putting up numbers like Mike Schmidt, Jr. similar, but slightly inferior offensive and defensive numbers.
There's the evidence. My HOF bar is set very high and I think there are too many guys in too start. With that said, I vote no on Chipper, if he retired today.
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