Hall of Fame: Bernie Williams

In what’s become an ongoing series (see, Mike Mussina and Derek Jeter 1 and 2) we move on to the next evaluatee for HOF-worthiness (this one by request): Bernie Williams.

First Bernie’s basic stats (all-time rank in parentheses):

BA: .297 (249); OBP: .381 (156); OPS: .858 (131); HR: 287 (128) RBI: 1257 (112) Runs: 1366 (89); Hits: 2336 (121)

Some “non-traditional statistics” (all adjusted for all-time): EqA: .302, WARP3: 106.2; BRAA (Batting Runs Above Average): 446; BRAR (Batting Runs Above Replacement): 705; FRAA (Fielding Runs Above Average): -50; FRAR (Fielding Runs Above Replacement): 243; OPS+: 125 (T222…notably tied with Yogi Berra).

What do we have here?  A very good hitting, below average but not terrible defensive center-fielder.

One of the best 200 hitters in MLB history?  Maybe, but probably not.  Four Rings?  Sure.  But the list of players with four rings who are not in the Hall of Fame is stagerringly long. 

He’s got a lot of great postseason stats, (first in homers, second in hits, first in doubles, second in runs, first in RBI, second in walks) but those stats are skewed by the fact that he’s played in more postseason games than anyone.

I don’t think Bernie makes the HOF, nor do I think he should.  His candidacy is weak, his stats are not Top-Echelon.

Interesting to note. the Bill James HOF Monitor (a stat used to measure the liklihood of a player being elected, not the deservingness) has Bernie at 133, where 130 is considered a virtual lock.  The HOF Standards (a stat based on a scale of 1-100, where 50 is the average Hall of Famer) has Bernie at 48, just below an average HOFer.

Bernie was great at time and on some great teams.  I just don’t think he’s got enough juice to make the hall.


8 responses to “Hall of Fame: Bernie Williams

  1. I thought Bernie was way below standards until I did a little research and realized he stacks up well with a number of HOF CF.

    Bernie’s 396 runs above average and 106.2 WARP3 is comparable or better than Richie Ashburn (401, 106.5), Earl Averill (247, 75.8), Earle Combs (156, 57.8), and Kirby Puckett (380, 94.9).

    I think Puckett is the best comparison. Their advanced numbers are very close (Puckett’s OPS+ was 124) and even their conventional numbers are very similar (Bernie got on base a lot more though). Bernie was a slightly better offensive player and Puckett was better is the field. When it came down to it, I think they are basically even. So if Puckett is Hall-worthy, so is Bernie.

    So I think Jeter is a lock, first-ballot HOFer, Mussina deserves to make the Hall, and Bernie should make it, although it’s a lot closer than the first two.

    Posada and Rivera are the two other HOFers on those teams. I wonder if Kenny thinks Rivera is qualified to make the Hall.

  2. Totally agree with that assessment.

    Curious – Where do those last two HOF monitors/standards have Mattingly???

  3. HAHAHA…

    Kenny is not overwhelmed by Rivera. Everybody who had to take an at bat against him was… but Kenny certainly isn’t.

    In fact, in the 7 or 8 times that Kenny saw Mo and Jeter play this year, he was unimpressed…

  4. Mattingly:

    HOF Standards: Batting – 34.1 (201) (Average HOFer ≈ 50)
    HOF Monitor: Batting – 133.5 (99) (Likely HOFer > 100)

    Overall Rank in parentheses.

  5. Mariano can make the HOF.
    I don’t think Bernie was better than Puckett offensively even though some of you make that assumption. Don’t look at the career stats because Bernie played in a much better hitters’ era than Kirby (though I do recognize that Kirby did play in 1987) and Bernie was in a better line-up generally. If you want to give me the equalized stats, feel free. Watching them both play, though, for a long time, though, makes it obvious who was a better hitter. If you argue for Bernie, then in my opinion you didn’t watch much baseball in your formative years.

  6. Kenny,

    Assuming, arguendo, that you actually did get to see Kirby Pucket a lot (given that it was 1987, and you didn’t grow up in Minnesota and were a Met fan, I question how much you actually got to see Kirby Puckett), do you really think whatever baseball you watched when you were 10 years old is a better tool for evaluating baseball players than advanced statistics?

  7. I don’t think Bernie was better than Puckett offensively even though some of you make that assumption.

    That’s because the stats bear that out. Seriously, how else are we supposed to determine who is a better hitter?

  8. I think a very good comparison for Bernie is newly inducted HOF’er Jim Rice.

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