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Omar Vizquel and the HOF

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#1 CDog

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 10:48 AM

In another thread, a side conversation started about Omar Vizquel and whether he's a "surefire HoF'er" or something less than that. Brock called him a sure bet as a first-ballot guy in the vein of Ozzie Smith. Some others seemed a little less enthusiastic. I had originally weighed in with the thought that my memory didn't have him as a sure-thing and more of a guy who was just steady, albeit for a long, long time.

So...what did some quick and incomplete fact-checking find?

I don't think Vizquel can touch Ozzie. By both BR and Fangraphs, Ozzie has TEN seasons of WAR better than Vizquel's SECOND best season. For their careers, bWAR and fWAR go to Smith by wide margins of 73 to 40.5 and 70.1 to 47.4, respectively. Looking at just their ten best seasons, Ozzie goes 55.3 and 52.6 against Vizquel's 32.3 and 34.8.

For the more subjective stuff, Ozzie out Gold-Gloved him 13 to 11, and out-All-Starred him 15 to 3 (I should note that the last three AS nods for Ozzie were fairly ridiculous). Smith got MVP votes 6 times, finishing second once (and in the teens and twenties the other five). Vizquel only got votes once, finishing 16th.

On the counting stats, Vizquel does a little better (although he's played five more seasons). He has more hits (2877 to 2460) and HR's (although neither has many...80 to 28...on a side note, I was surprised Ozzie had that many).

The first comparison that came to my mind was maybe someone like Craig Biggio. But he also has a much better portfolio on the limited look I took.

By WAR he has eight or nine seasons better than Vizquel's second best (depending on BR or Fangraphs). His total WAR are 62.1 and 70.5 against the 40.5 or 47.4 for Vizquel. And his ten best years total 51.9 or 53.2 against 32.3 or 34.8.

Biggio also had 4 Gold Gloves (where he falls short of both Vizquel and Smith by quite a bit), 7 All-Star games, and five times got MVP votes including 4th, 5th, and 10th, 12th, and 16th place finishes.

And he wins against both on the main counting stats with 3060 hits and 291 home runs.

So does Vizquel get in...ever? First ballot? Never? What other measures should be looked at? Brock mentioned Vizquel being an anti-steroid example, which I think will definitely matter to some voters. Other angles?

#2 Willihammer

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 11:49 AM

I tend to remember Vizquel as being a key cog in the great Indians teams around the turn of the century, but looking at the numbers, he was really more of a role player. A very solid one but Alomar, Thome, and Ramirez did the heavy lifting in those lineups. Vizquel's glove obviously was terrific but not good enough to make up for his lackluster bat IMHO.

#3 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 03:21 PM

I doubt he makes it into the HOF.
The average HOF SS has 63.1 career WAR, Omar has 40.5.
He ranks 43rd all time among SS's on the JAWS scale, which attempts to compare players at the same position across eras.
Only one guy below him has ever gotten into the HOF, and there are a ton of guys ahead of him havent gotten in (former players), or most likely won't get in (current players).

He ranks behind guys such as Rafael Furcal, Maury Willis, Dave Conception.

The only SS behind him who got in was someone called George Wright, who played in the late 1800's for the Redstockings and Grays.
Wright managed to get into the HOF with 866 career hits, and 11 career HR's, and an .870 career fld%, so I don't really know what is going on with that guy.
Maybe they voted for the wrong guy?

#4 James

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 03:34 PM

The only SS behind him who got in was someone called George Wright, who played in the late 1800's for the Redstockings and Grays.
Wright managed to get into the HOF with 866 career hits, and 11 career HR's, and an .870 career fld%, so I don't really know what is going on with that guy.
Maybe they voted for the wrong guy?

He was the captain of the first professional baseball team ever. The Cincinnati Redstockings.

They talk about it in "Inning one" of Ken Burns documentary "Baseball" which is definitely worth watching.

George Wright (sportsman) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
You can come up with statistics to prove anything. Forty percent of all people know that.

#5 Thrylos

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 05:11 PM

Hope not. He does not even belong to the Hall of Very Good.

Vizquel:

40.5 career WAR (includes defense)
82 career OPS+

Ozzie Smith:

73 career WAR
87 career OPS+

2 non-HOF SSs

Alan Trammell:

67.1 career WAR
110 career OPS+

Noarm (sic) Garciaparra

42 career WAR
124 career OPS+

Cannot put Vizquel in and leave these 2 out (and a few more as well...)
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#6 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 11:31 AM

I'd say no. He was a good SS, but not HOF worthy. He was never even considered the best SS when he played.

#7 ashburyjohn

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 11:52 AM

I'd say no. He was a good SS, but not HOF worthy. He was never even considered the best SS when he played.


Yeah, I'm more on the fence with him, but it's troubling that even when he was racking up the gold gloves he was on an All Star team only 3 times, and earned a couple of votes for MVP just one year.

#8 raindog

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 12:36 PM

I don't think he belongs in the HoF, but should be respected as one of the elite defensive SS of all-time.