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Does the computer think Joe Mauer is a HOFer?


jlarson

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I have always been intrigued by simulations. Pretend worlds are a lot of fun. I will get into more of that in a moment. For now, I would like to tell the Twins fan base that I do believe Joe Mauer is a hall of famer.

6 all-star appearances

3 batting titles at catcher

1 MVP

55.2 WAR

.388 Career OBP

.306 Career BA

Of course, if Joe Mauer played his whole career at catcher, he is first ballot with no debate. That did not happen though. He last caught in 2013 and retired after the 2018 season. 

WAR as catcher between 2004 – 2013 was 44.6

WAR at first base between 2014 – 2018 WAR: 10.5

Still a valuable player from 2014 on though. At the end of the day Joe M. was the best catcher in baseball for 10 years. That is not easy to do. So how does this fit into my nerdy enjoyment of a simulation? Easy. I wanted to see if the computer agrees with me that Joe Mauer is a hall of famer. I decided to use OOTP to figure this out. If you are not familiar with Out of the Park Baseball, it is an amazing game and simulation engine that allows you to simulate all things baseball.

Check it out here

https://www.ootpdevelopments.com/out-of-the-park-baseball-home/

So, I used OOTP Baseball 2022, and I simulated the 2021 – 2041 baseball seasons. Joe Mauer's career numbers will not change in the pretend world or our real world so that makes this a pretty simple thing to simulate and look at. I was only interested in the Hall of Fame voting totals.

Here are the voting results

year

% of vote

2024

47.8

2025

45.2

2026

32.7

2027

43.8

2028

21.5

2029

38.7

2030

12.6

2031

32.4

2032

14

2033

25.4

So, the computer does not agree with me. Joe M. is not a Hall of Famer. He did not even come real close. I think it will be wrong. Algorithms never played the game. What do you all think?

Other interesting notes from the simulation:

The Twins did not win a World Series during these 20 years.

The Twins made the playoffs 8 times in the time frame.

In 2040 Twins payroll was $185,342,511.

Alex Kirilloff was out of baseball at the age of 30 and had 6 MLB at bats after 2022.

Luis Arraez last played for the Twins in 2026. He retired in 2033 with a .401 OBP. His career earnings were $33,572,500.

Byron Buxton finished his career with a 26.4 WAR.

Buster Posey did not become a Hall of Fame either. His highest vote total was 51.7 in 2036.

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The computer is not smarter than a fifth grader  ....

I don't see mauer going in on first ballot but he eventually will be voted in ....

When ? ,   I won't speculate because he wasn't a east or west coast player ,,, they get the recognition 

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26 minutes ago, Blyleven2011 said:

The computer is not smarter than a fifth grader  ....

I don't see mauer going in on first ballot but he eventually will be voted in ....

When ? ,   I won't speculate because he wasn't a east or west coast player ,,, they get the recognition 

I found this response funny!

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2 hours ago, rwilfong86 said:

Joe Mauer was the best hitting catcher in the history of the game. Deserves to be in the HoF. 

For sure.

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9 hours ago, wsnydes said:

And a damn good defensive catcher too.

People who don't believe Mauer should be in the hall never watched him play. I have his swing up there with Griffey and Ted Williams as the most beautiful I've ever seen. 

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44 minutes ago, rwilfong86 said:

People who don't believe Mauer should be in the hall never watched him play. I have his swing up there with Griffey and Ted Williams as the most beautiful I've ever seen. 

It was about perfect.

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On 5/25/2022 at 6:56 AM, rwilfong86 said:

Joe Mauer was the best hitting catcher in the history of the game. Deserves to be in the HoF. 

Only if your history doesn't extend back to Mike Piazza. BTW - Josh Gibson is the correct answer for best hitting catcher in the history of the game.

Joe Mauer is the Ted Simmons of his era. Simmons was inducted after 27 years of eligibility. That means we should all be able to enjoy Joe Mauer's induction speech in 2050.

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1 minute ago, DJL44 said:

Only if your history doesn't extend back to Mike Piazza. BTW - Josh Gibson is the correct answer for best hitting catcher in the history of the game.

Joe Mauer is the Ted Simmons of his era. Simmons was inducted after 27 years of eligibility. That means we should all be able to enjoy Joe Mauer's induction speech in 2050.

How many MLB at bats did Gibson have? How many batting titles did Piazza win?

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3 minutes ago, rwilfong86 said:

How many MLB at bats did Gibson have? How many batting titles did Piazza win?

Gibson had 2511 recorded plate appearances in major league baseball and a whole bunch more that weren't recorded.

Piazza has 10 Silver Slugger awards at catcher, which is the highest total of anyone at that position and the second highest total in the history of the award (behind Barry Bonds). He produced nearly 200 more batting runs (RBat) than Mauer over the course of his career. It isn't even fair, Piazza wins this comparison easily.

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15 minutes ago, DJL44 said:

Gibson had 2511 recorded plate appearances in major league baseball and a whole bunch more that weren't recorded.

Piazza has 10 Silver Slugger awards at catcher, which is the highest total of anyone at that position and the second highest total in the history of the award (behind Barry Bonds). He produced nearly 200 more batting runs (RBat) than Mauer over the course of his career. It isn't even fair, Piazza wins this comparison easily.

Can you tell me which team in Major League Baseball Josh Gibson played for? Maybe you should share that new info with MLB that since he died before Jackie Robinson played for the Dodgers. 

I think Mauer had 5 SS and won an MVP and played during the days of Jorge Posada and Ivan Rodriguez who were both good hitting catchers, Piazza really didn't have any other competition in the NL the way Mauer did. Piazza was a far better run producer, I agree and hit for more power. That wasn't Mauer's game. Mauer's ability to hit for high average had never been seen before in the history of baseball from the catcher position. 

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16 minutes ago, rwilfong86 said:

Can you tell me which team in Major League Baseball Josh Gibson played for? Maybe you should share that new info with MLB that since he died before Jackie Robinson played for the Dodgers. 

Piazza was a far better run producer, I agree 

Sure, Josh Gibson played for the Pittsburgh Crawfords and the Homestead Grays. There were major leagues besides the American League and the National League, in case you didn't get the memo. If you're going to exclude Josh Gibson for playing before 1947 then you have to exclude everyone else who played before 1947. You should probably exclude anyone who played before 1960 for that matter. That makes "the history of baseball" extend all of 60 years.

I'm glad you agree with me that Piazza was a better hitter than Joe Mauer (or to be extra nitpicky, better for more seasons than Joe Mauer). Producing runs is the whole point of hitting. FWIW - Piazza has the higher career batting average.

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As a Negro League historian who goes to the NLBM several times a year for research I have a high respect for the negro leagues and it's players but it was definitely not the same level of organization or caliber of play as the Major Leagues. And just because MLB and baseball reference made a declaration and decided to include stats (which are incomplete) doesn't re-write history or change the facts. 

You do realize Joe Mauer played the end of his career at first base? His career average as a catcher is .328 I believe. 

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Baseball Reference's HoF monitor is pretty good with comparisons on this stuff.

  • 55.2 career bWAR (60 bWAR used to be an automatic yes, but it's turned into 60 bWAR merits consideration over the past decade it seems.) Mauer's career WAR is 156th in all of baseball history. There are 236 people who've been inducted as players. 
  • 39.0 7yr peak bWAR, which is a bit on the low side only when compared with other position players
  • Compared to the only 16 HoF catchers, Mauer is better than average 55.2 vs. 53.7 bWAR career and significantly better with 39.0 vs. 34.7 peak bWAR.

If he hadn't gotten the concussion, Mauer would likely be a 1st ballot HoF in my opinion. That's the trajectory he was on and voters do take that into account. Injury altered or shortened careers get weighted in the player's favor a bit. In addition, a quick peek at the BRef leaderboard is pretty eye opening. You have to scroll to get through it all.

Comparing Joe Mauer directly to specific players, especially historical figures from different eras in baseball, doesn't make much sense to me.

I expect Joe Mauer will get in. He was one of the biggest names in baseball and was one of the best players in baseball long enough that his reputation precedes itself.

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20 hours ago, rwilfong86 said:

You do realize Joe Mauer played the end of his career at first base? His career average as a catcher is .328 I believe. 

Is being forced off his best position well before the end of his short career supposed to help his case? Piazza was every bit as good of a hitter as Mauer during their respective best seasons and Piazza hit better for a longer period of time. Piazza also played catcher longer than Mauer.

The caliber of play in the American League was very different in 1920 compared to 1970 compared to 2020. Even when you account for caliber of play the overwhelming evidence points to Josh Gibson as the best hitting catcher in the history of baseball.

 

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18 hours ago, bean5302 said:

Baseball Reference's HoF monitor is pretty good with comparisons on this stuff.

  • 55.2 career bWAR (60 bWAR used to be an automatic yes, but it's turned into 60 bWAR merits consideration over the past decade it seems.) Mauer's career WAR is 156th in all of baseball history. There are 236 people who've been inducted as players. 
  • 39.0 7yr peak bWAR, which is a bit on the low side only when compared with other position players
  • Compared to the only 16 HoF catchers, Mauer is better than average 55.2 vs. 53.7 bWAR career and significantly better with 39.0 vs. 34.7 peak bWAR.

If he hadn't gotten the concussion, Mauer would likely be a 1st ballot HoF in my opinion. That's the trajectory he was on and voters do take that into account. Injury altered or shortened careers get weighted in the player's favor a bit. In addition, a quick peek at the BRef leaderboard is pretty eye opening. You have to scroll to get through it all.

Comparing Joe Mauer directly to specific players, especially historical figures from different eras in baseball, doesn't make much sense to me.

I expect Joe Mauer will get in. He was one of the biggest names in baseball and was one of the best players in baseball long enough that his reputation precedes itself.

Thanks for crunching the numbers! 

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18 hours ago, bean5302 said:

If he hadn't gotten the concussion, Mauer would likely be a 1st ballot HoF in my opinion. That's the trajectory he was on and voters do take that into account. Injury altered or shortened careers get weighted in the player's favor a bit. In addition, a quick peek at the BRef leaderboard is pretty eye opening. You have to scroll to get through it all.

Very few catchers have been elected on the first ballot: Ivan Rodriguez and Johnny Bench. That's the whole list. No Yogi Berra, Gary Carter, Carlton Fisk, or Mike Piazza. Ivan Rodriguez was barely elected first-ballot (76% of the vote). The only "likely" first-ballot hall of fame catcher was Johnny Bench. I like Joe Mauer but he's no Johnny Bench.

There are also dozens and dozens of players who you could say "He would have been a Hall of Famer except for fill-in-the-blank injury."

Ultimately I think Mauer will get elected. He's a likeable guy and that matters more than talent for Hall of Fame induction.

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