Bill Gilbert: Analyzing the 2016 HOF Vote

SABR Analyst and Pecan Park Eagle Contributor Bill Analyst takes a look today at the 2016 Hall of Fame Vote.

SABR Analyst and Pecan Park Eagle Contributor Bill Analyst takes a look today at the 2016 Hall of Fame Vote.

Analyzing the 2016 Hall of Fame Vote

 By Bill Gilbert

The Baseball Writers Association of America elected 2 players to the Hall of Fame this year, Ken Griffey. Jr. (99.3%) and Mike Piazza (83.0%). Griffey’s percentage was the highest ever recorded, exceeding Tom Seaver’s 98.84% in 1992.

Of those on the ballot who were not elected, Jeff Bagwell (71.6%) and Tim Raines (69.8%) were the closest and should be in good position for election in 2017.

Fifteen of the seventeen holdovers on the ballot received a higher percentage of the votes in 2016 than in 2015 led by Mike Mussina (+18.4%), Edgar Martinez (+16.4%), Bagwell (+15.9%) Alan Trammell (+15.8% in his final year on the writers ballot), Raines (+14.8%), Curt Schilling (+13.1%) and Piazza (+13.1%). The only holdovers to lose ground were Gary Sheffield (from 11.7% to 11.6%) and Nomar Garciaparra (from 5.5% to 1 8% which removes him from future ballots)

The voters are still largely negative with regards to players associated with Performance Enhancing Drugs (PEDs). Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds each picked up about 7.5% but are mired in the mid 40% range.

There was a significant change in the voting population in the 2016 election. Writers who have been inactive professionally for 10 years are no longer eligible to vote, reducing the total number of ballots cast from 549 in 2015 to 440 in 2016..   Thus, some players on the ballot who received a higher percentage of votes actually received fewer total votes.

Following is a list of candidates that received votes in the election this year. For the holdovers, vote totals for last year are also shown.

Player Ballot Years 2016 Votes 2016 % 2015 VOTES 2015 % Vote Differ 2016 Vote Differ %
Ken Griffey 1 437 99.3
M Piazza 4 365 83.0 384 69.9 -19 13.1
Jeff Bagwell 6 315 71.6 306 71.6 9 15.9
Tim Raines 9 397 69.8 302 55.0 5 14.8
T Hoffman 1 296 67.3
C Schilling 4 230 52.3 215 39.2 15 13.1
R Clemens 4 199 45.2 206 37.5 -7 7.7
B Bonds 4 195 44.3 202 36.8 -7 7.5
E Martinez 7 191 43.4 148 27.0 43 16.4
M Mussina 3 189 43.0 135 24.6 54 18.4
ATrammell 15 180 40.9 138 25.1 42 15.8
Lee Smith 14 150 34.1 166 30.2 -16 3.9
F McGriff 7 92 20.9 71 12.9 21 8.0
Jeff Kent 3 73 16.6 77 14.0 – 4 2.6
L Walker 6 68 15.5 65 11.8 3 3.7
M McGwire 10 54 12.3 55 10.0 -1 2.3
G Sheffield 2 51 11.6 64 11.7 -13 – 0.1
B Wagner 1 46 10.5
S Sosa 3 31 7.0 36 6.6 -5 0.4
J Edmonds 1 11 2.5
Garciaparra 2 8 1.8 30 5.5 -22 -3.7
M Sweeney 1 3 0.7
D Eckstein 1 2 0.5
J Kendall 1 2 0.5
GAnderson 1 1 0.2

 

In addition to Griffey, two other ballot newcomers received enough votes to remain on the ballot. Both were closers, Trevor Hoffman (67.3%) and Billy Wagner (+10.5%). Hoffman’s high vote total in his first year on the ballot suggests that he should get elected fairly quick[y. In something of a surprise, Jim Edmonds fell off the ballot in his first year with only 2.5% of the votes. In addition to Trammell and Garciaparra, Mark McGwire will also be removed from future ballots since he has completed ten years without being elected.

The following seven players were on the ballot but did not receive any votes: Brad Ausmus, Luis Castillo, Troy Glaus, Mark Grudzielanek, Mike Hampton, Mike Lowell and Randy Winn.

For the third straight year, the writers averaged over eight votes on their ballots versus the historical average of 6 -7. If this continues, the problem of an overcrowded ballot should gradually be relieved. The change that reduced a player’s time on the ballot from 15 to 10 years will also help. The 2017 class of ballot newcomers, headlined by Vladimir Guerrero, Ivan Rodriguez and Manny Ramirez, is not as strong as some recent classes which should help ballot holdovers. Schilling and Mussina should move up since no other starting pitchers with serious Hall of Fame credentials are likely to be on the ballot

Bill Gilbert

1/12/2016

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