Blaseball HoF week 15

SPROUT’S HALL OF FAME BLOG

Congratulations to King Weatherman and Fish Summer!

All my takes are in podcast form again, check out the link below to this weeks BACo.

Links:

1st ballots post (where I include a bunch background info on the stats I use, as well as earlier takes on players that are on the ballot again): https://medium.com/@magic.yellowstone.stats/blaseball-hall-of-fame-week-1-5fa6eefef705

My website for advanced statistics: https://compendium.sibr.dev/

Spreadsheet for SPAWN and SPAWN ranks: SPAWN sheets

Spreadsheet with SPAWN and select career stats for this week’s ballot: week 15

Listen to BACo: Blaseball Analysis Co.: Episode 38: WhAT/HoW/WhY is Avila Guzman? — HOF wk 15

My main criteria:

I’d estimate that I’d ideally include the top 10–15% of qualifying batters and pitchers:

1 — Best of the best, airtight case for inclusion

2 — No doubt great, maybe a hole in their case

3 — Really great, missing some longevity or a truly epic peak

4 — Fringe inclusion, many holes, but something about them says Hall

5 — Not getting a vote

My guiding philosophy is to favor players that achieved greatness in multiple eras, and more closely scrutinize players with shorter careers but very bright peaks.

My Picks:

Lineup: Engine Eberhardt, Avila Guzman, Malik Destiny

Rotation: Rafael Davids, Alexandria Rosales, Betsy Trombone

Tier One

Tier Two

Alexandria Rosales

The Case For: Phenomenal shutdown pitcher. Seven of their sixteen pitching seasons have an underhanded adjusted ERAAA greater than 1.25, so in nearly half their seasons they are shaving over a run off the opponents per game. That is impactful, offenses were just shriveling up when facing Rosales. They were only good enough strikeout wise, never above 9 K per 9, but usually above average, making their bacon from turning home runs into less damaging hits and hits into out.

They were dominant in season 8: sub 2 ERA, with nearly 1.0 Hit UnAllowed per game, suffocating the teams they pitched against and pushing their team to a deep run in the playoffs that season. It was a really fun wild league best pitcher race that year, with Sandoval Crossing and Pitching Machine being the other most valuable pitchers and each having very different qualities.

The Case Against: Based on the polling data from last week, I’ve come to understand that inducing double plays is a major criteria for people. Perhaps Rosales’ 2nd highest wGDP value, which projects the amount of runs allowed from not causing double plays in double play situations, is then quite a black mark against them. In 2170 situations where a double play was possible, Alexandria has only managed to cause 3 double plays successfully, an incredibly low rate, no player has had more opportunities and caused fewer double plays. Here’s the thing: Double Plays aren’t that important! If they were average at double plays they would have taken maybe 0.15 points of their career ERA. Also they have one flukely below average season.

Engine Eberhardt

For: Only player with fewer PA and more WhAT is Nagomi McDaniel. One of the best Base Runners of all time, while also being an extremely proficient batter. Triples machine.

Against: You believe all aspects of baserunning are fake, including triples.

Rafael Davids

For: Long time consistent, great, have significant playing time in all but three seasons, and were about average or better than average in all of them by most metrics. They were also totally dominant for a few seasons, they were arguably the best pitcher in Mild League in season 8 (them or Elvis), and a top tier all-star in 12 and 13 (when a bunch of all time great pitchers have their peak). Another great season gives them a total of 4 seasons with a top 10 finish for ERAAA (15th most all time).

They are in the 3000 strikeout club, and I remember them fondly as a member of the strikeout idol rotation. 15th all time in pitching WhAT (15th keeps appearing!). Rafael’s career reminds me of Curry Aliciakeyes’ if Curry had a better peak, or Yummy Elliot’s but kind of stretched out. They were occasionally one of the best pitchers in the league, and often very good or great for a long time. Ironclad Hall of Famer in my opinion.

You can see why I rate Rafael so highly by comparing their Expansion Era performance to Jolene (one of the best expansion era pitchers).

If you compare only expansion era seasons, Jolene only really outclasses by FIP (Jolene is nearly peerless in that regard), and WhAT (they were in a more shortened rotation). On a rate basis Raf and Jolene prevented runs (and thus earned WhAT) at a similarly excellent pace.

Against: You continue to underrate them, or you think only the 14 best pitchers should be in the Hall.

Tier Three

Avila Guzman

For: Avila’s case for the hall of fame flies in the face of the traditional understanding of baseball/blaseball. How can someone with a worse Batting Average than Bates Bentley have a strong Hall of Fame Case?

Avilia’s strength is revealed when you look at the whole player, when you assess all the value that they consistently accrue at the margins over the course of a very long career. While they were a poor contact hitter, they were an excellent home run threat, with 484 career home runs, tied for 20th all time (with Hall of Fame Snub Margito Nava).

They further overcame their poor contact by getting on base with walks, ranking 6th all time with 760 by my count, and managing a career OBP+ above 100: which is incredible considering their career BABIP is 0.203. They were extremely proficient at avoiding strikeouts, allowing them to peak during the ruthlessness era, with four 4 WhAT seasons between 12 and 18.

Avila was very skilled on the basepaths, again in all aspects. 615 stolen bases is good for 15th all time, combined with great baserunning on balls in play, they clock in as the 11th best baserunner by BsR.

Most of all they were a rock, posting season after season where they were a terrific value on offense. Their 16 seasons above 120 BARUN+ is good for top 10.

Baby was so dang consistent

Against: If they didn’t walk or hit the ball out of the park, Avilia was in trouble. Sporting a cool 0.203 BABIP, they were effectively a clone of Lachlan Shelton that could run the bases in those situations. They have a high plateau more than a dominant peak, with their best WhAT seasons topping out at 4 or 5 wins.

Malik Destiny

For: Malik has an incredible peak in seasons 23 and 24 thanks to being great at skipping, managing to reach base over half the time and setting the single season OBP record with .507. Overall, they had a fairly typical infused career. They ranged from below average to very good for the first half of blaseball, and became a great performer post infusion.

Against: If you heavily discount season 24 performance I don’t think Malik has that strong of a case. It really juices their rate stats, and gets them to right around 50 WhAT.

Tier Four

Betsy Trombone

For: *Takes a sip from an oatmilk cortado* Besty was into ruthlessness before it was cool, you know? One of the more iconic pitchers of the discipline era, but kind of lived up to the hype? Frankly, Betsy probably falls just short of my criteria for induction on a performance basis, but gets over the line for me because of their low star X factor. They were a novelty early on in the game, a player that shined light on the systems underlying blaseball, on the value of certain playstyles. They were appreciated and understood by the general fanbase for the way they behaved in the game, and were a spark for fans to get more interested in the game on different levels.

Fans probably over-rate them as a low star super star, but they were still really good for many seasons with eleven appearances on the seasonal SO/9 leaderboard, and the single season record for pitchers with 100 IP in season fourteen with a 14.97 SO/9. They were one of the best pitchers in the league in season 13, and arguably the best in the Mild League. Although known as a strikeout first pitcher, they were flat out good at overall run prevention as well, only 5 of their 21 (or 23 if you include season one and two stats) seasons had a below average ERA, only getting rocked in 2 of those seasons. They have great pitching performances in every era of the game, and a 3.38 career FIP is 25th for pitchers with at least 5000 batters faced.

Betsy and Coolname Galvanic are reasonably discussed in the same capacity as low-star strikeout legends. I favor Betsy (I do think Coolname is a fringe HOFer) since they continued to put up great numbers in the later expansion era as well as in the discipline era prior to Coolname’s arrival. I’d put them around a draw throughout the Ruth Era of blaseball, with Betsy’s performances in other eras pushing them into strong Hall of Famer Status in my mind.

Against: Worse ERA numbers than I’d like, but a large part of that is the Garages poor fielding. Very up and down on an inning by inning basis because of the strikeout reliance, either dominant or shelled. Some of the great seasons are at around 100 innings pitched which weaken their impact, and prevents them from accruing the counting stats you’d expect for a player that pitched every season. Career rate stats aren’t special.

-the cut-

Sandoval Crossing

For: Good long career, with some great seasons. Dominant in seasons 8 and 11. Collected a lot of strikeouts, 3774, good for fifth all time! They have 9 seasons with 9 or more strikeouts per 9.

Against: Similar tier of pitcher to Parker Meng/Rivers Rosa, having a tale of two careers — 9 great to fantastic seasons, 8 below avg to horrible, a few inbetween.

Unfortunately the rough patch is very long, from seasons 16–22 only have one above average season.. Their traditional numbers (WHIP/ERA) would look better with a competent defense, but Sandy also wasn’t helping, regularly having one of the worst BABIP’s among Sunbeam’s pitchers.

Montgomery Bullock

For: Career ERA- of 84 and regular-old-ERA of 3.53 is really good for such a long career! They were a dang good pitcher when they had a good defense behind them, and they were often the best pitcher on the team at playing into that defense. The fact that they managed to significantly out produce with regard to BABIP for truly great fielding teams (like the Discipline Era Crabs) is truly impressive. Also good at limiting home runs. They were a constant reminder that I need another stat to properly describe inducing weak contact, so I went and made it! With a HUA/9 of 0.86 they were 3rd best all time at producing easily fielded balls in play.

Against: Their strikeout and walk numbers in the ruthlessness era are bad, which resulted in a basically a league average ERA in the ruthlessness era, and an average pitcher by FIP for their career. Their weak contact skills push them to hall contention, but just barely. Their career ERAAA of 0.38 is fairly unimpressive, except for the fact it was maintained over a very long career.

Rivers Clembons

For: As a batter Rivers came into a league where offense was struggling and absolutely crushed the ball, quickly entering the conversation of top ten batters.

Overall, they didn’t accrue a lot of playing time in their better position, with this being the majority of Clembons’ career. Their career numbers are obviously astonishing, but that they still standout when comparing with appropriate context is a point in their favor. Rivers also has the benefit of likely being one of the best pitchers in the league prior to the end of season four alternations.

Against: Rivers was overall very bad as a pitcher. They were also a subtractor so cost their team. Does being an MVP candidate / All star for a short period make you hall worthy, when the rest of your career was bad?

Rivers Rosa

For: Great stretch from mid-disciple through early expansion era where they are a dominant power pitcher. Their swap to pitching in season five was the spark the Firefighters needed for their championship run, where Rivers went 3–0 in the playoffs with an ERA of 2.00. Another strikeout idol rotation all star, had an above average FIP in all seasons where they pitched >1 game (19 seasons).

Against: Tragically triple chomped by consumers in season eighteen. Their career rate stats are torpedoed following the chomps, getting shelled while on a shortened rotation with the Worms. If you drop seasons 18–20 from their career, they have a hall worthy statline: 2400 IP, ERA 3.48 (ERA- 80), FIP 3.22 (FIP- 74), 40 WhAT, ERAAA 0.816, which puts them in a mix of players like Coolname Galvanic, Zoey Kirchner, and Jaylen Hotdogfingers, but I find it hard to look past so many innings of poor performance.

Tier Five

Chorby Soul

Data crime and exemplar of eDensity.

Bad player, rank vibes that surround them make this an easy no for me.

Summers Pony

2nd to Fletcher Yamamoto for worst season of baserunning, only managing 3 stolen bases in 26 attempts in season 3. Honestly pretty impressive to succeed at such a low rate.

Wyatt Glover

Rerolled 4?5? times and always worse. High degree of sentience, most represented by those rerolls and acquisition of an underhanded item while a snack favorite because of their poor play. Would be a funny player if I wasn’t a Magic fan, and not eminently frustrated by them. Just when they would get to a point where they weren’t an automatic out they would eat a peanut, when they were moved to the shadows they’d wimdy their way back and replace a fan favorite.

Lowe Forbes

40% on their first ballot is pretty sizable. Still not sure about them.

When does a funny pitcher make the leap from their team’s bit to the property of the League at large? I agree that Lowe was a pretty spectacular mess of a pitcher, an anomaly of longevity, mechanics and hubris that managed to rack up a silly amount of double plays.

I do feel like most teams’ have a pitcher where the odds are good that the game is going to be a thrill ride. A pitcher that becomes a lightning rod for a fanbase’s passion, a pitcher fans somehow know is going to be on the mound for a big game and will give them a collective heart attack. And yet they look forward to those games. What does it say about us as fans that the players that induce this stress are also some of the most beloved and memorable?

How many of these should we induct? Or should there be a hall of infamy? Lowe is perhaps unique in their longevity of silly behavior. I don’t know. Unfortunately I can only tell you if a player is good at blaseball. Lowe Forbes was not good at blaseball. I can’t, however, tell you how Lowe Forbes makes you feel.

Stevenson Heat

A really good two way player. Long and pretty good career as a pitcher. They have a cool name for a pitcher. Peaked during the ruthlessness era, their performances in other eras of the game were less than impressive.

Antonio Wallace

Better ballplayer than Dominic Marijuana

José Haley

Best batter on the title winning Wings

Sebastian Telephone

A completely whelming discipline era blaseball player that was above average for three of their five recorded seasons. Notably, a musical was made about their career. I don’t think Joe Hardy would make it to Cooperstown, and I don’t think Seb should make Blooperstown.

Arturo Huerta

Interesting pitcher that I remembered as having some strong seasons. This was the case, they were twice a top 10 by underhanded adjusted ERAAA (12 and 23), and had a few good seasons in the middle of the discipline era. Their peaks and valleys are really spiky, having their worst seasons separated from their best by a single season. The short peaks and the too frequent valleys limit their case.

Kline Greenlemon

Very legit 5 season peak, not much else though. I really have been reading their name as Greelmon for their entire career

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