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The Hall of Fame Vote Review Continues
by Asher B. Chancey, Baseball Evolution
January 27, 2006


Darryl Strawberry, Eric Davis, and Kevin Mitchell

A word on Darryl Strawberry. His OPS+ and runs created are fantastic, especially when you consider the crap that he turned into for the last eight years of his career. One might expect eight crappy years to diminish the successful OPS numbers from the first nine years of his career. The fact that his OPS+ remains high even after those eight bad years appears to stand as a testament to how great he was for the first nine. Here is why they don’t – in eight seasons after 1991, Straw played in 245 games, or way less than even two seasons worth. In a sense, Straw played one and a half more seasons worth of games after 1991, so of course his OPS+ did not drop significantly. Straw’s OPS+ of 138 is artificially high, and does not reflect the complete uselessness that plagued nearly half of his career. If Darryl Strawberry could have stayed clean and healthy, he would probably be in the Top 25 of all time (imagine what the 1980s version of Strawberry could gave done if he were healthy in the 1990s). As it turned out, I don’t think he is a Hall of Famer.

I will also say that I am surprised Keith gave Straw a two while giving no points at all to Straw’s boyhood buddy Eric Davis. The two players were eerily similar in all elements (grew up together, had the same form of cancer, excellent power/speed guys in the 1980s with injury plagued 1990s). I wanted to vote for Davis, but couldn’t quite muster what it took. But if I had voted for Strawberry, I would have voted for Davis in a second. In terms of offense, the difference between the two, in my mind, is that Straw was a better slugger, while Davis was a better basestealer. Other than that, they were pretty even. But on defense, Davis was significantly better, winning three gold gloves to Straw’s none, and easily outdistancing the league average in range factor and fielding percentage while Strawberry was below average in both categories. But again, I didn’t vote for either of them.

This I just thought of – check out Kevin Mitchell’s runs created and OPS+! They are both better than Strawberry’s. Plus Mitchell had that awesome barehanded catch that time! (Sarcasm). Still – Mitchell looks pretty good comparatively.

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Disagree with something? Got something to add? Wanna bring up something totally new? Asher B. Chancey resides in Alexandria, Virginia, and can be reached at asher@baseballevolution.com.


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