Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Good Idea/Bad Idea: Riding a Trammell

Next up on our tour of the 2013 Hall of Fame ballot is Detroit's own Alan Trammell.  Trammell is one of those that always seems to fall in between the cracks for the most part.  A lot of people forget he's on the ballot.  The ones that don't, mostly don't think that he belongs.  Most of them probably think that since Lou Whitaker, Trammell's double play partner, isn't in the Hall, then Trammell shouldn't be either, and you really can't think of one without the other.  He only had about 36% last year, so I doubt he'll ever make it (this is his 13th ballot), so there must be no case for him, right?

Well, lets look a little closer:

Good Idea: Trammell was a great defensive SS, with a +76 rating for his career from FG.  He played his whole career with the Detroit Tigers which means he spent it in a big park (Tigers Stadium was huge).  For a SS, he had a 352 career OBP, which is fairly good.  He had a wRC+ of 111, which is good for a SS.  He seems to fit the profile of a HoF SS, and was seen as the team leader of a good decade for the Tigers.

Bad Idea: Remember when I said Rock's stats looked just OK?  Well, the same thing applies here for Trammell.  While his stats are very good, there isn't anything that really jumps out of the page at me.  He was a league average hitter or slightly above for most of his career, which I suppose is good for a SS, but not for a HoF bat.  If he were to make the HoF with his offensive numbers, he'd have to be an Ozzie Smith level defender, and he isn't quite there.  I love Alan Trammell, he was one of my grandfather's favorites, but a HoF player he is not.

Verdict: Not really.  Trammell doesn't look that great against other SS that actually belong in the HoF, and that is a small and exclusive class.  I can see why people would vote for him, a lot of his rate stats look like Yount's, and Dave Cameron makes a compelling case for him at FG using Yount as a comp, but Yount's career is much better on the whole because he had more power.  Yount played 600 more games and switched positions to help his team, but he still was at least a decent MLB player.  His worst years (based on WAR) were .9 (18 years old), .3 (19), 1.1 (35) WAR each. Not great numbers, but decent given his age at each season.  Trammell's were -0.6 (19), -1.1 (38) and 0 (36) respectively.  Yount at his worst (early on in his career mind you) was a replacement level player but never really cost his team with his play.  Trammell at his worst cost his team 2 or 3 wins in his career.  So, their peaks are similar, but Yount was able to maintain better than Trammell, which makes Yount a HoF player, and Trammell not a HoF player.

No comments:

Post a Comment