Sunday, February 22, 2015

Why Alan Trammell Belongs in the Baseball Hall of Fame 2/22/15

Hey baseball fans!

Yesterday was my birthday, so you know what that means: an Alan Trammell post! For those of you who don't know it, Trammell and I share a birthday (February 21st) and he's the only person in baseball who I share a birthday with that should be in the Hall of Fame. So, for this Trammell Birthday post, I'm going to give three reasons why the Detroit Tigers shortstop from 1977-1996 should be in the Baseball Hall of Fame.



Reason Number One: More All Star Games than fellow AL shortstop, Robin Yount:
Look, I don't want to be mean, but Robin Yount was only an All Star for three seasons: 1980 and 1982-1983. Trammell, who played in 20 seasons in the MLB, just like Yount, went to six All Star Games: 1980, 1984-1985, 1987-1988, and 1990. Also, in the two of the three years that Yount was voted into the ASG, Trammell had a better batting average than him (in 1980, Trammell batted .300, while Yount batted .293 and in 1983, Trammell batted .319 and Yount batted .308). Yes, Robin has over 3,000 hits and Trammell doesn't, but both of their lifetime batting averages are .285. Considering Yount is a Hall of Famer (and a deserving one), Trammell should be one also.

Reason Number Two: 1984 World Series MVP recipient:
I know what you're thinking: what does winning the '84 WS MVP have to do with anything? Well, let me put it this way: the 1984 Tigers were absolutely stacked. In their regular hitting lineup were All Stars Lance Parrish, Lou Whitaker and Trammell, along with star hitters Kirk Gibson, Chet Lemon, and Darrell Evans. However, despite all of these great names on offense, it was only Trammell who was recognized as the best hitter on the Tigers during the 1984 Fall Classic against the Padres; he batted .450 with a pair of home runs and six RBIs. Alan was probably the biggest reason why Detroit won its fourth World Series in franchise history -- because on the biggest of stages, he performed at the highest caliber, making him a "clutch" hitter. If you can come through in the clutch in a tough situation, just like Trammell did in 1984 for the Tigers, that's yet another reason why you deserve a plaque in Cooperstown.



Reason Number Three: WAR and JAWS:
To summarize what each of these sabermetric stats are, WAR (or wins above replacement) is the amount of wins a team would not have won if a specific player was replaced in the lineup/rotation, and JAWS (or Jaffe WAR Score system) measures a player's Hall of Fame worthiness by averaging a player's career WAR with his seven year peak WAR. Trammell's WAR is 70.4, meaning that if he was replaced in the lineup by another player, his Tigers teams would have won 70.4 less games. Now, you would think that a guy who played for 20 years would have a higher WAR, but out of all of the shortstops in MLB history, Trammell's WAR is actually better than Derek Jeter's and 14 Hall of Fame shortstops', including Barry Larkin, Joe Cronin, and Joe Sewell. In addition, his JAWS number is 57.5. The average of 21 Hall of Fame shortstops is a WAR of 66.7 and a JAWS of 54.7, so Trammell is higher than these HOF averages!! So, considering that JAWS and WAR are correlated statistics, Trammell is very worthy of being in the Hall of Fame.

What do you think? Have I convinced you that Alan Trammell belongs in the HOF? Leave your comments below. Thanks for reading and check back soon for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."

4 comments:

  1. Your "Trammell had more All Star appearances than Yount, so he should be in the Hall of Fame" is not a well constructed point.

    Trammell played in Detroit. Yount played in Milwaukee. All Star starters are selected by fan vote. I'm not going to go digging up the population numbers in the 80s, but right NOW, Detroit has a metropolitan area population of 4.3 million people, the 16th biggest metropolitan area in the United States. Milwaukee has a metropolitan area of 1.57 million, the 39th largest metropolitan area in the United States. Detroit has 2.73 million more people in the metropolitan area. Since fans vote in the starters, and there are more than 2.5 times the people in Detroit than there are in Milwaukee, is it at all surprising that Trammell got voted into the All Star Game more often than Yount? There will, of course, be some variation over time, but the population disparity should be fairly consistent between now, and the mid 80s. There might have even been a bigger advantage for Detroit back then, as I know a lot of people have left Detroit since then.

    Robin Yount was the American League MVP in 1989, and he wasn't even an All Star that year. So, using the number of All Star Game selections, which is a popularity contest, as evidence of greatness, or worthiness for the All Star Game, isn't going to strengthen your argument. It really isn't. Nor is a comparison of batting averages Yes, Alan Trammell hit .300 in 1980, and Robin Yount hit only .293". That's a difference of four hits over the course of a full season with 600 at bats. That is what we statisticians call statistically insignificant. It looks like you hand picked one number to make your argument for you.

    Did you look at any of their other numbers? Let's look at those, shall we?

    Wins above replacement:

    Yount 7.2
    Trammell 4.8

    Runs scored:
    Yount 121
    Trammell 107

    Hits:
    Yount 179
    Trammell 168

    Doubles:
    Yount 49 (led league)
    Trammell 21

    Triples:
    Yount 10
    Trammell 5

    Home runs:
    Yount 23
    Trammell 9

    RBI:
    Yount 87
    Trammell 65

    Stolen bases:
    Yount 20/25 80% success rate
    Trammell 12/24 50% success rate

    Extra Base Hits:
    Yount 82
    Trammell 35

    It's clear that Yount was the vastly superior player in 1980. The gap had narrowed in 1983, but Yount was still statistically better.

    Now, in 1984, Yount destroyed his shoulder. Look it up on Google. The shoulder of his right arm was basically held together with scotch tape in 1984, and that forced him to move to the outfield. That's why he didn't get elected to the All Star Game again. Because now he was a center fielder, and the best leadoff hitter in baseball history, Rickie Henderson, was voted as the starter by Yankee fans every year.

    In 1989, Yount was bumped out by Bo Jackson, and his "Bo Knows" campaign. Kirby Puckett had hit .356 the year before, and he was voted the starter in center field. Jose Canseco, fresh off his 40-40 MVP campaign, was also in. Yount had no chance.

    I must say, though, that while I think some of the points used to make your argument were somewhat poor, I agree with your conclusion wholeheartedly. Alan Trammell should also be a Hall of Famer. There were three great shortstops in the American League in the 80s-Yount, Trammell and Ripken Jr. There were other good ones that popped up, but those three guys were the greats in the 80s.

    Trammell and Lou Whitaker make up one of the best double play combos in modern baseball history. If you ask me, both should be in Cooperstown. Both came up in 1977. Sweet Lou played until 1995, and Trammell managed to play 66 games in 1996. They both played their entire careers for Detroit, which is what Molitor and Yount should have done.

    Bottom line, though, for me, anyways, is that Trammell should be in. Whitaker, too. ASAP. I hope to see both those guys in the Hall soon. As a Brewers fan, I will cheer loudly when it happens. They deserve it. And how great would it be to see them go in together?

    ReplyDelete
  2. 1) Trammell was ROBBED of the MVP in 1987. So, like Ripken and Yount, Trammell was (as far as I am concerned) anther MVP Shortstop from th era when all were in their prime.

    2) Trammell DIDN'T blow out his shoulder in 1984 as Yount did. So ALL of his career numbers come as a Shortstop. (Yount stacks up far less favorably against other Center Fielders in the HoF, for example!)

    3) All-time double play combo leader, with Whitaker. If Mazeroski can get in with the DP record's on his own, and little else, that really ought o count for something with these two together.

    ReplyDelete
  3. 1) Trammell was ROBBED of the MVP in 1987. So, like Ripken and Yount, Trammell was (as far as I am concerned) anther MVP Shortstop from th era when all were in their prime.

    2) Trammell DIDN'T blow out his shoulder in 1984 as Yount did. So ALL of his career numbers come as a Shortstop. (Yount stacks up far less favorably against other Center Fielders in the HoF, for example!)

    3) All-time double play combo leader, with Whitaker. If Mazeroski can get in with the DP record's on his own, and little else, that really ought o count for something with these two together.

    ReplyDelete
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    ReplyDelete