Examining the arguments for 2022 MVPs and managers of the year in the Hall of Fame

Examining the arguments for 2022 MVPs and managers of the year in the Hall of Fame

Some individuals enjoy golf, while others enjoy stamp collecting or needlework.

My hobby?

I consider the Hall of Fame. A lot. Particularly over the final week, when MLB honors were revealed. My writing peers will not get ballots including any of the 2022 awardees for several years. However, I view these as primary. This is information collection in preparation for next elections. I appreciate the mental challenge of often questioning if I am viewing a Hall of Famer in real time. Awards are an additional factor to consider.

Since there is so little history, let’s exclude Rookie of the Year for these purposes. Consider that Mariners outfielder Kyle Lewis won the AL Rookie of the Year award in the COVID-shortened 2020 season and has subsequently declined to the point that he was dealt to the Diamondbacks on Thursday. While I think much more of Julio Rodriguez, who earned AL Rookie of the Year last week, let’s delay conversations about him and Michael Harris II of the Braves for the time being.

I will also exclude Cy Young since Justin Verlander was virtually a certainty for the Hall of Fame before earning his third Cy Young (but for debate purposes, better career: Verlander versus John Smoltz, go). Sandy Alcantara’s career is still in its infancy, making long-term calculations problematic. He may be Ubaldo Jimenez, a comet who rose rapidly then burnt out, or he could be Verlander 2.0, the generation’s finest workhorse ace.

The Baseball Writers’ Association of America does not vote on the induction of managers into the Hall of Fame.

MVP

Aaron Judge is still three years short of the ten-season minimum required for ballot eligibility. However, his 62-homer season and first MVP Award virtually guarantee he will be on the ballot (which is an accomplishment, too). Currently, he shares a coincidence with Roger Maris, whose Yankees home run record Judge smashed. Like Judge, Maris was an all-around exceptional right fielder. Maris held the MLB record for home runs with 61 in 1961, when he earned his second AL MVP. Judge has two first-place MVP finishes.

Aaron Judge Associated Press Sports

Maris remained on the ballot for the maximum of 15 years, reaching a peak of 43.1% in his final season. Judge began his career late, playing his first full season at age 25. His final Hall of Fame candidacy will incorporate many things, but homers and hardware will be the deciding considerations, in my opinion. 500 home runs and a second MVP award, for example, might make him a lock.

Judge has 158 career home runs by the end of the 2021 season, tying him with Cesar Cedeno for 199th all-time through his age-29 season, one behind Edwin Encarnacion, Howard Johnson, and Rusty Staub. Judge now has 220 career home runs, ranking him 102nd all-time through his age-30 season, one ahead of Joe DiMaggio and one behind Jeff Bagwell (Anthony Rizzo is at 229, by the way).

A comparison to Bagwell, who is a Hall of Famer, is intriguing. Like Judge, he has earned Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player. In addition to finishing second and third in MVP voting, Bagwell hit 449 home runs. In addition to the award for Most Valuable Player in 2022, Judge possesses a second and fourth. Judge has now matched Bagwell’s total of three Silver Sluggers. If Judge can replicate Bagwell’s outstanding production between the ages of 31 and 36, his case will resemble Bagwell’s.

Paul Goldschmidt AP

Paul Goldschmidt, the NL MVP winner, is comparable to Bagwell in that both were athletic enough to be excellent base-stealing first basemen. Goldschmidt has five other MVP finishes in the top six, five Silver Slugger awards, and four Gold Gloves. Bagwell won one Gold Glove and was a far lower performer in the postseason than Goldschmidt. Wins Above Replacement adored Bagwell, who was 71.8 until age 34 and 79.0 for his whole career (Baseball Reference). Goldschmidt is 58.5, yet he just had his finest season (7.8). Three more seasons of, say, 5.0 WAR would significantly enhance Goldschmidt’s candidacy.

Executives of the Year

With two World Series titles and two Manager of the Year honors, Terry Francona surely already had Cooperstown in the bag. The third time he has led the Guardians this season further strengthens his credentials.

Buck Showalter’s case will be intriguing. He joined Bobby Cox and Tony La Russa in the Hall of Fame as the only four-time Manager of the Year. Showalter’s clubs have never even won the pennant.

La Russa and Cox are two of the eight most successful managers in baseball history. All of these managers are in the Hall of Fame and have won at least one World Series. Dusty Baker is the ninth-winningest manager, and his triumph this season has likely sealed his place in Cooperstown. Tenth and eleventh place are occupied by Walter Alston and Leo Durocher. Both have won championships and are inducted.

Bruce Bochy is ranked twelveth. He just returned to manage the Rangers and will surpass Alston and Durocher to enter the top 10 in managerial victories in 2023. However, with three championships already, he will almost certainly be inducted into the Hall of Fame. As a manager, Casey Stengel won seven World Series and is in Cooperstown. At No. 14 is Gene Mauch. Now that Baker has won the championship, Mauch is the manager with the most victories who has never won one. He is not a Hall of Fame member.

Buck Showalter Getty Images

Bill McKechnie, at No. 15, is a Hall of Fame member and two-time champion. No. 16 is Francona, who will probably be inducted. Jim Leyland, Lou Piniella, and Showalter are ranked 17, 18, and 19, respectively. The fact that Leyland and Piniella did not reach the Hall of Fame with a single championship does not bode well for Showalter, who now trails only Mauch in wins without a championship. Piniella and Baker share many similarities, including an above-average but not exceptional playing career, followed by managerial success with multiple franchises and a World Series victory. The fact that Piniella, who had a successful major league playing career, success with multiple teams, and a managing championship, is not in Cooperstown is ominous for Showalter, who never played in the majors and has had success with multiple teams, but no championship.

It implies that Showalter likely needs to win a championship to be inducted.

 

 

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