Friday, November 2, 2007

Omar and The Hall

I was scrounging around for some news today when I came across a somewhat inconsequential item.

The Giants are looking to re-sign Omar Vizquel.

This is not a big deal in the scheme of the things. But for me it is good news.

I've always liked Omar and that is especially true since he was one of the few key members of the 90s Tribe teams who had to be nudged to leave Cleveland rather than grabbing a big bag of cash and heading for the door.

After his rather poor season at the plate this year (.246, 54 runs, 51 RBIs), and given his age ( almost 41), and the obvious logic for the Giants to tear it up and got A LOT younger (which they apparently aren't inclined to do based on their off-season rumblings), I though it might be the end of the line for Omar.

He's two Gold Gloves behind Ozzie Smith right now (13-11), though that could change by one in the next couple of weeks when the 2007 season awards are announced.

I had been hoping he'd catch Smith so there could be no argument against Omar's making the Hall of Fame. And now, it appears, he'll have that chance.

But in looking into things further, I think Omar already has Ozzie beat because his numbers are better overall.

Take a look at the fielding numbers against Ozzie and some of the other Hall of Fame shortstops who got in based on their gloves as well as their bats.

  • Player Games Chances Fldg % Gold Gloves Years
  • Omar 2588 11,484 .984 11 19
  • Ozzie 2511 12,905 .978 13 19
  • Rizutto 1649 8148 .968 n/a 13
  • Aparicio 2599 12,930 .972 9 18
  • Reese 2014 10,319 .962 n/a 16
Rizutto and Reese did not play during the era of the Gold Glove award. Aparacio's first two years were also outside that era. In fact, Aparacio was the first American Leaguer to win the award.

Looking at the stats, Omar has the best fielding percentage among the group.

Both Ozzie and Aparacio had more chances, but if Omar plays two more years he will come just short of closing that gap. Omar's averaging about 9.5 errors a season. If you add 1200 more chances (about two year's worth) and 19 more errors, it wouldn't budge his fielding percentage.

Omar's fielding percentage is not only tops in this group, but also tops among all 21 shortstops in the Hall of Fame and in fact TOPS OF ALL TIME. That alone should get him in the Hall.

Among the same group of defensive minded shortstops mentioned above, Vizquel trails only Aparacio in hits -2598 to 2677, a deficit Omar should erase even if he plays just one more year.

Omar leads the group in batting average at .274, just ahead of Phil Rizutto at .273 and 5 to 10 points ahead of the others.

In the group,Vizquel trails only Pee Wee Reese in runs scored (by just one) and RBI (885-869) - again very much erasable with one more season of play.

Vizquel is well behind Reese and Aparacio in homers:

  • Vizquel 77
  • Aparacio 83
  • Reese 126
and he trails Aparacio and Ozzie in stolen base:

  • Ozzie 580
  • Aparacio 506
  • Omar 380
I'm going to cede the offensive stats to Aparcio and Reese, but I think Omar comes out on top ahead of Ozzie and Rizutto:

  • Player Hits Runs HRs RBIs BA OBP
  • Omar 2598 1337 77 869 .274 . 340
  • Ozzie 2460 1257 28 793 .264 .337
  • Rizutto 1588 877 38 563 .273 .351
So among the shortstops who are in the Hall of Fame for their gloves as well as their bats, Vizquel has the best stats on defense and comes out ahead of Rizutto and Ozzie on offense as well and he's darn close to Aparacio.

So, whether Omar plays in 2008 or not, I'd say he should be a lock for the Hall of Fame.

I think even could do a sumersault or two out on the field - just like Ozzie - and he'd probably be able to barehand a ball mid-flip and throw somebody out.

1 comment:

moose said...

put omar in the hall