So I thought it would be cool to have our own hall of fame voting here on MCC. Every couple of weeks I will introduce a new player that we shall vote on. In each fanpost I will include some brief history on the player as well as some statistics. This week I decided to start with a player who just announced his retirement earlier this month, Gary Sheffield.
Some stats and the poll after the jump.Gary Sheffield was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers as the 6th pick in the 1986 draft. His career spanned 22 seasons. Sheffield played for a handful of teams including the Brewers, Padres, Marlins, Dodgers, Braves, Yankees, Tigers, and Mets. He was originally a shortstop but then moved to the hot corner and finally found his main position as a right fielder. Sheffield played in 9 all star games, was a five time silver slugger award winner, a WS champion in '97 with the Marlins, had 8 seasons with 30 or more homers, and became the 25th player in MLB history to hit 500 homers.
There is no doubt that Dwight Gooden's nephew was a gifted hitter. He had an excellent eye at the plate which helped him a achieve a liftime BB% of 13.5%. Amazingly for a player with his power (career .514 SLG, .222 ISO) he was able to limit his strikeouts. For his career Sheffield only struck out in 12.7% of his plate appearances and never topped more than 83 in a single season. He would finish his career with a .392 wOBA, good for 57th all time among players with at least 7,000 PA's.
Sheffield was a great hitter, but was monumentally terrible in the field. While I hate fielding percentage, in one season at third base his fielding percentage was .899, his total zone rating that year was a -32, or -3.2 WAR. For his career Sheffield racked up a whopping total of -204.7 fielding runs, the worst total in baseball history beating out Manny Ramirez by roughly 50 runs.Fielding data is not 100% accurate, so take the final figures with a grain of salt. Still, I think most fans would agree Sheffield was a detriment to his team out in the field
Sheffield racked up a total of 65.8 WAR putting him in that gray area for whether or not he is a worthy hall of famer. He averaged 3.6 WAR per 600 PA's, In terms of peak years I like to use a stat I call WAE ( wins above excellence). There are two versions I like to use WAE4 and WAE6. They are calculated by adding up each season a player accumulated either 4 or 6 WAR and subtracting each season by a 4 or 6. So for example Sheffield's 2003 with the Braves where he accumulated 7.8 WAR would equal 3.8 WAE4 and 1.8 WAE6. When you do this for the rest of his career Sheffield ends up with 13.9 WAE4 and 3.8 WAE6. To put that in perspective a bit John Olerud has 13.1 WAE4 and 5.0 WAE6.
Sheffield was one of the generation's best sluggers. Unfortunately his defense dragged down his overall value greatly. He has a hall of fame bat and a 40+ softball leaguer's range/glove. Combine that with his steroid allegations (doesn't affect my opinion but it should be mentioned) and brazen personality and it is very hard imagining seeing his plaque in Cooperstown.