Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine

It's time to have another look at Edmonds. Here is what I thought last year.

Edmonds showed no sign of age in 2005, as he hit .263/.385/.533 in 550 PAs and again delivered Gold Glove quality defence in center at age 35. His run of greatness is now at 6 years.

Here is his 2005 chart of comparables:

Player         G     AB     H     HR     W     BA    OBP   SLUG   OPS+
Edmonds 1587 5557 1619 331 825 .291 .384 .543 138 Smith 1840 6649 1914 285 837 .288 .366 .491 138 Lynn 1648 5985 1732 264 755 .289 .368 .495 132 Snider 1923 6640 1995 389 893 .300 .384 .553 143 Doby 1533 5348 1515 253 871 .283 .386 .490 136 Averill 1668 6353 2019 238 774 .318 .395 .534 133

Edmonds has been a far superior defensive centerfielder over his career than Reggie Smith, Fred Lynn, Duke Snider, Larry Doby or Earl Averill. If he keeps this up for another 2 or 3 seasons, it will be clear that he has been a better player than any of them.

In the history of baseball, there have been 5 inner circle Hall of Famer centerfielders: Cobb, Speaker, DiMaggio, Mays and Mantle. After that, you've got Fred Clarke, who was a great offensive and defensive player for a long time, and Ken Griffey Jr., who was one of the three best players in baseball in the early 90s and who will probably hit 600 homers. And then, there are the others- Edd Roush, Kiki Cuyler, Earl Averill, Larry Doby, Duke Snider, Richie Ashburn, Jimmie Wynn, Reggie Smith, Fred Lynn, Bernie Williams and Jim Edmonds. All of the players who played in the 20s through 50s (ending in Ashburn) are in the Hall; none of the players who came after are there, yet. That cannot continue indefinitely.

At a lower level, some of the Hall decisions are difficult to explain, like the admissions of Max Carey or Lloyd Waner.

Edmonds is, in my view, right near the top of the Roush, Cuyler, Averill, Doby group. That, of course, would not guarantee entry to the Hall. So, Bauxites, what do you think of him now? And if you don't think Edmonds is Hall-worthy, who do you think has been the best centerfielder in baseball after Griffey Jr. during the period 1965-2005 (Mays being treated as a 55-65 player)?

Hall Watch 2005 Update- Jim Edmonds | 7 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
AWeb - Friday, November 04 2005 @ 10:46 AM EST (#131233) #
"Edmonds showed no sign of age in 2005"

I'd have to disagree with this statement. Edmonds was still great, but he did have his lowest slugging%, by 28 points, since his Anaheim days. His BA was his worst ever (for a full season). No shame in that though, he had been a top-ten hitter, and dropped off to a top-20 guy.

Has Edmonds peak been great enough for him to deserve to get in if he falls of a cliff next year, and is gone by 2008? A lot of the guys on the list, like Smith, Snider, Lynn (and Bernie Williams) fit this pattern. As is often the case, his HOF case might come down to the number of years he can spend being a useful player adding to his counting stats. Assuming he continues his decline slowly, Edmonds should crack 400 HRs, but unless he remains great for 3-4 more seasons, he's not going to make it to the big 500 (needs to average 28 HRs a years until he's 40).

I think Edmonds should make it, and will if he can avoid the massive age 36-37 dropoffs of most of the comparables given.

Oh, and the links to Averill and Doby are broken for me.

Mike Green - Friday, November 04 2005 @ 11:07 AM EST (#131238) #
Fair enough. How about "Edmonds aged very gracefully in 2005"?

Thanks for the advice about the Doby and Averill links. They are now fixed.
cbugden - Friday, November 04 2005 @ 05:37 PM EST (#131290) #
How about Kenny Lofton?
Mike Green - Friday, November 04 2005 @ 05:51 PM EST (#131291) #
It's pretty hard to argue for Lofton over Edmonds, unless stolen bases are given exceptional weight. Edmonds gets on base more, and has much more power. While Lofton was a fabulous defender in his prime, over his career he has not been as good as Edmonds.

Brett Butler is another in the Lofton zone, although he was not electrifying on the basepaths or in the field as Lofton was.
AWeb - Friday, November 04 2005 @ 08:05 PM EST (#131299) #
Now that I look more carefully, all of the guys you compared Edmonds to were done by 35-38 years old. I don't think I give enough credit to the premium defensive position of CF in my head when I think someone like Edmonds is a borderline case. Maybe it's Griffey setting a standard in my head. But looking at 162 game averages, its really just the HRs that stick out between them (thanks in part to the Kingdome, perhaps).
34 .291 .384 .543
41 .293 .377 .561

I guess I'm saying that Griffey over Edmonds is mostly an argument of longevity at this point (Griffey starting at 19 really helped). Griffey's greatness run was longer, but Edmonds was very good before his run in the last 6 years. And no, I'm not saying I'd take Edmonds over Griffey, but I'm surprised how close it could end up being assuming Griffey doesn't return to greatness for a few more years.

HippyGilmore - Saturday, November 05 2005 @ 03:32 PM EST (#131325) #
I dunno, I kind of thought he returned to greatness this year. Certainly he put up a line better than Edmonds, though of course Edmonds is now a far superior defender.
AWeb - Saturday, November 05 2005 @ 04:47 PM EST (#131328) #
Yeah, good point. Griffey might have been better this. Certainly, if they play out the string at similar levels, Griffey comes out ahead. Especially if Griffey gets pout somewhere in the field he can play still. I seem to recall he wasn't just worse than Edmonds, he was terrible in the field this year by the stats.
Hall Watch 2005 Update- Jim Edmonds | 7 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.