Today the Hall of Stats was updated for the 2021 season. Usually at the end of the season I pull all the stats again from 1871 to present and rebuild everything. This time, I’ve only pulled the 2021 stats and updated current players. This winter, I’ll be taking a little longer to do the full update as I need to figure out exactly how I plan to handle Negro League players.
In case you missed it, Baseball Reference added Negro League stats for the Negro Major Leagues from 1920 to 1948 back in May. Those leagues are:
- NAL: Negro American League (1937-1948)
- NN2: Negro National League II (1933-1948)
- EWL: East-West League (1932)
- NSL: Negro Southern League (1932)
- NNL: Negro National League I (1920-1931)
- ANL: American Negro League (1929)
- ECL: Eastern Colored League (1923-1928)
I’ll be adding these stats to the Hall of Stats as well, but I have think of the proper way to present them. The Hall of Stats has a pretty different purpose than Baseball Reference. The Hall of Stats attempts to use stats to show how worthy a player is of the Hall of Fame. That is much harder to do with the Negro League stats for a variety of reasons:
- The league seasons were shorter.
- There are many missing box scores, leading to incomplete records.
- Sometimes clubs decided not to take part in league play, instead choosing to barnstorm and earn their money that way.
- Many Hall-worthy players played outside of the 1920 to 1948 window designated as “major league.”
I’ll keep you posted on what I decide. But I just wanted to let you know that while you don’t see Negro League stats here yet, you will.
In addition to the Negro League stats, I’m thinking about an update for catchers. I recently stumbled upon this June 2020 article from Tom Tango. I’ve long wondered if my catching adjustment is large enough. Here’s a reminder of what I do:
Catchers receive a generous positional adjustment from WAR. But this adjustment only rewards them for time actually spent on the field. Catchers play fewer games in a season and have shorter careers. Because of this, they have a harder time accumulating WAR and WAA. Therefore, catchers are given an extra 20% boost by adjWAR. Without this adjustment, there would be very few catchers in the Hall of Stats. And that just wouldn’t be right.
In the article, Tom recommends somewhere between 30% and 36%. I’ll be experimenting with that over the winter as well.
Lastly, here are a few player updates based on the 2021 season:
- Paul Goldschmidt became the most recent active player to cross the 100 Hall Rating threshold. He stormed over the line with a 6.1 WAR season this year. At just 34, he should be able to pad those totals quite a bit more (since he’s showing no signs of slowing down).
- The two active players now over 90 are Chris Sale and Jacob deGrom.
- Clayton Kershaw managed to pass the 150 mark this season. Just 71 players have done so. Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, and Zack Greinke are all over 140.