FanPost

If Nats Were Hall of Famers (or Future Hall of Famers)

Obviously, the Nats player in all these comparisons will be the inferior player. The point is not to argue that the Nats are full of future Hall of Famers, or even that any are close. Just having a little fun, and dreaming of what could be, even if the possibility is quite remote.



Ryan Zimmerman - Mike Schmidt

I mean, we kind of have to, right? Both had/have great offensive and great defensive games at third base. Granted, Schmidt was already leading the majors in homers by his 3rd season, although Zimmerman actually was better in his initial callup and his official rookie season (when Schmidt hit just .196/.324/.373). But I imagine we’ll all be thrilled beyond comprehension if Zim ends up even sniffing 3 MVPs, 548 homers, and 10 Gold Gloves.



John Lannan - Tom Glavine

Both are lefties that didn’t throw particularly hard or strike out too many batters, of course. But let’s also take a look at Lannan’s and Glavine’s first 4 seasons (including Lannan’s 2007 and Glavine’s 1987):

IP

ERA+

b-refWAR

SO/9

BB/9

HR/9

Glavine

646.0

89

4.0

4.5

3.0

0.8

Lannan

566.1

103

6.2

4.6

3.3

1.0



Closer than you might have thought, right? Now, Glavine’s 5th season (for which he won the Cy Young) destroyed Lannan’s 5th season, but again, the point is not to say that Lannan or any National is/will be better than their comparison.

Michael Morse - Harmon Killebrew

This one isn’t perfect. (Well, none of these are, right? So I’m going to stop with the disclaimers.)

Like we did with Lannan-Glavine, let’s take an early career look. This time, we are looking at each player’s first five seasons, not first 4.

PA

OPS+

b-refWAR

SO%

BB%

HR/AB

Killebrew

280

81

-0.9

33.2%

8.2%

25.5

Morse

392

106

0.7

20.7%

6.6%

58.7



The main thing here is that Killebrew had by far the fewest plate appearances of any non-pitcher Hall of Fame player in his first 5 seasons. Killebrew had more home run power than Morse early in his career, but otherwise, you have two players who struggled to get on the diamond until their 6th season, but then really began showing power at that time.

Danny Espinosa - Roberto Alomar

Switch-hitting second basemen with some power and speed, although Alomar’s power developed later. Here are their rookie seasons, though you may want to keep in mind that Alomar was 20 and in his first season with playing time, while Espinosa was 24 and got a cup of coffee the year beforehand:
Alomar:

Espinosa: .236/.323/.414 (102 OPS+), 21 HR, 17 SB
Alomar: .266/.328/.382 (105 OPS+), 9 HR, 24 SB

So it doesn’t quite work except the OBP and OPS+. This is the weakest comparison so far, as it only really works when you look at position and handedness.

Jordan Zimmermann - Gaylord Perry

No, JZ is not a dirty rotten scoundrel of a cheater. But after Zimmermann pitched 122.1 IP vs. Perry’s 119 in their first two seasons, they did this in their third:

IP

ERA+

b-refWAR

SO/9

BB/9

HR/9

Zimm(n)

161.1

122

2.9

6.9

1.7

0.7

Perry

206.1

130

5.6

6.8

1.9

0.7



The SO/9, BB/9, and HR/9 components almost speak for themselves. Perry has more WAR due to more innings and a slightly better RA/9. We’ll see where Zimmermann’s overall 2011, and of course the rest of his career, ends up.

And while these last comparisons involve 2011 Nats who won’t likely be 2012 Nats, let’s wrap up:

Livan Hernandez - Livan Hernandez

Wait, Livo’s not a lock to be in the Hall of Fame some day? That’s a shame.

Livan Hernandez - Dizzy Dean

OK, what am I up to right here? Well, Livo’s top 10 most comparable pitchers on Baseball Reference include no Hall of Famers. But, his second most comparable pitcher as a HITTER is Dean. To wit, their triple slash lines:

Hernandez .222/.231/.296
Dean .225/.235/.301

What more do you need to know?

Anyway, to avoid venturing too close to farce territory, I end with the easiest comparison of all:

Ivan Rodriguez - Ivan Rodriguez

Obviously.

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