Home Baseball Is Billy Wagner a Corridor of Famer?

Is Billy Wagner a Corridor of Famer?

Is Billy Wagner a Corridor of Famer?


Billy Wagner pitching for the New York Mets; CC by License 2.0

Billy Wagner was one of the crucial dominant reduction pitchers of the 2000s and is likely one of the finest closers within the historical past of the sport. Patrolling the mound in Houston for the Astros most of his profession, he was a nightmare to opposing hitters, no matter which facet of the plate they hit from. A real energy pitcher, Wagner racked up 1,196 strikeouts in solely 903 innings pitched. In a time interval in baseball the place the balls have been flying out of the park, Billy Wagner’s dominance stands out considerably.

In his seven years on the poll, Billy Wagner has acquired, so as, 10.5%, 10.2%, 11.1%, 16.7%, 31.7%, 46.4%, after which 51.0% of votes. With a threshold of 75% to get into the Corridor of Fame, if he retains this pattern up, he ought to simply barely make it in earlier than his eligibility runs out. Nevertheless, nothing is assured. There are solely 7 reduction pitchers/closers within the Corridor of Fame proper now: Hoyt Wilhelm, Rollie Fingers, Bruce Sutter, Dennis Eckersley, Trevor Hoffman, Lee Smith, and naturally, the first-ever unanimous nominee, Mariano Rivera. Does Billy Wagner need to be in the identical membership as these legends of the sport?

The principle factor protecting Billy Wagner out of Cooperstown is his variety of innings pitched, which might be the bottom within the Corridor of Fame by a large margin. He sits at 903 innings pitched. The present lowest within the Corridor of Fame is Bruce Sutter at 1042, over 100 greater than Wagner. He additionally would have the fewest seasons performed at solely 16, which is sensible given his few innings. Rollie Fingers pitched a considerably greater variety of innings with just one extra yr performed, however the eras through which every participant pitched should even be taken into context. we additionally should take a look at the eras every pitcher performed. Within the ’70s, when Mr. Fingers performed, reduction pitchers generally went a number of innings, and pitchers didn’t throw practically as arduous. Pitchers like Trevor Hoffman, Mariano Rivera, and sure, Billy Wagner, performed within the Steroid Period, when it was both shove or get shoved. They threw arduous, however couldn’t throw too lengthy. Hoffman had 2 extra years of play than Wagner did, however even with 2 extra years, Wagner nonetheless most likely wouldn’t have reached Hoffman’s innings pitched threshold, as probably the most innings Billy pitched in a season was 86. It’s clearly a evident subject, as he has been saved out of the Corridor for his seven years on the poll. Nevertheless, Billy Wagner’s constant dominance all through his profession ought to be ignored. Let’s examine him to a few of the different Corridor of Fame reduction pitchers. First off, a latest inductee, Trevor Hoffman:

Trevor Hoffman

(1089.1 IP)

For many who have no idea, JAWS stands for “Jaffe WAR Rating System” and it’s a “stat that measures a participant’s Corridor of Fame worthiness by evaluating him to the gamers in his place who’re already enshrined”. To calculate it, you are taking a participant’s profession WAR averaged along with his 7-year peak WAR. The upper your JAWS, the higher. It is a nice stat to assist exhibit gamers who struggled with longevity however have been nonetheless dominant. WPA is a cumulative stat, that means it will get larger the longer you play, and it quantifies the % change in a workforce’s possibilities of successful from one occasion to the following. It does so by measuring the significance of a given plate look within the context of the sport. As an example: a homer in a one-run sport is price greater than a homer in a blowout. If we take a look at the Trevor Hoffman/Billy Wagner comparability, the one 2 stats through which Hoffman is superior are the 2 cumulative stats, which isn’t surprising to anybody, as longevity is Wagner’s primary downside. It must also be famous how shut the pitchers are in these cumulative stats regardless of Hoffman’s IP considerably eclipsing Wagner’s. Nevertheless, the stats through which Wagner beats Hoffman, he does so by a fairly sizeable margin. It is usually essential to notice that they performed at just about the identical time, making Billy’s non-cumulative stats far more spectacular than Trevor’s. Lastly, we will take a look at their JAWS, and see that they’re precisely even. However if you happen to want extra convincing, let’s take a look at a participant with many extra innings pitched, Lee Smith:

When Smith was retiring, Wagner was simply getting into the league. As soon as once more, we see Smith wins in solely 2 stats, this time being WAR and JAWS. Smith’s WAR, is only one.1 greater than Wagner’s regardless of Smith enjoying two extra seasons. With Wagner averaging 2.2 WAR per yr, if he matched Smith’s tenure, his WAR would doubtless exceed Smith’s. And whereas Lee beats Billy in JAWS, they’re nonetheless fairly comparable, solely differing by 1.2. Like with Hoffman, in the remainder of the stats, Wagner wins fairly handily. Most notably, Billy Wagner wins in WPA, a cumulative stat, even with practically 400 fewer innings pitched. That’s fairly spectacular. Lastly, let’s take a look at one final pitcher, subjectively thought of the worst reliever within the Corridor of Fame: Bruce Sutter:

Each of Billy Wagner’s cumulative stats are higher than Sutter’s, which is spectacular sufficient with over 100 fewer innings pitched. Wagner additionally wins handily in each different stat besides JAWS, however, as soon as once more, it’s lower than a distinction of 1. Additionally, it’s price noting that Wagner has a greater Okay/9 and BAA than Mariano Rivera.

Is Billy Wagner THE finest reliever of all time? By no means. Mariano Rivera will win 10/10 occasions. Is Billy Wagner the most effective lefty reliever of all time, together with being on the whole top-of-the-line relievers of all time? The argument is there for certain. Though Wagner doesn’t have the tenure that the remainder of these guys have, I feel his dominance in his time within the league is sufficient to get him into the Corridor of Fame. He deserves to be the primary lefty reliever within the Corridor of Fame, and I see it occurring as early as the following vote.


Baseball Reference

Cooperstown Cred




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