Tourtellotte: Which career metric predicts Hall of Famers best?

From SABR member Shane Tourtellotte at The Hardball Times on January 31, 2019:

One of my regular acquisitions as a fan and student of baseball is the annual Bill James Handbook. Helping to expand the pages of the 2019 edition was James’s introduction of a new Hall of Fame Value Standard statistic. This system combines James’ Win Shares metric with Wins Above Replacement in an effort to determine which baseball players deserve to be in the Hall of Fame.

This piece is not about that system.

It is, partly, about Win Shares. James’ player valuation system predated WAR, helped to inspire WAR, then became a casualty of WAR, as that alternative system leapfrogged it in popularity. (The Hardball Times carried the Win Shares standard for a time, but not for some years.) Win Shares has become a niche stat.

Though James has stuck with his system, he was not comfortable using it as a sole arbiter of who deserves entry into Cooperstown. He does not even claim it is better than WAR for that purpose. Quoting from his piece in the 2019 Bill James Handbook: “Career WAR predicts Hall of Fame entry about as well as Win Shares do, I would guess; maybe a little better, maybe a little worse, I honestly don’t know. I don’t know that anyone has ever studied that.”

Read the full article here:

Originally published: February 1, 2019. Last Updated: February 1, 2019.