Womack: Dwight Evans on HOF: ‘I just don’t understand the mentality of the voting’

From SABR member Graham Womack at The Sporting News on March 22, 2016:

The word’s been out on Dwight Evans for years. Pioneering sabermetrician Bill James wrote an open letter in 2012 calling for Evans’ enshrinement in the Hall of Fame. Adam Darowski inducted Evans into his Hall of Stats, writing:

It’s not that Dwight Evans was a unique hitter. His 352.7 (Baseball-Reference) WAR Batting Runs have been matched by 89 other players. His fielding skills weren’t very unique, either. 194 players have more WAR Fielding Runs than Evans’ 66.3. But only 18 players in the history of the game have surpassed him in both categories.

There are 44 outfielders in the Hall of Fame, per Baseball-Reference.com’s Play Index tool. Were Evans to be inducted tomorrow, the longtime Boston Red Sox right fielder would be what Brian Kenny calls a middle class Hall of Famer. While Evans’ 127 OPS+ would tie for 34th best among Hall of Fame outfielders, his 66 defensive runs saved would be 10th best overall, his 66.9 Wins Above Replacement 18th best.

Statistically, Evans is better than a number of Hall of Famers, though maybe he didn’t have their luster. He peaked at 10.4 percent of the Baseball Writers Association of America’s vote for Cooperstown in 1998 and has yet to make an Expansion Era Committee ballot since becoming eligible with it in 2013. It’s uncertain if Evans will make the ballot when the group reconvenes this fall.

Read the full article here: http://www.sportingnews.com/mlb-news/4699337-dwight-evans-baseball-hall-of-fame-election-i-just-dont-understand-the-mentality-of-the-voting

Originally published: March 22, 2016. Last Updated: March 22, 2016.