Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Baseball Hall of Fame: Top Fantasy Years from Class of 2014

The 2014 Baseball Hall of Fame Class is set, as Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, and Frank Thomas all received the votes needed to go to Cooperstown.

You can jump around the internet and find different opinions on who should have been voted in. At the page, I’ll give you the players that I would have voted for this year.

But since this is a fantasy site, it seems appropriate to look at the three new guys and see when they were at their fantasy best. Let’s do it.

 

  • Greg Maddux

If you were playing fantasy baseball from 1988 through about 2002, you weren’t going to go wrong with Greg Maddux. Heck, his control was so laughably good that you could bank on at least a good WHIP until the day he retired.

But you’d have a hard time arguing that his peak was anything other than 1992-1995, his last year with the Chicago Cubs and his first three with the Atlanta Braves.

Greg Maddux: 1992-1995

 
IP
H
BB
ER
K
W-L
ERA
WHIP
1992268201706519920-112.181.011
1993267228527019720-102.361.049
1994202150313515616-61.560.896
1995209.2147233818119-21.630.811

It’s probably not a huge surprise that Mad Dog won the NL Cy Young in each of those four seasons.

There are different things that you can take from each season, but the best year of Maddux’s career was 1995.

His K/9 and WHIP were the best of his illustrious career and with just two fewer earned runs, his ERA would have been lower than it was in 1994. Also, despite the fact that he likely missed 2-3 starts due to a strike, he was only one win shy of his career best mark, set in 1992 and 1993.

Maddux was always an absolute surgeon on the mound, proving that there are plenty of ways to be an effective pitcher — and he was way better than effective. But as brilliant as his entire career was, he was never better than 1995.

– Greg Maddux‘s best fantasy season: 1995

 

  • Tom Glavine

As great as he was, Tom Glavine wasn’t quite as skilled at preventing runs and runners as his Braves teammate. Glavine’s best fantasy year really came down to three seasons: 1991, 1992, and 1998.

Tom Glavine: 1991, 1992, 1998

Season
IP
H
BB
ER
K
W-L
ERA
WHIP
1991246.2201697019220-112.551.095
1992225197706912920-82.761.187
1998229.1202746315720-62.471.203

I have to say that it’s really tempting to give the nod to 1998, since that was quite possibly the most explosive offensive season in the history of the game. But in fantasy baseball, something we have to consistently remind ourselves of is that it doesn’t matter why one set of numbers were better than another set of numbers.

When you remember that, 1991 is the pretty clear choice here. He struck out more hitters in 1991 than those other two seasons, and did so at a better rate. His WHIP was also much better, while the ERA was only just off of the 1998 season.

Again, I’d like to give it to 1998, noting that the slightly better ERA came in an incredibly inflated offensive season. But the WHIP and strikeouts from 1991 gives that season the edge.

– Tom Glavine‘s best fantasy season: 1991

 

  • Frank Thomas

There are absolutely no shortage of seasons to draw from when we’re looking at The Big Hurt. He was a monster for the Chicago White Sox through the 1990′s. But if we’re talking about his best seasons, we’re really looking at 1993-1997, and 2000.

Frank Thomas Top Seasons

Season
AB
H
R
HR
RBI
SB
AVG
1993549174106411284.317
1994399141106381012.353
1995493152102401113.308
1996527184110401341.349
1997530184110351251.347
2000582191115431431.328

Not unlike what we see today from Miguel Cabrera. Much like Cabrera, Thomas never had the all-around game of a Mike Trout, or a young Barry Bonds/Ken Griffey Jr. if you want to find some people from the Big Hurt’s own era. But nobody was more dominant stepping into the batter’s box.

Trying to call one of those season’s Thomas’ best is a little tricky. As we went over with Glavine, it doesn’t matter how the numbers happened, but that logic becomes a little different when we’re dealing with strike-shortened years. Maddux had a superior 1995 despite the strike, while Thomas’ 1994 and 1995 numbers do fall short of the other years, which were full seasons.

So, adjusting those numbers, it has to be 1994. His career best batting average came that season and his counted stats were close enough to give that season the edge. So, that’s what we’re going to do — otherwise it would probably be 1996.

– Frank Thomas ‘ best fantasy season: 1994

 

Michael Dixon’s 2014 Hall of Fame Ballot:

I’ll start by saying that I agree with the voters on Greg MadduxTom Glavine, and Frank Thomas, which leaves seven more possible selections.

One of them would have been Jack Morris. He’s certainly not a favorite of the new stat guys, but I think it is important to remember that while wins an overblown stat in today’s game, pitchers in his era generally pitched into the later innings of games. So, they really did mean a lot more in his time, and I think you have to take era’s into consideration.

I wouldn’t fill the ballot with 10 guys, but I would go with eight, casting a vote for Mike Piazza, Jeff Kent, Craig Biggio, and Tim Raines.

So, in no particular order:

  1. Greg Maddux
  2. Tom Glavine
  3. Frank Thomas
  4. Jack Morris
  5. Mike Piazza
  6. Jeff Kent
  7. Craig Biggio
  8. Tim Raines

I have no problem leaving Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Rafael Palmeiro, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, or any of the steroid guys out. The numbers they achieved are mentioned in the Hall of Fame, but I don’t think that the players themselves should be in. If someone sets a World Record in the Marathon but drives in a car for 20 of the 26.2 miles, I would have a hard time honoring him, as well.

 

Let the debating begin. Hit me up on Twitter or email me ([email protected]) if you’d like to chat a little more.

Tags: Frank Thomas Greg Maddux Hall Of Fame Tom Glavine

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