SocraticGadfly: Is Jeff Kent a Hall of Famer?

January 22, 2009

Is Jeff Kent a Hall of Famer?

Sure, he was a prick on the diamond and even more in the clubhouse, but it amazes me people would even ask that question. Not only is Kent a HOFer, I would call him borderline first-ballot HOFer.

Or, to put it in terms of recent 2B -- he deserves to be voted in more quickly than Ryne Sandberg. (Sorry, Cubs fans.)

As far as pure second basemen, only Rod Carew, probably Joe Morgan and Craig Biggio and possibly Robbie Alomar stand ahead of him in the last 50 years, since Jackie Robinson retired.

Don't believe me?

OK, first, a look at all the 2B already in the HOF.

Looking at the live-ball era, Kent is better than Frankie Frisch, Nellie Fox, Red Schoendienst, Tony Lazzeri and non-deserving new Veterans Committee choice Joe Gordon. Certainly better than Billy Herman, Bill Mazeroski, Rabbit Maranville and others on the list.

Still don't believe me?

OK, here's your top numbers on Kent:
.500 career slugging - the best ever for a Hall-level 2B except for Hornsby;
21st all time in doubles, 560;
34th all time in extra base hits, 984;
47th all time in RBIs, 1,560.
98th all time in slugging percentage;
123 OPS-plus (above 120 is, IMO, for a hitter from any fielding position, guaranteed Hall entree).
Fielding? No, never won a Gold Glove, but had average percentage and above-average to well-above-average range.

Don't let the personality deceive you; Kent is a Hall of Famer.

Kent’s surprisingly sentimental retirement announcement is reviewed here.

No comments: