So, I’m half-watching this afternoon’s baseball game between the Toronto Blue Jays and Detroit Tigers, and after getting over the initial shock of seeing Omar Vizquel batting sixth in a lineup … any lineup … even one that includes Jeff Mathis, Adeiny Hechavarria and Anthony Gose, I’ve started thinking about his career and Hall of Fame candidacy.
At first glance it seems obvious to me that he is not deserving of the honor, and this is certainly a consideration that I would make:
Alan Trammell>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Omar Vizquel
— Nick Shlain (@electricsnuff) August 23, 2012
Which leads me to see this:
Source: FanGraphs — Omar Vizquel, Alan Trammell
I typically don’t like relying on Hall of Fame arguments that suggest that Player A shouldn’t get in because Player B didn’t. However, Trammell, who isn’t in the Hall of Fame, is just so obviously better.
Now, I admit that a lot of Vizquel’s value over the years can been found in his defense, and we still have a lot of difficulty quantifying that value, and had even more difficulty quantifying that value when Vizquel was at his best, but according to FanGraphs, roughly 27% of his overall value comes from his defense.
For comparison’s sake, 11% of Alan Trammel’s value came from fielding. What stands out more than anything to me is that his batting numbers actually decrease 36% of his overall value. Over the course of his career, Vizquel was worse at offense than he was better at defense.
There are admittedly several more nuanced arguments to be had about Vizquel’s career, and a lot of it was captured by Jay Jaffe, writing earlier this summer for Sports Illustrated, but to me that offense versus defense contradiction is something of a deal breaker.