So we come to a former Blue Jays player again, Omar Viszquel. It is his second time on the ballot. He was on 37.0% of ballots last year. I really don’t understand why. He was good defensively, but not to that degree, at least to me.
Omar played his last MLB season for us. He was 45, in 2012, and he played 60 games in Blue Jays colors, hitting .235/.265/.281 in 163 PA. I have no idea what Alex was thinking in signing him.
Omar played 24 seasons in the MLB. He came up with the Mariners, and played 6 seasons with them, then 11 with Cleveland, 4 with the Giants, 1 with the Rangers, 2 with the White Sox and then the last one with us.
He hit .272/.336/.352 with 404 steals in 2968 games. He made 3 All-Star teams, he got MVP votes once. But his supporters will point to his 11 Gold Gloves as reason for him to go to the Hall of Fame.
Omar has a 45.3 bWAR. But it is his 28.4 defensive WAR (10th all-time) that we will buy him some votes.
I guess we can pretty positively state that he didn’t take PEDs. Or at least didn’t gain a bunch of power from them.
There are other shortstops who were elected because of their defense. Luis Aparicio comes to mind (his stats are here), but then Luis made 13 All-Star teams and was considered the best shortstop of his era. Ozzie Smith was maybe the best defensive player I ever saw (stats here), but he made 15 All-Star teams and was also thought of as the best shortstop of his era. I don’t think anyone ever thought of Vizquel that way.
If Baines gets to the Hall, well, I wouldn’t be surprised if Vizquel does, but if it were up to me, I couldn’t put him there. Anyone that plays 24 seasons is a good player, I guess it is up to you if you think he’s a Hall of Famer.
Most similar careers: None are particularly close, the closest on the chart are Lou Brock (elected by the BBWAA), Harold Baines (completely opposite, but also a specialist, and now in the Hall because he had friends on the committee), and Rusty Staub. Luis Aparicio (BBWAA) is the best true comparable. Nellie Fox (Veteran’s Committee) is another. With the exception of Rafael Palmeiro, Rusty Staub’s 11,229 PA is the highest without the player being inducted in Cooperstown. So that bodes well for Vizquel at just over 12,000.
Would you vote Omar Vizquel into the Baseball Hall of Fame?
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