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Hall of Fame Poll: Billy Wagner

San Francisco Giants v Atlanta Braves, Game 3 Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

We’ve reached the end of our Hall of Fame polls.

I’m skipping:

Jered Weaver had a nice 12-year MLB career. He finished with a 150-98 record and a 3.63 ERA in 331 career starts (he never made a regular-season relief appearance but pitched out of the pen three times in the playoffs). He got Cy Young votes three times (finishing second, third and fifth), made three All-Star teams and got MVP votes once.

He had a terrific six-year stretch in the middle of his career, going 96-50 in 188 starts with a 3.12 ERA in 1227.1 innings, but he didn’t age well. He was out of the majors after an 0-5, 7.44 ERA in his age-34 season. He finished with a 34.9 bWAR. A fine career but was short of a Hall of Famer.

Jayson Werth played 15 seasons in the majors, which started with the Blue Jays (he played 41 games for us in 2002-2003). We traded him to the Dodgers for Jason Frasor. He also played for the Phillies and Nationals. He hit .267/.360/.455 with 229 home runs in 1583 games. He made one All-Star team and got MVP votes four times (finishing as high as eight). He was on playoff teams nine times and owns a World Series ring.

At his peak, he was pretty good, but his peak wasn’t very long. It took him until age 28 to establish himself in the majors, and then injury and inconsistency issues. I don’t think I’d put him into the Hall of Very Good.

Billy Wagner’s on the Hall of Fame ballot for the eighth time. He was on 51.0% of the ballots last year, a small jump from 46.4% the year before. He has been doing a slow climb, he was only on 10.5% his first year, but it took until his fifth time to clear the 20% line.

He pitched for five teams in his 16-year career, spending most of it with the Houston Astros.

Wagner sits sixth on the all-time saves list. He made seven All-Star teams, won one reliever of the year award, and got MVP votes twice, and Cy Young votes twice.

He pitched in 853 games and had a 2.31 ERA (terrific career number) with 422 saves. He averaged 11.9 strikeouts per 9 innings (an excellent career number).

Billy pitched in the playoffs seven times but never made it to the World Series. He has terrible numbers in 14 playoff games, a 10.03 ERA, allowing 21 hits in 11.2 innings.

Comparing him to Trevor Hoffman, who is in the Hall, Wagner has about 150 fewer innings, almost half a run-better ERA, and he has about 60 more strikeouts (in the 150 fewer innings) with 7 fewer walks (in 150 fewer innings). Hoffman’s argument over Wagner is all the save count (601 for Hoffman, 422 for Wagner). Wagner had 69 blown saves for an 86% save percentage. Hoffman 76 for an 89% save percentage. So the difference in the Writers’ vote is all the save total.

If Hoffman deserves to be in, Wagner does. But then, if we go by that sort of scale, Harold Baines would be the gateway to dozens of Hall of Famers.

You can see his career number here.


Would you vote Billy Wagner into the Baseball Hall of Fame?

This poll is closed

  • 65%
    (87 votes)
  • 34%
    (46 votes)
133 votes total Vote Now