Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Jeff Kent and the Hall of Fame

Me and the future Hall of Famer
Baseball Reference has a running topic on their blog discussing the Hall of Fame worthiness of players who are about to be eligible for the ballot.

Today it is Jeff Kent's turn.
I am solidly in the camp that he should be in the Hall and not just because I got my picture taken with him. His 6 seasons with the Giants were pure magic. I can still remember the short powerful swing that launched balls into the wide open gaps of AT&T park.

With him and Barry Bonds there was never a shortage of offensive power and unlike now a 2 or 3 run deficit felt like nothing and that it was just a matter of time before the Giants prevailed.

His numbers back up these warm and fuzzy feelings. He is among the best hitting 2nd Basemen of all time. Kent is in the top 10 for OPS+ for 2nd baseman, 14th among 2nd basemen in WAR, for batting runs he's 6th all-time among 2nd basemen.

Here are his number from his Giants peak:

YearGPAABRH2B3BHRRBIBBSOBAOBPSLGOPSOPS+Awards
1997155651580901453822912148133.250.316.472.789105MVP-8
1998137594526941563733112848110.297.359.555.914142MVP-9
1999138585511861484022310161112.290.366.511.877124AS,MVP-26
20001596955871141964173312590107.334.424.5961.021162AS,MVP-1,SS
200115969660784181496221066596.298.369.507.877131AS,SS
20021526826231021954223710852101.313.368.565.933147MVP-6,SS
SFG (6 yrs)90039033434570102124722175689364659.297.368.535.903136
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 8/10/2010.


He wasn't just a one trick pony either, he was a solid defender finishing his career right around average and during his Giants years finishing with a tally of 17 runs above replacement.

During his Giants years he accumulated 32.9 wins above replacement, second only to Barry Bonds over the same period.

He didn't always have the best relations with the media and left the team on not the best of terms but time has healed those wounds for me. I remember the good things that he did for the Giants and the playoff teams he helped lead.

He was a big part of the teams success, he played the game hard and deserves to be in the hall of fame. I encourage you all to go vote at Baseball Reference for Jeff Kent.



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