As we wait for spring training to start, I thought I might run some polls regarding some of the guys on the Hall of Fame ballot this year.
Today we are looking at relief pitcher Billy Wagner.
Billy Wagner was a closer for virtually his entire 16 year major league career. I remember him as a Houston Astro, but he also spent two years with the Phillies, three years plus two games with the Mets, a half season with the Red Sox, and a season with the Atlanta Braves.
Wagner is 6th all time in career saves, with 422. Wagner was named to the All Star team seven times, appeared on Cy Young ballots twice, and got MVP votes twice. He is sixth among relief pitchers in the B-R JAWS rankings, with all five of those ahead of him (Mariano Rivera, Dennis Eckersley, Hoyt Wilhelm, Goose Gossage and Trevor Hoffman) having already been elected. Wagner’s bWAR is behind those five pitchers, as well as Lee Smith, but his higher than the other two relievers in the Hall, Rollie Fingers and Bruce Sutter.
One of the knocks I’ve seen leveled against Wagner’s Hall of Fame case is that he was not good in the postseason. Wagner allowed runs in 7 of 14 postseason appearances, putting up a 10.03 ERA in 11.2 innings over those 14 games.
Wagner’s career was also relatively short for a Hall of Fame reliever...with 903 career innings, he has fewer innings than any Hall of Fame pitcher (Sutter’s 1042 innings are the currently low mark). His 853 appearances are fewer than any Hall of Fame reliever other than Sutter, and are almost 100 less than Rollie Fingers, who has the next lowest appearance total.
Do you believe Billy Wagner should be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame this year?
Cast your vote below...
Should Billy Wagner be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame this year?
This poll is closed