The Inaugural St. Louis Cardinals Hall-of-Fame Class & Wins Above Replacement

Jamie Squire

The inaugural St. Louis Cardinals Hall-of-Fame class shows how Wins Above Replacement gets it right.

Over the weekend, the St. Louis Cardinals announced the inaugural class of inductees for the rebooted Cardinals Hall of Fame. The list was filled with Cooperstown Hall-of-Famers, many of whom have their number or semblance on the left-field wall at Busch. Even those not memorialized on the outfield wall are historically great players.

Whenever a list like this gets bandied about, it makes for interesting conversation. What the Cardinals have essentially done is announce those individuals who current ownership believes are inner-circle Cardinals greats. So, I thought it might be interesting to see how the inaugural group of Cardinals Hall-of-Fame inductees compare to one another and their fellow Cardinals using Fangraphs Wins Above Replacement (fWAR).

fWAR is a stat that attempts to get the whole picture of a player's skill. It quantifies a player's ability to generate runs with his bat and baserunning along with his ability to prevent runs in the field. Ten runs better than replacement equals one Win Above Replacement. The following chart contains the top 29 players in St. Louis history by their fWAR production as a Cardinal. Those members of the first ever Cardinals Hall of Fame class are highlighted in gold.

TOP CARDINALS POSITION PLAYERS BY fWAR

PLAYER

G

HR

R

RBI

SB

BA

OBP

SLG

OPS

wOBA

wRC+

fWAR

S. Musial

3026

475

1949

1951

78

.331

.417

.559

.976

.435

158

126.8

R. Hornsby

1580

193

1089

1072

118

.359

.427

.568

.995

.455

174

93.5

A. Pujols

1705

445

1291

1329

84

.328

.420

.617

1.037

.430

167

83.0

O. Smith

1990

27

991

664

433

.272

.350

.344

.694

.316

97

59.5

K. Boyer

1667

255

988

1001

97

.293

.356

.475

.831

.364

119

50.7

T. Simmons

1564

172

736

929

11

.298

.366

.459

.825

.364

126

49.2

E. Slaughter

1820

146

1071

1148

64

.305

.384

.463

.847

.391

129

47.0

J. Edmonds

1105

241

690

713

37

.285

.393

.555

.948

.399

143

42.0

L. Brock

2289

129

1427

814

888

.297

.347

.414

.761

.341

112

41.6

R. Lankford

1580

228

928

829

250

.273

.365

.481

.846

.367

124

40.4

J. Medwick

1216

152

811

923

28

.335

.372

.545

.917

.410

142

39.4

J. Mize

854

158

546

653

14

.336

.419

.600

1.018

.453

171

37.8

J. Bottomley

1392

181

921

1105

50

.325

.387

.537

.924

.416

136

36.5

C. Flood

1738

84

845

633

88

.293

.343

.390

.733

.329

102

36.3

F. Frisch

1311

51

831

720

195

.312

.370

.423

.792

.366

108

35.7

K. Hernandez

1165

81

662

595

81

.299

.385

.448

.833

.371

132

33.9

T. O'Neill

785

47

697

625

118

.343

.406

.489

.896

.416

145

31.3

M. Marion

1502

34

586

605

35

.264

.323

.346

.669

.318

83

29.9

R. Schoendienst

1795

65

1025

651

80

.289

.338

.388

.727

.336

93

29.2

Y. Molina

1218

89

411

546

40

.284

.339

.404

.743

.326

101

28.9

E. Konetchy

982

36

501

476

151

.283

.362

.409

.771

.373

125

28.1

S. Rolen

661

111

421

453

33

.286

.370

.510

.879

.375

128

27.4

A. Latham

847

11

832

250

369

.266

.319

.338

.656

.312

97

25.7J

J. Torre

918

98

455

558

12

.308

.382

.458

.840

.375

132

25.4

B. White

1113

140

627

631

65

.298

.357

.472

.829

.365

120

24.8

W. Kurowski

916

106

518

529

19

.286

.366

.455

.821

.386

127

24.7

C. Hafey

812

127

542

618

56

.326

.379

.568

.948

.420

136

23.4

M. Holliday

643

112

418

429

23

.306

.389

.520

.909

.392

150

22.8

M. McGwire

545

220

394

473

4

.270

.427

.683

1.111

.451

173

21.9

  • Chick Hafey sticks out like a sore thumb. In his fifth full season in St. Louis, Matt Holliday will likely surpass Hafey's eight season's worth of Cardinals fWAR. Yes, Hafey is in the Cooperstown Hall of Fame, but so are a lot of folks who knew Frankie Frisch. One wonders why he joins so many no-doubters in the first ever Cardinals Hall-of-Fame class.
  • Who wants to draft the petitions to get Curt Flood, Ted Simmons, Ray Lankford, and Jim Edmonds inducted into the Cardinals Hall of Fame? The four players offer a nice generational variety. I'm interested to see how much the Cardinals expand the membership of the organization's Hall. Will it include any of those four players?
  • As soon as the personal service contract ends, and Albert Pujols is inducted into Cooperstown, the Cardinals will be able to fit him for a red blazer, make a spot on the left field wall for No. 5, and enshrine his likeness in the Cardinals Hall of Fame.
  • Will the Cardinals honor Mark McGwire? Should they honor McGwire?

TOP CARDINALS PITCHERS BY fWAR

Name

W

L

SV

G

GS

IP

K/9

BB/9

HR/9

ERA

FIP

WAR

B. Gibson

251

174

6

528

482

3884.1

7.22

3.10

0.60

2.91

2.89

91.4

J. Haines

210

158

10

554

388

3203.2

2.75

2.44

0.46

3.64

3.95

35.8

D. Dean

134

75

30

273

196

1737.1

5.67

2.11

0.44

2.99

3.18

35.3

H. Brecheen

128

79

17

292

224

1790.1

4.31

2.54

0.55

2.91

3.25

34.5

S. King

111

50

2

167

161

1433.2

3.60

1.95

0.16

2.71

3.04

33.0

L. Jackson

101

86

20

330

209

1672.1

4.84

2.58

0.82

3.67

3.55

30.0

M. Cooper

105

50

12

228

186

1480.1

4.61

2.91

0.33

2.77

3.10

28.6

M. Lanier

101

69

12

277

187

1454.2

4.73

3.24

0.32

2.84

3.07

28.5

A. Wainwright

99

57

3

248

185

1314.2

7.72

2.30

0.64

3.11

3.17

27.9

B. Doak

144

136

13

376

319

2387.0

3.54

2.79

0.21

2.93

3.07

27.7

B. Forsch

163

127

3

455

401

2658.2

3.65

2.64

0.69

3.67

3.82

27.4

C. Carpenter

95

44

0

198

197

1348.2

7.24

1.98

0.73

3.06

3.28

27.1

H. Pollet

97

65

11

247

177

1401.2

4.08

3.04

0.46

3.06

3.32

24.6

B. Sherdel

153

131

25

465

242

2450.2

2.86

2.19

0.46

3.64

3.74

24.5

B. Sutter

26

30

127

249

0

396.2

5.88

2.52

0.68

2.72

3.28

4.0


  • Bruce Sutter is a pretty underwhelming candidate. His inclusion--presumably, because he's a Cooperstown Hall-of-Famer--makes me wonder how the Cardinals Hall will approach relievers. Lee Smith (5.0) and Jason Isringhausen (4.6) have better cases for inclusion based on fWAR than Sutter.
  • I was suprised that, by fWAR, Adam Wainwright already has a better case than Chris Carpenter. Of course, Carp has a Cy Young and a collection of tremendous performances on baseball's postseason stage. Wainwright has some catching up to do in those important areas.
  • I've got to admit that I'm a little bummed out that Silver King didn't rank higher. But I still think he needs to be inducted into the Cardinals Hall of Fame.
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