[MLB Major League Baseball Column]2022 Hall of Fame – Mark Teixeira’s first Hall of Fame entry is difficult due to injury

Mark Teixeira challenged for the Hall of Fame. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

Recently, Disney Films and Marvel launched the animated series “What if…” to explore how far-reaching the impact of major events in the Marvel Multiverse will be if there are slight changes. Among the players who have challenged the Hall of Fame in recent years, there is probably no one like Mark Teixeira that makes people wonder: If time went back and the injury did not bring down the first base gun who opened the bow, what kind of career would he have?

In his 14-year career, Teixeira hit .268/.360/.509 with 1,862 hits, including 408 doubles, 18 triples and 409 homers. He was also a three-time All-Star, three-time silver bat, and five-time first baseman Gold Glove winner. If Teixeira’s performance and award record were compared to Bill James’ Hall of Fame Monitor score, he would have scored 109 points, which is roughly between “very likely” and “certain inductee”. between. As the first baseman who won the Gold Glove five times, Teixeira and nine other players became the all-time batters with five Gold Gloves and 400 hits at the same time. And of those ten players, all but Teixeira, Andruw Jones, Adrian Beltre and Barry Bonds are Hall of Famers.

But at the end of the day, Hall of Fame results, whether traditional or advanced, data is what matters. Although Teixeira’s data performance is not bad, but looking at the first basemen who entered the Hall of Fame in the history of the major leagues, such as Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, Jeff Bagwell, Jim Thome, etc., many of them were the same as Teixeira. Teixeira’s 409 home runs are “only” 19th at first base. But if you compare the annual home runs of these first basemen, Teixeira hits 29 home runs a year on average, ranking sixth. In addition, Teixeira, who opened the bow from left to right, was fifth in the home run rankings for two-hit batters.

In terms of WAR, Teixeira’s career totals 50.6 bWAR and 44.7 fWAR. Among them, the bWAR ranking ranks 32nd among the first basemen in history. And his bWAR7 (a career-high seven-season total) of 38.0 ranks 27th. If you look at the Hall of Fame averages (66.0, 42.4), Teixeira is a non-negligible distance from the average, especially for the career total. But that’s also because of Teixeira’s earlier retirement.

Looking back at the peak of Teixeira’s career (2004-2010), he posted .289/.382/.544, 1184 hits, and 249 home runs in those seven years. His 138 wRC+ is the fifth-best first baseman in the period, and Teixeira’s 38.0 bWAR and 33.6 fWAR are second in the major leagues over the period because of his above-average running and fielding, just behind To Albert Pujols, the first man in the world at the time.

If we compare first baseman stats before age 30, Teixeira’s 40.7 bWAR before age 30 ranks 12th among all-time first basemen, even higher than Hall of Famers including Jim Thome and Willie McCovey. In other words, Teixeira’s performance and growth curve before the age of 30 actually has a high chance of becoming a Hall of Famer.

Unfortunately, Teixeira has been plagued by injuries large and small since 2012, and what was once the most reliable first baseman in the league instantly became a regular on the disabled list. The most serious of these was a right wrist injury during training for the 2013 Classic. At first I thought it was just a strain, but it turned out to be a torn tendon sheath on the right wrist! And he played before he fully healed that year, only to aggravate the injury and his performance was severely damaged. He didn’t recover until 2015 after surgery, but was hit in the calf by a foul ball of his own in a mid-August game. Teixeira, who was originally diagnosed with a contusion, was on the disabled list after only two games. Soon after, doctors discovered that Teixeira’s right shinbone had long been fractured, and Teixeira ended the season early again. After that, Teixeira picked up injuries big and small in 2016, culminating in heroic tears in August, announcing that he was leaving the pitch.

The result of early retirement was that Teixeira could not achieve records such as 500 homers and 2000 amps as he hoped. To his disadvantage, among all players who have not hit 2000 amps since 1960, only Tony Oliva was voted through the Golden Age Committee this year. Inducted into the Hall of Fame. In addition to the injury late in his career, Teixeira also suffered a drop in performance as the team began to line up. Under the double-team of these two factors, Teixeira’s late career looks much bleak.

Even so, Teixeira may have a chance in future committee votes even if he fails to be selected. His 50.6 bWAR is better than five non-black league first basemen including Orlando Cepeda and Gil Hodges; his 38.0 bWAR7 is better than those two and Tony Perez and other Hall of Fame first basemen; if we Looking at the JAWS (career and peak average WAR) created by Jay Jaffe, the authoritative author of the American Baseball Hall of Fame, Teixeira ranked 31st in history with a 44.3 JAWS, only one point lower than Perez and “Dad” David Ortiz, and higher than Yu included five Hall of Fame first basemen. In other words, Teixeira’s peak performance and cumulative record make him a worthy candidate even if his career is interrupted early by injury.

It’s a pity that Teixeira will probably lose the qualifications for the writer’s vote based on the current vote rate of 0.6%, and can only hope that the committee will vote in the future. He was once the next great Hall of Fame first baseman, but Teixeira couldn’t resist the pain and the tide of modern baseball. But as Hall of Famers open their minds, maybe one day Teixeira’s impressive peak and his good hands on offense and defense will convince these goalies to let him pass Cooperstown and become one of baseball’s all-time greats.

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