Top 5 reasons Bagwell should get the call next week

There are plenty of reasons why the Astros greatest player, yes greater than Craig Biggio, should join Biggio in the Hall of Fame include statistical, eyeball and even heartfelt ones. Here is a list of five reasons in no particular order why Bags should hear the call next Wednesday.

1) Baserunning – This was more than just stolen bases, though his 202 SBs is impressive for a medium speed first baseman. Note: He had more SBs than all time great 1Bs Frank Thomas, Willie Stargell, Johnny Mize, Mark McGwire, Hank Greenberg and Todd Helton had…. combined. But he was one of the best base runners most of us had ever seen as far as taking the extra base and rarely getting thrown out.

2) Frank Thomas – Bagwell is often compared to Hall of Famer Frank Thomas, who was born the exact same date as Bagwell and who won Rookie of the Year in 1991, just like Bagwell. Looking at each player’s production per 162 game average.

Name Runs 2Bs HRs RBIs SBs BBs Ks BA OBP OPS
Thomas 104 35 36 119 2 116 97 .301 .419 .974
Bagwell 114 37 34 115 15 106 117 .297 .408 .948

It seems pretty obvious that if Frank Thomas is in the Hall of Fame (and he does deserve it), Jeff Bagwell should be there too.

3) Fielding – This is as much eyeball as anything, but converting from 3B in one spring training, and playing a position that favors the left handed 1Bs, he was one of the best fielding right handed 1Bs ever. His ability to charge bunts and toss out players at 2B or 3B was extraordinary.

4) Hall of Fame Stats – Looking at a couple Hall of Fame numbers created by Bill James….Bags puts up a 150 for something called Hall of Fame Monitor. According to James, scoring 100-130 a player should get in and over 130 should be a sure thing. Under Hall of Fame Standard – Jeff scores a 59, where the average Hall of Famer scores a 50

5) Great core years – Most Hall of Famers have dominant stats for a 7 or 8 year core of their career. It is undeniable greatness over a sustained period of time. For the 10 years from 1994 to 2003 Jeff had the following  .301 BA / .420 OBP / .706 SLG / 1.126 OPS. He averaged 116 R / 36 doubles / 37 HRs / 116 RBIs even with missing significant time in 1994 and 1995.

Fans realize that if his career had not been cut short by injuries and if his career had not occurred during a very questionable period of PED usage in the majors he would have been in the Hall before his buddy Biggio.

There are tons of other reasons that could be added to the five listed above:

  • The effect of spending his first 10 seasons in the cavernous Astrodome
  • Seasons with little protection behind him in the lineup
  • High WAR numbers
  • Rookie of the Year and MVP during his career
  • Leadership skills
  • Stat comparison to other 1Bs already in the Hall

So, what reasons would you give for putting Jeff Bagwell in the Hall of Fame?




84 comments on “Top 5 reasons Bagwell should get the call next week

  1. Dan, it’s a moot point. Bagwell, deserving as we all know well, gets in this time.

    Tim, glad you’ve (apparently) shown life on Twitter. You really are acting like a twit though. As the most antagonizing blogger on the blog to many, we have long put up with it. I’ve got a thick skin. Your crap bores me sometimes, however I enjoy your angle for the most part. But you bail because others are fair enough with you to candidly take offense to your approach? Okay, go through life that way. You will continue to alienate yourself from so many fine souls along the way. Why though?.


  2. How about durability? The only two seasons he had in the majors that he failed to have as many as 600 PAs were the strike year(his MVP year when he had a broken hand) and his final season when he hurt so bad he couldn’t raise his arm.
    How about his splits? He was the virtually the same hitter against RH pitchers as lefties, the same hitter away as at home, the same hitter in the first half of the season as in the second half.
    How about his career stats in high leverage situations? His career slash line(even though we didn’t know what a slash line was back then) was .306/.426/.556/.981 in high leverage plate appearances.
    How about his batting eye? His walk rate was an unbelievable 14.9% and his K rate was only 1.6% higher than that at 16.5%. That is incredible for a power hitter!
    How about a guy who only played 1 game in his entire career in the outfield and had an assist? He started a play to throw Derrick May out at home plate to keep the Astros ahead in a game that Biggio won in the 9th with a walkoff single. That was in his MVP season. He started the game in RF and moved to 1B in the 8th.
    How about the fact that he never had a season where he had more CS than SB, even though he was a power hitting first baseman.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think most baseball people and fans, myself included, would say Bags had the credentials to get in about 2 years ago. However when I read articles written by some of the HOF voters, they could be the poster child for arrogant, narcissistic, hypocritical chumps. I feel pretty strong he is in this year , Wahoo!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Jeff Bagwell received MVP votes in ten years of his 15 year career and won ROY in another.
    Bagwell failed to deliver 4.0 WAR in only 3 of his 15 seasons and all three of those were after his shoulder injury. Two of those three years he still managed 3.7 WAR, even though he could hardly throw the ball.
    In 19,378 fielding chances, he committed only 129 errors, for a .993 fielding percentage
    Bagwell came to the plate with a runner at 3B and less than two outs 708 times in his career and delivered 451 RBIs in those situations. His slash line in those situations was .389/.451/.666 for an unbelievable 1.117 OPS.
    Bagwell wasn’t money in the bank. He was a gold mine!


  5. Bags was my favorite astro player for how he played the game, how he led by example and how he excelled at things like base running when he really wasnt all that fast, but was very instinctual. How he charged a bunt down the first base line and threw out runners going to third was unsurpassed. Had he not had the shoulder of an 80 yr old his last couple of seasons he would have been a shoo in. Its a damn disgrace if he does not get in this year.


  6. Always interesting articles running around about projecting the final vote. This one from SI is of particular interest.
    Basically, Bagwell and Raines are way up in the votes made public (around 90%) and even though they will likely get quite a bit less support from the private vote they are both expected to easily make the Hall. Hallelujah and amen – indeed!!
    Beyond that Trevor Hoffman, Pudge Rodriguez and Vlad Guerrero could be squeakers one side or the other of the 75% mark.
    Clemens and Bonds get a boost after having stagnated a bit.
    I think this is going to be a fun Wednesday!


  7. We all know what a great fielder/baserunner Bagwell was, but there are way too many idiot sportswriters that don’t have a clue about such things, plus those things don’t get you in the HoF, especially when he has only one GG. But all the other points are salient: clutch hitter, team leader and a very strong run of just mashing. I still get goosebumps thinking about that 1994 season…


  8. Bagwell has only one GG because of Mark grace, JT Snow and Todd Helton who won 11 GGs amongst them during Bagwell’s career. They all had better career fielding percentages than he did in those years and that is a product of the way stats were used back then. Bagwell will be in the HOF and Helton will probably get inducted in the next decade.


  9. Baseball writers have failed to keep up with the changes in the game. Just the fact that a guy has to be a member for ten years before he can vote adds to the entrenchment. A writer gets caught up in his job and in the game of baseball itself and sometimes cannot look objectively at how the game has changed.
    There is more platooning because of matchups.
    There are more flyballs and strikeouts because of shifting.
    There are more defensive changes because of more relievers being used and more relief innings cut down innings by starters.
    Higher salaries lead to more caution about leaving elite pitchers in the game and using them every five days instead of every four days.
    Steroid use so changed the game and its subsequent ban has writers seeing ghosts and being scared to vote for their personal ghosts. Players from teams other than their favorites tend to be more ghostly than players from their favorites(See Frank Thomas and Jeff Bagwell).
    But this evolution of the thought process leading to finally voting for someone is more seedy than just rethinking about a player. It’s more favortism than anything. Once their pet players get in, they are then more inclined to vote for the other guy’s favorite, and that is what we are now seeing.
    Using sabremetrics as a smoke screen to account for their change of heart is crap. Writers have the same problem as politicians when it comes to “evolving” on an issue. Evolving is another word for full time BSing and years of lying about your real way of thinking.


  10. Pardon me, but has Manfred completely forgotten about the crime committed by the St.Louis Cardinals hacking the Astros????? I’m getting perturbed waiting to hear what he is gonna do about it. Didn’t he say last summer he was going to make a decision on what the Cardinals were going to have to give the Astros for punishment over the winter??? I have an idea…..give us your 2 or 3 top pitching propects, and we’ll call it square!


  11. Let’s assume this F.O. decides to dangle either George Springer or Alex Bregman. No, I don’t want that to happen either. But what if it did? This F.O. has done wierder things. So if Gorgeous George or BRISP-Man go on the block, what would be the minimum acceptable return for you?


    • Jose Quintana, Chris Archer, and Chris Sale are all below the minimum return for George Springer in my opinion. It may be a case of overvaluing a player, but he’s shown just how dangerous he can be in all facets of the game. I don’t think the starting pitcher’s value is quite comparable until you get to a 1 game, 5, game, or 7 game series. Guarantee me a team without Springer makes it to October baseball and I’d reconsider.

      I don’t think Bregman can impact the game the way Springer does. If I knew Gurriel would be able to give us 130+ quality games at 3B each year I’d have no hesitation dealing Bregman in a package for rotation help. With that question mark I’d rather hold onto Bregman and give him a chance at being a long term fan favorite.


  12. It seems we all mostly agree we need another quality SP. I would be ok with any deal that involves anyone not on the 25. There will always be a lot of great prospects and good kids, that will never be successful big leaguers.

    However I think if we wait till July, we can get a SP that wont hurt as much. Be pragmatic,versus another Gomez trade.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. JEEZE…… the Astros are looking like a desperate guy trying to get a date for the prom!! Pretty sure the A’S aren’t really that serious about trading Sonly Gray….they are probably trolling the Astros. GOOD LORD….😨😨


  14. Is firing your Offensive Coordinator because your team doesn’t score points the same thing as firing your batting coach when your team doesn’t score enough runs?
    Nope, because in baseball you just go out and spend a boatload of money and get better batters. That way, the coach seems better.
    In football, you can’t spend money like that. So you go out and hire new coaches and ask them to turn lousy players into better players. If they fail to do that, you fire them. But the guy who constantly signs those lousy players gets to sit up in the owner’s box and watch his new coaches coach his old lousy players.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I feel your pain, Op … not to be contrary, I sleep better believing this though.

      The elements that take the blame off a Dave Hudgens for example, are that these players already should posses versatility to make adjustments. And with that, there’s another staff that scouts the following series’ teams (trends in how they’ll pitch and defend us etc.). Just as Altuve asked of Beltran, these elite hitters need only a description to take it from concept to production? There’s so much pressure to be judged in game time and split seconds, hitters need every competitive advantage.

      Practicing under real conditions, like “do you wanna learn how to hit a curve Evan – alright LMJ come over here and throw him some BP!” Every time Jayne Hansen asks a prospect, “who on the Astros staff would you least like to hit against?”, they always look like deer in headlights bc they’ve never had to face anyone.

      Then, you have outside sources hitters should always try and work with! Reading a recent article about Singleton as trade bait (As if!), the guy wrote that “surely some hitting coach is salivating over all of his hit tools.” So, why isn’t Big Jon seeking out an elite hitting teacher to excelerate his own career? Laziness, or maybe he has. Much like Rasmus and his father, a Pro has to do whatever it takes to stay ahead of the curve.

      I’d contend we simply need to know how we’re being attacked, as every battle is won before it’s fought. Guess that’s why our guys are working their butts off in winter leagues to get those ever-needed reps.

      In football, there was nobody like Bill Walsh. His receivers were so wide open, and his innovation obvious. In baseball, the way we get out coached is by paying less attention to details, but we can compensate for that in motivation & by strength of Will. Like last season when Springer went off on Volquez; or the night Brett Favre’s dad died and Brett played inspired … the game time situations separate real competitors whose coaches later say, “they saw it all along”. Lot of good coaches, only a few great players.

      In the movie Trouble with the Curve, the scout’s best hitting prospect was in a slump and all he needed was to see his parents. It’s the little things [on the ground Intel].

      Hoping that all the new romance in the air (Gattis, Springer), Altuve’s new addition, maybe McQue and his twitter tiffs will somehow keep the baseball fires lit! Every coach’s dream is to watch them develop after the fundamentals have been engrained, but the game is so specialized now that hitters need to recognize their glaring weakness, and quick (ala Tyler White).

      Was he supposed to start taking BP on high heat? Recognize that was how he was being attacked every 2-strike count? Until he neutralized that pitch, they kept coming back to that well; and White represented one of the best contact hitters we have.


  15. Reasons for Baggy to get inducted in the Hall of Fame – other than the obvious:

    1. To royally tick-off Bud Selig?
    2. He has a better beard than Tim Raines?
    3. To make sure the Hall has Killer BEES instead of just one Killer ‘B’?
    4. To make the Larry Anderson trade look even worse for the Red Sox?
    5. To remind the world that once upon a time there really were some Astro hitters who had an excellent BA with runners in scoring position?


    • 6. As compensation for the Cardinals hack – since it doesn’t look like there is going to be any other compensation coming our way.


      • By the way, perhaps what is taking the MLB so long is that the CIA and FBI are about to announce that the Cardinal organization is really just a front for Vladamir Putin. The Card’s uniforms are red, after all! Rumors have it that they privately call the bases at Busch Stadium ‘Red Squares’. And isn’t it popular theory that every incident of hacking in history had to originate with the Russian government?


      • Well obviously the Reds were the main instigators and then it depends on whether you think it was Pete “Red” Rose or if he was just a Pinko Rose


      • Wow! This brings a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘Big Red Machine’. Why did I never see the correction between that and the phrase ‘Red Birds’. Oh, and didn’t they have a manager for a while name RED Schoendinst? This conspiracy just keeps getting bigger and bigger.


  16. Hmmn. Did we have any F.O. people who attended college or grad school at Texas Tech? You know their mascot is a ‘RED Raider’! Somebody call Diane Sawyer, Dan – I think we are blowing the top off this thing! Or is it just a red herring?


    • OP, I have been meaning to ask you some questions. Be sworn, and take a seat, sir. Remember that you are under oath – and that Diane Sawyer is watching.

      Question #1. Are you now, or have you ever been, a member of the AMC Motors Board of Directors? If so, which way did you vote for the motion to shorten the body style of the Javelin and call the smaller product a Kremlin?
      Question #2. Were you ever a fan of Bay Watch? If so, how did you explain this to Mrs. OP?
      Question #3. Have you ever secretly put ‘guns up’ when the Texas Tech Red Raider football team scored a touchdown?
      Question #4. Have you ever placed a baseball bet with Pete Rose’s bookie?
      Question #5. Why were you in favor of the Astros signing all those Cuban players?
      Question #6: How much time do you annually spend sitting on the dock of the day, wasting time?


      • 1. I did work for American Motors. I was responsible for the Ambassadors, though, and also for requiring those Ambassadors to resign by Jan 20th.
        2. I was a huge fan of Bay Watch and I did not have to explain it because she was always watching Hasselhoff. We turned the sound off and it became an even better show.
        3. I did not have to put the guns up sign for Texas Tech because my Cougars were always up by four touchdowns already.
        4. I never had to place a bet with Pete Rose’s bookie because I had invested wisely in Ray Fosse’s hospitals.
        5. Why was I in favor of signing all those Cuban players. That’s easy: Carlos Gomez, Colby Rasmus, Jason Castro, Luis Valbuena, Jake Marisnick, Danny Worth, AJ Reed, Preston Tucker. I just watched them walk back to the dugout.
        6. I used to sit on the Dock of the Bay, never wastin’ time, but the fish population was suffering because I am so good at it. So, I decided to Try A Little Tenderness. Don’t look now, but some of those fish are RedFish!


  17. Tim Kurkjian says he has voted for Bags every year, he is one if the top 5 1st baseman ever, and he will be in this year. I’m taking that to the bank.


  18. We can’t leave you boys for half a day and you go completely off the rails!!
    Billy, interesting article! Thanks for posting it. Saw A.J.Reed on our local news this evening (Astros caravan ) guys, the boy hasn’t lost ANY weight, and he didn’t mention a word about getting with a personal trainer. I’m not sure our resident Cuban knows what to think about this caravan stuff!
    The HOF announcement will be at 6:00 tomorrow evening, so I expect to see each and everyone of you post your “YAA HOO’S” right after we hear the Hall call Mr. Bagwell’S name!!!
    I spent the better part of 4hrs this morning in an ugly beige chair hooked up to a chemo treatment in my left arm, but rest assured I was keeping an eye on you brats!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Becky I have to agree just saw Reed’s photo on the Astro’s web site, It looks like he is on the Jon Singleton diet and work out plan. What a shame the opportunity of a lifetime and it’s not worth it. I guess just chill with Jon and be a life time Minor Leaguer


  20. If a guy at 23 weighs in at 275, chances are that he’s only going to get bigger, unless he’s prepared to change quite a bit about the way he does his business. Damn, I was hoping to see the results of him working his tail off all winter. Sounds like it did not happen.


  21. September 17, 2005. Yes – this was that year – the year of the only World Series appearance in Astros’ history.

    The sports page on September 17, 2005 read: Astros manager Phil Garner said when Jeff Bagwell returned after more than four months on the disabled list last week that he didn’t want to rush Bagwell into any high-pressured situations while the veteran slugger was just getting his stroke back. “I lied,” Garner said Friday night.

    Garner inserted Bagwell as a pinch-hitter with the score tied in the ninth inning, and Bagwell’s run-scoring single lifted Houston over the Milwaukee Brewers 2-1. “Let’s just say I felt he was the man to go to,” Garner said. “And he came through for us big.” Houston, which won its third straight game, remained a half-game ahead of Philadelphia in the NL wild-card race and moved 161/27 games in front of Florida, which lost to the Phillies 11-3.

    “You have to be a little nervous in that situation,” Bagwell said. “It was a big moment, and it’s a win we needed.”

    Mike Lamb and Lance Berkman led off the ninth by hitting consecutive singles off Dana Eveland (1-1). After Jason Lane struck out and Jose Vizcaino fouled out, Bagwell got a huge ovation from the crowd when he came up to pinch hit for Brad Lidge (4-3). When he singled to right-center, scoring pinch-runner Willy Taveras, the crowd cheered even more.

    “It gave me chills just to see him go out there,” Lidge said. “We’ve all been pulling for him in his comeback, so to see him do that was great for everybody.”

    It was just Bagwell’s third appearance since he returned Sept. 9 after recuperating from shoulder surgery in May. “The crowd has always been great to me and I’m glad I was able to come through for them,” he said.

    And I said: “Ya HOO!”


  22. It was June 9, 1999. Everyone in the world was fretting over Y2K. But in Astroworld, everyone was celebrating a guy named Jeff Bagwell. The sports page headline read:

    irst baseman Jeff Bagwell set a new franchise standard for slugging excellence when he hit three home runs against the White Sox in New Comiskey Park. Bagwell became the only Astro to accomplish the feat three times and twice in a single season. Thanks to Bagwell, Astro starter Mike Hampton coasted to an easy 13-4 victory on his way to setting a team record of his own with 22 wins in the season. James Baldwin started for the White Sox but avoided giving up any of Bagwell’s homers, who instead feasted on Chicago’s bullpen in his last three at-bats.

    How did those three at bats go?

    6th inning: 1 out, 1 run in, runners on 1st and 3rd. With the Astros up 5-0, Bagwell greets reliever Sean Lowe with a three-run homer to left field, scoring Craig Biggio and Bill Spiers.

    8th inning: 0 outs, nobody on. Against reliever Bill Simas, Bagwell leads off the inning with his second homer of the game, a solo shot to left field that gives the Astros a 10-2 lead.

    9th inning: 1 out, Russ Johnson on first. Against reliever Keith Foulke, Bagwell hits his third homer of a game, a two-run shot to left that completes the team’s scoring at 13 runs.

    Ya HOOOO!!!


  23. August 14, 2000: Even after tying a team record by driving in seven runs, Houston Astro first baseman Jeff Bagwell was not completely satisfied. “I should have had more,” Bagwell said after the Astros beat the Philadelphia Phillies, 14-7, Sunday at Philadelphia. “The guys in front of me did a great job in getting on base.”

    Bagwell and Moises Alou each hit two home runs and Richard Hidalgo and Chris Truby also homered as the Astros matched a club mark with six homers–a feat they have achieved three times this season. Bagwell went four for five and was hit by a pitch as he tied the Astro record for runs batted in in a game shared by Rafael Ramirez (1989) and Pete Incaviglia (1992). Bagwell’s previous best was six RBIs.


  24. I’m in tears I’m so happy!!! Who knew when that scrawny kid we traded for from the Red Sox would go on to be one of the 5 top 1st baseman to EVER write his name on that 1st base bag!!! I’m a happy, happy girl!!!!!!


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