Building A Hall of Fame Case For Lou Whitaker (Part 2)

1978 topps <a rel=As did with building the case for Alan Trammell, next I’ll compare the best, worst, and average for key stat categories and where Lou Whitaker fits in amongst second basemen in the Hall (20 currently).  Additionally, I’ll add in Ryne Sandberg based on Baseball-Reference.com and the three most similar batters to Lou in his career, which are…Ryne Sandberg, Alan Trammell, and Roberto Alomar.  All are now Hall of Famers.

Another thing to keep in mind is, according to the Jaffe WAR Scoring System (JAWS), Whitaker ranks 13th all-time amongst those who’ve played the position.  This isn’t a perfect system by any means and leans heavy towards sabermetrics and WAR scoring, plus 7-year peak WAR to give a final score.

Side Notes:

  • Miller Huggins and Bucky Harris are listed as second basemen but were elected more for their managerial careers and not playing. They’ve been removed from the below.
  • Next to Whitaker is his rank vs. other second base Hall of Famers (out of 21)

Batting Average (Career)
Best: Rogers Hornsby .360
Worst: Bill Mazeroski .260
Average: Tony Lazzeri .292
Whitaker: .276 (16)
Sandberg: .285

On-Base Percentage
Best: Rogers Hornsby .434
Worst: Red Schoendienst .337
Average: Frankie Frisch .369
Whitaker: .363 (T-12)
Sandberg: .344

Slugging Percentage 
Best: Rogers Hornsby .577
Worst: Johnny Evers .334
Average: Craig Biggio .433
Whitaker: .426 (15)
Sandberg: .452

OPS
Best: Rogers Hornsby 1.010
Worst: Bill Mazeroski .667
Average: Joe Morgan .819
Whitaker: .789 (15)

Sandberg: .795
Hits
Best: Eddie Collins 3,315
Worst: Jackie Robinson 1,518
Average: Joe Morgan 1,650
Whitaker: 1,386 (13)
Sandberg: 2,386

Home Runs 
Best: Rogers Hornsby 301
Worst: Johnny Evers 12
Average: Bill Mazeroski 138
Whitaker: 244 (6)
Sandberg: 282

Doubles
Best: Craig Biggio 668
Worst: Johnny Evers 216
Average: Eddie Collins 438
Whitaker: 420 (12)
Sandberg: 282

Triples
Best: Bill McPhee 189
Worst: Joe Gordon 52
Average: Joe Morgan 96
Whitaker: 65 (17)
Sandberg: 282

Runs Batted In
Best: Nap Lajoie 1,599
Worst: Johnny Evers 536
Average: Joe Morgan 1,133
Whitaker: 1,084 (11)
Sandberg: 1,061

Runs Scored 
Best: Craig Biggio 1,844
Worst: Bill Maeroski 769
Average: Rod Carew 1,424
Whitaker: 1,386 (11)
Sandberg: 1,318

Stolen Bases
Best: Eddie Collins 741
Worst: Bill Mazeroski 27
Average: Johnny Evers 324
Whitaker: 143 (14)
Sandberg: 344

WAR (Wins Above Replacement)
Best: Rogers Hornsby 127
Worst: Bill Mazeroski 36.2
Average: Craig Biggio 65.1
Whitaker: 74.9 (7)
Sandberg: 67.5

WAR7 (Best 7 WAR Seasons)
Best: Rogers Hornsby 73.5
Worst: Bill Mazeroski 25.7
Average: Frankie Frisch 44.4
Whitaker: 37.8 (13)
Sandberg: 46.8

JAWS
Best: Rogers Hornsby 100.3
Worst: Bill Mazeroski 31
Average: Roberto Alomar 54.8
Whitaker: 56.4 (13)
Sandberg: 57.2

The story that you can see developing with career stats, show that although Lou Whitaker may not be in the upper echelon of second basemen (outside of power and WAR), in no way does he not stack up to any Hall of Famer and really is close to what the average second base Hall of Famer can be compared to.

Next up, I’ll examine how Lou stacks up against second baseman in the Hall over the last 50-years

Click to read Part 1

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2 thoughts on “Building A Hall of Fame Case For Lou Whitaker (Part 2)

  1. Pingback: Building A Hall of Fame Case For Lou Whitaker (Part 3, Modern Era Matchup) | Sons of '84

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