Looking at the Hall-of-Fame Ballot: Former Yankees Pt. 11 – Brian Roberts
There are eleven former Yankees on this year’s ballot. The entire list of players whose Hall-of-Fame case I have examined is listed at the end of this article.
Today we focus on the last player on the ballot who wore pinstripes – Brian Roberts.
The quick answer is No.
The Low Bar (or the Harold Baines Test):
Regular readers will know that my first test for any player to be included in the Hall-of-Fame is what I call the “Harold Baines Test.” In short, a player must have a lifetime WAR (Baseball-Reference) above that of Harold Baines. If the player’s lifetime WAR is below that of Baines, it is my opinion that he does not belong in the Hall-of-Fame. Ranked by WAR, Harold Baines comes in as the 552nd best player of all-time with a WAR of 38.7. This is the low bar. There are literally hundreds of players better than Baines who are not in the Hall-of-Fame. We have no business electing players who rank lower than Baines.
Brian Roberts fails this test.
His WAR was 30.4.
Brian Roberts ranks 822nd on the All-Time WAR list. (He’s tied with five other players at 822nd. Those players are Jim Bagby, Mike Hargrove, Gary Matthews, Joe Nuxhall, and Kyle Seager.)
Awards, Honors, and the Like:
It seems logical to assume that a Hall-of-Fame player would have received a good deal of honors and awards during his playing days.
Brian Roberts was a two-time All-Star.
Brian Roberts led the American League in doubles twice (2004, 2009) and stolen bases once (2007).
Brian Roberts accumulated 1,527 hits.
He had 97 homers and he stole 285 bases.
Roberts hit .300 in a season once (.314, 2005).
JAWS By Position:
On the All-Time JAWS list for second base, Brian Roberts ranks… 58th.
Bill Mazerowski, the closest Hall-of-Famer, is 51st. It’s questionable whether Maz belongs in the hallowed halls. He was a great defender and hit his a famous homer in the 1960 World Series. The voters felt that was enough…
By my quick count, there are 36 second basemen who rank above Roberts on this chart who are not in the Hall-of-Fame. (Of note… at the top “Not in” list in #7, Robbie Cano. Willie Randolph is 17th.)
Most Similar Players:
Baseball Reference lists the ten most similar players to each MLB player for their career.
Of the ten most similar to Brian Roberts, none are in the Hall-of-Fame.
The ten players are: Ronnie Belliard, Orlando Hudson, Lonny Frey, Adam Kennedy, Yunel Escobar, Bill Doran, Mark Ellis, Delino DeShields, Jose Offerman, and Marco Scutaro.
I would have loved to have had the career of Brian Roberts. He was a good player for a number of years. From 2001 through 2013, he starred for the Orioles.
Roberts ended his career with a forgettable 91 games for the Yankees in 2014. He hit .237/5/21 as a Yankee.
Brian Roberts was not a Hall-of-Famer.
Previous Installments of This Series: