The Win Shares system provides a useful method of examining the body of work that a player has accumulated in his career. In the case of active players, it is interesting to see if they are on track for the Hall.
The first list includes active players with 300 or more Win Shares. Topping the list is Barry Bonds with 686 Win Shares, a total exceeded by only Babe Ruth (756) and Ty Cobb (722). Despite gaining only four Win Shares in 2006, Gary Sheffield joined Roger Clemens and Craig Biggio as the only other active players with 400 Win Shares. Five players passed the 300 mark in 2006: Jeff Kent, Randy Johnson, Jim Thome, Tom Glavine and Chipper Jones. Glavine gained five Win Shares on Johnson in 2006 and is on the verge of passing him to become the top left-handed pitcher of his generation, based on Win Shares.
Active Players with 300 Win Shares (WS)
1/1/07 '06 WS thru Age WS 2006 Comment Pos. Players Barry Bonds 42 25 686 Only Ruth and Cobb have more. Craig Biggio 41 11 422 Closing in on Ripken at 427. G. Sheffield 38 4 402 Now in can't miss territory over 400. Frank Thomas 38 21 383 Huge '06 comeback ensures election. K. Griffey Jr 37 9 367 Early success should be enough. A. Rodriguez 31 25 340 Still piles up stats in an off-year. Manny Ramirez 34 27 334 Had best year on this list. Mike Piazza 38 11 320 Best hitting catcher ever. Jeff Kent 38 18 313 Building a pretty strong case. B. Williams 38 8 311 Nearing the end, probably short of Hall. Jim Thome 36 25 304 Has a shot after comeback in 2006. Chipper Jones 34 22 301 A couple more good years and he's in. Pitchers Roger Clemens 44 11 432 Fifth on all-time list for pitchers. Greg Maddux 40 12 383 Sure bet for the Hall. Randy Johnson 43 8 305 Another sure bet despite recent decline. Tom Glavine 40 13 303 Should reach 300 wins in 2007.
A strong group of players have apparently completed their careers in 2005 with 300+ Win Shares and will appear on the Hall of Fame ballot for the first time in 2011 if they stay retired.
1/1/07 WS thru Age 2006 Comment Player Rafael Palmeiro 42 394 Left under a cloud. Jeff Bagwell 38 387 Should lead this class. Sammy Sosa 38 311 Ugly exit in '05. May be back. Larry Walker 40 307 May not be enough. John Olerud 38 301 Not enough power.
The next list is of players with 250 Win Shares through 2006. These players should get on the HOF ballot but most will not be elected. Three players moved into this group in 2006, Moises Alou, Carlos Delgado and Omar Vizquel.
Active Players with 250 Win Shares
|Age on||WS in||WS thru|
|Luis Gonzalez||39||12||297||Doesn't have the numbers.|
|Steve Finley||41||10||296||Same category as Gonzalez.|
|Ivan Rodriguez||35||24||296||A sure bet.|
|Jason Giambi||35||22||283||Needs 3 or 4 more big years.|
|Julio Franco||48||3||278||Amazing career but not HOF.|
|Derek Jeter||32||32||277||Another sure thing.|
|Jim Edmonds||36||11||274||Not quite HOF caliber.|
|Kenny Lofton||39||12||273||Lengthy but not dominant career.|
|Moises Alou||40||14||263||Missed too much playing time.|
|Carlos Delgado||34||22||262||Borderline if he stays productive.|
|Omar Vizquel||39||20||250||Way short of Ozzie Smith's 325 WS.|
|John Smoltz||39||15||272||Will get some consideration.|
The final list is of active players that have 200 Win Shares. Many are productive veterans with good careers but without HOF credentials. Only those on this list younger than 35 have a realistic chance. Six players joined this list in 2006: Johnny Damon, Ray Durham, Albert Pujols, Miguel Tejada, Nomar Garciaparra and Jason Kendall.
Active Players with 200 Win Shares
|Age on||WS in||WS thru|
|Bobby Abreu||32||27||249||Needs a long career.|
|Brian Giles||35||21||249||Slowing down too soon.|
|Vladimir Guerrero||30||24||243||Piling up HOF stats.|
|Scott Rolen||31||21||235||Needs to stay healthy to have a shot.|
|Tim Salmon||38||4||232||End of a good but not great career.|
|Andruw Jones||29||22||232||Early start gives him a chance.|
|Todd Helton||33||21||230||Decline phase started early.|
|Shawn Green||34||11||225||Not a serious candidate.|
|Ryan Klesko||35||1||223||Doesn't seem to have much left.|
|Ruben Sierra||41||0||222||Did not sustain early promise.|
|Johnny Damon||33||21||216||Won't generate HOF credentials.|
|Ray Durham||35||20||212||Nice comeback in 2006 but way short.|
|Edgardo Alfonzo||33||0||211||Career cratered early.|
|Albert Pujols||26||37||210||On pace for 525 WS in 15 year career.|
|Miguel Tejada||30||23||210||Has time to put up the numbers.|
|Reggie Sanders||39||5||206||Many stops but not Cooperstown.|
|Nomar Garciaparra||33||17||203||Too much time lost to injuries.|
|Jason Kendall||32||23||202||Durable but not productive enough.|
|Pedro Martinez||35||6||249||Dominance will get him in.|
|Mike Mussina||38||14||248||Still has work to do.|
|Curt Schilling||40||15||242||Post-season success will help his case.|
|David Wells||43||4||207||Way short.|
Bill Gilbert is a baseball analyst and writer and member of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR).
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