Phillies: Four former players who belong in the Hall of Fame
I’ve long advocated for Bobby Abreu to receive more consideration when it comes to the Hall of Fame and I was relieved to see that he (just barely) made it past the first ballot.
Let’s start with the raw numbers for Abreu’s 18-year career: 2,470 hits, 574 doubles, 288 home runs, 400 stolen bases, a 60 WAR, and a lifetime .291 batting average.
Next, my favorite comparison stat of all-time: The only players with 550 doubles and 400 stolen bases in major league history are Tris Speaker, Ty Cobb, Craig Biggio, Honus Wagner, Paul Molitor, Barry Bonds, and Bobby Abreu.
Abreu’s 60 WAR is the baseline for any Hall of Fame argument and it’s better than Mike Piazza, Vlad Guerrero, Yogi Berra, Willie Stargell, and a host of other Hall of Famers. Abreu’s numbers (outside of home runs and RBI) either match up or are better than Stargell and Guerrero.
Additionally, Abreu’s 7-year peak WAR is comparable to other Hall of Fame right fielders. Abreu finished with a 41.6 peak WAR compared to the 42.9 average for a Hall of Fame right fielder.
There are knocks on Abreu but they shouldn’t be the things that keep him out of the Hall of Fame. People who look at “black type” (league leader numbers) see that Abreu only led the league in doubles and triples once. You have to remember, the late 90s/early 2000s was the height of the steroid era. Abreu’s numbers also weren’t always overpowering but they were consistent and above-average for over a decade.
Abreu had 11 seasons with 35 doubles or more; only Pete Rose and Tris Speaker had more than that.
Abreu’s Hall of Fame case is a longshot considering how many more votes he’d have to pick up, but his case is more legitimate than people give him credit for.