Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Is Zack Greinke a Royals hall of famer?

I know he's years away from being considered but I thought I'd just throw it out there. In my opinion he's one of the top three starting pitchers in team history, Kevin Appier and Bret Saberhagen being the other two. Saberhagen is of course in and I'm sure Appier's induction is coming soon. Before I share what I think let's see how he compares to the current HoFers (I'm going to include Appier with this group).

Pitcher W L ERA G GS CG SHO SV IP BB SO ERA+ WHIP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 SO/9 SO/BB WAR
Greinke 60 67 3.82 210 169 12 3 1 1108 280 931 116 1.264 9.1 0.9 2.3 7.6 3.33 22.8
Appier 115 92 3.49 287 275 32 10 0 1843.2 634 1458 131 1.250 8.2 0.7 3.1 7.1 2.30 44.1
Saberhagen 110 78 3.21 252 226 64 14 1 1660.1 331 1093 128 1.134 8.4 0.7 1.8 5.9 3.30 37.3
Gubicza 132 135 3.91 384 329 42 16 2 2218.2 783 1366 110 1.356 9.0 0.6 3.2 5.5 1.74 35.6
Quisenberry 51 44 2.55 573 0 0 0 238 920.1 139 321 161 1.150 9.0 0.5 1.4 3.1 2.31 25.2
Leonard 144 106 3.70 312 302 103 12 1 2187 622 1323 107 1.262 8.8 0.8 2.6 5.4 2.13 24.0
Montgomery 44 50 3.20 686 0 0 0 304 849.1 287 720 138 1.233 7.1 0.8 3.0 7.6 2.5121.5
Splittorff 166 143 3.81 429 392 88 17 1 2554.2 780 1057 101 1.340 9.3 0.7 2.7 3.7 1.36 20.9
Gura 111 78 3.72 310 219 61 14 12 1701.1 503 633 108 1.253 8.6 0.9 2.7 3.3 1.26 16.6
Busby 70 54 3.72 167 150 53 7 0 1060.2 433 659 105 1.354 8.5 0.6 3.7 5.6 1.52 15.5

Looking at this list it's hard to see how he doesn't belong, among the starting pitchers he's 1st in SO/9, 2nd in BB/9, 2nd in SO/BB, 3rd in ERA+, and 5th in WAR.

I think two things work in Greinke's favor here - Steve Busby's inclusion and his 2009 Cy Young season. Busby had a promising career derailed by injuries which limited him to just three full seasons and 1060.2 innings. His two no-hitters and 22 win 1974 season were the obvious factors in his induction.
As for 2009, it is the best pitching performance in franchise history and while that in itself isn't enough for induction Greinke had three other seasons with an ERA+ of 120 or higher. To recap here's where his 2009 ranked in Royals history in various stats:
ERA+ - 1st (205)
WAR - 1st (9.0)
SO's - 2nd (242)
SO/9 - 1st (9.50)

Something working against Greinke is the absence of Charlie Liebrandt. Liebrandt also had a 116 ERA+ in his Royals career to go along with 76 wins. Considering he's one of the heroes of 1985 I'm actually quite surprised he's not in.

While in the process of writing this post I noticed Nick Scott has a Greinke article up at Royals Authority focusing on Greinke's place in team history. He argues against his inclusion due to lack of longevity, which is fair I think but again Busby's in, so there's that.

Personally I think he deserves to be in but his request to be traded will ultimately be what keeps him out. A graceful exit it wasn't and comments he made after the trade didn't exactly endear him to Royals fans. I don't consider him a no brainer though so I won't consider it a travesty if he never makes it.

4 comments:

Nick said...

Nice article, thanks for the link to my own. To clarify, I said he won't be in the HOF. I'm still up in the air as to whether he should be in. I'd lean towards out, but not too hard. I've always been kind of a small-hall guy.

Jeff Parker said...

I've been thinking about the longevity thing, the days of players spending a decade with the Royals are most likely over. 1000 innings could be the most we see out of pitchers from here on out. If that is insufficient for induction the Royals Hall will remain fairly small.

Mel said...

Busby is in for what he could have been. If he hadnt got hurt he would be mentioned in the same breath as Ryan, Sutton, and Seaver. He was that good. I'm certain he wouldve finished with 300 wins and 3000 strikeouts. And I also believe they would have got past the Yanks at least once in 76-78. He was an exceptional pitcher and in my opinion the best to ever wear a Royals jersey.

Anonymous said...

Ok Mel settle down, Busby was good but Dennis Leonard good. Not Tom Seaver good. And other than 2009 Greinke wasn't that all that good, flat out sucked last year. No way he gets in, especially with a losing record.