Which Former Yankees Will Be Elected to the Hall of Fame in 2017?
The main case against Mussina is that he is considered a compiler rather than one of the truly dominant pitchers of his era. His Baseball-Reference page is largely free of black ink (which denotes when a player led the league in a certain category), and his career 3.68 ERA/3.57 FIP are good, but certainly not elite.
However, by many metrics, Mussina’s Hall case looks air-tight. The Jaffe WAR Score system (JAWS), which was designed to balance a HoF candidate’s career performance with their seven-year peak, considers Moose a sure-fire Hall of Famer. His 63.8 JAWS would rank him 28th out of the 62 pitchers currently in the Hall, and above the 62.1 JAWS mark of the average HoF pitcher.
Bill James’ Hall of Fame Monitor also thinks Mussina has an above-average chance of induction with a score of 121. With this stat, a score of 100 or more means the player has a good chance to get in, while 130 or more indicates they are more or less certain. Mussina isn’t quite a lock according to James’ measure, but it does look promising.
In his third year on the ballot in 2016, Mussina received a healthy 43% of the vote and became one of the pet causes of the sabermetric crowd. Despite five All-Star appearances, seven Gold Glove awards, and nine finishes in the top-six of the AL CYA, the excellence of his career is overlooked by the majority of fans.
2017 is not going to be the year that Moose gets in, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see his support once again increase considerably. A few more years of nerds getting the word out about Mussina, and he should make it.