“Even if you don’t believe WAR adjusts enough for Coors Field or don’t fully trust Walker’s defensive numbers, Al Simmons basically represents the worst-case scenario comparison for Larry Walker. Since Simmons is one of the 100 best players in history, that means Larry Walker absolutely should be a Hall of Famer.”
What Adam notes without emphasis is that Walker’s 150 Hall Rating is actually several notches above Simmons’s 130. Between them, you’ll find names like Pete Rose, Reggie Jackson, Robin Yount, and Yogi Berra. Not exactly borderline names.
While I’m primarily stumping for Walker here, Adam makes some other eye-opening comps as well. Jeff Bagwell was Ed Delahanty (though I’d rather note that he was the third-best first baseman who debuted in the 20th century than compare him to a dinosaur). Mike Mussina was a better pitcher than Jim Palmer. Alan Trammell was Ryne Sandberg. And here’s the best comp of them all:
Curt Schilling: 216-146, .597 winning percentage, 3,116 strikeouts, 127 ERA+, 80.7 WAR, three rings
Bob Gibson: 251-174, .591 winning percentage, 3,117 strikeouts, 127 ERA+, 81.9 WAR, two rings
It’s time my generation gets some Hall of Fame love.