Is Mark Buehrle a future Hall of Famer?

Mark Buehrle is off to a great start this year, he’s had a pretty good career and with another 2 or 3 good seasons, I find it hard to believe he won’t be mentioned as a Hall of Fame pitcher.

Some Buehrle highlights that may play in his favor in getting in.
-Perfect game along with a no hitter
-2005 WS champ…excluding Frank Thomas who really wasn’t a part of that team, he is the most worthy player on that team to make the Hall of Fame. Only 1 WS winner team in MLB history has had zero player make the Hall of Fame. I find it hard to believe that a team like the 05 Whitesox will be the second team.
-13 straight seasons of 200 innings pitched.
-Possibly could lead his generation in career wins.
-His career war is 56.3…usually 70.0 is automatic for Hall of Fame. Another two or three 3.0 war seasons will put him in some elite company.
-4 Gold Gloves
-4 Allstars
-most consecutive outs for a starting pitcher.

I don’t think he’s a Hall of Famer as of now but I think he will eventually turn some heads but only if he can keep this up. I admit when I think of Buehrle, I would never mention him as a Hall of Famer but after looking at his career, he’s actually got better numbers than several players already in the Hall of Fame.

13 years with 200 innings pitched is impressive, and it might be the only really meaningful stat on that list. It’s indicative of a guy who was very solid for a long time, and that’s a valuable thing in a starting pitcher. But has Buehrle had a single great season since 2005? A lot of the other accomplishments are basically trivia. Look at the list of guys who’ve thrown a perfect game and you’ll see most of them are not Hall of Famers. The same goes even for the group of pitchers who’ve thrown more than one no-hitter. Buehrle probably won’t win more games than CC Sabathia, and the ‘most wins of his generation’ thing reminds me of the stuff people said about Jack Morris having the most wins in the 1980s: wins aren’t a very valuable stat and the time period is arbitrary, so it doesn’t mean anything.

Well, like you said - Frank Thomas was on the team, so that won’t be true regardless.

I don’t see it, unless he somehow pitches until he’s 45 years old. He’s never cracked 200 Ks in a season, and will have tremendously low counting stats. 300 wins is no longer a real benchmark, because it’s a little far out of reach these days. But even if he hits 250, he’s going to be just seen as an accumulator there, and he’ll have barely broken 2000 strikeouts by that time. Pretty unimpressive for the voters.

I think Buehrle is a great pitcher, and has been one of the most consistent pitchers during his time. But he’s never been elite at any time during that stretch. It’ll be interesting to see how pitchers are treated by the Hall in the next few decades. Counting stats are going way down for them with the rise of the middle reliever, and what seems to be a spike in pitchers flaming out on top.

The thing with Morris though is, he ended up with a career war of around 35.0. Buehrle is already at 56.3. As the years go by and the voters become younger and look at saber stats more heavily, I would think Buehrle will look very good in alot of these younger voters eyes.

Yeah but Frank Thomas didn’t make the WS roster. From what i’ve heard he was left off it on purpose too.

I was talking about your statement that Buehrle might have the most wins of anyone in his generation: like “Jack Morris had the most wins in the 1980s,” it doesn’t mean anything. And Buehrle probably won’t have the most wins of his generation anyway. He’s been really good for a long time, and throwing 200 quality innings every year is very useful. That’s why he continues to get work. But I wouldn’t say he’s been near a Hall of Fame level in a decade. If he lasts until he’s about 38 as a clearly useful pitcher but hasn’t been elite since he was 26, I don’t think he’ll get much Hall of Fame support.

For some reason, my first thought on reading the OP was, “The cop from the OJ case?”

Nope Buehrle pitches baseball.

Buerhle’s career 56 WAR is a hell of a lot better than I expected when I looked him up.

At this point though it’s an uphill battle. He has basically no major career mountains to fill his landscape - no Cy Youngs, no huge 24-win season or anything like that. Only once in his career has he ever even gotten mentioned in the Cy Young vote. (One would assume he cannot pitch all of 2014 the way he has so far.) He has 190 wins and if he were to just keep Buerhling along for another 4-5 years he’ll have 240-250 wins with the same flat look to his career, which means he won’t have much of a hope of election by the BBWAA.

The perfect game is cool but generally speaking perfect games and no hitters don’t get you in. If he goes and keeps pitching like this and ends the year 22-6 and win the Cy Young, well, the conversation changes.

It just doesn’t seem likely. He’s never won 20 games, never led in a major pitching category, and never won a Cy Young.

Baseball References HOF monitoring stats have him far behind the average HOF player.

All he has was WAR, which, though a useful statistic, is not the best way to define greatness, and Buerhle never led in that category. So even by that measurement, he was never the best pitcher in the league in any year.

He’s a solid innings eater, but no HOF player.

Usually every generation has at least 8 or 9 pitchers make the hall of Fame. I would think Buehrle makes the top 8 cut.

Generation 1 1880’s to 1890’s
Cy Young
Kid Nichols
Tim Keefe
John Clarkson
Amos Rusie
Old Hoss Radbourne
Pud Galvin
Mickey Welch
Clark Griffith

Generation 2 1900’s to 1910’s
Walter Johnson
Chisty Mathewson
Pete Alexander
Three Finger Brown
Ed Walsh
Eddie Plank
Rube Waddell
Addie Joss
Chief Bender
Joe McGinnity
Rube Marquard
Jack Chesbro
Vic Willis

Generation 3 1920’s to 1930’s
lefty Grove
Carl Hubbell
Dizzy Dean
Dazzy Vance
Ted Lyons
Eppa Rixey
Red Faber
Stan Coveleski
Red Ruffing
Waite Hoyt
Burleigh Grimes
Lefty Gomez
Herb Pennock
Jesse Haines

Generation 4 1940’s to 1950’s
Warren Spahn
Robin Roberts
Bob Feller
Hal Newhouser
Early Wynn
Bob Lemon
Whitey Ford
Satchel Paige

Generation 5 1960’s to 1970’s
Sandy Koufax
Tom Saver
Steve Carlton
Nolan Ryan
Gaylord Perry
Phil Niekro
Don Sutton
Fergie Jenkins
Bert Blyleven
Jim Palmer
Bob Gibson
Don Drysdale
Catfish Hunter
Juan Marichal
Jim Bunning

Generation 6 1980’s to 1990’s
Greg Maddux
Roger Clemens…Hall of Fame career at least
Tom Glavine
Randy Johnson…will get in
Pedro Martinez…will get in
Mike Mussina…will get in
Curt Schilling…will get in
John Smoltz…will get in
Jack Morris…might eventually make it.
David Cone…has his supporter

Generation 7 2000’s to current
Roy Halladay…he’s probably the best in this group as of now.
CC Sabathia…I think Buehrle might end up with the better career.
Felix hernandez…looking strong
Justin Verlander…also looks strong
Clayton Kershaw…He’ll probably make it.
…Starts dropping off.
Johan Santana…He was a Hall of Fame type but not anymore.
Tim Hudson…He’s kinda like Buehrle.
Roy Oswalt…seriously doubt he gets support
Cliff Lee…too injury prone
Bartolo Colon…steroids
Barry Zito…no way
Matt Cain…he looks horrible lately.
Zack Grienke…I has a decent chance
Chris Carpenter…too many injurys
Jake Peavy…same as Carpenter
Dan Haren…no way
John Lackey…not a bad career but he’s got no chance.
AJ Burnett…I would say Buehrle will end up better.
Cole Hamels…over rated
Tim Lincecum…I doubt he adjusts and becomes a cy young pitcher ever again.
Jered Weaver…He looks pretty strong as of now.
Stephen Strasburg…possibly
Matt Harvey…possibly
Jose Fernandez…possibly
Chris Sale…possibly

It’s way to early to tell on alot of these guys but don’t know if there will be 8 guys on this list who end up with better careers than Buehrle.

Those “Generations” are a bit strangely composed, though. Characterizing Roger Clemens and Pedro Martinez as being in the same “generation” is kind of weird. They started their careers a decade apart; Clemens had three Cy Young Awards before Pedro appeared in a major league ballgame. Pedro is closer in age to Buerhle than he is to Clemens. You have Jack Morris and Mike Mussina, whose careers overlapped maybe four or five years, in the same generation, but Mussina and Roy Halladay, who pitched in he same division for twelve years, in different generations. You’ve lumped Chris Carpenter, who is older than Roy Halladay, in a generation with Matt Harvey, who is only 25. I’m not sure this “generation” stuff works.

And the players they view as comparable to Buehrle aren’t Hall of Famers either: Jimmy Key (career WAR of 49.4), Frank Viola (47.4). They say at this point in his career Buehrle is similar to Andy Pettitte and Jim Kaat, but Kaat didn’t make it either. If Pettitte makes it, a large part of his case will be built on the fact that he has the record for most postseason wins and was on five teams that won the World Series. We can assume Buehrle won’t have that going for him.

Bartolo Colon is 41 and has been in the majors since 1997. Jose Fernandez is 21 and broke into the majors last year. In no way are they in the same generation of pitchers. If you want to do this, you need to compare people who are very close in age or who started within a couple of years of each other. Within three or five years, maybe. Not entire decades picked at random.

Morris is off the ballot and will only make the Hall if elected by the Veterans Committee, or whatever it’s called now.

Cone fell off the ballot after one year. He got 3.9% of the vote. He seems like a nice guy and he was fun to watch, but the only way he gets into the Hall is if he buys a ticket.

Sabathia is almost 34. He has 208 wins, one Cy Young award, and four other top-five Cy Young finishes. He led the AL in wins twice and led the league in complete games twice. Buehrle is 35 and has 190 wins and one top-five finish in Cy Young voting (he was fifth in 2005). If you compare Sabathia at his best and Buehrle at his best, it is not even close.

If you’re talking a guy up as a potential Hall of Famer, “I think he’ll end up with a better career than AJ Burnett” is the end of the discussion. Absolutely nobody thinks AJ Burnett is a Hall of Fame pitcher, so a guy who will probably end up with a better career than Burnett is not a Hall of Famer. (You’re underselling your guy here. Look at the stats and tell me how Burnett could possibly be better.)

Guys like Verlander and Hernandez and Kershaw are great you could say they’re on track for the Hall, but they could get seriously injured tomorrow and some of them haven’t even played long enough to be eligible. Strasburg has a lot of talent, but only two full good seasons so far. Harvey and Fernandez have 30-odd career starts each. They’re also very talented and Fernandez in particular has done a lot at a very young age, but it’s too soon, and anyway, in no way should any of these guys be comparable to Mark Buehrle. They’re too young, and some of them have the potential to be historically great players. Buehrle was never that great.

Well Martinez could probably be considered in both generation. It’s also probably not the best way to determine a Hall of Fame career but the way pitchers careers are these days, nobody looks like a Hall of Famer. Plus Steve Carlton won two Cy Youngs in the 80’s but I would never consider him a 80’s to 90’s generation pitcher so thats kinda why I put Martinez in the 80’s and 90’s. There deff are some over laps but i think I got it right for the most part. Also for the most part, most generations had alot more than just 8 pitchers go in which makes Buehrle’s chances look even better. I would say Buehrle has even had a better career than at least 10 of these pitchers elected and his career isn’t over.

At the risk of demanding that all sports discussions be hyper-logical, no, that list isn’t pretty good. It’s totally arbitrary.

I’ll go with not really, as per Baseball Reference and my gut feel.
Black InkPitching - 19 (110), Average HOFer ≈ 40
Gray InkPitching - 117 (168), Average HOFer ≈ 185
Hall of Fame MonitorPitching - 48 (288), Likely HOFer ≈ 100
Hall of Fame StandardsPitching - 27 (177), Average HOFer ≈ 50
JAWS Starting Pitcher (94th), 55.6 career WAR/35.8 7yr-peak WAR/45.7 JAWS
Average HOF P (out of 59) = 73.4 career WAR/50.2 7yr-peak WAR/61.8 JAWS

Buehrle has been very solid for a very long time, and his career WAR is certainly higher than I expected. But he almost certainly will not make the Hall of Fame the way current voting is going.

Mike Mussina got 20% on his first ballot, with 270 wins over 18 years, 2800+ strikeouts, a career WAR of 82.7. If Moose can’t make it there is no way Buehrle can, IMO.

To get in with the current voting climate you have to be both a transcendent player and have not the slightest hint of PEDs in your past. If they loosen up the voting requirements then maybe he has a chance. Or if he wins a Cy Young or two in the next 3 years somehow.

I looked up career WAR, and while Buehrle has a decent number, there are people who rate higher than him in WAR who won’t get in. For example, Dave Steib has 57.0 WAR and Jerry Koosman has 57.1 WAR. But say Buehrle gets 10 more WAR for his career (on the high end, I know). Well Kevin Brown is sitting there with 68.5 WAR and he isn’t getting in.

But Kevin Brown was linked to steroids. Rick Reuschel had a very high war so I do kinda wonder if Buehrle will be clumped in with him.

Even without that he wouldn’t have gotten in any time soon. Brown was off the ballot in one year with 12 votes.