Analyzing the 2021 Hall of Fame class: Nick Swisher
Nick Swisher was immortalized as Billy Beane’s coveted draft prize in Michael Lewis’ seminal “Moneyball.” Not bad considering that book’s influence on an entire generation of statheads.
Beane was right about Swisher, who was a well-above hitter with Oakland, New York, and Cleveland for the better part of a decade. Yet the Ohio State product is a good example of just how difficult it is to get into the Hall of Fame. He put up a wRC+ of at least 120 in six of seven seasons in the prime of his career and hit at least 20 homers in 9 straight years. But despite this consistent production, Swisher managed to compile only 25.1 career fWAR, only HALF of what it takes to merit serious consideration for Cooperstown.
It’s simply not enough to be a good hitter for a decade. To make the Hall, you need to be a great hitter, or a good hitter with great defense, or a good hitter for a very, very long time.
Still, we can appreciate Swisher’s place in the history of sabermetrics and maybe watch highlights of him being a maniac.