I thought this might make an interesting comparison since I belong to a chapter of SABR in Texas (the Austin one or Hornsby chapter). The point is not that Rice does or does not belong in the Hall of Fame, just that Cruz compares so well. Cruz got 2 votes in 1994. Those are the only votes he has ever gotten.
Career Offensive Winning Percentage
Highest 3 year OWP
Full seasons with .700 OWP or better
Full season means 400+ PAs.
Full seasons with .600 OWP or better
Cruz had an additional season with 346 PA
Career Win Shares per 648 PA
Since it takes about 3 WS to make 1 win in Bill James' system, Cruz was worth .85 more wins per season. See
Career Win Shares
Seasons with 20+ WS (all-star type seasons)
Seasons with 30+ WS (MVP type seasons)
Best 3 Consecutive years in WS
Rice-90 (1977-79, 26-36-28)
Cruz-80 (1983-85, 30-29-21)
I have also attemtped to rank players by their value above replacement. I did two lists. One with a TPR or a BFW (from Pete Palmer) of -2 per 700 PAs as replacement level and one with -3. I divided each guy's career PAs by 700. Then I multiplied that times 2 or 3. That result got added to his career TPR to get career value over replacement. Here is the all-time ranking through 2004.
For VAR using -2 TPR per season
For VAR using -3 TPR per season
Best 3 Consecutive years in TPR or BFW
Rice-10.3 (1977-79, 3.0-4.2-3.1)
Cruz-7.7 (1983-85, 2.8-3.6-1.3)
MVP award shares
Rice-3.15 (tied for 29th, 6 top 5 finishes)
Cruz-.96 (248th, Al Oliver is higher with 1.25, only 1 top 5 finish)