This came up again recently with Ex-Angel Grich is a no-brainer Hall of Famer By SAM MILLER of THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER. Hat tip goes to Baseball Think Factory.
I have written about how good the case for Grich is before.
The best, eligible Non-Hall of Famers (from 2006)
Peak Value And Hall Of Fame Worthiness
Some Players With A Good Sabermetric Case For The Hall Of Fame
Here is some info I just compiled, using Baseball Reference.
The only AL player with more WAR from 1973-6 than Grich (26.2) was Reggie Jackson (26.3). In a 10 year period, Grich had 5 top 5 finishes in the AL in WAR (among position players). From 1972-76 he was 5-2-1-4-6.
He had 7 top 10 finishes from 1972-81. Grich actually beats Jackson 32.0-31.8 in WAR in the AL over the years 1972-76.
Looks like good peak value. My guess is that many Hall of Famers don't have even that much peak value but that would require looking at all of them.
Grich had 67.6 WAR for his career, good enough for 65th among position players.
Here are the top 15 among second basemen (playing at least half their games there). Grich is 8th, while Whitaker is 7th and may have a good case, too.
Rogers Hornsby 127.8
Eddie Collins 126.7
Nap Lajoie 104.2
Joe Morgan 103.5
Charlie Gehringer 80.9
Frankie Frisch 74.8
Lou Whitaker 69.7
Bobby Grich 67.6
Craig Biggio 66.2
Roberto Alomar 63.5
Jackie Robinson 63.2
Ryne Sandberg 62
Willie Randolph 60.5
Jeff Kent 59.4
Bid McPhee 57.9
Here is how Grich compares to six other second basemen who are in the Hall. He had more top 5 finishes in WAR than all of them and only one had as much WAR in his best consecutive 3 seasons.
Top 5 finishes in WAR
Grich-5 (best consecutive 3 seasons-20.7)
Alomar-3 (best consecutive 3 seasons-20.6)
Sandberg-4 (best consecutive 3 seasons-20.7)
Lazzeri-2 (best consecutive 3 seasons-18.3)
Doerr-3 (best consecutive 3 seasons-14.6)
Fox-4 (best consecutive 3 seasons-16.9)
Herman-3 (best consecutive 3 seasons-19.1)