But can he play 1B?
Barry Larkin's retirement was the subject of the sixth item ever posted on Red Reporter at SBNation (January 27, 2005). Almost seven years later, January 9, 2012, he became the Reds' eighth inductee in Cooperstown. In between, he stopped by to chat with us. I don't know if that's what put him over the top in his Hall bid, but you'd be hard pressed to prove it didn't. Also, a subject for another post, there may or may not be an incredibly complicated crypt-numerology that explains Barry Larkin's career.
I thought it might be worth going back into that career again to see where Barry's number has come up at various points in his career.
Moeller High School
The names on this list (via the Enquirer) alone are impressive -- and a reminder of how intertwined the Reds are with a single local high school. Half of these names were major leaguers AND spent time with the Reds (Hyzdu was in the organization from '94-'95). Wimmers is currently with a Twins affiliate.
Career batting average leaders
University of Michigan
At Michigan, Larkin was an ABCA All American in '84 and '85, a Baseball America All American in '85 (two years after fellow Wolverine Chris Sabo) and a Sporting News All American in '85.
From the U. of M. Department of Athletics:
Larkin is in the top 10 in U-M career rankings in batting average (10th, .361), triples (3rd, 13), runs scored (5th, 172) and stolen bases (t-9th, 44).
Larkin ranks among the top 10 in five single-season categories at U-M. He is tied for second in triples (8), tied for sixth in home runs (16) and tied for third in total bases (150) while ranking third in runs scored (72) and fifth in runs batted in (66).
The 1985 Draft
Larkin was the fourth overall pick in the 1985 Draft, ahead of Barry Bonds. He accumulated the 2nd-most (Baseball Reference) WAR of any player in that first round (behind Bonds, but ahead of Rafael Palmeiro).
Of Larkin's fellow first rounders:
20 of the 28 picks reached the majors.
17 appeared in enough games to amount roughly at least one season.
14 accumulated positive Wins Above Replacement in their careers.
14 appeared in enough games to amount to roughly at least five seasons.
Just 2 pitchers appeared in over 200 games and 10 position players appeared in over 1,000.
8 of these players were All Stars.
2 were MVPs (though Clark finished second in '89).
Just one is now in the Hall of Fame.
A few other things about that draft, beyond the 1st round:
- Jeff Brantley was drafted in the 6th round. Deion Sanders was too, but he didn't sign.
- John Smoltz and Randy Johnson also went that year and are Hall locks. If the writers keep Bonds out, Larkin will have lead a vanguard of three into the Hall from that year.
The 1995 MVP Vote
Barry Larkin won it in a field littered with then and future Reds. From the voting results: