Mark Buehrle is most famous for one thing in his career: his perfect game. Yes, on July 23, 2009 he tossed a perfect game to the Tampa Bay Rays. You also might know him from this Foolish Baseball video.
Yes, he was baseball's speed runner. However, I believe that Buehrle deserves more than just a viral Youtube video. He deserves a spot in the Hall of Fame.
Buehrle was drafted in the 38th round of the 1998 draft out of Jefferson College. He spent one and a half years in the minors before getting called up in 2000. He started out as a reliever in 2000 and then transitioned into a starter in 2001. That's a common tactic used by the White Sox. I'll cover that in a later article.
The first two real seasons of his career, Buehrle had a combined 3.44 ERA while going 35-20 with a 133 ERA+. Over the next two years, Buehrle was solid, accumulating a 4.01 ERA. He had an amazing year in 2005 and then a not so great year in 2006, followed by 3 straight decent years. He finished his career with 6 seasons of solid baseball getting a 3.83 ERA.
Overall in his career, Mark Buehrle finished with a 214-160 record and a 3.81 ERA. His stellar defense improved his career WAR total to 59.1.
Why should Buehrle be in the Hall Of Fame? He wasn't all that great with a 3.81 ERA. However, when you look at pitchers between 2000-2015, Buehrle had the second most WAR. That includes CC Sabathia, Tim Hudson, and more great pitchers.
In between the years of 2005-2015, Buehrle finished seventh in WAR. However, he was behind a group of people who were:
- Felix Hernandez
- Clayton Kershaw
- Zack Greinke
- Roy Halladay
- Justin Verlander
- Cole Hamels
Those are some really good pitchers. He was in front of some really good pitchers as well, including Cliff Lee, CC Sabathia, Johan Santana, Max Scherzer, Jon Lester, Jake Peavy, and Matt Cain.
Obviously, Mark Buehrle was good. But why should he be in the Hall of Fame? For starters, let's look at who's in the Hall Of Fame that Buehrle's better than (at least according to WAR):
The vote is going to be close. However, I firmly believe that Mark Buehrle belongs in the Hall of Fame. Thanks for reading.