No. 295 Brian Downing (Number 31 Left Field)

Brian Downing started as a fair hitting catcher with minimal power and later turned into a good hitting left fielder with power. The first year he hit 20 homers was 1982 when he turned 31. He did work out with weights to gain strength, but the question becomes did he use steroids. Of course, the answer is we don’t know.

Even though Downing had a big increase in homeruns in his 30s. In 1982 he hit 28 which was 16 more than he had ever hit before, or more than double. I was mostly looking for guys who hit 30 or more homeruns, but this is a big increase. I was wondering if I should move Downing down at this late of time after I did the ratings. However, I didn’t think he should be charged the whole 10 percent, so I was thinking of just doing 5 percent.

While I was thinking about this I noticed I didn’t give Downing a catching bonus as he was a catcher at the beginning of his career. I wondered how much of a catcher bonus I would have gave him. He played just under 29 percent of his games at catcher and would have gotten a bonus of 5.76 percent of his total points. I figured there is his penalty if he deserves one and left everything as it was.

That being said I would vote for Foster and some guys behind Downing well before voting for Downing. Baseball Reference WAR gives him only 2 all star years. He was never in the top 10 for the MVP award, getting votes 3 years. He played in only one all-star game. He led the league in walks in 1987 with 106. He was a player who became a lot better hitter through hard work with or without help, but I don’t ever see him as a hall of famer, although he meets my minimum qualifications. So, if elected I won’t be thrilled, but I won’t be mad.


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