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21. Kenny Lofton
  1. General
  2. Awards
  3. Career Stats
  • Born: May 31, 1967 in East Chicago, IN USA
  • Weight: 180 lbs.
  • Height: 6'0"
  • Bats: L
  • Throws: L
  • Debut: September 14, 1991
  • Final Game: September 29, 2007
  • Gold Glove - 1993
  • Gold Glove - 1994
  • Gold Glove - 1995
  • Gold Glove - 1996
  • MVP - 1993
  • MVP - 1994
  • MVP - 1996
  • MVP - 1997
  • Rookie of the Year - 1992
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Kenny Lofton took the city of Cleveland by storm in the early 90’s and by doing so, got the baseball world to notice the Tribe again. By the decade’s end though, power numbers took over the game, and many forgot how good he really was.

Lofton’s emergence with Cleveland saw him cement himself as the best leadoff hitter in the American League. With five straight seasons hitting at least .300 (and with a decent OBP), he was able to set the table often with his speed. Five times, Kenny would be the Stolen Base king of the AL, and he was a must watch defensively. With his incredible speed and athleticism, Lofton was a Sports Center highlight reel by robbing batters of Home Runs and his diving catches. As must watch a player as Lofton was in the 90’s, he would be overshadowed by the power hitters of the last half of the decade. His 2000’s also saw him bounce from team to team, and though he wasn’t a player we would classify as a journeyman; he certainly travelled like one. These perceptions may cost Kenny Lofton dearly during his chase for Cooperstown.

Should KennyLofton be in the Hall of Fame?

Definitely put him in! - 79.5%
Maybe, but others deserve it first. - 13.5%
Probably not, but it wouldn't be the end of the world. - 2.6%
No opinion. - 0.6%
No way! - 3.8%

The Bullet Points

  • Country of Origin: East Chicago, Indiana, U.S.A.
  • Eligible In: Sunday, 01 January 2012
  • Position: Outfield
  • Played For: Atlanta Braves, Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Indians, Houston Astros, Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees, Pittsburgh Pirates, San Francisco Giants, Texas Rangers
  • Major Accolades and Awards: World Series Rings (None)
    All-Star (6) (1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998 & 1999)
    Gold Glove (4) (AL) (1993, 1994, 1995 & 1996)
    Highest bWAR for Position Players (1) (AL) (1994)
    Most Hits (1) (AL) (1994)
    Most Triples (1) (AL) (1995)
    Most Stolen Bases (5) (AL) (1992, 1993, 1994, 1995 & 1996)
    Most Singles (2) (AL) (1993 & 1994)
    Most Assists by a Centerfielder (4) (AL) (1992, 1994, 1995 & 1998)
    Most Double Plays Turned by a Centerfielder (2) (AL) (1994 & 1998)
    Most Assists by an Outfielder (2) (AL) (1994 & 1998)
    Most Double Plays Turned by an Outfielder (1) (AL) (2004)
    Most Total Zone Runs by a Centerfielder (3) (AL) (1993, 1994 & 1998)
    Highest Range Factor per Game by a Centerfielder (1) (AL) (1992)
    Most Total Zone Runs by an Outfielder (1) (AL) (1998)
    Highest Range Factor per Game by an Outfielder (1) (1992)
  • Other Points of Note: Top Ten MVP Finishes:
    (AL: 1994, 4th)
    5 Top Ten Finishes (bWAR for Position Players)
    2 Top Ten Finishes (Offensive bWAR)
    5 Top Ten Finishes (Defensive bWAR)
    3 Top Ten Finishes (Batting Average)
    3 Top Ten Finishes (On Base Percentage)
    2 Top Ten Finishes (Slugging Percentage)
    1 Top Ten Finish (OPS)
    1 Top Ten Finish (OPS+)
    3 Top Ten Finishes (Runs Scored)
    3 Top Ten Finishes (Most Hits)
    1 Top Ten Finish (Doubles)
    9 Top Ten Finishes (Triples)
    1 Top Ten Finishes (Walks)
    5 Top Ten Finishes (Singles)
    8 Top Ten Finishes (Stolen Bases)
    3 Top Ten Finishes (Power-Speed #)
    1 Top Ten Finish (Win Probability Added)
    3 Top Ten Finishes (Championship Win Probability Added)
    3 Top Ten Finishes (Total Zone Runs)
  • Notable All Time Rankings: 5.     Total Zone Runs by a Centerfielder: 117
    15.   Stolen Bases: 622
    16.   Assists by a Centerfielder: 138
    16.   Total Zone Runs by an Outfielder: 115
    23.   Double Plays Turned by a Centerfielder: 33
    31.   Putouts by an Outfielder: 4,856
    40.   Total Zone Runs: 115
    63.   Runs Scored: 1,528
    75.   Stolen Base Percentage: 79.54
    76.   Power-Speed #: 215.1
    79.   bWAR for Position Players: 65.3
    88.   Singles: 1,799
    91.   Range Factor per Game by an Outfielder: 2.45
  • Vote Percentage Received for the Hall of Fame: 2013: 3.2
  • Should be Inducted As A: Cleveland Indian

Should KennyLofton be in the Hall of Fame?

Definitely put him in! - 79.5%
Maybe, but others deserve it first. - 13.5%
Probably not, but it wouldn't be the end of the world. - 2.6%
No opinion. - 0.6%
No way! - 3.8%


0 #3 Michael tabor 38 2017-08-24 03:49
A step Behind Tim Raines. But Great nonthless. Veterans Commitee hopefully. Best lead off hitter in baseball on the mid 90s (over Tim Raines.
+3 #2 Darryl Tahirali 2013-06-11 22:38
Kenny Lofton's candidacy, at least from the BBWAA's perspective, is academic as he got dumped from the ballot in the all-around debacle that was this year's voting. His only hope is years from now with the Veterans Committee.

However, I don't think that had anything to do with Juan Pierre. P Smith, you might want to go to Baseball-Ref erence or FanGraphs and do a comparison of Lofton to Pierre, particularly the qualitative numbers. They might be similar in some of the quantitative areas (hits, stolen bases), but Lofton was clearly the superior power hitter, particularly in home runs.

Moreover, it is in the qualitative numbers that Lofton outpaces Pierre, to the point that any comparison of the two is a joke. Pierre's career OPS+ is 84--signific antly below a league-avera ge player--whil e Lofton's is 107, admittedly not elite but much better than Pierre's. More dramatically , Pierre's cumulative WAR (wins above replacement; Baseball-Ref erence) is 17.4 while Lofton's is 68.1, which is higher than Hall of Famers Ernie Banks, Ryne Sandberg, Roberto Alomar, and Duke Snider, among those in Lofton's "neighborhoo d." Furthermore, Lofton was a great defensive center fielder, far better than Pierre, whose defensive deficiencies actually drag down slightly his overall WAR.

The better comparison for Lofton is to Tim Raines; in fact, I've called Lofton the poor man's Tim Raines, who in turn is the poor man's Rickey Henderson ([censored]: //www.notinh alloffame.co m/blogs/ddt- s-pop-flies/ 467-if-i-had -a-vote-in-t he-2013-base ball-hall-of -fame-electi on-part-2-th e-evaluation s?showall=&s tart=4). Lofton was that good. Granted, he's on the bubble, and he had the misfortune to debut on such an overstuffed ballot, but he was at least worthy of Hall discussion whereas Pierre is not.

Pierre will add to his counting numbers before he retires and will most likely pass Lofton in stolen bases, possibly this season. But he is unlikely to pass him in extra bases or runs, and he is equally unlikely to become qualitativel y better than Lofton. Apart from stolen bases, what they have in common is that Pierre will be one-and-done on the Hall of Fame ballot as well--but for different reasons than Lofton, which had nothing to do with Lofton's own fate.
-3 #1 P Smith 2013-01-11 19:38
Only two players have collected over 500 stolen bases during the steroid era (1990 onward).

Lofton's 622 SBs plus his other numbers and his consistent performance would be enough to make the hall if not for one thing: Juan Pierre.

Pierre has nearly 600 stolen bases and numbers similar to Lofton (average, hits, homers). Pierre does not belong, so his presence will count against Lofton.

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