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Welcome to Snyder's Soapbox! Here I pontificate about a matter related to Major League Baseball on a weekly basis. Some of the topics will be pressing matters, some might seem insignificant in the grand scheme of things and most will be somewhere in between. The good thing about this website is it's free and you are allowed to click away. If you stay, you'll get smarter, though, that's a money-back guarantee. Let's get to it.

One of my favorite parts of this job is running through players' Hall of Fame cases each and every offseason. There's always a little bad with every good, though, right? And along with getting to sift through all the Hall of Fame cases from players on the ballot to those who have long since fallen off or haven't yet appeared comes one of the my biggest pet peeves: The Hall of Fame naysayer who uses "compiler" as a negative. 

I'm paraphrasing a comment I saw on social media the other day: Adrián Beltré is a hard no for me. He's Hall of Played Forever and Stayed Healthy. You don't need a wing for guys who were rarely the best in a given season but were good enough to keep a job for two decades.

There's so much nonsense in there. First, there's the fundamental misunderstanding about just how hard it is to ever keep a job in Major League Baseball as a player. You have to be incredible to hold a starting job for multiple decades. And it's incredibly hard to stay healthy enough to compile the types of stats Beltré did. Just think about how mind-numbingly stupid it is to believe -- to the point that you'd condescendingly argue all night online -- that it's not an especially noteworthy skill to be a great player for multiple decades in Major League Baseball. 

We don't need to get caught up with this one example though. Instead, let's focus on the general sentiment that we've all seen so many times. And you can just picture it being said as a negative: He was a compiler! The allegation is the player in question wasn't an actually elite player, but instead was just good enough to hang around forever and rack up stats. Because, you know, accumulating 3,000 hits in a career would be really easy for almost anyone if simply given the chance, huh? 

Craig Biggio was a compiler. He topped 3,000 hits but never led his league in hits or average. He did lead in plate appearances five times. He's fourth all time in doubles, but only led his league three times out of 20 seasons. He never finished higher than fourth in MVP voting. Didn't he always feel like a Hall of Famer, though? I can't wrap my head around gathering more than 3,000 hits somehow being held against him. That criticism happens all the time these days. 

Don Sutton was a compiler. He never finished in the top two of Cy Young voting and only made four All-Star teams in 23 years. He won more than 300 games but never led his league. He struck out more than 3,500, but never led his league. There's still no good reason he should have been left out of the Hall. Compiling the kind of resume he put together was a major feat. 

You know who was a compiler? Dave Winfield. He led his league in RBI, total bases and OPS+ in 1979. Otherwise, in 22 seasons, he didn't lead in any other category. He never finished better than third in MVP voting. And yet, he was such a great player that he ended up with a 130 OPS+ while compiling 3,110 hits, 540 doubles, 465 homers, 1,833 RBI and 1,669 runs. Was "compiler" ever used as a negative on Dave Freaking Winfield. Hell, probably. But whoever did it is embarrassing themselves. 

You know else who was a compiler? Eddie Murray. He didn't win an MVP and only led his league once in home runs, RBI (both of those were in a shortened 1981 season, too), walks, on-base percentage and OPS+. That was it. He also ended with 504 homers, 3,255 hits, 1,917 RBI and 1,627 runs. He was rightfully viewed as an obvious Hall of Famer throughout his career. 

Anyway, let's take it up a notch. 

Pete Rose was a hits compiler. It's well known that his 4,256 hits are the most in MLB history. Of course, he's also the leader in games, plate appearances and at-bats, so the crowd that thinks it's somehow bad to play a long time should be dismayed. 

Rose led the league in hits seven times, but he topped out at 230 in a single season. There have been 35 seasons with more than 230 hits by a player. And, again, look how much more he played than everyone else. Of course his career hits total should be high. 

If that doesn't do it for you, how about this? His .303 (.3029) batting average is tied for 178th in history, sitting around the likes of Mike Greenwell, Mark Grace and Al Oliver. How is the greatest hit collector of all-time not doing better on a rate basis? It's because he was just a compiler!

Finally, time to drop the hammer. 

You could argue Hank Aaron was a compiler. Hank hit 755 career home runs, yet he never reached 50 in a season. His career high was 47 and there have been 83 individual seasons in baseball history in which a player hit more. He's the career leader with 2,297 RBI, yet he never topped 132 in a season. There have been 184 higher RBI seasons than Aaron's highest. 

If you're going to denigrate anything about Aaron, you're gonna have a problem on your hands from a lot of people, myself included, so ... 

Do better than using "compiler" as a negative. Only some of the very best baseball players in the history of the game can compile the numbers we're discussing when the term compiler is used against players.