Who's headed to Cooperstown? (AL West edition)

Saturday, May 09 2009 @ 11:10 PM EDT

Contributed by: Mick Doherty

Second in a six-part series ...

Last week, we examined the "hometown" AL East in terms of who among active players is headed to enshrinement in the Hall of Fame. Now, while staying in the junior circuit, we switch to the left coast to examine the same likelihoods for players on the four teams in MLB's smallest division.

Once again ...

... to be absolutely clear -- this is not a prediction or a projection, but just an off-the-top starting point. I'll miss some stuff -- last week's too-low placement of Nick Markakis drew some ire from Box readers, as did the supposed slighting of hometown hot corner hero Scott Rolen.

So as we move ahead, each team's Hall possibilities are broken down into six, (no longer just five -- see #3 below) categories ...

  1. Absolute slam-dunk mortal lock, also known as The Schmidt-Seaver Level
  2. Certainly on pace to make it, or The Rod Carew in 1977 Level;
  3. Borderline case, makes for a good argument in and of itself, or -- in deference to a candidate we will meet today -- the Omar Vizquel Level;
  4. Will get some votes, but probably never get inducted, or The Steve Garvey Level;
  5. Solid player, but no real chance at enshrinement, or The Larry Bowa Level; and
  6. Too early to tell, but worth watching, or the, um, Is He Ruben Sierra or Dave Parker or Hank Aaron? Level.
Again, just as a refresher: This is all pretty random. Feel free to jump in with "How could you not even mention ...?" comment.

The list only considers active players, though if you really want to make a shout-out for a manager, umpire, front office guy or even a recently-retired player, please feel free to do so.

One final note -- there is no consideration given below to whether or not a player also belongs in The Mark McGwire Level ... use of PEDs, suspected, confirmed, or even admitted, is not one of our criteria. So those of you who niffed last week that Alex Rodriguez is never getting into the Hall of Fame, whether or not I disagree, that is not a consideration here.

Methodology ... I scanned rosters and drew unscientifc, non-statistical knee-jerk conclusions. You got a problem with that? I freely admit this almost certainly missed someone(s) really obvious, that I misplaced or miscategorized ("Markakised") others, etc. So what? This is a discussion starter. Go to it!

RANGERS ANGELS MARINERS ATHLETICS Thoughts ... This is a weak division ... On the "may be placed too high" level, toughest calls were Young and Garciaparra ... On the other end of the spectrum, "may be placed too low," that'd be John Lackey and Matt Holliday ... There were a number of players, especially pitchers, who almost earned a spot in the "Solid but no chance" area, but Vicente Padilla is too inconsistent, and do Jay fans really want me to "honor" Kelvim Escobar and Miggy Batista? ... Okay, take your best shots. Who'd I leave out and where'd I screw up?