Hall of Fame Discussion
Thursday, November 27 2014 @ 12:40 PM EST
Contributed by: John Northey
Well, that time of year again. The HOF has released the list of who is on the ballot and it is a very, very crowded one yet again.
As always, I make full use of Baseball Reference for quick stats and easy lists for the HOF.
17 returning players in order of vote percentage.
- Craig Biggio: 74.8% last year, he better get in this time. 65.1 WAR, played 2B, CA, CF and has 3000 hits. Should've been an easy one, but instead is on his 3rd year and ranks only 13th by WAR on this ballot (!)
- Mike Piazza: 62.2%, unlikely to get the remaining 12.8% this year. Generally viewed as the best offensive catcher ever but also had a noodle arm. His teams almost always were top 3 in ERA though so he must have done something right. Again, should've been a slam dunk but instead keeps waiting. By WAR he is only the 16th best on this ballot (!!!)
- Jeff Bagwell: 54.3%, hoping to keep climbing. 449 HR, 2314 H are low, but his 79.6 WAR speaks of how he was a complete package at 1B. Voters seem to be giving him a PED penalty even though I don't recall any rumours while he was playing.
- Tim Raines: 46.1%, just 3 ballots left due to rule change. 2nd best leadoff hitter ever, one of the last great Expos on the ballot and last one that would go in with an Expos cap. 69.1 WAR puts him at #11 this year (yeah, it is a crazy crowded ballot)
- Roger Clemens: 35.4% - we all know this one
- Barry Bonds: 34.7% - see above
- Lee Smith: 29.9%, once was the all-time saves leader but his 478 look puny now. 3 more ballots for him and a declining vote total - he peaked at 50.6% in the 2012 election, while the 29.9% last year was his lowest so far.
- Curt Schilling: 29.2%, a 'clutch' guy with the bloody sock game and 3 WS rings. His 216 wins is very low though thus he'll take a long time to get in but he will eventually.
- Edgar Martinez: 25.2%, a DH who reached 68.3 WAR but I don't see him ever getting in. 309 HR and 2247 hits are just too low for a pure hitter for these voters
- Alan Trammell: 20.8%, near the end just one more year after this. Hopefully the Vets put him and Whittaker in together ASAP.
- Mike Mussina: 20.3%, was a great pitcher (83 WAR) but cannot stand him due to his actions - warming up in the bullpen during the ASG even though he knew he wouldn't be brought in just to get the crowd riled up, protesting that the Jays were taking too long celebrating Tom Cheek who was dying from a brain tumour at the time. He'll get in someday, but hopefully not until the Vet's.
- Jeff Kent: 15.2%, all time leader in HR for a 2B, probably should get in but will wait a long time. Just 55.2 WAR which puts him 18th on the ballot
- Fred McGriff: 11.7%, surprised he has lasted this long, 493 HR would've got him in for any era other than the 90's/00's.
- Mark McGwire: 11.0%, like Bonds & Clemens we all know the story
- Larry Walker: 10.2%, 72.6 WAR but his value is understated by most due to the injuries and Colorado effects. Hopefully he gets in someday
- Don Mattingly: 8.2%, final ballot for a massively overrated player. How can a guy be viewed as a great leader when his team only made the playoffs in his final season (wildcard) and was knocked out right away, surrounding his career were 2 great periods for the Yankees.
- Sammy Sosa: 7.2%, 600 HR and 3 times over 60 HR and might fall off the ballot.
- Randy Johnson: 102.1 WAR, 303 wins, started as an Expo but will go in as either a Mariner or Diamondback (probably with Arizona). One of only 3 guys with 4000K's. However, his 4 straight Cy's were ages 35-38 just like Bonds 4 straight MVP's were ages 36-39. Strange we never heard any rumours over that. Guess being a giant helps
- Pedro Martinez: amazing peak, not much else but what a peak. 5 times over 200 for ERA+ 3 times 9+ for bWAR including a crazy 11.7 in 2000.
- John Smoltz: great closer, great starter, should be an easy HOF'er but will probably need a 2nd ballot
- Gary Sheffield: for a guy who started at SS and got over 500 HR he will be a one and done most likely.
- Carlos Delgado: one of the best ever for the Jays, probably will be one and done for the HOF.
- Happy to make the ballot: Brian Giles, Nomar Garciaparra, Darin Erstad,
Tom Gordon, Jason Schmidt, Cliff Floyd, Jermaine Dye, Rich Aurilia, Troy Percival, Eddie Guardado
- Didn't make the ballot but of note: Kelvim Escobar - yes he has been retired 5 years, B.J. Ryan, David Weathers
An interesting ballot with lots of tough choices for voters. There are 3 guys with over 100 WAR, 9 with 70+ (normally a lock), 6 in the 60's (normally a strong maybe), and that isn't factoring in Piazza, Sosa, Kent, McGriff, Delgado, and Lee Smith.So, how would everyone here vote? I normally would include Clemens & Bonds but that ship has sailed so if I had a real ballot it'd probably go...
Locks: Pedro, Johnson
Easy adds: Schilling, Bagwell, Walker, Trammell, Smoltz, Raines, Biggio, Piazza... geez, full and I'd love to add McGriff, Delgado, and Kent (old Jay factor), Sosa (600 HR is amazing regardless), McGwire, Edgar Martinez. Crazy ballot indeed.
FYI: Next year only adds Griffey Jr as an automatic, with 2017 seeing Ivan Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez, and Vladimir Guerrero (probably the last Expo near HOF'er to be on the ballot). With luck the ballot will get cleared up a lot over that stretch. 2018 adds Chipper Jones, Jim Thome, Scott Rolen and Andruw Jones who all should get serious support but who knows (expect some Bagwell type stuff regarding Thome).