With the Hall of Fame ballot being announced yesterday, I pick my annual Hall of Fame ballot with a little reasoning in between.
This years ballot includes (first time in bold, % of last years vote): Garret Anderson, Brad Ausmus, Jeff Bagwell (55.7%), Barry Bonds (36.8%), Luis Castillo, Roger Clemens (37.5%), David Eckstein, Jim Edmonds, Nomar Garciaparra (5.5%), Troy Glaus, Ken Griffey Jr., Mark Grudzielanek, Mike Hampton, Trevor Hoffman, Jason Kendall, Jeff Kent (14%), Mike Lowell, Edgar Martinez (27%), Fred McGriff (12.9%), Mark McGwire (10%), Mike Mussina (24.6%), Mike Piazza (69.9%), Tim Raines (55%), Curt Schilling (39.2%), Gary Sheffield (11.7%), Lee Smith (30.2%), Sammy Sosa (6.6%), Mike Sweeney, Alan Trammell (25.1%), Billy Wagner,Larry Walker (11.8%), Randy Winn
To be elected, a player must be on 75% of all ballots (338 votes) from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. Voters were cut from 600 to 450 this year, eliminating writers who have not been involved in the game in the last ten years. Each voter can make 0-10 selections.
Last year, the BBWAA elected four members to the Hall in Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz, and Craig Biggio. The first time four had been elected in the same year since 1955.
My votes are for (in no particular order)…
- Ken Griffey Jr. – Many of us would ask, what would Griffey be if not for the injuries? Well, his 22-year career produced enough regardless with 630 homers, 1836 RBI, 2,781 hits, a lifetime OPS of .907, an MVP, 13 All-Star appearances, 10 Gold Gloves, 7 Silver Sluggers, and 83.6 WAR. Baseball-Reference compares Griffey statistically to Frank Robinson, good enough for me…
- Trevor Hoffman – This one will be interesting I think as closers not named Mariano Rivera don’t always get the love they should. The 602 saves, career 2.87 ERA, and 9.4 K’s per 9 are enough for me
- Jeff Bagwell – Unfortunately Bagwell has been found guilty in the court of public opinion for thought of using steroids although never proven. As I’ve stated for years, the steroid or PED conversation to me is moot as we just don’t know who did or didn’t just who got caught. Further more, we know there are players for years who abused PED’s whether they were amphetamines, steroids, etc. so let them all in. Enough about PED’s now, Jeff did only play 15 seasons with the last few being hampered by a torn labrum. Bagwell was a Rookie of the Year, MVP, Gold Glove, and Silver Slugger (twice) winner. Bag’s carries a 78.9 WAR and compares statistically to Carlos Delgado, Frank Thomas, and David Ortiz
- Alan Trammell – Tram was overshadowed by guys like Ozzie Smith and Cal Ripken Jr., however when comparing him to all Shortstops in the Hall, he is very similar to Barry Larkin and sits middle of the pack as far as most stats. His 70.4 WAR rating has gained him very little momentum with the acceptance of the metric and think the two biggest issues that stick out are that he’s penalized for playing in Tiger Stadium and he doesn’t stick out in one statistic or another
- Mark McGwire – We won’t be talking steroids here on out, so 49 homers as a rookie, breaking Ruth’s record and along with Sammy Sosa saving baseball in the 90’s and although one dimensional, 583 homers are enough for me. McGwire statistically removing the biased opinion of Baseball-Reference and Jose Canseco, is closest to Harmon Killebrew, another feared first base slugger
- Barry Bonds – Listen, Bonds was going to be a Hall of Famer before juicing (whoops) and although a pure ass, Bonds deserves to being the all-time home run king, walks leader and with a career OPS of 1.051.
- Roger Clemens – Another horses ass, but the numbers were there early on in his career and the 354 wins and 3.12 ERA, 8.6 K’s per 9 over his career to go along with 7 Cy Young’s, an MVP, and a 139.4 WAR(!) means he belongs in.
- Mike Piazza – Like Bagwell, guilty by public opinion. Piazza is up there or better than the likes of Johnny Bench offensively with 427 homers and a career average of .308. His WAR (59.4) would have been better if not for poor defensive abilities, however he still belongs in the Hall.
- Pete Rose (Write-in) – Rose won’t be eligible, but It’s time to let the all-time hits leader in while he’s still alive
Close but no cigar…
Edgar Martinez – His numbers just don’t do enough for me even if he is the best DH of all-time
Mike Mussina – Good numbers, losses in double digits in only 6 of 18 seasons, however did not get 300 wins, a 3.68 ERA, and 7 k’s per 9 over a career aren’t enough for me