Today, we are going to learn the former MLB players on the quest to be inducted into the MLB Hall of Fame. The ballot is evenly split with 14 returning vote getters from 2022, and 14 newcomers. As a reminder, below are the rules as authorized by the Board of Directors of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, Inc.
- Only active and honorary members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, who have been active baseball writers for at least ten 10 years, shall be eligible to vote. They must have been active as baseball writers and members of the Association for a period beginning at least 10 years prior to the date of election in which they are voting.
- A baseball player must have been active as a player in the Major Leagues at some time during a period beginning twenty (20) years before and ending 5 years prior to election.
- Player must have played in each of 10 Major League championship seasons.
- Player shall have ceased to be an active player in the Major Leagues at least 5 calendar years preceding the election but may be otherwise connected with baseball.
- BBWAA Screening Committee — A Screening Committee consisting of baseball writers will be appointed by the BBWAA. This Screening Committee shall consist of six members, with two members to be elected at each Annual Meeting for a three-year term. The duty of the Screening Committee shall be to prepare a ballot listing in alphabetical order eligible candidates who (1) received a vote on a minimum of five percent (5%) of the ballots cast in the preceding election or (2) are eligible for the first time and are nominated by any two of the six members of the BBWAA Screening Committee.
- An elector will vote for no more than 10 eligible candidates deemed worthy of election. Write-in votes are not permitted.
- Any candidate receiving votes on seventy-five percent (75%) of the ballots cast shall be elected to membership in the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
- Voting shall be based upon the player’s record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character, and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played.
The 14 players who received at least 5% of the vote in 2022 are as follows (in vote count order):
- Scott Rolen – Last year 63.2% – 6th year
- Todd Helton – Last year 52.0% – 5th year
- Billy Wagner – Last year 51.0% – 8th year
- Andruw Jones – Last year 41.4% – 6th year
- Gary Sheffield – Last year 40.6% – 9th year
- Alex Rodriguez – Last year 34.3% – 2nd year
- Jeff Kent – Last year 32.7% – 10th year
- Manny Ramirez – Last year 28.9% – 6th year
- Omar Vizquel – Last year 23.9% – 6th year
- Andy Pettite – Last year 10.7% – 5th year
- Jimmy Rollins – Last year 9.4% – 2nd year
- Bobby Abreu – Last year 8.6% – 4th year
- Mark Buehrle – Last year 5.8% – 3rd year
- Torii Hunter – Last year 5.3% – 3rd year
The 14 newcomers in alphabetic order:
- Bronson Arroyo
- Carlos Beltran
- Matt Cain
- A. Dickey
- Jacoby Ellsbury
- Andre Ethier
- J. Hardy
- John Lackey
- Mike Napoli
- Jhonny Peralta
- Francisco Rodriguez
- Huston Street
- Jered Weaver
- Jayson Werth
Who would I vote for:
- Scott Rolen
- Todd Helton
- Billy Wagner
- Jeff Kent
- Francisco Rodriguez
While I do believe, as a baseball player, Carlos Beltran deserves to be in the HOF, I would not make him an inductee on his 1st ballot. Per Baseball Reference’s Stathead, Beltran was pretty special.
Batting Runs above average: plus-262
Fielding Runs above average: plus-39
Base Running Runs above average: plus- 55
What does that mean? every outfielder since 1900 with plus-250 Batting Runs (or better), plus-40 Base Running Runs (or better) and plus-25 Fielding Runs (or better):
- Willie Mays
- Rickey Henderson
- Joe DiMaggio
- Henry Aaron
- Barry Bonds
- Larry Walker
- Carlos Beltrán
In addition, Beltrán was also an exceptional post season hitter. Only two players who have played in at least 40 postseason games and hit 300/.400/.600: Carlos Beltrán and Babe Ruth!
One of the greatest switch hitters all time. Only other switch hitters with as many hits (2,725), as many HRs (435), and as good as a career OPS+ (119) as Carlos Beltrán: Chipper Jones and Eddie Murray.
Beltrán is one of just five members of the 300-Steal/400-Homer Club, a player who made nine All-Star teams, and a player who went to the postseason with five different teams, then was historically special in October with almost all of them.
There is no question that he is deserving, but he was the ring leader of the 2017 Astros cheating scandal, so I am hoping that voters will choose to refrain from voting for him for a few years.
Jeff Kent is in his 10th and final year, and he will not get 75% of the vote from a group of voters that he had a tumultuous relationship with. Kent is deserving to be inducted, but his surly personality with his teammates and baseball writers is considered more than his baseball exploits. Here are some of Jeff Kent’s offensive greatness at his position:
Most HR by a 2B — Kent (351)
Most RBIs by a 2B — Kent (1.428)
Most 100-RBI seasons by a 2B — Kent (eight)
Highest slugging pct. by a 2B in live ball era — Kent (.509)
He was not a good defensive 2B, but he could hit. If Bill Mazeroski is a HOF 2B, then so is Jeff Kent.
Most of the newcomers on the ballot will not get 5% of the vote. I do not believe that Francisco Rodriguez (K-Rod) will get the votes this year, but he will get enough to stay on the ballot. K-Rod and Beltran should be the only two that will garner 5%.
I am guessing that Mark Buehrle and Torii Hunter are good candidates to not get 5% this time.