The results are in and Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines, and Ivan Rodriguez have been inducted to the Baseball Hall of Fame. I whole-heartedly agree with all three choices. Bagwell and Raines were named on 86% of ballots (technically 86.2% for Bagwell) while Rodriguez just cleared the bar at 76%.
Trevor Hoffman fell just two votes shy, all but ensuring induction next year. He should be joined by Vladimir Guerrero, who fell 15 votes shy. They will be joined by thirteen more returning candidates.
Of course, Bagwell and Raines were already members of the Hall of Stats. Their inductions cleared the path for Guerrero and Manny Ramirez, who both had Hall Ratings over 100 but missed induction.
The ten-vote limit per ballot almost certainly cost Hoffman election this year. Despite the fact that the BBWAA is inducting multiple players per year now (since 2013’s shutout), the crowded ballot is getting worse.
Will it get better next year?
No. No, it will not.
Hitting the ballot next year:
- Chipper Jones: 169 Hall Rating, 53rd all time and sixth among third basemen. He should coast in on the first ballot.
- Scott Rolen: 142 Hall Rating, but I think he’ll struggle. He could possibly hang on the ballot for ten years without getting particularly close. His combination of power and defense is rare at any position.
- Jim Thome: 136 Hall Rating, he’ll probably have a fairly easy path to Cooperstown, even if he doesn’t get in during year one. His value is all tied to his offense (easier to quantify) and he is perceived as clean. Voters love that.
- Andruw Jones: 127 Hall Rating, but hardly any of it came after age 30. Was a legendary fielder and potent hitter, but his quick drop from stardom will cost him.
- Johan Santana: 107 Hall Rating, with a Koufaxian peak that will likely translate to Saberhagenian vote totals.
- Johnny Damon: 90 Hall Rating, will get some support for his 2,769 hits.
- Jamie Moyer: 89 Hall Rating, which means he must have actually retired. If any ballots include Moyer but not Mussina, I’ll burn something.
- Carlos Zambrano: 84 Hall Rating, had a higher slugging percentage than Rick Ferrell and a better ERA than Wes Ferrell.
- Omar Vizquel: 69 Hall Rating, but his excellent defense was not enough to overcome his weak bat. Yes you heathen, he had a weak bat. He hit .272/.336/.352 while the league hit .269/.339/.425. His OPS was 76 points below the league average.
Add those nine players to fourteen holdovers and… ugh. Sixteen players will have a Hall Rating above 100.
Let me start banging the drum now: Go Larry Walker!