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Asher's Hall of Fame Tracker
by Asher B. Chancey, BaseballEvolution.com
Last Updated: June 10, 2009
Let’s take this alphabetically, shall we? And we’ll make this an on-going project.
Abreu, Bobby - 04/09/10 - Abreu will hit some relevant milestones in 2010: 1300 runs, 500 doubles, 1200 RBI, 350 stolen bases, 1300 walks, 1600 strikeouts. His current RSL is less impressive than it once was (.299/.403/.492/.895) but still dandy.
In terms of adjusted batting runs, Abreu is coming up on the 400 level, which is awfully hard to top. The 400-level features guys like Will Clark, Duke Snider, Billy Williams, Rod Carew, Tony Gwynn, and Dave Winfield. The thing is, Will Clark is not going to be a Hall of Famer, and those other four guys are in the Hall of Fame because of other things - 3,000 hits, 400 homeruns, positional adjustments. At this point, I don't see how 400 ABR gets a historically underrated right-fielder with no major milestones into the Hall of Fame.
06/10/09 - Standing here today, I would be willing to take a one dollar bet from anyone that Abreu will not get into the Hall even though he should.
Anderson, Garrett – the only thing that can get Anderson in would be playing long enough to cross some thresholds, which he is unlikely to do. He is the poor man’s Harold Baines of the Delgado Era.
Beckett, Josh - 06/10/09 - He has Hall of Fame talent, but needs more than double what he's done so far.
Beltran, Carlos – 04/09/10 - This is an important time for Beltran. He has become a Hall of Fame caliber player in terms of overall talent, but he needs to keep it up for a few more years. And yet, he is struggling with injuries. At this moment, Carlos Beltran is staring Dale Murphy in the face.
Previous: He will soon be a member of the 300/300 club, which means very little. A much better player than he used to be, but he would not make the Hall with his current credentials.
Berkman, Lance – 04/09/10 - Here's an amazing Lance Berkman stat: with 97 walks last season, he now has nine straight seasons of ninety or more walks. This is a stunning accomplishment. In his 12th season, Berkman is no longer a 3-4-5 guy, but still a Hall of Fame caliber talent.
Previous: I expected to say Berkman was a first ballot lock, but it is easy to overlook how far he has to go. At the age of 33 he is only in his 11th season, and is currently following up a terrific 2008 with a merely solid 2009. I was shocked to discover he doesn’t even have 300 homeruns yet. He is obviously further along than the Wright-Reyes-Utley-Howard crew, but still needs about six more years after this one.
Buehrle, Mark - 04/09/10 - I previously stated that Buehrle needs about 100 more wins. While I don't think this is true, I do think he needs about 1000 more innings.
06/10/09 - maybe the most underrated pitcher in baseball in an era where pitching 200 innings is rare and pitching effectively without striking guys out is difficult. Needs about 100 more wins.
Burrell, Pat - 03/20/10 - no
Cabrera, Miguel - 06/10/09 - As a bad defensive third baseman, there was no doubt that he was on the road the Hall of Fame. As a bad defensive first baseman, I think he is still on his way - given about ten more years - but there are a lot more first basemen not in the Hall than third basemen. How I haven't made a bigger deal out of his leading the AL in homeruns with 37 in 2008, I have no idea.
Crawford, Carl - Crawford won't get in on rate stats, but he is very young for the numbers he's put up, and some of the career milestones he may be in range of ten years from now will be impressive.
Damon, Johnny – 03/19/10 - the subject of much debate five years ago when David Schoenfield included him in a Hall of Fame article, and I congratulated him for it, and Keith dogged us both for it. In the first couple of weeks of the 2010 season Damon will get his 1000th RBI and score his 1500th run. He also has a career OPS that is roughly league average, 207 career homeruns, and a .288 career batting average. It will take 3,000 hits, but he'll also probably get there.
06/10/09 - it may freak people out, but he is 670 hits away from 3,000 and has 1400 runs scored. If he gets 3,000, he gets in on the first ballot.
Delgado, Carlos – 04/09/10 - I assumed last season that Delgado would hit his 500th homerun. That didn't happen, and now Delgado begins this season without a team and won't even be healthy until June. If we've seen the last of Delgado, which is probably not the case - he is probably not a Hall of Famer. Despite his sizable homerun advantage, at this point Carlos Delgado is Will Clark.
Previous: Delgado will be the first serious test of whether 500 homeruns still gets you in on the first ballot or not. He gets in eventually, but not first ballot.
Dunn, Adam – 04/09/10 - I previously stated that Dunn was "no", but that time would tell. To be clear, I am not even convinced that Dunn is a Hall of Fame caliber talent. From a skills perspective, he is not better than Frank Howard was, and from a value perspective he hasn't catapulted himself anywhere near John Olerud yet. When I stop comparing him to non-Hall of Famers, we can talk more.
Previous: right now, no. Let’s see what homerun club he ends up finishing in.
Fielder, Prince – falls into the category of guys who have the talent but need another decade worth of performance.
Garciaparra, Nomar - 04/09/10 - I know Keith and I disagree on this, but I would be shocked if Nomar ended up in the Hall of Fame. Keith often references Nomar's indisputably great accomplishments - 200 hits as a rookie, two batting titles, six of the greatest shortstop seasons of all time - in support of his Hall of Fame candidacy, but tends to ignore the fact that Nomar had a very short career, and spent much of it is a merely above average player. Now that Nomar has retired, I think comparisons to Ernie Banks will have to end.
06/10/09 - Is being one of the best offensive shortstops in baseball history for six seasons enough to get you into the Hall of Fame? What if in those six seasons you were not the best, or perhaps even second best, offensive shortstop that season? I don't know the answer to this question, but I know that outside of steroid suspicions, Nomar's numbers from 1997-2002 are unassailable.
Giambi, Jason - 06/10/09 - no, and here's why: Obviously Giambi was busted for steroid use, and not just Rafael Palmeiro busted. He was Jose Canseco busted - he did them early and often, he did everything under the sun, and he did them lots. On that basis alone - the same basis that serves as the justification for keeping Canseco and McGwire out, and will ultimately be the justfication for keeping Palmeiro, Sosa, and maybe Bonds out - Giambi should be out. Let McGwire in, and we can talk about Giambi.
Giles, Brian – 03/19/10 - Giles has now retired, and will probably go down as the Reggie Smith of this era. Giles has no real chance of going in, which is shame since he is better than many of his contemporaries and certainly better than plenty of Hall of Famers. But he is a rate-stat demon who doesn’t have the career numbers – the Hall of Fame hates that.
Glavine, Tom – First Ballot Hall of Famer
Gonzalez, Adrian – he is part of the Wright/Reyes/Utley/Howard club, but if he traded places with Howard, he’d hit 50 homeruns with a .320 average and Howard would be out of the league.
Granderson, Curtis - 03/19/10 - Granderson is now a Yankee. This raises the chances of him getting in by 10%.
06/10/09 - see Carl Crawford
Griffey, Jr., Ken - 06/10/09 - yes.
Guerrero, Vlad - 06/10/09 - yes.
Halladay, Roy - 04/09/10 - If Smokey Joe Wood and Catfish Hunter are your standards for the Hall of Fame, Roy Halladay is already in. I think I am willing to say that if he performs for two more seasons the way he has for the last five years, he is in.
06/10/09 - probably the most borderline player in baseball in terms of "has he pitched enough to be considered." But if he leads the league in innings again this season and wins 20 games again, he will have entered rarified air for this era. On rate stats, he's in. Assuming he does nothing to injure those stats too much from here, he should be a lock.
Hamilton, Josh - 06/10/09 - The only tragedy is that a player has to play ten years and then be out of baseball for five before he can be elected. If it were up to me, Hamilton would be in already. He is clearly one of the greatest talents we've ever seen. He can hit, run, throw, catch, and score. He is amazing. Everytime I watch him, I know I am seeing something special. We should take Harmon Killebrew off of the MLB logo and put Hamilton on it.
Helton, Todd – first ballot Hall of Famer. Recent protracted arguments with Keith over Helton’s underratedness aside, he is clearly a Hall of Fame guy, if for only one reason – the Hall of Fame has never made the home/road ballpark distinction before, and it would be unfair to do it now.
Hernandez, Felix - 06/10/09 - Way too soon, but seems to have the skills.
Holliday Matt - 04/09/10 - Hmm. That was a funny comment I made last June. Since then he has been traded to the Cardinals and played fantastically, and now he has been re-signed by the Cards to a seven year deal. The Holliday Era begins. It will be better to re-visit this question at the end of that deal.
06/10/09 - five years from now we'll have a hard time remembering that we thought he was great.
Hoffman, Trevor – first ballot Hall of Famer
Howard, Ryan – is he a great talent, or is he Ralph Kiner? I guess it doesn’t matter, since Kiner is in the Hall.
Hunter, Torii - 06/10/09 - no.
Isringhausen, Jason - no
Jeter, Derek – hate him all you want (and I do), but he is what a Hall of Famer is.
Johnson, Randy – first ballot Hall of Famer.
Jones, Chipper – first ballot Hall of Famer
Kinsler, Ian - 06/10/09 - apparently has the skills. Needs about 13 more seasons like the ones he's had so far.
Lincecum, Tim – Last season, I said Lincecum needs at least 10 more years. Now, Lincecum has won a second consecutive Cy Young Award and led the league in strikeouts in each of his first two seasons. So, the question - how much more does he need? For now, he needs at least six more seasons (to even become eligible). If he stays healthy, though (a big if), this guy should be a Hall of Famer the day he becomes eligible.
Previous: if he pitches the way he has so far, he’ll be in on the first ballot. Granted, he needs to do it for at least 10 more years, but the caliber of pitching he is doing is Hall of Fame level.
Lee, Carlos – if he plays ten more years and hit 200 more homeruns, yes. At present, no.
Lee, Cliff – no
Lee, Derrek – no
Lowe, Derek – a solid pitcher. Not much of a chance.
Martinez, Victor - 06/10/09 - Ironically, moving from catcher to first base may solidify his chances of making the Hall, whereas moving from less competitive to more competitive positions usually has the opposite effect. Martinez appears to be an elite hitter, and playing first base should only means more career plate appearances and less nagging injuries. I think he has the stuff, but needs about 10 more years.
Mauer Joe - 06/10/09 - I've said he could become the greatest catcher of all time. Some people apparently thought I meant tomorrow. What I meant was, he has what it takes. He'll need to play for 15 years, but he has what it takes.
Morneau Justin - 06/10/09 - He is a "no" for now.
Moyer, Jamie – this would be a silly nod towards the shifting standard of wins and the Hall of Fame. Not a Hall of Fame pitcher
Nathan Joe - 06/10/09 - needs about seven more seasons like he has put up for the last six seasons to merit consideration.
Ordonez, Magglio - 06/10/09 - A fair question to ask. The answer is no.
Ortiz, David - 06/10/09 - assuming he rebounds from whatever the problem he's having right now is, he still has a mighty long way to go, and I think his place in the Hall is by no means assured even if he continues to play until he is 40. First base is a hard position to get in at, and he doesn't even play first base. There are plenty of first basemen better than Ortiz who never hit 50 homeruns and never won a World Series that we wouldn't even mention in the same breath as the Hall of Fame.
Oswalt, Roy – Oswalt is currently having the worst year of his career for the third year in a row. Not a good trend. But if you took his career to this point and doubled it, he’d be in.
Peavy, Jake – if Oswalt’s numbers need to be doubled to get him, Peavy’s numbers may need to be tripled. At this point he is no better than Bret SABRhagen was after the 1989 season.
Percival, Troy - his candidacy really depends on how you view modern-era closers. If they should be judged by a different standard from Bruce Sutter, Rollie Fingers, Dennis Eckersley, and Rich Gossage, then he is probably borderline. If they should be judged on the same standard, he goes in. Of course, so would Lee Smith, Tom Henke, and a variety of other guys. Still, over 350 saves, ERA+ over 146 are good numbers.
Posada, Jorge- a first ballot Hall of Famer
Pujols, Albert – 04/09/10 - First ballot Hall of Famer until it is revealed that he used steroids.
Previous: first ballot Hall of Famer. This is not a typo. He may one day prove to be the greatest hitter of all time. When he becomes Hall of Fame eligible next season, he will become a first ballot Hall of Famer.
Pettitte, Andy – I don’t think there is any way to stop his 220-129 record from getting into the Hall, even though I don’t think he is a Hall caliber pitcher. Maybe I’ll like it more if he gets to 250
Ramirez, Hanley – see David Wright/Jose Reyes/Franciseo Rodriguez comment above.
Ramirez, Manny – first ballot Hall of Famer, steroid considerations aside. Steroids will probably become a purgatory issue for Hall of Fame voters, with an understanding that busted players don’t go in their first year. Manny will go in at the first opportunity that the voters deem worthy.
Rivera, Mariano – a first ballot Hall of Famer
Roberts, Brian - he is a doubles machine and he plays second base. He'll need the counting stats because the rate stats aren't there.
Rodriguez, Alex – steroid issues aside, a first ballot Hall of Famer.
Rollins, Jimmy – J-Roll needs to cross some counting stat milestones, but not necessary 3,000 hits. He is, in many ways, the Juan Samuel of the Delgado Era, which is not a compliment.
Sabathia, C.C. – needs to double his career numbers as well
Santana, Johan – now in his tenth season, he is in. The next five years will determine whether it is first ballot or not.
Sheffield, Gary – in on the first ballot.
Soriano, Alfonso – right now, he is not a Hall of Famer. If he has ten more years (he is currently 33), then he may make it. He has the kind of power that, at the end of a very long career, he could have Hall of Fame numbers. I liked his chances better at second base, though I didn’t like his defense there.
Sizemore, Grady - Sizemore is no where near as good as the hype surrounding him. He needs to get in line behind a lot of people at centerfield.
Suzuki, Ichiro - 06/10/09 - yes.
Teixeira, Mark – with his rate stats in this era, he needs to more than double his career numbers
Tejada, Miguel – in my heart of hearts, I don’t think a shortstop can hit 300 homeruns without going into the Hall of Fame. If anyone could, however, it would be this guy. The jury is definitely still out.
Thome, Jim - 06/10/09 - yes, barring steroid revelations.
Utley, Chase – falls into the “has the talent, needs a decade” club
Varitek, Jason - 06/10/09 - no. Great career from a good player, but no.
Vazquez, Javier – April 14, 2010 - Vazquez could have made a run at it, too, if he had not have decided to rejoin the Yankees.
Previous: not with his current resume.
Wakefield, Tim - 06/10/09 - who knows. He could still go Phil Niekro, pitch until he is 50, and win 300 games.
Webb, Brandon – six full seasons, and an injury. He needs eight more seasons like the six he’s already had.
Wells, Vernon - April 14, 2010 - My previous comment was short-sited in two regards: first, after some initial doubts, I think that I've started to come around on Jim Edmonds. Why? Because Keith pointed out that Harry Hooper is in the Hall of Fame, and to me, if Hooper is in, then Edmonds has to be in.
Second, Vernon Wells is far inferior to Edmonds in both defense and offense. Whether Edmonds belongs in the Hall of Fame has nothing to do with Vernon Wells.
06/10/09 - Right now I don't think Jim Edmonds belongs in, and Vernon Wells is no Jim Edmonds.
Wright, David – he is his own category of player – the David Wright category of guys who are performing at a Hall of Fame level, but still need to do it for about ten more years. Probably 20-30 players like this in the major leagues at any given time, and most of them don’t continue to perform at that level – see Carlos Baerga and Travis Hafner.
Young, Michael - 06/10/09 - How do you keep a career infielder who consistently gets 200 hits per season and ends up hitting .300 with 3,000 hits for his career out of the Hall of Fame? You don't. Don't hate the player, hate the game. If he keeps doing what he's doing for eight more years, he's a lock.
Zambrano, Carlos – worth a mention. He needs to take a lesson from Greg Maddux and get out of Wrigley Field and go pitch in a pitchers park.
Questions? Concerns? Comments? Asher lives in Philadelphia, PA, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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