by Tim Barrett
Each year during the All Star break, my friends and I debate on which current players are future Hall of Famers. The criteria are simple – if a player’s career ended today, would he be inducted? It’s based on what he has done, not what he will do or where he will finish.
There was plenty of debate over Albert Pujols, as well as Chipper Jones & Roy Halladay, both voted in even though they don’t have typical HOF numbers. Most were in agreement that Halladay’s perfect game & no-hitter cinched the deal. Chipper doesn’t have the numbers until you compare them to the other 3B in the Hall of Fame.
After the debate, we all vow to try to see as many of these guys in person as possible. (Having the Nats & Os in our area makes it easier to see both NL & AL players)
So, let’s take a look at the players….
The “No Brainers”:
Alex Rodriguez – .302 AVG, 2,762 H, 626 HR, 1,883 RBI, 305 SB, 3 Times MVP, 14 All Stars
Steroid controversy is a blemish but he’s still hitting
Derek Jeter – .313 AVG, 3,004 H, 1996 ROY, 5 Gold Gloves, 12 All Stars
All time hits leader at SS and 5 times World Champion seals the deal
Mariano Rivera – 581 SV, 2.22 ERA, 1.003 WHIP, 12 All Stars
Do I have to say anything?
Ichiro – .328 AVG, 10 Straight years with 200+ H, 10 All Stars, 10 Gold Gloves
Anybody known by one name only has to be great (Jordan, Lebron, Tiger, Ronaldo – for my international peeps….)
Hall of Fame Inductees:
Jim Thome – .277 AVG, 595 HR, 1,643 RBI, 1,701 BB, 5 All Stars
DH hurts him but hard to argue with almost 600 HR
Chipper Jones - .304 AVG, 2,565 H, 444 HR, 1999 MVP, 7 All Stars
Best 3B in the game for a long time, clutch in the post season
Roy Halladay – 180 W, 327 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 1,852 K, 2 Cy Young Awards, 8 All Stars
Perfect game and then no-hitter – in the play-offs – in the same year – that’s straight cash, homey!
Albert Pujols – .329 AVG, 426 HR, 10 straight 30+ seasons, Never 100 K, 2001 ROY, 3 Time MVP, 9 All Stars
By far the most dominating hitter the last few years, single handedly ruined Brad Lidge’s career
Ivan Rodriguez – .297 AVG, 2,841 H, 311 HR, 127 SB, 46% CS (8 years 50+ %), 1999 MVP, 13 Gold Gloves, 14 All Stars
Threw out 60% of base stealers in 2001, best defensive catcher ever!
On the Bubble:
Vlad Guerrero – .318 AVG, 2,514 H, 443 HR, 179 SB, 2004 MVP, 9 All Stars
Most agree, he needs that magic 500
Omar Vizquel – .273 AVG, 2,831 H, 401 SB, 3 All Stars, 11 Gold Gloves
Defense wins championships but doesn’t get you into the Hall of Fame. Had 3 errors – for the entire 2000 season. All time leader in games played & double plays made at SS
Bobby Abreu – .295 AVG, 2,343 H, 279 HR, 385 SB, 2 All Stars, 1 Gold Glove
Needs 21 HR to join 300/300 club but still might not be enough
Johann Santana – 133 W, 3.10 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 1,877 K, 2 Cy Young Awards, 4 All Stars
For 3 years, the most dominate pitcher in baseball…injuries probably cost him the Hall
Not Quite Good Enough:
So what do you think? Anybody left off? Arguments for or against?