December 31, 2015

2016 Hall of Fame ballot

In my previous Hall of Fame posts, I have covered former Red Sox on this year's ballots, as well as Canadians.  Those posts covered 14 of the 32 players on this year's ballot. This post will cover the remaining players and reveal my ten player ballot.

Of the remaining players, I would cast a vote for:

Alan Trammell
Barry Bonds
Ken Griffey Jr.
Trevor Hoffman (can't not vote for him, after making the case for Lee Smith and Billy Wagner)

No need to justify Bonds and Junior.  As for Trammell,comparing him to other shorstops he should be in. He has a higher JAWS than some Jeter guy and essentially the same WAR as Barry Larkin. He was overshadowed by Ripken during his career so may not have gotten as much recognition as he deserved, even being robbed of a well earned 1987 MVP. Alas, by the time the voters recognized the extent of his full accomplishments the ballots were too crowded and there was no room for him.

As far as some players who I've omitted, Big Mac not getting my vote is NOT because of
PEDs, steroids, Andro, blah, blah, blah... I don't care. In fact it helps his case, if anything (not because he used, but because he was honest about it and actively works towards educating young people about this issue).  No, the reason is that McGwire was a one-trick pony. Now, if you're a baseball player and only have one trick, an unwordly ability to hit baseballs out of the park is a pretty good one to have.  However, I don't think it overcomes his other shortcomings as a player.  As a 27 year old all-star he batted .201, with an OPS+ of 103 (barely above league average). It was obvious his all star selection was due solely due to his power.  Even in his hisoric 1998 70 HR season, he "only" ended up with 7.5 WAR. Pretty good, but nine players bested that last year, with none of them hitting more than 42 dingers. Career wise, he ended up with 1,626 hits...almost 500 players have finished their career with more. His career WAR score is at best mediocre for first baseman. And although he played in ten playoff series, he didn't help himself with any post-season heroics, finishing up with a .217 average in them. His career reminds me a lot of Dave Kingman's.  Could hit a lot of home runs but not do much else... and Kingman was only on the ballot one year.  And Mike Piazza, gets too much credit for being a good hitting catcher. Offensively his career numbers are very similar to Carlos Delgago. If defensively he played like a Molina or even Jim Sundberg, than he'd be a no-doubter.

So, for those who've kept track, I have made a case for 13 players. To get my ballot down to three, Lee Smith, Wagner and Hoffman will need to wait.  My final ballot:

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