The Hall of Fame sent out its 2018 ballot on Monday, and as we do every year here at Blogging Mets, I analyze the ballot and give you my predictions. So here we go.
As much as Mets fans hated him, we can all agree he is a no-doubt-about-it first-ballot Hall of Famer. His vote might even get near record levels; really, there is no good reason not to vote for him.
Thome and his 612 homers should easily cruise into Cooperstown. However, he hit his homers during the steroid era, so it will be interesting to see if voters penalize him — not that he is under suspicion, but because homers were devalued then. Still, he will almost certainly get in.
The former Met looked like a lock for enshrinement, but then injuries hit and ended his career. Still, he was incredible in his prime and did win two Cy Young awards. In the end, it is unlikely he will get a plaque. It would have been interesting to see what would have happened if the Mets bullpen did not blow so many leads for him in 2008 and he would have won his third Cy Young. Can a three-time winner be kept out? But we’ll never know.
Another guy seemingly headed to the Hall of Fame early in his career, Jones tailed off and ended badly.
Rolen will get some Hall of Fame support in part because there are so few third basemen in the Hall. However, his stats fall short.
Vizquel is another guy who will garner plenty of votes but fall short. He was an 11-time Gold Glove winner, but made three All-Star teams in 24 seasons. He finished with 2877 hits. Had he reached 3000…
As far as the rest of the first-timers, there are plenty of solid major leaguers (Johnny Damon, Jamie Moyer, Hideki Matsui to name a few), but none that have strong Hall of Fame credentials.
Trevor Hoffman and Vladimir Guerrero
Both narrowly missed enshrinement last year — Hoffman by five votes, Guerrero inexplicably by 15 in his first year. Both will get in this time around.
Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Manny Ramirez, Gary Sheffield, Sammy Sosa
Bonds and Clemens are slowly working their way towards Cooperstown. It will happen one of these years, just not this year. For a caught cheater, Ramirez did surprisingly well in his first year last time, getting 23%. There seems to be no momentum for Sheffield and Sosa, the latter of whom might join Rafael Palmeiro and fall off the ballot.
Curt Schilling, Mike Mussina
Schilling took a hit last year with his political nonsense, while Mussina seems to be gaining. They both might get in one of these days.
An argument could be made that the former Mets closer was more dominant than Hoffman. Voters apparently do not see it that way, blinded by Hoffman’s 601 saves.
Kent probably deserves to be in, what with being the best hitting second baseman in history. But no one seems to care about his candidacy.
Edgar Martinez, Fred McGriff, Larry Walker
Despite the push for Martinez, it just isn’t happening. McGriff is criminally overlooked and Walker was only very good.
So in the end, it’ll be Jones, Thome, Hoffman and Guerrero on the podium in Cooperstown next July. Not too shabby a group.