Friday, January 4, 2013

Bagwell, Biggio should enter HOF together

As a member of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance, we are asked to take part in a few different voting exercises throughout the year. We pick out the top players in each end of the year award category, we vote for the starters in the All-Star Game, and we submit a ballot for the Hall-of-Fame during each offseason. The calendar has turned from 2012 and that means it is getting close to the announcement of the Class of 2013 for the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

With each of the other announcements, the BBA asks each member to post their ballot to their affiliated blog. The Hall-of-Fame vote is the only one for which this is not a requirement. I still feel like the Hall-of-Fame balloting should be posted with my reasons for selecting each candidate. I usually break my ballot into a few different categories because I know that not all of the player listed below will be making a speech in Cooperstown this summer:
Class of 2013
Craig Biggio (1st Ballot)- Houston Astros
Accolades: 7-time All-Star, 4 Gold Gloves, 5 Silver Sluggers
BA: .281
H: 3,060 (21st)
HR: 219 (144th)
R: 1,844 (15th)
RBI: 1,175 (162nd)
SB: 414 (64th)
OPS: .796
WAR: 62.1 (129th)

Jeff Bagwell (2012 HOF Vote: 56.0%)- Houston Astros
Accolades: 4-time All-Star, 1 Gold Glove, 3 Silver Sluggers, '94 NL MVP
BA: .297
H: 2314 (140th)
HR: 449 (36th)
R: 1517 (63rd)
RBI: 1529 (46th)
SB: 202
OPS: .948 (22nd)
WAR: 79.9 (59th)

There have been whispers of PED use surrounding Bagwell but there hasn't been any real evidence against him. He was a power hitting first baseman in the middle of the steroids era and that is apparently enough to convict him. I think he gets the extra boost because some voters won't want to vote for the other players on the ballot. Biggio started his career as a catcher and he moved to second base after three seasons behind the plate. He reached the 3,000 hit mark and this helps him to be one of the best up the middle players in history. It seems only fitting that two of Houston's Killer B's would be elected in the same year.

Future Inductions
Mike Piazza (1st Ballot)- Los Angeles Dodgers, Florida Marlins, New York Mets, San Diego Padres, Oakland Athletics
Accolades: 12-time All-Star, 10 Silver Sluggers,  '93 Rookie of the Year
BA: .308 (122nd)
H: 2,127 (210th)
HR: 427 (44th)
R: 1048
RBI: 1,335 (89th)
OPS: .922 (50th)
WAR: 56.1 (117th)

Curt Schilling (1st Ballot)- Baltimore Orioles, Houston Astros, Philadelphia Phillies, Arizona Diamondbacks, Boston Red Sox
Accolades: 6-time All-Star, '93 NLCS MVP, '01 World Series MVP
Wins: 216 (82nd)
ERA: 3.46
WHIP: 1.137 (46th)
K: 3,116 (15th)
IP: 3,261.0 (95th)
WAR for pitchers: 76.9 (26th)
Shutouts: 20 (244th)

Edgar Martinez (2012 HOF Vote: 36.5%)- Seattle Mariners
Accolades: 7-time All-Star, 5 Silver Sluggers
BA: .312 (96th)
H: 2247 (161th)
HR: 309 (123th)
R: 1219 (161th)
RBI: 1261 (124st)
OPS: .933 (34th)
WAR: 67.2 (108th)

Piazza wasn't the best as a defensive catcher but he is the best hitting catcher of all-time. Like, Bagwell there have been PED rumors but again there is no evidence. Schilling might be the second best postseason pitcher behind Mariano Rivera and he was also a very good regular season pitcher as well. He probably won't get in on the first ballot but he should get in at some point in the next few years. Martinez had positive years as a third baseman before becoming the definition of the designated hitter. He is one of the best hitters of all-time and he should be recognized for his place in history.

May Never Get In (But Still On My Ballot)
Barry Bonds (1st Ballot)- Pittsburgh Pirates, San Francisco Giants
Accolades: 14-time All-Star, 8 Gold Gloves, 12 Silver Sluggers, 2-time Batting Champ, '90 NL MVP, '92 NL MVP, '93 NL MVP, '01 NL MVP, '02 NL MVP, '03 NL MVP, '04 NL MVP
BA: .298 (235th)
H: 2,935 (32nd)
HR: 762 (1st)
R: 2,227 (3rd)
RBI: 1,996 (4th)
OPS: 1.051 (4th)
SB: 514 (33rd)
BB: 2,558 (1st)
WAR: 158.1 (3rd)

Roger Clemens (1st Ballot)- Boston Red Sox, Toronto Blue Jays, New York Yankees, Houston Astros
Accolades: 11-time All-Star, '86 AL MVP, '86 AL Cy Young, '87 AL Cy Young, '91 AL Cy Young, '97 AL Cy Young, '98 AL Cy Young, '01 AL Cy Young, '04 NL Cy Young
Wins: 354 (9th)
ERA: 3.12 (212th)
WHIP: 1.173 (90th)
K: 4,672 (3rd)
IP: 4,916.6 (16th)
WAR for pitchers: 133.1 (3rd)
Shutouts: 46 (26th)

Jack Morris (2012 HOF Vote: 66.7%)- Detroit Tigers, Minnesota Twins, Toronto Blue Jays, Cleveland Indians
Accolades: 5-time All-Star, 1991 World Series MVP
Wins: 254 (42nd)
ERA: 3.90
WHIP: 1.296
K: 2478 (32nd)
IP: 3824.0 (50th)
WAR for pitchers: 39.3 (145th)
Shutouts: 28 (134th)

With the influx of big name players on this year's ballot, Morris might have missed out on his last best chance in 2012. He was the best pitcher of the 1980's but he was the last player that made my ballot. Bonds was a HOF player before his PED use and his numbers are unbelievable. He is in the argument for the best players of all-time but the steroid factor could keep him out. Much like Bonds, a cloud of PED speculation surrounds Clemens but he still ranks as one of the best pitchers ever. He was putting together a HOF career before he allegedly started using steroids.

Under-Appreciated Duo
Tim Raines (2012 HOF Vote: 48.7%)- Montreal Expos, Chicago White Sox, New York Yankees, Oakland Athletics, Baltimore Orioles, Florida Marlins
Accolades: 7-time All-Star, 1 Silver Slugger, 1 NL Batting Title
BA: .294
H: 2,605 (77th)
HR: 170
R: 1,571 (53rd)
RBI: 980
OPS: .810
SB: 808 (5th)
WAR: 66.2 (97th)

Alan Trammell (2012 HOF Vote: 36.8%)- Detroit Tigers
Accolades: 6-time All-Star, 4 Gold Gloves, 3 Silver Sluggers, '84 World Series MVP
BA: .285
H: 2,365 (124th)
HR: 185
R: 1,231 (156th)
RBI: 1,003
OPS: .767
SB: 236
WAR: 67.1 (91st)

This is the first year that I am voting for Raines and Trammell and most of that is because I didn't fully appreciate their body of work. Raines ability to steal bases and get on base at a high rate might make him the second best leadoff hitter of all-time behind Ricky Henderson. Trammell was terrific on both sides of the ball and he has been under-appreciated by the BWAA. He is as good or better than Barry Larkin, last year's selection to the HOF.

So who would make your ballot? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.

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