The Skippers View Hall of Fame Ballots
Let The Infighting Begin
Dean Ciriaco’s Hall of Fame Ballot
First, I will start with my dear friend(we have DM’d), Billy Wagner. I wrote a whole blog on why he should be in the Hall of Fame. So, I will link that here. Check it out if you want to see why I want him in above anyone else.
Here is a quick bullet list of what will get him in.
3rd highest career WAR for third baseman.
40th in career WAR
LONGEVITY(which the rest of this list doesn’t have)
Five Gold Gloves/Six Silver Sluggers
Here is the two things that would hold him back from getting in on the first ballot(which won’t happen)
2nd in 2004. Damn it Barry Bonds.
3rd in 2012. Triple Crown Miggy and 10.5 WAR Trout….
No World Series :/
He is a surefire and will get in. Now onto the maybes.
He’s got an MVP and was arguably the face of baseball from 2008-2010. I honestly forgot how popular Mauer was until looking into everything for this blog. He is one of the greatest hitting catchers of all time and is surrounded by HOF members in JAW rankings. However, like many of the players on this list, Mauer had a huge drop off as he entered year ten of his career. Before I go over where he falls in the JAWS ranking I will give you his three prime seasons which get him in the hall.
2008- .328/.413/.451/.864/134 OPS+… 4th in MVP voting, Gold Glove, Silver Slugger
2009- .365/.444/.587/1.031/171OPS+… 1st MVP, Gold Glove, and Silver Slugger. This was all in 138 games.
2010- .327/.402/.469/.871/140 OPS+… 8th MVP, Gold Glove, Silver Slugger
2008 and 2009 he won the batting title. His .347 average in 2006 was his third. He is one of 29 other hitters in MLB history to win the batting title three times. All are in the hall of fame with the exception of Miguel Cabrera, Jose Altuve, and Pete Rose.
Concussions would eventually lead to Mauer suffering from significant vision problems. This forced him to first base and a few seasons later into retirement.
All of that being said, I want you to take at this all time list for catchers. Let me know how many HOF names you see surrounding Mauer. That is all.
Andruw Jones/Chase Utley/Todd Helton
If you are going strictly off WAR. Then Jones, Utley, and Helton are all true borderline guys. When looking at the all time WAR list they are around a bunch of HOFers and soon to be HOFers. Here is what could get each in.
Andruw Jones Positives
10 straight Gold Gloves
434 Home Runs
Peak seven-year WAR which puts him with some of the GOAT CF’s including Mays, Cobb, Speaker, Mantle, DiMaggio, Snider, and Trout
Andruw Jones Negatives
Huge drop off
No World Series
Struck out A LOT
Hit over .280 only once in career.
Chase Utley Positives
Huge peak. Averaged 7.9 WAR from 2005-2009
World Series winner. Only player on my list to win one.
JAWS and WAR rankings amongst second baseman favors him.
Chase Utley Negatives
Injuries derailed career.
Did not become starter until he was 26
Murdered Ruben Tejada
Todd Helton Positives
Todd Helton road numbers were great. Don’t listen to the “Coors Conspirators”
3 Gold Gloves
4 Silver Sluggers
Probably would have won MVP if WAR accepted in 2000
2000-2005 peak he ranked 3rd in WAR only behind Bonds and A-Rod who… cheated….
Ranks 15th in JAWS among first basement. Above many HOFers
.316 career batting average which is much higher than I thought
Todd Helton Negatives
Back injuries caused a drop off in power after 2004.
No World Series
Dean’s Final Thoughts
Helton and Beltre are getting in no matter what. I would bet my Twitter account. Wagner deserves to get in, but the hate against relievers might put that off for another year.
Now, I know many are going to ask why I left some big names off the list. Bobby Abreu just did not win enough awards for me to add him to my list.
For Sheffield, Rodriguez, and Ramirez there is no reason for me to vote for them if Bonds is not in the hall. If Bonds eventually gets in, big IF, then I am okay with these guys going in.
For Beltran, he got caught cheating with the Astros so he can wait another year before getting elected.
Now onto Kevin’s rankings!
Kevin Lee’s Hall of Fame Ballot
As some of you may know, I am the Head of Diversity and Inclusion at No Doubt About It! In that spirit, I’ve always been championing for broader inclusion in the baseball Hall of Fame, especially for legendary players I grew up watching. I like to remind folks that it is called the “Hall of Fame”, and not the “Hall of Reaching a WAR Threshold During Your Playing Career” (although putting up numbers is very much paramount). So, in that light, some of my votes for seem lenient, but in every case, that player’s performance and legacy deserves to be memorialized in baseball history in the highest power.
I’ve divided my ballot into 4 distinct tiers:
Slam Dunks – If you don’t have these on your ballot, you need your ballot privileges revoked:
Adrian Beltre – One of the premier third basemen, both offensively and defensively, for the better part of two decades. Also, an absolute horse – played over 130 games in 16 of his 21 seasons in the big leagues.
Todd Helton – The most common argument against Helton is that he was a Coors Field Merchant. That argument is as thin as the Colorado air; Helton triple slashed .285 / .391 / .442 and had a wRC+ 21 points above league average for his entire career. That’s a higher wRC+ than this year’s shoo-in HOF inductee Beltre (115).
Carlos Beltran – It is baffling to me how he wasn’t a first ballot HOFer. He’s amassed 400+ HRs, 300+ SBs, 68 fWAR, and the shortest manager stint of all time.
C’mon Dude – some arguments against these guys, but C’MON DUDE!!
Billy Wagner – #RelieverLivesMatter. Relief pitching has exploded in importance in the modern game of baseball. And yet, only 8 relief pitchers have been inducted in the Hall. Billy Wagner was perhaps a bit overshadowed by the greatest closer in all of baseball (Mariano Rivera), but their numbers line up relatively well. And if Mo can get into the Hall unanimously, Billy deserves to make the cut with room to spare.
Gary Sheffield – Wow, was this guy fun to watch. If you live under a rock and don’t know what Gary Sheffield’s batting stance, just watch any millennial play wiffle ball, and the imitation is bound to emerge. This batting stance left a legacy, and the body of work is more than enough to merit consideration – 500+ HRs, a career OPS above .900, and the coldest video of chiefing HRs in batting practice while puffing down a cigar.
Andruw Jones – I wish I could put some numbers behind how great a fielder Andruw Jones was. Unfortunately, this was largely pre-Statcast and the defensive metrics we know and love today (DRS, OAA, etc.) aren’t able to paint the full picture for Jones. But as a Mets fan, I can tell you how infuriating it was when a Met hit the ball to center field at Turner Field. He was no slouch at the plate either (career OPS of .823), so while I would say we should give the Ozzie Smith treatment to one of the greatest defensive centerfielder of the modern era, that would be an insult to Jones’ offensive stats.
The Brightest Stars Burn Out the Fastest – probably the most contentious section here. If these guys had a cleaner bit of health, they are probably locks for the Hall, but even without, I think there is a decent case.
David Wright – All personal bias aside, it frustrates me that Chase Utley has received greater consideration for the Hall than David Wright based on known public votes at the time of me writing. Even with almost 1,000 less plate appearances than Utley, Wright effectively matched Utley in counting stats and is vastly superior in rate stats (for simplicity, Wright’s career OPS was .867 vs. Utley’s .823). Look, I know it’s impossible for me to be impartial about Wright’s HoF candidate, but there has to be something I’m missing here to explain the almost 40% gap between their vote tallies.
Joe Mauer – man, was it fun watching Mauer and Posey behind the dish. Growing up a huge Mike Piazza fan, I’ve always had huge respect for catchers. Being able to be an offensive powerhouse while playing the most mentally and physically demanding position in baseball is no small feat. 2013 marked the end of his full-time catching duties, but for a decade, he was the best two-way catcher in all of baseball.
Chase Utley – Tackle a player in the 2015 NLDS and break his leg? Right to jail, right away.