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Ball Boy Talk: HoF Ballot Breakdown

Updated: Dec 20, 2020

What is going on, Ball Boys and Ball Girls? I hope you guys are having a great day. With the ballot being released on Monday, 11/16, we will break down every candidate, their career, and if this is their year to make the HoF. The 2020 inductees will be announced on January 26th.

To make the Hall of Fame, the player has to get 75% of the vote. Last season we saw Derek Jeter and Larry Walker get the nod last year.

Going into their 9th year on the ballot are Barry Bonds, Curt Schilling, and Rodger Clemens. The trio has this year and next to make it in, hopefully. Some first-year guys like Tim Hudson, Barry Zito, Mark Buehrle, and Torii Hunter will be looking to be a one and done. To remain on the ballot for 2022, players need to get at least 5% of the vote. Last year we saw Paul Konerko, Jason Giambi, and Alfonso Soriano get taken off the ballot for not getting 5% of the vote.

Players who are getting close-

Curt Schilling- 70% 9th year

Schilling out of everyone on the ballot is the more sure thing to get in. Schilling played from 1988-2007. He was a 6x All-Star, 3x World Series Champ, WS MVP, NLCS MVP during his career. Over 3261IP, he posted a 3.46ERA/3.23FIP/1.137WHIP, 3116K, 216-146 W-L Record, 22SV and 79.5WAR. In 1997/98, he had back to back 300+K season. Then another 300+K season in 2002. Schilling somehow never won a CY Young. He lost to Randy Johnson in 01, 02, and Johan Santana in 04. In Schillings 133.1 playoff IP, he holds a 2.23ERA, 120K with an 11-2 record. His career was nothing short of amazing, and if not this year, then 2021 is a lock for Schilling.

Barry Bonds- 60.7% 9th year

Take the context of the situation out of the discussion. Bonds in the GOAT. 7x MVP, single-season HR record with 73, career HR record of 762, all-time walks leader with 2558, the time leader in intentional walks with 688. his 182oPS+ is 3rd to only Babe Ruth and Ted Williams, yet NO one can even think to compete with his 162.8WAR. Let's add in his 2935H, career 298BA, 1996RBI, 514SB, 14x All-Star, 8x Gold Glove, 12x Silver Slugger, 2x Batting Title, just an incredible career. Bonds did admit in 2004 using steroids provided by his trainer Greg Anderson and took the route of ignorance. Bonds also realized he wasn't the best character in the clubhouse and dugout, saying, "I'm to blame for the way I was[portrayed] because I was a dumba**." Never testing positive after 2005 or failing a test. Bonds has to get 15% of the vote to reach the HoF; with the Astro's scandal changing how we look at those who may have cheated, Bonds case may be more robust now than in the previous eight years. To me, Bonds deserves the be in the HoF and have his HR title given back to him.

Rodger Clemens- 61% 9th year

AKA. The Rocket alone, on his career numbers, is probably the greatest pitcher of All-Time. 24 season between 1984-2007 4916.2IP, 4672SO(3rd on the time list), 138.7WAR. 11x All-Star, SEVEN CY Young awards, and 2 WS rings, two 20K games. Clemens's name was mainly on the Mitchel Report though he never tested positive and was acquitted in 2012. At this same time, even Conseco was skeptical that Clemens ever used. His career stats, only PED or not, are HOF worthy and should have gotten him in 8 years ago. To add to his stats, 354-184 record, 3.12ERA, 2x Triple Crown, 7x ERA Title, All-Star game MVP. How he has only gotten 61% of the vote after eight years is beyond me. It probably will be the most unfair vote to happen if Clemens doesn't end up in the HOF. But I think it is bound to happen. The Rocket deserves his spot in the HOF. If not 2020, then in 2021, he is a lock.

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Middle of the pack:

Omar Vizquel- 52.6% 4th Year

Vizquel, the SS/3B, played from 1989-2012 and captured 11 Gold Glove awards, and played in 3 All-Star games. Vizquel is known for the glove and not the bat. Posting a career .272BA/.338OPB/.352SLG/.688OPS and an 82OPS+. Vizquel had 2877H and 404SB. Over 264 career playoff appearances, he holds a .250/.327/.316/.643OPS and slash line. The defensive wizard held a career .985fld% and was quite excellent in the field. The Glove is HoF worthy and should be enough to get Vizquel close.

Scott Rolen-35.3% 4th year

Rolen's career was full of goodness; he has an entire trophy room with a ROY, 8 Gold Gloves, 1 Silver Slugger, 7 All-Star games, and 1 World Series ring. Over 8518PA, he slashed a .281/.364/.490 OPS.855 OPS+122. He had 2077H, 316HR, 1287RBI, and a career .968Fld%. Over 195PA, Rolen wasn't great in the postseason as he slashed .220/.302/.376 OPS.678. The glove was great during Rolen's career at the Hot Corner. Rolen has a lot of time; if he % goes up, I think the chance is there; if it goes down, his hopes start to dim. Time will tell with Rolen, but I think the bat was above average, not elite, but the glove helped his case. A fun fact about Rolen he batted .317/.410/.527 against Braves HoF trio Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, and John Smoltz

Billy Wagner-31.7% 6th year

During his career from 1995-2010, Wagner was a 7x All-Star. Over his 903IP, he holds a 2.31ERA/2.73FIP/0.998WHIP. With a 47-40 record, 422Saves, 1196K. The lefty has a career27.7WAR and is 6th on the Saves list. Wagner was a great closer with nine seasons over 30 saves. The standard for an RP is Mariano Rivera, and I don't think Wagner is quite there and will not make the HoF. He does have a few more years, and that could change.

Gary Sheffield- 30.5% 7th year

In 2004 he admitted to using a PED known as "the cream" while training Barry Bonds during the 01-02 offseason. However, he did go the route of "I didn't know what it was when I used it," then says he was upset when he found out. I give the benefit of the doubt in these situations. BUT, the more significant blemish on his HOF resume is his awful defensive numbers. He does, however, have a great resume with his bat alone. He has a WAR at 60.5 than fellow RF Vladimir Guerrero, who has a 59.5 career WAR who got on the ballot in 2018 to the HOF. He is also part of the 500HR club with 21 other players. Overall in his career, he had 2689H, 509HR, 292BA, 1676RBI, 9x All-Star, one WS title, 5x Silver Slugger, 1 Batting Title, and 1 ML PoY. I think he will get into the HOF when it's all said and done. He deserves to get in.

Players who have a long way to go(30% or less of the vote)

Todd Helton- 29.2% 3rd year

Helton played from 1997-2013 with the Rockies and jus the Rockies. Posting a career 61.8WAR and getting to 5 All-Star games, 3 Gold Gloves, 4 Silver Sluggers, and 1 Batting Title. In Helton's 9453, he slashed .316/.414/.539/.953OPS 133OPS+. Helton has elite at the plate during his career as he had 1335BB-1175K in his career with 2519H, 369HR, 1406RBI. Helton was great at the plate and had top tier numbers at the plate. In his 66PA in the postseason, he slashed .211/.303/.281 .584OPS, and it's a shame he didn't get there outside of the 07WS and the 08 playoffs.

Manny Ramirez- 28.2% 5th year

"Manny being Manny" says a lot about him as a person. I remember hearing this as a kid on ESPN when he was talked about. Also, his two failed PED tests, one in 2009 and the next in 2011 when he retired. Now, he is trying to make a comeback overseas. Regardless, he had a video game cover, one of the better MVP baseball games, one of my personal favorites. He is one of only 4 MLB players over 9000PA that has a line of .300/.400/.500. He has 555HR plus a postseason record of 29HR. However, he was a terrible defender, which brought him to only a 69.3WAR for his career. He was a 12x All-Star, 2x World Series Champ, 9x Silver Slugger, WS MVP, and won 1 Batting Title. The numbers are there for me. In all honesty, what kills it is three positive tests and not wanting to serve his 100 games in 2011, and just retiring kind of is a pathetic thing to do, which puts him just short of HOF.

Jeff Kent- 27.5% 8th year

From 1992-2008 he holds a career 55.4WAR. He has a 1MVP award, 5 All-Star appearances and, 4 Silver Sluggers. Over his 9537PA, he holds a career slash line of .290/.356/.500 .855OPS and 123OPS+. With 2461H, 377HR, 1518RBI