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MLB Hall of Fame 2023

Updated: Feb 2, 2023


Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images


Now I know, Jey, you're late to the party talking about the class of 2023 that consists of two players- Fred McGriff and Scott Rolen. The other players on the ballot who came up just short- Todd Helton, Billy Wagner, Andruw Jones came very close to baseball immortality. In his last year of eligibility, Jeff Kent also came up short with only 46.5% of the vote. Kent will now have to rely on the Historical Overview Committee in December of 2025 to be a part of the 2026 HoF class. Hopefully- more on Kent is coming.


While some didn't get the 5% needed to stay on the ballot. Those players: Jayson Werth, Jered Weaver, Jhonny Peralta, JJ Hardy, Andre Either, Jacoby Ellsbury, Matt Cain, Houston Street, Mike Napoli, John Lack, R.A. Dickey, Bronson Arroyo all fell off the ballot.


The 2024 Ballot will feature a new group of players headlined by Adrian Beltre, Joe Mauer, and Chase Utley, the most notable. The playing field seems close for Helton, Jones, and Sheffield could be very close. Wagner has two more seasons on the ballot, while Sheffield will hope for consideration going into next year's voting.


We are also going to explore JAWS "The JAWS (Jaffe WAR Score system) ... measure a player's Hall of Fame worthiness by comparing him to the players at his position who are already enshrined, using advanced metrics for accounting for the wide variations in offensive levels that have occurred throughout the game's history. The stated goal is to improve the Hall of Fame's standards, or at least to maintain them rather than erode them, by admitting players who are at least as good as the average Hall of Famer at the position, using a means via which longevity isn't the sole determinant of worthiness. A player's JAWS is his career WAR averaged with his 7-year peak WAR (not necessarily consecutive years)."

Scott Rolen

The case for Rolen was obvious, being one of the best two-way 3B to put on his generation's jersey. Rolen played for the Phillies (96-01) after being drafted and winning a unanimous RoY in '97. He then was traded during the '02 season to the Cardinals for Placido Polanco, Mike Timlin, and Bud Smith at the deadline. He then went on for the Red Birds through the '09 season, where he was a 6x All-star, 4x Gold Glover, and 1x Silver Slugger winner.


Rolen was in for a ride during the 2008 season as he was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays for Troy Glaus and then traded again during the 2009 season to the Cincinnati Reds for Josh Roenicke, Edwin Encarnacion, and Zach Stewart. Rolen finished his career as a member of the Reds, being a 2x All-star and winning more Gold Gloves before retiring after the 2012 season at 37. Rolen finished his career with plenty of hardware: Rookie of the Year, 7x All-Star, 2006 World Series with St. Louis, 8x Gold Glove, and 1 Silver Slugger award.


Rolen finished his career with a 70.1WAR, 2077H, 316HR, .281/.364/.490/.855OPS and 122OPS+. Along with the significant numbers, he had 1211R, 1287RBI, and 118SB. The obvious stat for Rolen that wasn't offensive was his defense. He was a model of consistency and dominance at the hot corner for 20 years. He won his first Gold Glove in 1997 and his last in 2010. He had 116Drs and a career .968FLD%.


70.1 career WAR | 43.6 7yr-peak WAR | 56.9 JAWS | 5.6 WAR/162

Average HOF 3B (out of 15):

68.3 career WAR | 43.0 7yr-peak WAR | 55.7 JAWS | 5.1 WAR/162


Congrats to Rolen for becoming the 19th third baseman to enter the Hall of Fame.


Fred McGriff

The Yankees drafted Fred McGriff, a 1B, in the 9th round of the 1981 draft. McGriff debuted with the Blue Jays in '86 and then went on to play for the Jays until '90, then the Padres from '91-93, when he was traded to the Braves and played there until '97. In '98, he played for the TB Devil Rays until '01, when he was dealt to the Cubs until the end of the 2002 season. He ended his career playing with the Dodgers in '03 and then his final horah with the Devil Rays again before retiring at the end of the '04 season at 40.


McGriff finished his career with a 52.6WAR, 2490H, 493HR, .284/.377/.509, 1349R, 1550RBI, 72SB, ..886OPS and 134OPS+, 992FLD%, -6DRS in 19402inn at 1B. He did end his career as a 5x All-Star, 1x World Series champ, 3x Silver Slugger, and an AS MVP.


52.6 career WAR | 36.0 7yr-peak WAR | 44.3 JAWS | 3.5 WAR/162

Average HOF 1B (out of 24):

65.0 career WAR | 41.8 7yr-peak WAR | 53.4 JAWS | 4.8 WAR/162


Congrats to McGriff for making it in.


Todd Helton

I go into McGriff's stats to compare him to 1B Todd Helton, who many feels were snubbed in this year's voting.


Let's look at his career for Helton; he was drafted in the 2nd round in the '92 draft by the Padres, declined, when to Tennessee, and was drafted in the 1st round and 8th overall in the '95 draft by the Rockies, where he played his whole career. Helton made his debut in 1997 at 23 and was 2nd in RoY in '98.


Helton put together a promising career and was essentially snubbed of the MVP in 2000 as he posted an 8.9WAR and led the league in H, RBI, BA, OBP, SLG, and OPS, to Jeff Kent, who will talk about shortly who was a 7.WAR player and only had more AB and SB in that same year. Check out the complete voting that year here.


Helton took home plenty of hardware during his career: 5x All-Star, 3x Gold Glove, 4x Silver Slugger, and 1 Batting Title/ Triple Crown. However, these accolades came from 2000-2004, and outside of 2004, Helton hit only 20HR again between 2005-2013; he wasn't an All-Star again, no silver sluggers, nothing. There has always been an unfair bias towards players who played in Colorado due to the elevation; however, with complete and total domination, it's more straightforward to justify.


Helton was an excellent defensive 1B, earning a career of .996FLD%, 34DRS, and only had 79 career errors. However, he played when 1B was your power position and premium. He is all time- 13th in putouts, 3rd in Assists, 3rd in double plays turned as 1B, 2nd in Total Zone Runs as 1B, and 8th in FLD%.


Offensively, he ranks no higher than 20th all-time in any category. He ranks 20th all-time in Doubles with 592, 23rd in OPS with a .953, and 29th in OBP with .414. The career stats for Helton are 61.8WAR, 2519H, 369HR, 1401R, 1406RBI, 37SB, and a slash line.316/.414/.539.


The glove work might make up for the lack of offensive dominance. When a player who is this close to the HoF only had a run of 5 years atop the position when we look for guys to have a run of 10+ years to get into the HoF makes me question the writers. If you take Heltons JAWS, add in his glove work and compare it to McGriff, Helton should make the HoF.


61.8 career WAR | 46.6 7yr-peak WAR | 54.2 JAWS | 4.5 WAR/162

Average HOF 1B (out of 24):

65.0 career WAR | 41.8 7yr-peak WAR | 53.4 JAWS | 4.8 WAR/162

Jeff Kent

Unfortunately, Kent was a late bloomer but a dominant late bloomer. Kent made his MLB debut in 1992 with the Blue Jays at age 24 and then was with the Mets from '92-96. He then was with the then Cleveland Indians for the rest of the '96 season before finding his stride in '97 as a member of the SF Giants.


During Kent's career, 2B was an afterthought for offense and was more of a glove-first position, while as a regular for the Mets between '93 and '95, he had a .765OPS and hit .816 and was hitting 14-21.


After the '96 season and when he got on with the Giants from age 29-40, he was a 1x MVP with 7x top 26 vote-getters, with 4 being a top-10 finish. He won his first of four Silver Sluggers in 2000, along with his MVP, and his last came at age 37 with the Dodgers in '05.


Kent was a solid offensive producer from 1997-2008; when he retired at 40, he played in at least 115G with no less than 12HR and 59RBI, which came in his final season. He always had at least a .280/.327/—418 slash line or much higher.


The case for Kent is convoluted because the peaking started after joining the Giants, who also had the infamous Barry Bonds at the same time. Kent was never involved or tested positive for PED; however, the late-career peak and dominance run into his late 30s is questionable. Kent was a great player and a story of a late bloomer.


The career numbers of 55.4WAR, 2461H, 377HR, 1320R, 1518RBI, 94SB, .290/.356/.500 slash line. I looked deeper into Kent's stats and found his JAWS, Kents JAWS:

55.4 career WAR | 35.8 7yr-peak WAR | 45.6 JAWS | 3.9 WAR/162

Average HOF 2B (out of 20):

69.6 career WAR | 44.4 7yr-peak WAR | 57.0 JAWS | 5.1 W


Kent was fantastic and one of the best during his peak; however, he isn't a Hall of Famer.


Chase Utley

First, look at Utley's stats: 64.5WAR, 1885H, 259HR, 1103R, 1025RBI, 154SB, .275/.358/.465 slash and was a 6x All-Star, 4x Silver Slugger, and part of the 2008 World Series Phillies. Defensively Utley spent 14910.1INN at 2B and 324.1INN at 1B; combined, he had a career of .982FLD%, 131DRS.


Utleys JAWS rating is 12th all-time for 2B, ahead of other Hofs like Roberto Alomar, Craig Biggio, Joe Gordon, Billy Herman, and even Jeff Kent, who is 21st.

64.5 career WAR | 49.3 7yr-peak WAR | 56.9 JAWS | 5.4 WAR/162

Average HOF 2B (out of 20):

69.6 career WAR | 44.4 7yr-peak WAR | 57.0 JAWS | 5.1 WAR/162


Utley is an HoF, I believe it will take him 3-7 years to get in, but I think he will get in.


Adrian Beltre

When I think of Adrian Beltre, I think of pranks, personality, and all the incredible plays he made as a member of the Seattle Mariners. Beltre's personality is HoF-worthy; the love of the game, the deception, the smile, and the memories he's given baseball fans everywhere are there.


Beltre made his debut as a member of the Dodgers at age 19 in 1998 and was with the Dodgers through the 04 seasons when he hit 48HR; he then signed a big money deal with the Seattle Mariners and played for them from 2005-2009. He then played for the Red Sox for one year and earned another BIG BAG of money from the Rangers in 2011-2018 when he retired at 39.


Their career was a good one before Texas. He had won 1 Silver Slugger(04) and 2 Gold Gloves(07 and 08) and finished 2nd in the MVP voting in 2004. Before Texas, he had 278HR and finished his career with 477HR. While in Texas, Beltre went to 4 ASG, won 3 Silver Sluggers, 3 Gold Gloves, and 2 Platinum Gloves, and finished Top 15 in the MVP voting 7x.


The stats were incredible for Beltre as he finished his career with 93.5WAr, 3166H, 477HR, 1524R, 1707RBI, 121SB, .286/.339/.480 slash line. He was a 4x All-Star, 5x Gold Glove, 4x Silver Slugger, and 2x Platinum Glove.


The JAWS score has Beltre ranked at the 4th best 3B of all time. He lands right after three HoFers: Mike Schmidt, Eddie Mathews, Wade Boggs, and ahead of 7 more HoFers: George Brett, Chipper Jones, Brooks Robinson, Rob Santo, Paul Molitor, Scott Rolen, and Edgar Martinez.

93.5 career WAR | 48.7 7yr-peak WAR | 71.1 JAWS | 5.2 WAR/162

Average HOF 3B (out of 15):

68.3 career WAR | 43.0 7yr-peak WAR | 55.7 JAWS | 5.1 WAR/162


Between stats, JAWS, personality, and fan support- Adrian Beltre is a bonafide Hall of Famer.


Andruw Jones/ Gary Sheffield

I just wanted to look at these two's HoF scores between Black Ink, Gray Ink, Hall of Fame Monitor, Hall of Fame Standards, and JAWS.


Jones:

Batting - 10 (298th), Average HOFer ≈ 27

Batting - 47 (679th), Average HOFer ≈ 144

Batting - 109 (152nd), Likely HOFer ≈ 100

Batting - 34 (252nd), Average HOFer ≈ 50

62.7 career WAR | 46.4 7yr-peak WAR | 54.6 JAWS | 4.6 WAR/162

Average HOF CF (out of 19):

71.6 career WAR | 44.7 7yr-peak WAR | 58.1 JAWS | 5.4 WAR/162


Sheffield:

Batting - 4 (533rd), Average HOFer ≈ 27

Batting - 123 (194th), Average HOFer ≈ 144

Batting - 158 (82nd), Likely HOFer ≈ 100

Batting - 61 (29th), Average HOFer ≈ 50

60.5 career WAR | 38.0 7yr-peak WAR | 49.3 JAWS | 3.8 WAR/162

Average HOF RF (out of 28):

71.1 career WAR | 42.4 7yr-peak WAR | 56.7 JAWS | 5.1 WAR/162


Jones, Yes. Sheffield, I don't think it's going to happen.


Thanks for reading, I can't wait to produce more baseball content this season!

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