Hall of Fame 2018: Voting Primer (1/9)

Hall of Fame 2018: Voting Primer (1/9)

The Hall of Fame class of 2018 will be announced on January 24, 2018. In the meantime, I’m going to spend my Sundays going over the 33 players on their ballot. I’ll go over what their argument for inclusion is and what the argument against their inclusion might be. I’ve tried to group the players together in the most reasonable manner. In the comment section, I’d love to hear if any of the players have your vote or you’re at least considering them. Thanks!

Aubrey Huff
20.2 bWAR, 17.1 fWAR
First year on the ballot

Consider this: In 2010, Huff was on top of the world. After one of his best seasons, he would shake off some struggles in the first two rounds of the playoffs to go 5-for-17 in the World Series with two doubles, a homer. The Giants would win the World Series that year. Huff would also take home a ring two years later and hit .278/.342/.464 over a 13-year career with the Rays, Astros, Orioles, Tigers, and Giants. He won a Silver Slugger in 2008 with his second of two years of 40+ doubles, 30+ HR, and 100+ RBI.

But there’s this: Huff was a nice player to have, but didn’t have a Hall of Fame career. Beyond the unimpressive counting stats like 1699 hits and 242 homeruns, Huff barely ranks in the Top 150 in fWAR during his 13-year career. While Huff does have two rings, he was rarely used in 2012 after hitting .191 during the season.

Hideki Matsui
21.3 bWAR, 12.9 fWAR
First year on the ballot

Consider this: It certainly would have been interesting to see what a younger Matsui could have done as he didn’t come to America until 2003. Over ten seasons in the premier league for Japanese players, Matsui slashed .304/.413/.582 with 332 home runs. He was no slouch in America, either, hitting .297/.370/.484 in the first three years after joining the Yanks with 70 home runs. He went to a pair of All-Star Games during that time as well.

But there’s this: Ignoring his Japanese totals, Matsui only has a ten-year career to look at. More, the last two years were absolutely miserable – which isn’t shocking because he was 37 and 38 those years. When you factor in injuries that derailed his momentum in the Bronx, it’s hard to see him garnering a vote let alone enough to stick around.

Carlos Lee
Carlos Lee | SBoyd [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
28.2 bWAR, 27.5 fWAR
First year on the ballot

Consider this: A feared hitter, Lee was an underrated performer who raked for much of his 14-year career. He spent most of that time with the White Sox and Astros. He was selected to play in three All-Star Games, took home a pair of Silver Sluggers, finished with 358 home runs. Lee owned some of the best left-handed pitchers of his era, hitting .326 against Johan Santana and .367 against Cliff Lee.

But there’s this: Lee played in relative obscurity despite the numbers he compiled. A defensively-inept left fielder, Lee went to the playoffs just once, batting 1-for-11 for the 2000 White Sox in the ALDS. While a good hitter, he was never an elite one and the only category he routinely placed highly in was sacrifice flies and hitting into double plays. He made his teams better but was rarely a difference maker.

Orlando Hudson
30.9 bWAR, 21.1 fWAR
First year on the ballot

Consider this: Four times, Hudson took home a Gold Glove while being selected to play in a pair of All-Star Games. In a three-game sweep at the hands of the Yankees, Hudson was one of the few bright spots in the 2010 ALDS. He went 4-for-12 with a homer, but the Twins did little against the Yankees that series. 2010 was also his second of two years with 3 fWAR or better. Ever the defender, Hudson once led the AL in dWAR.

But there’s this: Honestly, it’s a little hard to find many positives about Hudson’s career. He was a fine player and from 2003-2011, one of the ten best second basemen in the game, but that’s not going to earn many – if any – votes. During his eleven year career, he bounced around as he was not seen as much of a long-term option. A good career, no doubt. Dude made $31 million. Just not a career you’ll remember which is why I was a bit shocked to see him lead the rest of today’s group in bWAR.

Up next? I look at the candidacy of five closers on this year’s ballot.

2 Comments

Nope…none of these guys will even make it to Year 2 of their eligibility (meaning that all 4 of them will fall short of the 5% requirement in Year 1 of their voting)!

Jim Edmonds was a FAR BETTER player than either of those 4..and he only got 2.5% of the vote back in 2016.

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