If I had a Hall of Fame Vote

How do you identify who should be a Hall of Famer? Do you have to get 3000 hits? 500 home runs? 300 wins? 500 saves? A career 50 WAR? Is it the name the back of your jersey, or the fact that they won 4 World Series? While nobody around baseball can truly agree on what it takes for a player to take that next step into “BASEBALL IMMORTALITY,” we can all agree that every year we will have the same arguments of who should and should not be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

For what its worth, I believe that there are three different classes to this years Hall of Fame ballot. For the sake of the argument you can call these three classes the upper class, middle class, and lower class. The upper class consists of players who I believe should be inducted into the Hall of Fame, or will get inducted at some point. Those players are: Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mike Mussina, Curt Schilling, Scott Rolen, Andy Pettitte, Larry Walker, Andruw Jones, Edgar Martinez, Roy Halladay, Mariano Rivera, Gary Sheffield, and Billy Wagner. Next, you have the middle class who consist of players who will get votes and had great careers, but probably will not get into the Hall. On this ballot, those players are: Sammy Sosa, Manny Ramirez, Fred McGriff, Jeff Kent, Lance Berkman, Todd Helton, and Roy Oswalt. Finally, the lower class which consists of players who had really good careers and will receive a vote or two, but won’t get into the Hall of Fame and are likely to get dropped off the ballot altogether. Those are players like Derek Lowe, Placido Polanco, Freddy Garcia, Kevin Youkilis, Ryan Dempster, Ted Lilly, Michael Young, Vernon Wells, Juan Pierre, Ramon Hernandez, Jon Garland, Travis Hafner, Jason Bay, Darren Oliver, Jake Westbrook, Jose Contreras, and Octavio Dotel.

What defines a Hall of Famer? We all have our own opinions on this, and here are mine. First, I believe that having used steroids should not impact a players Hall of Fame candidacy. However those player should be held to a higher standard than players who did not take performance enhancing drugs. You may be wondering: what makes a player good enough to make the Hall of Fame despite his steroid use? Look at guys like Barry Bonds, or Roger Clemens and think: if they didn’t take steroids, are they still Hall of Famers? I believe that yes, they are. Now look at players like Manny Ramirez or Sammy Sosa and think: if they didn’t take steroids where would their careers have been? Still very good careers, but probably not as prolific. Second, offense is great, but I take defense into account as well. If you were at an all-time great defender at your position, like a few of the players on this ballot, but didn’t have as prolific of offensive numbers as some of the players, then why shouldn’t you be in the Hall of Fame? Next, while 3000 hits, 500 home runs, 500 saves, or 300 wins are all incredible milestones, why should they be the line where players are measured? We live in such an amazing time with such advanced stats, we shouldn’t limit our standard just to stats that have been used for 100 years. Finally, when it comes to pictures don’t forget that relievers are people too and should still be considered for the Hall of Fame. Remember: nowadays, World Series are won and lost by the bullpen.

As a lot of you probably know, I do not get a Hall of Fame ballot, but like everyone else I am entitled to my opinion on the subject. So without further ado, here is my 2019 Hall of Fame ballot if I had a vote.

  1. Barry Bonds

It is a shame that the arguably the best player of all-time is not yet in the Hall. During his year career, he made his teammates better by striking fear into other teams every time he stepped to the plate. While he was never able to hoist the World Series Trophy, he ranks in the top-5 in almost every offensive category.

164.4 fWAR – 2nd all-time

162.8 bWAR – 4th all-time

173 wRC+ – 5th all-time

181 OPS+


762 HR – most all-time

2227 R – 3rd all-time

1996 RBI – 5th all-time

514 SB – 34th all-time

2935 H – 36th all-time

601 2B – 17th all-time

2558 BB – most all-time

7x MVP

14x All-Star

8x Gold Glove

12x Silver Slugger

2. Roger Clemens

It’s weird to think that arguably the best pitcher of all-time is not in Cooperstown yet, but sadly that is the case. “The Rocket” was known for his electric fastball that struck fear into the eyes of every hitter he faced. Clemens ranks in the top-5 of almost every pitching category in MLB history.

133.7 fWAR – most all-time amongst pitchers

139.6 bWAR – 2nd all-time amongst pitchers

354 W – 9th all-time

118 CG

46 SHO

3.13 ERA

143 ERA+

3.09 FIP

4672 SO – 3rd all-time

1986 MVP

7x Cy Young

2x Triple Crown

11x All-Star

3. Mariano Rivera

No need for an introduction here, we’ll just skip right to the 9th. “Mo” is going in this year – it’s just a matter of whether he will be the first player with a unanimous election. Considering the combination of pure dominance during his career with the Bronx Bombers and his post season magic, there is no doubt in my mind Mariano enters Cooperstown this year.

39.2 fWAR – most all-time among relievers 

56.2 bWAR


652 Saves – most all-time

2.06 ERA

205 ERA+

2.67 FIP

1173 SO

13x All-Star

5x World Series Champ

Post season stats: 141 IP, 8-1, 0.70 ERA, 2.23 FIP, 42 S, 110 SO

4. Mike Mussina

Arguably the most underrated pitcher of all-time. He should have been a 1st ballot Hall of Famer, but probably won’t miss out this year. Collecting almost 300 wins, and averaged a 4.6 bWAR during his 18 year career Mussina was pure magic on the mound.

82.2 fWAR – 17th all-time

83.0 bWAR – 58th all-time

270 W

57 CG

23 SHO

3.68 ERA

123 ERA+

3.57 FIP

2813 SO

5x All-Star

7x Gold Glove

5. Curt Schilling

His off-field antics might be some cause for concern, but his on-field antics were Hall of Fame worthy. In 2004, he helped lead the Red Sox to their first World Series since 1918. The 3-time World Series Champ should soon hopfully join his bloody sock in Cooperstown.

79.8 fWAR – 20th all-time

79.6 bWAR – 65th all-time


83 CG

20 SHO

3.46 ERA

127 ERA+

3.23 FIP

3116 SO

3x World Series Champ

6x All-star

6. Larry Walker

The long overdue Hall of Fame election of Larry Walker is gaining steam in his 9th year on the ballot. The combination of hitting and defenses should have netted him a spot in the Hall a few years ago. Even though he played 10 years at Coors Field, he was still able to net a 141 OPS+ during that span, which is ballpark adjusted.

68.7 fWAR – 67th all-time

72.7 bWAR – 86th all-time

140 wRC+

141 OPS+


383 HR

1355 R

1311 RBI

913 BB

2160 H

471 2B

1997 MVP

5x All-Star

7x Gold Glove

3x Silver Slugger

7. Scott Rolen

The most underrated position player of his generation, Scott Rolen’s offensive numbers alone probably don’t put him in Cooperstown. However, his world-class defense sure does. Rolen is arguably the best defensive third baseman of all-time, and that deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.

69.9 fWAR – 60th all-time

70.2 bWAR – 97th all-time

122 wRC+

122 OPS+


316 HR

1211 R

1287 RBI

899 BB

2077 H

517 2B

114 DRS – 11th all-time

107.1 UZR – 4th all-time

1997 Rookie of the Year

7x Silver Slugger
8x Gold Glove

8. Edgar Martinez

The best DH of all time, and one of the best pure hitters of his generation is more than deserving of getting a plaque in Cooperstown. This year should finally be the year he gets it. While most look down upon the fact that he was a DH, I tip my cap at the fact that he was able to accumulate such a high wins above replacement with out playing any defense.

65.5 fWAR – 86th all-time

68.4 bWAR – T-115th all-time

147 wRC+

147 OPS+

309 HR

1219 R

1261 RBI

1283 BB

2247 H

514 2B

7x All-Star

5x Silver Slugger

2x Batting Title

9. Andruw Jones

While Jones’ offensive stats don’t necessarily put him in the Hall, his stellar defensive metrics definitely should. While defense is often overlooked, Jones is arguably the best defensive outfielder of all-time, and the numbers would agree.

66.9 fWAR – 76th all-time

62.8 bWAR – T-156 all-time

111 wRC+

111 OPS+

434 HR

1204 R

1289 RBI

891 BB

1933 H

383 2B

60 DRS

118 UZR – 3rd all-time

5x ALL-Star

1x Silver Slugger

10x Gold Glove

10. Roy Halladay

Last but certainly not least, “Doc,” the most feared pitcher during his time. I can undoubtedly say there will never again be a guy quite like Halladay. We might never again see some of the feats that he accomplished, including a no-hitter in the playoffs. RIP Doc, and welcome to Cooperstown!

65.2 fWAR

64.3 bWAR T-144th all-time


67 CG

20 SHO

3.38 ERA

131 ERA+

3.39 FIP

2117 SO

2x Cy Young

8x All-Star

______________________________________________________________________________Featured Photo: National Baseball Hall of Fame

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