Being inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, located in Cooperstown, New York, is considered the most presitgious accomplishment in the sport. Just walking the first hallway of the museum, you see the extensive history of the sport. Being put into the hall, is a big issue in itself that truly deserves its own article. But who should really get into the HOF from the 2022 ballot?
*Note- I’m going to refer to this ballot as the “steroid” ballot, as I feel that a lot of these guys did take performance enhancing substances. And for that reason most of them will be in the same tier. This is MY ballot, The Locks are the guys I would vote for instantly, The Question Marks are guys I would have to think over, and The Toss Ups are guys I just through on to my ballot to make it full.
Barry Bonds, 1986-2007, (10th year on ballot)-
Steroids have put blinders in front of baseball fans and voters eyes when it comes to the reputation of Barry L. Bonds. He is probably the greatest baseball player of all time, and arguably the greatest athlete in all of American sports history. Bonds had a career 173 wRC+ (5th all time) and 164.4 fWAR (2nd all time), along with 762 home runs (1st all time), and 1996 RBI’s (6th all time). Pair this with 514 SB (34th all time), and a 67.6 defensive value on fan graphs, and you have the most well rounded player in the sports history. In order to achieve these statistics, he was consistent and had lots of longevity. After 1989, he didn’t have a single season below a 140 wRC+. He played around 17 seasons, from 1990-2007 (1994’s lockout shut down half of that season). It is unreal what Bonds was able to do, and even though he took steroids, steroids do not create a good baseball player. You still need to recognize the pitch (coming at you from 70-90+ mph), put the bat to the ball at the perfect launch angle, and hope that a fielder misses it or you hit it out. All in the matter of seconds. Bonds was the ideal baseball player statistically, and the fact of the matter is he should be in.
David Ortiz, 1997-2016, (1st year on ballot)-
David Ortiz was with no doubt, a top first baseman, and designated hitter of his time period, and that alone puts him in consideration. But his extensive awards resume, and his all time great statistics, it’s hard to make a case for him not to get in. The 10x all star, 3x World Series champion, WS MVP, 7x silver slugger pairs these awards with a career 140 wRC+ and 51.0 career fWAR. What is there really to challenge him getting in? Ortiz supposedly was included in the notorious steroids report, which voters still seem reluctant to voter in the roid users. He also played a lot of DH, and the Hall has always been very hard on DH’s. But overall, Ortiz was one of the most likable players of his time, so naturally the voters seem to turn away from the steroid issue as much as they will for the others.
Alex Rodriguez, 1994-2013, 2015-16, (1st year on ballot)-
Whether you like him or not, Alex Rodriguez created himself one of the best baseball careers the current generation of fans has ever watched. He is arguably a top 10, shortstop and third baseman, of all time. That itself, puts himself in consideration for the HOF. Now what makes him a lock though, well what I just said. But in more detail, A-Rod had a 144 wRC+ and 62.0 fWAR during his time as a primary SS and a 142 wRC+ and 50.1 fWAR as a primary 3B. I’ve already made a post about this a while back on my instagram, so check that out for more detail. But the fact of the matter is statistically A-Rod is a hall of famer. The media was all over Rodriguez (in very bad ways), and it formed a sour relationship between the two, and when the media is voting you into the hall it doesn’t stack too much in your favor. Along with steroids and his dirty play, is Rodriguez really going to get voted in? Probably not this year (which is really stupid), but eventually he must get in.
Roger Clemens, 1984-2007, (10th year on ballot)-
1x MVP, 7x CY Young winner, 2x Triple Crown winner, 11x All Star, 2x WS Champion, and more, Roger Clemens has quite the award cabinet in his house. Clemens was no doubt, one of the best pitchers of his time, there was no one quite as dominant as the man himself. He created a reputation, that he was going to go out on the mound every game, and pitch a tough and hard fought game. Now, he wasn’t the most consistent pitcher every year, with multiple 4 era seasons scattered in, but he finished his career with a 133.7 fWAR. Unreal. Clemens is surrounded by the performance enhancing substances controversy, and with this he is known to be one of the dirtiest players of his time, and in my opinion is the least likely of these first 4 to get in. Due to the fact that the steroids probably helped him the most, making his arm stronger truly gives him the biggest advantage compared to the hitters. But none the less, he should definitely be in.
Andruw Jones, 1996-2012, (5th year on ballot)-
Andruw Jones may be the most underrated player on this years ballot, and in my opinion should be a hall of famer. Defensively, he was unreal. Winning 10 gold glove awards, and when DRS was beginning to be recorded (in 2002), Andrew Jones had a 60 DRS (so from 2002-2008, 2010) at the CF position. Along with this, a 278.8 career defensive value on fangraphs, and he plays one of the hardest positions in the sport. Just his sheer precense in CF was going to make an impact on the game, and it shouldn’t go unnoticed. Offensively, he wasn’t the greatest but for sure above league average. He had a career 111 wRC+ and 67 fWAR, along with 5 all star appearances. Jones. Should. Be. In.
Gary Sheffield, 1989-2009, (8th year on ballot)-
Sheffield was the ultimate slugger during the 90’s and 00’s, and created a reputation for being one of the league’s best hitters. His career 509 home runs, and 2689 hits pop off the baseball reference page, and his counting stats show that his longevity should not go unnoticed. His career 141 wRC+ and 62.1 fWAR continue the trend, showing that he was an elite hitter throughout his career. Can we really leave Sheffield out of the Hall?
The Question Marks
Scott Rolen, 1996-2012, (5th year on. ballot)-
I’m looking at Rolen’s fangraphs page and baseball reference page, and am wondering why he isn’t getting more recognition for his HOF case. I really like what he brought to the table defensively, with his 8x gold gloves, but also his 114 DRS from (2002-2012), defensively he is one of the best we’ll see on this ballot. 3B is not an easy position either, and is one of the more important positions in the game. So what is really keeping Rolen back? It for sure isn’t his 69.9 career fWAR or 7x all star appearances, as he proved to be ver good in a large stretch of time. But the 122 career wRC+ could seem a problem, but to be honest just like Jones, his defensive prowess should not be overlooked. But he also won a silver slugger, and has a 252.4 offensive value on fangraphs, so Rolen should have a strong case to get in. But I just don’t think writers see that, so for me he’s a lock but I don’t think for the writers.
Curt Schilling, 1988-2007, (10th year on ballot)-
I’m not going in depth into Schilling and his career. Just know he had the entirety of a HOF career, and if he had just kept his mouth shut he would get in. A 79.8 career fWAR, really says enough about what he accomplished. But his antics, calling out voters and almost taking his name off the ballot is really going to hurt his chances of getting in. Along with having him in, would I really want him to represent the sport as a whole on its most prominent stage? To be honest, I don’t know the answer, but looking at just his baseball reference page, he’s a hall of famer.
Billy Wagner, 1995-2010, (7th year on ballot)-
Closing pitchers are such an interesting position in the game of baseball, and voting them into the hall of fame can be tough for voters. Sitting in Marino Rivera’s shadow his entire career, Billy Wagner was a top notch reliever throughout the entirety of his career. There is no denying his 2.31 career ERA, and 2.73 FIP. Wagner only conquered a 24.o fWAR though, and the closing pitcher curse will probably haunt his chances of getting in. But I still feel he should get in.
The Toss Ups (Or in this case, *Up)
Todd Helton, 1997-2013, (4th year on ballot)-
To be honest, nothing pops out the page when you’re looking at the baseball reference page of Helton. Which can be an issue, because when you’re just overall good at everything and not GREAT at everything (like Bonds) or AMAZING at one thing (like Jones), it can create problems with voters finding a reason to put you in. But Helton should probably be in, 132 wRC+ and 54.9 career fWAR, tagged with 5x all star appearances and 4x silver sluggers and 3x gold gloves, it looks like he has enough to get in. But he will round out my ballot
Now is this the only right ballot? No. I left off guys like: Sammy Sosa (just don’t know if voters will let him get in after the steroids, he will definitely be held most accountable for them), Omar Vizquel (his own controversies, I refuse to put him in), Jeff Kent (I just like the other 10 more, he should probably get in eventually), and more.
But I feel my ballot is valid, and all of these guys should get voted in eventually (the 10th year players probably won’t get in by the other committees, so this is probably their last chance). Good luck to all candidates on the ballot, by not including you I am not saying you were bad or dragging you down, because all 30 players on the ballot were tremendous on the baseball field and were selected to the ballot for a reason. But I’m only allowed to select 10 guys, and felt that these were the best 10.
Thank you for reading my article! Check out my instagram @sportsgreatness_ for more. This is my first sports article and post in a while, so I hope you enjoyed. I missed posting and hope to get more consistent with it in the future. Happy Holidays!