Monday, December 27, 2010

2011 Hall of Fame: Definitely not

In anticipation of the January 5th revelation of the next class of baseball Hall of Famers, I have decided to write a three-part series on this year's candidates.  Today's entry will consist of those players who were good enough to make the ballot, but shouldn't merit serious consideration or debate as to whether they should actually make it.
  • Note 1: The team in parentheses is which logo I think the player would have on their plaque's cap.
  • Note 2: The list is ranked alphabetically, not preferentially.
1. Carlos Baerga, 2B (CLE)
Baerga played well during his Cleveland years, registering a .299 AVG and an OPS+ of 109.  Besides those above-average statistics, he has no accomplishments to speak of, and is therefore an easy no.

2. Harold Baines, RF (CHW)
Baines did all right for himself over the course of his 22-year career, hitting 384 HR with an OPS+ of 120, but it's not enough to get him into the hall.  His home run totals comes mostly from longevity, as he never hit more than 29 in a season (and has the 33rd most plate appearances of all time), and he had an OPS above .900 only five times in his career.  He'd be a welcome addition to any team, but not to Cooperstown.

3. Bret Boone, 2B (SEA)
Boone was a mediocre second baseman who just happened to string together three good seasons (2001-3).  His career average of .266 is way below Hall expectations, and he has nothing else to make up for it.  Next!

4. Marquis Grissom, CF (MON)
He won four gold gloves and finished in the top ten of MVP voting twice.  Besides that, he doesn't have much going for him.

5. Lenny Harris, PH (???)
Harris is the all-time pinch hit king, and therefore is an easy first ballot hall of famer.  Wait, no, that's wrong.  He's the all-time pinch hit king, and therefore is an eternal trivia answer.  I get those confused all the time.

6. Bobby Higginson, LF (DET)
Higginson was pretty good, but that's not to say he comes close to being a hall of famer.  His career OPS+ of 113 is not bad, and his 2000 season was pretty good (30 HR/102 RBI/.915 OPS).  Again, though: he's clearly not a hall of famer.

7. Charles Johnson, C (FLA)
Johnson only had one season in which he hit better than .259, and not even his four gold gloves can make up for that.

8. Al Leiter, SP (NYM)
Leiter was a lot better than you remember.  That said, my heart says "yes!" but everything else is still saying "no, you idiot."  Leiter was the Mets' sometimes-ace for seven seasons, during which he pitched pretty well (92 wins, 124 ERA+, 1106 K).  The other twelve seasons of his career, however, were less stellar.  I'll always love him for his time with the Mets, but let's all remember him for what he really was: an above-average pitcher who was always pretty good.

9. Tino Martinez, 1B (NYY)
Yankees fans might take issue with my quick dismissal of "Bamtino" (B-R claims that's his nickname), but it's an easy thing to do.  Aside from his excellent 1997 (44 HR/.948 OPS) he has nothing to really boast about.  He has but one Silver Slugger to his name, and despite putting together a nice run of seasons from 1995-8, his career average is still only .271.  I liked to watch him play, and he seemed like a nice guy, but that's just not good enough.

10. Raul Mondesi, RF (LAD)
For a while there, Mondesi looked like he was going to be a great player.  He won the RoY in 1994, and averaged 24 HR and a .300 AVG over his first four seasons before a precipitous decline.  His 229 career SB was a nice surprise, but alas there's nothing here that suggests he's Hall-worthy.

11. Kirk Rueter, SP (SF)
Although Rueter was a mainstay of the Giants' rotation from 1997-2004, his career numbers were pretty mediocre.  His career 98 ERA+, 3.8 K/9, and 1.394 WHIP bring to mind images of a decent fourth starter... which is basically all he was.

12. Benito Santiago, C (SD)
Santiago was a five-time all-star, which is all well and good, but his career 93 OPS+ and .263 AVG don't indicate that he was anything more than mediocre outside of his five "good" seasons.

13. B.J. Surhoff, LF (BAL)
Surhoff is another guy who played for a long time, accumulated some perfectly good statistics, and has somehow found himself on this year's Hall off Fame ballot.  His .282 AVG is decent, though.

1 comment:

  1. yeah, pretty much goes without saying for these guys, Baines is the closest to HOF worthy on this list, if they ever start a "Hall of very good" I'd say he's a go.