Chances of Each New York Yankees Hitter Reaching the Baseball Hall of Fame

Mike MoraitisAnalyst ISeptember 7, 2012

Chances of Each New York Yankees Hitter Reaching the Baseball Hall of Fame

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    The New York Yankees current lineup consists of many great players, but chances are most of them won't be enshrined in the Hall of Fame.

    It takes a special class of player to qualify as such, and while there are some players on this team who certainly fit the bill, most do not.

    Let's take a look at the 10 best hitters in the Yanks current order and which of them will find their way to Cooperstown when it's all said and done.

Russell Martin

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    Career Stats

    HR: 87

    RBI: 405

    AVG: .260

    Hits: 807

     

    Martin should be thankful that Hall of Fame voting isn't based on just one season because he'd fall short based on the 2012 campaign alone. While Martin has handled the pitching staff well this season, his .202 average has left a huge void in the Yanks lineup.

    Martin's offensive career got off to a promising start, but his ability as a hitter has declined. He can still supply a solid amount of homers and RBI as a catcher for a ballclub, but hitting near the interstate isn't particularly helpful.

    Defensively, the Yanks backstop isn't anything special. His numbers throwing base-runners out haven't gotten any better in recent years, and this season he's a little under 25 percent, which is tied for a career low.

    There's no doubt Martin looked like a guy who could make a run at the hall at first, but after some disappointing seasons in the batter's box and in the field, Martin's chances have taken a huge hit. He's already 29 and around the age when catchers begin their decline. Martin's best days might be behind him and that simply won't be good enough to be enshrined.

     

    Hall of Fame Chances: 0%

Eric Chavez

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    Career Stats

    HR: 245

    RBI: 846

    AVG: .268

    Hits: 1,387

     

    Long ago, in a place called Oakland, Chavez was putting up MVP numbers that gave him a chance to be a Hall of Fame player down the road.

    But then the injuries came, and what looked like a promising career on the field was in fact spent in the trainer's room. Chavez definitely falls into the category of "what could have been."

     

    Hall of Fame Chances: 0%

Ichiro Suzuki

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    Career Stats

    HR: 102

    RBI: 647

    AVG: .321

    Hits: 2,569

     

    Ichiro is the greatest player ever to come from Japan and has blazed the trail for many more of his fellow countrymen to join the MLB. That is reason enough to put him in the Hall of Fame.

    Without that distinction, Ichiro is still one of the greatest hitters ever to step on a baseball diamond. In his 12th season in the bigs, Suzuki has an astonishing 2,569 base knocks. Just imagine what number he might be at in this stage of his career had Ichiro grown up in the MLB.

    Even without having done that, Ichiro should still be more than capable of eclipsing 3,000 hits for his illustrious career thanks to the great shape he keeps himself in.

    Solid defense has always been apart of Ichiro's game. A rocket arm and incredible speed has made it a nightmare for opposing teams trying to advance an extra base.

    There's no doubt about this one. Ichiro is a Hall of Famer in every single sense of the word.

     

    Hall of Fame Chances: 100%

Andruw Jones

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    Career Stats

    HR: 433

    RBI: 1,286

    AVG.: .255

    Hits: 1,930

     

    Earlier in his career, Jones looked like a surefire Hall of Famer from every part of his game.

    His offensive abilities were certainly considered elite at one point in his career, but somewhere along the lines Jones' career tailed off considerably and now the Hall of Fame pace he was at has slowed to a snail's pace toward Cooperstown.

    Jones is one of the best outfielders ever to play the game, evident by the 10 NL Gold Gloves he has won during his career.

    At the moment, the Yanks utility outfielder is still shy of 2,000 hits for his career, but his 433 homers means he's creeping toward the 500-homer mark, and that feat would be enough to put him over the top.

    Jones is currently 35-years-young and turns 36 in April of next year. It isn't out of the realm of possibility that Jones plays four more seasons and reaches the milestone, especially if he plays on a team that gets him on the field every day.

     

    Hall of Fame Chances: 65%

Raul Ibanez

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    Career Stats

    HR: 267

    RBI: 1107

    AVG: .278

    Hits: 1,868

     

    Ibanez has proven to be a very productive player throughout his career, even to this day, but it simply won't be enough to get him in the Hall.

    His home run, RBI and hit totals don't meet any special requirements, and that ruins Ibanez's chances before the discussion even gets started. Defense need not be mentioned.

    It took Ibanez five or six seasons before he met his potential, and that really hurt his chances of compiling acceptable numbers for Cooperstown.

    Ibanez will always be remembered as a solid contributor to the teams he played on, but he is not a Hall of Famer. 

    Hall of Fame Chances: 0%

Nick Swisher

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    Career Stats

    HR: 205

    RBI: 657

    AVG: .255

    Hits: 1,056

     

    Swisher might be a nice addition to any team needing help with offense and even a little chemistry, but it doesn't look good for his Hall of Fame chances.

    At age 31 (32 in November), Swish has only compiled 205 homers during his career, and not being the best hitter in the world means the long ball is his best bet for Cooperstown. If he played until the age of 42, Swisher would need almost 30 homers per season to reach 500 home runs.

    The Yankees outfielder has only broken the 30-homer mark once in his career.

    Speaking of the outfield, Swisher isn't a standout defensively, adding to the mediocrity that will end up defining much of his career.

     

    Hall of Fame Chances: 0%

Mark Teixeira

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    Career Stats

    HR: 337

    RBI: 1098

    AVG: .279

    Hits: 1,578

     

    Tex has proven to be quite the productive player during his time in the big leagues.

    He burst onto the scene in his rookie season with 26 homers and 84 RBI and Teixeira has managed to drive in 100 runs or more each year ever since. Tex's average might not be at a desirable clip, but at least he's driving in a ton of runs.

    But Teixeira isn't a one-dimensional player, not in the least bit. In fact, the Yankees first baseman is one of the best defensively, if not the best in the MLB. With countless great plays during the season—whether a quick reaction to a line drive at him or a scoop on a poor throw—Tex is saving runs on top of the ones he's knocking in.

    At age 32 (33 in April), Tex has an outside chance of reaching 3,000 hits as he sits at 1,578. Still, he would need almost 178 hits per season if he played at the age of 40. Seeing as how Teixeira isn't racking up the hits quite like he used to, that milestone appears very unlikely.

    Tex currently has 337 long balls for his career, so if he played at the age of 40, Teixeira would need roughly 20 homers per season to hit the 500-mark. That is certainly feasible for a power hitter in a shoebox of a ballpark. Homers will be Tex's ultimate ticket to the Hall of Fame.

     

    Hall of Fame Chances: 90%

Curtis Granderson

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    Career Stats

    HR: 201

    RBI: 564

    AVG: 263

    Hits: 1,086

     

    Granderson has never been known as much of a hitter throughout his career and that's abundantly clear as he sports a .232 average for the 2012 season. His defense doesn't jump out at you in the least bit, so there's another area Grandy isn't particularly special in.

    That leaves him as a home run hitter by trade since joining the Yankees, but Granderson's career totals won't be enough to qualify for Cooperstown.

    At 31, Granderson will have to average 40 homers per season for the next seven to eight seasons to eclipse the 500-homer mark. If he was a few years younger, I might have given him the benefit of the doubt, but unfortunately for the Grandy man, he isn't.

    It'll get tougher to hit homers as he gets older, and that leaves it almost certain he'll fall short. Not to mention it's no longer a certainty Granderson will be hitting at Yankee Stadium for the long term. With nothing else of true value in his game to stand on for his career, Grandy won't be a Hall of Famer when it's all said and done.

     

    Hall of Fame Chances: 5%

Robinson Cano

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    Career Stats

    HR: 173

    RBI: 694

    AVG: .307

    Hits: 1,420

     

    The future is bright for the Yankees second baseman.

    Cano is the undisputed best second baseman in the MLB. He puts up numbers offensively that most teams wish they could get from a corner outfielder. Cano has already collected 1,420 hits and will no doubt make a credible march toward the 3,000-mark.

    Another reason for Cano's deserving of the belt for best second basemen is his defense. Cano is tops in the MLB in the field at his position and proved so with a Gold Glove award in 2010.

    Cano has all the tools to be a great major leaguer for a long time and even has a high enough ceiling to put up bigger numbers than he already has, which is a scary thought for opposing pitchers.

    While nothing in this life is certain, it's a safe bet that Cano will grace Cooperstown one day.

     

    Hall of Fame Chances: 90%

Alex Rodriguez

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    Career Stats

    HR: 644

    RBI: 1,938

    AVG: .301

    Hits: 2,875

     

    It had to come to this, didn't it.

    A-Rod's admission of PED use will forever cloud the outlook on his career when his playing days are over, so this isn't a case where numbers play any role. It is solely based on the opinions of baseball writers from around the country. That means it could take a while for A-Rod to get to Cooperstown, if ever.

    If it were based solely on numbers, A-Rod could retire today and be inducted into the Hall of Fame. His historic pace to break Barry Bonds' all-time home run record has been put in serious jeopardy, however, thanks to declining numbers and games due to injury.

    Adding to his power, A-Rod has already accumulated 2,875 hits during his career and should break the 3,000-hit mark some time in 2013.

    Rodriguez has always been a solid defender, whether at shortstop or third base. He has started over 1,000 games at each position and has never been considered a liability for the Bombers or Seattle Mariners.

    As far as raw talent is concerned, they don't make 'em like A-Rod very often.

     

    Hall of Fame Chances Without PEDs: 100%

    Hall of Fame Chances With PEDs: 50%

Derek Jeter

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    Career Stats

    HR: 254

    RBI: 1,242

    AVG: .313

    Hits: 3,270

     

    Haters can say what they want about his defensive abilities with all sorts of calculations, but in the end you still come up with one conclusion: Derek Jeter is a winner, through and through.

    His five World Series rings speak for themselves, but add to that the fact that he's already eclipsed the 3,000-hit mark in his career and has been the best at his position for many years and it's impossible to deny his greatness.

    Defensively, just for those haters, Jeter has five Gold Gloves, and try to dispel them as they may, nobody, not even Skip Bayless, can dispute that they are sitting on his mantle right now as we speak.

    Physical skill isn't Mr. November's only gift. It's quite possible The Captain has the greatest set of intangibles in baseball history.

     

    Hall of Fame Chances: 100%

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