What are the chances that Jeff Kent will be voted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2014?
I realize the voting is a little over a year from now, but I wanted to see what the consensus was at this point. I have been watching him on the reality TV show, Survivor, and realized what a good ball player he actually was.
I looked at his career numbers and was surprised at how strong they were. He hit 337 HR, drove in 1,518 and produced a stat line of .290/.356/.500.
He won an MVP award in 2000 as a member of the San Francisco Giants and beat out some serious talent to take the trophy: teammate Barry Bonds, Mike Piazza and Todd Helton, just to name a few. His line that year was 33 HR, 125 RBI, .334/.424/.596.
As a middle infielder, particularly a second baseman, those are seriously impressive numbers. There are currently only 19 second basemen in the Hall of Fame, the most recent being Roberto Alomar, elected in 2011.
Of all the second basemen sitting in the hallowed HOF right now, only Rogers Hornsby comes close to matching Kent's career HR mark of 377, with 301 long balls.
Hornsby is also the only one in that group with more RBI than Kent, edging him out 1584 to 1518.
In a nine year period beginning in 1997, Kent had over 100 RBI in eight of them. During that span he averaged 28 HR, 110 RBI and had a line of .296/.365/.529.
The 2014 ballot will be the last time pitcher Jack Morris will be represented, so don't be surprised if he gets a mercy push into the HOF.
Some other first timers on the ballot that year with any chance of enshrinement are Greg Maddux (Why vote?), Frank Thomas, Mike Mussina, Tom Glavine and Moises Alou.
You will also still see the steroid community proudly represented by Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa and several others.
Kent did win 4 Silver Slugger awards and appeared on five All-Star squads during his 17-year MLB career. He was never known for his defensive prowess, as he did lead the league in errors at second base on four occasions.
All said, I don't see how he cannot be voted into the HOF. I doubt he will make it on the first ballot, but if Lady Justice would remove the blindfold, I believe he should be elected within three or four.