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Barry Bonds to Craig Biggio: Ranking MLB 2013 Hall of Fame Candidates' Chances

Gary OusdahlCorrespondent IIDecember 23, 2012

Barry Bonds to Craig Biggio: Ranking MLB 2013 Hall of Fame Candidates' Chances

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    The 37 eligible candidates for Major League Baseball's 2013 Hall of Fame without a doubt make up the most intriguing ballot of players we've seen in recent history.

    Not only because of some of the big names that are on the list—Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, Craig Biggio and Mike Piazza to name a few—but because of the performance enhancing drugs allegations surrounding many of these big names.

    In alphabetical order, then, let's take a look at all 37 candidates and see who should and shouldn't be enshrined in Cooperstown. 

Sandy Alomar Jr.

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    Sandy Alomar Jr. had a respectable 20-year career playing for seven different major league teams.  The former 1990 American League Rookie of the Year, he had a .273 lifetime average with 112 home runs.  

    Alomar Jr. was a six-time All-Star and a great leader on the field, but unfortunately does not have what it takes to make it into the Hall of Fame as a player.  

    However, as the current bench coach for the Cleveland Indians, I don't think it will be too long before he is managing a team of his own, and then maybe... 

    Year on ballot: First

    2013 estimated percentage of vote: Five percent

    Will he make it into the HOF: No, not as a player.

Jeff Bagwell

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    Jeff Bagwell had a fantastic 15-year career playing for the Houston Astros.  

    The former 1991 National League Rookie of the Year, Bagwell hit .297 with 449 career home runs.  He also hit 30 or more home runs with 100-plus RBI for six straight years and had eight 100 or more RBI seasons.  Bagwell—a huge power threat in the middle of the Houston lineup—also had nine seasons with 30 or more home runs.  

    As a holdover from last year (56 percent of the total vote), Bagwell never tested positive for performance enhancing drugs—but could fall victim to those around him in the steroid era. 

    Though his numbers are good, he never reached the 500 home run mark and only had 2,314 career hits.  

    However, with a solid resume of work, Bagwell may have what it takes to one day make it into the Hall of Fame.  

    It's just too bad that it doesn't look like he'll be going in with teammate Craig Biggio in 2013.

    Year on ballot: Third

    2013 estimated percentage of vote: 62 percent

    Will he make it into the HOF: Maybe one day, but not this year.

Craig Biggio

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    Craig Biggio may be a lock to make the 2013 Hall of Fame.  

    The seven-time All-Star, four-time Gold Glover and five-time Silver Slugger finished his career with a .281 batting average over 20 seasons with the Houston Astros.  

    He also led the National League in runs scored in 1995 (123) and 1997 (146) and finished fifth all time in doubles with 668.

    As a consistent centerpiece in the Astros lineup, the most important number in Biggio's long career was his 3,060 lifetime hits (21st all time).  

    This stat alone should solidify his acceptance into the Hall of Fame.

    Though he never finished higher than fourth in MVP voting, Biggio played the game the way it was supposed to be played and deserves enshrinement in 2013.  

    Year on ballot: First

    2013 estimated percentage of vote: 94 percent

    Will he make it into the HOF: Yes, and it will be in 2013.

Barry Bonds

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    Well, well, well—where do we start?

    Barry Bonds is undeniably one of the best hitters of all time.  

    Performance enhancing drugs aside, Bonds was one of the original five-tool threats in the mid-'80s and continued to dominate National League pitching until the end of his career with the San Francisco Giants.  

    Bonds is the all-time home run (762) and walks (2,558) leader, was a seven-time National League MVP, eight-time Gold Glover, third all time in runs scored (2,227) and a two-time National League batting champ (2002 and 2004).

    Problem is, he's viewed as one of the poster boys of the steroid era and was found guilty of obstruction of justice in 2011 for testifying that he never knowingly took steroids in 2003.  

    He's also not a very likable guy.  Bonds has never been a big fan of the press and has publicly fought them throughout his career.  Since Hall of Fame voting is done by the Baseball Writer's Association of America...

    Year on ballot: First

    2013 estimated percentage of vote: 18 percent

    Will he make it into the HOF: Nope, not now and probably not ever.

     

Jeff Cirillo

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    Jeff Cirillo had a respectable 14-year career playing for six major league teams.

    Cirillo was a two-time All-Star and finished his career with a lifetime .296 average.

    Though he had a consistent bat, he didn't have much power (never hit more than 17 home runs) or speed (never stole more than 12 bases).

    Cirillo was a good player, but has no where near the numbers you need to make it into the Hall of Fame.

    Year on ballot: First

    2013 estimated percentage of vote: Three percent

    Will he make it into the HOF: No.

Royce Clayton

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    Royce Clayton had decent speed and was certainly a good fielding shortstop, but he will never make it into the Hall of Fame.

    With a career .974 fielding percentage and 231 stolen bases, Clayton only batted .258 in his career and was never considered a dominant or elite ball player.  

    Year on ballot: First

    2013 estimated percentage of vote: One percent

    Will he make it into the HOF: No.

Roger Clemens

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    What do you do about Roger Clemens?

    "The Rocket" was one of the most dominant pitchers of his generation. 

    The seven-time Cy Young award winner and 11-time All-Star finished his 24-year career with a 354-184 record, a 3.12 ERA (ninth all time) and 4,672 strikeouts (third all time).  He also was the 1986 American League MVP.

    Though on paper Clemens has the credentials to get into the Hall of Fame on a first ballot, he was also identified in the Mitchell Report as one of many players who used performance enhancing drugs. 

    I loved watching Roger Clemens pitch, and the thought of him not making it into the Hall of Fame still baffles me, but his connection to the Mitchell Report may forever taint his chances of ever getting the nod into Cooperstown.  

    Year on ballot: First

    2013 estimated percentage of vote: 38 percent

    Will he make it into the HOF: Probably not this year—only time will tell.

Jeff Conine

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    Jeff Conine was always a solid ballplayer.  

    The two-time All-Star hit .300 or better four times in his 17-year big league career.

    Problem is, he never lead the league in any offensive category and never finished better than 18th in MVP voting.  

    With a decent resume of work, Conine just doesn't have the numbers to get into the Hall of Fame.

    Year on ballot: First

    2013 estimated percentage of vote: Four percent

    Will he make it into the HOF: Don't count on it.

Steve Finley

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    Steve Finley was a slick-fielding outfielder in 19 seasons of major league ball.

    The five-time Gold Glover and two-time All-Star led the league in triples in 1993 (13) and 2003 (10) and finished his career with 320 stolen bases and 304 home runs.  

    Though he was always a solid contributor, he only had a .271 lifetime average with a .332 on-base percentage over his career.  And while he was always known to be a solid hitting, web-gem worthy glove in the outfield, Finley was never considered an elite ball player.

    Though I enjoyed my time watching him play, Finely doesn't have what it takes to make it into the Hall of Fame.

    Year on ballot: First

    2013 estimated percentage of vote: Nine percent

    Will he make it into the HOF: Outlook not so good.

Julio Franco

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    It's kind of hard to believe that this is Julio Franco's first year of eligibility for the Hall of Fame.

    Franco played an unbelievable 23 seasons until the age of 48.  The five-time Silver Slugger and three-time All-Star led the American League in average in 1991 (.341) and ended his career with a lifetime .298 average with 2,586 hits.

    Though Franco was always a very good ball player, he never finished higher than eighth in MVP voting.  

    If longevity could get you into the Hall of Fame, Franco would be a no-brainer.  However, with numbers that are merely good and not great, Franco will not be going into the Hall of Fame in 2013—or maybe ever.

    Year on ballot: First

    2013 estimated percentage of vote: 15 percent

    Will he make it into the HOF: Very doubtful.

Shawn Green

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    Shawn Green had a nice 15-year career, but he doesn't have the numbers to get him into the Hall of Fame.

    The two-time All-Star finished his career with a .283 average, 328 home runs and 2003 hits.  He also won a Gold Glove and a Silver Slugger in 1999 while leading the American League in total bases (361) and doubles (45).

    Green's numbers are good, but he never finished higher than fifth in MVP voting.  While he was a very respectable player, I don't see him getting into the Hall of Fame anytime in the near future.

    Year on ballot: First

    2013 estimated percentage of vote: 10 percent

    Will he make it into the HOF: My sources say no.

Roberto Hernandez

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    Roberto Hernandez was a solid relief pitcher in his 17-year big league career.

    The two-time All-Star finished 667 games—good for ninth all time.

    Though he saved 326 games, he was never an elite reliever.  

    Plain and simple—Hernandez will not be going into the Hall of Fame.

    Year on ballot: First

    2013 estimated percentage of vote: Three percent

    Will he make it into the HOF: My reply is no.

Ryan Klesko

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    Ryan Klesko was a solid-hitting left fielder and first baseman in 16 years of big league ball.

    With eight seasons of 20 or more home runs, Klesko had a career .370 on-base percentage and a .500 slugging average.  His .525 slugging as a Brave ranks fourth on their all time list.  He was also the first player to ever hit a home run in three consecutive World Series road games.  

    Though he did some impressive things in his career, Klesko only had a .279 career average, only one season of 100-plus RBI and never received any MVP votes.

    While it was fun watching Klesko play, he still doesn't have anything close to the numbers necessary to get into the Hall of Fame.

    Year on ballot: First

    2013 estimated percentage of vote: Four percent

    Will he make it into the HOF: No, he will not.

Kenny Lofton

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    Kenny Lofton was a consistent base-stealing threat throughout his 17-season career.  

    Lofton has a career .299 batting average, won four Gold Gloves and was voted to six All-Star Games.  He led the American League in stolen bases from 1992-96 and finished with 622 stolen bags—good for 15th all time.  

    While Lofton was always a good player, he was never elite.  He also never finished higher than fourth in MVP voting.  

    Will Lofton make a run at the Hall of Fame one day?  

    I sure hope he does, but with players like Tim Raines (who in my opinion had a better career) still waiting to receive 75 percent of the vote, I don't see Kenny getting into Cooperstown anytime soon.

    Year on ballot: First

    2013 estimated percentage of vote: 27 percent

    Will he make it into the HOF: Reply hazy, try again.

Edgar Martinez

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    Edgar Martinez played 18 years at third base and DH for the Seattle Mariners—and boy could he hit.

    Martinez finished his career with a lifetime .312 batting average, was a seven-time All-Star and led the American League in batting in 1992 (.343) and 1995 (.356).  He also hit 40 or more doubles five times and led the American League in runs in 1995 (121) and RBI in 2000 (145).

    The big thing holding Martinez back is a lack of defensive history—having played the majority of his career at DH.  He also never finished better than third in the American League MVP voting.

    With 36.5 percent of the vote in 2012, Martinez may not make it into the Hall of Fame in 2013, but his impressive offensive numbers will make a good case for his inclusion in the near future.  

    Year on ballot: Fourth

    2013 estimated percentage of vote: 45 percent

    Will he make it into the HOF: Ask again later.

Don Mattingly

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    "Donnie Baseball" is in his 13th year of eligibility for the Hall of Fame.  

    A six-time All-Star and nine-time Gold Glover, Mattingly was considered one of the best players in baseball in the mid-'80s.  

    Mattingly was the 1985 American League MVP, won the American League batting title in 1984, led the league in doubles three straight years (1984-86) and ended his career with a lifetime .307 batting average.

    Though he looked destined to be on his way to Cooperstown early in his career, his period of dominance with the Yankees proved to be too short.

    With 17.8 percent of the vote in 2012, will Mattingly ever get enough votes to make it in?  

    He may not make it in as a player, but with a revamped Los Angeles Dodger team, perhaps he can make a run as a manager sometime in the future.

    Year on ballot: 13th

    2013 estimated percentage of vote: 20 percent

    Will he make it into the HOF: It's doubtful (as a player).

Mark McGwire

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    Mark McGwire is in his seventh year of eligibility for the Hall of Fame.

    The former "Bash Brother" was the 1987 American League Rookie of the Year, led the league in home runs four times, was a 12-time All-Star and retired with 583 career home runs.

    Regardless of the fact that he was the first player in history to hit 70 home runs in a season, he is an admitted performance enhancing drug user and won't be getting enough votes to make it into the Hall of Fame in 2013.  

    Though it seems McGwire has made his peace with Major League Baseball and has come back as a hitting coach with the St. Louis Cardinals and most recently the Los Angeles Dodgers—steroid use will more than likely permanently keep him out of future consideration.

    Year on ballot: Seventh

    2013 estimated percentage of vote: 25 percent

    Will he make it into the HOF: Outlook not so good.

Jose Mesa

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    Jose Mesa had a decent 19-year career playing mostly as a relief pitcher.

    With four years of 40-plus saves, Mesa ranked second in the American League Cy Young and fourth in MVP voting in 1995 (46 saves with a 1.13 ERA).

    With a career 4.36 ERA, he was never consistently dominant.  And though he finished his career with 321 saves, he doesn't have the numbers to make it in.  

    Year on ballot: First

    2013 estimated percentage of vote: Three percent

    Will he make it into the HOF: There's no chance.

Fred McGriff

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    The "Crime Dog" had a brilliant 19-year career playing for six major league teams.  As another hold-over from last year (23.9 percent), he is now in his fourth year of eligibility.  

    McGriff ended his career with 493 home runs, was a five-time All-Star and led the American League in home runs in 1989 (36) and the National League in 1992 (35).  He also owns a .303 lifetime average in 188 postseason at-bats.

    Though he was a dominant power threat for many years, he never reached 500 home runs and never finished higher than fourth in MVP voting.

    McGriff has good numbers, but are they good enough to get him into the Hall of Fame?

    Year on ballot: Fourth

    2013 estimated percentage of vote: 25 percent

    Will he make it into the HOF: Time will tell.

Jack Morris

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    Jack Morris belongs in the Hall of Fame.

    In his 14th year of eligibility, Morris was one of the premiere starting pitchers in the '80s and early '90s.

    With a 254-196 record, a career 3.90 ERA and a three-time 20-game winner, Morris leads all candidates last year with 66.7 percent of the vote.

    Though he never finished higher than third in American League Cy Young voting, Morris deserves to be enshrined in the Hall of Fame.

    Year on ballot: 14th

    2013 estimated percentage of vote: 72 percent

    Will he make it into the HOF: I don't think he'll make it in this year, but don't be surprised if he does.

Dale Murphy

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    Dale Murphy is another guy that arguably has the numbers to get into the Hall of Fame.

    The seven-time All-Star won back-to-back National League MVP awards in 1982 and 1983, won five Gold Gloves, four Silver Sluggers and led the National League in home runs in 1984 (36) and 1985 (37).

    Though he was the face of the Atlanta Braves in the '80s, he still only had a .265 career batting average and only hit 398 home runs with 2,111 hits.

    Regardless of his low batting average, Murphy was synonymous with production and was a consistent contributor in his 18-year career.  

    Year on ballot: 15th

    2013 estimated percentage of vote: 20 percent

    Will he make it into the HOF: It doesn't look good.

Rafael Palmeiro

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    It's sad to say, but Rafael Palmeiro will never make it into the Hall of Fame.

    As one of only four players with 3,000 hits and 500 home runs, Palmeiro was clutch in a 20-year big league career.  

    He led the American League in hits in 1990 (191), doubles in 1991 (49) and runs scored in 1993 (124).  He also hit .300 or better six times.

    Problem is, Palmeiro was suspended for steroid use in 2005.

    Year on ballot: Third

    2013 estimated percentage of vote: 14 percent

    Will he make it into the HOF: It's not going to happen.

Mike Piazza

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    Mike Piazza was like no other catcher of his time—and is arguably the best catcher of all time.

    In his first year of eligibility, it's fair to say that Piazza has a great shot of being inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2013.

    The 1993 National League Rookie of the Year is a 12-time All-Star, a 10-time Silver Slugger and his 427 career home runs are most among any catcher to have ever played the game.  He also had a career .308 batting average in an illustrious 16-year career.  

    Though it was never proven that he used performance enhancing drugs—rumors have persisted throughout the years.  He also never won a World Series or led the league in any major offensive category.

    Regardless, Piazza was always consistent and deserves to be inducted into Cooperstown. 

    Do you agree?

    Year on ballot: First

    2013 estimated percentage of vote: 76 percent

    Will he make it into the HOF: It looks good.  If not this year, then sometime in the near future.

Tim Raines

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    Tim "Rock" Raines, may want to point the blame for still being on the ballot at another ball player.

    In a 23-year career, Raines was always a stolen-base threat, but is overshadowed by all-time leader Rickey Henderson.

    The seven-time All-Star won the 1986 National League batting title (.338), ranks fifth all time with 808 stolen bases, finished in the top seven of MVP voting three times and had a career .294 batting average with a .385 on-base percentage.

    He also never won a MVP award and never reached the 3,000 hits milestone (he had 2,605).

    With 48.7 percent of the vote in 2012, do you think the "Rock" has what it takes to make it into Cooperstown one day?

    Year on ballot: Sixth

    2013 estimated percentage of vote: 53 percent

    Will he make it into the HOF: It's hard to say.  Perhaps Rickey Henderson should put in a call—or two.  

Reggie Sanders

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    Reggie Sanders had a good career, but never put up the kind of numbers you need to get into the Hall of Fame.

    In a 17-year big league career, Sanders hit 20-plus home runs eight-times and was the sixth player in history to have 300 home runs and 300 stolen bases.

    A career .267 hitter, Sanders was a good player—but was never elite.  He also never drove in 100 RBI or had 100 runs scored in a single season.  

    Sanders will not make it into Cooperstown.

    Year on ballot: First

    2013 estimated percentage of vote: Two percent

    Will he make it into the HOF: Not in this lifetime.

Curt Schilling

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    Does Curt Schilling have what it takes to be in the Hall of Fame?

    The six-time All-Star won 20-plus games three times, had 3,115 strikeouts (15th all time), led the National League in wins in 2001 (22) and the American League in wins in 2004 (21).  He also led the National League in strikeouts in 1997 (319) and 1993 (300) and finished second in Cy Young voting in 2001, 2002 and 2004.

    Though his regular-season play was impressive, it is what Schilling did in the postseason that really stands out.  In 19 postseason starts, he owns an 11-2 record with a 2.23 ERA.  He also won two World Series and was voted World Series MVP in 2001.  

    Though Schilling never won a Cy Young award, he undeniably had some electrifying numbers and should be seriously considered for induction sometime in the near future.  

    Year on ballot: First

    2013 estimated percentage of vote: 62 percent

    Will he make it into the HOF: Probably not this year, but I think he'll eventually get in.

Aaron Sele

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    Sele was a decent pitcher—but not Hall of Fame worthy.

    In a 15-year career, the two-time All-Star never won 20 games in a season.  

    He also ended his career with a modest 148-112 record and a 4.61 career ERA.

    Wish I had more to write about him, but this will most likely be the first and last year you will see Sele on the ballot.

    Year on ballot: First

    2013 estimated percentage of vote: One percent

    Will he make it into the HOF: It's not going to happen.

Lee Smith

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    Lee Smith is another one of those guys who probably deserves to be in the Hall of Fame, but who may never get the opportunity.

    When he retired in 1997, Smith was the career leader in saves with 478.  He also led the league in saves four times and finished in the top five of Cy Young voting three times.  

    While there are only five relievers currently enshrined—Smith was a pioneer at his position in a time when the save statistic was not highly regarded.

    Will he make it into Cooperstown?  

    Unfortunately, I don't think it's in the cards.

    Year on ballot: 11th

    2013 estimated percentage of vote: 48 percent

    Will he make it into the HOF: It probably won't ever happen.

Sammy Sosa

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    One player who probably would have never had the career that he did without steroids, is Sammy Sosa.

    The 1998 National League MVP was a seven-time All-Star and six-time Silver Slugger.  He had three seasons of 60-plus home runs, led the National League in home runs in 2000 (50) and 2002 (49) and in RBI in 1998 (158) and 2001 (160).  He also finished seventh all time in home runs with 609.

    He put up some big numbers during his career—but he will never be inducted into the Hall of Fame.  

    Though there is no concrete proof that Sosa used performance enhancing drugs, his gaudy numbers during a time when steroid usage was running rampant will surely exclude Sosa from inclusion into Cooperstown.  

    Year on ballot: First

    2013 estimated percentage of vote: 17 percent

    Will he make it into the HOF: Not a chance.  

Mike Stanton

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    Mike Stanton does not have the necessary numbers to make it into the Hall of Fame.

    Though he appeared in one All-Star Game and had a 5-2 record with a 2.10 ERA in postseason play—Stanton was never an elite relief pitcher.

    In 19 seasons, he had a 68-63 record and a 3.92 ERA with only 84 career saves—no where near the stats you need to get in.

    Year on ballot: First

    2013 estimated percentage of vote: One percent

    Will he make it into the HOF: No, he will not.

Alan Trammell

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    Alan Trammell is yet another guy that may deserve to be in the Hall of Fame—but will he ever get in?

    The 11-time holdover was the face of the Tigers during the '80s.  He was a six-time All-Star, four-time Gold Glover and three-time Silver Slugger.  

    In 20 seasons with the Tigers, he had a career .352 on-base percentage and was the MVP of the 1984 World Series.  He also finished second in the 1987 American League MVP voting.

    Though he was a consistent contributor on the field, he never led the league in any offensive category.  

    Trammell was a leader, but will the Baseball Writer's Association find that enough to induct him into the Hall?

    Year on ballot: 12th

    2013 estimated percentage of vote: 32 percent

    Will he make it into the HOF: Probably not.

Larry Walker

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    Wasn't it fun to watch Larry Walker hit?

    The 1997 National League MVP was also a five-time All-Star, seven-time Gold Glover, three-time Silver Slugger and a three-time National League batting champ.  

    Walker had many impressive years, but still only had 383 home runs, 2,160 hits and owns a lifetime .230 average in 100 postseason at-bats.

    Though he was a beast at the plate, it may be tough for Walker to make it in.

    Year on ballot: Third

    2013 estimated percentage of vote: 26 percent

    Will he make it into the HOF: I hope he does, but not quite sure he will.

Todd Walker

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    Todd Walker will not be going into the Hall of Fame.

    Walker had a solid glove and a career .289 batting average over 12 seasons.

    However, he was never a dominant player and only hit .300 or better twice.

    Year on ballot: First

    2013 estimated percentage of vote: One percent

    Will he make it into the HOF: No, and I still don't know how he made it on the list.

David Wells

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    David Wells was a very good left-handed pitcher.

    In 21 seasons, Boomer won 15 or more games nine times, finished in the top three in Cy Young voting twice, had a 239-157 record and threw a perfect game in 1998.  

    He was also a clutch postseason performer with a 10-5 record and 3.17 ERA.

    Wells was solid, but never won a Cy Young award and may not have enough career wins.

    Year on ballot: First

    2013 estimated percentage of vote: 26 percent

    Will he make it into the HOF: Probably not.

Rondell White

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    Former 1990 first-round pick Rondell White had an average career.

    He had a lifetime .284 average, 198 home runs and 768 RBI.

    He made one All-Star Game—but doesn't have what it takes to get in.

    Year on ballot: First

    2013 estimated percentage of vote: One percent

    Will he make it into the HOF: Absolutely not.

Bernie Williams

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    I'm sure every Yankees fan thinks Bernie Williams should be in the Hall of Fame.

    The five-time All-Star was also the 1998 American League batting champ (.339) and had 22 postseason home runs to add to four World Series Rings.  

    Williams never finished higher than seventh in MVP voting and only has 2,336 hits and 287 home runs—not the kind of numbers you need to get in.

    Sorry, Yankee fans, but Bernie Williams is not getting into Cooperstown.

    Year on ballot: Second

    2013 estimated percentage of vote: 12 percent

    Will he make it into the HOF: It won't happen.

Woody Williams

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    Texas born Woody Williams will also not make it into the Hall of Fame.

    The right-hander had an unimpressive 132-116 record with with a 4.19 ERA in 2,216.1 innings pitched.

    It's fair to say that those numbers will not get him past the first ballot.

    Year on ballot: First

    2013 estimated percentage of vote: One percent

    Will he make it into the HOF: No, he will not.

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