2014 Baseball Hall of Fame Class: Breaking Down Most Likely Inductees

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2014 Baseball Hall of Fame Class: Breaking Down Most Likely Inductees
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Well, the 2013 Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony came and went Sunday, marking the first time no living candidates had made the cut.

Perhaps the most notable exclusion was former Houston Astros second baseman Craig Biggio, who missed entering the Hall of Fame by a small percentage of votes

Biggio will be eligible to be inducted next year, though. There will also be several intriguing first-ballot Hall of Fame inductees.

Here's a look at the players who I expect to be inducted in 2014.

Greg Maddux, SP

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This should be a no-brainer. Greg Maddux is widely considered to be one of the greatest pitchers to ever play the game of baseball. He's a four-time Cy Young Award winner, an eight-time All-Star, an 18-time Gold Glove Award winner and a champion. His mark of 355 career wins ranks eighth all-time. He also ranks 10th all-time in strikeouts (3,371).

Beyond that, Maddux has never been linked to performance-enhancing drugs, which is why many of the candidates will never make it into the Hall of Fame.

Craig Biggio, 2B/C

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Craig Biggio is a seven-time All-Star, four-time Gold Glove Award winner and a five-time Silver Slugger Award winner. He ranks 20th all-time in hits (3,060), 14th all-time in runs (1,844) and fifth all-time in doubles (668). 

Biggio received 68.2 percent of the vote in 2013, so it's likely that he hits the required mark of 75 percent in 2014. The first-ballot candidates next year (like Greg Maddux, for example) may hurt Biggio's chances, though.

Frank Thomas, 1B/DH

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Who has the best chance of making the cut in 2014?

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Frank Thomas, aka "The Big Hurt," notched two MVPs, five All-Star selections and four Silver Slugger awards during his 19-year Major League Baseball career. The 6'5", 240-pounder ranks 14th all-time in OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage), 18th in home runs (521), 22nd in RBI (1,704), fourth in sacrifice flies and 10th in walks.

And for those who question whether Thomas took performance-enhancing drugs, he has always been a big man. It's highly doubtful that he did PEDs. It would be surprising if Thomas was excluded next year.

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