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Ranking the 2016 Baseball Hall of Fame Class' Biggest Snubs

Joel ReuterFeatured ColumnistJanuary 6, 2016

Ranking the 2016 Baseball Hall of Fame Class' Biggest Snubs

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    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    The 2016 MLB Hall of Fame class has officially been announced, and this year it will be Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza joining the hallowed halls of the game's immortals.

    According to BBWAA.com, Griffey picked up a record 99.3 percent of the votes in his first year of eligibility, while Piazza earned induction in his fourth year on the ballot with 83.0 percent of the vote.

    While those two players were both deserving of enshrinement, there were once again a number of notable snubs, and that's what we'll focus on here.

    Ahead is a look at the five biggest snubs of the 2016 Hall of Fame class, with overall case for induction and length of time on the ballot the two biggest factors in where they were ranked.

A Quick Note on Other Notable Snubs

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    Trevor Hoffman
    Trevor HoffmanLENNY IGNELZI/Associated Press

    The following five players ranked as the biggest snubs of this year's class, but they were by no means the only snubs on what was once again a deep ballot.

    Trevor Hoffman retired with 601 career saves, and the fact that the National League Reliever of the Year award is now called the "Trevor Hoffman Award" speaks to his enduring legacy.

    That said, the Hall has always been stingy when it comes to inducting relievers, and he's in a good spot with 67.3 percent of the vote in his first go-around. Few expected him to be a first-ballot inductee, so his not quite getting there doesn't rank as a major snub.

    Edgar Martinez is hurt by the fact that he primarily played designated hitter, but he is one of just two eligible players with a .300/.400/.500 career triple-slash line who are not enshrined (Larry Walker is the other). His 68.3 career WAR only further illustrates how valuable he was, even without playing defense.

    Jeff Kent is one of the best offensive second basemen to ever play the game and probably deserves more support than he's received, and Larry Walker was far more than just a beneficiary of Coors Field.

    On the bottom of the ballot, it was very surprising to see Jim Edmonds not gain the necessary 5 percent of the vote to remain on the ballot. He was a highlight-reel defender in center field and an elite slugger for much of his career, as he finished with 393 home runs and 1,199 RBI.

    There's no sense diving into the case for/against Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, as that's not the purpose of this article, but some would certainly consider them snubs once again.

5. Snubbed from Induction (Less Than 75 Percent of Vote): Mike Mussina

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    Mike Mussina
    Mike MussinaKathy Willens/Associated Press

    Career Stats

    StatsGSWERAERA+WHIPKIPWAR
    Mussina5362703.681231.1922,8133,562.282.7
    vs. HOF SP25tht-27th54tht-25th31st15th37th22nd

    *54 current Hall of Fame starting pitchers

     

    2016 Vote Total: 189 (43.0 percent)

     

    Why He Deserved to Be Inducted

    Matt Snyder of CBS Sports wrote a great piece Tuesday about how an entire generation of pitchers from the steroid era are not getting their due in the eyes of Hall of Fame voters, and Mike Mussina is the perfect example of that opinion.

    He didn't reach 300 wins, and his 3.68 ERA doesn't look amazing on the surface, but his 123 ERA+ is better than a number of immortal names and his 82.7 WAR checks in at 58th among all players, pitchers or otherwise.

    Mussina was a consistent front-line arm, whether it was early in his career with the Baltimore Orioles or later on when he moved to the New York Yankees.

    He won 15 or more games 11 times and also topped the 200-inning mark in 11 different seasons. In the final season of his career, he went 20-9 with a 3.37 ERA at the age of 39 to further demonstrate his impressive sustained success.

    Beyond guys who have already been inducted, such as Randy Johnson, Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, Pedro Martinez and John Smoltz, there may not have been a better pitcher from that generation.

    A significant leap from 24.6 percent of the vote last year to 43.0 percent this time around is a good sign going forward, but it could still be a few years before he's legitimately challenging for enshrinement.

4. Snubbed from Induction (Less Than 75 Percent of Vote): Curt Schilling

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    Curt Schilling
    Curt SchillingMATT YORK/Associated Press

    Career Stats

    StatsGSWERAERA+WHIPKIPWAR
    Schilling4362163.461271.1373,1163,26180.7
    vs. HOF SP39th42nd50tht-17th15th14th42nd23rd

    *54 current Hall of Fame starting pitchers

     

    2016 Vote Total: 230 (52.3 percent)

     

    Why He Deserved to Be Inducted

    From a traditional numbers standpoint, Curt Schilling does not look like a Hall of Famer, as his 216 wins and 3.46 ERA are good but not great numbers.

    However, it's become clearer that wins and ERA are far from the best gauge of how good a pitcher was, especially when trying to compare across generations.

    The ERA+ stat adjusts for park and league factors, and the 127 ERA+ posted by Schilling would rank 17th among Hall of Fame starting pitchers, ahead of names such as Jim Palmer, Juan Marichal, Bob Feller, Warren Spahn and others.

    Schilling never won a Cy Young award, but he finished second in the voting three different times. He was undoubtedly one of the game's elite starters during his peak.

    The real cherry on top for Schilling, though, is his postseason track record.

    In 19 playoff starts, he went 11-2 with a 2.23 ERA, 0.968 WHIP and 120 strikeouts in 133.1 innings. Few were better when the lights were brightest.

3. Snubbed from Induction (Less Than 75 Percent of Vote): Tim Raines

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    Tim Raines
    Tim RainesUncredited/Associated Press

    Career Stats

    StatsBAOPSH2BHRRBIRSBWAR
    Raines.294.8102,6054301709801,57180869.1
    *vs. HOF OFt-48th51st31st31st31st47th23rd5th20th

    *61 current Hall of Fame outfielders

     

    2016 Vote Total: 307 (69.8 percent)

     

    Why He Deserved to Be Inducted

    After receiving just 24.3 percent of the vote in his first year on the ballot back in 2008, support for Tim Raines has been steadily climbing to an all-time high of 69.8 percent this year.

    While Raines lacks the traditional counting numbers generally associated with Hall of Fame worthiness, his standing as one of the greatest leadoff hitters of all time makes his case a compelling one.

    His .385 on-base percentage and 808 stolen bases, which are good for fifth of all time, show what a difference-making table-setter he was for the Montreal Expos during the prime of his career.

    The most compelling case for Raines is a straight-up comparison to Lou Brock, whom most consider to be a no-brainer Hall of Fame choice.

    While Brock reached the 3,000-hit mark and tallied an impressive 938 steals, Raines has him bested in a number of others areas. That includes all three triple-slash categories (Brock hit .293/.343/.410), as well as WAR, where Raines holds a significant 69.1 to 45.2 edge.

    That leap from 55.0 percent of the vote in 2015 to 69.8 percent this year is a good sign voters are warming up to the idea of inducting Raines, and he'll need to pick up that extra 5.2 percent next year in what will be his 10th and final year of eligibility.

2. Snubbed from Induction (Less Than 75 Percent of Vote): Jeff Bagwell

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    Jeff Bagwell
    Jeff BagwellStephen Dunn/Getty Images

    Career Stats

    StatsBAOPSH2BHRRBIRSBWAR
    Bagwell.297.9482,3144884491,5291,51720279.6
    *vs. HOF 1Bt-12th5th10th5th5th8th8th7th5th

    *17 current Hall of Fame first basemen

     

    2016 Vote Total: 315 (71.6 percent)

     

    Why He Deserved to Be Inducted

    Jeff Bagwell may have fallen short of the 500-homer milestone, but there is little question he ranks as one of the best run producers the game has ever seen.

    While he does rank in the top 50 all time in home runs (449, 38th) and RBI (1,529, 49th), it is his .948 OPS that best demonstrates his status as an elite slugger. 

    That mark is good for 21st, and it puts him ahead of guys such as Mel Ott (.947), Willie Mays (.941), Frank Robinson (.926), Mike Schmidt (.908) and many more all-time greats and current Hall of Famers.

    After failing to garner 60 percent of the vote in each of his first five years on the ballot and previously topping out at 59.6 percent, Bagwell saw a significant spike in support this year, as his balloting climbed to 71.6 percent.

    He's getting close, and 2017 may very well be the year he finally earns enshrinement.

1. Snubbed from Induction/Out of Eligibility: Alan Trammell

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    Alan Trammell
    Alan TrammellRich Pilling/Getty Images

    Career Stats

    StatsBAOPSH2BHRRBIRSBWAR
    Trammell.285.7672,3654121851,0031,23123670.4
    *vs. HOF SSt-11tht-12th9th9th4th9th12th10th8th

    *20 current Hall of Fame shortstops

     

    2016 Vote Total: 180 (40.9 percent of the vote)

     

    Why He Deserved to Be Inducted

    A strong case can be made that Alan Trammell is one of the 10-15 best shortstops to ever play the game, and he also stands up in comparison to his peers, as he was one of the elite players of the 1980s.

    A six-time All-Star and the 1984 World Series MVP, Trammell was one of the first true middle-of-the-order threats at the shortstop position and the leader of some very good Detroit Tigers teams alongside double-play partner Lou Whitaker.

    Trammell had previously peaked at 36.8 percent of the vote in his 11th year on the ballot, and while he did see a late surge in support to get that total to 40.9 percent, that still left him well short of enshrinement.

    He'll now have to rely on the Veterans Committee if he's ever going to be inducted, and the fact that he falls off the ballot earns him the title of biggest snub from this year's class.

     

    All stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com, unless otherwise noted. Rank among Hall of Fame players established via Play Index from Baseball-Reference. Position players needed to play at least 50 percent of their games to be considered for a position, while pitchers had to be used as a starter 75 percent of the time and pitch at least 1,000 innings to be considered.

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