Due to David Ortiz’s struggles last season and early this season, many people have speculated over whether or not Big Papi is done.
In short, I think he is nearing the end.
I am sure he still has a few good games left in him, but I would venture to guess that even the most diehard member of Red Sox nation would agree that his best years are behind him.
Whenever a player of Ortiz’s caliber nears the end of his career, the conversation almost always switches to a discussion of whether or not said player will make it to the Hall of Fame.
Thus, let’s take a look at Big Papi’s credentials.
In his 14-year career Ortiz has hit .281 with 318 home runs, 1,072 RBI, 1,466 hits, 385 doubles, 893 runs scored, and a .543 slugging percentage. He also struck out 1,126 times.
These numbers show a good career that anyone would be proud of, but are they really Hall of Fame worthy?
I don’t think so.
Of all of the above categories, there is only one where he breaks the top 100, and that is slugging percentage, where he is No. 29—though if he continues to play as he has recently, that will steadily drop.
He will likely crack the top 100 in home runs at some point this season.
He was an important part of two World Series champion teams, but lots of players have won multiple championships and aren’t in the Hall of Fame.
He really only had about five great years in his 14 total. During his six years in Minnesota he did very little worth talking about, and over the last three years his numbers have steadily declined.
Were it not for a late-season push last year, I don’t know that the Red Sox would continue to be as patient as they have been this season.
During those five or so years of glory, there was probably not a more clutch hitter in all of baseball. With the game on the line, there was nothing sweeter to Red Sox fans than to see Big Papi step to the plate.
He earned that respect during that time, but those days are long gone now. No one knows what has caused such a rapid drop-off for such a great hitter, but time may have just caught up with him.
Now he may turn it around again this season and somehow squeak out a few more, but it would take him returning to his mid-2000s form for him to have a shot at the Hall of Fame.
David Ortiz had a good career, and definitely a stretch of greatness for about five years, but it just doesn’t add up to the Hall of Fame for me.