Final Predictions for 2023 MLB Hall of Fame Voting Results
The 2023 Baseball Hall of Fame voting results will be revealed Tuesday at 6 p.m. ET on MLB Network. Holdovers Todd Helton, Scott Rolen, Billy Wagner and Andruw Jones are looking to finally make it over the 75 percent threshold in voting, while Carlos Beltrán leads a relatively thin list of newcomers on the ballot.
Before the results are released, it's time for one final round of predictions on how the voting will play out this year.
These predictions could not have been made without the early voting data tirelessly compiled by Ryan Thibodaux and his team at Baseball Hall of Fame Vote Tracker and his data from past years.
Will anyone garner the necessary voting support to join Contemporary Era Committee selection Fred McGriff as part of the 2023 Hall of Fame class?
Which holdovers will take another step forward toward possible enshrinement in 2024?
Let's get to the predictions.
Carlos Beltrán and Francisco Rodríguez Will Be the Only First-Timers to Stick Around
Based on a projected number of ballots expected to be cast, it will take 20 votes to receive the 5 percent necessary to stay on the ballot for another year.
Carlos Beltrán (104 votes) has already assured himself another year of consideration, while Francisco Rodríguez (17 votes) should get there as well with less than half of the ballots currently revealed.
That leaves 12 players on their way to being one-and-done on the ballot:
- R.A. Dickey (1 vote)
- Huston Street (1 vote)
- Bronson Arroyo (0 votes)
- Matt Cain (0 votes)
- Jacoby Ellsbury (0 votes)
- Andre Ethier (0 votes)
- J.J. Hardy (0 votes)
- John Lackey (0 votes)
- Mike Napoli (0 votes)
- Jhonny Peralta (0 votes)
- Jered Weaver (0 votes)
- Jayson Werth (0 votes)
Along with those 12 players falling off the ballot, outfielder Torii Hunter (6 votes) is also on pace to fall short of 5 percent in his third year of eligibility. He received 9.5 percent of the vote in his first year, but that dipped to just above the cut line at 5.3 percent in 2022.
Jeff Kent Will Fall Short in His Final Year of Eligibility
One of the biggest storylines in last year's Hall of Fame vote was Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Curt Schilling all entering their 10th and final year of eligibility and ultimately falling off the ballot without earning induction. This year, second baseman Jeff Kent is the only player in his final year of consideration, and it looks like he too will fall short.
He failed to reach 20 percent support in each of his first six years on the ballot, but has gained momentum in recent years with 27.5 percent in 2020, 32.4 percent in 2021 and 32.7 percent last year.
It looks like that modest push will be too little, too late. He is trending at 51.6 percent support and will therefore need to appear on 95 percent of the remaining ballots to gain induction.
With 377 home runs, 1,518 RBI and a 123 OPS+, he is undoubtedly one of the most productive offensive second basemen in MLB history. However, with 55.4 WAR for his career because of his defensive limitations, he ranks just 18th all-time among second basemen, and well behind non-Hall of Famers such as Lou Whitaker (75.1), Bobby Grich (71.1) and Willie Randolph (65.9).
Gary Sheffield Will Move Within Striking Distance Before His Final Year
With 509 home runs (26th all-time) and 1,676 RBI (30th all-time), outfielder Gary Sheffield has a Hall of Fame resume, but steroid allegations continue to cloud his legacy.
While Sheffield never tested positive, he was named in the Mitchell Report and is also featured in the book Game of Shadows, which details his alleged involvement with trainer Greg Anderson and links him to the BALCO scandal.
Despite those lingering questions, things are trending in the right direction in his ninth year of eligibility.
- 2015: 11.7 percent
- 2016: 11.6 percent
- 2017: 13.3 percent
- 2018: 11.1 percent
- 2019: 13.6 percent
- 2020: 30.5 percent
- 2021: 40.6 percent
- 2022: 40.6 percent
- 2023: 62.9 percent
Take it with a grain of salt since his support total dropped from 48.8 to 40.6 percent last year once the private ballot results were released, but he is trending at 62.9 percent of the vote, which would still represent a significant step forward ahead of his final year.
There's still a chance he could get there in 2024.
Alex Rodriguez and Manny Ramirez Will Receive a Healthy Bump
With Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens no longer on the ballot, it seems some of their votes are now going to Manny Ramirez, who is seeing some real movement in support for the first time:
- 2017: 23.8 percent
- 2018: 22.0 percent
- 2019: 22.8 percent
- 2020: 28.2 percent
- 2021: 28.2 percent
- 2022: 28.9 percent
- 2023: 37.6 percent
Likewise, Alex Rodriguez has also seen a uptick in his support after a modest return in his first year on the ballot:
- 2022: 34.3 percent
- 2023: 40.3 percent
The voting results that Barry Bonds received will be an intriguing side-by-side comparison for Alex Rodriguez throughout his time on the ballot, and Bonds did not break 40 percent until his fourth year on the ballot.
Both players still face an uphill battle given their ties to performance-enhancing drugs. Rodriguez has admitted to using PEDs during his time with the Texas Rangers, while Ramirez was suspended multiple times in his career for testing positive for a banned substance.
Andruw Jones Will See Another Spike in Support, Have a Serious Shot in 2024
With 434 home runs and 10 Gold Glove Awards over the course of his 17-year career, Andruw Jones stands as one of the best two-way center fielders in MLB history, even though his production was limited after his age-30 season.
After virtually non-existent support his first two years on the ballot, things have steadily spiked over the past three years, and he is in line for another significant jump in support this year based on the early results:
- 2018: 7.3 percent
- 2019: 7.5 percent
- 2020: 19.4 percent
- 2021: 33.9 percent
- 2022: 41.4 percent
- 2023: 68.3 percent
It's unlikely he'll appear on the necessary 81.2 percent of remaining ballots to get over the hump, but that his support will climb north of 60.0 percent seems like a reasonable prediction, and that would put him in a great position to get the nod in 2024.
Billy Wagner Will Finish in the 65-70 Percent Range, Coast to Induction in 2024
Hot take: Billy Wagner is the best left-handed reliever in baseball history and should already be in the Hall of Fame.
The flame-throwing closer ranks sixth on the all-time list with 422 saves, and he converted them at an 85.9 percent success rate that is better than Hall of Famers Dennis Eckersley (84.6 percent), Lee Smith (82.3 percent), Rollie Fingers (75.8 percent), Hoyt Wilhelm (75.5 percent), Bruce Sutter (74.8 percent) and Rich Gossage (73.5 percent).
Despite that resume, he failed to receive 20 percent of the vote in his first four years on the ballot before seeing a steady climb in recent years:
- 2020: 31.7 percent
- 2021: 46.4 percent
- 2022: 51.0 percent
- 2023: 73.7 percent
He is now knocking on the door of the 75 percent mark, and while there is still an outside chance he could make it in 2023, my best guess is that he'll finish somewhere between 65 and 70 percent and comfortably make the final leap in 2024.
Todd Helton Will Fall Just Short of the 75 Percent Threshold
Todd Helton has enjoyed the biggest uptick in support on the 2023 ballot.
The longtime Colorado Rockies first baseman was trending in the right direction in his first four years on the ballot, and induction seemed like a realistic possibility before his 10 years of eligibility were over:
- 2019: 16.5 percent
- 2020: 29.2 percent
- 2021: 44.9 percent
- 2022: 52.0 percent
- 2023: 80.1 percent
At first glance, he looks like a candidate to bridge the 23 percentage-point gap from last year's results to earn induction.
However, it's rare that a player sees such a significant spike in voting totals unless it's his final year on the ballot, so expect that number to dip once post-results and private ballots are taken into account as was the case last year.
We're predicting he falls just a handful of votes short, which will make him a shoo-in to get the call in 2024.
Scott Rolen Will Be a Hall of Famer in 2023
Scott Rolen is one of the best third basemen in MLB history with a resume that should have put him in the Hall of Fame long before his sixth year of eligibility.
With 70.1 WAR for his career, he ranks ninth all-time among third basemen, behind seven current Hall of Famers and Adrián Beltré, who is expected to be a first-ballot selection in 2024.
His candidacy has really gained steam in the past two years:
- 2018: 10.2 percent
- 2019: 17.2 percent
- 2020: 35.3 percent
- 2021: 52.9 percent
- 2022: 63.2 percent
- 2023: 79.0 percent
With longtime holdovers Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Curt Schilling all falling off the ballot and a weak first-time class, the stage is set for Rolen to headline the 2023 Hall of Fame class.
He is trending at 79.0 percent support, which doesn't give him a ton of flexibility if things dip once private ballots are released, but his strong foundation number from 2022 gives him a much better chance of holding above the 75 percent line than Todd Helton.
We're predicting he sits somewhere between 75 and 80 percent to join Fred McGriff as part of the 2023 Baseball Hall of Fame class.
Stats courtesy of Baseball Reference. Voting results accurate as of 9 p.m. ET Monday and through 186 public ballots.