In Major League history, only seven pitchers rank ahead of Troy Percival on the all-time saves leader board.
Two (Lee Smith and Dennis Eckersley) are Hall of Famers. Two more (Trevor Hoffman and Mariano Rivera) are sure to join them. Another two (John Franco and Billy Wagner) have good outside shots.
The man standing between Troy Percival and the Hall of Fame is Jeff Reardon.
Percival amassed 358 saves over 13 big league seasons with the Angels, Tigers, Cardinals and Rays. Reardon saved 367 games over 16 seasons for the Mets, Expos, Twins, Red Sox, Braves, Reds and Yankees.
Reardon and Percival are both four-time All Stars, and World Series Champions (Percival in 2002 with Anaheim and Reardon with the 1987 Twins).
Reardon only had one year of eligibility, in 2000, receiving only 4.8% of the vote.
There are several other factors against Percival's favor. He has never led the league in saves, and has a career high of 42.
The player he best compares to, according to baseball-reference.com, is Rob Nen. At the age of 29, he best compared to Trevor Hoffman.
Some things that swing the vote towards the Man of Troy's favor: he is one of only six Angels pitchers to strike out 100+ batters without starting a game and he is the Angels' career saves leader.
He also has more saves than Rollie Fingers or Bruce Sutter.
He scores a 96 on the Hall of Fame Monitor Test, where a 100 designates a likely HOFer
I think that Percival just misses the Hall of Fame. If he had a couple more seasons like the one he had in 2002 (World Series Champ, 4-1, 1.92 ERA with 40 saves and 68 strikeouts), or if he hadn't missed several months with injury, I think he'd have a better shot of making it.
Tell me what you think!