2011 Baseball Hall of Fame: In or Out?

D.A.Senior Writer IAugust 15, 2010

2011 Baseball Hall of Fame: In or Out?

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    With the 2010 class recently inducted, we can look forward to the 2011 class. 

    There are really only two surefire locks to be inducted in 2011, and one tossup first ballot.

    Here is a list of candidates who will appear on the ballot and whether or not they will get inducted in 2011. 

    This is not indicative of whether or not they'll get in at all, JUST in 2011.

Bert Blyleven: In

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    One of the great injustices in sports, like Chris Mullin's omission in basketball, is that Blyleven has yet to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. The guy is fifth ALL-TIME in Major League history in strikeouts (3,071). No other eligible player with 3,000 strikeouts is not in the Hall. 

    If Jim Bunning is in, then why exclude Blyleven? Compare their career statistics:
    Bunning: 224-184, 3.27 ERA, 2,855 Ks, 1.18 WHIP, 2.86 K/BB, 114 ERA+
    Blyleven: 287-250, 3.31 ERA, 3,701 Ks, 1.20 WHIP, 2.80 K/BB, 118 ERA+

    With 74.2% in the last round of balloting, Blyleven is virtually guaranteed to be in the 2011 class on his 14th try.

Barry Larkin: Out

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    Barry Larkin will make the Hall of Fame one day, just not in 2011. He garnered 51.6% on his first try. 

    Larkin was a lifelong Red with nine Silver Sluggers and three Gold Gloves. He was the National League's Most Valuable Player in 1995.

    He finished his career with 379 stolen bases, a .295 batting average, and 2,340 hits. Jayson Stark calls Larkin the most underrated shortstop of all-time.

Roberto Alomar: In

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    If he wasn't such a hothead, he probably would have gotten in on the first ballot. Alomar was one of the greatest all-around second basemen in baseball history. 

    Alomar boasts ten Gold Gloves and four Silver Sluggers. He's a career .300 batter with 210 home runs and 474 stolen bases. He also won two World Series championships with the Blue Jays.

    Alomar got 73.7% on his first attempt, and will likely get the necessary 75% in 2011.

Edgar Martinez: Out

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    Edgar Martinez will eventually get into the Hall of Fame, but will have to wait some years, garnering 36.2% of the vote in 2010.

    Martinez is arguably the greatest Designated Hitter of all-time. If Jim Rice can get as one of the most feared hitters of his generation, that should be good enough for Martinez. 

    Martinez finished with 309 home runs, .312 career batting average, .418 on-base percentage, and a 147 OPS+.

    I wasn't totally convinced Edgar should get in until I read this article: http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/hof10/news/story?id=4755544

Jeff Bagwell: In

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    I don't know whether he'll get in on his first try, but I think he should. Bagwell's numbers were explosive, and had he not been injured, they would've skyrocketed.

    Bagwell was the National League's Most Valuable Player in 1994, Rookie of the Year in 1991 and three-time Silver Slugger.

    His numbers across the board are impressive:
    .297 batting average, 449 HR, 1,529 RBI, 1,401 BB, .408 OBP, .540 SLG, and 202 SB 

Larry Walker: Out

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    Walker won't get in on his first try, although he might get in eventually. He's really the definition of a toss-up candidate.

    Walker is heavily decorated with three Silver Sluggers, six Gold Gloves and the 1997 National League's Most Valuable Player. He has a career .313 average and .400 on-base percentage. 

    His overall numbers don't pop out at you with 383 home runs, 1,311 RBI and 2,160 hits.

Mark McGwire: Out

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    McGwire will not get in the Hall of Fame in the near future, garnering 23.7% of the vote in 2010.

    McGwire used steroids and finally admitted to it. His .263 batting average and 1,626 hits are also not very impressive. But obviously what's holding him back is the steroid controversy.

    However, it's hard to ignore his 583 home runs and .394 on-base percentage. McGwire is also first all-time in at-bats per home run.

Jack Morris: Out

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    We all know the legend of Jack Morris. He pitched ten innings of shut-out baseball to give the Twins the World Series in 1991. He also won World Series titles with three different teams. 

    That doesn't represent his career in whole. If inducted, he would have the highest ERA of any pitcher. His WHIP is also incredibly high.

    Stats: 254-186, 3.90 ERA, 2,478 Ks, 1.78 K/BB, 1.30 WHIP, 105 ERA+

Lee Smith: Out

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    Lee Smith won't be inducted into the Hall of Fame anytime soon. He garnered 47.3% of the vote in 2010.

    It's hard to determine a closer's worthiness in the Hall of Fame. I think it's a specialized position that deserves to be recognized, but that seems to be a minority opinion. Maybe the tides will turn when Mariano Rivera and Trevor Hoffman are inducted. Smith is third all-time in saves with 478.

    The negatives are his high ERA (3.03) and WHIP (1.26) for a closer and his atrocious postseason numbers (0-2, 8.44 ERA).

Tim Raines: Out

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    Raines is another player that might eventually get in, but not anytime soon. He got 30.4% of the vote in 2010.

    Raines is fifth all-time in stolen bases with 808 and had an impressive 85% successful stolen base rate. Tim Raines has reached base more times than Tony Gwynn has, and helped redefine the leadoff position as more than just speed.

    Stats: .294 average, .385 OBP, 2,605 hits, 808 stolen bases

    Here is an interesting discussion between two baseball experts on Raines' candidacy: http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/hof08/news/story?id=3169953

Rafael Palmeiro: Out

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    Took steroids, lied about it to Congress, and what was one of the great baseball careers became tarnished.

    Only four players in Major League Baseball history have done what Palmeiro has done, joining the 500 HR/3,000 hit club with 569 career home runs and 3,020 hits. His 1,835 RBI ranks 15th all-time.

    He won't get inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Juan Gonzalez: Out

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    Dale Murphy. Roger Maris. And now Juan Gonzalez. These three players as of 2011 will be the only two-time MVP winners not elected to the Hall of Fame. 

    The issue again is Gonzalez's connection to steroids. Even pushing steroids aside, his 434 home runs, .343 on-base percentage, and less than 2,000 hits aren't impressive.

    He won't get in based on steroids, but even without the connection, his chances weren't that great.

Best of the Rest

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    Fred McGriff: Out
    McGriff has got to be one of the most screwed over players in baseball history. Had there not been a strike in 1994, McGriff would be well over 500 home runs and easily in Cooperstown. Instead, he was seven home runs shy of the 500 club and 10 hits shy of 2,500. He should be inducted in the future.

    Alan Trammell: Out
    Trammell is going to have to wait for the Veteran's committee, with his induction percentages going up and down. He's got four Gold Gloves and three Silver Sluggers. He should be inducted one day.

    Don Mattingly: Out
    Mattingly colleceted nine Gold Gloves, three Silver Sluggers, and an MVP award, but his career was relatively short. He received 16.1% last year and will likely never make it in.

    Dale Murphy: Out
    Murphy won five Gold Gloves, four Silver Sluggers, and two MVP awards. Those were all won in a concentrated period of time and Murphy's overall numbers aren't eye-popping.

    John Olerud: Out
    500 career doubles, .398 OBP, and three Gold Gloves. Other than than, Olerud doesn't have much on his Hall of Fame resume.

    John Franco: Out
    See: Lee Smith slide

    Kevin Brown: Out
    Brown did steroids. He is 63 wins over .500 in his career and his 3.28 ERA is respectable. But steroids will keep him out.

    Harold Baines: Out
    Very good player, not a Hall of Famer. He has the most RBI of any eligible player not in the Hall of Fame. 

The rest of the eligibles...

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    Here's a list of the rest of the eligible players in 2011 that really won't be seriously considered. (*denotes steroid link)

    BJ Surhoff
    Tino Martinez
    Marquis Grissom (might get a couple of votes)
    Bret Boone
    Al Leiter (might get a couple of votes)
    Benito Santiago*
    Carlos Baerga
    Raul Mondesi
    Bobby Higginson
    Wilson Alvarez
    Rey Sanchez
    Charles Johnson
    Jose Offerman
    Rey Sanchez
    Ugueth Urbina
    Ismael Valdez
    Dan Wilson
    Paul Quantrill
    Cal Eldred
    Kirk Reuter
    Steve Reed 

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