Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Predicting the MLB Hall of Fame Voting Results

Once MLB announces its yearly awards and some of the bigger name free agents start to find new homes, the baseball winter seems to drag on.  The one thing that does sneak up on baseball fans each winter is the Hall of Fame voting.  This year's results are announced tomorrow, so let's take a look at some of the candidates:

Andre Dawson - The Hawk was just shy of the 75% of votes needed for election, with 67% last year.  Since Jim Rice was elected last year and Dawson is better statistically than Rice, I think Dawson makes it this year.

Robert Alomar - Arguably the best second baseman in baseball during his generation, Alomar is also known for spitting in the face of an umpire.  A 12-time all-star and .300 career hitter, Alomar makes it on the first try.

Bert Blyleven - Blyleven will lose eligibility for election by the writers if not elected by 2012 and he's been gradually getting more and more votes.  A career 287 game-winner, he ranks in the top ten all-time in shutouts and strikeouts.  I think he deserves enshrinement, but I have a feeling he falls just shy this year.

Barry Larkin - Alan Trammell is also on the ballot, but Larkin's numbers are a bit better than Trammell's.  Larkin was an excellent shortstop for the Reds, earning an all-star selection for 12 of his 19 big league seasons.  I'd give him around 50% of the vote.
Lee Smith - Before Trevor Hoffman became the all-time saves leader, it was Lee Smith.  I remember they used to time his walk from the bullpen to the mound and boy was it slow.  He was at 44.5% last year and I think he falls short this year.  As more and more relievers get elected (see: Bruce Sutter, Goose Gossage), Smith's chances get better.

Tim Raines - Raines was overshadowed by Rickey Henderson last year and while Henderson's number were better than Raines, Raines is most certainly a Hall-of-Famer.  On that note, it's hard to go from 23% of the vote to 75%, but I expect Raines' votes to surge toward that mark this year, with election next year.

Edgar Martinez - The first "true" Designated Hitter to be on the ballot with a chance at election, Martinez was a great hitter, but I think he'll face a bit of an uphill climb to election.  Relievers faced a similar struggle when the use of relief pitchers evolved to where it is today and I think Designated Hitters will struggle for a few years.  Is Martinez a Hall of Famer?  .312 career average, 300+ home runs, 1261 RBI, and seven all-star selections.  Maybe.... but not this year.

Others - My guess is that Mark McGwire will still hover around 25% of the vote, although I'd vote for him.  Jack Morris was at 44% last year and he may see an increase in votes, but won't come close to election.  The first-time eligible players are always interesting.  Mo Vaughn, of all people, got votes last year.  I wouldn't be shocked to see Kevin Appier, Eric Karros, Fred McGriff, Robin Ventura, and Andres Galarraga get a handful of votes each, deservedly so or not. 

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Lung-cancer said...

Anyone who doesn’t get in this year is going to be hard pressed to get in at all in the next 5 years. This is, frankly, a pretty weak to average class this year.