Bloomberg Sports Anchors Julie Alexandria and Rob Shaw discuss players who may be on the road to the Hall of Fame.
Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre may be a surprise on this list for some people, but the longeivty of his career could land him in the Hall of Fame. The 33-year-old currently has 2,113 hits and 322 home runs. In order to get to 3,000 hits and 500 home runs, he would need to average 127 hits and 25 home runs per season until the age of 40. Beltre has a good chance to reach those benchmarks, as he plays in one of the most homer-friendly stadiums in baseball and could benefit from the designated hitter position in the American League down the road.
Paul Konerko is certainly a surprise when it comes to potential Hall of Fame candidacy. The White Sox first baseman, who is 36 years old, has 409 career home runs, and 500 homers is definitely in reach. He would need to average 22 home runs per year until he is 40 to get to 500. That would put him in a good position to get into the Hall of Fame, as he also won a World Series in 2005.
Andy Pettitte has 243 wins and 2,297 strikeouts in his career. He has the most postseason wins in history with 19, including four World Series wins. If he can get another seven wins and 203 K’s in the next two seasons, he would have 250 wins and 2,500 K’s, good for 47th and 31st all-time. That should give him a good shot at the Hall of Fame.
Roy Halladay has 192 career wins and 1,990 strikeouts. The 35-year-old would need 21 wins per season until he is 40 to reach 300 wins. Though he has dominated during certain parts of his career, he doesn’t have the longevity to get the numbers he needs to make it into the Hall of Fame, especially as he is battling a shoulder injury this season that should keep him out for six to eight weeks.
The odds are against Johan Santana making it into the Hall of Fame, as he is 33 years old and only has 137 wins and 1,956 strikeouts. He would need another five standout years to rack up the numbers to earn a spot in Cooperstown. He has had major surgery and it is uncertain how many more dominant years he has left in the tank.
C.C. Sabathia is as durable as they come and he should definitely make the Hall of Fame. He has 185 wins and is already 58th all-time in strikeouts with 2,119. If he finishes this season with another 90 strikeouts and averages 170 K’s for the next four years, he will have 2,889 K’s by the age of 36, good for 17th all-time. He would be well on his way to 3,000 K’s, a feat which only 16 pitchers have accomplished, all of them in the Hall of Fame aside from ineligible players.
Adam Dunn is 32 years old and has 388 career home runs. He should get into the Hall of Fame if he can reach 500 homers, which is certainly in striking distance. He has 23 home runs in 289 plate appearances this season. If he can hit another 17 home runs this year and enter the 2013 season with 405 in his career, he would need to average just 19 home runs for the next five seasons to reach 500.
Miguel Cabrera‘s home-run total of 277 through age 28 was the 13th-highest of any player at that age. If he hits 19 more home runs this season, he will enter his age-30 season with 310 career homers. From there, it would take him less than six seasons to get to 500 at his career rate of 33 home runs per 162 games. If he keeps playing the way he is now, he’s a certain Hall of Famer.
Ryan Braun joins Willie Mays and Darryl Strawberry as the only players to hit at least 180 home runs and steal at least 100 bases in their first six seasons. If Braun can hit 20 more homers this season, he will be one of two players to hit at least 200 home runs and bat at least .310 in his first six seasons, joining Albert Pujols. Braun is definitely on his way to becoming a Hall of Famer but he may need to prove himself more than others after testing positive for PEDs, even though his suspension was overturned.
Matt Holliday‘s Hall of Fame candidacy is iffy right now. If the 32-year-old can keep his average above .300 and record 1,032 more hits and 136 more home runs, he will be one of only 12 players with a .300 average, at least 350 homers and at least 2,500 hits, joining eight Hall of Famers as well as Alex Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez, Chipper Jones and Vladimir Guerrero. He is a very solid player, but not necessarily a player worthy of the Hall of Fame.
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Bloomberg Sports Anchors Julie Alexandria and Rob Shaw discuss players who they think will definitely be inducted into the Hall of Fame and players who are debatable.
Based on his statistics, Manny Ramirez should be a Hall of Famer. He has 2574 hits, 1831 RBI and 555 home runs in his career. He is a 12-time All-Star and has two World Series rings (’04, ’07) and nine Silver Slugger awards. However, his use of PEDs has tarnished his statistics and will keep him out of the Hall of Fame.
Though Albert Pujols is struggling a bit this season with the Angels, he has already cemented a spot in the Hall of Fame. He has 2,142 hits, 456 home runs and a .325 batting average in his career. He is a three-time MVP (’05, ’08, ’09) and a nine-time All-Star and has won two World Series (’06, ’11), six Silver Slugger awards and two Gold Glove awards.
Like Pujols, Ichiro Suzuki‘s numbers are down this season, but he deserves induction into the Hall of Fame based on his past performances. He has 2,504 hits, 432 stolen bases and a .323 average in his career. The 10-time All-Star also won MVP and Rookie of the Year honors in 2001 and has earned 10 Gold Gloves and three Silver Sluggers.
Derek Jeter is another player who is a shoe-in for the Hall of Fame. The 12-time All-Star has 3,177 career hits, 344 stolen bases and a .313 career average, as well as five Gold Gloves and four Silver Sluggers. Above all, he is a big-time winner with five World Series rings.
Chipper Jones, set to retire at the end of this year after 19 seasons, is certainly Hall of Fame-bound. He has 2,650 hits, 459 home runs and a .304 average in his career, in addition to an MVP award (’99), seven All-Star selections and two Silver Sluggers.
Alex Rodriguez, a 14-time All-Star and three-time MVP, is another player whose Hall of Fame candidacy is in question due to PEDs. However, it can be argued that after the steroid era ended, A-Rod still put up good enough numbers to warrant induction. He has 2,841 career hits and 640 home runs, and is 76 RBI away from 2000 for his career. He has one World Series ring (’09), 10 Silver Sluggers and two Gold Gloves.
Jim Thome is headed for the Hall of Fame with his 608 career HR. The five-time All-Star has had 12 seasons of 30+ HR and 100+ RBI but he is not just a home-run hitter. He has 1,710 walks, ranking 10th all-time.
Mariano Rivera is another player already in the Hall of Fame. He is the all-time saves leader with 608 and has a 2.21 career ERA, good for 13th all-time. He is the greatest closer of all time and one of the most clutch performers in sports. Despite being 42 years old, Rivera was as good as ever before his season was cut short by a torn ACL.
Jamie Moyer sits at 269 wins as he is currently pitching in AAA and trying to make another comeback, this time with the Baltimore Orioles. If he returns shortly and assuming he pitches every fifth day, he could potentially start 19 games and could pick up the six wins he needs to reach 275 for his career. If the 49-year-old can somehow keep pitching into his fifties, he could have a shot at 300 wins and the Hall of Fame.
Johnny Damon‘s easiest path to the Hall of Fame is to get another 254 hits to reach 3,000 for his career. If he gets just 54 more hits and 17 more home runs, he would join Rickey Henderson, Barry Bonds and Craig Biggio as the only players to have 2,800 hits, 250 home runs and 400 stolen bases. At the moment, he is one of five players to have 230 home runs, 400 stolen bases and 2,700 hits.
Scott Rolen is one of three third basemen to hit above .280 and hit 300 or more home runs, and one of four third basemen to have 8,000 or more plate appearances and an OPS of .850 or better. At 37 years old, if Rolen can collect 77 hits the rest of this season and average 100 hits over the next four years or 133 hits over the next 3 years, he would reach 2,500 hits. In addition to his defense, position and more than 300 HR, he would have a very strong candidacy.
Todd Helton‘s chances to make it into the Hall of Fame may be hurt by playing at Coors Field. However, if the 38-year-old can hit 46 more home runs over the next five years, he’d reach 400 home runs and have a strong case with 2,500 hits and 400+ home runs, a feat only 25 Major Leaguers have accomplished. He has hit 227 home runs at home and just 138 home runs on the road, so he may need to do more than most for people to believe in his Coors-tainted candidacy.
Vladimir Guerrero needs just 51 home runs to reach 500 for his career. Among players with at least 8,000 career plate appearances since 1950, his average of .318 ranks sixth behind Tony Gwynn, Wade Boggs, Rod Carew, Ichiro Suzuki and Todd Helton. he is one of only seven players in history with at least 350 home runs, a batting average of at least .310 and at least 2,500 career hits. Among the six others, only Manny Ramirez is not already in the Hall of Fame.
If Lance Berkman stays healthy and plays into his early 40s, he has a shot at reaching 500 home runs. If he can hit nine home runs the rest of this season, he’ll have 132 to go, which would mean four full seasons at his career pace of 33 per 162 games.
Tim Hudson has one of the 10 lowest ERAs of any pitcher with at least 2,000 innings pitched since 1990 and is tied for the fourth-most wins among active pitchers with 185. He also has the lowest home-run rate of any pitcher with at least 2,000 innings pitched since 1950.
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BY ROB SHAW
There is no question about it, 2011 was a stinker for Red Sox outfielder Carl Crawford. Acquiring the best player from the rival team was supposed to assure that the Red Sox would surpass the Rays in the AL East, but instead Crawford’s disappointment was amongst many others for Boston as they failed to make the playoffs.
What followed was a tumultuous off-season that saw the departure of the manager and general manager. However, Crawford remains.
While last year’s struggles can be tied to Crawford’s acclimation to a major market for the first time in his career plus some nagging injuries, don’t forget the reason why fantasy managers liked him so much heading into last season. He is a line drive machine who should be able to use the Green Monster as a weapon, while adding speed to the top of the lineup.
Part of the issue for Crawford’s poor numbers was the fact that he was pushed down to the seventh spot of the Red Sox lineup. As a result his runs took a major hit. Always interested in the psyche of his players, expect Bobby Valentine to give Crawford every chance to succeed towards the top of the order.
Bloomberg Sports Front Office expects a decent bounce back from Crawford. He should blast 14 home runs with 35 stolen bases and a respectable .281 batting clip. Of course, this can only happen if he stays healthy. Crawford is currently dealing with a sore wrist that is threatening his ability to be a part of the Red Sox lineup on Opening Day.
Expectations have never been lower, which makes him a decent middle round sleeper considering his sky-high potential that made him a bust last season.
For many years we have come to expect 30 home runs and 100 RBI from Alex Rodriguez. Those benchmarks also came with great run production, solid stolen base totals, and a batting average north of .300. Not anymore.
Last season we saw that even the great ones are mortal. A-Rod managed just 16 home runs as he was hampered by injuries all season. Though he looks to be in great shape entering the spring and had some medical procedures done during the off-season, the big question in the Bronx is whether it’s even possible for A-Rod to return to prominence as an elite slugger.
The answer is probably no. There is a very well known pattern for players entering their late 30s tailing off in production. It is also clear that Rodriguez is not as healthy as he was when he was younger. It was five years ago that he last played 140 games in a season.
Bloomberg Sports does anticipate a mild bounce back. A-Rod should pound 23 home runs with 82 RBI. That would mean he finishes the season with an astounding 652 career home runs. Unfortunately, we are at the point in A-Rod’s career where we will celebrate what he’s accomplished over time rather than on a day-to-day basis.
It was shocking enough that an ace would tame Coors Field, it’s even more mesmerizing that he actually regressed when traded to a far more pitcher-friendly ballpark.
Ubaldo Jimenez was an elite pitcher in 2010. He finished that season with a 19-8 record, but was even more dazzling at the All-Star break with a 15-1 record and 2.20 ERA. Since then, Jimenez has regressed to being a barely above average hurler.
In the second half of the memorable 2010 season, Jimenez went 4-7 with a 3.80 ERA. He then struggled out of the gate in 2011 and was traded to the Indians when his record was 6-9. Things went from bad to worse, as his ERA soared to 5.10 during his 11 starts with the Indians.
Jimenez will try to start from scratch this season, and while his results in his first two spring training starts are not very promising, the good news is that his fastball is back over 95 MPH for the first time since 2010. Regardless, Jimenez remains a risky pick for fantasy managers.
He should offer plenty of strikeouts, Bloomberg Sports projects 208, but his lack of control could lead to a WHIP and ERA well above what he’s offered when he was at his past two seasons ago.
Are They Hall of Famers?
Derek Jeter– Just six hits away from 3,000 hits, plus the high average and World Series heroics, Jeter is a first ballot Hall of Famer.
Chipper Jones– The dominant third baseman of his era, Chipper Jones was not just a winner, but he posted All-Star production annually. Jones has already surpassed 440 home runs and 2500 hits, all while batting .305 for his career. It will also be interesting to see how long Jones plays considering he remains one of the top bats in the Braves lineup to this date.
Jim Thome- Just seven home runs shy of 600 home runs, Thome has never been linked to steroid abuse.
Ivan Rodriguez– His extended career has driven down his batting average, but Pudge was as dominant a catcher as we’ve seen. He is just 162 hits shy of 3,000 with 311 career home runs, all from a catcher who was also best known for defense.
Ichiro– One of the greatest hitters to ever take the field, had Ichiro come to the States sooner, he probably would have challenged Pete Rose’s all-time record for hits.
Albert Pujols– He has dominated the Majors for 10 seasons, which is enough already to warrant inclusion in the Hall of Fame.
Mo Rivera– The greatest closer of all-time, Rivera has kept his ERA sub-2.00 for seven of the last eight seasons. He is just 25 saves shy of 600 for his career. By the time he retires, he may have 700 under his belt.
Up for Debate:
Vladimir Guerrero– An MVP who has played in nine All-Star games and boasts a .318 career average. Guerrero may have been a DH late in his career, but in his prime he boasted the best arm in baseball. He offered a great blend of power and speed, all while hitting for a high average. He was the dominant right-fielder of his era.
Alex Rodriguez– This is not about the statistics, but whether the Hall of Fame voters are willing to enshrine an admitted steroid abuser. The counter argument is that he played the second half of his career clean at a Hall of Fame level.
Jorge Posada– Certainly one of the top catchers of his era, but by no means the dominant catcher (think Pudge, Piazza, and Mauer). That explains why he only played in five All-Star games throughout his career. While Posada will get plenty of credit for playing on a winner, it is worth noting that the Yankees catcher was actually at his worst when it came to playing in the post-season. His career statistics don’t measure up to Carlton Fisk and Gary Carter. I don’t see Posada as a Hall of Famer, though he will be honored plenty by the Yankees for years to come.
Omar Vizquel– Still playing in the Major Leagues as a surprisingly high level, Omar Vizquel is a very underrated shortstop who is worthy of enshrinement in Cooperstown. He dominated defensively during his era with 11 gold-glove awards, while also making three All-Star teams.
Vizquel compares very well to Ozzie Smith, but lacks the big personality. Vizquel has accumulated 1,423 runs, 2,823 hits, and 401 steals while batting .273 for his career. Not bad at all for someone who earned his paycheck with his fielder’s glove.
Unless he reaches 3,000 career hits by the time he retires, I see Vizquel hanging on the Hall of Fame ballot for nearly a decade before he finally earns the ticket to Cooperstown.