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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The Major League trade deadline may have passed, but that does not mean that players can no longer be traded this season. Instead, the waiver wire process will shortly begin and there will be more players on the move. Typically the players on the move have bad contracts, which allows them to surpass the waiver process or a team will claim a player and a trade will be negotiated. Here’s a look at five players who will likely be on the move:
Vladimir Guerrero, DH, Orioles– This potential hall of famer is riding a 6-game hit streak, batting a respectable .284 with 9 home runs. He leads the league in chase rate (swinging at pitches out of the strike zone) and his numbers are way down across the board, but he has playoff experience and could help a team down the stretch as a hired bat. It would not surprise me to see him rejoin one of his past two teams: the Rangers or the Angels. The Yankees also could make a move for their former nemesis by putting him in the DH slot, though this is unlikely with Andruw Jones and Eric Chavez now healthy to support Jorge Posada. The White Sox would be the dark horse considering they are not getting anything out of Adam Dunn.
Wandy Rodriguez, SP, Astros– An underrated strikeout artist, it’s been another fine season for Wandy Rodriguez. A 32-year-old hurler, this southpaw is durable and could be a solid third starter for a playoff contender. He always has an ERA under four and he was involved in some trade chatter with the Yankees just a few weeks ago. If a playoff contender suffers an injury in the starting rotation, Rodriguez could be the first player targeted.
Alfonso Soriano, OF, Cubs– At 35 years old, Soriano’s best days are in the past, but he does have four home runs over his last four games and now 19 dingers on the season. His OBP is disgraceful at .283, and he leads the league in chase rate. With his awful contract, he will clear waivers, and at that point could end up getting traded if the Cubs are willing to eat some of his contract in a swap of bad contracts. It would be interesting to see him reunite with the Yankees, or join a team desperate for outfield production such as the Tigers or Braves.
Carlos Zambrano, SP, Cubs– Another bad contract on the Cubs, Zambrano does have 8 wins and is riding three quality starts. He does have ace ability, which we saw that as recently as the end of last season. So a team desperate for a third starter may want to consider the Cubs volatile hurler, though they would have to be willing to take on a few years of potential mayhem. The Yankees, White Sox, and Tigers are potential landing grounds.
Carlos Lee, OF, Astros– The veteran slugger is 0 for his last 19, dropping his average to .267, but he does have 60 RBI and 41 extra base hits on the season. The same teams that will go after Soriano will also consider this 25-year-old. The only question is whether he will veto a move considering his 10/5 rights. Known as El Caballo, Lee is a rancher who wants to stay close to his home in Texas.
By Tommy Rancel //
A year ago, it seemed Vladimir Guerrero‘s days of being a feared power hitter were numbered. Through a combination of injuries and age, Guerrero’s power numbers took a hit in 2009. He hit 15 home runs and totaled just 31 extra-base hits as injuries limited him to 100 games.
His 2009 slugging percentage of .460 along with his .164 ISO (Isolated power is slugging percentage minus batting average) were the lowest totals since his rookie season of 1997. With limited defensive ability, and a seemingly declining bat, Guerrero took a one-year deal with the Texas Rangers.
The deal has proved to be a blockbuster so far. Vladdy got off to a slow start with the Rangers – at least in terms of power. His .333 batting average (AVG) in April was very good, but he hit just two home runs. His slugging percentage was right back in the .460 area. An OPS of .851 is still good production from the DH spot, but April proved to be just the opening act.
In May, Guerrero exploded for a .330 average, with 10 home runs and 31 RBI. His slugging percentage for the month was a stellar .633 in 109 at-bats. In June, he has added two more home runs and is once again slugging over .630.
So what is behind Guerrero’s return to the top of the power-hitting food chain?
Our first guess would be health. Guerrero missed a game earlier this month after taking a foul ball off his eye, but the back problems that have plagued him throughout his career have been quiet in the early part of 2010. He has played in 58 of the Rangers first 62 games and has even logged some outfield innings along the way.
If you are looking for a fluke in his overall power numbers, you won’t find one. His .568 slugging percentage is identical to his career number. His .230 ISO is slightly lower than his .247 career average. In terms of batted ball data, his .322 batting average on balls in play (BABIP) is right in line with his career .319 BABIP. His line drives, groundballs, and flyballs are all within 2-3% of historical values.
Although Guerrero is swinging at 50.2% of pitches outside of the strike zone, he is striking out just 9.5% of the time – a figure that represents the second-lowest single-season total of his career.
While luck doesn’t seem to be a factor for Guerrero, the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington certainly is. Outside of being healthy, playing his home games in the offensively-friendly park has been the biggest reason for Vlad’s resurgence. Guerrero’s new home currently ranks in the top three among American League stadiums in runs scored and home runs.
In 98 plate appearances on the road, the Rangers DH is hitting .272/.306/.424. At home, the 35-year-old is hitting .381/.407/.669 with 10 of his 14 home runs and 10 of his 12 doubles in 150 PAs. In fact, a ******** 20.4% of the flyballs he hits in Arlington have left the yard.
In general, it is good to exercise caution when dealing with such extreme splits, however, because of the park’s offensive nature, Guerrero could very likely sustain the power barrage in Texas. With 47 home dates remaining, Guerrero could put up 10-15 additional longballs in that park alone.
Even if Guerrero’s batting average (which currently hovers around .340) regresses, he is on pace for his ninth career 30-home run season and his 10th 100 RBI campaign. After spending five seasons as a rival of the Rangers, Guerrero is learning that sometimes the grass is greener on the other side.
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