Barry Larkin was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2012.

With the 2015 class election approaching on January 6, let me ask you this: Who do you expect to be the next Reds player inducted into the HOF? Assume that Ken Griffey, Jr will go in as a Seattle Mariner, so he’s disqualified from this discussion.

Of course this debate is hypothetical, but it’s winter time. Let’s have some fun. Possible candidates:

Joey Votto

Normally for a hitter to be elected, he’ll need to have won at least one MVP award. Votto has done that. He’ll also need stuff on his resume like 5+ all-star appearances, multiple batting crowns, championships, etc. Votto has led the league in OBP four times so far. He still has time to win batting titles and make some more all-star teams.

His health issues will either linger and be detrimental to his career, or be behind Votto moving forward.

The fact that he’s already into his 30s hurts him, but again, Votto does already have that MVP.

Devin Mesoraco

I’d put ‘Raco near the top of the list because of his position. Catchers than can put up offensive numbers like he did in 2014 (149 OPS+, 25 HR, 25 2B), bat in the .270s and play above average defense will eventually enter the conversation after a decade’s worth of that production.

Working against Devin is that he’s already 26, which means he’d have to put up big numbers from now until his late 30’s. That said, he’ll likely bat in the middle of the order for years to come, and if he can develop into a top-notch defensive catcher while continuing to mash, he could morph into a perennial MVP candidate.

Aroldis Chapman

Each of Chapman’s last three seasons could easily be placed among the best 20 closer seasons in baseball history. His ERA+ over those three years was 194. The guy struck out an absurd 17.7 batters per 9 innings in 2014.

Chapman’s age (26) works in his favor because he’s already had so much success (three all-star selections). Thinking down the road: If Aroldis can avoid major injury—-which, given the torque he generates, is highly unlikely—-he could finish with 9 or 10 of the best closer seasons ever. If he’s afforded the opportunity to shine on the October big stage and does in fact shine, he’d be in the conversation regardless of the specific number of saves he converts.

Billy Hamilton

I’ll admit, this is a major stretch, but hear me out. Any time a player is elite at any one thing, he’s a potential superstar. Billy’s only 23, and he already has 69 stolen bases in the majors. What if he challenges or breaks Lou Brock’s National League mark of 938 swipes while winning a bunch of Gold Gloves in center field? 70 stolen bases per season over the next 13 years gets him to 979.

The kid has a long way to go in terms of getting on base, but his wheels could lead to a bunch of All-Star selections. Fangraphs ranked him as the best center fielder in baseball during his rookie season, meaning he’ll be in the conversation for Gold Gloves moving forward as he continues to learn the position.

Pete Rose

Ah, there we go. Could Charlie Hustle be the next Red inducted into the baseball Hall of Fame?

Pete’s approaching his mid-70’s and, thanks to a lifetime of avoiding alcohol, tobacco and drugs, the guy’s probably in pretty good health. It appears as if Rose will live a while longer.

Of course, Pete faces two major obstacles. First, he must be reinstated into baseball. Second, he’d need to be voted into the Hall by the veterans committee. But hey, stranger things have happened in our lifetimes, right?

Will the next Reds HOF player be one of these five, or someone else?  Choose one and make your case.

23 Responses

  1. michael hess

    I’m hoping that the Veterans Committee steps up and elects Davey Concepcion into the hall.

    • Carl Sayre

      I agree I don’t see it happening though. He was an exceptional “clutch” hitter and not many give him credit for inventing the astro turf hop to pick up speed on the throw to first.

      • misconcepcion

        So much to love there, and the Astroturf hop was no small development in its time, although we’re getting to the point where most fans don’t even know what that means. And some fans would counter that those nasty ‘Sans-A-Belt’ polyester unis and the anti-‘Green’ nature of Monsanto grass blades (amid the hideous cookie-cutter all-purpose Riverfront) were the antithesis of ‘the American Pastime’ incarnate.
        But I love Davey (and I love how he barked up Ron Pellone’s backside). He was one of the ‘missiing links’ (along with Joey Morgan) who completed the Great Eight (giving a lucky nod to Cesar…). Batted in the first six or seven slots in the lineup over his career and always was a mensche. You ROCKED, David!

    • droomac

      I agree. They guy was the best at his position for an entire decade. Trammell is another guy that should easily be in the Hall.

    • Jason Linden

      I don’t think Concepcion is a hall of famer. I love him, but his career numbers just aren’t there an he never had a truly great season. He belongs in the Hall of Very Good.

      • misconcepcion

        The numbers of guys from that era just get stomped by the PED-era numbers. Hell, sometimes Mantle and Mays get stomped in comparison, but it’s a mirage. If you’d seen/heard/followed Concepcion’s career, you’d realize there was something more tangible and splendid than knockout numerical columns on a baseball card. I’ve studied it as a comparison and talked to the few old birds I can find from Brooklyn, but I think Concepcion and PeeWee Reese are close corellaries, and they both embody a totality of baseballness that makes it all build to something special. Maybe this new era of stat-only analysis will reduce past masters to weenies. If so, I hope someone throws a lifeline to the great Senators secondbaseman of the ’30s, Buddy Myer

  2. Thegaffer

    500 HR is no longer a guarantee of HOF. I also think advanced metrics will be central point of election from now on. No one can say what the bar is set at but clearly a player needs a MVP or several top finishes, 5 great seasons in a long career or extenuating circumstances. Championship helps. Defense is not essential but helps if legendary. Helps to have good media face!

    Votto has best chance but needs to play at near MVP 3-4 more years. He is hurt by not playing until age 24, old for most Hofers.

    Its getting harder not easier, as now we will have the steroid generation not included.

  3. doctor

    very good numbers across the board but Paul should not get into the HOF. He will likely get more support than deserved just because he was a yankee during that WS run they had.

  4. cfd3000

    From most to least likely:
    1. Votto
    2. Chapman
    3. Hamilton
    4. Concepcion
    5. Howsam
    6. Rolen (though he would wear a dreaded Cardinals hat)
    7. Dotson (for starting the first high quality team centric blog that eventually revolutionized scouting, player evaluation, and crowd sourcing of the general managers position ending the era of the old boys baseball management network)
    8. Rose
    But that’s just one man’s opinion…

    • robcheshire

      Happy New Year to all!

      Dotson would get my vote, not just for the HoF, but also for President!

      Sadly Rose never gets in, because MLB will never get their head out of their ass far enough to see daylight on the subject….

  5. redmountain

    Not a Hall of Famer. My thoughts are that he is like Concepcion, very good but hardly HOF. You must dominate the league for a few years and he did not. No 3000 hits, 1500 rbi, 500 R, MVP, batting titles, he was good not great.

    • Earl Nash

      Paul O’Neill had a good career, but so do a lot of people. I think Ozzie Smith’s dazzling glove kind of shadows Concepcion a bit. Trammell probably has a better shot of getting to the Hall of Fame with his bat and the 84 World Series than Davey.

  6. Jason

    According to Ken Rosenthal, Reds have completed a trade for Marlon Byrd.

  7. redmountain

    I would have to agree. Only if Votto dominates the league for a few more years is this a possibility. The injuries can be overlooked if he dominates, there is precedent in Koufax and Clemente (though he did get 3000 hits)

  8. Thegaffer

    Byrd for Lively, exactly as I called it yesterday (actually said Moscot OR Lively). Love the deal as I see Lively as a AAAA pitcher and we got $$$$ in the deal. Cant believe we the Phillies waited out last year to get this!

  9. redmountain

    Looks like the Reds gave up Ben Lively and will receive cash. Seems like that is pretty cheap.

  10. unc reds fan

    Everyone keeps saying Jr is going in as a Mariner, and I understand why, but he did hit his 400th, 500th, and 600th in a Red’s uniform. Those are three major milestones achieved…while I know it isn’t likely, they would be the first father/son duo in the hall of fame from the same team and that kind of thing carries some weight

  11. TMT

    Junior will certainly go in as a Mariner where he won his 10 gold gloves and had his most productive offensive seasons by far. Griffey Sr. will never get close to the HOF so I am confused by your father/son from same team comment.

  12. LTC_Geek

    Rose is in good health? Sat and talked with him last year – the guy is morbidly obese. Unfortunately, he looks like a heart attack waiting to happen. I sincerely hope he gets into the HOF before anything like that happens and I see his participation in the ASG in Cincy as a big step in that direction. I would not be surprised if MLB announced that his ban had been lifted during ASG week.

  13. Earl Nash

    MVPs, a batting title and a WS would obviously help Votto’s case. I think how the HOF case for a guy like Larry Walker or Edgar Martinez develop over the years could end up being a similar case for someone like Votto. Guys like Walker and Martinez look much different when you look at the percentage type stats and that they both either got going later or missed quite a few games to injuries which brought down their count totals.