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 thatÃ‚Â Ken Griffey, Jr will go in as a Seattle Mariner, so heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s disqualified from this discussion.
Of course this debate is hypothetical, but itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s winter time. LetÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s have some fun. Possible candidates:
Normally for a hitter to be elected, heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll need to have won at least one MVP award. Votto has done that. HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢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 heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s already into his 30s hurts him, but again, Votto does already have that MVP.
IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d put Ã¢â‚¬ËœRaco 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 decadeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s worth of that production.
Working against Devin is that heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s already 26, which means heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d have to put up big numbers from now until his late 30Ã¢â‚¬â„¢s. That said, heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢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.
Each of ChapmanÃ¢â‚¬â„¢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 heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢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 heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s afforded the opportunity to shine on the October big stage and does in fact shine, heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d be in the conversation regardless of the specific number of saves he converts.
IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll admit, this is a major stretch, but hear me out. Any time a player is elite at any one thing, heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a potential superstar. BillyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s only 23, and he already has 69 stolen bases in the majors. What if he challenges or breaks Lou BrockÃ¢â‚¬â„¢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 theÃ‚Â bestÃ‚Â center fielder in baseballÃ‚Â during his rookie season, meaning heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll be in the conversation for Gold Gloves moving forward as he continues to learn the position.
Ah, there we go. Could Charlie Hustle be the next Red inducted into the baseball Hall of Fame?
PeteÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s approaching his mid-70Ã¢â‚¬â„¢s and, thanks to a lifetime of avoiding alcohol, tobacco and drugs, the guyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s probably in pretty good health.Ã‚Â 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, heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢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? Ã‚Â Choose one and make your case.