The Baseball Writers Association of America is the group that officially gets to vote on the Hall of Fame entrants each year. But the group here at Redleg Nation decided that we should have a vote in fantasy land, too. 11 of the contributors here put in votes for the 2019 Hall of Fame ballot. Using the same criteria that the official ballots use, we would have elected six players to the Hall of Fame. In order to make the cut, a player needed nine votes from the eleven voters.
If the group here at Redleg Nation were in charge the 2019 Hall of Fame class would be made up of the following six players: Barry Bonds, Curt Schilling, Edgar Martinez, Mike Mussina, Mariano Rivera, and Roger Clemens. All six of those players received nine of eleven votes – good for 82% of the vote.
Three players fell just short. Larry Walker, Roy Halladay, and Scott Rolen all needed one more vote – finishing at 73% with eight of the eleven votes. Maybe next year, guys.
Let’s take a look at how the votes broke down among the contributors here at Redleg Nation (you can click the image to see a larger version):
Several writers also decided to include a short reason about someone they voted for.
Wes Jenkins on Todd Helton
From 2000 to 2007, the peak of Todd Helton’s career, the only big leaguer with a higher wOBA was Barry Bonds. Four players had a higher fWAR — Bonds, ARod, Albert Pujols and Andrus Jones. Helton had the highest batting average, the second-highest OBP (Bonds), and the third-highest WPA (Bonds, Pujols).
Yes, he played at Coors Field. Yes, his back betrayed him. And yes, he lacks the gaudy counting numbers. If you want to make the argument that a player whose only contemporaries for eight seasons were Barry Bonds, Albert Pujols, and Alex Rodriguez doesn’t belong in the Hall, then that’s your right. Personally, that’s enough for me.
Jim Walker on Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens
It is time to end the hypocrisy. Nobody knows how many of the pitchers Bonds faced were juicing when he faced them or how many of the batters Clemens faced were juicing when he face them.
Bonds was a 147 OPS+ and 50+ bWAR player at the end of his age 27 season when he left the Pirates for the Giants. Judged by his physical appearance then versus later on, there is no reason to suspect he was juicing yet at that time. If the 50+ bWAR on its own isn’t enough to merit the HoF, scale his future numbers based on them using a normal aging curve and career length; and, he would easily be an HOF player.
Jason Linden on Scott Rolen
Jason wrote an outstanding piece at The Hardball Times on why Scott Rolen should be voted into the Hall of Fame. You should read the entire piece here. Below, however, is the first paragraph into why the head of the Linden household has Scott Rolen on his ballot.
Rolen received only 10 percent of the Hall of Fame vote last year, and I genuinely don’t know why. In terms of WAR, the Hall of Fame voters generally seem to require a player to be right around 60. Rolen has a career 69.9 WAR at FanGraphs and 70.2 at Baseball-Reference. These are numbers that should push him easily into the Hall, especially given his reputation.
Doug Gray on Edgar Martinez
One of the big rubs on Edgar Martinez is that “he was a designated hitter”. And you know what, that’s true. He spent a lot of time as a designated hitter. You know who else did? Recently elected Harold Baines. Except that Baines wasn’t nearly as good as Edgar Martinez.
The whole “he doesn’t play defense/both sides of the game” thing just rings hollow to me in most cases. Why? Well, because nearly every single person who makes that argument will also say that Mariano Rivera is a no-doubt Hall of Famer. And he threw 75 innings a year, one inning at a time. Rivera is the greatest reliever of all time. Martinez may not be the best designated hitter of all time – but it’s close if he’s not. But Martinez was a better, more impactful player than Rivera was (at least in the regular season). If Rivera gets your vote, then Martinez should also. For me – they’re both in.