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  • Ethan Semendinger

The BBWAA HOF Ballot (Yankees)

Continuing to talk Hall of Fame Ballots, this year has 28 players. Of them, 7 were Yankees at one point during their career. This is them.

 

The BBWAA Hall of Fame Ballot Overview:

An undisclosed number of members of the BBWAA every year get the honor and privilege of voting for who could make up the latest class for the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.


This year there are 28 players who have been selected to the ballot. 14 of these players are 1st timers, of whom 2 were Yankees. Of the 14 returning players, 5 were Yankees.


For a player to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, they must be on 75% (or more) of the ballots submitted by the voting members of the BBWAA. These votes will be cast from now until January, after which the results will be announced live on MLB Network on Tuesday, January 24th.

 

The Former Yankees Players:

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Bobby Abreu: (4th Year)

Teams: Houston Astros (1996-97), Philadelphia Phillies (1998-2006), New York Yankees (2006-08), Los Angeles Angels (2009-2012), Los Angeles Dodgers (2012), New York Mets (2014)

Statistics: 18 Seasons, 2425 Games, .291/.395/.475/.870 (128 OPS+), 2470 Hits, 288 Home Runs, 1363 RBI's, +60.2 bWAR/+59.8 fWAR

Hall of Fame Metrics: Black Ink (5/27), Gray Ink (88/144), HOFm (95/100), HOFs (54/50)

Honors: 2 time All-Star, 1 time Gold Glove, 1 time Silver Slugger


Bobby Abreu was a fine Yankee during his short tenure in the pinstripes. I feel bad for him as he was traded away from the Phillies just 2 years before they won the World Series and then left the Yankees for the Angels the same year that the Yankees won the World Series. He just missed winning a ring twice in his career, which may have been one of those final necessary things to make his Hall of Fame case stronger. He has close to average stats for a Hall of Famer, with his biggest push being one of two players (of 7 in MLB history) to have 900+ extra-base hits and 400+ steals and not make the Hall of Fame...yet. (The other player being Barry Bonds.) Did I see Abreu as a future Hall of Famer when he played? Truthfully, not really. However, the case isn't impossible to make for him.


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Carlos Beltran: (1st Year)

Teams: Kansas City Royals (1998-2004), Houston Astros (2004, 2017), New York Mets (2005-11), San Francisco Giants (2011), St. Louis Cardinals (2012-2013), New York Yankees (2014-2016), Texas Rangers (2016)

Statistics: 20 Seasons, 2586 Games, .279/.350/.486/.837 (119 OPS+), 2725 Hits, 435 Home Runs, 1587 RBI's, +70.1 bWAR/+67.8 fWAR

Hall of Fame Metrics: Black Ink (1/27), Gray Ink (76/144), HOFm (126/100), HOFs (52/50)

Honors: Rookie of the Year, 9 time All-Star, 3 time Gold Glove, 2 time Silver Slugger, 1 time World Cheater


If I was to evaluate Beltran on just his career statistics, he'd be easily pegged for the Hall of Fame. Of the 104 players to break 70 bWAR we have just 18 who have not (yet) made the Hall of Fame, of which 4 of those guys were steroid users (Bonds, Clemens, A-Rod, Palmiero), 6 were still playing in 2022 (Trout, Pujols, Verlander, Greinke, Kershaw, Scherzer), 2 are controversial (Rose, Schilling), and of the 6 others there are solid candidates that include Jim McCormick, Bill Dahlen, Lou Whitaker, Bobby Grich, Scott Rolen (who I discussed on Tuesday), and the aforementioned Carlos Beltran. This alone shows he has a worthwhile Hall of Fame case.


However, I think if "Shoeless" Joe Jackson, who was kicked out of baseball as a 32 year old for supposedly fixing the 1919 World Series (something I think he gets unfairly blamed for, and whose banishment from the game obviously took many years from his potential career to build up his accolades), and who- now more than 50 years after his death- has still not been inducted into the Hall of Fame, then the modern day Shoeless Joe should suffer the same fate. Shoeless Joe would've been a shoe-in Hall of Famer. Carlos Beltran could've been...if he didn't cheat his way to the 2017 World Series title. I will hold this now and for as long as he is on the ballot. I will NEVER vote for him until Shoeless Joe Jackson makes the Hall of Fame. His vote (for me, for the IBWAA) will rest in those circumstances for up to the next 10 years.


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Jacoby Ellsbury: (1st Year)

Teams: Boston Red Sox (2007-13), New York Yankees (2014-2017)

Statistics: 11 Seasons, 1235 Games, .284/.342/.417/.760 (103 OPS+), 1376 Hits, 104 Home Runs, 512 RBI's, +31.2 bWAR/+30.0 fWAR

Hall of Fame Metrics: Black Ink (7/27), Gray Ink (47/144), HOFm (36/100), HOFs (16/50)

Honors: 1 time All-Star, 1 time Gold Glove, 1 time Silver Slugger, 2 time World Champion


Do you want to find an easy way to distinguish how different eras of baseball were being played? Look at some good-to-great players and then see how much black ink they have. Jacoby Ellsbury has 7. He was a prolific base-stealer in his early career, including 70 successful robberies in 2009- which is just one of 3 occurrences since 2000. However, Jacoby Ellsbury's legacy did not last in the stolen base department as age and injuries took his speed from him. So, he adapted and became an all-time leader of a statistic. Yes. Put some rE2pect on his name, but Jacoby Ellsbury is the all-time leader in MLB history for the catcher's interference with 31. If that's not a legacy, I don't know what is. Regardless, he's not a Hall of Famer. There is no point to consider his case any further.


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Andruw Jones: (6th Year)

Teams: Atlanta Braves (1996-2007), Los Angeles Dodger (2008), Texas Rangers (2009), Chicago White Sox (2010), New York Yankees (2011-2012)

Statistics: 17 Seasons, 2196 Games, .254/.337/.486/.823 (111 OPS+), 1933 Hits, 434 Home Runs, 1289 RBI's, +62.7 bWAR/+67.0 fWAR

Hall of Fame Metrics: Black Ink (10/27), Gray Ink (47/144), HOFm (109/100), HOFs (34/50)

Honors: 5 time All-Star, 10 time Gold Glove, 1 time Silver Slugger


I've struggled for years on evaluating the Andruw Jones question, but I think I am finally coming around to terms with his case. Just 16 players in MLB history have won 10+ gold glove awards and of those players just 4 (not including Jones) have yet to make the Hall of Fame. Those players are Keith Hernandez (who arguably should be in the Hall of Fame as one of the best defensive first basemen in history), Omar Vizquel (who we talked about yesterday), Nolan Arenado (still playing), and Ichiro Suzuki (who is not yet eligible). If we consider these to be his peers, I see 3 of 4 Hall of Fame cases. His long history as a top-tier defender in the league should be rewarded. Add in that he wasn't a poor hitter, even after suffering a huge fall-off of his numbers after his peak years, and I think I've finally cracked the code of Andruw Jones. Jones should thank Jim Kaat for getting in last year by a veterans committee, because his 16 gold gloves getting into the Hall of Fame makes his case very clear.


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Andy Pettitte: (5th Year)

Teams: New York Yankees (1995-2003, 2007-10, 2012-13), Houston Astros (2004-06)

Statistics: 18 Seasons, 531 Games, 256-153 Record (.626 WP%), 3.85 ERA (117 ERA+), 3316 Innings Pitched, 2448 Strikeouts, 1.351 WHIP, +60.2 bWAR/+68.2 fWAR

Hall of Fame Metrics: Black Ink (7/40), Gray Ink (103/185), HOFm (128/100), HOFs (44/50)

Honors: 3 time All-Star, 5 time World Champion


I've written many times about Andy Pettitte's case for the Hall of Fame and my feelings very clear about it. I am openly acknowledging my Yankees bias here. Andy Pettitte was my older brothers favorite player growing (my oldest brothers favorite player was Bernie Williams (who I think has a stronger Hall of Fame case than he gets credit for) and he was a Yankee great. On top of that, he was one of the MLB's greatest postseason pitchers- holding the record for most wins (19), innings (276.2), and games started (44). On top of that, his career numbers are pretty solid with over 250 career wins and nearly 2500 strikeouts. Take everything into consideration and you have a Hall of Famer.


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Alex Rodriguez: (2nd Year)

Teams: Seattle Mariners (1994-2000), Texas Rangers (2001-03), New York Yankees (2004-16)

Statistics: 22 Seasons, 2784 Games, .295/.380/.550/.930 (140 OPS+), 3115 Hits, 696 Home Runs, 2086 RBI's, +117.6 bWAR/+113.7 fWAR

Hall of Fame Metrics: Black Ink (68/27), Gray Ink (214/144), HOFm (390/100), HOFs (77/50)

Honors: 3 time MVP, 14 time All-Star, 2 time Gold Glove, 10 time Silver Slugger, 1 time World Champion


Do I really need to make the case for Alex Rodriguez? There are (or at least, seem to be) a few milestone numbers that if a player hits, they pretty much all but secure their spot in Cooperstown. Those are 500 home runs (check), 3000 hits (check), and 80+ WAR (check and check for 'b' and 'f' WAR). Add in multiple MVP awards, a World Series win (in which A-Rod really carried the Yankees during the playoff run), and a ton of various pieces of hardware and it's clear why he should be in the Hall of Fame...if he didn't use steroids. If you've been reading my thoughts this week, I think steroid users have a niche in who to vote for, and I think that if they transcended everything else they should still be deserving of the honor of the Hall of Fame. It's safe to say Alex Rodriguez was almost better than all of his peers. To think anything else is to be purposefully ignorant.


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Gary Sheffield: (9th Year)

Teams: Milwaukee Brewers (1988-91), San Diego Padres (1992-93), Florida Marlins (1993-98), Los Angeles Dodgers (1998-2001), Atlanta Braves (2002-03), New York Yankees (2004-06), Detroit Tigers (2007-08), New York Mets (2009)

Statistics: 22 Seasons, 2576 Games, .292/.393/.514/.907 (140 OPS+), 2689 Hits, 509 Home Runs, 1676 RBI's, +60.5 bWAR/+62.1 fWAR

Hall of Fame Metrics: Black Ink (4/27), Gray Ink (123/144), HOFm (158/100), HOFs (61/50)

Honors: 9 time All-Star, 5 time Silver Slugger, 1 time World Champion


There is a lot of intrigue around Gary Sheffield and his case for the Hall of Fame. On one end, he has the numbers. He passed the 60 WAR cut-off. He passed the 500 home run cut-off. He passed on both HOFm and HOFs. He was also a steroid user, implicated as part of the Mitchell report (though, he was never suspended). It is also important to note that Gary Sheffield did not last long anywhere he played, which goes to show that even with his powerful bat he outstayed his welcome. He also never went back to a place after playing there. That's telling. Add in that he wasn't a great defender and I'm not quite so sure how well his 500 home runs is able to hold up his case here. I've voted for him in the past, but in thinking more about his case, even in a weaker class, I'm not sure it still holds up anymore.


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