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The Tuesday Discussion: Hall of Fame? (Cole and Judge)

by SSTN Admin

March 19, 2024

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This week we asked our writers:


Have Gerrit Cole and Aaron Judge done enough in their career to be considered Hall of Famers at this point?


Here are their replies...

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Cary Greene - I don't think either Cole nor Judge are Hall of Fame players at this point in their respective careers. I do think both may well wind up in the Hall of Fame, but it's premature to have this discussion - in my opinion..

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Paul Semendinger - Not yet. No way. They have both had impressive careers, Cole, I believe more so at this point because he's been consistently good (and on the field) longer and more often than Judge. Cole has earned 40.7 lifetime WAR, Judge 41.5. Both are two 10 WAR seasons away from being borderline candidates, but I suspect if either had two 10 WAR seasons, that would cinch their election. (Judge earned 10.4 WAR in 2022. Cole's best season was 7.4 WAR last year.) They are both, obviously, on their way, but neither is there yet.

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Mike Whiteman - A look at both careers would indicate that both are borderline Hall of Famers right now. 


Cole has attained more WAR than Hall of Famers Bob Lemon, Catfish Hunter, and Jesse Haines - in fewer seasons. A couple more decent 4-5 WAR seasons and he starts approaching some of the more familiar pitchers in the Hall. One Cy Young award and five top-five finishes rank him 14th All-Time in Cy Young award shares. He's also 10-6, 2.93 lifetime in postseason. 


Judge presents a similar situation. His lifetime WAR is higher than outfielders Hack Wilson, Harold Baines, and Ross Youngs. Like Cole, a couple more solid seasons moves him up the WAR list, passing guys like Jim Rice, Kirby Puckett, etc. Judge gets some points for his epic 2022 season and being a real good guy. 


If both careers ended today, I think Cole eventually gets enshrined. If anything holds him back for a while, it's longevity - only 11 seasons.  


I think Judge needs a bit more. Would voters really select a player who has played over 140 games just three times in his career?

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Tamar Chalker - I think they are both on track for the HOF, not sure they have done enough as of yet, but if I was a betting person - I’d put my money on it.

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Tim Kabel - While I believe that Gerrit Cole and Aaron Judge have accomplished a great deal and are both on trajectories that would lead them into the Hall of Fame, I think they each have a lot more to do. Also, they both have several years left on their contracts. If they maintain the course that they are on now, by the time they finish their careers, they should be clear cut Hall of Famers. 

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Ethan Semendinger - Nope.


Both Gerrit Cole and Aaron Judge have done great things that become stamps of approval towards a potential future that includes getting into the Hall of Fame. But, if something happened- lets say years of nagging injuries keeping them from the field- and they had to both hang up their cleats today, neither would be inducted. (And let's forgive the 10 year requirement, because that's not in the spirit of this question.)


Aaron Judge, in 8 seasons, has +41.5 bWAR alongside 257 Home Runs, 846 Hits, an MVP (should be 2), a Rookie of the Year Award, 5 All-Star nods, and 3 silver sluggers. He also set the AL Record for Home Runs in a season with 62.


In 12 years, Roger Maris had +38.3 bWAR alongside 275 Home Runs, 1325 Hits, 2 MVP's, a gold glove, and was a 7-time All-Star. He also set the AL Record for Home Runs in a season with 61 (in 1961).


Roger Maris has never sniffed the Hall of Fame. His best finish (after 15 years on the ballot) was with 43.1% of the vote in 1988. Judge wouldn't get in with his current resume.

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Gerrit Cole, in 11 seasons, has +41.2 bWAR alongside 145 Wins, a 3.17 ERA, 1,859.0 Innings, and 2,152 strikeouts. He also has won a Cy Young award and has 6 All-Star nods.


Cliff Lee, in 13 seasons, had a +42.5 bWAR alongside 143 Wins, a 3.52 ERA, 2,156.2 Innings, and 1,824 strikeouts. He also won a Cy Young award and was a 5-time All-Star.


Cliff Lee fell off the Hall of Fame ballot in 2020. In his first year. With just 0.5% of the vote. He got 2 votes of nearly 400 submitted. Cole wouldn't get in with his current numbers.


Hopefully, both Judge and Cole have many successful seasons in front of them as they play towards both personal accolades and bringing a championship to the Bronx. At this point, however, neither is a surefire Hall of Famer.

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Andy Singer - Not yet, no, neither are HOF worthy players today. However, I think both are 2-3 All-Star seasons away from being in the conversation. If both can do that, they'll be in the 55-60 bWAR range, and they will have both been among the league's best players for a significant period of time. As someone who would prefer a bigger HOF, given the level of player who has been granted admission in recent years (Kirby Puckett, Jack Morris, Lee Smith, and Jim Kaat, just to name a few), I actually think Judge and Cole are closer to enshrinement than I was willing to buy into when I first started looking at the numbers.


For Gerrit Cole specifically, I think he might ultimately represent nearly the last of a dying breed: an innings-eating ace. For that alone, I think it would be tough to tell the story of this era of baseball without Gerrit Cole, and I wonder if that will give him a boost beyond raw numbers when it comes time for the writers to vote for his Hall of Fame case.

18 commentaires


jeff
20 mars

Declaring Gerrit Cole and Aaron Judge as future Hall Of Famers at this stage of their careers would be the equivalent of declaring Don Mattingly a Hall Of Famer when he was at this point in HIS career. When Mattingly was at the point in his career that Cole and Judge currently are, he was on a trajectory that could have possibly led him to the Hall Of Fame. But then, in the next phase of his career, injuries took their toll, and his chronic back issues led to a regression of his skills. And the Hall Of Fame doesn't seem to be in the cards for Mattingly. This is why we have to let every player's career "play …

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yankeerudy
19 mars

Funny how only Ethan mentioned bringing home a championship.

J'aime
Paul Semendinger
Paul Semendinger
19 mars
En réponse à

Rudy,

Right now that seems very distant to me with the injuries and the lack of depth on the team.

GOOD FOR ETHAN! He might be more excited than me right now about Opening Day. I'm seeing a likelihood (or the possibility) of a long cold losing summer. I hope I am wrong!

I hope you're as optimistic as Ethan! It's more fun that way. :)

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fuster
19 mars

anyone who would advocate for putting Roy White (career OPS+ 121) into the HoF

would probably be forced to consider the obviously superior Aaron Judge (career OPS+ 164)

as long as Judge plays a few additional seasons.

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Robert Malchman
Robert Malchman
20 mars
En réponse à

Jim Rice 1978 WAR, 7.6

Ron Guidry 1978 WAR, 9.6


Guidry was 2 wins better than Rice, and the Yankees were 1 win better than the Red Sox. Plus Guidry beat the Red Sox in the playoff game (which is part of the regular season and thus considered for MVP purposes); Rice did not beat the Yankees in the playoff game.


The '78 Red Sox were up 10 games on July 8, 9 games on August 13, 8.5 games on August 20. Their choke was an epic one for the ages. They absolutely are losers.

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Alan B.
Alan B.
19 mars

This is what is called a filler article. I'm not surprised in the least that no one said yes to the Hall or that virtually everyone said the same thing but in their own words.


I've got a better HOF question: Why is Sandy Koufax in but not Don Mattingly? They are basically the same type of player but in reverse, and in my opinion, Mattingly's bad years can be argued are way better than Koufax's off years. Mattingly great first 6 years.. Kofax great last 5-6 years of his career.

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Paul Semendinger
Paul Semendinger
20 mars
En réponse à

Thank you.

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