Future Hall of Fame Candidates (Players in their Primes)
Let’s continue with HoF candidates who are currently in the primes of their careers. You can find the previous entry about players getting to the end of the line here.
Albert Pujols – Pujols is probably the best bet here as he has the most well-rounded skills as anyone, albeit at first base
Alex Rodriguez – He might go down as the Dan Marino of baseball, but still one of the best players ever on the left side of the diamond
David Wright – As consistent as Pujols, but with more defensive value in exchange for less offensive value; playing in NY doesn’t hurt his chances either
Joe Mauer – Could have been a 2-time MVP already if things had broken slightly differently for him. I would have voted for him this year.
Miguel Cabrera – A great set of comparable players for Cabrera and he’s already picked up the American League to resume his fine career
Chase Utley – A regular MVP candidate, but a late start gives him a big handicap. He’ll need to play well later into his career than other players to make it, but his well-rounded skill set should serve him into his late career.
Vladimir Guerrero – A uniquely great bad-ball hitter who has been incredibly consistent over the past 12 years
Johan Santana – Sticking with the Mets certainly won’t hurt either
Brandon Webb – Arizona is such a great hitting environment, which hopefully the writers will realize by the time his career is done
Roy Oswalt– Just needs to keep on doing what his been doing; a less sucky team surrounding him would help though
Roy Halladay – I was down on him coming into this year, but he was dominant. If he continues, he has a good chance of making it
David Ortiz – He’s only been a great player for about five years and it already feels like he’s pretty far on the downside of his career, so I’m cautious at best about his chances. I’m sure everyone “feels” that he’s a Hall of Famer though.
Todd Helton – I have a feeling that the voters are going to penalize him too much for Coors Field
Lance Berkman – I can’t decide if he’s overrated or underrated, so let’s just put him here
Gary Sheffield – I really don’t know, but I think the media is interested enough in him to come up with some good Sheffield stories to get him in
Grady Sizemore – When will he make “The Leap ™”?
Ichiro Suzuki – He’ll make it, but his MLB stats won’t be good enough on their own to warrant it.
Jake Peavy – There is a lot hinging on how his numbers hold up once he’s off of the Padres
C.C. Sabathia – Been around awhile, but didn’t really figure it out until 2006. Clearly, his years as a Yankee will be the deciding factor
Jonathan Papelbon – Already 27 with only three years under his belt, but he’s possibly the best current reliever out there
Joe Nathan – He could stick around another 10 years for all we know
Mark Teixeira – Good years in NY are worth more than elsewhere, but I don’t think he hits as dominantly as he needs to in order to be a top class 1B
Justin Morneau – Incredibly overrated, but hopefully the writers will realize that by the time his candidacy comes up
Adam Dunn – Bad defender without enough firepower to compensate, not that the writers are voting in a .247 lifetime AVG anytime soon
Carlos Beltran – He has some sort of negative reputation for not fulfilling his potential and/or being too streaky, but I think that’s undeserved
Alfonso Soriano – Even the writers will realize he’s overrated after awhile
Aramis Ramirez – Just nothing particular HoF-great about him; still a terrible trade by Littlefield
Derrek Lee – Same as Ramirez, minus the Littlefield bit
Ryan Howard – Too late of a start, not going to have enough great years
Jimmy Rollins – Don’t see it happening for the dubious MVP winner
Jose Reyes – He still needs to improve another level to sniff the Hall
Josh Beckett – Extremely health-dependent; he’s been better than his career ERA so far
John Lackey – A bit of a late-starter and I don’t think he holds up well enough into his 30s
Carlos Zambrano – Still only 27, but his control hasn’t improved enough since he entered the league and he doesn’t seem to be improving any more
Tim Hudson – He’s been underrated, but the TJ surgery kills his chances of building up high enough numbers to make it
Brad Lidge – A little bit of a late bloomer (he hasn’t even reached 500 IP yet), which makes me hesitant to bump him up any higher. His 41 saves out of 41 opportunities this year gives the writers a nice accomplishment to define him with though.
Francisco Rodriguez – No, just… no.
*I don’t really feel comfortable calling a pitcher until his career is almost over. They can get injured and lose their stuff way too fast.
Arbitrary song of the day: A Perfect Circle – Sleeping Beauty