We at Sox and Dawgs decided to start taking a look at some current players to see if they could gain election to Hall of Fame. In this series, we’re going to look at players who are currently active who have reasonable consideration to be a Hall nominee. This isn’t a science and you may have others on your list that we left off. There are some fine young players who are just starting their careers who may have Hall potential but for arguments sake these are guys who have been around a bit or those few outstanding younger players who just jump off the page at you.
In this series we’re going to look at the players by position as compared to Hall members of that position. The position is the primary position of the player through his career. If he played a significant amount of games in another position that will be listed next to his name. Some of the guys we will look at over time have endured position changes, but because the majority of their career was at one position over another we have chosen that as the position in which they are being considered.
The second category we will look at is starting pitchers. Because there are so many starting pitchers in the Hall we are going to use only a few of the later editions to compare our picks to. I’ll do this in the interest of research time, not boring you to death with the numbers and to compare today’s players with players closer to their era.
The Baseball Hall of Fame members we will use are:
Tom Seaver 20 yrs, 311-205, 2.86 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 3640 K, 61 shut outs, 12 all-star teams, ROY, 3 Cy Youngs, wins leader 3x, ERA leader 3x, strike out leader 5x, 3 post season wins
Nolan Ryan 27 yrs, 324-292, 3.19 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 5714 K, 13 shut outs, 8 all-star teams, ERA leader 2x, strike out leader 11x, 2 post season wins
Jim Palmer 19 yrs, 268-152, 2.86 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 2212 K, 53 shut outs, 6 all-star teams, 3 Cy Youngs, wins leader 3x, ERA leader 2x, 8 post season wins
Bob Gibson 17 yrs, 251-174, 2.91 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 3117 K, 56 shut outs, 8 all-star teams, 2 Cy Youngs, 1 MVP, 2 World Series MVPs, 9 Gold Gloves, ERA leader 1x, win leader 1x, strike out leader 1x, 7 post season wins
Sandy Koufax 12 yrs, 165-87, 2.76 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 2396 K, 40 shut outs, 6 all-star teams, 3 Cy Youngs, 1 MVP, 1 World Series MVP, ERA leader 5x, wins leader 3x, strike out leader 4x, 4 post season wins
Steve Carlton 24 yrs, 329-244, 3.22 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 4136 K, 55 shut outs, 10 all-star teams, 4 Cy Youngs, 1 Gold Glove, ERA leader 1x, wins leader 4x, strike out leader 5x, 6 post season wins
We have nine possible candidates for the Hall:
Their stats are current as of June 23, 2007
Roger Clemens 24th yr, 349-180, 3.11 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 4625 K, 46 shut outs, 11 all-star teams, 7 Cy Youngs, 1 MVP, 1 All-Star MVP, ERA leader 7x, wins leader 4x, strike out leader 5x, 12 post season wins
Pedro Martinez 15th yr, 206-92, 2.81 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 2998 K, 17 shut outs, 8 all-star teams, 3 Cy Youngs, ERA leader 5x, wins leader 1x, strike out leader 3x, 6 post season wins
Curt Schilling 20th yr, 213-142, 3.46 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 3086 K, 20 shut outs, 6 all-star teams, 1 NLCS MVP, 1 World Series co-MVP, wins leader 2x, strike out leader 2x, 8 post season wins
John Smoltz (RP) 19th yr, 201-141, 3.27 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 2861 K, 16 shut outs, 7 all-star teams, 1 Cy Young, 1 NLCS MVP, 1 Rolaids reliever of the year, wins leader 2x, strike out leader 2x, also 154 saves in 3+ seasons as a closer, saves leader 1x, 15 post season wins,
4 post season saves
Tom Glavine 21st yr, 296-196, 3.48 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 2529 K, 24 shut outs, 10 all-star teams, 2 Cy Youngs, 1 World Series MVP, wins leader 5x, 14 post season wins
Greg Maddux 22nd yr, 339-207, 3.08 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 3217 K, 35 shut outs, 8 all-star teams, 4 Cy Youngs, 16 Gold Gloves, ERA leader 4x, wins leader 3x, 11 post season wins
Randy Johnson 20th yr, 284-149, 3.22 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 4614 K, 37 shut outs, 10 all-star teams, 5 Cy Youngs, 1 World Series co-MVP, ERA leader 4x, wins leader 1x, strike out leader 9x, 7 post season wins
Johan Santana 8th yr, 85-37, 3.17 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 1252 K, 4 shut outs, 2 all-star teams, 2 Cy Youngs, ERA leader 2x, wins leader 1x, strike out leader 3x, 1 post season win
Kenny Rogers 19th yr, 208-139, 4.18 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, 1855 K, 9 shut outs, 4 all-star teams, 5 Gold Gloves, 3 post season wins
I have to say looking at some of the stats I am more and more impressed with the pitchers of yesteryear. Although we do have some guys who compare more than favorably.
Dead cinch locks:
Roger Clemens. Like him, love him, hate him or maybe you just have Suzyn Waldman style sportsgasms about him but any way you feel about him this guy is in. He is the greatest pitcher we have ever seen and may possibly be the greatest of all-time.
Randy Johnson, the Robin to Clemens Batman. Behind Koufax and Warren Spahn the third best lefty to ever pitch. The best lefty of his time.
Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and John Smoltz. Pitching, pitching and even more pitching. The trio is all going. Maddux and Glavine have or will have 300 wins, Smoltz has 200+ wins and 150+ saves and you can see why the Braves dominated the 1990’s and early 2000’s. The only knock on Glavine is the ERA and WHIP.
Pedro Martinez. He should be in easily with 3 Cy’s, the ERA titles, the win percentage, the WHIP that is better than any of the Hall members we profiled. He has pitched 3 more seasons that Koufax and has 41 more wins and only 5 more losses than the Dodger lefty.
No way Jose.
Curt Schilling and Kenny Rogers. They just don’t compare to the other guys on this list and I keep going back to my favorite saying “compare him to his peers”. While their careers are better than average I don’t feel as though they are Hall worthy. There’s no Cy Young Awards, their ERA’s are higher and in Rogers case a full run or more higher. Schilling may have a shot if he won another World Series and was dominant in that run and added to his post season win total but even then I really don’t think he’s more than a borderline candidate.
The young gun with the best shot is possibly Johan Santana. In just his 8th season he has won more than twice as many games as he has lost and already has 2 Cy’s with high strike out totals, a good ERA and a stingy WHIP. If this guy gets to pitch another 7 to 12 seasons and gets into that 15 to 20 season range he could definitely put up some tremendous numbers and this is a guy who pitches for the Twins. Put him on a really good team that can win some championships (and that could be Minnesota) and he has potential for some amazing numbers.