The 2022 class for the HOF had very many deserving candidates. I did in fact use all 10 slots available. The 4 players we voted in are all great additions to our Hall of Fame. These are who got my vote.
Bobby Abreu – One of the most overlooked players on the entire ballot. Abreu put together 8 consecutive years of at least a .400 OBP. Abreu doesn’t have the career WAR for an RF position in the HOF but he matches up very well with his peak. Overall I think that he should be enshrined because of what he compiled statistically during a questionable period in the baseball world.
Tim Hudson – A guy that we now know has fallen off the ballot. I think Hudson has a legitimate case for Cooperstown. He won at least 15 games in 8 years of his career. 222 wins, a 3.56 ERA, and a sub 1.25 WHIP in 3200 innings is nothing to snuff at. He also possesses the 61st highest winning percentage in MLB history. The thing that does him in is the low strikeout total and not being extremely good for a long period of time. He might go into the Hall down the road on a committee.
Andruw Jones – Jones is a personal favorite of mine. Growing up I modeled my game after Andruw and Jacoby Ellsbury defensively. As the best defensive outfielder of his era and his 10 gold gloves, consecutively might I add, I believe his offensive production is enough to eventually get him into the HOF. 434 home runs and 1,289 RBI’s, to go with a career .486 SLG. I would say that sooner than later he will hear his name called by the Hall.
Jeff Kent – Kent get in for me simply using 1 word, offense. The all-time leader for home runs and RBI’s at the second base position blasted 377 long balls and drove in 1,518 runs. He also picked up the 2000 NL MVP award. Some may wish to withhold him from the Hall because of his lack of defense but I can’t leave off arguably the positions’ most productive offensive player.
David Ortiz – The easiest yes on the whole ballot for me. Ortiz slugged 541 home runs, drove in 1,768 RBI’s, and put up a slash line of .286/.380/.552. Although he was only a one-dimensional player, he was very elite with a bat in his hand. The clutch play was also something he strived in. A plethora of postseason memories is what helped him lead the Red Sox to 3 World Series rings. Earned the MVP in both the 2004 ALCS and 2013 World Series.
Scott Rolen – Rolen is a guy that at first glance nothing pops off the page. When you begin to look into his numbers, that’s where you begin to realize just how good he was. 512 doubles, 318 home runs, and 1,287 RBI’s is very good career and warrants HOF consideration. Defensively is where Rolen really makes his case. An 8-time gold glover is impressive in its own feat, but when you discover he is 3rd all-time in defensive WAR at the position behind the great Brooks Robinson and soon-to-be 1st ballot HOFer Adrian Beltre, that is where Rolen deserves the HOF nod.
Jimmy Rollins – Another guy who did not receive much support on the ballot this year. An average hitter over the course of his career but still collected 2,455 hits, 511 doubles, 115 triples, and 470 stolen bases. His greatest attribute was his durability. Playing in more than 140 games in 14 years of his 16 full seasons. He also was an outstanding shortstop, composing the 7th highest fielding percentage of all time at the position. Being durable at the game’s second most demanding position while also being a slightly above-average hitter in your prime and winning an MVP and World Series ring is enough for the HOF in my eyes.
Curt Schilling – An all-time great postseason pitcher, Curt very much has a HOF resume. He went 11-2 in 19 postseason starts, finishing 133 innings of work on his way to winning 3 World Series titles. Also was the WS Co-MVP and 1993 NLCS MVP. 216 wins to go with a 3.46 ERA is A very solid career. His peak was finishing second in the CY voting 3 times in 4 years. He also reached the important 3,000 strikeout milestone. Although Curt himself said that he no longer wanted the BBWAA writers to vote him in, I am not one of those writers, so he will still get my vote.
Gary Sheffield – One of the most baffling cases on the ballot still to this day. Gary was one of very few hitters who could say that the entire league dreaded facing during the prime of his career. He was an all-star at 3 different positions, slashed .292/.393/.514. 509 home runs. 1,475 driven in, 2,689 hits, and 253 stolen bases. Gary has always been a HOF player. Even if there is a suspicion that he was using during his career, albeit to no failed tests, he was a magnificent player for a long time. Definitely deserving of my vote.
Billy Wagner – The final name on my list simply for alphabetical reasons is Wagner. The only reason one can come up with as to why he isn’t in the HOF already is because of his low inning total. He also was not very good in the postseason. He only threw barely over 900 innings yet struck out 1200. Throw in 422 saves and a career ERA+ of 187, and that is the definition of a HOF reliever.