Each year we run a series of Hall of Fame polls, checking to see who we would vote into the Hall, if we had the vote. Over the next couple of weeks we'll run through the players on the ballot.
We have an advantage over the BBWAA (how come, if they are writers, they don't know that baseball is one word?), we can vote for more than 10 guys. With a ballot as crowded as this one, there are too many good candidates, with only being allowed 10 on the ballot, it's tough get deserving players to the 75% mark. Add in that many writers refuse to list ten, they don't clear many names off the list for next year.
Top of the list alphabetically is Jeff Bagwell. Bagwell has a pretty strong case. He played 15 seasons with the Astros, as a first baseman. He hit 297/.408/.540 with 449 home runs (38th all time), 1529 RBI (49th all-time), 202 stolen bases in 2150 games. The stolen base count amazes me, I really didn't think he was all that fast. He was successful 72% of the time when trying to steal.
Jeff played in 4 All-Star games, was NL Rookie of the Year in 1991 and NL MVP in 1994. He has 1 Gold Glove and 3 Silver Slugger Awards. Baseball Reference has his career WAR at 79.6, which would be 64th all-time.
This is Bagwell's 7th year on the ballot. Last year he hit a new high, being on 71.6% of the ballots. He was at 41.7% in 2011, 56.0% in 2012, 59.6% 2013, 54.3% 2014 and 55.7% last year. Maybe this is his year.
There are suggestions that Bagwell used PEDs. I don't think there is any proof that he used, but he was friends with Ken Caminiti, which some think is guilt by association. I really think that if the Writers believe he used, then they should have said something back in the day. If you weren't willing to bring it up at the time, then it shouldn't be an issue when it is time to vote him into the Hall of Fame.
I was at a game in the Astrodome, back when Bagwell played. I remember thinking that he had the widest stance I've ever seen. His feet must have been 4 feet apart when he was in the batters box.