So, when I first thought about Johan Santana‘s chances for the Hall of Fame, I thought no. He had too short of a career. Just 12 seasons in the majors (8 seasons with the Twins and 4 with the Mets) and the first two and last one were only part seasons. Someone like that shouldn’t be in the Hall.
But, man he was good. Maybe he wasn’t good for 20 years, but he was excellent for 9 or 10 years.
In total, he had a 139-78 record and a 3.20 ERA in 360 games, 284 starts. He won 2 Cy Youngs and came in 3rd twice, 5th once and 7th once in the voting. He was an All-Star 4 times. He had MVP votes 3 times, finishing 6th, 7th and 14th in voting. And he had 1 Gold Glove.
He had 5 straight seasons of 200+ innings. Actually 5 straight seasons of 219+ innings.
He led the league in innings twice, ERA 3 times, strikeouts 3 times and wins once.
He had a 50.7 career bWAR (putting him #100 an the All-Time pitcher list).
Johan had a terrific peak to his career, but is lacking some of the bulk numbers that would make him someone that Writers would vote into the Hall. As you’ll see below, he had a career that fairly similar to Sandy Koufax. There aren’t many players that compare to Koufax.
I’m betting he falls falls far short, in the Writer’s voting, this year, but, that his vote count grows over the next few years.
Similar Players: Harry Breechen, a post-WWII era player whose career really only started at age 28. Sandy Koufax had a similar overall rate of run prevention, but more innings. Hoyt Wilhelm had more innings and better run prevention. That said, Santana’s prime and Koufax’s prime compare very similarly.
Would you vote Johan Santana into the Baseball Hall of Fame?
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