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Hall of Fame Polls: Giambi, Helton, Jeter

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2019 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
You can just make out Minor Leagure in the center of that picture. He’s the 2864th dot from the left.

I’m going to skip four players on the Hall of Fame ballot:

Adam Dunn had a 14-year MLB career. He’s the definition of a three true outcome hitter. In fact, I’d imagine that if you looked the term, you would see Dunn’s name in the explanation. He hit a lot of home runs (462), took a lot of walks (1317) and had a ton of strikeouts (2379). That added up to an interesting batting line (.237/.364/.490) and a good number of RBI (1168). If he had been a good defensive player you could make a case for him for the Hall (though he’d have to have been a great defensive player to make it). He wasn’t. He was a very poor left fielder, who got moved to first (where he wasn’t great either) and then DHed. He got MVP votes 3 times (highest finish was 21st), made 2 All-Star games and finished 4th in Rookie of the Year voting in 2001. Had a 17.4 bWAR.

Chone Figgins had a 12-year career. I remember, at one time, I was hoping the Jays would pick him up. He had some good seasons (he hit .298/.395/.393 with 42 saves and a 4.8 bWAR in 2009). Stole a good number of bases (had 341 career, and his season best was 62). But he mixed in some bad seasons (had OPS+ numbers above 100 just 4 times). And he wasn’t a terrific defensive infielder. Career he hit .276/.349/.363 and had a 22.2 career bWAR. He got MVP votes 4 times (highest finish was 10th) and made 1 All-Star team.

Rafael Furcal played for 14 seasons and had some good years. He was Rookie of the Year in the AL in 2000, hitting .295/.395/.382 with 40 steals. And was pretty good with the glove at short, but wasn’t a Gold Glove type. Career he hit .281/.346/.402 with 113 home runs, 314 steals in 1614 games and a 39.3 bWar. If he had a couple more good seasons, you could make an argument for him.

Raul Ibanez played a long time, 19 seasons and was the Mariners starting left fielder at age 41 (and had 29 home runs that year). He was consistent, from 2001 to 2013 he had 12 seasons of OPS+ numbers between 103 and 132 (the outlier was 2011 when he had a 91). He had ok power with 13 seasons of 13 or more home runs (high mark was 34). Totaled 305 home runs (would have had more if he hadn’t played most of his career for Seattle). Made 1 All-Star team and got MVP votes 3 times (high mark 20th in the voting). He didn’t become a regular until age 29. Career numbers: .272/.335/.465, 305 homers, 20.4 bWAR.


Jason Giambi is on the ballot for the first time. He played for 20 seasons. Hit .277/.399/.516 with 440 home runs and a 50.5 bWAR playing mostly first base and DH.

He won the AL MVP vote in 2000 (hitting .333/.476/.647 with 43 home runs and 137 walks). He came in second in the voting next year and also finished 5th, 8th, 13th, 14th and 18th in the voting. He made 5 All-Star teams and won 2 Silver Slugger awards.

In the five seasons from 1999 to 2003 he hit .311/.444/.596 with 196 home runs and 609 walks which is as good a 5-year peak as you are going to see (short of Barry Bonds).

He played on 8 teams that made the playoffs, but didn’t get a World Series ring.

Jason’s name came up in the BALCO scandal, but he was one of those guys who I found it hard to dislike, even as a Yankee. His career numbers are much the same as Carlos Delgado’s. Carlos was a (very unfairly) one and out on the Hall of Fame Ballot. I’m wondering if Giambi’s time as a Yankee will save him from that fate.

Giambi’s career numbers are here.

Poll

Would you vote Jason Giambi into the Baseball Hall of Fame?

This poll is closed

  • 18%
    Yes
    (74 votes)
  • 81%
    No
    (327 votes)
401 votes total Vote Now

It is Todd Helton’s second time on the ballot. Last year he got 16.5% of the vote.

Todd was one of those rare players, getting rarer every year it seems, who played their entire career with one time. 17 seasons, all with the Colorado Rockies.

Helton hit .316/.414/.539, with 2519 hits (97th in MLB history), including 369 home runs (80th in MLB history) in 2247 games. His career bWAR is 61.2. The line isn’t all that different than Giambi’s. How to compare Giambi on PEDs with Helton playing in Denver (compared to Giambi playing more of his career in the pitcher friendly park in Oakland) is the question in my mind.

In Helton’s rookie season he hit .315/.380/.430 in 152 games and finished 2nd in Rookie of the Year voting.

Two years later he hit .372/.463/.698 with a league leading 216 hits, 59 doubles (also league leading), 42 home runs and 147 RBIs (league leading). He finished 5th in MVP voting.

Todd would make 5 All-Star teams, won 3 Gold Gloves. 4 Silver Sluggers and got MVP votes 6 times. He had a streak of 5 straight seasons with OPS over 1.000.

Like many guys in the Hall of Fame, he had a very high peak and then continued out his career long enough to build great career numbers.

The NL had some good first basemen in his ERA. I’m not sure where to rank him against Albert Pujols and Jeff Bagwell. Well I guess I do, Pujols and Bagwell were better players. but Helton wasn’t all that far behind.

Helton’s stats are here.

Poll

Would you vote Todd Helton in the the Baseball Hall of Fame?

This poll is closed

  • 45%
    Yes
    (173 votes)
  • 54%
    No
    (209 votes)
382 votes total Vote Now

Derek Jeter is on the ballot for the first time. I think we’ve all heard more than enough about Jeter (every Clemensing Jays broadcast if nowhere else). Jeter had a career 72.4 bWAR.

His stats are here.

Poll

Would you vote Derek Jeter into the Baseball Hall of Fame?

This poll is closed

  • 82%
    Yes
    (346 votes)
  • 17%
    No
    (74 votes)
420 votes total Vote Now