Second up on this year’s Hall of Fame list is José Bautista. It is his first time on the ballot.
Bautista is, of course, special to me. I’d love to see him in the Hall of Fame.
José had a 15-year MLB career. He played in 1798 games. He had 344 home runs, 975 RBI, and a .247/.361/.475 batting line.
He made 6 All-Star teams, had 3 Silver Slugger awards and received MVP votes 4 times, finishing third, fourth, sixth and eighth.
Bautista led the AL in home runs twice, slugging average once and walks twice. He finished with a 36.7 bWAR.
Defensively, he had a great arm. But he wasn’t a great defensive player, either in right field or at third base. Near the end of his career he didn’t have much range in right, I thought he should have been moved to first base, but, by then he didn’t have the bat for that position.
Unfortunately, he didn’t become a great player until age 29. and then, even though he kept himself in great shape, he aged out of baseball by age 37. But for six seasons, he was one of the best in baseball. If he could have started his peak a couple of years early and maybe hung out for a couple more seasons to build up some bulk numbers.
I’d love to argue he deserves a spot in the Hall. There hasn’t been a player I have enjoyed watching as much as José since, well, I don’t know, Tony Fernandez? Gary Carter? Tim Raines? He changed the Jays. We had a rather boring team, Bautista came along and gave the team a personality. Suddenly there was a swagger.
Would you vote José Bautista into the Baseball Hall of Fame?