Blog Entry

Halladay, CC lead over-30 Hall hopefuls

Posted on: January 6, 2012 12:25 pm
Edited on: January 6, 2012 1:47 pm

By Matt Snyder

In our series of Hall of Fame-related posts, leading to Monday's announcement about who will join Ron Santo in the 2012 Baseball Hall of Fame class, we continue right here with a grouping of 30-plus year old players who haven't yet rounded out their resumes. None of these guys could retire right now and be a sure bet for the Hall (though the top option would very much have a chance), but all have at least the slimmest of chances.

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To clarify what we're attempting to do here, this isn't C. Trent Rosecrans and Matt Snyder say who should be in the Hall of Fame (though Trent does have only two more years until he's a voter). This is us going through and trying to guess how the entire voting body -- which is larger than 550 people -- would react to certain players. We could be wrong. It's just a fun, and subjective, discussion leading up to the 2012 voting results.

Saturday, we'll check out the under-30 crowd to see who is building a Hall-like foundation to their careers (Hint: You may see a "Felix" on there ... ).

For now, we're looking at players over 30-years-old who are still in their prime or just barely past it.

Looking Good ...

Roy Halladay - Could Doc retire right now and make the Hall? Maybe. Maybe not. I would say it's not a sure thing yet but he's headed to the Hall of Fame, because he's not retiring any time soon. If we do this again next year, he might very well have already moved to the surefire list. He's that close. The eight-time All-Star has two Cy Youngs, seven top-five Cy Young finishes and two runner-up finishes in the voting. He's already amassed over 2,500 career innings pitched with 66 complete games and 20 shutouts. His 188-92 record, 3.23 ERA and 1.17 WHIP all look nice. He'll surpass 2,000 strikeouts this season and he's already 40th all-time in career Wins Above Replacement among pitchers. He'll likely climb into the top 30 this season while going past 200 victories. Oh, and he threw a no-no in the playoffs. At 34, he probably has three years left in his prime. So, yeah, this case is nearly complete, barring him turning into Mike Morgan for the next five years. There are guys already in the Hall with worse numbers.

CC Sabathia - Carsten Charles isn't nearly as close as Halladay, he's just on the right track. CC is a five-time All-Star with one Cy Young and five top five finishes in Cy voting. He has a World Series ring and a 176-96 career record, to go with a 3.51 ERA (125 ERA-plus) and 1.23 WHIP. The problem for Sabathia is, though he's played 11 seasons, he didn't become dominant until 2007 -- yes, he was 17-5 as a rookie, but with a 4.39 ERA and zero complete games. From 2007-11, CC has been a Hall of Fame caliber pitcher, but that's only five years. He does already have over 2,000 strikeouts, though. Another three seasons like the past three he's had for the Yankees and he's a pretty good bet to make it, I'd guess. Five more and he's a lock. Since he's still only 31, I like his chances.

Work to be done ...

Carlos Beltran - A Rookie of Year, six All-Star games, three Gold Gloves, 302 homers, 293 steals. Good? Definitely. Elite? Not yet. And he's a slightly-broken-down 34. It doesn't look promising.

Adrian Beltre -
Those five seasons of having Safeco Field stifle his offensive numbers could prove very costly. He's still only 32, though.

Lance Berkman
- Does the 35-year-old have about three more seasons coming like the one he just had in St. Louis? If so, he may just have a shot. If not, he's just had a really great career.

Mark Buehrle - He's only 32 and sports a 161-119 record along with two no-hitters (one perfecto). Four All-Star appearances and three Gold Gloves, too. If Buehrle pitches six more years or so with the same durability he may sneak into discussion.

Chris Carpenter - Injuries probably did him in. If you look at 2004-06 and then 2009-11 for Carpenter, and say he could have done that over a 12-year period in a 16-year career, he's a Hall of Famer. Instead, he really has only those six seasons to bank on, as his six-year stint in Toronto was mediocre. He's 36 now and probably doesn't have enough has left in his tank to put up four more big seasons, especially considering he wasn't awesome in 2011 and worked over 270 innings (playoffs included).

Johnny Damon - Do you believe 3,000 hits is an automatic ticket to the Hall? Everyone with at least 3,000 hits is in the Hall except: Pete Rose (banned from baseball), Derek Jeter (still active), Craig Biggio (not Hall-eligible until next year) and Rafael Palmeiro (tested positive for a banned substance). With 2,723 hits, Damon is two seasons away. But he's 38. But pretty much just as productive as he's been for a long time, according to OPS-plus. We'll see ...

Matt Holliday - In eight seasons, Holliday is a five-time All-Star and has received MVP votes in five different seasons. His rate stats -- .315/.388/.541 with a 137 OPS-plus -- look awesome, but Holliday didn't come up until he was 24. So he's a 31-year-old power hitter with just 202 homers and 770 RBI. Can he keep hitting like this for another eight years? Until then, he's not getting in.

Tim Hudson - His numbers are a bit similar to Sabathia, minus the strikeouts and World Series ring, but he's 36. Hudson will be on a Hall of Fame ballot, but just one, before falling off. Really good career, though.

Paul Konerko - It feels like he doesn't have enough time left. He's a 35-year-old power hitter with 396 homers and 1,261 RBI. Basically, you could say the same thing I said above about Berkman (subbing in "Chicago" for "St. Louis," of course).

Phillies' offensive trio - Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley formed the offensive nucleus for a team that won the NL East five straight years (and counting), the NL two straight years and the 2008 World Series. But considering various circumstances (age, injury history, etc.), it appears the Phillies offense had zero Hall of Famers through this stretch.

Roy Oswalt - Young Roy appeared on the way, finishing in the top five of Cy Young voting five of his first six seasons. The numbers for the 34-year-old show he's got a chance with three more really great seasons, but his balky back poses a huge problem.

Mark Teixeira - He'll turn 32 in April, so it would appear he has an uphill battle with 314 homers and 1,017 RBI thus far in his career. The .904 OPS (132 OPS-plus) looks really good, but Teixiera's only hit .252 the past two seasons combined.

Michael Young - He's a seven-time All-Star with a .304 career batting average and many writers seem to love him (he got a first-place AL MVP vote this year, for example). Young also has 2,061 hits and is 35. Does he have 939 hits left in him? He has 957 in the past five seasons. He could probably play five more seasons as a DH.

So what do you think, readers? Any of these guys have a shot? Who has the best shot?

Coming Saturday: Under-30 players who have laid a foundation
Sunday: "Asterisk" guys with Hall-type resumes
Monday: 2012 Hall of Fame inductee(s) announced
Monday: Looking ahead at the 2013 first-year eligibles
Monday: Looking at the '14, '15 and '16 first-year eligibles

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Since: Jan 7, 2012
Posted on: January 14, 2012 6:32 pm

Halladay, CC lead over-30 Hall hopefuls

Doc has been a top 5 Cy Young finalist for the past 6 years. The only pitcher I have found that exceeds  this total is Maddux who boasts 7 consecutive top 5 Cy Young finishes. Of course Maddux ran off 4 consecutive Cy Youngs during his stretch!

Since: Nov 18, 2011
Posted on: January 10, 2012 9:50 am

Halladay, CC lead over-30 Hall hopefuls

Where is Todd Helton in this discussion?  How can you be taken seriously when the article is full of justifications for lesser players?  I don't buy any of it.  BTW, please describe to me one signature moment in Barry Larkin's career... other than being a good guy and being blessed with health and longevity, I cannot think of a defining moment.

Since: Jan 9, 2007
Posted on: January 10, 2012 1:54 am

Halladay, CC lead over-30 Hall hopefuls

Interesting list...Doc and CC are locks right now, no question. I like Michael Young, kinda like a Biggio type player. If Damon gets to 3000, adding the fact he was a Yank and Red Sox, he gets in. Keep an eye out for Tex...but he could end up like Donny Baseball (outside looking in). ENUFF with Thome...what else has he done??? I'm not a hater, but I'm not naive either...he took the same roids that Sosa, Bags, Frank Thomas, Sheffield, Sexson, Greg Vaughn and every other power hitter took to get those gaudy numbers. I never found Thome interesting, but I did like Sosa...and Sheffield's violent swing.

Since: Aug 21, 2007
Posted on: January 9, 2012 7:51 pm

Halladay, CC lead over-30 Hall hopefuls

I'm wondering why Ichiro wasn't mentioned under "work to do"?
10 straght All Star and 10 straight Gold Gloves, AL MVP, All Star MVP just to mention a few of his credentials.

Since: Sep 6, 2006
Posted on: January 9, 2012 5:38 pm

Halladay, CC lead over-30 Hall hopefuls

Out of the Phillies trio I would say the only one who realistically has a chance is Chase Utley, and that's because he's just been considered the best 2nd baseman for awhile, be he needs to reclaim that title from Robinson Cano. 
No chance...Utley has been fading for 4 years...his slugging percentage and batting average have dropped 4 straight years, RBIs and HRs and runs scored have dropped for 3 straight years, and his fielding is average at best.  He doesn't sniff the Hall without a ticket.

The only real shot at the hall for the Phillies trio is Rollins, and only if he gets to 3000 hits.  I wrote earlier Howard had a shot, and he really does, but I don't believe that he will come back from the achilles injury.  I can't recall anybody to have that injury and come close to being the same.  Especially as much as that ankle has to support.  So statistically he has a shot, but I just don't believe it.

Since: Dec 7, 2006
Posted on: January 9, 2012 3:53 pm

Halladay, CC lead over-30 Hall hopefuls

Bill Mueller got 4 votes for the HOF...that's why this whole voting thing is so stupid. Whoever voted for him should have his right to vote taken away. I'm surprised those same guys didn't vote for Tony Womack.

Since: Apr 26, 2010
Posted on: January 8, 2012 12:16 pm

Halladay, CC lead over-30 Hall hopefuls

Interestingly, the first pitcher I heard called the "last 300 game winner" was Warren Spahn. One of the ways the game has changed is in the way pitchers are handled leading to longer careers. Never say never.

Since: Nov 16, 2009
Posted on: January 8, 2012 11:34 am

Halladay, CC lead over-30 Hall hopefuls

He is probably insinuating that Pujols and Thome are going to be locks for the Hall of Fame.  That is just my best guess.

Since: Feb 28, 2008
Posted on: January 8, 2012 1:12 am

Halladay, CC lead over-30 Hall hopefuls

I would have to say that CC and Halladay are both locks unless injuries hit them.  To be in the Hall you really need to be considered the best at your position, and CC and Halladay are both the definition of an ace.  Damon will get in if he hits 3,000 hits.  Out of the Phillies trio I would say the only one who realistically has a chance is Chase Utley, and that's because he's just been considered the best 2nd baseman for awhile, be he needs to reclaim that title from Robinson Cano.  Why Pujols and Thome are nowhere on here I don't know.

Since: Aug 19, 2006
Posted on: January 8, 2012 1:10 am

Halladay, CC lead over-30 Hall hopefuls

 Anti Yankee crap? You are the homer pointing out CCs wins and losses and saying that should be the deciding factor.... Halladay is twice the pitcher Sabbathia is, who cares about wins and losses. That has more to do with the offensive ability of the team you happen to play for. Not to mention he has Rivera closing out games for him. There are plenty of stats to compare pitchers, but you have to be pretty clueless to look at W-L. Can you honestly tell me Doc wouldnt have another 50-60 wins and a handful of rings playing for the Yanks and their high powered payroll? Use your head.

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