While members of the BBWAA added four players to the Hall of Fame for 2018, there are still worthy candidates waiting for the call to the Hall.Let's take a look at next year's ballot, and go position-by-position to assess the most deserving Hall of Famer who is eligible but not
While members of the BBWAA added four players to the Hall of Fame for 2018, there are still worthy candidates waiting for the call to the Hall.
Let's take a look at next year's ballot, and go position-by-position to assess the most deserving Hall of Famer who is eligible but not inducted.
1B: Fred McGriff -- He was so consistently good, hitting 493 home runs in his 19-year career. If not for the strike-shortened 1994 and 1995 seasons, it's safe to assume he would have reached 500 home runs, a milestone that historically has paved the way to Cooperstown.
2B: Jeff Kent -- He finished his career as the all-time leader among second basemen with 351 home runs, 1,389 RBI, a .500 slugging percentage and 560 doubles, and was third all-time with an .855 OPS. The defense was okay, but didn't earn rave reviews, which is the primary reason voters have been hesitant.
3B: Scott Rolen -- He had HOF claims early in a career in which he was a seven-time All-Star and eight-time Gold Glove winner. Injuries blurred the latter part of his career, as Rolen played in at least 120 games only twice over his final eight seasons.
SS: Miguel Tejada -- He finished in the top 20 in MVP voting each year from 2000-2006, winning the American League MVP award with Oakland in 2002. However, links to performance-enhancing drugs could hurt his chances.
LF: Barry Bonds -- His candidacy has been tainted by allegations of PED use, but he won seven MVP Awards, including three before the so-called PED era. Without the suspicions, he undoubtedly would have been a first-ballot inductee as the all-time leader in home runs with 762.
CF: Andruw Jones -- With 434 career home runs and 10 Gold Gloves, Jones was a force at the plate and in center field. A .254 career batting average could be the anchor weighing down his candidacy.
RF: Larry Walker -- Regarded as one of the most complete players in the game during his ##-year career, Walker joins Stan Musial, Babe Ruth, Jimmie Foxx, Ted Williams and Lou Gehrig --all Hall of Famers -- as the only players in MLB history who batted at least .300, had a .400 or better on-base percentage, a .400-plus slugging percentage and at least 450 doubles, 60 triples, 350 homers and 1,250 RBIs. He also won seven Gold Gloves, second only to Dwight Evans' eight among right fielders in the Hall of Fame.
DH: Edgar Martinez -- He finished 22 votes shy this year, but his 70.4 percent was 11.8 percent higher than a year ago, showing strong momentum. What kind of DH was he? Well, MLB hands out the Edgar Martinez Award to the best DH each year.
SP: Roger Clemens -- Clemens' candidacy is similar to Bonds' in regards to PEDs. Nevertheless, he dominated from the day he got to the big leagues. Clemens won a record seven Cy Young Awards, two more than No. 2, Randy Johnson, who already is in Cooperstown.
RP: Mariano Rivera -- 2019 will be his first year on the ballot, and with an MLB-record 652 saves, he's virtually a lock.
C: Ted Simmons -- Let's give a tip of the hat to Ted Simmons, who didn't earn election in his first stint on the BBWAA ballot, but in December came up just one vote shy of making it as a selection of the Modern Era Committee, which votes on players who were not elected during their eligibility on the BBWAA ballot.