Torii, Abreu returning to HOF ballot next year

January 26th, 2022

Former Angels outfielders Torii Hunter and Bobby Abreu both appeared on the 2022 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot, but neither gained much traction among the voters from the BBWAA. Hunter received 5.3 percent of the vote in his second year on the ballot, while Abreu garnered 8.6 percent in his third year.

But both players received more than the five-percent threshold that keeps them eligible for the 2023 ballot. Players can remain on the ballot for a maximum of 10 years and must receive 75 percent of the vote to get inducted into the Hall of Fame. Former Twins and Red Sox slugger David Ortiz was the only player elected this year and received 77.9 percent of the vote.

Hunter, regarded as one of the best defensive players of his era, saw a decrease from the 10.5 percent of the vote he garnered last year. The center fielder played 19 years in the Majors, including five with the Angels from 2008-12. He won nine Gold Gloves, two Silver Sluggers and was an All-Star five times.

With the Angels, he won Gold Gloves in 2008 and '09, a Silver Slugger in '08 and was an All-Star in both '09 and '10. He also helped lead the Angels to the postseason in 2008 and '09. Hunter was also known as a clubhouse leader and as one of the friendliest players in the game.

He was a career .277/.331/.461 hitter with 353 homers, 498 doubles, 1,391 RBIs and 195 stolen bases in 2,372 games with the Twins, Angels and Tigers. He also reached the postseason eight times, slashing .274/.340/.414 with four homers and 20 RBIs in 48 games. He finished his career with a 50.7 WAR, per Baseball Reference, while the average Baseball Reference WAR for a Hall of Fame center fielder is 71.6.

Abreu saw a miniscule decrease in the vote from last year, as he garnered 8.7 percent in 2021 after getting 5.5 percent in '20. He was an underrated player during his 18-year career, as the right fielder combined power and speed with on-base skills and solid defense with a strong throwing arm. He was an All-Star with the Phillies in 2004 and '05, while also winning a Silver Slugger in '04 and a Gold Glove in '05. He was a career .291/.395/.475 hitter with 288 homers, 574 doubles, 1,363 RBIs and 400 stolen bases in 2,425 games.

Abreu played parts of four seasons with the Angels from 2009-12, batting .267/.364/.412 with 43 homers, 75 stolen bases and 246 RBIs in 456 games. He helped the Angels to the playoffs in 2009 and batted .556 (5-for-9) in three games against the Red Sox in an AL Division Series sweep. He made it to the postseason four times in his career and he batted .284/.392/.418 with a homer, two stolen bases and nine RBIs in 20 games.

Abreu had plenty of power -- he won the 2005 Home Run Derby and hit more than 20 homers nine times -- but was also a speed threat, as he stole as many as 40 bases in '04 and recorded two 30/30 seasons and nine 20/20 seasons. The Venezuela native recorded 60.2 WAR during his career, which is just below the average baseball-reference WAR of 71.1 for right fielders. He was also a durable player, averaging 156 games played from 1998-2010, and never played fewer than 151 games in any of those 13 seasons.