The mind can wander. For the past six weeks or so, I’ve been pretty focused on the current Hall of Fame ballot. In the course of deep dives, my mind will wander to current players. On the downside, it causes procrastination from the task at hand, but the upside is huge because it’s really fun to think about so many scenarios with current players when you’re a Hall of Fame junkie like myself.
Thanks to the good part of the wandering, I’m gonna squeeze some more content out of the Hall of Fame vote, too, as I know everyone’s minds wander. It’s a fun offseason discussion.
Among current players, current players only and not those recently retired (ahem, Albert Pujols), I’ll take a look at their current Hall of Fame standing. Obviously, the deep dives will wait until the cases are complete and I’m ready to cast a Hall of Fame ballot. These are quick once-overs with a simple goal: Discussion.
Take part in a sports bar argument with your friends — or, hell, strangers! — on the players below. Who will make it? Who won’t? Who will end up borderline? There are no wrong answers, yet.
Let’s do it.
Miguel Cabrera – I shouldn’t have said “there are no wrong answers” above, because there most certainly are. Several of the players listed in this category will fly in with ease on their first ballot and any dissent should be outright dismissed if not cruelly mocked. Mr. Cabrera is a two-time MVP with four batting titles, 3,088 career hits, 507 home runs, 1,847 RBI, 1,530 runs, a 142 OPS+ and sits above the Hall of Fame standard in JAWS and WAR. I can’t fathom a person of any ilk arguing against him.
Clayton Kershaw – Three-time Cy Young winner with an MVP and five ERA titles? Do we really even need to discuss?
Justin Verlander – Similar to Cabrera and Kershaw, we don’t need much discussion here. Verlander was already in before returning from Tommy John surgery to win another Cy Young and World Series title. He’s now up to 244 wins and 3,198 strikeouts, too.
Max Scherzer – Three Cy Youngs, eight top-five finishes in Cy Young voting, 3,193 career strikeouts, a World Series ring … again, we don’t really need to go too in-depth here.
Mike Trout – I wonder if there would be some pushback here if Trout retired today, but there shouldn’t be. He’s already won three MVPs and finished second four times. He’s led the league in runs four times, RBI once, walks three…