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11 tips including hope for Alex Rodriguez and Carlos Beltrán

The results of the 2023 BBWAA Baseball Hall of Fame voting have been announced Scott Rollin is now a Hall of FamerAfter receiving 76.3% of the votes. Below are the full results with the official vote percentages. Players needed 75 percent of the vote to achieve that, and at least five percent of the vote to remain on the ballot for the next year, up to 10 years.

Let’s delve deeper into the biggest takeaways of Hall of Fame season.

1. This is actually a two man class

First, The Contemporary Era Committee selected Fred McGriff. The Hall of Fame ceremony honoring two players will take place next summer. McGriff is 59 while Rollin is 47. Both have played with a few teams and this should have been a fun weekend event.

2. The Rollin case can give us hope

In 2018, Rolen received just 10.2% of the votes in an even more popular poll. But as ballots were erased over the years with induction into the Hall of Famers and famous players not being inducted, stains on Rollins’ ballots were erased. There has also been a surge of support from different corners of the internet, suggesting Rolen’s defense deserves plenty of credit and it’s shown in stats like WAR.

Rollins’ move from 10.2 percent of the vote to writers’ voting was the largest in history. It’s a record that may not last long, as there are a few players that we’ll discuss below for making a move similar to Rolen’s.

Making big strides from very small beginnings is certainly an issue that worries many of the leading candidates this round.

3. Hilton is right on the cliff

like I mentioned it at length in last month’s roles discussion, It’s very rare for players to surpass the 62 percent mark over time for the poll and not vote soon after, whether it’s a one-round or two-round vote. Rolen surpassed that mark last year and did it this time. Next up is Todd Hilton.

Hilton scored 72.2 percent in his fifth year. It would be unprecedented for a player to reach that level of voting in their fifth year and not step foot on the hall.

Using available data, no public vote received 10 votes that did not include Helton. That means that even with players like Adrián Beltré and Joe Mauer next year, the vast majority of voters either voted for Helton or have one or more spots open to add him. There will be new voters. Some voters are rushing to stop covering the game. Some voters are reconsidering their stance on gamers as they approach 75 percent.

For all these reasons, Helton will almost certainly be voted out next year.

4. Beltran has hope

Carlos Beltrán has a statistical profile in the Hall of Fame, but since his retirement a sign-theft scandal has overshadowed his Hall of Fame chances (Full breakdown here).

The good news for Beltrán is that he started with a decent number: 46.5% of the votes on his first try.

It’s not the best comparison to looping in connected PED actuators, but it’s the best we’ve had. Players disqualified from the Hall of Fame for being associated with PEDs started with a percentage or less in their mid-30s. Most of them were actually lower, only Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds were in their mid-30s.

With Beltran starting here he is already in a much better position. Anecdotally, I’ve also read several columns by notable authors who have said they plan to come back in the years to come, not having voted Beltrán on the ballot here for the first time. And some people consider the “first choice Hall of Fame” a sacred honor.

Overall, I think Beltrán’s results are net positive. We’ll see how far he gets next time – without the “first ballot” thing and maybe some of the authors mentioned reconsidering his case – without making sweeping statements.

5. A-Rod has less hope

Alex Rodriguez’s Hall of Fame case is Complex. We all already know that. Before last year’s vote, we weren’t sure how the vote would go for him. This was his second run on the ballot and his first without the likes of Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens.

Bonds might be the best roadmap here between PED ties and a positional player’s all-time great numbers, though Bonds was never suspended under MLB’s JDA and pinned A-Rod with one of the biggest penalties in history. Bonds started in the mid-30s and was over 66 percent in its final year. The electoral body will continue to evolve toward a new-school mentality, but there are future voters who would have voted for Bonds because of the suspension and not voted for A-Rod.

Well, A-Rod got 34.3% of the vote last year and 35.7% this time.

That’s probably in the slack area, isn’t it? I know I often mention things about changing electoral bodies, evolving opinions and things like that, but it has barely moved.

Put simply, while things can change, he seems stuck.

6. Wagner, Jones is fine now

Billy Wagner started 2016 with about 10 percent of the vote (see Roles section above). Over four trips it was only 16.7 percent, but now it’s moving.

2020: 31,7 %
2021: 46,4 %
2022: 51 %
2023: 68,1 %

Wagner has two ballots left and has a fair chance of making it home. It could even happen next year. It’s very close now.

Not very close but still within reach with Andrew Jones. He starts sweating just to stay over five percent. He only got 7.5 percent on his second ballot, but then he started getting some favors.

2020: 19,4 %
2021: 33,9 %
2022: 41,4 %
2023: 58,1 %

Jones was on the ballot for the sixth time, so it took him four more voting cycles to get less than 20 percent. If that were the case, he would easily break Rolen’s record.

But with both players, but especially with Jones because he was so far away: there’s always a risk of getting stuck. That is, a player can hit a certain percentage and then stagnate. It varies from player to player as each Hall of Fame issue is unique and all are voted on by an ever-changing electorate.

Overall, however, things are looking good for Wagner and it really looks like Jones has the momentum to finally get him. A person who has settled in over the past few years and had a potentially great night has always been a great slugger.

7. Sheffield within reach?

It was Gary Sheffield’s ninth time on the ballot. He made big gains in 2019-21, from 13.6 percent to 40.6 percent, but in 2022 he’ll hit exactly 40.6 percent again. It looks like he’s lost all hope. Instead, opt for the potentially overused but still fun “So you’re telling me there’s a chance” section.

Sheffield got 55 percent of the vote this year.

Maybe there’s a nice bump in the last year? Kent got a boost of over 13 percent, although that wouldn’t be enough. One of the biggest recent poll jumps in a single year was Larry Walker, who jumped from 54.6 percent in his ninth year to 76.6 percent in his last attempt.

If Sheffield can make such gains with the electoral body next year, they will happen. Obviously this is a very high hill to climb, but it is possible.

8. Kent drops out of the election

Jeff Kent was the only player in this ballot for the tenth time. As such, it was the proverbial swan song. We knew he wouldn’t come close, but he hit a new high with 46.5 percent of the vote, more than 10 percentage points above his previous peak of 32.7 percent. It’s a feather in his cap that he gets nearly 50 percent of the vote while circling the ballot box for a decade. It’s tough getting on the ballot, and Kent can rest easy knowing he’s definitely made baseball history.

Besides, my intuition Kent would do much better with the committee votes (as McGriff), so this could be a blessing in disguise. I bet he’s in the hall for the next decade.

9. Possible reason for optimism?

The following players are low on the ballot but have a chance to catch lightning in a bottle like Rollin did (and much like how Helton, Jones and possibly Sheffield and Wagner turned out).

  • Andy Pettitt rose to 17 percent from 10.7 percent. This is his fifth year in the polls so he’ll need some bigger jumps, but it’s the starting point.
  • Bobby Abreu went from 8.6 percent to 15.4 percent in his fourth year. It’s a very nice bump.
  • Jimmy Rollins rose from 9.4 to 12.9 percent. Really modest in terms of wins and vote share, but it’s only his second ballot and Chase Utley is coming soon. When Utley and Rollins debate together on the ballot, it’s always possible that there is mutual momentum in voting the double play combination. It didn’t work out for Lou Whitaker and Alan Trammell, but times are changing.
  • Mark Buhrle rose from 5.8 percent to 10.8 percent. I dive into it his case as a permanent employee Recently, and probably will continue to be, talked about.
  • This was the first ballot for Francisco “K-Rod” Rodriguez. He started with 10.8 percent of the votes. While Rolen’s entry gives hope to all players, Wagner’s move is particularly telling as K-Rod and other elite lockers step forward. It’s very hard for commentators to get into the hall, but Wagner’s entry next year could help pave the way for some momentum for K-Rod.

10. No man’s land

Now we turn to the players who seem to have no chance of getting to the pits despite still voting.

  • Manny Ramirez has actually improved from 28.9 percent to 33.2 percent, but he’s not even halfway there with just three ballots left. I don’t see enough room for improvement there.
  • Omar Vizquel’s descent continues. From 52.6 in 2020 to 49.1 to 23.9 and now to 19.5 percent at the sixth attempt. There’s a better chance of him dropping off the ballots before his 10 years are up than turning things around and receiving the honors.
  • Torii Hunter rose from 5.3 to 6.9 percent, but is still very close to 5 percent after a very small gain in the third year. He’ll probably have to get up more than 10 percent next year to have any hope at all, but I think it’s all a matter of form.

11. Five percent

The following players did not get five percent of the vote, meaning they were removed from the vote: Bronson Arroyo, RA Dickey, John Lackey, Mike Napoli, Houston Street, Matt Cain, Jacoby Ellsbury, Andre Either, JJ Hardy, Johnny. Peralta, Jared Weaver, and Jason Wirth. Remarkably, these were all first-time visitors. Each share received at least five percent of the votes.

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