Beltre – Who else? – Made the cut on my 2024 HOF ballot

The time is coming to reveal the results of the voting conducted by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA) and to know the call to become part of the Class of 2024 of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

There will never be a shortage of debate about the process in which I have once again been privileged to participate as a member of the BBWAA. To join the group of immortals, candidates need to obtain 75% of the votes cast, something that is not as easy as it seems in some cases due to the “era of steroids” and requests not to see it only Is. Statistics but also the “integrity” and “character” of the candidate.

That said, my 2024 ballot was made up of eight former players: Bobby Abreu, Adrian Beltre, Carlos Beltran, Todd Helton, Andrew Jones, Joe Mauer, Gary Sheffield and Billy Wagner.

Of the 12 candidates entering the ballot for 2024, I only chose Adrián Beltre and Joe Mauer. In Beltre’s case, the Dominican third baseman is in line to join manager Jim Leyland, who was selected by baseball’s Contemporary Era non-player committee in December.

In his 21-season career, Beltre finished with a .286 average with 3,166 hits, 477 home runs, 1,707 RBI, and won five Gold Gloves. And his WAR (93.5) ranks him third among third basemen, behind Mike Schmidt and Eddie Matthews.

Mauer, for his part, was one of the best catchers and hitters in his nine years behind the plate before moving to first base due to injuries. But during that period, as a catcher from 2005 to 2013, he hit .323 – only Miguel Cabrera had a higher batting average.

He was a hitting machine with a career .306 average, 2,123 hits, 143 home runs and 923 RBI. He won three batting titles, one Most Valuable Player award, three Gold Gloves, five Silver Sluggers and was selected to six All-Star Games.

For some, his power numbers and the decline in his numbers from 2014 to 2018 worked against him, but the fact that he is a superstar at the most sought-after position in baseball was more than enough to vote him out.

Gary Sheffield: I have never voted for Mali on nine previous occasions, but on this occasion I included him and that potentially opened the door to a sector rejection. I had always considered Sheffield as a possible candidate, but his mention in the BALCO scandal for his use of “cream” was cryptic.

In other words, we have returned to the era of steroids. Who used it and who didn’t? He never tested positive, which I defended when voting for players who were the target of suspicion. The truth is that Sheffield was a fearsome slugger: .292 average, 509 home runs, 467 doubles, 1,676 RBI and 1,475 walks. He went to the All-Star Game nine times, won one batting title and five Silver Sluggers.

In his final Hall of Fame run, if he misses a vote, it won’t be because of me. Let the fire come!

Todd Helton: I’ve been questioning for a few years how it’s possible that Todd Helton isn’t in the Hall of Fame yet. Look at the numbers: .316 career average, 2,519 hits, 369 home runs and 1,406 RBI; He hit over .300 in 12 of his 17 seasons, won the batting title with a .372 average, and won three Gold Gloves. The argument that he played in Colorado is like a cat looking for three (or five) claws.

Carlos Beltran: The only reason the Puerto Rican outfielder did not enter his first year of eligibility (46.5%) was the Houston Astros sign-stealing scandal. Each voter will have to analyze how to deal with that issue, but Beltran’s numbers are there.

He finished his career with a .279 hit, 2,725 hits, including 435 home runs and 565 doubles, 1,587 runs batted in, 1,582 runs batted in, and stole 312 bases. He was American League Rookie of the Year with the Kansas City Royals in 1999 and a nine-time All-Star, and for a long time he was one of the best defensive outfielders with three Gold Gloves. He also made his mark in the postseason with a .307 average, 16 homers and 42 RBI, a slugging percentage of .609 and an OPS of 1.021, and he won a World Series ring with the Astros in 2017.

Andrew Jones: The outfielder from Curaçao was a step toward the Hall of Fame before a steep decline over the past five seasons that left him with a .254 average, 434 homers and 1,289 RBI. But he was incredible with the Braves his first 11 seasons with 368 home runs and 1,117 RBI, and he won 10 consecutive Gold Gloves and had a 26.6 defensive WAR with Atlanta.

Billy Wagner: I’m a supporter of relievers. The left-hander posted 422 saves, a 2.31 ERA and 1,196 strikeouts over 16 seasons.

Bobby Abreu: Since Venezuelans have been able to vote, I have voted for them and have had many debates with colleagues about this. I believe he has the numbers: 2,470 hits, 574 doubles, 59 triples, and 288 home runs and 400 stolen bases. His 60 WAR is on par with other Hall of Fame outfielders Andre Dawson (64.8), Dave Winfield (64.2), Vladimir Guerrero (59.4) and Kirby Puckett (51.1).

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