Seven stories to watch on the HOF’s 2025 ballot

on Tuesday The group that will be exalted has been revealed In the Hall of Fame in 2024, Dominicans Adrián Beltré, Todd Helton and Joe Mauer were elected by the BBWAA, along with Jim Leyland, who was selected by the Eras Committee.

Now let’s take a look at next year’s voting.

The 2025 Hall of Fame election cycle will include two new powers on the ballot, a dominant closer, a last chance for stellar outfielders who will continue to inch closer to their place in Cooperstown and much more (it’s worth noting that this hasn’t been made official Has gone) 2025 ballot,

Below, there are seven stories to watch for on the 2025 Hall of Fame ballot.

1) Will Ichiro be unanimously selected?

Ichiro will be on the ballot for the first time next year, and the only question that arises is not whether he deserves a spot in the Hall of Fame… or even whether he should be elected at his first opportunity. ..that will be whether he becomes the next person unanimously elected to the Hall of Fame.

Mariano Rivera of Panama is the only person elected to the Hall of Fame with 100% of the votes. But if anyone gets the opportunity to join him in that category, it might be Ichiro. The Mariners icon is one of the best pure hitters the game has ever seen – a member of the 3,000-hit club despite arriving in MLB at the age of 27, with a career .311 average and the record holder for hits in a Major League season.

Furthermore, Ichiro’s impact on baseball extends far beyond his Major League career. He is adored in the United States, but he is a legend in Japan, where before reaching the majors he had 1,278 hits in the Nippon Professional League, bringing his professional total to an impressive 4,367 hits.

2) Can overcome the drought of CC starter

CC Sabathia’s arrival on the 2025 ballot will mark the first starter to be selected via the BBWAA ballot in quite some time – he is the most dominant starter to make the ballot since Roy Halladay, who was selected in his first opportunity in 2019.

Sabathia amassed 251 wins over his 19-year career and amassed 3,093 wins with Cleveland, the Brewers and the Yankees, winning an American League Cy Young Award with Cleveland and the Yankees – as well as a World Series title. Sabathia’s entry into the 3,000 strikeout club and ace status over two decades in three franchises ultimately earned him Hall of Fame election. But will it be the same as it was for Halladay in his first year?

With CC’s induction, we may see another Hall of Fame starter drought. Unless players like Zack Greinke, Justin Verlander and Clayton Kershaw eventually retire and become eligible after five years, we may not see another starter earn a spot in Cooperstown.

3) Last chance for Wagner

Billy Wagner narrowly missed the Hall of Fame, receiving 73.8% of the vote and missing out by only five votes. Next year will be his 10th and final year of eligibility. you’ll make it?

It looks like he will have a good chance. Support for Wagner has been increasing every year – over the last three election cycles, it has gone from 51% to 68.1% to 73.8%, and once a player reaches that point, he is usually elected.

With Beltre, Helton and Mauer off the ballot, Wagner will be one of the Big Three in 2025 along with Ichiro and Sabathia. The dominant closer posted 422 saves in his career with a 2.31 ERA, 11.9 K/9 and a 33.2% strikeout rate, among the best marks ever.

We have also seen several successful inductions into the Hall of Fame by players in their final years of eligibility – Larry Walker achieved this in his 10th year in 2020, as did Edgar Martínez in 2019.

4) Beltran wants to take another step forward

Looking at the numbers alone, Puerto Rican Carlos Beltrán has a strong claim for the Hall of Fame. His 70.1 WAR ranks eighth among all-time center fielders, he hit 435 home runs with 312 home runs and was an elite outfielder on both offense and defense.

This resulted in him not being selected to the Hall of Fame during his first two voting cycles – possibly due to his connection to the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal in 2017 – but he is on the right track. After receiving 46.5% of the vote in his first attempt in 2023, Beltrán rose to 57.1% in 2024.

After crossing 50% so quickly, and considering the big increase from year one to year two, the Puerto Rican is in a good position to reach Cooperstown in the next five votes. It remains to be seen whether its growth continues to reach 75% in 2025.

5) What are King Felix’s chances?

Venezuela’s Felix Hernandez will be on the ballot with Sabathia in 2025, but will he have a good chance to enter the Hall of Fame?

King dominated as one of the best pitchers in MLB from 2009 to 2015 – reaching his peak in 2010, when he was awarded the Cy Young Award by winning the ERA crown with a 2.27 and 232 strikeouts and Young’s Was led. A circuit consisting of 249.2 episodes was released. He even showed an excellent game. But your chances may be very slim.

Hernandez makes a similar argument for his compatriot Johan Santana, who won two Cy Young Awards and pitched for the Twins to the Triple Crown as the world’s best pitcher at his peak — but that peak was very brief. Johan quit voting after his first year. Some of El Rey’s statistics are slightly better than Santana’s, with 2,524 career strikeouts to Santana’s 1,988, but his record would not have seen enough time to make the Hall of Fame.

6) Excellent second baseman option with Utley, Pedroia and Kinsler

Chase Utley entered the voting as a similar candidate to Mauer – he was also one of the best of his era at his position, one of the best in baseball in the prime of his career, but with limited longevity. .

But the Phillies’ star second baseman did not receive the same support as Mauer in his first year of eligibility, receiving 28.8% of the vote when Mauer was elected. Utley has a ways to go to secure a spot in Cooperstown, but this was a promising start – better than recent selections like Helton and Scott Rolen – so the Hall of Fame will be a realistic possibility.

As for the two newcomers: Pedroia won an MVP award, a Rookie of the Year award and two World Series titles in his 14 seasons with the Red Sox, where he hit .299 in his career. Kinsler was called to four All-Star Games with the Rangers and Tigers, finishing his career with 1,999 hits, 257 home runs and 243 steals.

7) Could Andrew Jones get another push?

As is the case with Beltran, Jones was an elite center fielder both defensively and offensively. Jones – who won 10 Gold Gloves – is considered by some to be one of the greatest defensive outfielders of all time, and Jones also hit 434 home runs in his career.

In 2025, the Braves icon will enter his eighth year of Hall of Fame eligibility, meaning he has three chances left to be selected on the BBWAA ballot. And there’s hope for Jones: He finally started gaining support in the last few voting cycles.

Jones received 61.6% of the vote this year, his highest showing to date, and a big increase from the 7.3% he received in 2018, his first year on the ballot. He could gain more momentum on the ballot in his later years, especially if Jones gets a big group behind him like Walker got a few years ago.

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