Which Active Players Are Going to Cooperstown?

The Hall of Fame announces its results tomorrow, and the next few days will be filled with voters publishing their ballots online, giving you ample opportunity to shake your head in wonder at the thought process of some voters. But, instead of getting frustrated by decisions made by other people we have no influence over, I’d like to do something else while waiting for Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, and maybe even Frank Thomas to be acknowledged as all time greats. So, today, let’s update a post I did a few years ago, and look at which players currently active are going to eventually end up in Cooperstown.

Before I started picking names, though, I was curious as to what the historical precedent was for active Hall of Famers in any given season. I noted a few weeks ago that, historically, between 1-2% of all players have been inducted in the Hall of Fame, but because the best players have long careers and end up crossing over eras, it would make sense that there are more than 8-15 Hall of Famers playing in any given season. So, with assistance from Baseball-Reference’s Play Index, I pulled the number of players in every season of baseball history who were eventually elected to the Hall of Fame.

I won’t reproduce the whole list here, since it covers 134 seasons even after you exclude the nine recent years in which no one has yet to be elected, but I will note that the most Hall of Famers ever in one season is 53, back in 1928-1929-1930. There were 52 in 1926, 1927, and 1932. In fact, there are only 15 seasons in baseball history where there were 40 or more active Hall of Famers in that season, and those 15 years are every season from 1923 to 1937. Here are those 15 seasons, with rank being their position on the all time leaderboard for seasons with most Hall of Famers active.


Rk Year #Matching
15 1923 40
11 1924 47
8 1925 51
6 1926 52
5 1927 52
3 1928 53
2 1929 53
1 1930 53
9 1931 48
4 1932 52
7 1933 51
10 1934 47
12 1935 44
14 1936 41
13 1937 41

I think we can safely say that the era of Babe Ruth has been romanticized more than any other in baseball history, and agree that there are probably some players in the Hall of Fame who were simply the recipients of some fortuitous timing. That kind of representation of an era is not normal.

But, interestingly, the median number for active Hall of Famers in a season doesn’t really change much even if you throw out that entire time period. Including all the years in which there were any active players who have already been inducted into Cooperstown, the median is 30. If you throw out the 1923-1937 era, the median only drops to 28. If you limit the years to just the 20th century, the median is 33. No matter how you slice and dice the data, you’re going to end up with a historical norm around 30 active players. So, let’s set that as our target, and try to identify 30 players who will take the field in 2014 who might have a decent shot at ending up with a plaque in the Hall of Fame.

Already Earned Their Way

1. Albert Pujols, +87 WAR
2. Derek Jeter, +74 WAR
3. Ichiro Suzuki, +55 WAR

Barring a late career PED test failure, the first two are absolute locks, and Ichiro’s close enough to 3,000 hits that, with the bonus he’ll get for not coming to the U.S. until age-27, he’ll meet the Fame threshold for most voters.

Would Be a Lock, Except PEDs

4. Alex Rodriguez, +111 WAR

My guess is, at some point in the not too distant future, the Hall of Fame will adopt rules regarding players who were suspended for PED usage, and those rules will determine whether or not Rodriguez is eventually enshrined in Cooperstown. On performance alone, he obviously belongs.

Almost There, Just Don’t Suck for a Few More Years

5. Miguel Cabrera, +55 WAR
6. Carlos Beltran, +64 WAR
7. CC Sabathia, +62 WAR

Thesse guys have the rate stats to get inducted, and essentially just need to ensure that their counting stats get up near Hall of Fame levels for voters who prefer milestones. They don’t even have to be good for the next few years, as long as they stay healthy and keep playing most everyday. Adding in a decent 1,500 plate appearances or 500 innings would push them over the top for most voters, based on what they’ve already done.

On Track, but Not Quite There Yet

8. Adrian Beltre, +65 WAR
9. David Wright, +50 WAR
10. Joe Mauer, +44 WAR
11. Justin Verlander, +44 WAR
12. Felix Hernandez, +41 WAR
13. Robinson Cano, +37 WAR
14. Evan Longoria, +36 WAR
15. Dustin Pedroia, +34 WAR
16. Joey Votto, +33 WAR

These nine are guys that have played at a Hall of Fame level to this point in their career. You could potentially make a case for Beltre in the tier above this, but because so much of his value is tied to defense, he probably needs to do a bit more offensively to get over the hump. The rest mostly just need to age well.

Could Make it With Strong Finish

17. David Ortiz, +42 WAR
18. Chase Utley, +55 WAR
19. Cliff Lee, +45 WAR

These guys are all going to need to put up more great seasons in their late-30s in order to push themselves into the conversation, but they’ve done enough to at least make it possible.

Off to a Great Start

20. Clayton Kershaw, +29 WAR
21. Andrew McCutchen +27 WAR
22. Mike Trout, +21 WAR
23. Yadier Molina, +29 WAR
24. Zack Greinke, +37 WAR
25. Bryce Harper, +8 WAR
26. Giancarlo Stanton, +14 WAR
27. Buster Posey, +18 WAR
28. Manny Machado, +8 WAR
29. Stephen Strasburg, +11 WAR

The next generation of superstars — and Molina, who has made himself a potential candidate with his last few seasons — as best as we can tell right now. Some of these guys will get hurt or fall apart, but if I was going to pick the cream of the crop for the future candidates, these guys would probably be it.

The Reliever

30. Craig Kimbrel, +9 WAR

Voters have traditionally favored closers with longevity, but Kimbrel’s run of dominance is something we’ve never really seen before. His career ERA- is 37; Mariano Rivera only had three seasons in which he matched that mark. He’s going to have to stay healthy for another decade or so, but his peak was so high that he only really needs to have a couple more dominant years and then hang around as a save gatherer to go down as the best closer of his generation.

That’s my 30, anyway. It might skew too much to the older generation, and perhaps I’d be better off excluding guys like Utley and Lee in favor of super premium prospects who might get a cup of coffee, but this is the definition of an inexact science, so feel free to quibble with my picks and put your own in the comments.




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Dave is a co-founder of USSMariner.com and contributes to the Wall Street Journal.

280 Responses to “Which Active Players Are Going to Cooperstown?”

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  1. gnomez says:

    Which active players are going to Cooperstown?

    At this rate, “Derek Jeter, because the game was better when I was a kid.” – average BBWAA member.

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    • Don Zimmer's jowl sweat says:

      “Players nowadays don’t play the game the right way. Now Jack Morris…he was something special”

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      • gabriel syme says:

        That’s an appalling slur on Don Zimmer’s jowl sweat.

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      • snack man says:

        Guys, it’s the hall of fame, not the hall of really high WAR. I personally disagree with Jack Morris, but I understand the intentions. He pitched a 10 inning game 7 shutout. It will never be done again, and it’s going to be top 2 in anyone’s WS history. I could understand someone saying, “it’s just not the hall if the pitcher that did that isn’t there.”

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      • anthony says:

        Thurman munson belongs in, he was better than fisk. don’t penalize him for a 10 year career

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        • JDB38 says:

          If HOF is going to be heavily weighted toward post-season play, Thurman Munson should be a shoo-in. In 3 post-season ALCS series he batted .339 and in 3 World Series he batted .373. In the 1976 WS the Reds could not get him out as he went 9/17.
          He was an All-Star 7 of his 10 Maajor League seasons. Rookie of the year 1970 and MVP 1976. That he is not in the HOF is a JOKE.

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      • anthony says:

        jim kaat deserves to be in, also billy martin better then torre he was lucky,better then weaver

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    • AK7007 says:

      The true irony is that players today are probably nearing the absolute limits of what humans can do on the baseball diamond in terms of throwing hard, running fast, etc – while also having unprecedented amounts of information, video, etc available to them to make them better at the game. Every generation is probably getting better and reaching higher peaks (and floors) than the previous due to advances in the way we think about the game, the way we scout it, the way the players train for it.

      But, to the average BBWAA member, (and golf writer) today’s players are not great, and don’t deserve to be remembered in baseball’s designated museum for the greats.

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      • One Thing says:

        I agree with most of what you said, except “The true irony is that players today are probably nearing the absolute limits of what humans can do on the baseball diamond in terms of throwing hard, running fast, etc”

        I bet they thought that in the 80s, and 60s, and 50s, and so on.

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        • Jay29 says:

          True. It’s more likely that we’re still on some upward-trending curve that could continue to rise with future developments in drugs, genetics, nutrition, and biometrics.

          But it’s safe to say that we have better athletes now than any generation in baseball’s past, so for the number of players inducted into the HOF to decline is just wrong.

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        • Yirmiyahu says:

          The only reason this fact isn’t 100% obvious is because, with a sport like baseball, a player’s skills can only be measured in comparison to his opponents. You look at timed/measured sports like track and field, swimming, weightlifting, marathon running, cycling, etc, and records are continually being broken and it is obvious that today’s competitors are better than years past.

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        • AB says:

          These are all fine points and I don’t necessarily disagree with them. However, I think we have to judge a player relative to peers since there is just enough noise around different eras to make inter-generational comparisons difficult.

          Counting stats should get tossed out for the most part. I don’t want to reward players for advances in medicine and nutrition that promote longer careers. I also don’t want to reward them for entering the game at a more advanced stage that benefits from the learning process achieved through earlier eras. At the same time, I don’t want to penalize players who played in a far more international sport with a greater overall pool of talent, especially vis-a-vis a segregated era. Throw in things like higher mounds, smaller/larger ball parks, etc. and the best measurement is performance relative to peers. This dominance over peers should be the basis we use to compare players across generations.

          At the absurd extreme, do we start arguing that Kenny Rogers should be a hall of famer because his absolute talent is such that he would’ve dominated hitters in the 1930s?

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    • JimNYC says:

      Are you saying that Derek Jeter is only a deserving HoF’er because of nostalgia? I mean… really?

      Also, the problem of the overstuffed 1920s-1930s in the Hall has a lot of reasons, but the really egregious reason comes down to one man: Frankie Frisch. Frisch was the most vocal member of the Veterans’ Committee in his later years. Even before he joined the Veterans’ Committee, he was a vocal supporter of a lot of his old teammates for the Hall. Let’s take a look at all of Frisch’s teammates who made it to Cooperstown:

      Ross Youngs
      George Kelly
      Dave Bancroft
      Casey Stengel
      Travis Jackson
      Hack Wilson
      Bill Terry
      Freddie Lindstrom
      Mel Ott
      Chick Hafey
      Rabbit Maranville
      Jesse Haines
      Pete Alexander
      Jim Bottomly
      Burleigh Grimes
      Dizzy Dean
      Ducky Medwick
      Leo Durocher
      Rogers Hornsby
      Dazzy Vance
      Johnny Mize

      So that’s 21 players that Frisch played with at one time or another who ended up in the Hall of Fame. Of those, two (Stengel and Durocher) were inducted as managers. Of the remaining 19, the only ones with rock-solid, iron-clad cases for the Hall, are Ott, Alexander, Medwick, Hornsby, Vance, and Mize. The other 13 range from pretty strong, but arguable, cases (Terry) to absolutely no business whatsoever being in the Hall (Lindstrom, Jackson, etc.). Frisch didn’t have a hand in all of the other selections — Maranville was considered to be Ozzie Smith before there was Ozzie Smith; looking at his year-by-year MVP voting is really a fascinating exercise — but he had a hand in a lot of them.

      So, a big part of the “the 20′s and 30′s are overrepresented in the Hall of Fame” argument can be rephrased as “a lot of people in the 20′s and 30′s happened to be teammates with Frankie Frisch.”

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      • Pitnick says:

        I don’t believe (s)he was saying that.

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      • gnomez says:

        I wasn’t at all saying that. Jeter isn’t an inner-circle member, but it’s pretty clear he deserves to be in Cooperstown, and even Small Hall guys would probably agree with me on that. The problem lies with uninformed (not necessarily all – or exclusively – old-school) sportswriters who seem to inexplicably believe there has been a decline in the level of on-field talent since the 1970s. It simply is not possible to be intellectually honest and submit a ballot that doesn’t contain 10 names.

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    • Mike says:

      This list is great but the only guy I would disagree with is Utley, the guy is in his mid 30′s and isnt even half way to 3000 hits yet. replace him with Michael Young who i believe is only 3 decent years away from being a HOFer and i think the list is perfect. some consideration could be made for Paul Konerko as well but i think he will fall just short.

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  2. Scott says:

    As much as I agree with where you have him ranked, I feel like Ortiz is much closer to “Almost There, Just Don’t Suck for a Few More Years” in a lot of people’s minds. Think of it this way: if you asked 100 people “who sounds more like a HOFer, Beltran or Ortiz?” Big Papi would probably run away with it (which is too bad).

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    • IZZY2112 says:

      If not for PEDs, Ortiz would have a 90% chance of enshrinement but only a 10% (or lower) chance of actually deserving to make it.

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      • Jim says:

        Outside of being a DH Ortiz already has the counting stats. You also can’t discount his postseason #s. How many huge postseason games has Ortiz had? How many of those 3 rings do the Sox win without Papi? He almost single handily one this years with that clutch HR against Detroit and his dominance against St Louis.

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        • MustBunique says:

          I agree with you, Jim, that postseason performance is worth consideration and I believe it receives a good amount of consideration, at least from the voters who take the time to discuss or explain their thought process behind their votes.

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        • hamjenkinsIII says:

          Freff Jancouer

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        • Helladecimal says:

          It brings to mind an idea for a wing in Cooperstown named “MLB Postseason Hall of Fame.”

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        • JimNYC says:

          Does he really have the counting stats?

          David Ortiz: 40.9 fWAR, 2023 H, 431 HR, 1208 R, 1429 RBI, .287/.381/.549
          Carlos Delgado: 43.7 fWAR, 2038 H, 473 HR, 1241 R, 1512 RBI, .280/.383/.546
          Edgar Martinez: 65.6 fWAR, 2247 H, 309 HR, 1219 R, 1261 RBI, .312/.418/.515

          And, just for the heck of it, career postseason lines:

          Ortiz: .295/.409/.553
          Delgado: .351/.442/.757
          Martinez: .266/.365/.508

          Also, keep in mind that there’s a guy who just fell off the HoF ballot who has more career fWAR than Ortiz AND beats Ortiz in every single postseason counting stat, albeit with an .850 OPS rather than a .962 OPS, in Bernie Williams. Objectively speaking, there’s no way you can consider Ortiz to be a superior player to Williams — and Williams lasted two years on the ballot.

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        • 68FC says:

          I think Ortiz’s case will resemble Jack Morris’ in that his support will come mostly from him feeling like a hall of famer. His counting stats won’t be great, he will probably finish with around 50 WAR, 2500 hits, and 500 HR. The knock on him will be that he was a DH, but he had postseason success.

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        • BigPattyG says:

          WAR is not the be-all end-all of HOF talk. By WAR or fWAR, no relief pitcher would ever sniff the Hall. People keep trying to compare Ortiz to Delgado or Giambi. Even apart from Ortiz’ postseason resume, you have to look at players in the context of their role. There is a strong argument that Ortiz is the best DH of all time (alongside Edgar who, it must be noted, played a significant portion of his career in the field).

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        • Eric says:

          “WAR is not the be-all end-all of HOF talk. By WAR or fWAR, no relief pitcher would ever sniff the Hall. … There is a strong argument that Ortiz is the best DH of all time”

          There’s nothing special about being a DH. They take exactly the same at-bats as position players; they just contribute less (nothing) in the field. That’s pretty self-evident. In contrast, it is widely perceived that relief pitching, particularly closing, cannot readily be done by a pitcher not used to that role. So GMs make a point of acquiring “relief pitchers” for their teams, but for DH, they can just choose whichever position player has the most expendable fielding. And if Ortiz doesn’t measure up to the standards of other hitters with expendable fielding (whatever position they ended up playing), he shouldn’t be in the HOF.

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      • Pirates Hurdles says:

        That positive PED test will be a big hurdle for Chass, Gurnick, et al to stomach. They won’t even have to make up PED allegations to support their nonsense.

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        • Bobby Ayala says:

          Of all the potential HOFers who have been linked to PEDs, the link to Ortiz is the weakest, and shouldn’t have much of an effect on him getting in.

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        • BIP says:

          Except for Jeff Bagwell, who has no link whatsoever to PEDs and is getting destroyed by voters.

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        • Excelsior says:

          Bobby: It almost certainly will impact him getting in. If Bagwell is having trouble with voters, a guy who (allegedly) tested positive is going to have a really difficult time getting the votes. If the writers adopted a nuanced views of PEDs, I would maybe agree with you, but they haven’t at all.

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        • Mr. Jones says:

          But look at his biceps! HE HAD TO BE A JUICER!!!!!!11

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        • pft says:

          How is that a weak link for Ortiz. First off his power numbers took off in 2003 which was the year he was on the list. He basically admitted he was on the list (leaked at the same time as Manny and Arod) but claimed it was for supplements (which is what most say, nobody bothered to ask Manny). When I read his biography in 2006 he suggested he could have taken steroids inadvertently via sports drinks or milk shakes inadvertently in the DR. It read to me at the time like he was setting up an alibi (I did not know about the 2003 test at the time), and sure enough, he needed an alibi in 2009 but chose supplements (under the rules of the testing in 2003 a positive test would have been followed up 7 days later with a second test, so Papi should have remembered a 2nd test which would have been notification he failed the first test).

          He played and hung out with Manny Ramirez and is close with Arod. He worked out with Angel Presinal the notorious steroid trainer banned by MLB at his facility near Ortiz’s home in the Dominican Republic.

          He just put up the top 5 OPS+ of any 37 yo in MLB history since 1930 (behind the Babe, Ted Williams, Aaron and Bonds) and is making a mockery of age related decline curves.

          He has also had tendon issues in recent years (wrist, achilles) and some medical issues (palpitations, high cholesterol) that have been linked to steroids.

          While none of this in isolation is conclusive, put it all together and the degree of suspicion should be high

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        • NRJyzr says:

          Ortiz didn’t have a positive test. Both MLB and MLBPA have said he didn’t have a positive test.

          I wonder why that keeps sticking around…

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        • Ed says:

          Ortiz is accused of testing positive during the anonymous survey testing. The terms of that testing stated that neither MLB & MLBPA were allowed to disclose who tested positive. We only know anything due to some mistakes that led to a list leaking.

          In short – MLB & MLBPA denying a positive test means nothing, as they aren’t allowed to tell us if there was a positive test.

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  3. IZZY2112 says:

    I’d probably go with Chris Sale or Jose Fernandez before Strasburg at this point. Probably Darvish over Greinke. Hamels over Greinke too. I’d bet on Tulo before some of the others on this list. Puig may have a case over guys like Stanton & Machado. Holliday may have an argument when it’s all said and done.

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    • Well-Beered Englishman says:

      We’re a little early on Chris Sale, Jose Fernandez, and Yasiel Puig, aren’t we? I have nothing against any of those players, but while Jose Fernandez did just put up 4.2 WAR at age 20/21, part of it is that his excellence is still a novelty to us. Similarly, I’d ask if you choose Puig over Stanton simply because Puig is newer and ‘more exciting’.

      Consider Stephen Strasburg; there’s already a perception that he’s “not an ace” even though he has not really declined. Perspective: Strasburg has amassed 10.8 WAR in his first 434 innings; Justin Verlander had 10.5 WAR after his first 600.

      I am cherry-picking a little, but my point is that you may find you’re cherry-picking too.

      I do agree with Hamels being a strong consideration; Halladay, Lee, and Hamels may make that a very decorated Phillies pitching staff.

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      • IZZY2112 says:

        Sale is the same age as Strasburg, has had a better career, and in my opinion, is the better pitcher. Fernandez is better than Strasburg too in my opinion.

        I said Puig had a case over them. He’s the same age and I think you can make the case that he’s better than Stanton going forward.

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        • cass says:

          There’s no real way to know. They should all be included and there should be more than 30 names on the list. We don’t know which of them is start going to racking up Cy Youngs and which is going to have a career-ending shoulder injury.

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        • Cool Lester Smooth says:

          How would you make that case?

          “I believe he’ll be able to maintain a .383 BABIP.”

          That’s really the only argument I can think of.

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        • SKob says:

          Yeah, but find me someone who is not concerned with Sale’s delivery. At least Strasburg already had his Tommy-John! Jumping on the Fernandez bandwagon for the HOF right now is inexcusable! Come on man!

          WOW, just saw that in 2011 in 24 innings after coming back from TJ he put up 1.1 WAR… unsustainable, but still… just coming back from surgery… crazy. He’s really not pitching as good as he could be. His monthly stats are sporatic. Seems like he loses focus from time to time.

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        • Ray says:

          Looks like Halladay will go in as a Jay given retirement ceremony, no?

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        • JMo37 says:

          These are great opinions, but in order to be taken seriously, they need to be backed up with statistical proof. Otherwise it is the same argument the old fellows are having at the local watering hole, with opinion carrying the weight and not pure, comparable statistics.

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      • big fat old guy says:

        Strasburg might not stay a starting pitcher for enough years for it to matter.

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    • Luke in MN says:

      Holliday’s a better career hitter than David Ortiz, is 5 years younger, and has 6 more WAR. He’s a glaring omission and seems to perpetually be the game’s most unnoticed superstar.

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    • here goes nothing says:

      Tulo is probably the biggest one. There are some other guys closer to retirement–Berkman and Giambi, I think–who will almost certainly be on the outside looking in but who merit discussion about inclusion.

      Also, an excuse to trot out fun facts: Johan Santana is eleventh all time in Cy Young votes. Tim Hudson was (earlier this year, anyway) 29th all time in pitcher WPA.

      Conspicuously absent: Ryan Braun, who is roughly the same age as Joey Votto (2 mos. younger) and only has 0.7 less career WAR despite losing this past season. Do we punish him more because he broke the rules after we’d made very clear what the rules were? Something to think about.

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      • ankle explosion hr celebration says:

        hah, that’s an interesting question in this new wave of PED users (Braun, A-Rod, and so forth). For the pro-PED users crowd, such as Dave himself, the arguments that “everybody was doing it” and “it wasn’t even against the rules” obviously don’t fly anymore. But if you are going to be consistent, then even big old douchebags like ARod and Braun (the thing about getting his tester in trouble still sickens me) ought to be considered.

        Buh, I would not want to be a Hall voter; that seems like a no-win situation.

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        • Plucky says:

          I’d support A-rod on the same basis as supporting Bonds (also keeping in mind that his peak and half his career was still in the “everyone was doing it” era). Braun will be an interesting case. Presumably for the rest of his career he’ll be subject to a lot more scrutiny and have to be clean going forward. If he trails off and sucks, then the whole discussion is moot bceause he won’t have the career #s in the frst place. If he continues playing at a high level, then maybe PEDs aren’t such a big deal after all.

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        • BIP says:

          I don’t think Dave has ever made either of those arguments.

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        • ankle explosion hr celebration says:

          uh huh, but fortunately I didn’t say Dave specifically ever had made those arguments. I said that he was part of the group of people — pro-PED users in the Hall — who have made those arguments. A small but important distinction.

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        • BIP says:

          I’m sorry, no, that’s not how English works. If Dave hasn’t made those arguments, then he cannot be a member of a group of people who have made them. At the very least, you implied that he made them (by singling him out), and I’m sure you’re smart enough that you knew you were doing it.

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        • ankle explosion hr celebration says:

          ah c’mon. Don’t be nasty.
          I’m sorry if my wording was unclear; I didn’t mean to imply that Dave personally made those arguments.

          And yes, you can be part of a group without doing all of the things that some members of the group do.

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        • ankle explosion hr celebration says:

          More specifically, the group is defined as “people who are in favor of letting PED-users into the Hall”.
          Dave is a member of that group.
          Some members of that group have made those arguments.
          Perhaps Dave is not one of them.
          Is that clear enough?

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        • BIP says:

          Fair enough.

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    • Christian Camlin says:

      Picking Darvish over anyone is a tiny bit premature right now.We do not know how likely he is to stay in the Majors.For Darvish to make the Hall he would need at least 150 wins in the Majors and he just is not real likely to stay in America that long.And while Strasburg is not real durable right now he at least has a history of strong performance.Fernandez and Sale still have to prove that they can repeat performance.Tulowitzki is a great hitter but a lot of people assume that his numbers are a product of Coors field.That combined with his history of injury make his an unlikely candidate for the Hall of Fame.The article here is not about who the best player is right now.The article is about the players odds of making it to Cooperstowm.That is Why Greinke and Hamels have about equal opportunity right now.Both have pitched well and had some seasons with good ERA’s & Win %’s.Both have been over shadowed by team mates but have plenty of time to get to 200 or 250 wins.Puig has had 1 nice half season while Machado has had a spectacular season and a half.Give both of them time before discussing the Hall of Fame for either.Stanton has 1 good year and a couple mediocre ones.He has yet to even begin to peak.and yes Matt Holliday has been a reliable 2nd tier star just starting to build a resume worthy of Cooperstown.But the story on him has plenty of chapters to be written.Better contenders might be Mark Texeira,Tim Hudson,Cliff Lee etc.

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  4. MustBunique says:

    Awesome article, really fun to think about. Surprised Heyward didn’t get a mention in the “Off to a great start,” section. He’s younger than Posey and has 16.5 already.

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    • Anon21 says:

      Yeah, I make this comment every time the comparison comes up (or should come up and doesn’t), but: you can’t really put Stanton in this conversation and just ignore Heyward. Dave, I know you think you’ve got the “future superstar” projection on lock, but be a little humble in the face of your own data showing that Heyward has been the superior player to this point in their respective careers.

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      • IZZY2112 says:

        Worth noting that if we’re just talking about one’s chances of making it, Stanton’s skillset plays to that far more than Heyward’s does.

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        • Anon21 says:

          True, but I think it’s safe to assume that voters in 2034 are going to have a better understanding of the value of defense and baserunning than do the voters of today. They’ll also have the benefit of the “advanced” (which will inevitably come to be known as “antiquated”) defensive stats that will cover the entirety of both players’ careers, giving them a better method of quantifying their respective contributions than is available for any current candidate.

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    • TheGrandslamwich says:

      Heyward’s big knock is that his skillset and value doesn’t show up in a flashy and obvious way. He hasn’t had the big HR or AVG numbers that voters seem to prefer. He gets more attention for his excellence on Fangraphs than anywhere else.

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      • Jay29 says:

        But by 2034, as Anon21 says, a much larger percentage of the BBWAA voters will be able to grasp the importance of WAR and other advanced statistics. Yes, some writers will still cling to milestones, gut feelings, and the smell test, but more and more sabremetrics-friendly votes will be cast every year. I think by the time Heyward and Stanton are 5 years retired, HOF voters will be much more well-informed as a whole.

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        • Christian Camlin says:

          Heyward will need to improve dramatically to seriously be considered for the Hall.His offensive stats are average at best.Even his defensive statistics could be better but would be more than good enough if his offensive stat’s merit consideration.

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  5. gump says:

    any impact pitch framing data will have on this? figure it could boost several catchers up/into the rankings

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    • viva says:

      Catchers have always gotten screwed in HOF voting. I doubt that will change with new catcher defensive metrics which no one will trust for a long time.

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    • Christian Camlin says:

      I’m a KC Royals fan.I’ve always heard that a good catcher makes a pitcher better.But like most people i figured that pitchers stats were based almost entirely on their own performance.But once we called up Salvador Perez in 2011 my mind changed.It seemed whenever he was behind the plate the pitchers were significantly better than with out him.Because of injuries 2013 was his first full season as KC’s fulltime catcher.When he was catching the Royals had a 3.33 ERA but when anyone else was catching the teams ERA was over 4.00.KC led the American League in ERA in 2013.Their Bullpen had the lowest ERA any bullpen had posted since 1972.It is too early to say Perez belongs in the Hall of Fame but there must have been other catchers who have done what he does in making pitchers better.With us he took us from over 90 losses to 86 wins last year . Their best record since the 1980′s ended.

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  6. Dustin says:

    I envision this argument in 20 years among the BBWAA, “How can I vote Mike Trout into the Hall of Fame? He never even won an MVP award!”

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    • DarthSader9 says:

      in 20 years, sabermetrically inclined voters will be a larger part of the voting base. The old school guys will be on the decline during the same period (as the die from old age, YOU HEAR THAT BABY BOOMERS! RETIRE ALREADY)

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    • Kevin says:

      Jeter never won an MVP award, does anyone doubt he will make it in a landslide on his first year?

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  7. ab03 says:

    Couldn’t Ortiz retire tomorrow and make the Hall?

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    • TheGrandslamwich says:

      I doubt it with the failed drug test hanging over him. It doesn’t matter that it was supposed to be an anonymous test, especially when a better player like Bagwell has been kept out with even less evidence against him.

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    • Luke in MN says:

      How does Ortiz get in if Edgar Martinez doesn’t? I mean, even the average hall voter has to tie themselves in knots over that one, don’t they?

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      • Jason B says:

        Hey, postseason heroics have pushed Jack Morris thiiiiiiis close!

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        • cass says:

          Haven’t helped Schilling.

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        • Pirates Hurdles says:

          But wait, Morris played before the steroid era, er no he didn’t.

          But wait, Morris has a superior postseason record compared to all the others, er no he doesn’t.

          The whole Morris thing is only happening because he happened to be the guy up for discussion when the battle lines were drawn RE: Sabermetrics. It really could have been almost anyone.

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        • viva says:

          i’m starting to believe this is true

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      • TangoAlphaLima says:

        Ortiz is a three-time World Series champion. I guarantee that matters a ton to those old BBWAA members. It shouldn’t, but it does.

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        • ReuschelCakes says:

          can we just start referring to the BBWAA as “ignorant and illogical” rather than old?

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        • cass says:

          Schilling is a three-time World Series champion as well. Doesn’t seem to matter to those BBWAA members.

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        • AB says:

          With Schilling, I’m not sure you can say it doesn’t matter. Based on his initial votes, I think he’ll eventually get in. Just because a guy wasn’t a first ballot HoFer means voters have completely written this guy off. Those post-season performances might be what fueled a lot of the support he did receive.

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        • Kevin says:

          Bernie Williams is a 4 time WS champion, with a a higher BA and more hits than Ortiz, and 4 gold gloves at a premium position. He lasted on the ballot for 2 years.

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      • Oh, Beepy says:

        Hint: the average Hall voter ties themselves in knots over precisely one thing, and it’s not positional adjustment. Hell, it’s not even player performance.

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  8. ScottW says:

    Thanks Dave – enjoyed reading this. I would think about the last few spots a little differently, as I agree that Utley and Lee may be a bit of a reach. Of your list, all of these guys took the field in 2013, along with Halladay and Rivera. So we could get rid of these first two in favor the second two, and that gives us our 2013 list to start with. Going forward, it seems to me that almost every year a few players will break out and begin to put themselves into this conversation. For example, prior to last season, it’s unlikely that either Machado or McCutchen would’ve been on this list – so having 2 new names appear out of the blue seems perfectly reasonable. So we have 30 to speculate on for 2014 – I’d just play the field for the last 2 spots.

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    • Sports Enthusiast says:

      I totally agree. Hall of Famers are usually not just good players but good players who remained good or got better as time went on. What a 35-year-old Joey Votto looks like is hard to predict. He may be broadcasting for all we know.

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      • viva says:

        Utley fits this definition though. He averaged like 7.5 WAR over a 5 year span – that’s easily a HOF peak. If he can put together 3 more above average years his career numbers would be above borderline and we would be talking about him as an all time snub along with other second baseman Bobby Grich and Lou Whitaker.

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  9. ScottW says:

    Also, Trout has been so dominant, is it too soon to move him up to the On Track category?

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    • philosofool says:

      I think so. I mean, he’s on track in a sense, but all the other “on track” guys have four or five year runs of being all-star caliber players. Those guys have youth and established peak to make it simply by posting very good (3-4 WAR seasons) from now until 2018 or 2020. Trout doesn’t yet have laurels to rest on; he could turn into Hanley Ramirez still…

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      • Oh, Beepy says:

        Trout has put up the two best seasons at his age in the history of the game.

        It’s fair to say at this point that, barring injury, he has every chance to not only enter the hall of fame, but to have legitimate claim as the best player of all time.

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      • Sean says:

        Hanley Ramirez probably belongs in the On Track category himself.

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    • me says:

      If he keeps putting up 10 WAR seasons at what point is he a lock for the hall of fame?

      Let’s say his career is going to end suddenly for some tragic reason. would 60 WAR in 6 seasons be enough? 70 in 7? I would like to see a post that explores this in detail.

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      • Anon21 says:

        Realistically, if he did this another season and a half then got cut down by injury, I think he’d have a pretty great shot, both based on the intensity of the peak and voters’ embracing a narrative of the baseball tragedy it would represent.

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        • Max says:

          Okay what if he just retired on his own accord?

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        • 68FC says:

          @Max, They probably wouldn’t consider him since you need 10+ seasons to be considered. They have made exceptions in the past, but those have all been because of injury or death.

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      • Felix says:

        Doesn’t a player need a minimum of 10 years in the majors to even make it on the HoF ballot?

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      • olethros says:

        Minimum 10 seasons to be considered for enshrinement.

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      • George Springer says:

        Not many ways he doesn’t make it. He could go Grady Sizemore on us. Grady was a beast – not as good as Trout but he was the business. So if you need it, there you go. Cautionary tale.

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  10. Drew says:

    All roided.

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    • DarthSader9 says:

      don’t get the negative votes, pretty sure you’re referencing this quote (from the mlb.com article about how 17 voters voted)

      “As for those who played during the period of PED use, I won’t vote for any of them.”

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  11. _David_ says:

    Matt Holliday?

    This is going to sound crazy, but doesn’t Dan Haren have some chance with his 38.8 WAR and being only 33?

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    • Anon21 says:

      Haren has a chance if he experiences a sudden mid-career revival, but there’s not a lot to suggest that’s in the offing.

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    • Vlad the Impaler says:

      A little crazy. Mike Mussina just dropped an 80 bWAR on the HOF ballot and won’t pull more than 40% this year.

      Haren didn’t have a long enough peak and certainly doesn’t have enough time to accrue 40 more WAR.

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  12. murphym45 says:

    I was thinking about how Yadi could make an interesting case. He’s only at 29 WAR at the age of 31. However, Oliver 5-year projection has him reaching around 50 WAR by 2018, his last year of his current contract with the Cardinals (assuming the option gets exercised). If he can reach 50 WAR, that would put him in the top-10 catchers over the past half-century. Toss in a couple World Series rings (maybe one or two more with the Cardinals?) and a reputation as the best defensive catcher of his generation, he could have a serious case.

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    • Luke in MN says:

      Agreed. He’s probably the most likely on this list to be treated as worth far more than just his WAR #, and rightly so.

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    • Game, Blauser says:

      I suppose you could make a case for Yadi on this list – but if you’re going to do that, seems you’d need to include Brian McCann too. McCann has produced slightly more fWAR in his career than Yadi and is 1.5 years younger. Moreover, Mac’s value is weighted more towards offense than Yadi (he’s hit nearly twice as many HRs, for instance), and an offense-heavy value profile is more likely to produce HOF votes than a player whose value comes substantially from defense.

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      • murphym45 says:

        I agree, McCann’s homers will help him. The two things that separate them are that Yadi probably has a better reputation as a defensive catcher (we’re talking elite vs. best in show), and that he already has two rings (and a .294 average in 80 postseason games).
        Perhaps just as important, Yadi has the chance to be the common thread between the Cardinals teams that won in 2006 and 2011, and the current squad with lots of potential to contend over the next 4+ years. A third ring and a claim as the only Cardinal to play for all three (or more) WS teams would really strengthen his case.

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      • If WAR included pitch-framing, he would already be right at about 40 WAR. With the GGs and ASGs and postseason exposure/success, he is going to get the “future HOFer” tagline by the media if he hasn’t already. With another 2-3 solid seasons, he will be deserving Sabermetrically too.

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    • vivalajeter says:

      That seems optimistic to me. How many catchers average 4 WAR/year at that age? Heck, he barely cleared that hurdle over the last 5 years, when he should have been in his peak.

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      • murphym45 says:

        I agree, the Oliver is based on 600PA, which isn’t realistic. If you knock a couple wins off that, put him around 47-48 WAR after 2018, and he’ll have a few years to crack 50 WAR as a part-time player.

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      • Cool Lester Smooth says:

        Jorge Posada, Elston Howard, Yogi Berra.

        That’s it.

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        • AB says:

          Yadi to me seems like he’d be a lock if he just maintains that defensive aura around him for the next 4 seasons. We already have to throw WAR out when it comes to catchers and Yadier Molina is very, very respected around the league and among writers. Seems like he’s got the sort of resume for a catcher that voters love.

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    • Jud Strunk and Barry White says:

      If you take the fWAR totals for Molina & McCann, and add the Harry Pavlidis pitch framing values recently released, the change is rather stonishing: Yadier Molina is already at 50+ career WAR, and McCann stands around 45. Max Marchi’s numbers would be similar I believe — at least for Molina — while Matthew Carruth would place Molina a bit lower, but Mr. Surly even higher.

      It makes a certain sense that catcher values in general have been historically underestimated, when we see the highest career WAR total at just 75 (Bench). That doesn’t even approach the top 50 or 60 all-time; does it make intuitive sense for instance that Chipper Jones was 10 WAR better than the greatest catcher in history?

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      • Jud Strunk and Barry White says:

        Please pretend that “stonishing” is a new internet meme, and not a typo. Thanks.

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      • Dr.Rockzo says:

        I think catchers a “underrated’ because they play remarkably less. Bench was a catcher for 15 years. The last couple of those he was kind of bad. He is basically looking at a career of around 12 years. Even during those twelve years he would average around 135-140 games.

        Compared to Chipper who was and 18 year veteran. First decade of his career, Chipper was putting up 155+ games a year. Last several he dealt with injuries and still managed to play around 120 games.

        Catchers just have shorter “effective” careers. WAR undervalues them in the same sense that they get undervalued by Homeruns or hits. They simply play less and thus accumulate less counting stats. WAR still works like a counting stat.

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  13. Zach says:

    My takeaway? Hey, the Mariners have two future Hall of Famers!

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  14. LHPSU says:

    It’s surprising how little attention Chase Utley gets these days, considering that he was arguably the best player in baseball not that long ago and still really productive the last few years.

    And yes, surprised to not see Holliday in the Strong Finish category.

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    • Iron says:

      I’m not sure when he was the best player in baseball. He had a very good 08-09, but at that point he was still being dwarfed by Pujols.

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      • dls says:

        Less than 1 WAR each season… I’d hardly describe that as “dwarfed”.

        And I’d reckon Chase had a bigger lead in WAR vs other 2b’s than Pujols vs other 1b’s around that time (though I haven’t checked that). He helped lead the Phils to the WS both seasons.

        So, I could see where LHSPU has a valid point in stating Utley as “arguably the best player”. Its not a crazy statement.

        And yes, I’d think Utley has a very good shot at the hall if he just strings together a couple decent low level Utley-esque seasons here. If he does that, Chase Cameron Utley seems to be the epitome of a “hall-worthy” baseball player.

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      • Word says:

        John Dewan argued in 2010 that from 2005-10 Utley was the best player in MLB. That seemed crazy to me then, and still does now, but Dewan is no idiot.

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    • Kevin says:

      Utley had a great 5 year run, and if you asked me in 2010, I would have said he was on his way to the HOF. But he has not been healthy since then. He is now 35 years old and past his prime, and has yet to reach 1500 career hits. He will need at least 2 years to reach 1000 rbi or 1000 runs scored. His peak was simply too brief, like Nomar. Unless he has a late-career revival, he will not have the numbers to merit serious HOF consideration.

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  15. Jason B says:

    I thought Tulo and/or Price might get a look. I like the thought exercise though; before looking at your list I went team by team to see who I could come up with (even some with admittedly very weak cases but who will at least be on the ballot), ranging from sure-fire (Jeter, Pujols) to on-track (Votto, Verlander, Mauer, King Felix) to very tenuous/quite a stretch (HanRam, Fielder, Rollins, Cain, Reyes, CarGo).

    Greinke never crossed my mind, I wouldn’t have guessed he would be pushing 40 WAR already. I dunno what to do with the ones who are very early in their career (Machado, Harper, Strasburg).

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  16. Ben says:

    What about Roy Halladay?

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    • Jason B says:

      Not active (anymore). I think I like his chances though, eventually.

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    • philosofool says:

      Retired.

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    • TheGrandslamwich says:

      He most likely makes it first ballot, but this list is players who will likely play in 2014. Halladay announced his retirement.

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      • murphym45 says:

        Wouldn’t be so sure that a pitcher with 203 wins gets in on the first ballot, even someone with such a dominant peak and great rate stats.

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        • TheGrandslamwich says:

          I think he will. His peak was great enough and long enough that I think voters will be able to overlook the wins total by the time he’s eligible.

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      • JohnnyQuest says:

        Halladay is a slightly worse version of Kevin Brown, but people generally liked him.

        That is enough to go from <5% and off the ballot in year 1 to in on first ballot? Perhaps. Narrative counts.

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        • Bip says:

          I think Halladay had a stretch where he was considered the best pitcher in baseball. That is a benchmark for greatness that will be important when reviewing Halladay.

          Halladay also has the perfect game and the postseason no-hitter. As we’ve seen with Jack Morris, bringing up individual games (as if a single game can even come close to scratching the value of a player’s whole career) can be a big boost as well.

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        • TheGrandslamwich says:

          Yeah, Brown deserved more HoF credit than he received, but as you said, narrative counts. Brown was overshadowed in his career by flashier pitchers like the big 3 in Atlanta, Randy Johnson, Roger Clemens, and Pedro Martinez to name a few. I never remember thinking of him as the best pitcher in baseball at any point during his career.

          Halladay on the other hand did earn that distinction IMO, which is a big boost.

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        • AB says:

          I like Halladay for the hall of fame, but not first ballot. I also feel like there’s some revision going on about his reputation as “best pitcher in baseball”. Halladay emerged as a formidable pitcher in 2002 and did win a CY in 2003, but that doesn’t necessarily equate to best pitcher as much as best season. This is right at the peak of Johnson’s dominance (with Schilling also being extremely good). While Pedro and Clemens’s best years were now behind them, their reputations were still probably enough to put them well ahead of Halladay during this time.

          By 2004, Santana had emerged as probably more esteemed than Halladay – if not in durability than in pure dominance. In 2008, Lincecum arrives and puts together a string of dominant seasons. So, I’d probably only say that Halladay’s case for best pitcher in baseball was really only active for the 2010-2011 seasons. By 2012 he had been supplanted by Verlander and Kershaw.

          He was certainly in that upper tier of pitchers since 2002, but I’d push back on identifying him as that guy who was the best of his generation. He was unfortunate enough to emerge in a time when we had some absolute legends out there (Maddux, Clemens, Pedro, Johnson).

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  17. Vlad the Impaler says:

    My personal opinion is that Adrian Beltre should at least be in the “Almost There, Don’t Suck” category. You could squint and say he’s in the “Already There” category, too.

    Using B-Ref’s JAWS tracker, Beltre ranks 7th in WAR with bWAR of 70.5 and the average of 13 HOF 3B is 67.4. He’s hit the 7th most HR by a 3B and (with a normal season) will be 5th at year’s end. He’ll wind up probably 4th all-time among 3B. That matters to the counting stat set

    He’s in his 35-year old season and shows no signs of falling off the cliff soon. To say nothing of his just-a-shade-below-Brooks-Robinson defense.

    Really, he should appeal to both “new school” and “old school” voters. Maybe not a 1st ballot guy, but probably 3rd ballot.

    +12 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • notaredsoxsfan says:

      I think this is about right. He’s essentially in. If he falls off a cliff he’s still probably in but a 10-12 year guy who builds from 20 percent and best case he stays strong and starts in the 40s (unless we revalue defense or he wins a WS or two in Texas which gives him a chance to get in on 1st ballot with a weak class)

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    • Joe R says:

      Yeah but the BBWAA has historically been harsh to 3rd basemen, as it is historically a “not sexy” position. It isn’t full of big batsmen like 1B/DH, speedy base runners like CF, and super-defenders like SS.

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      • maguro says:

        Exactly. Too many HoF voters expect third basemen to hit like first basemen because they’re both “corner infielders”.

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    • Yirmiyahu says:

      I think he’d be pretty much a lock too, but for what Safeco did to his offensive stats for 5 year. As things are now, if he is middling for the rest of his career, I don’t think he makes it.

      But I’m hoping he has a few more good/great years left in him, and that future voters have a better appreciation of 3Bmen, defense, and park factors.

      According to both my heart and head, Adrian Beltre should be in the Hall of Fame.

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    • AB says:

      Good thing writers love JAWS, WAR, and defense.

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  18. TheGrandslamwich says:

    Wow, only 8 pitchers on this list. I guess that goes to show how much more difficult it is for a pitcher to stay healthy and sustain greatness through their career than a position player.

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    • Kevin says:

      8 out of 30 seems reasonably close to the proportion of every roster that pitchers make up. Especially when you toss out the filler guys in the ‘pen.

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      • Jud Strunk and Barry White says:

        Well, you’d *theoretically* expect a pitcher/hitter ratio approaching 5/8 in theory, what with 5 rotation spots & 8 starting position players — except pitchers break down so much more of course.

        There’s still the adjustment being made in HoF voters’ minds, I think, for the 5-man versus 4-man rotations. Seventeen wins is the new twenty, basically. And therefore 250 is or should be the New 300 (Moose, you’re in!). Or your in, I should say, because you were more dominate than people realize. (Word bouquet for Szym.)

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  19. TangoAlphaLima says:

    If Beltran makes it, what hat will he wear into Cooperstown?

    I wonder if this thought crossed the mind of the Royals when they pursued him this offseason. Gotta think another 3 years in KC would’ve given them the edge.

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  20. Seacoast says:

    Two Cy Young awards, two rings, and a no-hitter, all in different seasons, gets no recognition here? I’d slot Lincecum in right above Cliff Lee. Alas, I am a “homer”.

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    • Vlad the Impaler says:

      Some stars burn brighter in the sky than others, but are destined to fade quicker, too.

      It’s a shame to say, because I like Lincecum a lot, but he’s in the decline phase and just won’t have enough peak duration and counting stats.

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    • Game, Blauser says:

      28 fWAR in his career and only 2.5 WAR in the last two seasons – it’s hard to project Lincecum to hit a career WAR total that would be HOF-worthy at this point.

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    • TheGrandslamwich says:

      With how he pitched the last 2 years and his projections from here his career arc looks a lot more Brandon Webb/Jake Peavy-like than HoFer. Of course anything can happen (and now that I checked, Peavy still has a shot too).

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    • jim says:

      somebody mentioned it in another HOF post, but the only realistic shot he’s got anymore is to become a super-dominant reliever like eckersley did

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    • JoeyBelle says:

      Timmeh needs to turn into a dominant closer like Smoltz or Eck to have a chance. Speaking of which, is Smoltz a lock?

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      • Anon21 says:

        Smoltz is most definitely a lock. 78 fWAR, 66 bWAR, great postseason performer, plus the dominant-starter-to-dominant-closer-back-to-dominant-starter narrative, plus a Cy Young, plus a halo effect from the amazing staff he was part of.

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        • Jabronies says:

          Yup, I totally forgot about how he was dominant again after returning to starter to finish his career. Thats something we probably wont see for a very long time.

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      • Sean says:

        I would say Smoltz gets in. He’s got a shiny 78 WAR and gaudy rate stats, 200 wins and 150 saves.

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    • Mr. Jones says:

      Wait… I could have sworn the two rings came in the same season. Are you sure about that?

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    • thirteenthirteen says:

      I am a Giants fan too, and Timmy has completely fallen off the path. At this point I just have my fingers crossed he can be sort of worth his deal over the next few years.

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  21. Andy says:

    I know he did not play last year but Jim Thome is still active and not on this list.

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  22. emilio says:

    In the final section (“Value”) Bambino leaf columns appear whose final sum (row) leads to the RAR, ie:
    Offense (1347.3), Defense (-18.6), League (47.8) and Replacement (325.2). This result (1701.8) agrees with the figure reported in col. RAR (penultimate right). Now, based on the theory, 1701.8 / 10 should give us the final figure of Babe Ruth WAR, but in the last column, we published Fangraphs WAR of 168.4.
    ?
    This discrepancy is even more noticeable in other tabs I’ve reviewed. For Cap Anson, the RAR reaches 1086.2, while 91.2 WAR is obviously far from 1086.2 / 10.

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    • Spencer says:

      10 runs don’t always = a win afaik in these calculations.

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    • BIP says:

      The runs per win is not static at 10–it varies according to the run environment of the league. Years with higher run scoring will have a higher runs-per-win value. Years with suppressed run environments will have fewer runs per win (check out Honus Wagner for an example).

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  23. emilio says:

    clear to me that this site has the offensive in its two components (Batting + – Base Running) and Defensive already set (Fielding + – Positional). Although not shown separately, also includes a correction factor for the park, but do not understand the contents of the “League” column. Please let me illustrate on this adjustment.
    ?
    Another issue of concern and that has nothing to do with sabermetric calculations. When we refer to the list of Fangraphs WAR highest achieved (position players) we see that Barry Bonds appears in a second historic place with 164.1. But what really surprised me is a rather elementary fact: Baseball and Baseball-reference-prospectus give an official number of games (G) for life in 2986 while both Fangraphs publishes 2976. Hello I think I have found even greater differences in other cases: Fangraphs “games” Rickey Henderson 3068,
    Reference and Prospectus 3081.

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  24. jim says:

    troy tulowitzki probably belongs in “on track but not quite there yet”

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    • Dave says:

      Love Tulo, but he needs to stay healthy. Also needs to overcome the Coors bias (see Walker, Larry).

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      • Plucky says:

        He’s played enough in the humidor-Coors era that I would hope that concern is discounted by the time people are voting. Asssuming a full career, by the time he is on his forst HOF ballot the humidor will have been in use for 20+ seasons

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        • Dave says:

          I agree, and runs are down in Coors, but they are still high and there may still be a bias among voters that his numbers are inflated. For Tulo, his home OPS career is 1.010 and his road OPS is .850. This didn’t keep Rice out (.920 vs .789) and no one would think to mention it for Yaz (.904 vs .779) but the writers love Boston.

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  25. cass says:

    Shouldn’t more than 30 players be listed? Since we’re trying to capture the 30 Hall of Famers and some of these guys won’t make it, shouldn’t we list some additional guys? Jose Fernandez should absolutely be on this list because he might make it. But he might not. Just like all the young guys.

    I think it’d be interesting to list the top 50 in order from most likely to least likely.

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  26. TKDC says:

    The last five spots should be labelled “wild guesses based on my personal opinion.” I’m not saying they are bad, but particularly with Stanton and Strasburg, you have two guys that have averaged 3.4 and 3.6 WAR (I’m taking a year out for Strasburg due to injury) in their first 4 and 3 seasons respectively. Harper and Machado similarly really haven’t done that much yet; Posey is young, but he at least has an MVP already (and two WS for however much voters like that).

    Also, I know you love Molina, but he’s a long shot even with a graceful decline phase.

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    • Bip says:

      I don’t know, Molina has become a media favorite, based on the idea that he holds the whole Cardinals pitching staff together. He is a player whose reputation is going to take him much farther than his WAR.

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      • Again, if WAR included pitch framing, Molina would already be near 40, which is only about 10 away from catcher HOF level, with two MVP -level seasons and a great postseason record. Molina is and will likely be a HOFer.

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        • TKDC says:

          If pitch framing is going to eventually have such an effect on HOF voting, then Brian McCann is a shoe-in as well. Of course, that is a crazy assumption to make.

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        • Matthew Cornwell says:

          It may not have an effect on real voting, but it will on the sabermetric community’s ability to evaluate catchers.

          I am already convinced that Molina will make the HOF, regardless of if anybody here thinks he should or not. He will likely be pushing double digits in ASGs and GGs with tons of postseason success.

          I am sure we can make a great case for McCann as well, but the traditional case will be harder to make.

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        • Critique of pure Harry Reasoner says:

          According to Harry Pavlidis’ numbers, Molina is already over 50 WAR (framing worth 157 runs over the past 5 years), and McCann is well north of 40.

          It looks like, between Max Marchi, Matt Carruth, and the aforementioned Harry P., framing values are at least as consistent from analyst-to-analyst and season-to-season as other defensive evaluations we now take for granted when assessing infielders and outfielders.

          I’d say now’s the appropriate time for Fangraphs (and B-Ref and B-Pro) to give guys like McCann, Lucroy, and the brothers Molina their pitch-framing due, and add on to their WAR totals. Sorry Ryan Doumit.

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        • ankle explosion hr celebration says:

          First, I agree. Pitch framing is far enough along that it should be brought into the WAR calculations.

          But it really complicates HoF discussions. We don’t know what Johnny Bench was worth pitch-framing wise, and we probably never will. For it to be a fair comparison with the other Hall catchers, it seems we have to disregard it for Molina and McCann and the others.

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        • viva says:

          Don’t forget Russell Martin.

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        • TKDC says:

          McCann will almost assuredly get into double digits in all star games. He has 7 and that was with the Braves. Now he is a Yankee. Joe Mauer is no longer a catcher, so McCann will likely be voted in the next two-three years with anything approaching what he has normally done offensively. He also has 5 silver slugger awards, and again has limited competition in the AL for that honor as of now. He’s a year and a half younger than Molina as well.

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    • Dingbat says:

      True, they’re high-variation guesses, but they’re based on more than just one author’s personal opinion. Strasburg and Harper both had best-of-their-generation hype as prospects. That kind of talent should earn them a place on this type of list.

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  27. LaLoosh says:

    Jose Reyes might have something about the On Track section of the list.

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    • Kevin says:

      he gets hurt too much for me to say he’s ‘on track’. he’s played more than 133 games only once in the last 5 years. but he does have solid overall numbers, and his 2005-2008 numbers were ridiculous. I could put him in the ‘could make it with a strong finish’ category, even if he is younger than the other guys in there

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  28. suicide squeeze says:

    ” Adding in a decent 1,500 plate appearances or 500 innings would push them over the top for most voters, based on what they’ve already done.”

    If Miguel Cabrera throws 500 innings, I would definitely put him in the hall of fame :)

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  29. BobbyS says:

    At this rate… none. There will be a logjam of 42 worthy players. (Didn’t read comments, if anybody talked about that already!) :-p

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    • TKDC says:

      The logjam has its limits and it won’t keep inner-circle guys (without PED suspicion) from making it on their first try. I’m not sure if it will ever actually cause a player to never get voted in that would otherwise get in. Of course that’s impossible to prove.

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  30. Sylvan says:

    Greinke and Molina are a bit old for the “off to a great start” category, I think. They’re both well into their decline phase and haven’t really made the case yet.

    They probably belong in a category with guys like Jose Reyes and Matt Holliday who look more like “Hall of Very Good” candidates but are still youngish enough to turn that around.

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    • LaLoosh says:

      Holliday will be in his age 34 season, Reyes 31. Molina 32. Holliday is ahead of them now, but it’s conceivable Reyes &/or YM can surpass him. Regardless Reyes has plenty of time to continue creating his narrative.

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  31. Andrew says:

    I’ve always wondered what percent of innings pitched or at bats in a given season were by hall of famers. That would eliminate the impact of those guys that were part time or fading away if you were just taking a raw count.

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  32. HawkeyeCub says:

    Johan Santana deserves strong consideration in the “Sandy Koufax absolutely dominant peak” category. Actually, their careers are pretty similar if you look at them side by side. Both wound up with similar career ERA+ and WAR totals and were dominant for about the same number of years.

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    • Big Daddy V says:

      Koufax’s dominant years were substantially better than Santana’s peak years, and it’s not close. You have to do more than just win a Cy Young to approach one of those Koufax years.

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      • HawkeyeCub says:

        Sandy Koufax posted ERA+’s of 190 and 186 in his top two years. In his next best years, he posted ERA+’s of 160, 159, and 143. Santana posted an ERA+ of 182 in his best year, and posted ERA+’s of 166, 162, and 155 in his next best years. Koufax won three Cy Youngs, Santana won two and was robbed of a third. So it is close, actually. Sandy Koufax was great and all, but there is a ton of myth making about him. He was dominant in his peak, but others have had peaks close to, as good as, or better than his.

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        • ankle explosion hr celebration says:

          no way. Nice stats there, but 1) they do show that Koufax was substantially better, and 2) fWAR-wise, Koufax’s best 3 years were about 30% better than Santana’s best 3 years. 30%! That’s nuts, given that Santana is a near-Hall quality pitcher.

          Koufax had an insane type of peak, the kind of peak that pitchers nowadays probably just can’t match… There’s only been ~35 pitcher seasons worth more than 9.5WAR, and Koufax owns 3 of those seasons. Looking over the list quickly, I don’t think any other pitcher has more than 2.

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        • Bip says:

          Koufax also pitched in an era where throwing over 300 innings was not uncommon. WAR is a counting stat, so Koufax wasn’t so much better than Santana than he was more valuable, due to being able to pitch more in a season.

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        • cass says:

          Koufax’s top three seasons: 30.5 WAR
          Pedro’s top three seasons: 30.4 WAR

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        • ankle explosion hr celebration says:

          Good point. Still, being Koufax-good over more innings is more impressive than being Koufax-good over fewer innings.

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        • Anon21 says:

          But is it more impressive than being Pedro-good over fewer innings?

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        • Breadbaker says:

          And all of Koufax’s Cy Young awards were when there was only one award for the entire major leagues.

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        • The Humber Games says:

          It’s too bad about that third Cy Young that Santana got gyped out of (one of the worst award votes in recent memory), because three would’ve put him among some pretty rare company, and potentially made up for longevity issues.

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    • 68FC says:

      I think Roy Halladay is a better comp for Koufax, his peak wasn’t quite as good, but he sustained it a little longer and threw in a couple seasons around it.

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      • HawkeyeCub says:

        JAWS uses a players top seven seasons to calculate a player’s peak score. Using Baseball Reference WAR, the top seven seasons for Halladay, Koufax and Santana come out to approximately:

        Halladay: 51
        Koufax: 49
        Santana: 44

        Koufax had two 10 WAR seasons, which are extremely rare. But, accounting for the fact that Koufax’s era allowed starters to pitch a lot more innings, an argument can be made that Halladay had a much better peak than, and Santana had roughly as good of a peak as, Koufax.

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  33. Luke in MN says:

    Carl Crawford is a pretty interesting case. Despite 2 absolutely lost years in Boston, he’s sort of “on track” with 39 WAR at age 32. Compare Crawford at 39 WAR at age 32, Cano with 37 WAR at age 31, and Pedroia with 34 WAR at age 30.

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    • Bip says:

      Crawford doesn’t currently look like he can maintain an above average pace for long enough to have a hall-worthy career at the end of it.

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  34. Carson Palmer says:

    Goldschmidt > Machado.

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    • ankle explosion hr celebration says:

      Goldschmidt is also MUCH older than Machado. It’s not a crazy idea, but Machado is as good as Goldschmidt earlier in his career, and plays a position where its easier to accrue defensive value.

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      • Carson Palmer says:

        Pauly Paul has a GG (Gold Glove).

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      • Jose says:

        Defensive value doesn’t get you into the hall of fame (okay, sit down, Ozzie). It may boost or hurt a borderline case, but that’s it.

        Traditionally, third basemen haven’t been given a pass for the position they play. If you play third and want to get into the hall, you need to hit dingers, and win awards, same as a first baseman.

        Goldschmidt is much more likely to get the hardware. He was second in the MVP voting last year, and he has to be the odds on favorite to win this year.

        I would also bet my left nut that he is the starting All Star first baseman next year and many years after. Machado isn’t even close to winning an MVP and could conceivably be left off the team.. I know that the numbers of All star teams means less and less these days, but when you are going every year, that still counts with the voters.

        Machado may develop into Goldschmidt in a few years. Goldschmidt is Goldschmidt right now.

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        • ankle explosion hr celebration says:

          hmm. I think you guys are thinking of this like it’s going to be the same Hall voters in ~20 years, when Goldy and Machado are up for enshrinement. I don’t think that’s true; I think defense will be weighted heavily, and as I said before, it’s a lot easier to accrue value defensively when you aren’t paying the 1B penalty of -10 runs or so.

          Two other things: Gold Gloves matter not at all, not even a little bit, and I suspect they won’t by the time these guys are up for the Hall, and
          Machado’s defensive value, according to FG: 33
          Goldschmidt’s: -7

          Machado is a much better defender (not that Goldschmidt is bad, just, Machado is much better).

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        • Bip says:

          Goldschmidt’s defensive ranking includes positional adjustment, so a good 1B will still have a negative rating there.

          But yes, there is no way for him to compete with a guy who is basically a god at a more valuable position.

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        • Tanks for nuttin! says:

          You’d bet your left nut??!! Ignoring the downside of that bet, what would you do with a third nut if you won? Does the other bettor have to specifically offer up the left one as well? Or would the bet not even be nut-for-nut?

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        • ankle explosion hr celebration says:

          “Machado may develop into Goldschmidt in a few years. Goldschmidt is Goldschmidt right now.”

          2013 WAR:
          Machado–6.2
          Goldschmidt–6.4

          Machado is as valuable (just about) as Goldschmidt. Right now. (if you believe in the defensive metrics, which I do)

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        • gabriel syme says:

          if you believe in the defensive metrics, which I do

          I’m a big believer in the advanced defensive metrics, but even I would regress big single-season outliers to a certain degree.

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  35. theojd says:

    I’d say Votto has almost no shot to make the Hall unless the saberheads completely take over the voting. For a 30 year old first basemen (with some injury history) he just won’t be able to put up the counting stats necessary to be elected to the Hall as a 1B. He can draw all the walks he wants, but it’s not getting him into the HOF.

    Of contemporaries, I’d say Tex and Fielder both have better realistic shots.

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  36. harpago17 says:

    Tim Hudson is an interesting case. I think he ultimately falls short, but it wouldn’t surprise me for him to be one of those guys that hangs onto the ballot for a while picking up between 30-50% of the vote each year.

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  37. Forrest Gumption says:

    Holy crap, no mention of Andruw Jones and his 67.8 WAR?

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    • Forrest Gumption says:

      *he’s technically still active, had a great year in Japan in 2013.

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    • Plucky says:

      From the voters perspective, his game collapsed too early. Also, despite his 10 (deserved) GGs your odds of convincing them with numbers that he’s the best defensive CF of all time are somewhere between 0.001 and 0.002%

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    • MDL says:

      IMO he’ll be the most polarizing non-steroid guy in some time, due to his insane peak and sudden early decline.

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    • 68FC says:

      Jones has under 2000 hits, which will hurt him with voters, only 5 AS games, and a very sudden decline defensively (and a sudden decline offensively). His homers also came during the steriod era, even if he is clean, it hurts his case.

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  38. jpg says:

    No Hanley Ramirez in the “Almost There, Just Don’t Suck for a Few More Years” tier? He’s at +37 WAR heading into his age 30, coming off a 5 win season. Seems like an odd omission considering he’s in the same age and WAR range as everyone else in that tier past Beltre and Wright.

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    • Bip says:

      I’m sure Dave’s thinking is somewhat influenced by recent performance, assuming that players that seem to have declined are going to continue to perform around that level.

      However, if Hanley performs in 2014 like he did when healthy in 2013, there’s no doubt he’ll have launched himself back into the conversation.

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  39. Bobby Ayala says:

    Mauer would be a lock if he retired today.

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    • Ben says:

      No he wouldn’t. I’m an MN fan, he’s still a long way off. Although I also think Puckett shouldn’t be in the Hall so maybe I’m the wrong person to ask. He’s got the peak, but he needs another 4-5 solid years in my mind.

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    • Josh says:

      I think he’s in. The voters love what Mauer has done so far though. An MVP plus the first AL catcher to win a batting title. And he won 3 at that? That’s a milestone that they’ll love

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    • Kevin says:

      no way. he is on his way, no doubt about that. but he has to compile his numbers. they won’t put him in with under 1500 career hits.

      if they didn’t put Thurman Munson in, who had very similar numbers to Mauer before he died at 32 years old, they won’t put in a guy who decides to retire at 30 years old

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  40. ESimon says:

    Isn’t Miguel Cabrera pretty much in already? If not then one more 5-7WAR season should be enough

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  41. Matty Brown says:

    While searching for other worthy candidates I discovered that Placido Polanco has 38.4 WAR; impressive and surprising.

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    • WAR - what is it good for? says:

      The next time I hear someone argue for Jack Morris in the Hall, I think I’ll bring that up to “support” their argument… “Yeah, and not only that, Jack had 5 MORE WAR than Polanco!”

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  42. Josh says:

    I think there’s a bit of a bias against guys who bounce around from team to team vs guys who stay with one team for a long time. From a general perception standpoint, borderline guys who can be associated with one team (especially a successful one) have a better shot at getting in. Compare the general views on Beltre and Beltran to Ortiz. Voters could say “Beltran isn’t that good. Why else would he have played for 5 (now 6) teams? But Ortiz. He’s a Red Sock (Sox?) through and through. And 3 rings!” (Beltre with 4 teams) I don’t support this but I feel like this is the gut feeling for a lot of people.

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    • Bip says:

      There are a lot of guys that it didn’t help though, like Trammell and Whitaker. I honestly don’t understand their standards. I think when voting time rolls around, narratives get built up like tropical storms, and some fizzle out. If Beltran’s narrative gets picked up during voting season, and Ortiz’s doesn’t, then Beltran will make it.

      It’s the only explanation I can think of to explain this Morris frenzy.

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  43. gc says:

    30 might be all we can stand for average people remembering players from 20 years past. But for the Ruth era to have basically everyone in the ASG in the HOF (in the first one, 15 AL and 21 NL got on the field) when there were only 8 teams in each league, excluding much of the West, Latin America and any non-whites…
    OTOH, they had to work jobs in the offseason and never got a pension.

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  44. pft says:

    Just did a search of the top 20 WAR players from 2004-2013 in relation to this topic. Surprisingly 4 are 2Bmen. Makes me wonder if WAR is not a bit biased toward 2bmen. Its a position that gets a lot of chances due to the position, so gets a big position adjustment, but the players skill wise are not as talented as SS or CF’ers, primarily due to lack of speed or a weaker arm. It’s also a position like the other IF position that excludes LH throwers who makeup some of the top offense talent and 12% of the total population.

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    • Bookbook says:

      I betcha you’re right. In that there’s more variance at 2b than most other positions right now. There are a few true offense/defense stars like Cano, Utley, Zobrist, than a whole bunch of Robert Andinos and Willie Bloomquists.

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  45. smocon says:

    LOVE this article, primarily because of the Ryan Braun* omission.

    Would agree with a lot of the posters above who talk about Tulowitzki as well. He will have the Coors bias, but he will also be remembered as one of the best shortstops defensively in his era, with that absolute cannon arm and amazing range for a guy who could really be playing 3B at his size.

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  46. Johan Santana says:

    I’ll throw out a name that I would put as a little more likely than Greinke, Machado and maybe one or two others: Matt Cain. He could start going downhill any year now or end up in the wrong ballpark somehow, but if he can keep being Matt Cain for another five years or so, he’ll look pretty good, and he’s already got a perfect game and 2 WS rings (proving he had a winning aura, blah blah).

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  47. blue says:

    How is Ichiro a certainty? He’s completely cratered and he has only 55 WAR. He’d be one of the weakest HOF inductees.

    And NO JAPAN DOESN’T COUNT.

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    • thirteenthirteen says:

      I can’t even believe anyone would argue against Ichiro’s inclusion. Ichiro is amazing. Did he run over your dog or something?

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    • Brett W says:

      Being restricted from playing the game until age 27 does count. Other historical guys have gotten the “war” bump when they lose a period of years, and though Ichiro’s time was not of service, he was still legally incapacitated from playing MLB. Once given the chance, he had one of the best era-relative batting average peaks of all time. Plus he’s a legend in his own mind and country. He goes beyond hits and runs. In.

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    • ankle explosion hr celebration says:

      you’re trolling. Ichiro’s awesome, whether he meets the WAR criterion or not.

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    • Critique of pure Harry Reasoner says:

      Ichiro gets a small bonus for breaking a very longstanding MLB record, but more importantly, yes, he does get a chunk of credit for his Japanese numbers.

      In Japan at age 26, Ichiro hit .387/.460/.539. Then he came to the U.S. and was immediately dominant. Now, here’s the thing: Ichiro was as fantastic in Japan at age 20 as he was at 26. Check it out: .385/.445/.549.

      Hell, Ichiro might have been able to do that at age 19 or even 18, if his manager, Shozo Doi, had put him and his weird batting style into the lineup. Once Doi was replaced (Doi!) Ichiro flourished.

      So I think it’s not a stretch to say that Ichiro could have done to A.L. pitchers at 21 (or perhaps even younger) what he eventually did while winning the MVP & ROY at age 27. The man is an historic talent, when it comes to hitting for average. The question isn’t whether he goes into the Hall or not; the question is whether he’d have broken Rose’s hit record if he’d come to the U.S. six or seven years sooner…

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    • Jon says:

      The only intriguing question with Ichiro is not what he would have done in MLB as a young man (he would’ve played like a young man on a Hall of Fame track), but when he would’ve been given the opportunity to do so if he was born here.

      Ichiro at 20 ripped up NPB. Anyone think he wouldn’t have done the same in Double-A or heaven forbid, college with a metal bat? At the latest, I think he’s full time MLB by 22.

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    • Fred says:

      You’re right. Notice how all the arguments against you here so far are what-ifs. If people want to play projection games there’s all kinds of ways to bloat out and guess at numbers for all sorts of players, e.g. “what if player X didn’t have a career-ending injury”, “what if player Y came up from the minors a couple years earlier”, etc. etc. It’s weird to see a site so (correctly) about wanting to see data, toss around theoreticals and hand-waves like this.

      Quite simply, apart from obviously hits and singles, Ichiro is not in the top 100 players all-time in any category. The vaunted singles machine, the OBP dynamo that he appeared to be… is tied for 416th all time in career OBP.

      He has the ROY award, one batting title, several All Star appearances and a couple postseason appearances. Not that impressive a selection of hardware and experience for someone supposed to be a mortal lock for the hall.

      Ichi’s defense, I could see being in his favor. There were certainly some highlight reel catches, some reputation-making throws, and he kept himself very healthy by not buying into the macho “bang into walls to prove you care” mentality.

      But again: 58.5 bWAR. 4.85 bWAR per season. Borderline perennial All Star by B-Ref’s use of WAR… but again, that 58.5 WAR is tied for 190th all time. Bobby Abreu and Vlad Guerrero have better career bWAR, are they HOFers? Edgar Martinez put up 10 more WAR than that in an 18-year career, and he’s barely getting any votes. Beltre put up 70 so far, shows no signs of stopping any time soon, and he’s mentioned as less of a certainty for the hall than Ichiro? And even that WAR is propped up by about 3 amazing seasons, given that he was about replacement level in 2011, around league average in 2012, about 1 WAR last year, and only about 3.4 in 2005.

      If you take emotion out of it, and if you don’t make excuses for him by making approximations to carry over his NPB numbers or projections of what he might have done from age 19 – 28 here…. just look at the numbers and the ML career as it’s existed, and it’s not the automatic thing some people here think it is.

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  48. Max Grady says:

    This is a great list, but there is only one problem with it: a good chunk of writers that actually get to cast a vote don’t give a crap about WAR. Sad but true.

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  49. Josh Katzman says:

    What about Paul Konerko? In 17 seasons (15 full seasons, all with the Chicago White Sox), he’s hit 434 home runs, has 1,390 RBI, a .356 OBP and a .281 lifetime batting average. He’s been the White Sox team captain for much of his career, and as a converted catcher he’s played above-average defense at first base throughout his career. In this age of self-absorbed opportunists, he elected to play virtually his entire career on the South Side of Chicago, and in 2005 was instrumental in the White Sox winning their first championship since 1918. Besides his solid stats, his stellar character should also be a contributing factor. The newer baseball metrics are a great tool for measuring and evaluating a player’s assorted skills, but sometimes things like WAR get in the way of an honest assessment.

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  50. ken says:

    Yadier Molina is entering his 11th year in the majors and he’s “off to a great start”? If he’s not in the “On Track, but Not Quite There Yet” group then you need to pull him out of the conversation.

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  51. TK says:

    How much will David Ortiz’s alleged steroid use hurt his candidacy?

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    • The Humber Games says:

      By ‘alleged steroid use’ do you mean ‘positive drug test’?

      In all seriousness, I think Sheffield’s candidacy next year will shed a lot of light on how Ortiz is going to be treated. For whatever reason, Sheffield, like Ortiz, always seems to get left out of conversations about PEDs, and journalists instead like to go back to the tried and true whipping boys like A-Rod, Clemens, Bonds. Next year we’ll see if selective memory outweighs PED outrage.

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  52. The Humber Games says:

    Too bad J. Santana’s injuries have made people forget about how great a career he’s had. He crushes Sabathia in rate stats and only loses out from longevity and playing for MN/NYM instead of the Yankees. Hope he can find it again for another year or so and get back into the conversation

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  53. matt grande says:

    what about Dale Murphy?

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  54. Scott Denny says:

    Personally,
    I can’t stand the “old” man Pete Rose, but I loved watching “Charlie Hustle”.
    I think Charlie Hustle deserves being in the Hall Of Fame more than ANY of these guys. As a player…Hall Of Famer….

    As a coach…banned from baseball…

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  55. Chria says:

    Great article, I agree almost completely with your list. The tier system you out in place is quality stuff as well.

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  56. Erik T says:

    How about Mark Buehrle? 5 more years of Mark Buehrle (he is a lefty, it could be 10) would definitely put him in there. He is currently at 48.2 WAR, and is only 34

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    • Smokey Rivers says:

      And 55 by RA9 WAR or bWAR. But he doesn’t have a very high peak. I think he’s at least in the HOF discussion because of what will probably end up being a unique career shape.

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  57. Smokey Rivers says:

    I’m just throwing this out there: Ben Zobrist.

    29 WAR but he will turn 33 this year. Definitely not a favorite to make it. But he’s 21st century Alan Trammell.

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  58. Joel says:

    If Hanley Ramirez had been stuck in Florida for his entire career-to-date, I’d be inclined to think that he has little shot at making the Hall of Fame (unfairly). However, a few great seasons with the Dodgers will change that. It doesn’t hurt that he’s a great player, and one who has been relatively durable.

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  59. Ken says:

    Ortiz? He was on the original PED list with A-Rod…did we forget that? And how does he get a by? I don’t see Mariano…because he retired? Tulowitzki I agree with the fan if he stays healthy but that goes for everyone.

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  60. sammy makki says:

    David Wright? Chase Utley? These are Hall of Famers?

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  61. lakawak says:

    The fact that your sole criteria is WAR is just sad. What will you do in a few years when someone has come up with a new random stat to use? Will you follow like the mindless lemming that you are?

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  62. boogabooga says:

    What impresses me most about this discussion is how civil and logical it is. I think this says something important about people who follow baseball. I just wish those who followed politics thought and spoke as you all do. Imagine if we applied appropriate metrics to our politicians.

    SS%: percentage of stupid statements
    TLC: times caught lying
    RPP%: Reversal of previous position percentage
    etc.

    Nice work, folks!

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  63. RYAN says:

    Anyone ever heard of a guy named Brian McCann? consistent as they come, hes an All-Star every year and hes a great team player. If Posey is considered then McCann needs to be

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  64. mark s says:

    As much as I loved watching Adrian Beltre play. If Beltre had played in a ball park that helped his bat instead of hurt it, he would probably be a lock for the Hall of Fame by now.

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