There’s the mainstream media, once again underestimating the New York Yankees. Mark Hale of The New York Post wrote a piece this weekend: “Nine current Yankees have shot at Hall of Fame.”
The Yankees could see nine players on this year’s squad be enshrined in Cooperstown — which would match the most by any team — coincidentally, with the 1931, 1932 and 1933 Yankees, who also had nine players make it.
Nine? What in the world is Mark Hale talking about? The Yankees have at least twenty-seven players on their 40-man roster likely to make the Hall of Fame and possibly as many as forty-three. Sure, the nine mentioned in the article (Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Alex Rodriguez, Ichiro Suzuki, Robinson Cano, Mark Teixeira, CC Sabathia, Andy Pettitte and Andruw Jones) are all obvious slam-dunks, especially Teixeira, but how in the world could Hale ignore the achievements of the other eighteen HOF slam-dunks on the Yankees roster?
Jayson Nix: Batting .357 since the All-Star Break. That’s Tony Gwynn territory there.
Joba Chamberlain: An amazing comeback from breaking his leg into sixteen pieces after eating a trampoline. He’s struck out more than a batter an inning for his career. He hasn’t hit a batter since 2011. Amazing.
Eric Chavez: The case has been made. He was on a Hall of Fame path until he was derailed by injuries. Surely we can’t hold injuries against him. He’s clearly there. If Eduardo Nunez is going to make it (and, you’ll see below, he most certainly is), could anyone keep out Chavez?
Cody Eppley: Who? Exactly! From out of nowhere, a huge season for the reliever no one has ever heard of. Did you know he hasn’t blown a save all year? Almost certainly could outpitch Hoyt Wilhelm today.
Curtis Granderson: His 7th most similar batter through age 30 is Hall of Famer Larry Doby. Case closed. (Granderson is too good to deserve being in this post, but, alas, here he is.)
Phil Hughes: He has some shockingly pretty minor league stats. 32-8, 385 Ks in 344 innings. And he’s absolutely been a serviceable starter this year. 20 more seasons significantly better than this one and he’s Tom Seaver.
Raul Ibanez: If Ibanez had gotten regular playing time before age 30, who knows. As it is, he has 266 career home runs, almost 2000 hits, similar players include Hal McRae, Felipe Alou, some very good outfielders (and future managers). If he plays until he’s 50, doing what he’s done over the past 10 years, I think he has to be a slam dunk.
Brandon Laird: It may seem silly to predict a Hall of Fame career off of 21 major league at bats and a batting average (and slugging percentage) of .190, but if anyone with a career minor league K/BB ratio of almost 3/1 and no clear path to major league playing time is going to make it to Cooperstown, it could be Laird.
Boone Logan: Did you know he doesn’t have a middle name? That’s according to MLB.com, in case anyone wants to verify. Who says there isn’t room for more completely serviceable middle relievers in the Hall of Fame? Not me, that’s for sure.
Nick Swisher: I really like Nick Swisher. He’s been on most of my fantasy teams for most of the past 8 seasons. He is in my fantasy team Hall of Fame for sure. Which means that when I get to run the real Hall of Fame, he will be in the first year’s class. Case closed.
Rafael Soriano: What can I say about Rafael Soriano that hasn’t been said by someone else, at some other time in history? He has never had a major league season, except for 5 of them, where he struck out fewer batters than innings pitched. He has never had a season, except for 3 of them, with an ERA over 4. He also, crazy enough, doesn’t seem to have a middle name. Why did I say 27 Yankees in the headline instead of, I don’t know, 16? Because then this post could be over by now. If only I were allowed to edit the words after I type them.
David Phelps: You wouldn’t know unless you looked at his stats, but Phelps has never had a bad season. His minor league ERAs have been under 3.00 each of his 5 years, he hardly walks anybody, he’s doing in the majors this year exactly what he’s always done in the minors. If he could do this for an entire career, and he wasn’t already 26 years old, he probably would be a Hall of Famer. That is the best case I can make here.
Ramiro Pena: Please let me end this post.
Eduardo Nunez: Has done slightly better in the majors than he did in the minors, and has a healthy number of triples. Someone is going to accidentally vote for him to be in the Hall of Fame.
Casey McGehee: He has a .400 OBP in one game as a Yankee. That is a Hall of Fame-type stat. He’s 2 for 9 as a basestealer in the major leagues, and was 7 for 22 in the minor leagues. That is very bad. But should not greatly affect his case for Cooperstown.
Russell Martin: Thurman Munson is #2 on the similarity score list through age 28. Thurman Munson is probably one of the players most often mistaken for being a Hall of Famer, at least by me, who made that mistake once when I was looking something else up for a post a few weeks ago. Vida Blue is also on that list for me. I don’t know why.
David Aardsma: Yet to give up an earned run in 2012, not even for the Gulf Coast Yankees. Historic season.
Francisco Cervelli: What? He’s been in AAA all year? So what? He’s a Yankee. How can he not end up in the Hall of Fame?
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