안전놀이터 The Major League Baseball Hall of Fame is an honor reserved for players who truly defined an era. It’s not only about talent, but also about character. This is especially true when you consider the number of superstars who have been caught using drugs and have been turned away at the Hall of Fame door.
There are several players currently playing in the major leagues who could be in the Hall of Fame when they retire. There’s a roughly defined threshold of Hall of Fame-worthy performance, and there are a few players who have surpassed it.
One such player is Miguel Cabrera (40, Detroit), who will be playing his final season this year. Although he’s struggling a bit in his later years, he’s still over 500 home runs and 3,000 hits in his career. He’s also won two Most Valuable Player (MVP) titles. He’s a lock for the Hall of Fame. There’s not much disagreement.
Jason Stark, a panelist on Major League Baseball Network and a national columnist for The Athletic, made his picks for the Hall of Fame on Thursday. He divided the list into three categories: players who could retire now, players who are likely to get in at their current pace, players who are on their way to the Hall of Fame, and players who should be checked again in the next five years.
There are seven players who could retire right now and still get in. Cabrera, Justin Verlander (New York Mets), Max Scherzer (New York Mets), Zack Greinke (Kansas City), Joey Votto (Cincinnati), and Mike Trout (Los Angeles Angels) and Clayton Kershaw (Los Angeles Dodgers). Being on this list is a huge honor, regardless of whether you actually get inducted. And they’re all players who will make their mark at some point, if not in the first turn.
Verlander, Scherzer, and Greinke all have more than 200 wins, which is the minimum requirement for Hall of Fame induction. Verlander and Schuerzer also reached the 3,000-strikeout mark. Greinke is about 80 strikeouts away from 3000. Whether he reaches it or not, he’ll likely be judged by that standard. The combination of 200 wins and 3000 strikeouts is an important benchmark for induction at this point in time when the division of labor is so thorough. Votto is another player who has accumulated a lot of stats due to his ability to run the bases.
Kershaw and Trout are still in their early to mid-30s, yet they’re being treated the same way as veterans in their late 30s and early 40s. This is understandable given their track records.
Trout is already an all-time great based on Wins Above Replacement (WAR) alone. According to Baseball Reference, Trout has already accumulated a WAR of 83.8. He’s already up to 57th on the all-time list with plenty of playing time left. He’s tied with Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. in terms of WAR. Trout has 361 career home runs, 1,592 hits, 921 RBIs, and an OPS of 0.998.
Kershaw is a behemoth with 203 wins in his 16-year career. His 2.49 ERA ranks first all-time among pitchers with more than 2000 innings pitched. He’s also amassed 75 WAR and is 130 strikeouts shy of 3000. He’s much younger than Verlander and Scherzer, so his all-time numbers could be even better if he stays as active as they are. We are living in an era of legends.