Scott Rolen He is heading to the Hall of Fame. The next year, she makes way for another star third baseman.
Adrián Beltré highlights first-time eligibles for 2024. While Rolen’s election on Tuesday capped an impressive six-year rise in his vote totalBeltre has a good chance of getting on the first ballot. Though never an MVP, he finished his career with 3,166 hits, 477 home runs and five Gold Gloves, remaining productive until his final season at age 39.
It is also expected that Joe Mauer, Chase Utley, David Wright, Jose Bautista, and Matt Holliday make their ballot debut next year. Mauer is the only catcher to win three batting titles and was the 2009 AL MVP.
It came as no surprise that several players made huge leaps in voting this year. Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Curt Schilling, who received majority support but fell short of the 75% threshold for induction, were no longer on the ballot. Since there is a maximum of 10 players per voter, when candidates like that are no longer an option, others may benefit.
Rolen improved from 63.2% to 76.3%, Todd Helton from 52.0% to 72.2% and Billy Wagner from 51.0% to 68.1%. Andruw Jones went from 41.1% to 58.1%.
The presence of Beltre, Mauer and Utley, however, could make it difficult for other players to gain ground next year. Helton still has five more years on the ballot and Jones has four. Wagner, however, only has two more chances.
“Helton is going to get something like three-quarters of the vote, and Beltre could be the first guy to threaten 100 percent since (Derek) Jeter and Mariano (Rivera), and then there will be a lot of Mauer and Utley. . support, I think,” said Ryan Thibodaux, who manages the online Hall of Fame ballot tracker that allows fans to follow the voting process as it unfolds each year.
“Can Wagner get that final seven percent in one go, or does it take him until his 10th ballot? I think it’s going to be very interesting to watch next year.”
Next year also looks significant for Carlos Beltrán, whowho received the support of 46.5% of voters in his ballot debut. That kind of first-year performance normally bodes very well for a candidate, but Beltrán’s total was likely affected by his role in the Houston Astros’ cheating scandal.
“I made a little joke on our Slack from our tracker team, that we should have been tracking all this time who explicitly said or implied that they were giving out a one-year ban,” Thibodaux said. “I can only say anecdotally that I think there are a significant number of voters planning to vote for him next year who didn’t vote for him this year.”
Bonds and Clemens, Haunted on performance-enhancing drug charges, they seemed to peak in the voting after a while. If Beltrán receives similar treatment, he could be in trouble, but if voters only plan to ban him for one year, that should be evident in 2024.
Gary Sheffield received 55.0% of the vote, and next year is the last one on the ballot. He needs to pull off a repeat of Larry Walker’s senior surge.
Walker was at 54.6% in 2019. Then he hit 75% the following year on his last chance.
But Jack Morris received 67.7% in his junior year and was never voted on by the Baseball Writers Association of America. He later he was elected by the committee of the Modern Era. That puts the jump Sheffield needs into perspective.
“That’s going to be a really tough jump for him,” Thibodaux said.