Last year, at my former blog, I assessed current Phillies players chances at the Hall of Fame. This year, I’ll do it again. I’ll go through the 25-man roster, as it stood post-game five.
Will Never Make Hall of Fame
I can confidently say this for all 12 here. Jenkins is just too old to catch fire for five years; everyone else seems far out of the realm of discussion.
Small Glimmer of Hope
You can make the case that each needs another eight to 10 years, but nothing in their statistics show they have exceptional factors that make Hall of Fame careers. Still, it’s not completely out of the realm to consider them. But I won’t break them down now.
That leaves seven candidates for the Hall who seem to have a somewhat realistic shot at this point. Let’s break them down.
Experience: 7 years
He gets in if: He has another seven seasons with 30-plus saves. When you close, the save is all that matters to voters, and Lidge will need them in spades. 2008 certainly helped his case, but consistency and health are the biggest factors facing Lidge. Getting near 400 saves is the goal, and doing it for a few more seasons in some postseason situations will go a long way.
Experience: 22 years
He gets in if: He continues to defy age and put up sterling numbers. His 16-7 record helped his case last season, so he’ll need another carbon copy of that to keep above water. Chances are Moyer will retire at the same time as Hall shoo-ins Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, John Smoltz and Randy Johnson (among others), so if Moyer does get in, it might be through the Veterans Committee. A longer shot because of the era he’s in.
Experience: 3 years
He gets in if: He does his thing. Sure the wins are lower than they should be, but as long as his ERA hovers in the low 3s and his strikeouts continue on their current path, Hamels should be sitting pretty. By his current path, he’ll record 1,500 strikeouts by age 30, meaning he’d hit the milestones like every other Hall of Fame pitcher. Oh, and the postseason record doesn’t hurt.
Experience: 9 years
He gets in if: He moves to the American League. I said it last year — by moving over to the hitting-friendly AL, Burrell could keep his homer totals above 30 per season for a little longer. That could get him close to 500 bombs by his late 30s. Anything can happen then. But The Bat has to truly rely on the longball to make the Hall.
Experience: 5 years
He gets in if: The ball flies over the fence 40 times for the next five seasons. Barrellesque sluggers like Howard hit a wall around age 33, so the big man must keep his game high into that season. With 40 per year for the next five, Howard has close to 400 longballs, making his road to 500 a sweet jaunt. With one MVP, one second-place finish, a Rookie of the Year award and a World Series title, Howard is on his way. But he has to keep it up.
Experience: 6 years
He gets in if: He rules the bag for the next six years. A second baseman doesn’t have to be an offensive beast to win a Hall ticket, but it certainly helps. Utley is on his way to being the most prolific offensive second baseman since maybe Rogers Hornsby, and with a few more seasons of 100 ribbies and 170-plus hits (10 years is the magic total), he’ll be in elite company at the second sack. It will be difficult for Utley to knock 3,000 hits, but if he’s dominant, he won’t have trouble getting votes.
Experience: 9 years
He gets in if: The hits keep coming for another decade. Tall order, but … besides Adrian Beltre (got a two-year head start) and Albert Pujols (out of this universe), Rollins is the active leader in hits, 30 and younger. He’s practically halfway to 3,000 hits, and as he steps into his true prime, he’s capable of the feat by age 40. Add in the potential for 500 steals (11th active) and his 2007 MVP, and there’s no reason to think Rollins couldn’t enter the Hall of Fame.