Players who could receive zero votes on the 2017 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot
With one of the more crowded ballots in Baseball Hall of Fame history in terms of quality candidates as well as overall candidates, many players who had above average careers are likely to find themselves with little to no support from voters. Below, are fifteen players on this year’s ballot who will likely finish the voting process with zero Hall of Fame votes, as well as look at some of their career highlights.
1. Matt Stairs- All time leader in pinch-hit home runs with 23, elected to the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in 2016 after finishing career with 265 HR. Newly hired hitting coach for the Philadelphia Phillies, whom he helped win a World Series in 2008 with a memorable, pinch-hit home run in Game 4 of the NLCS. Played for twelve teams in his career, the most amongst position players.
2. Arthur Rhodes– A first-time All-Star at the age of 41 in 2010, helped the Cardinals win the World Series in 2011, a series where he would receive a ring no matter the outcome, having been traded from the AL champion Rangers at midseason. 25th all-time in appearances with 900, having pitched twenty seasons in the majors.
3. Freddy Sanchez– The 2006 NL batting champion with a .344 AVG and league leading 53 doubles, finished his career with three All-Star appearances and a .297 AVG. Helped the Giants win the 2010 World Series as their starting second baseman, where he became the first player ever to double in his first three World Series at-bats.
4. Pat Burrell– One of the best hitters to never make an All-Star appearance, picked first by the Phillies in the 1998 MLB Draft after winning the Golden Spikes Award at the University of Miami. Finished in the top ten in baseball in walks four times, finishing his career with 292 HR, 876 RBI, and World Series rings in 2008 and 2010, with the Phillies and the Giants respectively.
5. Orlando Cabrera– After a trade to the Red Sox at the 2004 mid-season deadline, helped break the Curse of the Bambino by shoring up the Red Sox’s infield defense, where they went 42-19 after his acquisition. A two-time Gold Glove winner at shortstop ranks among the top ten all time with a 63 game on base streak in 2006.
6. Jason Varitek– Acquired by the Red Sox in in 1997 alongside Derek Lowe in one of the most lopsided trades in franchise history, served as captain of the Red Sox from 2005-2011, leading the Red Sox to World Series titles in 2004, and 2007. A three-time All-Star, became the first Red Sox to catch 1,000 games, in a career that included a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger Award, and becoming on of three players to appear in the Little League, College, and Major League World Series.
7. Casey Blake– Despite not playing in a full season until 29, still had 162 game averages of 21 HR, 79 RBI, 82 R, and 34 doubles. Appeared at every position except pitcher and catcher in his career, and set the Dodges single season record for fielding percentage by a third baseman in 2009 with a .973.
8. Carlos Guillen– Hit his stride after being traded to the Tigers in 2004, where he made three All-Star teams, and in 2006 became the first player in modern MLB history to raise his average in six consecutive seasons. Had single-season highs of 21 HR, 102 RBI, and a .320 AVG, while excelling in the postseason, hitting .344/.420/.557 across nineteen games and six series.
9. Melvin Mora– The first player to hit a home run off the top of the foul pole at Camden Yards, finished his career as a member of the Orioles Hall of Fame after slugging 158 HR and making two All-Star games as a third baseman from 2000-2009 with the team. Had his best season in 2004, when he hit 27 HR, drove in 104 runs (both career highs) and hit .340 with a league leading .419 OBP. Well known off the field for his quintuplets.
10. Edgar Renteria– Handed the Marlins their first World Series Championship in 1997 with a walk-off single in the eleventh inning of game seven off of Indians pitcher Charles Nagy. Won an additional World Series in 2010, finishing his career with 2.327 hits, 294 steals, five All-Star appearances, and multiple Gold Glove and Silver Slugger Awards. Played the 13th most games at shortstop with 2,114.
11. Tim Wakefield– The Red Sox all-time leader in innings pitched, the crafty knuckleballer finished his career with exactly 200 wins, pitching until the age of 44 over the course of a nineteen-year career. The oldest player in baseball from 2009-2011, won two World Series with the Red Sox, making his first all-star team at 42 in 2009, and winning the 2010 Roberto Clemente Award for service to the community after previously being nominated eight times.
12. Derrek Lee– Had a season for the ages in 2005, wining a Silver Slugger and Gold Glove Award, making the All-Star team, and led the league with 199 hits, 50 doubles, a .335 AVG, .662 SLG, 1.080 OPS, and 393 total bases, adding on 46 HR, 107 RBI, and 120 runs on top. A 2003 World Series Champion with the Marlins, played over 1,900 games at first base, finishing his career with 331 HR and 1,078 RBI, with three total Gold Glove Awards at the position.
13. Magglio Ordonez– A six-time All-Star and three-time Silver Slugger Award winner, sent the Tigers to the World Series in 2006 with a walk-off grand slam against the Oakland Athletics. Had four thirty home run and seven 100 RBI seasons, finishing as the runner-up in the 2007 AL MVP vote after leading the league with 54 doubles and a .363 AVG, along with 117runs, 139 RBI, a .434 OBP, and a 1.029 OPS. Hit over .300 for his career (.309) with 2,156 hits, 294 HR, and 1236 RBI.
14. J.D. Drew– In the 1997 MLB Draft, he and his brother Tim became the first brothers to be drafted in the first round of the same draft; Drew also used a loophole in the draft rules, refusing to sign with the Phillies and instead playing for the Independent St. Paul Saints. An All-Star and 2007 World Series Champion, finished his career with 242 HR and a .384 OBP and led right fielders in fielding percentage three times. Finished with an OBP of above .400 five times, and an OPS above 1.000 twice.
15. Mike Cameron– A power and speed threat as one of 22 players with 250 career steals and home runs, finished with 278 career home runs and 297 stolen bases, stealing over 30 bases in a season three times while reaching double digits in home runs eleven straight seasons. A three-time Gold Glove Award Winner became the 13th player to hit four home runs in a game in 2002 and the only player to hit two home runs in one game with eight different teams.