Saturday, August 17, 2013

The Baseball Hall of Fame & 3rd Basemen

When you look at how many players their are position-wise at each and every position in the Baseball Hall of Fame, 3rd base is the one that lacks in players category. Why? It's simple, their just haven't been that many great 3rd basemen in the MLB compared to as tacked of a position as Pitcher or any of the outfield spots. Even the Catcher position has more Hall of Famers than 3rd base, with Catcher having 16 to the 3rd basemen's 14. The 14 3rd basemen Hall of Famers are lead by Wade Boggs,

the infamous George Brett

and Mike Schmidt

and are rounded out by 500 home run club member in Eddie Mathews, Frank Baker, whose the best base-swiper from all the 3rd basemen already in the Hall and not to mention, Jimmy Collins, George Kell, Freddie Lindstrom, Brooks Robinson, Ron Santo and Pie Traynor. There also is Paul Molitor who was elected as a DH - the only one in MLB history - that manned the hot corner whenever he wasn't the DH for the day. Some people say he's a 3rd basemen, others says he's a DH, it's an iffy subject. The Negro Leagues also has three 3rd basemen in the Hall of Fame, being Ray Dandridge, Judy Johnson and Jud Wilson making the list of players at 14. Only the Designated Hitter position has less Hall of Famers but you can count DH out with the voters tendency to not consider DH's in the Hall, so basically 3rd base has the least amount of players. Fortunately, 3rd base has some possible Hall of Fame candidates in Adrian Beltre, Scott Rolen, David Wright, Miguel Cabrera (he's a lock but what position he'll get elected is either 1st base or 3rd base) and 3B/SS Alex Rodriguez... I choked a bit while saying that. Albeit, the chances of A-Rod making the Hall of Fame are less than 1%, the man's still hit over 600 home runs, with steroids, but his talent's always been there for him. Things are looking up for 3rd basemen in the Hall of Fame. Personally, I say Adrian Beltre is a lock for the Hall of Fame because of how amazing of a hitter he is, hitting .282 to go with 371 homers, with a a quarter of the 2012-13 season to go, through his 16 year career. His best season was in 2004 when he played for the Los Angeles Dodgers, hitting a stellar .334 with a monster 48 dingers and 121 RBI. Beltre's pure strength is also shown for notoriously hitting home runs off of one knee.

Other than him being an amazing hitter, his defence can be compared to the Hall of Famer Brooks Robinson, the defensive wiz, as Beltre has won 4 Gold Gloves in his career along the way.

I'm not going to give you some fielding percentage stats because I've learned from the must-read novel, MoneyBall: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis, that the stat is useless. I'll take the immense appreciation of all the managers that have had the privilege to manage him, including Ron Washington who said, "If we could get 27 balls going down to Adrian every night, I'll take it, because I know most of the time it's going to turn into an out", showing how good a defensive player he truly is. Scott Rolen is like Adrian Beltre in the sense that he hits for average, good power and amazing defense which is evident from him hitting .281 with 316 homers and winning 7 Gold Gloves through his 17 year career. Rolen's best season, like Beltre, was in 2004 when he hit 34 homers to go with 124 RBI while batting .314 for the St. Louis Cardinals.

The only thing is, Rolen is a notch under in all those things above. If Beltre makes it into the Hall, Scott Rolen has a 40-60 chance to make it in and I'm being optimistic. If anything, Rolen's defense is his biggest case to make the Hall.

David Wright is another 3rd basemen that is likely to make it into the Hall. Wright has a better chance of making it than Rolen but not as much as Beltre. David Wright is as good as a 3rd basemen you can find. He is also likely going to be a Met for life which is becoming rarer and rarer these days for a player staying with one team throughout their whole career. Through his 10 year career, he has amassed a .301 batting average with 220 home runs with a quarter of the 2012-13 season left. Along with those incredible stats, he's won 2 Gold Gloves and owns 11 New York Mets franchise records. That's right, 11! Wright could possibly end up being the best player in the Mets franchise history.

His best season in his career was in 2007, hitting .325 while smashing 30 home runs to go along with 34 stolen bases, his one and only 30-30 season of his career, and 107 RBI's. As far as getting elected into the Hall of Fame, David Wright's career through his age 29 season (he is now 30) is very comparable and may be even better than a player already in the Hall, George Brett, who some say is the best 3rd basemen of all-time.

The only thing going against "Captain America" is that he's becoming somewhat of an injury-prone player. As far as Miguel Cabrera goes, I won't explain his Hall of Fame candidacy because it's self explanatory and the same goes for Alex Rodriguez (insert comment while smirking). 3rd base may be the least populated position in the Baseball Hall of Fame, other than DH of course, it's going to improve its case on being one of the best positions in the Hall of Fame.

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