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  1. There may be some unclogging of ballots after multiple years where some writers felt there were more than 10 worthy candidates. This season could allow writers to consider the resumes of some of the other top candidates that have been held over from previous years. If I were lucky enough to have a ballot, this is how I would vote: Class of 2020 Derek Jeter: Jeter’s resume is undeniable. He was part of five World Series teams and a critical component in bringing the Yankees franchise back after struggling through the 1980s. He has played in the most postseason series all-time and he hit .308 in the playoffs. He ranks in the all-time top-30 for games played, total bases, and runs scored while finishing in the top-10 for hits and at-bats. Twice he led the AL in hits, and he had more than 200-hits in eight seasons. He did all of this while playing shortstop where he played the second most games at that position. The only question remaining is if he will tie Rivera and become the second player to be a unanimous selection. Future Inductees Omar Vizquel: I’m a big Ozzie Smith fan and Vizquel follows in the same mold as Smith. Both players provided almost all their value on the defensive side of the ball. Also, their longevity at one of baseball’s most important positions is something to be commended. Smith has the most Gold Gloves all-time among shortstops, but Vizquel is only two behind him and his 11 total awards are nothing to scoff at. He received 42.8% of the vote in 2019, so I don’t think there is much of a chance for him to make the big jump to 75%. May Never Get In (But Still on My Ballot) Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Andrew Jones, Todd Helton, Larry Walker Bonds and Clemens are two of the best players I will ever see play the game. Unfortunately, they made some poor decisions during the height of the steroid era. I think both players would have been inducted into Cooperstown even without using steroids and that’s why I continue to have them on my ballot. Andrew Jones was a freak in the outfield and his career .823 OPS shows that he was more than able to hold his own. He only got 32 votes last season, so he has a long way to go. Helton and Walker are both very intriguing players. Walker is in his last year of eligibility and he finished the last voting period being named on 42.8%. I truly believe he is a Hall of Famer, but I think he will have to be elected through one of the other committee votes. Helton has only been on one ballot, but I see him taking a very similar path to Walker. He will make subtle gains in the years ahead but it seems unlikely for the writers to elect him. To be transparent, little has changed on my ballot from last year to this year. I correctly predicted three of the four players who would be elected last year (Holladay, Martinez, and Rivera) while having Mussina on my future inductions list. I have only added one player to this year’s ballot with Jeter being a lock to make the Hall. To see the full 2020 BBWAA Hall of Fame Ballot CLICK HERE. On January 21, the BBWAA will announce the results of the 2020 Hall of Fame balloting. Any players chosen will be inducted during Hall of Fame Weekend starting on Sunday, July 26 at 12:30 pm CST. Who makes your ballot? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
  2. Once again, it's that time of year and December 1 saw my inbox being hit with the yearly IBWAA Hall of Fame ballot. Although this isn't part of the official BBWAA vote to enshrine players in Cooperstown, there's plenty of crossover between voting parties and many of the same principles are the same. At this time the IBWAA allows voters to select up to 12 candidates. You can find my 2018 ballot here, and my 2019 selections here. As was the case last year, I wound up with a ballot less than the maximum amount. The IBWAA has cleared a backlog of candidates already enshrining Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens. Although I could've included more players I had previously left off, I chose to stay the course. When sending my ballot back to the IBWAA I wound up with four holdovers and the expected unanimous selection who makes his first appearance. Here we go: Curt Schilling: 79.7 fWAR Bloody sock nonsense aside, Schilling is a three time Cy Young runner-up, and six-time All Star. He struck out 3,116 batters in his career and owns a 3.46 ERA while totaling more than 200 wins. Three World Series rings, an MVP, and a 2.23 postseason ERA do him favors as well. Since voting for him last year, Schilling has made plenty of splashes in the media. He's not well liked off the field, but the character clause is among the most dated pieces of inclusion into the Hall of Fame. On baseball merit alone, he's worthy of the nod. Derek Jeter 73.0 fWAR The Yankees Captain enters the ballot as a near-lock for unanimous selection. He had an incredible career with significant accolades in both the regular season and playoffs. Over-glorified in part because of the market in which he played, Jeter will go down as one of the best to ever play the shortstop position. What he lacked on defense he contributed with his bat. The 14-time All-Star and five-time World Series winner will forever be one of the most celebrated Yankees of All-Time. Scott Rolen 70.1 fWAR Vastly under appreciated, Rolen started as a Rookie of the Year winner, and went on to tally eight Gold Glove awards. He was a seven time All Star and among the best to ever field the Hot Corner. With an .855 career OPS, his bat more than does enough to supplement what was an exceptional defensive career. Larry Walker: 68.7 fWAR Although he played the field plenty, Walker also turned in a nice run spending time in both the infield and outfield. He was the 1997 NL MVP and made five All Star games. His glove netted him seven Gold Gloves and his bat produced three Silver Slugger awards. Walker finished his 17 seasons with 383 homers and drove in over 1,300 runs. Andruw Jones 67.1 fWAR Jones's 17 year career is often going to be questioned as he held on for five uninspiring seasons to closer out his time as a big leaguer. That aside, the 10 year stretch from 199-2007 was one for the ages. With 10 Gold Glove's and five All Star appearances, he was easily among the greatest in the game for a decade. For more from Off The Baggy, click here. Follow @tlschwerz
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