Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Do they belong in the Hall? Gonzales, Jenkins, Jones, Kent

Time to evaluate some more HOF ballot candidates:

Luis Gonzales

Another good but not great player amongst many in the history of this game. He had one truly great season where he hit 57 home runs out of nowhere (even then outshadowed by Barry Bonds). His power numbers improved as he got into his 30s and I was surprised to see that he made it past 350 home runs. He had a few all star seasons but was never an elite player.

Surprisingly, three of his similars are in the hall (Billy Williams, Tony Perez & Andre Dawson) and on the HOF statistics shown on B-R, he has a somewhat favorable measurement on the HOF Monitor. Honestly, i'm surprised the measurements for him are that favorable. He may stick around on the ballot for a few years but his HOF case is weak at best.

Verdict: No

Geoff Jenkins:

His career definitely had a major what-if factor to him. What if he was not injury prone, would his career be longer and his numbers look better. For most of his career, he was one of the best players on a lot of really bad brewers teams. He was able to end his career on a high note by winning the world series as a member of the Phillies.

Looking back, I am surprised he was an all star only once and only had four seasons with a WAR above 3. None of his similars are in the hall. Going forward, we could deduce that players such as Jason Bay, Micheal Cuddyer & Justin Morneau are also players with no hall of fame case as well.

Verdict: No

Todd Jones:

Another above average pitcher who managed to rack up 300+ saves while pitching for nine different teams. While he had several good seasons he never really had the wow factor when you think of HOF players. For players on his level (Roberto Hernandez, Bob Wickman, etc.) there is no precedent or rational for getting elected, or any votes for that matter.

Verdict: No

Jeff Kent:

At first blush, Kent doesn't scream hall of fame. In looking at his peak, his numbers were better than what I was expecting. Outside of Sacrifice Flies, he never led the league in anything but he does have an MVP and three top ten finishes to his resume. One thing working in his favor is he put up relatively strong power numbers while playing second base, a position not known for its offensive prowess.

In looking at the past, he has a case even if its not particularly compelling. Three of his similars are in (Jim Rice, Ryne Sandberg & Ron Santo) but even there it took Rice & Santo several years to get in. Also his HOF Monitor & HOF Standards measurements are somewhat favorable. He could be one of those players who gets in on their 15th and last chance at the ballot and has momentum build over time, its just that this time is not today.

Verdict: Not this year, maybe down the road