The first thing I noticed about this season's field of HOF candidates is that we currently have a backlog of qualified guys so it is critical that we get a good showing at the polls. The next thing I noticed is that there are not many pitchers that would even be in a discussion and the only one I deemed vote worthy for this season was Ozzie Percival. So my analysis below is focused on the top position player candidates. Outside of the obvious stats and awards that you can see, I also analyzed the top HOF candidates by determining how many offensive seasons they had that I saw as “great” or “very good” relative to other players at their position. I also gave a boost to players that played GG caliber defense. My judgement of great and very good seasons appears as (# great, #very good). Here I provide you my ranking of the top 12 HOF candidates for position players.
1. J.J. Perez, C, Toronto Blue Jays (8,4): I believe J.J. Perez to currently be the greatest all-around catcher in league history.
2. Travis Murphy, 1B, Anaheim Angels (7,6): Murphy was a great player that comes at the front of the second tier of 1B, just below the Hutton/Marte pedestal. If not for the temporary management shake-up in Anaheim that affected his training regimen and hastened his decline, he may have challenged for the all-time home run record.
3. Earl Jorgensen, 2B, Charlotte Knights (6,4): If Jorgensen can actually get nominated this year (hint, hint Knights or Cubs GM), then he belongs in the HOF as someone who is possibly the best offensive 2B to this point. Being a 2-time MVP presents a pretty strong case as well.
4. Brandon Sutton, DH/1B, New York Yankees (8,4): Sutton was many times a bridesmaid, never a bride. After the first couple times getting nominated for MVP I started keeping track. He ended up with 8 MVP nominations and 6 runner-up finishes in the voting, just missing the award by 2 votes in Damian Chen’s MVP season.
5. Francisco Guillen, 3B, New York Yankees (7,5): Guillen would definitely be in the conversation of greatest 3B to date.
6. Bernard Springer, C/DH, Montreal Expos (8,4): The Mike Piazza of Kinsella. He had one of the most potent bats in league history.
7. Pascual Martin, 1B, Arizona Diamondbacks (9,0): The only detractors on his resume is that he was a doubles hitter and people love to get Hrs from 1B and not getting quite enough longevity. If he had gotten 2-3 more prime seasons before the league began, he would have already been elected.
8. Miguel Pena, CF, Montreal Expos (6,4): One of only two people to win a GG in CF and hit 400 homers. The best all-around CF in NL history.
9. Pedro Garrido, 1B, Philadelphia Phillies (7,3): Great hitter who came in the league as an older IFA and had an early decline (low training budget).
10. Jose Mondesi, 1B, Charlotte Knights (5,5): Another great hitting 1B and also an excellent fielder, winning GGs, and had some speed (241 SBs).
11. Guy Cunningham, RF/1B, New York Yankees (4,10): Could be counted on annually for 30+ HR and .300+ AVG. A decent RFer early in his career, he later became a multiple GG 1B.
12. Orber Julio, LF, Tampa Bay Rays (3,8): He did one thing very well, hit HRs.