There are a lot of good players that aren’t in the National Baseball Hall of Fame. I looked over the list, and there are some “very” NL good players like Scott Rolen, Bobby Abreu, and Jimmy Rollins, and I think of that group, Rollins eventually gets in. Let’s focus on the next three National League stars, who I think are worthy.
Billy Wagner Was Uncomfortable Lefty To Face
Wagner was a top closer in major league baseball for 16 years. At 5’10”, 180 pounds, he used every inch of his frame to get the velocity necessary to get out the opposition. Twice, he led baseball with games finished with 67 and 70. This special reliever is sixth on the all-time saves list besides averaging 11.9 strikeouts per nine innings. His stuff was nasty, and he pitched in 1 ALDS, 6 NLDS, and 1 NLCS with the New York Mets back in 2006. One last item, Wagner finished in the top 10 for the Cy Young Award twice. He was fourth in the voting in 1999 behind Randy Johnson, Mike Hampton, Kevin Millwood, and Jose Lima.
Andruw Jones Redefined The Centerfielder Position
Jones played the shallowest centerfield of all time. More than Paul Blair! He saved runs in the field. The former Atlanta Braves star won ten gold glove awards. Jones hit 51 homers to lead baseball in 2005. He ended up with 434. He’s listed fifth all-time for home runs by a centerfielder. Jones was twice voted in the top ten for the MVP Award. He came in second to Albert Pujols in 2005. Jones had four seasons of 25 home runs and 25 runs saved. That sums him up.
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by Full Press Coverage on February 5, 2023 at 3:49 pm
Jeff Kent’s Offense Was Undeniable
Kent wasn’t a die-hard baseball player. He viewed it as a job. Kent wasn’t very likable, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have some of the best offensive numbers a second baseman has ever had. This all-star leads all second basemen with 354 home runs. He leads in RBI as well with 1,518 and is 54th all-time. He drove in more runs than Mickey Mantle and Vladimir Guerrero. This infielder played 2,034 games at the position. The Giants star won the NL MVP Award in 2000. His lifetime fielding percentage there was .980. Roberto Alomar was a .984, and Joe Morgan was a .981, but most will tell you Kent had limited range, and I won’t fight them. They were right. Still, likable, or not, he should be in the Hall of Fame.
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Hall Of Fame In Need of Statistical Tweaks
As I pointed out earlier, statistical standards that were used for decades no longer match up to players playing today. There have been so many changes and more coming now with no shifts, bigger bags in the field, and pitch clocks. These changes and things like the “ghost runner” could affect players’ statistics over time, and I hope those things are taken into consideration down the line.