The dust is still settling on the 2022 Baseball Hall of Fame announcement. We now know that David Ortiz has made it into the Hall in his first try while some huge names, including Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, are done with their 10th and final stint on the ballot. Due to those things, the ballot next offseason is going to be quite a bit different, though prominent holdovers, do, of course, remain.
Let's take a look at the likely 2023 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot.
Here are the holdovers with their 2022 vote percentage and what number ballot it will be for them in 2023:
- Scott Rolen, 63.2, 6th
- Todd Helton, 52, 5th
- Billy Wagner, 51, 8th
- Andruw Jones, 41.1, 6th
- Gary Sheffield, 40.6, 8th
- Alex Rodriguez, 34.3, 2nd
- Jeff Kent, 32.7, 10th and final
- Manny Ramirez, 28.9, 7th
- Omar Vizquel, 23.9, 6th
- Andy Pettitte, 10.7, 5th
- Jimmy Rollins, 9.4, 2nd
- Bobby Abreu, 8.6, 4th
- Mark Buehrle, 5.8, 3rd
- Torii Hunter, 5.3, 3rd
And now, the newcomers.
Unless there's still fallout from the 2017 Astros sign-stealing scandal, I'm not sure there will be much resistance here. Beltrán played for parts of 20 seasons, hitting .279/.350/.486 (119 OPS+) with 2,725 hits, 565 doubles, 435 homers, 1,587 RBI, 1,582 runs and 312 steals. The nine-time All-Star won three Gold Gloves and two Silver Sluggers. In 65 playoff games, he hit .307/.412/.609 with 15 doubles, 16 homers, 42 RBI, 45 runs and 11 steals. He's ninth in center field JAWS behind seven Hall of Famers and Mike Trout.
It should be elementary.
I've discussed before that as time in baseball evolves, perhaps our definition of what constitutes a Hall of Fame closer should be altered to include the likes of Billy Wagner and then possibly on down to Kenley Jansen/Craig Kimbrel types.
Well, K-Rod holds the single-season record for saves with 62 (2008) and is fourth all-time in saves behind Hall of Famers Mariano Rivera, Trevor Hoffman and Lee Smith. He threw a good number fewer innings, but he worked more than Wagner and Joe Nathan while being far ahead of where Jansen and Kimbrel are right now.
We'll dig deeper on the case next winter, but there's certainly a discussion to be had.
Other possible first-timers
It's highly unlikely any other players to debut on the 2023 ballot will make to a second ballot. The most prominent names aside from Beltrán and K-Rod who will have finished their five-year waiting period after retirement would be John Lackey, Jered Weaver, Jacoby Ellsbury, Matt Cain, Jhonny Peralta, Huston Street, Jayson Werth, Mike Napoli, R.A. Dickey, Carlos Ruiz, Ubaldo Jimenez, Andre Ethier and Glen Perkins.
Admirable careers, all, but there isn't a Hall of Famer in there.