Who Will Be The Next Mets Player To Enter The Hall of Fame
Come this July, the Baseball Hall of Fame will see the largest Hall of Fame class we have seen in over 50 years. In this class, there will be six new Hall of Famers, none of whom even wore a Mets cap during his career. As we know, Tom Seaver and Mike Piazza are the only two players inducted as the Mets in the Hall of Fame.
Looking further, there are questions as to where the next Mets Hall of Famer will come.
Seeing how the Veterans Committee, or rather the Today’s Game Era Committed, elected Harold Baines and Lee Smith into the Hall of Fame, there is a chance for previously overlooked candidates who played in the 1980s to bet inducted into the Hall of Fame. Foremost in most Mets fans minds is Keith Hernandez.
With his being the best defensive first baseman of all-time, his 1979 NL MVP, five All-Stars, and two World Series titles, Hernandez has a strong case. When you look further, you see how every player who has led his position in Gold Gloves is in the Hall of Fame. Breaking it down further, Hernandez and Andruw Jones, who is still eligible, are the only two players with 10 Gold Gloves or more who have not been inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Put another way, Hernandez is a worthy candidate who may very well be inducted into the Hall of Fame in the near future. The problem when it comes to Hernandez is he will likely be wearing a Cardinals or blank cap. With his playing seven years in St. Louis along with his obvious love of the organization, it’s possible the Hall will push him to wear a Cardinals or a blank cap similar to how they chose an Expos cap for the late Gary Carter. Admittedly, the case for Hernandez wearing a Mets cap is stronger than Carter’s was.
Past Hernandez, the next best case is Carlos Beltran. Judging from WAR, Beltran is the eighth best center fielder of all-time. That puts him ahead of of Hall of Famers like Duke Snider, Andre Dawson, and Kirby Puckett. Combine that with his ranks among all-time switch hitters, being a nine time All-Star, and his postseason exploits, and we can all reasonably assume Beltran will eventually be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
However, like Hernandez, the cap may be an issue. In his career, Beltran played 44 games more with the Mets than the Royals giving him a reasonable option for either team. He may also feel a pull towards the Astros due to his postseason exploits and World Series ring, but he does not have nearly the time with them to wear an Astros cap.
When you consider how the Mets have consistently reissued Beltran’s number 15, the acrimony of Beltran receiving career saving knee surgery, and Fred Wilpon’s negative comments about Beltran in the infamous New Yorker article, it’s hard to imagine Beltran feeling a pull to wear a Mets cap on his Hall of Fame plaque.
After that, there’s an issue. While David Wright is a beloved player, he likely falls far short of meriting induction. Just look at Scott Rolen. Rolen had a better career than Wright, and he has only been able to muster 17.2 percent in his second year on the ballot.
After Wright, you are looking towards current Mets players. Among the group, Jacob deGrom probably has the best shot. So far in his five year career, he has a Rookie of the Year Award and a Cy Young along with his epic 2015 postseason. His career 143 ERA+ currently ranks 10th all-time putting him ahead of Hall of Famers like Greg Maddux, Randy Johnson, and even Seaver.
It should also be noted deGrom is 30 years old, and he has only played five seasons. He is going to have to pitch at his 2018 level for a few more seasons to truly enter the discussion. While it may be an uphill battle, we have seen pitchers take off after turning 30. For an example, we need not look any further than Max Scherzer, who is making his own Hall of Fame case.
As for Noah Syndergaard and even Michael Conforto, both have age on their sides. They have shown periods of dominance, but they have had health issues, which have also prevented them from putting up big years early on in their careers from building a more solid foundation to their Hall of Fame chances.
Breaking it down, in an odd sense, the Mets player with perhaps the best chance of induction is John Franco – seriously.
The Today’s Era Comittee just opted to induct Lee Smith, and they opted to elect Baines from seemingly out of nowhere. When you stack Franco up against Smith, Franco has a better ERA+. Franco also has a higher ERA+ than Hall of Fame closers Bruce Sutter, Rich Gossage, and Dennis Eckersley. Moreover, Franco is just one of six closers in baseball history with over 400 saves, and he is the all-time leader in saves for left-handed pitchers.
For those who don’t believe in Franco ever being able to be inducted in the Hall of Fame, the doubt is understood. After all, Franco, like Baines, fell off the ballot in his first year after he garnered just 4.6 percent of the vote.
The dubiousness underlying Franco’s chances underlies just how long it may be before we ever see another Mets player inducted into the Hall of Fame. That should surprise no one as the organization did not see its first Hall of Famer until the franchise was 30 years old. It then had to wait another 24 years for its next Hall of Famer.
Perhaps, this is something the Mets should consider as they are passing on an opportunity to sign either Bryce Harper or Manny Machado this offseason.
18 Replies to “Who Will Be The Next Mets Player To Enter The Hall of Fame”
David Wright was on Hall of Fame trek but got derailed by injury. He was well on his way to 400 homers and 3,000 hits by his age 30/31 seasons.
I still however think he could be under consideration and could get in because of how well he played when healthy and how very, very determined he was to return above and beyond perhaps anyone.
His leadership, character and resiliency are parts of the equation and could pull him over the top.
David Wright’s triple slash, OPS+ and SB are superior to Rolen who benefited by greater longevity with 1,400 more AB’s to amass more homers and 20 more WAR. A healthy David Wright would have continued to pile on the WAR.
Defensively, Rolen was better as prime time defender. Definitely had the advantage there.
If Jacob Degrom continues doing what he’s doing for another 5-7 seasons, he’s a lock at 7-10 WAR a season in that timeframe.
Degrom: 27.2 WAR Through Age 30.
Average Career WAR For Hall Starter: 73.4.
7 years at 7 WAR Average for Degrom: 49. A Lock,
5 Years at 8 WAR – 45. . A Lock.
Regarding Keith Hernandez:
if PED users shouldn’t get in, then neither should Hernandez.
People forget he was part of the major embarrassment in the Pittsburgh drug trials which was a national scandal.
People forget or are unaware that Hernandez was originally suspended for the entire 1986 season due to cocaine abuse. .
His punishment, as well as others was subsequently reduced through group negotiation with the Commissioner.
If PED users shouldn’t get in, then neither should Hernandez.
John Franco should not be a Hall of Fame and I don’t think he’ll ever be under any legit consideration by Vet committee. .
I don’t believe Baines should have gotten in. Nor should have Mussina. This lowering of the Hall of Fame standard must stop.
While I respect your point on Keith, I do not believe cocaine is a PED. That said, if you think the character clause should keep him out, I’m not going to try to change what is a justified position.
Fair response on your part, Mets Daddy.
i really like Keith Hernandez too, but he was wrong and violated the rules and law for a number of years. and played under the influence.
Cocaine was illegal then and now in the United States and MLB.
I personally don’t think it matters that PED’s and cocaine are different substances. Both are reckless and illegal.
That Keith Hernandez was originally suspended for the entire 1986 season because of his behavior is rather damning. There were no mandatory suspensions then like now, hence Hernandez got away with a group negotiated settlement which essentially gave him a slap on the wrist with, if I correctly recall, a 20% reduction in salary and community service.
In today’s game, he would face mandatory suspension without pay, drug counseling,, public rebuke, extensive drug testing and perhaps the wrath of his teammates for the loss of his glove and bat as important as he is for his team’s success. For the 2019 team, imagine the impact if Michael Conforto or Jacob Degrom got suspended for 50 games this season for the same offense. Or if they got Keith Hernandez’s original full season suspension.
I think Cano’s suspension for a water pill is of lessor gravity than Hernandez’s ongoing use of cocaine. I tend to believe Cano that it was legally prescribed by a physician in the Dominican Republic for a medical condition. His mistake was in not checking with MLB and/or Player’s Union before taking and that it warranted the mandatory 80 game punishment because of that.
I have a hard time believing Cano because everyone who gets nailed has some sort of excuse.
MetsDaddy, I agree those who get caught typically have excuses though some in fact fess up without them.
Insofar as Cano, it really makes no sense that a surefire Hall of Famer with good health would jeopardize everything for PED’s he doesn’t need.
That he was vintage Cano both before and after his suspension, and that 2018 scouting reports were good both before and after, suggests he wasn’t taking Lasix to mask PED’s.
Cano with his beautiful swing and approach produces year after year in either batting average, OBP or power in varying degrees. He’s a perfect fit for us batting third. I’m just looking for a solid performance, lineup presence, clutch hitting, solid defense and a great teammate. We’ve added a lifetime .304 hitter with .848 OPS, 311 homers, 2 gold gloves and 5 silver sluggers into the mix.
For the Mets to trade for him and his hefty contract, they had to be rather sure he wasn’t a PED user with all the associated risks and fallout. That BVW knew him for years as his agent and believes he isn’t a cheat, had to factor a lot for the Wilpons to take on his salary and bring him to the Mets. I trust BVW and give Robinson Cano the benefit of the doubt.
It could also mean Cano used the entire time and finally got popped. As for BVW, why should I care what he did and did not believe?
As for BVW, I’d also note the very real possibility he’s spinning this.
What if signing Harper or Machado puts the Mets in the red?
According to Forbes, Mets had 17 mil operating income in 2018.
It’s not putting them in the red.