The baseball writer’s 2018 ballots are in, and we await for January 24 to find out which players will join Mets greats Tom Seaver and Mike Piazza in the Hall of Fame. Sadly, whichever player(s) are inducted, the chances are dismal at best that they are going to be wearing a Mets cap on their plaque. The chances of that happening again do not look good before 2023 when Carlos Beltran is eligible for induction.
However, even if a particular player will not wear the interlocking NY on their Hall of Fame cap, there are many players on the Hall of Fame ballot with Mets ties. Moreover, some of these players are beloved Mets who have played in the postseason, created history, and could very well be deserving of their own induction into the Mets Hall of Fame.
Overall, this ballot is loaded with Mets ties, and accordingly, we asked our writers which former Met is most deserving of your Hall of Fame vote:
In a separate MMO article, Logan detailed his reasons why Wagner deserves induction into the Hall of Fame.
Of the former Mets on the Hall of Fame ballot, Billy Wagner deserves enshrinement. The former flame-throwing closer has all the rate stats to help back up his candidacy: 2.73 FIP, 0.998 WHIP, 11.9 SO/9, and 187 ERA+. It appears to be that many voters still hold the save in high regards, even though saves don’t reveal the complete portrait of a pitcher’s career.
When comparing Trevor Hoffman to Wagner, Billy the Kid has the upper hand in the following categories: FIP: Wagner 2.73, Hoffman 3.08 WHIP: Wagner 0.998, Hoffman 1.058 ERA+: Wagner 187, Hoffman 141 SO/9: Wagner 11.9, Hoffman 9.4 WAA: Wagner 16.5, Hoffman 13.7 While Hoffman pitched two more seasons than Wagner (18 to 16), their career WARs are nearly identical (27.7 Wagner, 28.0 Hoffman) indicating that Wagner was just as a good if not better in a shorter period of time.
Josh Finkelstein – Billy Wagner
For me, Billy Wagner is the most deserving. He was arguably better than Trevor Hoffman if you look at the statistics more closely. The reason Hoffman seems to get many more votes is largely because of his saves. While that’s not to say saves aren’t important, they are largely decided by how good the teams the player is on are and of how they choose to utilize the player. Wagner might not have the saves, but he does have just about every other deserving quality. The fact that he might get kicked off the ballot this early is absurd.
Without question, it’s Johan Santana. Injuries curtailed his career, but before then, he was as lights out as they came without having an overpowering fastball. Santana led the league multiple times in ERA, WHIP, FIP and ERA+. He posted an incredible 150 ERA+ over a nine-year period from 2002-2010. An older generation of fans will point to his low win total, but those who believe in modern metrics know how great he was until the injuries got in the way. A crowded field of deserving candidates could potentially keep him from earning the 5% of the votes needed to stay on the ballot, which is unfortunate for a player of his talent.
Michael Mayer – Billy Wagner
Tough for me because I don’t think any of the top four former Mets on the ballot are getting as much love from the voters as they should. Gary Sheffield (60.3 WAR, 49.1 JAWS) and Vladimir Guerrero (59.3 WAR, 50.2 JAWS) are very comparable players yet Sheffield is currently running under 10% of public votes and Vlad is over 90%.
Jeff Kent is another one that isn’t getting as much consideration as I would expect despite having the most home runs ever by a second baseman and ranking 19th in WAR. Of the 12 second basemen ranked higher than him in WAR, nine of them are in the Hall of Fame and Lou Whitaker probably should be.
Johan Santana isn’t a Hall of Famer, but he’s certainly not a guy that should be off after one vote neither (currently running at 1.1%). Injuries derailed what would’ve been an even greater career though he is still tied with Hall of Famer Christy Mathewson for 20th all-time with a 136 ERA+. If relievers are going to garner serious consideration (Trevor Hoffman running at 77.9%) despite few inning (Hoffman threw 1089) then why shouldn’t a dominant starter with 2025 innings.
Finally to Wagner, simply put, he was a better pitcher than the previously mentioned Hoffman who is likely to get elected at some point. Wagner’s ERA+ of 187 blows Hoffman out of the water. Wagner also has a better WHIP, ERA, FIP, H/9, SO/9 and SO/W. The one stat Hoffman beats Wagner is saves at 602 to 422. Wagner has only received 9.9% of the current vote compared to Hoffman’s 77.9%, that is quite mind-boggling.
In a separate MMO article, Dilip detailed his reasons why Sheffield is deserving of induction into the Hall of Fame.
Looking at all the former Mets who sit on the Hall of Fame ballot, they all fall short of the WAR, WAR7, and JAWS the average Hall of Famer puts up at their respective positions. While this is not defeating in and of itself, it does speak to why the former Mets have thus far had difficulty getting over that 75% threshold. Of all the players who fall short of these somewhat arbitrary standards, the former Met most deserving of induction is Jeff Kent.
Arguably, he is the second best offensive second baseman in history behind Rogers Hornsby. In fact, among second baseman, he’s hit the most home runs, fourth most doubles, third highest RBI, and the second highest slugging percentage. He continued that great hitting in the postseason hitting .276/.340/.500 in 49 postseason games including three homers in the 2002 World Series. Furthermore, he is just one of 10 second baseman to ever win the award. With the exception of Dustin Pedroia, who is still active, Kent is the only one of these players not in the Hall of Fame. That should change as Kent certainly has merited induction.