The Future of Cooperstown By Andrew Gardner
In the small village of Cooperstown, New York, sits one of the most prestigious museums in the whole world. The Baseball Hall of Fame. First opening in 1939, and inducting its first class in 1936 which included legends such as Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, and Honus Wagner, the museum has grown into one of the most sacred places for baseball players and fans.
The voting process to get into the hall of fame is one that many baseball fans watch closely, as it's intriguing to see which players slowly inch toward that 75% acceptance mark with their 10 years on the ballet. Whether a player makes it in their first year on the ballot or their last, they have still achieved their dream of becoming a hall of fame player. The term "hall of famer" gets tossed around a lot these days but I wanted to take a look at 10 players in the MLB right now who are locks to be enshrined in Cooperstown in the future, even if they never played another game in the majors (with one exception). There are many young players in the league right now who could be future hall of famers, but their resumes are far too short to judge them on yet. So here are my top 10 choices for players who will most likely be future hall of famers.
The Batters (6): Mike Trout, Miguel Cabrera, Albert Pujols, Joey Votto, Yadier Molina, Buster Posey
Legends is the word that I would use to describe these guys and they would all be hall of famers who I would vote for first balott regardless of if they ever played another game or not. The only exception to that is Mike Trout, who as of right now is the only one on this list not eligible for the hall of fame. In fact Trout only needs to play one additional game to be eligible for the hall. In order to be eligible a player needs to appear in 10 different seasons, but Trout is only at 9. Give him that one extra game and he's got an automatic ticket in. Albert Pujols will go down as one of the best power hitters in the game as he currently sits 6th all time in home runs, only 4 dingers shy of Willie Mays in the 5th spot. He also has 2 rings, 3 MVP's, and is a 10 time All Star. When all is said and done Miguel Cabrera will also go down as one of the best players to ever swing a bat. He's got 477 career home runs, 2815 hits, along with a World Series Ring, Triple Crown Title, and 2 MVP awards. Joey Votto is also a hall of fame type talent but is often overlooked because of the small market nature of the Cincinnati Reds, the team he has played for his whole career. Votto is an on base machine, with a career OBP% of .421. He also has close to 2,000 career hits, along with an MVP trophy to his name, and 6 All Star game selections. Yadier Molina has been one of, if not the best catcher in the league over the past 15 years. He's one of the best defensive players in the majors, with 9 Gold gloves, along with 4 platinum gloves. He has also been a tremendous member to the Cardinals organization helping them win 2 World Series, and leading them to the playoffs almost every year. Buster Posey has also been one the best catchers this decade, specifically because he was a catalyst for the Giants 3 World Series Championships in a 5 year span. Besides the team accomplishments, Posey has also won an MVP, Gold Glove, and a Silver Slugger award. He has also been selected for 6 All Star Games and also won the 2010 Rookie of the Year.
The Pitchers (4): Justin Verlander, Clayton Kershaw, Max Scherzer, Zack Greinke
These 4 pitchers have been dominant, throughout their whole careers. Justin Verlander is one example of that, confusing hitters left and right when they step up to the plate. Verlander posts a career record of 215-129 with an ERA of 3.33. He also has a World Series ring, 2 Cy Young awards, and the very rare MVP award for a pitcher. A lock for Cooperstown no doubt. Clayton Kershaw has also been an example of greatness for his whole career. He's been arguably the most dominant regular season pitcher in recent history, winning 3 Cy Young awards, an MVP, and 8 All Star game appearances. He also has 5 ERA titles, a Gold Glove, and a career ERA that sits at just 2.44. Max Scherzer was once the #2 in the Tigers rotation, sitting behind Justin Verlander, but he has established himself as an ace with the Washington Nationals. Heading into 2020 Scherzer now has 3 Cy Young awards, 7 All Star game selections, and a World Series ring. Scherzer has posted an ERA under 3, all five years that he's been in Washington and is truly a model pitcher. Finally there's Zack Greinke, who's often overlooked because of his lack to stick with one team, which is no fault of his own. Greinke has a Cy Young award, along with 6 Gold Gloves, 6 All Star appearances, and 2 Silver Sluggers.
Part 2 of my quarterbacks article will be posted tomorrow.