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Top five stars who should be the MLB Hall of Fame class of 2018

We could be witnessing history today, with five players potentially entering the MLB Hall of Fame

Tonight, we will find out who will have the distinct honor to call themselves a Hall of Famer. The ever-controversial choices for the MLB Hall of Fame class of 2018 will be announced, and there are a lot of good choices this year to go in. So many options in fact that for the first time since the inaugural 1936 class, we could witness five stars heading to Cooperstown. Who will make the cut is the most important question of them all.

Of course, steroids have played a huge factor over the years. Over the past two we have seen a change in the system, hence why players like Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds are getting more votes. Is that fair to the rest of the league? That is a conversation for another time. For now, all we can do is wait and see who will get to put themselves in the same sentence as Ruth, Cobb, Williams, Seaver and Maddux.

Let’s take a look at the top five players who should make it this year. If you have been paying attention to the Baseball Hall of Fame tracker, the choices I have presented seem to be a shoo-in to make it. For the record, I am not including Roger Clemons or Barry Bonds in this due to the previous paragraph regarding (strongly alleged) steroid use.

Here we go:

Vladimir Guerrero

This man had one of the smoothest swings you will ever see. He also had no true strike zone, as he was known to make contact with the ball wherever it landed, whether way outside or after it hit the dirt. That was one of the many qualities that made Vladimir Guerrero a special kind of athlete. What he did when he made contact however should put him him in the Hall of Fame.

In 16 seasons in the big leagues, Guerrero had a .318 average with 449 home runs, a .379 OPS and a .553 SLG. He first gained recognition as a member of the struggling Montreal Expos. Making his debut in 1996, Guerrero spent two years trying to show the team he was the real deal. In 1998, he played his first full season with the team, hitting .324 with 38 home runs and 109 RBIs. Thanks to these stats from Sports Illustrated: Guerrero averaged 39 home runs, had a 5.9 WAR and a .325/.391/.602 slash line from 1998-2002.

Defensively, he was a wizard in the outfield. From 1998-2004, Guerrero had 87 assists. Runners feared taking a lead just in case he was on their tail. If it was’t for the hard playing surface of Olympic Stadium, Guerrero may have been a true force in his later years as an outfielder.

When he joined the Angels in 2004, he broke out on his own. He became the MVP of that season, with a slash line of .337/.391/.598 with a WAR of 5.6. He continued to consistently hit over.300 while creating magic when he was transitioning to a DH.

Last season, Vlad received 71.7% of the vote. This year, it seems likely that he will finally enter the field of immortality.

Jim Thome

A first time ballot member, Jim Thome was one of the most feared hitters of his generation. He was also the quietest, making him all the more intimidating.

Thome was one of the key pieces of the youth-filled Cleveland Indians of the late 90’s to early 2000’s. In total, Thome had a .276/.402/.554 slash line with a WAR of 72.9 in 22 seasons. From 1996, his first full year in the majors, to 2008, Thome topped the 30 home run mark 12 times. He also joined the 600 club in 2011. His career stats compared to current legends and Hall of Famers alone speaks for itself:


Thome was walked over 100 times nine times in his career. His postseason stats are something to behold as well, hitting eight home runs and 18 RBI’s from 1998-999. One of those home runs were a dramatic grand slam against the Yankees. Going from third base to first may have improved his stature as a big man with a plan. A rock throughout his career, Thome’s bat became a huge asset for whatever team he ended up playing for. As far as we are concerned, he did it clean, and quietly, making his case that much easier.

Edgar Martinez

It’s going to take a lot for a man who received 59% of the vote last year to reach the 75% threshold mark. Over the years however, Edgar Martinez has been trending upward, which is a step in the right direction for baseball. The designated hitter role was adopted by the American League in 1973. There have been stars who have thrived in that role, but not as well as the New York-born Edgar Martinez.

After tearing his hamstring in 1992, he became a full-time DH in 1995. He won the battling title that year for the Seattle Mariners, batting .356 with a .479 OBP, 21 home runs, 121 runs scored and a 7.0 WAR. In 18 years in Seattle, Edgar became a true game-changer in an organization struggling to even stay alive. While he only blasted 309 home runs, he hit the ball 2,247 times, and the majority of his production came after he turned 32.

As a postseason hitter, Martinez’s legacy is etched in history. He hit .571 and was on base 18 times in the 1995 American League Division Series against the Yankees. He hit the famous double that brought Ken Griffey Jr. home and the Mariners to the ALCS for the first time in franchise history.

If the DH is considered an important asset to the league, Edgar transcended it to what it is today. It’s only fair he finally gets his moment and enter the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Chipper Jones

This one seems like a no-brainer. Another first timer on the Hall of Fame ballot, Larry “Chipper” Jones could receive almost 98% of the vote when all is said and done. The pride of the Atlanta Braves from the early 90’s to the late 2000’s, Chipper Jones was a true force to be reckoned with. In 19 years in the big leagues, Jones amassed a slash line of .303/.401/.529 with over 2,726 hits and an impressive 85.0 WAR.

Jones won the MVP award in 1999, and he could have won another one just by looking at his stats against the Mets (.309/.406/.543 with 49 HR’s, 159 RBI’s and 265 hits in 245 games). One of the most impressive stats has to be his ability to hit as a switch hitter. Jones ranks third all time in home runs by a switch hitter with 468 blasts. The other two? Mickey Mantle and Eddie Murray. He is also the only switch hitter to finish his career with a .300 batting average, .400 on-base percentage and slug over .500.

A thorn in the side of the Mets and all their fans, his legacy as a switch hitting third baseman will never be forgotten. The MLB Hall of Fame will be calling for Chipper Jones, and I’m sure he’ll thank Shea (his kid and the stadium) for all the good times they’ve had together.

Trevor Hoffman

If not for Mariano Rivera, Trevor Hoffman would be considered the greatest closer of all time as a San Diego Padre. Becoming the first man t0 600 saves is a huge factor in that statement. Leaving the sport with 601 as a Brewer is something to bare witness to. Whenever ‘Hells Bells’ came on the loudspeaker, you knew you were in for quite a show.

At first a member of the Marlins in 1993, Hoffman went to the Padres that same year. Over time, Hoffman transitioned to the closer role and became the ultimate workhorse for that team. He also developed his signature pitch, the changeup. Mariano may have taken some records from him after he retired, but he still left an impact on the sport. Hoffman holds the MLB record for most seasons with at least 40 saves with nine and the most strikeouts per nine innings by a reliever with 9.36. Just like Rivera, his record of over 600 saves in the National League may never be duplicated in the MLB.

As a closer, Hoffman was treated just like any other pitcher of his time. He was voted in the top ten for the Cy Young four times, and almost won twice. It is assumed that Rivera will get into the MLB Hall of Fame, so why not Hoffman? Celebrating the past is what this is all about. What’s better than celebrating one of the most dominant closers of his time?

Last year, Hoffman fell just five votes shy of making it in. This year, it looks like the MLB Hall of Fame will finally be on ‘Trevor Time’.

Check out later to see who the Hall of Fame will be calling with good news. It is sure to be a great day for baseball.

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Baseball Editor, Misc. Sports Editor. Covers all things combat sports (MMA, Pro Wrestling and Boxing). When he's not writing, Daniel hosts a podcast, The Main Event.
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