Thursday, January 7, 2010

Neyer looks into the crystal ball

In 2011, Jeff Bagwell will be eligible for the Hall of Fame for the first time. As we already know, a candidate's chances of getting in on the first ballot have much to do with the "competition" of other 1st-time eligibles. So who is up for consideration with Bagwell? John Franco, Kevin Brown, Juan Gonzalez, Rafael Palmeiro, John Olerud, and Larry Walker. Now let's turn it over to Neyer:

Jeff Bagwell is the only obvious first-time candidate next year. And while he will lead the way among the first-timers, he's far from a sure thing. Bagwell's career wasn't particularly long, and he hit fewer home runs than Fred McGriff. Bagwell did have exceptional power, but a great deal of his value came from his plate discipline, his stellar defense and his canny baserunning ... all three attributes unlikely to excite any but the most sophisticated Hall of Fame voters.