The following are my views on this season’s nominees. I’ve put them in 5 categories: No Doubt, Good Chance, Borderline, Short Career, and No Chance. The thing I noticed most is how hard it is to narrow down your last couple of votes. There are many deserving candidates, and it’s very hard to differentiate between them.
Al Ontiveros – 598 HR and a .965 OPS from a SS. Add 5 Silver Sluggers and 6 All Stars, and despite inflated stats in San Juan he should be a lock.
Dennys Yamakazi – The numbers might not be staggering, with 190-133 W-L and a 3.89 ERA, but this was the best pitcher not named Tracy in the early years of the league. 3 CYA and 6 All Stars tell part of the story. Being 5th all-time in IP and 2nd in K’s, and putting up those numbers in the AL tell more.
Henry Menechino – Others might find his career too short, but 500 HR and a 1.054 OPS are enough for me, even from a 1B. Not to mention his back-to-back 80 HR campaigns. Don’t forget he’s an MVP with 2 Gold Gloves as well.
Harry Pascual – 4 All Stars, 4 Silver Sluggers and a .939 OPS from a 2B. Despite only 10 full seasons, it’s hard to say he doesn’t belong.
Julio Johnson – 2-time MVP and 6 All Stars, plus a .941 OPS, while playing 2B and LF. Also only 10 seasons, not quite as defensively valuable as Pascual, but 2 MVPs speak loudly.
Mikey Tatum – Lfer who went to 9 All Star games, won 4 Silver Sluggers and 4 Gold Gloves. With 300 HR, almost 600 SB, nearly a .900 OPS and 1500 R, he’s easy to vote for.
Trenidad Prieto – 500 HR, 1700 RBI and 1500 R. A .957 career OPS. HOF numbers for sure. Only 4 All Stars and 1 Silver Slugger though, and at 1B in this league you have to MASH. He’d be a sure thing if he played another position, as it is… he’s not a bad choice.
Alexander Henry – 500 HR, 1500 RBI, .971 career OPS. 4 All Star games and an MVP. Another 1B with HOF numbers, but how many can you take. Tough choices here.
Desi Rodriguez – Gold Glove winning SS who went to 7 All Star games and hit over 500 HR. Sounds like a HOF lock! His .850 OPS hurts him, as does Ontiveros’ candidacy.
Nerio Miller – 9 All Stars, 6 Firemen and a CYA. 2.93 career ERA and 487 Sv. The fact that he pitched less than 1000 IP keep him out of the sure thing category for me. That, and I don’t think a reliever should be the first pitcher in the HOF.
Ron Quantrill – I still haven’t figured out how to rate pitcher’s careers. 176 W and a 3.87 ERA aren’t mind blowing, but there are so few pitchers with those numbers that I think it’s much harder than it seems. 6 All Stars and over 2800 IP.
Diego Ozuna – 196 W and a 3.98 ERA. Over 2500 IP and 9 All Star games. Would have won a CYA if not for Brett Tracy.
Ringo Weston – Played CF, SS and 3B, got over 2300 H and 1300 R, with an OPS of .845. Excellent all-around player, maybe not quite HOF quality.
Anthony Gipson – This excellent 3B went to 6 All Star games, won a Gold Glove and 4 Silver Sluggers. His 399 HR and .899 OPS ironically echo his HOF status: Not Quite.
Mel Barfield – This 2B went to 7 All Star games, won a Gold Glove and 4 Silver Sluggers. Sound familiar? Hard to complain about 300 HR, 500 SB and an .885 OPS, but he just doesn’t feel like a HOFer to me.
Clyde Unroe – 500 HR and 1500 RBI for someone who played 2B/LF is always good. Only 2 All Star games and an .895 OPS make me think twice.
Julio Iglesias – Played 3B and SS, went to 6 All Star games and won 3 SS and a GG. 300 HR and almost 300 SB, with a .903 OPS. I think he’s just below the HOF.
Ralph Stanley – Caught a lot, but DH’d more. 420 HR and an .895 OPS might have been enough as a full-time C, but not quite as a DH.
Tyler Henderson – With 444 Saves and a 3.47 ERA, 6 All Stars and 2 Firemen, he’s a poor man’s Nerio Miller. Not quite enough.
Matthew Torres – Made 4 All-Star games and 1 Fireman, pitched a lot for a reliever, racking up over 1600 IP, 108 W, and 208 saves. His 3.72 ERA keeps him out of the elite reliever discussion.
Ryan Parrish – RFer Parrish was a masher, compiling a .991 OPS with over 300 HR, but with only 8 full seasons it’s probably not quite enough for the HOF.
Dustin Scott – Also a RFer, put together a .940 OPS and 250 HR. His 8 seasons were not quite enough.
Walter Webb – Had some massive seasons early as a C, but was too old. Finished as a DH with fewer than 300 HR.
Marvin Bryant – This 2B/SS was a nice player, but an .851 OPS with no speed will not get you a HOF spot.
George Brow – He played a nice CF and came to play every day, and contributed with a .293 AVG. Not a real HOF candidate though.
Henry Sullivan – Awards don’t tell the whole story, but the fact that in 8 seasons this 3B didn’t win any probably tells enough.
Peter Mitchell – Did some catching, but mostly a DH. Put up a huge .423 OBP, but the rest of the numbers are not enough for a pure hitter to make it.
Alex Guerrero – Played a ton of positions, and had good longevity. His 411 HR and .882 OPS aren’t enough.
Shawn Morton – HOF voters have to remember how hard it is to pitch in this league. A 3.78 career ERA is very good. I just don’t think his 108 W and 1800 IP are enough.
John Kennedy – Won a CYA and has a 3.87 ERA. Again, I think 109 W and 1500 IP don’t cut it.
Giomar Roque, Esteban Tejera, Tony Hodges – Do not belong on this list.