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Poll: Omar Vizquel Hall of Fame vote

Should Omar Vizquel be in the Hall of Fame?

Texas Rangers v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images

Hall of Fame ballots have been sent out, which means its that time of year where we obsess about the Hall of Fame voting, and who will get voted in/should get voted in/shouldn’t get voted in.

Veteran shortstop and former Texas Ranger Omar Vizquel is on the ballot for the fourth time this year, and he’s seen a significant gain in support since his first appearance. Vizquel got 37.0% of the vote in 2018, his first year on the ballot, crept up slightly to 42.8% in 2019, and then last year made it to 52.6%. Of the holdovers, only Curt Schilling, Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds — all of whom are in their next-to-last year on the ballot — got a higher percentage of the vote last year.

Vizquel would seem to be one of those players who benefits from a less-crowded ballot, and with ten players getting voted in over the previous three years by the BBWAA, along with no one with a real strong case for being elected in this year’s class, the thinned out field would seem to set the stage for Vizquel to get even closer to 75%. Vizquel’s election seems to be a matter of when, not if, at this stage, given that he’s crossed the 50% mark with seven more years of eligibility on the ballot.

Vizquel also represents something of a divide between the stats versus eye test folks. Vizquel was, in his prime, a better offensive player than people remember — from 1996-2000 he slashed .297/.369/.393, good for a 95 OPS+, with 179 stolen bases — but overall he was your stereotypical speedy glove man who didn’t hit much. He finished his career with a .272/.336/.352 slash line, translating to an 82 OPS+. He did play seemingly forever, however — his 24 years in the big leagues is the second most for a position player in the live ball era, trailing only Rickey Henderson’s 25 years in the majors, and he accumulated 2,877 career hits, 43rd all time.

Vizquel’s Hall of Fame case, however, rests on his glove, and that’s where the stats and eye test folks have their divide. Vizquel’s reputation is that he was the premier defensive shortstop in the majors during his time in the league, one of the all time great defensive shortstops. The stats folks look at the numbers, however, and say, yes, Vizquel was very good...but not Ozzie Smith or Mark Belanger good, not as good as he would need to be to get into the Hall.

If we look at the defensive numbers at Fangraphs, Vizquel is 9th all time in total defensive runs among shortstops all time. That’s really good! But his 262.1 total pales in comparison to Smith (375.3) and Belanger (345.6). Cal Ripken and Luis Aparicio also cross the 300 run threshhold.

In any case, I intended to just have this be a basic poll on whether the Rangers’ utility infielder from 2009 should be in the Hall of Fame, and then I started writing about Vizquel and his candidacy, which wasn’t my intent, because I am not trying to put my finger on the scale of this poll. That being said, the poll is below, so cast your vote.

Poll

Should Omar Vizquel be elected to the Hall of Fame?

This poll is closed

  • 51%
    Yes
    (240 votes)
  • 48%
    No
    (222 votes)
462 votes total Vote Now