Former Texas Rangers players Carlos Beltran, Mike Napoli and R.A. Dickey are among fourteen newcomers to the BBWAA Hall of Fame ballot this year, per an announcement earlier today.
The other eleven players on the ballot are:
Beltran, who was acquired by the Texas Rangers at the trade deadline in 2016 from the New York Yankees in exchange for Dillon Tate, Erik Swanson and Nick Green, is the only one of this group who would seem to have a strong Hall of Fame case. The switch hitter was a nine time All Star who was a terrific all around player, and is one of the 20 or so best center fielders ever to play the game. However, his case will be hurt by his involvement in the “trash can” sign stealing scandal with the Houston Astros in 2017, his final season as a player.
No one else would seem to have the resume to be a serious Hall of Fame contender. The most likely non-Beltran member of this group to eventually get in would seem to be Francisco Rodriguez, since closers are judged on a different standard than everyone else.
Of the carryovers, Scott Rolen, Todd Helton and Billy Wagner are the only players who got over 50% of the vote last year, with Rolen, at 63.2%, having the most support last time around. There’s a decent chance that we see no one elected from the BBWAA ballot this year — anyone other than Beltran, Rolen, Helton or Wagner getting voted in would be a shock, and likely only one or two of them, at the most, would get in.
Given the Contemporary Era Ballot seems almost purposely designed to ensure none of the eight candidates get sufficient support to be voted in, there’s a chance that we see no one enshrined this summer.