The National Baseball Hall of Fame unveiled the 2022 ballot on Monday, the newcomers highlighted by David Ortiz and Alex Rodríguez, who occupy different ends of the likability spectrum.
Other first-year players on the ballot, which requires at least 10 seasons in the majors, are Jimmy Rollins and Carl Crawford, two of seven former Dodgers on the ballot. Let’s look at every Dodger on the ballot.
Crawford battled injuries in his four seasons with the Dodgers (2013-16), hitting .278/.320/.400, a 103 wRC+ in 320 games. Crawford was a four-time All-Star, a dynamic player with the Rays, but became defined by his lack of production after signing a seven-year, $142 million contract with the Red Sox. Crawford totaled 36.9 fWAR in parts of nine seasons with Tampa Bay, but just 4.6 fWAR after signing the big contract. When the Dodgers released Crawford in June 2016, he had a year and a half and $33.7 million remaining on the deal.
Rollins of this trio has the best Hall of Fame case, an MVP shortstop who won four Gold Glove Awards and made three All-Star teams, totaling 2,455 hits, 857 extra-base hits, and 470 stolen bases in a 17-year career. The first 15 of those seasons came with the Phillies, and when the Dodgers acquired Rollins for 2015, what stood out was general manager Farhan Zaidi referring to Rollins as a future Hall of Famer multiple times during the introductory press conference.
It could be a tough path to Cooperstown for Rollins, who rates as the 32nd-best shortstop by Jay Jaffe’s JAWS system, with a career 47.6 bWAR and peak 7-year 32.6 bWAR both below the average Hall of Fame shortstop.
Gary Sheffield headlines the five former Dodgers who are back on the ballot, his 40.6 percent last year the highest of the group, but well short of the 75-percent required for induction. Sheffield has 509 career home runs, his 129 in four years (1998-2001) with the Dodgers his most with any one team. Among Dodgers with 2,000 plate appearances, Sheffield ranks first in on-base percentage (.424), slugging percentage (.573), OPS (.998), and OPS+ (160, tied with Mike Piazza).
Dodgers on Hall of Fame ballot
|Player||Ballot year||Avg WAR||2021 vote|
|Player||Ballot year||Avg WAR||2021 vote|
This is Sheffield’s eighth of an allowed 10 years on the ballot.
On the other end of the spectrum is Andruw Jones, who hit .158/.256/.249 with the Dodgers, his 35 OPS+ the third-worst by any Dodger with at least 200 plate appearances. Jones made his bones with Atlanta, one of the great defensive centerfielders ever, a 10-time Gold Glove Award winner with 434 career home runs.
Jones received 33.9 percent support last year. This is his fifth year on the ballot.
Jeff Kent is on his ninth Hall of Fame ballot, the former MVP whose 351 home runs as a second baseman are the most at that position in major league history. Kent played the final four years of his career (2005-08) with the Dodgers, hitting .291/.367/.479 with 122 doubles, 75 home runs, and a 119 OPS+ from ages 37-40. He got 32.4 percent of the vote last year.
Manny Ramirez is arguably the best trade deadline addition in Dodgers history, and hit .322/.433/.580 in 223 games over parts of three seasons (2008-10) with Los Angeles. Ramirez has Hall of Fame numbers, with 555 home runs, 547 doubles, and a 154 OPS+ over 19 years, but was also suspended twice for performance-enhancing drugs. He’s in his sixth year on the ballot, but only got 28.2 percent of the vote last year and seems unlikely to ever be voted in by the writers.
Bobby Abreu seemed perpetually underrated during his 60-WAR career, and that has continued in Hall of Fame support, earning just 5.5 percent on the 2020 ballot and 8.7 percent last year. Earning at least five percent is required to remain on the ballot, and this year is Abreu’s third try. A 38-year-old Abreu hit .246/.341/.344, a 100 wRC+, in 92 games for the Dodgers in 2012.
This is the final year on the ballot for Curt Schilling, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, and Sammy Sosa. Schilling came the closest to induction last year with 71.1 percent, then wrote a letter to the Hall of Fame asking to be removed from this year’s ballot. In July, that request was denied by the Hall’s board of directors.
Bonds and Clemens have their own ties to PEDs, which to date has kept out the only seven-time MVP and seven-time Cy Young Award winner out of Cooperstown. Their gradual upward trend stalled last year at just under 62 percent each. Bonds fell 53 votes shy of induction, and Clemens 54 votes short. It seems too large a gap to make up in their final push.
Sosa is the only player with three 60-homer seasons, and his 609 career home runs rank ninth all-time. His 17 percent last year was his highest to date.
Other notable newcomers on the ballot include Cy Young Award winners Tim Lincecum (a two-time winner) and Jake Peavy, plus former MVPs Ryan Howard and Justin Morneau. Prince Fielder matched his father with 319 career home runs, and now he has a chance to match or beat Cecil Fielder’s lone Hall of Fame vote (one out of 506, or 0.2 percent, in 2004).
BBWAA writers must return their ballots by December 31, with results announced on January 25. In the interim, Ryan Thibodaux’s Hall of Fame tracker is an excellent resource to keep track of votes as they are shared publicly. Here’s the ballot in an easy-to-read form.