With the induction ceremonies coming soon, we are updating the active players at each position to look at how they are strengthening (or not strengthening) their Hall of Fame case. We have four first baseman that qualify based on playing at least ten years and having a significant career. We do have several players in their ninth season as well, but we will ignore them for the time being.
Dustin Pedroia– Boston Red Sox
There is a reason why we wait ten years and Pedroia is the poster child for that. He may never play again because of his knee injury. He hasn’t done anything of note for nearly two seasons. Time marches on and so do the Red Sox. They called up Michael Chavis and it’s iike nothing has happened there. Father Time is undefeated and it looks like he has taken another victim.
Ben Zobrist– Chicago Cubs
Zobrist has taken most of 2019 off because he is going through a nasty divorce. Let’s take a moment and acknowledge how creepy it is that we actually know this. Supposedly, he is ready to go on a rehabilitation assignment and return. There is still time to salvage some of the season. He doesn’t have a whole lot of time left until his career comes to a close. He might be able to get another decent season or two in and if he does he has a decent chance.
Daniel Murphy– Colorado Rockies
Murphy is a good example of what happens when you bring only half of the game to the table. He has put up some huge numbers offensively, but he doesn’t bring a ton of defensive value to the table. Even when you look at his numbers this year you see that he hits well, but when you play half of your games in the mile high city you are expected to put up huge numbers.
Starlin Castro– Miami Marlins
Castro is 29 years old and has over 1500 hits. If he continues to play every day for the next five years he will surpass 2000 hits and may even surpass 1000 runs and 1000 RBI if he plays long enough. He still won’t come anywhere near the value necessary to get into the Hall of Fame. Still, there will be those that would vote for anyone that surpasses a certain number of hits, runs, and RBI.
Robinson Cano– New York Mets
Cano just had a three home run game. Great players can always muster up greatness even when they aren’t great anymore. Maybe he can muster a month or two of greatness. If he can do that his numbers might even look close to career norms. The problem is that he was busted for PEDs last season, so there will be those that think he is washed up. He needs a strong August and September to prove the end is not near.
Ian Kinsler– San Diego Padres
Here we see another aging player spinning his wheels. The difference is that he can at least field his position a little. He got off to an absolutely dreadful start, so maybe he can right the ship some if the Padres allow him to keep playing. Given the circumstances, they probably want to allow younger players to take over given their situation. Unfortunately, there are fewer and fewer opportunities for aging veterans like Kinsler. This might be his swan song.