Looking Ahead to the 2016 HOF Class

cooperstownsignWith the announcement today that Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz, Craig Biggio were inducted into baseball’s Hall of Fame, I thought I would take a quick look at the 2016 ballot listed on Baseball-Reference.com. Baseball fans can’t get enough of this stuff… so why not?

The only new player on the ballot next year that is a slam dunk is Ken Griffey Jr. Trevor Hoffman will be included next year and will definitely get some support,but he’s not getting elected in his first try. Outside of maybe Jim Edmonds, the rest of the first-year guys in 2016 are likely to not get enough votes to stay on the ballot after the first year.

Mike Piazza was close this year, and I think the weak ballot next year means the Hall will be opening their doors to him. Ditto for Jeff Bagwell and, perhaps, Curt Schilling. If the voters are feeling really spunky, maybe Tim Raines gets enough in his ninth year to make it.

I’ve already made my feelings clear on Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds – they belong in the Hall of Fame. I don’t think they’ll make it next year, but I can see momentum building that gets them in in two or three. Let’s remember there were rumors about Piazza, Bagwell, and others, yet the voters seem to be taking it out on two guys. Very hypocritical, if you ask me.

I am also hoping Bud Selig considers lifting Pete Rose’s ban before he leaves office at the end of the month. I would love to see him open Pete’s way to the Hall, while still keeping him from actively participating in current baseball activities. His on-the-field performance earned him a chance to be in the Hall. His off-the-field betting means he shouldn’t be allowed to be a manager or front office executive.

2017’s first-year members aren’t real strong either – unless you count PED guys Ivan Rodriguez and Manny Ramirez. So, there is definitely a chance that the rest of this strong class from the 2015 ballot, including someone like Mike Mussina, will make it in the next two years.