Making a case for former Texas Rangers on the 2022 HOF ballot

ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 9: First baseman Mark Teixeira #23 of the Texas Rangers runs to first during the game against the Anaheim Angels at the Ballpark in Arlington on April 9, 2004 in Arlington, Texas. The Rangers won 12-4. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 9: First baseman Mark Teixeira #23 of the Texas Rangers runs to first during the game against the Anaheim Angels at the Ballpark in Arlington on April 9, 2004 in Arlington, Texas. The Rangers won 12-4. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /
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ARLINGTON, TX – APRIL 9: First baseman Mark Teixeira #23 of the Texas Rangers runs to first during the game against the Anaheim Angels at the Ballpark in Arlington on April 9, 2004 in Arlington, Texas. The Rangers won 12-4. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX – APRIL 9: First baseman Mark Teixeira #23 of the Texas Rangers runs to first during the game against the Anaheim Angels at the Ballpark in Arlington on April 9, 2004 in Arlington, Texas. The Rangers won 12-4. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

10 former Texas Rangers have found their way onto the 2022 Hall of Fame ballot, but of the 10, who has the best shot at receiving baseball’s highest honor?

The Major League Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York is a place every baseball fan,  player and coach dreams of seeing, whether that’s donning the walls on a plaque or perusing the hundreds of years of baseball history.

Only the most elite of the nearly 20,000 men to step foot in the major leagues, the top one percent, even sniff the walls of the hall.

In 2022, the Texas Rangers are well represented on the ballot. From defensive wizards Omar Vizquel and Andruw Jones to the big boppers of the early-2000’s Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez and Sammy Sosa.

Guys like Prince Fielder, Joe Nathan and A.J. Pierzynski are all former Rangers on the ballot for the first time. Then you’ve got Manny Ramirez and Tim Lincecum, two greats who signed with the Texas Rangers on MiLB deals, but never saw big league action.

Leaving out the latter two, I’m here to make a case for those eight players who have a legitimate shot of garnering some votes. Are they Hall of Fame worthy? Not all of them, maybe none, depending on your stance on steroids, but should definitely see some consideration.

We’ll begin with the guys that have the most to lose. Players like Vizquel, Jones and Sosa, who are ballot veterans that know their time is ticking away.

PHOENIX – JUNE 23: Omar Vizquel #13 of the Texas Rangers warms up before the major league baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on June 23, 2009 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Diamondbacks defeated the Rangers 8-2. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
PHOENIX – JUNE 23: Omar Vizquel #13 of the Texas Rangers warms up before the major league baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on June 23, 2009 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Diamondbacks defeated the Rangers 8-2. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Omar Vizquel- Texas Rangers, 2009

Out of all the former Rangers on this list, Omar Vizquel has gained the most votes over his five years on the ballot. In 2021, he received 49.1% of the writer’s approval, but after recent sexual assault allegations from his wife and former bat boy, his chances may be growing slim.

Deemed one of the game’s greatest defensive players, Vizquel played a huge role in the development of some young Texas Rangers in his one year in Arlington. Vizquel worked with Elvis Andrus closely, playing alongside Ian Kinsler and Michael Young as the veteran presences for the young shortstop. He also played a huge role in the life of Rougned Odor, who switched his number to #12 in honor of his childhood hero.

While he was a subpar utility player in Texas, slashing .266/.316/.345/.660, his leadership on the diamond was invaluable.

However, looking at his career numbers, there is reason to believe he could get in. According to Baseball Reference and Bill James’ Hall of Fame monitor, which measures how likely a player is to get elected, Vizquel ranks 20 points above average (120). The rough scale says that if a player is over 100, he is likely to get in, and with five years left, Vizquel should receive some more votes.

He will be an interesting case moving forward with all of the assault allegations shadowing his Illustrious career, but will undoubtedly go down as one of, if not the best defensive shortstop of all time.

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