First Timers on the Ballot
Alex Rodriguez- Texas Rangers, 2001-2003
Now we move on to the first ballot guys, a pretty recognizable list of All-Stars that dominated the 2000’s and 2010’s across Major League Baseball.
We begin the first ballot side with arguably the most controversial and hated player on the ballot.
It’s hard not to look back on A-Rod and think about the PED usage and how that may have affected his career, but taking another step back, this dude was the greatest player on the field in the early-2000’s.
3x MVP, including one in Texas, 14 All-Star appearances, two Gold Gloves, 10 Silver Sluggers, a batting title and was a 3x MLB Player of the Year.
The guy was elite, as much as you hate to say it.
After 22 years in the big leagues, Rodriguez finished with a .295/.380/.550/.930 slash line, 696 homers, 2,086 RBIs, 329 stolen bases and over 3,000 hits.
Over his three seasons in Texas, Rodriguez was a .305 hitter, had an OPS of 1.011 and hit 156 bombs. He appeared in three straight All-Star games as a Ranger, won an MVP, two Gold Gloves and two Silver Sluggers. Did I mention he was also the highest paid player in franchise history as a shortstop? Not anymore… I’m looking at you, Corey Seager.
Bill James’ Hall of Fame monitor suggests that Rodriguez should get in three times based off of his career statistics, landing him at 390 on the scale. Remember, right at 100 means they are “likely” to get in.
Had it not been for the PED usage, including his suspension in 2014, there is no doubt in my mind A-Rod would be a first ballot Hall of Famer. But as we’ve seen with Bonds, Clemens and Sosa, the writers tend to lean away from putting PED guys in. Understandably so. However, what he did on the baseball was still incredible, and I believe he deserves votes. We’ll see how the next decade pans out for him and guys like Big Papi, David Ortiz.