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Top 10 Players Poised for Imminent Election to the Baseball Hall of Fame

The Baseball Hall of Fame recently announced that four former players will gain entry to Cooperstown’s main attraction. Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz, and Craig Biggio all earned the honor in 2015, with the induction ceremony to be held in late July. Earning election to the Hall of Fame is something that all ballplayers dream of, yet so few are able to garner the 75 percent of the vote that is necessary for election.

There are a number of Hall of Fame candidates who fell just short this year, and there are also a great deal of players who will be becoming eligible in the coming years. Determining who is most likely to be elected over the next five years is difficult, especially considering the changing attitudes of an electorate that includes over 500 baseball writers. Some heavily value the traditional counting stats, while others have come around to the use of sabermetrics. Some of the voters are very transparent about their ballots, while others keep their ballots – and their methods – a secret.

What follows are ten players who are most likely to be able to add the title “Hall of Famer” to their impressive resumes, not necessarily those who are most deserving of election. A variety of factors were considered in determining these ten players, including not just each player’s career accomplishments, but also how they have fared in previous Hall of Fame ballots. It is also important to consider how many years of eligibility remain for each player. Someone like Edgar Martinez only has four years of eligibility left, and with just 27 percent of the votes in 2015, seems unlikely to get elected despite being deserving of more careful consideration.

10 Jeff Kent

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

9 Derek Jeter

Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

8 Curt Schilling

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

7 Mariano Rivera

William Perlman/THE STAR-LEDGER via USA TODAY Sports

6 Jeff Bagwell

via sports.espn.go.com

5 Chipper Jones

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

4 Ivan Rodriguez

Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

3 Tim Raines

via espn.go.com

2 Ken Griffey, Jr.

Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports

1 Mike Piazza

Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

The same rumors that have delayed Bagwell’s election to the Hall have dogged Piazza in his first three years of eligibility. But it appears that the tide has turned, and the fact that there is no clear evidence of Piazza’s steroid use – unless you consider “bacne” clear evidence, as Murray Chass has said – has helped the slugging catcher to appear on 69.9 percent of the ballot in 2015, just a shade over five percentage points shy of election. There is no doubt that Piazza is the greatest offensive catcher to play the game, but it is the steroid rumors that have kept him from election thus far. It looks like next year is the year for Piazza, who slashed .308/.377/.545 over a 16-year career that saw him tally 427 home runs and 1,335 RBI. It’s about time for a player who was named to 12 All-Star teams, won 10 Silver Sluggers and ranked in the top 10 in the MVP voting seven different times.

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Top 10 Players Poised for Imminent Election to the Baseball Hall of Fame