Where Does the Hall of Fame Ballot Go From Here?
Edgar Martinez (35.9%, 4 years) Edgar has essentially stayed flat since he debuted. The DH thing is clearly hampering his progress (which, even though I'm a support of Edgar, I can understand). Stranger things have happened, but it's not looking good for him. If anything, I could see him dropping next year due to the crowded ballot. I'm guessing many of Edgar's supporters are those with bigger ballots, and someone has to drop to make room.
Alan Trammell (33.6%, 12 years) Debuting at a low number is not a death knell for a player's chances at getting elected, but being under 35% this late in the game almost certainly is. Trammell's another one who I expect to see his vote total fall next year.
Larry Walker (21.6%, 3 years) Walker is settling into the low 20s, which isn't going to get it done. If the ballot was clearing faster, I wonder if his case could get some more attention, because it's worth debating.
Fred McGriff (20.7%, 4 years) Given the PED backlash and McGriff's believed cleanness, I'm surprised he's not getting more support. He actually went down this year, which I'm guessing was a result of the crowded ballot. That problem isn't going away anytime soon, but I have a hunch the Crime Dog could still get more into the conversation. It's not likely to happen, but there's still a non-zero chance.
Dale Murphy (18.6%, 15 years) This was Murphy's last year of eligibility, and thus he falls off the ballot. This probably helps his chances actually, and it gets him off this ballot and onto the Veterans Committee at some point. We'll see if he has better luck there.
Don Mattingly (13.2%, 13 years) It's obviously not going to happen for Donnie Baseball.
Mark McGwire (16.9%, 7 years), Sammy Sosa (12.5%, 1 year), and Rafael Palmeiro (8.8%, 3 years) McGwire is going nowhere, Sosa's candidacy looks DOA, and Palmeiro dropped so much this year I wouldn't be surprised if he fell off the ballot completely next year. None of these guys are getting in.
Bernie Williams (3.3%, 2 years) and Kenny Lofton (3.2%, 1 year) Neither Williams nor Lofton got 5%, so they fall off the ballot. It was a fate neither deserved. I'm not saying that they are Hall of Famers in the end, but both have arguments that deserve a full debate, and neither will get it. Lofton in particular has an intriguing case. He's not the most egregious one and done player ever (that's Lou Whitaker), but he's up there.
What are your predictions on who will get elected in the future?