Rather than beating the “we suck” dead horse, let’s focus on something positive today. With Derek Jeter being enshrined into the Hall of Fame, Wednesday, it’s interesting to think who on this team could possibly get there one day. Look, I understand that right now it doesn’t even look like the New York Yankees are fielding a major league team. That being said, there are at least a few guys that have a shot – even if it’s a slim one.
*These are only players on the active roster*
“The worst phrase in all of sports is ‘get em next year’ … after we won in ’96, I felt as though every year we did not win, it was a failure. I still feel that way today.”
Derek Jeter is the ultimate winner pic.twitter.com/fEo6jqHGJh
— Talkin’ Yanks (@TalkinYanks) September 8, 2021
These guys have a pretty good chance to get in if they keep up their current pace. They’ve been relatively healthy, have the stats, and are young enough to amass the career-long stats needed to make it.
At 31, he’s already tallied 1,647 strikeouts, four top four Cy Young finishes, four All-Star appearances, and he is an absolute workhorse. This is also not counting this year where he may actually win the Cy Young. 3,000 career strikeouts would put him in the top 20 of all time, and Cole has a legitimate shot at reaching that. On average, a hall of fame pitcher has 2,037 Ks. I imagine he’ll top that in about two to three years.
Moreover, through his first nine years, Cole holds a 3.15 ERA. The average ERA for a hall of fame pitcher is 3.00. At surface value, this looks like he is below average, however, he has recorded four straight sub 3.00 seasons, and this appears to be more of the norm in his career now. We can expect that to go down and probably average out close to that 3.00 mark.
WAR average for a pitcher – 67. Cole is at about 31-32 depending on what website you look at. This is factoring in a 60 game season and a slowish start to the career. In his peak, he’s averaging close to a 6 WAR. Considering he still routinely paints 100 mph, I think it’s safe to assume he still has some dominant seasons ahead of him. Hitting that 67 mark is going to be tough, but attainable.
Gerrit Cole throws a complete game shutout in his first game back in Houston since coming to the Yankees pic.twitter.com/ja3GdAlkEM
— 2021 Astros Shame Tour (@AsteriskTour) July 11, 2021
These are just some snapshot values. Cole is also on Hall of Fame pace in stats such as IP, BB, ER, etc. You get the point. Play at the ace level you were paid, get in.
Odds ~ 75%
Before you come for my head, understand that this is about a career-long body of work, not a frustrating season or game. At 301 saves, Chapman is No. 29 all-time. Assuming he will be the closer at least one more season in MLB, he will end up cracking the top 20. This ranks him above guys like Goose Gossage, and that’s only with one more mildly effective season. Keep in mind that he is also only 33, still routinely touches triple digits, and has the potential to throw three plus pitches – albeit not for strikes all the time.
Aroldis Chapman becomes the 31st player in MLB history to record 300 career saves 🔥 pic.twitter.com/rfI0mXE6eh
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) August 27, 2021
Even if it is not for the Yankees, I don’t see Chapman being done as closer next season. He’s averaged well more than 30 saves a season in his career, if he plays two to three more seasons, EVEN as a semi-effective closer for a non-playoff team, he’ll have an outside shot at 400 saves and a good shot at getting to 360+, which will get him in top 10 territory.
Beyond just saves, Chapman is 15 Ks away from being the thirteenth reliever in the 1,000 K club and has the highest K/9 in the history of the sport at 14.9.
He’s a little more of a long shot than Cole, but if he plays even three or four more years, he has a shot. The Hall rarely takes relievers, he has a couple of sketchy things in his past, it’ll be tough but he has a DECENT chance.
Odds ~ 45%
This one may shock some of you guys. Even though he still gets booed and somehow has this reputation as a bad player, Stanton has built some very good numbers in his career. I fully believe that he will get to 500 home runs. It will be close, but he will get there. Thus, putting him in a category only 28 players in history are in.
Guess what? Pretty much every one of these players that don’t have the steroid asterisk is in the Hall of Fame. As it sits, Stanton has 338 at age 31. That’s a 23 home runs a year average, for the remainder of his contract in New York. So far, in 12 years, he averages 28 and that includes the injury years and the COVID-19 2020 year.
Moreover, Stanton has an MVP, two Silver Sluggers, four All-Star selections, and the ability to tack on some more. People act like Stanton is the equivalent of Albert Pujols – a 41-year-old slugger whose best days are behind him. He’s not. He’s started playing the field again and he’s playing to his career averages in every offensive metric.
Giancarlo Stanton, that’s right, Giancarlo Stanton makes an INSANE diving play! pic.twitter.com/oVfG1YSe5p
— Talkin’ Yanks (@TalkinYanks) September 5, 2021
As far as comparing him to current Hall of Famers goes, he’s on pace to exceed almost every average. He’ll surely get to 1,000 RBI and likely get to the 1,197 average. As it sits today, Stanton’s career OPS is around 60 points higher than the average Hall of Famer’s. The average Hall of Famer’s WAR sits anywhere between 50-70 – Stanton is already around 44 at 31-years-old.
STOP BOOING GIANCARLO STANTON. WE’RE WITNESSING A HALL OF FAMER.
Odds (Relatively Healthy) ~ 70%
Odds (Not Healthy) ~ 25%
Too soon to tell
These guys are either too young or have been up and down and we don’t know which is the true version. Bonus points if you know who I’m talking about already there.
What to do with Gleyber Torres. At 22, he looked like he would be in the upper echelon of shortstops for years to come. There was a time where Corey Seager was an afterthought because “we had Gleyber.”
How the mighty have fallen. The same guy that hit 38 home runs and played the postseason superstar role in 2019, just got benched for Andrew Velazquez. Since the start of 2020, Gleyber has been destroyed by injuries, hit just nine home runs, and frankly, looks lazy and lost.
— MLB Errors (@mlberrors) September 6, 2021
That being said, I truly don’t believe that Torres is this player. Something is off, obviously, but you simply don’t reach No. 1 in prospect rankings, almost win a Rookie of the Year, and hit 38 home runs in a season on accident. Whether he needs to be moved back to second base or away from New York as a whole, Torres is still a solid major league player. He’s 24. Most guys aren’t even established in the big leagues at this point. All of Torres’ career major league stats are still above average, if he can find what made him special again, and find it soon, his Hall of Fame track could be back on in the matter of a season.
This is a perfect example of why I think Torres still has a shot. Judge didn’t even get a shot as a full-time Major Leaguer until age 25. Between this and his injuries, I’m not sure that he’ll have the career numbers to get there.
Don’t get me wrong, Judge is the captain of this Yankees team and a top 5-10 player in the game when he’s healthy. I’m just afraid that he got too late of a start to amass the statistics. In April of next year, he’ll be 30. So far, Judge has 149 home runs, 548 hits, 343 RBIs, and a career 25.3 WAR. In order to get to the Hall, Judge will likely need to play until he’s 40 (something I’m not convinced that someone of that size can do), and average borderline MVP stats.
Aaron Judge with his 30th home run of the season! pic.twitter.com/lwWkIVUjns
— Talkin’ Yanks (@TalkinYanks) September 2, 2021
Judge will likely need to average 30 or so home runs a season, 150+ hits, win a few individual awards, and do this for eight to 10 years. While not impossible, this seems highly unlikely. Yes, he is squarely in the middle of his prime. I don’t think it’s crazy to think that he can put together another monster few seasons. In order to get the most prestigious baseball honor of all though, he’ll have to provide us with stability and consistency in the years that he’s no longer an MVP.
He is 23. Obviously, nobody knows. He’s on the roster though so here he is.
Little to no shot
What a feel-good story it was when he threw the no-hitter. He’s won two Cy Young awards and has been an all-star three times. At his peak, Kluber was one of, if not the best pitcher’s in the American League. Unfortunately, he kind of has the same issue as Judge – he started too late.
TWO STRAIGHT DAYS WITH A NO-HITTER 🔥
Corey Kluber makes it six no-hitters in MLB this season after there had only been six over the last two seasons combined. pic.twitter.com/pUDBbAVRDe
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) May 20, 2021
Kluber didn’t even really break out until his age 27 season. From ages 27-32, he was elite. Had he not gotten hurt after that age 32 season, Kluber would have had an outside shot at piling up enough hardware to get him in. With the way his injuries are going though, I don’t see the Yankees re-signing him and I don’t see a pitching needy contender signing him.
All of his career pitching numbers are pretty well below the HOF average, and I am not convinced that he’ll be healthy and effective long enough to pile on to them.
He’ll likely find a home on a subpar team for a few more seasons, where he will be above average, but hurt, and play out the rest of his career there. I imagine Kluber will find his way on the ballot out of respect, but I doubt he stays on it more than a year or two max.
Gary Sanchez is in the midst of another disappointing season with the Yankees. It has been a while since he’s really stepped up and been a consistent offensive threat in New York. Defense is a liability per usual. He’s only going to end up playing probably 115 games or so.
What he did at the beginning of his career is what will keep him even remotely alive in the discussion – even if that is only for another year or two. At 28, if Sanchez can stay healthy and find a consistent power stroke, which is a HUGE if, he could potentially find himself in the top five of all-time in home runs for a catcher. By averaging 25 home runs a season for eight more seasons, he would end up in the 350 range, which is very good for a catcher.
Gary Sanchez grand slam! pic.twitter.com/qDCvSI7kAo
— Talkin’ Yanks (@TalkinYanks) September 5, 2021
Unfortunately for him though, I don’t think that he has the consistency, the health, or honestly, the guaranteed playing time to do that. I think it’s a foregone conclusion that he is not the long-term solution for the Yankees. If the Yankees wanted Sanchez to be their next Jorge Posada, they wouldn’t have taken a catcher in the first round of two straight drafts.
Maybe he can find more consistency somewhere else, but I doubt it. A career .232/.319/.491 slash line is not going to get you there. He’s another one that is well below average in every stat and will only get there if he changes teams and rediscovers what made him a top prospect for so long.
Gallo will more than likely not make it, let me get that out of the way first. However, because he’s a gold glover, has 40-50 home run potential, and is only 27, he makes the just “unlikely” list. At 151 career home runs, his only hitting tool, he’s going to have to start averaging 30+ every year for a while.
— MLB (@MLB) September 4, 2021
The only shot at all is if he learns to swing the damn bat. It’s infuriating to time and time again, watch him take strikes one, two, and three, right down the middle. He won’t make it, but if he wins three or four more gold gloves, and eclipses 400 career home runs, he might get a year or two on the ballot.
Most of these are absolute no-brainers but we’re doing the whole roster so here we are.
Andrew H**ney (who would’ve guessed?)
LeMahieu, Gardner, and Montgomery are the only three that could’ve possibly made another list.
LeMahieu has been solid, but his numbers simply just don’t stack up for historical purposes and likely never will unless he just churns out three MVP caliber seasons.
Gardner has been an amazing Yankee but doesn’t have the numbers. I’m sorry.
Montgomery you could make a case for the “unlikely” category, he’s just too old, and not good enough to amass the stats that it would take. I think had he started earlier and just been this solid rotational piece that he is, Montgomery possibly could’ve racked up the numbers just from sheerly the workload.