Jun 13, 2014; Seattle, WA, USA; Texas Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre (29) hits an RBI-fielders choice against the Seattle Mariners during the ninth inning of a 1-0 Texas victory at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Current MLB players destined for Cooperstown

With the steroid era finally over, a large portion of yesterday’s most dominant players will most likely never see the Hall of Fame, due to steroid use and allegations. Yet several players today, in a more pitching-dominant era, are putting up careers that may get a close look when judgment time arrives. Therefore, I’ll take a look at current players that should be Hall of Famers, others that will end their career coming up short, and a few younger players that could be Hall of Fame caliber with good health and consistency throughout their careers.

Derek Jeter-New York Yankees

The most obvious inclusion on a list like this. Derek Jeter will go down as one of the greatest hitters of all time, and has a case to even be the best Yankee of all time. The shortstop has dominated from the very beginning of his career, and has been a generational talent for the New York Yankees. The right-handed contact hitter has amassed 3,383 career hits, a .312/.380/.444 triple slash, and a career 72.3 WAR. He also has posted eight 200+ hit seasons, leading the AL in hits twice. Not to mention, he’s been a part of five World Series champion teams, and has also played in seven total World Series. Jeter has done it all in his career. A class act, the modern day icon of the Yankees, and perhaps an icon of baseball. The game of baseball will greatly miss the legend that is Derek Sanderson Jeter.

Ichiro Suzuki-New York Yankees

Imagine if he didn’t start his MLB career at 27. Ichiro will go down as one of the best baseball players of all time, and is the greatest Japanese player to play the game. Ichiro came out of the gate posting 10 straight seasons of 200+ hits, including his historic 2004 season, where he set the single season hits record with 262. Ichiro sits at 2,781 hits at the age of 40 right now, and will continue to pursue the automatic ticket of 3,000 hits. But with over 4,000 hits in professional baseball, Ichiro doesn’t need 3,000 in MLB to make it to Cooperstown. Not to mention, the former Mariners icon won 10 Gold Glove awards, and was noted as one of the game’s best defensive outfielders as well. The left-handed hitting prodigy will soon bid farewell to his MLB career, but he will forever be remembered.

Adrian Beltre-Texas Rangers

He’s been in the big leagues since his teen years, and he never stopped dominating. While Beltre is only a 3-time All-Star selection, his career numbers suggest that he had been a perennial snub. Beltre possesses the rare combination of hitting for both average and power, maintaining a career .283 average while having hit 384 career home runs. Beltre has also posted 1,214 runs and 2,495 hits, and has driven in a staggering 1,342 runs. Just turning 35, the star still has some time left to boost up the quantitative stats, and make himself perhaps the greatest player nobody noticed. It may seem strange to think of it, but with the career he has had, Adrian Beltre appears as one of the game’s most consistent and dominant players of the past generation.

Miguel Cabrera-Detroit Tigers

To think he’s only 31 years old is the craziest part about the insane career of Miguel Cabrera. At a still relatively young age, Cabrera has captured two AL MVP awards, a Triple Crown, eight All-Star selections, and five Silver Slugger awards. Along with these accolades, his quantitative and advanced statistics prove Cabrera has been an untouchable. Miggy has already put up 1,103 runs, 2,078 hits, 377 home runs and 1,316 RBI. Cabrera, shall he stay healthy, has another 10 years or so to make those numbers inflate even more. He’s been worth 56.8 WAR already, and can also boost that up to an even higher level.

Albert Pujols-Los Angeles Angels

The big power hitter of the generation, Pujols has been consistently one of the most dominant players of this generation, being a hitter for both power and average, and blowing away opposing pitchers year after year. The long time St. Louis Cardinal is already up to 508 home runs and 1,540 RBI at the age of 34, giving him plenty of time to improve further. A career .319/.406/.594 triple slash with an unheard of 1.001 career OPS is obvious grounds for enshrinement in the Hall of Fame. Pujols also has 2,418 hits, giving him a chance at breaking 3,000 at some point in his career. Pujols will forever be remembered as one of the most feared hitters of all time, and the right hander that nobody wanted to face for years.

Hall of “Very Good”

The following players will all be in the Hall of Fame conversation, but will mostly be borderline players who will be remembered as being “very good” throughout the majority of their careers. Some of these players have a fair shot at making it in to the Hall after a while, yet most of them will probably not reach Cooperstown.

Jimmy Rollins-Philadelphia Phillies

Cliff Lee-Philadelphia Phillies

Chase Utley-Philadelphia Phillies

David Wright-New York Mets

Adam Wainwright-St. Louis Cardinals

Yadier Molina-St. Louis Cardinals

Matt Holliday-St. Louis Cardinals

Justin Morneau-Colorado Rockies

Tim Hudson-San Francisco Giants

Josh Beckett-Los Angeles Dodgers

Adrian Gonzalez-Los Angeles Dodgers

Carlos Beltran-New York Yankees

CC Sabathia-New York Yankees

Dustin Pedroia-Boston Red Sox

Mark Buehrle-Toronto Blue Jays

Paul Konerko-Chicago White Sox

Adam Dunn-Chicago White Sox

Joe Mauer-Minnesota Twins

Torii Hunter-Detroit Tigers

Justin Verlander-Detroit Tigers

Robinson Cano-Seattle Mariners

Young Players with Potential

The following are players that are too young to make a determination on, but can put up Hall of Fame caliber years with good health and consistent play.

Giancarlo Stanton-Miami Marlins

Andrew McCutchen-Pittsburgh Pirates

Starlin Castro-Chicago Cubs

Clayton Kershaw-Los Angeles Dodgers

David Price-Tampa Bay Rays

Mike Trout-Los Angeles Angels

Felix Hernandez-Seattle Mariners

Tags: Hall Of Fame

comments powered by Disqus