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

  • joe

    Uh right…

  • http://BBSTmlb.com Oakland A’s Socks Girl

    I agree with almost every name on all the lists! Great work! I only would say – personally that 1. King Felix is a lock. After all he’s accomplished it’s been the rest of the team that has failed him. So even if he never goes to lead the team into the post season … he really is just THAT good. 2. Cano – has a good shot, so does Verlander (I really think he’ll make a turnaround soon, he’s not done dominating yet!) 3. Yadier Molina – one of the all-time greats behind the plate, I’d say he’s a sure thing! But I liked the lists!! What do you think of my little additions?? Out of curiosity!! :-D

    • Peter Marzano

      Felix has been incredible, I just put him there barring injury. A few more years of what he’s doing now, and he will go down as one of the best in the era. Cano has been very good consistently, and Verlander needs maybe just a few really good years to get in. Molina has been very valuable to his team, I think maybe a little more boost on the quantitative stats. If Yadi can finish his career with 2,000 Hits, he’s a surefire in my mind. Thanks for reading!

  • MrGJG

    Jeter, the greatest Yankee of alltime? Have you actually checked the Yankee archives? Also, some of the names you listed as possible future HOF’s is suspect, to put it kindly. Dunn, Hunter, AGon, Konerko, and Beckett will doubtfully survive the 5% cutoff, barring a miraculous late career surge.

    • Peter Marzano

      Thanks for reading! I think that Jeter is definitely the greatest of this era, and it’s very hard to judge considering the differences of the game. Easily Gehrig and Ruth are the obvious ones, Mantle was incredible for a very long time, and it’s just tough to crown somebody the best of a franchise with such a rich history. Dunn has incredible raw power, and he may be the only guy that will hit 500 HR’s, not be accused of steroids, and not make it to the HOF. Torii has had an incredible career, and I think he’ll be on a few years. Konerko has been extremely underrated outside of the South Side, and has been the face of the franchise for years, but will probably not get a lot of recognition. Beckett was an integral part of two championships and had some great years, and Gonzalez has plenty of time to further boost his impressive career. Most of those people will not make it in, but I think they will all gather a few votes and be in the conversation.

  • http://g-2marketing.com/ Garrett Gosselink

    Jeter, Pujols, and Cabrera are certain Hall of Famers.

    Beltre needs one more great season (or to lead the Rangers to a World Series win). Robinson Cano is in the same position with the Mariners.

    Ichiro is clearly one of the best players in the the Hall of the Very Good, but he was the the best player on the Mariners only three times, and was the best AL RF only four times, and has never led a team to a championship.

    A player you have listed in the Hall of the Very Good is Joe Mauer. In my book, Mauer is a certain Hall of Famer. Six times, Mauer has been the top catcher in the AL and five times, he’s been the best player on the Twins.

    And what about David Ortiz? Three World Series titles and one of the top DHs in history. He might be one good season away too, although Oriz is being eclipsed this year as the top AL DH by Victor Martinez.

  • http://g-2marketing.com/ Garrett Gosselink

    Ruth, Mantle, and DiMaggio are clearly the top three when it comes to greatest Yankees position players.

    Jeter part of a group that includes Gehrig, Cano, Roy White, Bernie Williams, maybe even ARod — who are a level below the top three.

    And you can’t forget Yogi Berra, catcher on 10 Yankees World Series winners.