MLB Hall of Fame: Breaking down the 2020 ballot

PHILADELPHIA - NOVEMBER 02: Derek Jeter #2 of the New York Yankees field a ball against the Philadelphia Phillies in Game Five of the 2009 MLB World Series at Citizens Bank Park on November 2, 2009 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA - NOVEMBER 02: Derek Jeter #2 of the New York Yankees field a ball against the Philadelphia Phillies in Game Five of the 2009 MLB World Series at Citizens Bank Park on November 2, 2009 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by MediaNews Group/Bay Area News via Getty Images)
(Photo by MediaNews Group/Bay Area News via Getty Images) /

Jeff Kent – seventh year on ballot (18.1% in 2019)

On the opposite side of the coin from Andruw Jones, there is Jeff Kent.

It took a while for Kent to get a chance, mainly because it took a while for teams to find a place for him in the lineup. After bouncing around the infield, he eventually settled in at second base. However, it took his being traded to the San Francisco Giants for Kent to break out as a star at 29 years old.

Despite that late start to his career, Kent established himself as arguably the greatest offensive second baseman in MLB history. He was a five time All Star, and won the 2000 NL MVP award while finishing in the top ten in three other seasons. Overall, Kent produced a .290/.356/.500 batting line with 377 homers, 560 doubles, and 1518 RBI. He was a rarity – a true middle of the order bat who also happened to play at second base.

There are several reasons as to why Kent’s candidacy has yet to gain traction. He has been linked to the PED scandals although there has not been any evidence of his own usage. Kent also had a prickly relationship with the media at best, hardly making any of the voters rush out to check the box next to his name on the ballot.

Jeff Kent deserves to be in the MLB Hall of Fame. It just might take a long time for him to get there.