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 Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /

Carlos Pena – first year on ballot

It took a long time for Carlos Pena to really blossom into the power hitting threat he was expected to be.

A one time top prospect in the Rangers system, Pena bounced around the majors for nearly a decade. He did show some promise with the Tigers, but it was not until he signed with the Tampa Bay Rays that he became a star. Suddenly, Pena was able to fulfill his potential, turning into the middle of the order bat he was expected to be.

Understandably, Pena will be remembered for that run with the Rays. While he was only named to one All Star Game, he finished ninth in the AL MVP vote twice, won the 2008 Gold Glove at first, and was a Silver Slugger in 2007. The 2009 AL home run leader, Pena posted an overall .232/.346/.462 batting line, hitting 286 homers.

However, those first four years with the Rays were really the culmination of his career. Pena posted a career 25.1 WAR, and was worth 17.5 WAR from 2007 through 2010. Over the other ten years in his career, he was barely above replacement level.

Just the fact that Carlos Pena is on this year’s MLB Hall of Fame ballot is a testament to how well he performed during that four year run in Tampa Bay. In all likelihood, that will not be enough to garner any votes.