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 Lloyd Fox/Baltimore Sun/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)
(Photo by Lloyd Fox/Baltimore Sun/Tribune News Service via Getty Images) /

Brian Roberts – first year on ballot

It is not a surprise that Brian Roberts is on the MLB Hall of Fame ballot. However, it is a reminder of what his career could have been.

Roberts had been a mainstay in the Orioles lineup, a second baseman with plenty of doubles power and excellent speed. In his last healthy season in 2009, he led the league in doubles while finishing third in runs scored and eighth in stolen bases. However, in his final five seasons, Roberts appeared in a total of 283 games, playing more than half a season just once, as he was bothered by a myriad of injuries, including a concussion that he gave himself when he hit himself in the head with his bat in frustration following a strikeout.

Those injuries ruined what could have been an even better career for Roberts. As it was, he still led the league in doubles twice and steals once, having seven consecutive seasons with over 20 steals. Overall, he produced a .276/.347/.409 batting line, hitting 367 doubles, 97 homers, and stealing 285 bases.

The vast majority of that production came over a seven year span, where Roberts was one of the best infielders in the game. Unfortunately, he did little else in his other seven years, with injuries ruining his productivity, and ultimately, his career. Those injuries essentially ended any chance he had at being inducted.

Brian Roberts is another candidate for the Hall of Very Good, but just did not have enough longevity for the MLB Hall of Fame.