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 Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
(Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /

Jose Valverde – first year on ballot

For a brief time, Jose Valverde was one of the best closers in the game. Then, as suddenly as he became a success, his effectiveness vanished.

Over the first four years of his career, Valverde split time as the Diamondbacks closer, sharing the role with the likes of Jorge Julio, Brian Bruney, Greg Aquino, and Matt Mantei. He finally took over as the primary closer in 2007, and established himself as one of the better relievers over the next six years.

That run of dominance allowed Valverde to put together a respectable resume. He was a three time All Star, and even finished 14th in the 2007 NL MVP vote. Valverde led the league in saves three times en route to notching 288 saves over his career, along with a 3.27 ERA and a 1.196 WHiP. Over his 630.1 innings, he struck out 692 strikeouts and 264 walks.

In order for a closer to enter the MLB Hall of Fame, they have to be transcendent, or, at the very minimum, remarkably consistent for an extremely long period of time. Valverde, as solid as he was during his six year run, did not have the longevity, nor the pure dominance, needed for induction.

Jose Valverde had an excellent run of success. However, that six year peak was not enough for enshrinement.