MLB Hall of Fame: Breaking down the 2021 ballot

BOSTON - OCTOBER 24: Pitcher Curt Schilling of the Boston Red Sox pitches during game two of the 2004 World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals at Fenway Park on October 24, 2004 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Red Sox defeated the Cardinals 6-2. (Photo by Brad Mangin/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
BOSTON - OCTOBER 24: Pitcher Curt Schilling of the Boston Red Sox pitches during game two of the 2004 World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals at Fenway Park on October 24, 2004 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Red Sox defeated the Cardinals 6-2. (Photo by Brad Mangin/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
(Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images) /

Defense abounds in this section of the MLB Hall of Fame candidates.

Torii Hunter – first year on ballot

The enduring image of Torii Hunter‘s career involves his robbing Barry Bonds of a homer in the All Star Game, then being carried over the Giants’ slugger’s shoulder. He was a five time All Star and a nine time Gold Glove winner, one of the top defensive outfielders in the game. Hunter was also solid with the bat, producing a .277/.331/.461 batting line with 353 homers, 498 doubles, and 195 steals. That solid all around game should allow Hunter to stick on the ballot for a few years.

Andruw Jones – fourth year on ballot

One could state that Andruw Jones was the best defensive outfielder in MLB history. His 254 runs saved are the second most in the history of the game, and the most of any outfielder. He was a five time All Star and ten time Gold Glove winner, seemingly a shoe-in for the MLB Hall of Fame before his career fell off a cliff. Nonetheless, he produced a solid .254/.337/.486 batting line with 434 homers and 152 steals in his career. If Jones is enshrined, his glove will be why.

Jeff Kent – eighth year on ballot

Jeff Kent struggled with the glove, but his bat forced teams to find a spot for him in the lineup. A late bloomer, Kent became arguably the greatest offensive second baseman in the history of the game. A five time All Star and the 2000 NL MVP, he posted a .290/.356/.500 batting line with 377 homers and 560 doubles. His candidacy has not had much traction, but Kent has the offensive resume to be inducted.

Andy Pettitte – third year on ballot

Normally, Andy Pettitte would have a solid case for induction. He was a five time All Star and an excellent postseason pitcher, a part of three Yankees championships. Pettitte posted a 256-153 record with a 3.85 ERA and a 1.351 WHiP, striking out 2448 batters with 1031 walks in his 3316 innings. However, his inclusion in the Mitchell Report, and subsequent admission of PED use, have hampered his chances.

Aramis Ramirez – first year on ballot

Another candidate with an interesting resume, Aramis Ramirez could earn the votes needed to remain on the ballot for another year. He was a three time All Star, never quite getting the recognition he deserved at the hot corner. However, over the course of his career, he posted a respectable .283/.341/.492 batting line, hitting 386 homers and 495 doubles. He had a solid career, but one that may leave him without a second appearance on the ballot.