Baseball Hall of Fame: Eligible active players destined for Cooperstown

Baseball Hall of Fame. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Baseball Hall of Fame. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /
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Baseball Hall of Fame
Albert Pujols of the Los Angeles Angels. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) /


Albert Pujols would have been a lock for the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2011 when he left the St. Louis Cardinals. While with the Los Angeles Angels since 2012, he has accumulated statistics to rise up the all-time lists for home runs, RBI and doubles.

He has one year remaining on his contract and his future after this season is questionable, but he will be an easy first-ballot Hall of Famer.

Being a catcher most certainly helps Yadier Molina’s case to make it to Cooperstown. He is a career .281 hitter and has accumulated more than 2,000 hits. Molina is a nine-time All-Star with nine Gold Gloves, two World Series rings and won a Silver Slugger in 2013. Molina is one of the best defensive catchers ever and has been a productive regular catcher since 2005.

Miguel Cabrera is just 13 home runs short of the 500 home-run milestone and is 137 hits away from reaching 3,000. He won a Triple Crown in 2012 and four batting titles in all. He has two MVP awards and has finished in the top-10 for the award in nine different seasons. He has a career .313 average and .931 OPS.

Clayton Kershaw is the greatest pitcher of his generation. Now that he is a World Series champion, nobody will ever doubt his postseason efforts again. Through 354 starts, Kershaw is 175-76 with a 2.43 ERA. He has won an MVP, a pitching Triple Crown, a Gold Glove, five ERA titles and three Cy Young Awards. And he’s not done — the eight-time All-Star will be just 33 when the season starts.

Llike Kershaw, Max Scherzer is starting pitcher with three Cy Young Awards and a World Series title. Through 368 starts, Scherzer is 175-93 with a 3.21 ERA. He has been to the All-Star Game seven times. If he keeps up his pace, he will reach 3,000 innings pitched and 3,000 strikeouts. He is set to be a free agent after this season and he will be 37 in July.

Justin Verlander only started one game in 2020, his age-37 season, but has incredible numbers and will be a first-ballot Hall of Famer. His 2011 season was one of the most dominant ever by a pitcher. He has won a World Series, two Cy Youngs, a pitching Triple Crown and was Rookie of the Year in 2006.

Through 454 starts, the eight-time All-Star is 226-129 with a 3.33 ERA. If healthy, he will reach 3,000 innings pitched by his second start.  Like Scherzer, Verlander is scheduled to be a free agent after this season.

Zack Greinke has been an accumulator, but he has had some ridiculous numbers. In 2015, he had a 1.66 ERA and 19 wins in 32 starts for the Los Angeles Dodgers. If he stays healthy, he too will surpass the 3,000 inning mark this year. He has more than 200 wins and has also won six Gold Gloves.

There really is not much to say about Mike Trout. Now that he has played in 10 seasons, he is eligible for Cooperstown. At 29, he already has more than 300 home runs and 200 stolen bases, while batting .304. The Angels have him under contract until the 2030 season.

Trout is going to continue to add to his already distinguished legacy over the next decade. He has already won three MVPs and eight Silver Sluggers, finishing in the top five for AL MVP every year since 2012.