Criminally undervalued on the ballot: Bobby Abreu, Jeff Kent, Jimmy Rollins, Andruw Jones
Let’s begin with Kent. It is now or never for the former second baseman as he is in his tenth year on the ballot. Kent was one of the best offensive second basemen in MLB history, posting a 123 OPS+ with 377 homers and 560 doubles. The record holder for most career homers for a second baseman, Kent was a five time All Star, winning four Silver Slugger awards and the 2002 NL MVP. The problem is that his defense was considered subpar and he was not exactly friendly with the media. Nonetheless, his high water mark of 32.7% of the vote to make the Hall of Fame is ridiculous.
Rollins had a surprisingly low 9.4% of the vote in his first year on the ballot. His 95 OPS+ may be low, but he also had 231 homers, 511 doubles, 2455 hits, and 470 steals while primarily playing at short. A three time All Star and four time Gold Glove winner, Rollins was the 2007 NL MVP and part of the Phillies’ 2008 World Series team. His solid all around game would have seemingly given him more traction.
The same could be said about his fellow teammate Abreu. He has yet to receive more than 8.7% of the vote, that mark coming in 2021. His 128 OPS+ is certainly a strong mark, while he had 288 homers, 574 doubles, 2470 hits, and 400 steals in his 18 year career. Abreu was also criminally underrated throughout his career, making just two All Star Games and winning one Gold Glove award.
Then there is Jones. His 111 OPS+ does not truly show how good of a player he was as his career fell off a cliff once he turned 30. Despite those struggles in the latter part of his career, he had 434 homers and 383 doubles while stealing 152 bases. A five time All Star, he won ten consecutive Gold Glove awards, his 253 runs saved trailing only Brooks Robinson in major league history. If the likes of Bill Mazeroski and Ozzie Smith can be inducted into the Hall of Fame, so can Andruw Jones.