Breaking down the 2023 Hall of Fame ballot

BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 01: Carlos Beltran #15 of the Houston Astros at bat during the game against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on October 1, 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 01: Carlos Beltran #15 of the Houston Astros at bat during the game against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on October 1, 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

The five best chances at induction: Scott Rolen, Todd Helton, Billy Wagner, Carlos Beltran, Francisco Rodriguez

If anyone is inducted into the Hall of Fame this year, it will likely be one of this quintet.

Not only is Rolen the most likely of the players to have previously been on the ballot to be inducted, but he should have been in the Hall of Fame a long time ago. He posted a 122 OPS+ with 316 homers, 517 doubles, and 118 steals over his 17 year career. Rolen was a seven time All Star, an eight time Gold Glove winner, and the 1997 NL Rookie of the Year. Add in his impressive 140 runs saved at third, and he will be inducted soon.

Helton suffers from Coors Field bias. His overall numbers are good enough for enshrinement as he posted a 133 OPS+ with 369 homers and 592 doubles. He was a five time All Star, four time Silver Slugger, and took home three Gold Glove awards. As Helton has seen his support increase from 16.5% in his first year on the ballot to 52.0% last year, he seems destined to be inducted at some point.

Wagner was a dominant reliever, but that position has struggled to get traction over the years. He notched 422 saves while posting a 2.31 ERA and a 0.998 WHiP in his 903 innings, striking out 1196 batters with 300 walks. He was a seven time All Star and the 1999 NL Rolaids Reliever of the Year. However, his status as a closer, coupled with his postseason struggles, have kept him out thus far.

Rodriguez will likely face a similar bias. He also has a strong case for induction, notching 437 saves while posting a 2.86 ERA and a 1.155 WHiP over his 976 innings, striking out 1142 batters with 389 walks. A six time All Star, he was named the 2006 and 2008 AL Rolaids Reliever of the Year, setting the single season saves record in the latter year.

Beltran has a complicated case. Based on his numbers alone, he should be in. One of just eight players in MLB history to hit 300 homers and steal 300 bases in his career, he posted a 119 OPS+ with 435 homers and 565 doubles while stealing 312 bases. A nine time All Star, he was also a three time Gold Glove winner and the 1999 AL Rookie of the Year. His problem stems from his involvement in AstroGate as he was considered the ringleader of their sign stealing scheme. That may cost him some votes.

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*Prediction – the BBWAA does not vote anyone into the Hall of Fame this year