5 Marlins who have best chance to represent Miami in Baseball Hall of Fame

With Gary Sheffield failing to get enough votes, will a Miami Marlins player ever get into Cooperstown? Here are their five best chances.
Milwaukee Brewers v Miami Marlins
Milwaukee Brewers v Miami Marlins / Michael Reaves/GettyImages
2 of 6
Giancarlo Stanton
Atlanta Braves v Miami Marlins / Rob Foldy/Miami Marlins/GettyImages

Miami Marlins Hall of Famer No. 5 - Giancarlo Stanton

First up, how about the only Miami Marlins player to ever win an MVP award as a Marlin?

That's just what Giancarlo Stanton was in 2017, his eighth and final season in a Marlins uniform. That year saw him set the franchise record for home runs at 59 -- a total that, by the way, only six other players have done in MLB history, and only three of which did so without the taint of a steroids scandal. In doing so, he also set the franchise single-season marks for WAR and RBI. He holds the Marlins career records for WAR, home runs, and RBI by a country mile. Only two players in franchise history have more games played in Marlins colors. Sheffield doesn't even crack the Top 10 on that list, by the way.

It's a heck of a resume. Sadly, there are plenty of warts worth mentioning. For starters, he never exactly seemed pumped to be a Miami Marlin, did he? Had he ever expressed any warmth about that fact, even when signing an extension worth a then-MLB record sum of $325 million, he would be much higher on this list. If Stanton gets any good excuse to not pick Miami, he won't pick Miami. However, there is a much bigger problem than any ill-will he may or may not harbor towards the organization.

Stanton has been gone for six seasons, all with the Yankees, and only two of those seasons have seen him look anything remotely like a player worthy of Cooperstown.

So...that's two problems. For one, much of the "Stanton as a Hall of Fame Marlin" case depends on the bulk of his career being with Miami, which gives the Yankees two seasons to cut or trade him before they'd pull ahead in that respect. Of course, it's not just about service time, but productive service time. His Miami tenure leaps off the page in that respect. Yet if he continues to play at the level he has, or worse, is he a Hall of Famer? Quite possibly not.

Should Stanton either have another elite season in a Yankees uniform, or win a championship, that probably seals his commitment to going in as a Yankee if elected. It's the most likely scenario, especially with Juan Soto now in the fold.

But what if he continues to struggle compared to expectations, yet also keeps accumulating? What if the Yankees do find a way to move on? What if he does make it into the 500 HR club and then some? Passing Sheffield, passing Cabrera, on the all-time homer list and doing so without any hint of steroid talk? Would the Hall of Fame voters keep out a member of that once illustrious club, even if every other metric might suggest Stanton wasn't really that great? I'm not convinced they would.

One last thought here that could cinch his case, before moving on. What if he came back to Miami? He's only 34, and will be 38 when his deal ends. Albert Pujols played until he was 42. Nelson Cruz made it to 43. Furthermore, the Marlins will already be paying him $10 million a year for the last three years of his contract, as per the conditions of the trade that sent him to New York in the first place. If Stanton is dumped onto the market at any point between now and then, it's well within the range of possibility that Miami decides to get something for the money they are already spending anyway. After that time? He'd arguably have more value to Miami than any other team in baseball. What Marlins fan wouldn't come out to watch him chase 500, or possibly even 600, HRs?

Ultimately though, the Yankees are probably going to go on a run one of these next couple years and make this moot, if Stanton's play doesn't make the case moot on its own. Which means Miami could well have a much better chance with...