Well, you seem to be compartmentalizing my argument.
1. I think he played long enough and I think he had a nice run of "peak years." HOF eligible.
2. He was a pretty good hitter but, unfortunately, he didn't play the field. That's a mark in the bad column.
3. He was a 3-4-5 hitter but, IMO, he walked a great deal. Was he pitched around? Unlikely with A-Rod and Griffey in the line-up. Bad, IMO.
4. It's not like when he swung, he made connection. He struck out once every 6 AB. Bad.
5. We're speculating but we seem to agree he became a DH to lessen the risk of injury. Bad.
All in all, he was a pretty good hitter. Maybe even really good. But he wasn't dominant at the plate during his peak and he didn't play the field. That's just no HOF material to me.