Posted by dahsdebater on 7/30/2014 3:38:00 PM (view original):
If I were you, tec, I'd keep the discussion centered around what you think the HOF voters SHOULD do. I wouldn't drift into the area of what they WILL do, bad territory for you. History shows that 3000 hit guys go in. It's hard to envision a scenario, short of catastrophic injury, in which Beltre doesn't wind up with 3000 hits and 450 home runs. He'll likely be around 2600 hits at the end of the season, and he's 35 now. So if he just plays 4 more years and averages 100 hits - which he's eclipsed every year, unsurprisingly, since his rookie half-season (1/3 season, really) in 1998 - he'll be there. Probably be around 400 HRs at the end of the season (has 9 to go), so you figure 12.5 HR/season over the same time frame takes him to 450. 25 for 4 years or 20 for 5 years clears 500, and frankly that seems at least about as likely as not. He's already got 517 doubles, so he'll likely end up with 600 of those. I just don't see the HOF voters NOT putting in a 3000 hit, 450-500 HR, 600 double guy who also had a very good defensive reputation at 3B.
It's almost always up for debate whether someone deserves to be in. He's not Babe Ruth, we can at least talk about it. But I think arguing that he WON'T go in is a very hard piece of ground to defend.
I think we could start to see the tide turning when it comes to there being "magic numbers" with respect to "counting" statistics that ensure enshrinement in Cooperstown. There's no guarantee that ten years or so from now, whenever Beltre is eligible to be on the HOF ballot, that 3000 hits will be an automatic slam dunk for the Hall of Fame. In fact, Beltre might be the test case as the first 3000 hit guy to not get in because of all the reasons I previously stated.
We're already seeing that now with home runs. Fred McGriff has 493 home runs and is barely getting a sniff (peaking at 23.9%, with only 11.7% last year). It's unlikely that another 7 home runs on his resume would have gotten him the additional 293 votes he needed in 2012 to get in. And there's a whole bunch of 500+ HR guys who likely will not get voted in because of PEDs. One can argue that entering the 500 HR club is no longer a lock to make the HOF.
Check back in 10 years or so, and we'll be able to get a definitive answer.