Before we get into all of that let us start with the basic assumption that this group of Hall of Fame voters has decided amongst itself not to elect any player tainted by the steroids era. I am not so sure that I agree with that action or not but I think it is safe to say that this electorate is not going to enshrine any of these controversial figures.
Now lets talk about how I go about my votes each and every year...no I do not have a hall vote yet...but one day maybe so. The first eye test fro every name on the ballot is what I refer to as the Rob Parker test. Yes I know Parker is a large type A hole but he gave the best answer to how he goes about his vote each year that I have ever heard. His eye test is to just say the player's name and determine if Hall of Fame should follow it. Since we are now dealing with players who I watched as an adult (for the most part) I feel qualified to administer that first step.
The second step for me is to see if the player has any of the magic numbers for enshrinement. Any good baseball guy knows those for pitchers and hitters, and even though we will need to adjust those moving forward some of them will remain true.
After that we move into the grey area. Where we look at post season awards, All Star Game appearances and production in the post season and impact made on the teams they played for. I am not a big fan of comparing numbers to those already in the hall because by and large those numbers were produced in different eras of he game. I think at minimum a player should have one MVP/Cy Young award on his resume to be considered for the Hall, but as well look over the ten players I would vote for in 2015 we will see whee my own personal gray area comes into play.
With all that said here are the 10 players I would vote for from the BBWAA official ballot:
1. Alan Trammell SS- This is my one homer vote. I am from Detroit, and Tram was my favorite player of my youth. If he had played in any other era he would be a hands down pick for the hall. He played in the same era of Ozzie Smith and Cal Ripken Jr. I of course remain convinced he was jobbed out of the 1987 MVP award. He was a .285 career hitter, a six time all star, winner of four gold gloves and three silver sluggers. He was also the MVP of the 1984 World Series. He was an important cog of the Tigers for nearly 20 years and is absolutely Hall worthy. Not a single player of the '84 champion team has been enshrined or had their number retired by the Tigers. He also hit .333 in the post season.
2. Randy Johnson P- this one is easy. Randy has 303 wins putting him over the magic number of 300 wins by a starting pitcher to guarantee enshrinement.
3. Mike Piazza C- The 1993 Rookie of the Year was a 12 time all star, won 11 silver slugger awards, and was MVP of the 1996 All Star Game. He was one of the best catchers of his generation and his career .308 batting average and 429 home runs makes him Hall worthy.
4. Pedro Martinez P- His 3,154 career strike outs puts him over the 3,000 magic number mark for enshrinement. He also won three Cy Young Awards (one in each league). On the surface his 219-100 career record seems a little short of being acceptable for the Hall but his 2.93 career ERA and his 8 All Star game appearances make up for that shortcoming.
5. Edgar Martinez DH- I know I know but guys who were predominately DH's in their career are going to get elected to the hall one day and I could go on and on with stats...but let us just say they named a post season award after this cat and he and David Ortiz are probably the two best DH's ever.
6. Jon Smoltz P- Smolts has over 3k strike outs which is the magic number for enshrinement. His 213-155 record is somewhat sub par but when we add in his 154 career saves we see he was one of the best pitchers in his era. His post season record is also stellar at 15-4 with a 2.67 ERA and 4 playoff saves.
7. Jeff Bagwell 1B- a member of the Killer B's. The 1991 Rookie of the year and the 1994 MVP his 449 career home runs get him close to enshrinement and his 4 all star appearances and 3 silver sluggers and a gold glove put him over the top. He is also a career .297 hitter.
8. Mike Mussina P- We are now done to marginal players for the Hall. They passed the first eye test, and now we try to justify the vote with stats. He was 270-153 overall. He has a 3.68 career ERA. He had 2818 strike outs. Those are all close to magic numbers but when we factor in the fact he was a five time all star and won 7 gold gloves puts him over the top.
9. Craig Biggio 2B- Another member of the killer B's and with 3,060 hits in his career has the magic number for enshrinement. We can add 9 time all star, 3 gold gloves, and 5 silver slugger awards to sweeten his pot a bit.
10. Curt Shilling P- Sure he has 3,116 strike outs which puts him in line for strong consideration. However this is the one guy whose post season performances really make his case for him. 11-2 wit ha 2,23 ERA with 120 strike outs. He pitched in 4 world Series going 4-1 with a 2.06 ERA on the biggest stage baseball has. A lot of people don't like this guy but he has the resume to be a member of the hall.