S39 Gold Ink Test

Now that Spring Training is underway, that also means it’s time to vote on this year’s HOF class. That in turn means that it is time for the yearly look at the Gold Ink Test. For those of you who need a refresher or are new and didn’t read the entire explanation (at the link above) here is the CliffNotes version: I have determined the average number of awards won by field players who are in the HOF (currently 14.41, rounded to 14) and pitchers (currently 12.17, rounded to 12). If a nominee won equally as many or more than the average then it is my belief that he earned his way into the Hall himself and I am very vocal in my support of these players. However, they do come behind players who earn what I refer to as “milestone votes” for things such as 3,000 career hits, 600 career HR, 300 career wins etc. Let’s look at this year’s potential class:

Carlos Alvarez, CF…6 of 14

Career Awards:

  • 4 All Star
  • 2 Silver Slugger

Cesar Aparicio, C…11 of 14

Career Awards:

  • 5 All Star
  • 5 Silver Slugger
  • 1 World Series Ring

Joaquin Arias, CF…4 of 14

Career Awards:

  • 1 All Star
  • 2 Gold Glove
  • 1 World Series Ring

With a career slash line of .265/.314/.390 and a fielding percentage of .974 in CF, I’m not totally sure what qualifies him for HOF consideration, but I could certainly be missing something. He was by no means a bad player, I just don’t see HOF-quality when I look at his accomplishments.

Rod Bailey,CF…1 of 14

Career Awards:

  • 1 Gold Glove

Geovany Castro, 1B….7 of 14

Career Awards:

  • 2 All-Star
  • 3 Silver Slugger
  • 1 MVP
  • 1 World Series Ring

I could see a case being made for Castro in a year with a weaker class, but this year’s nominees have a more than five very well qualified guys and Castro’s name isn’t quite on that list. Luckily for him, this is his first year on the ballot so he’ll have many more opportunities to be top of a weaker class.

Orlando Cruz,3B…3 of 14

Career Awards:

  • 1 All Star
  • 2 Gold Glove

Rudy Damon,RF…7 of 14

Career Awards:

  • 5 All Star
  • 1 Silver Slugger
  • 1 Home Run Derby Win

Last year I wrote that “he’s got a stronger case than a lot of guys” but that “the Hall might be stretching it.” I think the same can be said again this year, although I’m not sure he’ll get even the two votes he received last year simply because there are so many qualified candidates this time around.

Roy Fordham, 2B…8 of 14

Career Awards:

  • 3 All Star
  • 3 Gold Gloves
  • 2 Silver Slugger

My assessment last season was “I could maybe see him sneaking in during a weak draft class”…and he ended up with six votes in what I considered to be a decently strong candidate class. Based on that, it’s possible he makes another dark-horse run this year but my guess would be that he and Damon headline the next class where there are only one or two clear-cut HOF candidates.

Juan Jimenez,RF…1 of 14

Career Awards:

  • 1 Cycle

Jamey King,RF…12 of 14

Career Awards:

  • Rookie of the Year
  • 6 All Star
  • 1 Gold Glove
  • 3 Silver Slugger
  • 1 World Series Ring

King had the kind of career where he’ll probably get a handful of HOF votes every time he’s on the ballot, but I’m hesitant to say that he will ever get enough to get in. Very balanced production for a long time is certainly a good way to get in, but I’d say an OPS of .903 probably won’t quite cut it.

Doug Kraemer, 3B…4 of 14

Career Awards:

  • 2 All Star
  • 1 Silver Slugger
  • 1 World Series Ring

Kraemer’s career was a quietly productive one, as he never received too many accolades for his accomplishments and yet he had better totals than King in HR, RBI, AVG, OPS (and both subcategories of OPS). His numbers don’t scream HOF, but at the same time, if a push were to be made to get him in I would not object.

Jack Leon, 2B…7 of 14

Career Awards:

  • 4 All Star
  • 3 Gold Glove

Yoo-Nah Lui, C…5 of 14

Career Awards:

  • 3 All Star
  • 2 Silver Slugger

On the surface, it’s extremely easy to dismiss Lui’s HOF case as entirely impossible…but he only had 6 career errors. That’s right…six errors, at all positions combined, EVER. In a fourteen year playing career that is less than one error every two seasons. That is a pretty legitimate argument for a plaque in Virtual Cooperstown at some point. The key there though, is “at some point” because I don’t see it happening this year.

Michael Martin, C…12 of 14

Career Awards:

  • 9 All Star
  • 3 Silver Slugger

For several years I’ve lumped Martin into the same category as I placed Damon & Fordham in earlier, and it seems like this year won’t be any different. He’s got a legitimate argument as a solid defensive catcher with a fair number of awards, but is he cream of the crop that won’t get a milestone vote this year? I don’t think so.

Cooper Martin, 1B…8 of 14

Career Awards:

  • 1 Rookie of the Year
  • 2 All Star
  • 2 Silver Slugger
  • 1 Gold Glove
  • 1 World Series Ring
  • 1 Cycle

Matty Olivares,1B…25 of 14

Career Awards:

  • 10 All Star
  • 8 Silver Slugger
  • 6 MVP
  • 1 HR Derby win

If Olivares doesn’t get in despite it being the first year he is on the ballot, I don’t know who will. With a career slash line of .292/.365/.598 and over 700 bombs there shouldn’t be any doubt and if for some reason there still was, he won MVP six times. I’d have to go back and check, but that’s got to be close to a record if it isn’t actually the record.

Evan Pratt,3B…11 of 14

Career Awards:

  • 4 All Star
  • 4 Gold Glove
  • 3 Silver Slugger

Morgan Ross,1B…10 of 14

Career Awards:

  • 4 All Star
  • 5 Gold Glove
  • 1 HR Derby win

This is Ross’ first year on the ballot, and it’s pretty safe to say that I think he deserves a spot on the ballot but not necessarily any votes this season. He had a solid career, and his Hall chances will depend greatly on his competition from year to year.

David Sanchez, LF…13 of 14

Career Awards:

  • 5 All Star
  • 4 Silver Slugger
  • 4 World Series Rings

Normally, I’d say that four rings would be one of those accomplishments that would earn someone a milestone vote. However, there are a number of guys on the ballot this season with 4 rings (I’m pretty sure they were all on the same team for awhile) and the others accomplished more individually so Sanchez loses out.

Cal Sutton, 3B…12 of 14

Career Awards:

  • 4 All Star
  • 2 Gold Glove
  • 4 Silver Slugger
  • 2 World Series Rings

This is also Sutton’s first year on the ticket, and I’m giving him one of my votes. 700+ SB’s is enough to arguably give him a milestone vote and he is also pretty close on the Gold Ink Test so between the two he certainly deserves some recognition.

Mike Walcutt, LF…13 of 14

Career Awards:

  • 6 All-Star
  • 2 Silver Slugger
  • 3 World Series Rings
  • 2 Cycles

I’ve voted for Walcutt the last couple of seasons and still believe he deserves a spot, but competition is so fierce this year that he’ll have to wait again. Sorry, Mike.

Chance Ward, C…2 of 14

Career Awards:

  • 2 All Star

Damian White,C…22 of 14

Career Awards:

  • Rookie of the Year
  • 10 All Star
  • 2 Gold Glove
  • 6 Silver Slugger
  • 4 World Series Rings

This is what you call a slam dunk. The awards speak for themselves and really need no further explanation, but consider this for a second: he only played for one franchise his entire career. If he can accomplish that by sticking with one team I don’t know what else he’d have to do to earn his ticket to Cooperstown. Oh, and he was also only about 2 votes shy of election last year…let’s get it done this time. He will be my only non-milestone vote this year.

Jolbert Alicea, RP…4 of 12

Career Awards:

  • 4 All Star

Rafael Balentin, RP…16 of 12

Career Awards:

  • 11 All Star
  • 4 Fireman of the Year
  • 1 World Series Ring

He too falls into the “future HOFer” category, as he had a very decorated career as a late-inning guy that finished with 613 saves. I’m not exactly sure when he’ll get in as there are a couple of relievers I’m going to put above him on my list, but I certainly think he deserves to be there eventually.

Rodrigo Castro,SP…9 of 12

Career Awards:

  • 5 All Star
  • 1 Gold Glove
  • 1 Silver Slugger
  • 2 World Series Rings

As Rob pointed out in the comments this season “W/L percentage is questionable as well as ERA”…that is most certainly true, and he almost certainly wouldn’t get my vote if he didn’t reach the 3,000 K plateau. He did though, finishing his career with 3,045 whiffs, and in my mind that’s enough to give him my vote.

Harry Concepcion, SP…2 of 12

Career Awards:

  • 1 All Star
  • 1 World Series Ring

Hal Engle, SP…5 of 12

Career Awards:

  • 5 All Star

Jesus Flores, RP…12 of 12

Career Awards:

  • 9 All Star
  • 3 Fireman of the Year

Flores is certainly HOF worthy in theory, but in reality his window of opportunity may already be closed. There were a couple of seasons where he was by far the best reliever eligible and he didn’t get enough love then, and now a number of FYC’s elite closers are up for election and are putting their names in front of his on the priority list.

Kevin Holdridge,SP… 6 of 12

Career Awards:

  • 4 All Star
  • 1 Silver Slugger
  • 1 No Hitter

PT Kydd, SP…5 of 12

Career Awards:

  • 5 All Star

Neifi Mercado, SP…5 of 12

Career Awards:

  • 3 All Star
  • 1 Silver Slugger
  • 1 World Series Ring

Enrique Palacios, RP…20 of 12

Career Awards:

  • 10 All Star
  • 7 Fireman of the Year
  • 1 Cy Young
  • 2 World Series Rings

Speaking of those elite closers, Palacios is currently tops on that list for me. The 10 All-Star selections and 7 FOY awards are impressive in their own right, but the fact that he won the Cy Young as a relief pitcher is really what puts him over the top for me as he is the only player that I’ve heard of in FYC to accomplish that.

Bey Perkins, RP…9 of 12

Career Awards:

  • 8 All Star
  • 1 Fireman of the Year

Daryl Reid,SP…9 of 12

Career Awards:

  • 5 All Star
  • 2 Cy Young
  • 1 Gold Glove
  • 1 World Series Ring

Stump Stein, RP…21 of 12

Career Awards:

  • 11 All Star
  • 6 Fireman of the Year
  • 4 World Series Rings

Stein got exactly 16 votes in S36, and I believe he deserves to get over the top at some point. In fact, if it weren’t for Palacios and his Cy Young I probably would have voted for him this season…there’s always next year, Stump.

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