S41 Gold Ink Test

Now that Spring Training and Hall of Fame voting have rolled around once again, it is time for me to put together the annual evaluation of the HOF candidates using the Gold Ink Test. Following last season, the benchmarks were 15 awards for position players and 13 for pitchers, and while I was obviously unable to assemble the blog post for last season two of the three inductees passed with flying colors while the third came up just short. However, since the benchmark is an average total there is absolutely no shame in coming up one award shy.

In past seasons, I’ve listed every nominees performance on the GIT and made comments about a few that I felt warranted it. However, when it comes to actually voting I usually go for the “milestone votes” first (i.e. those guys who hit career milestones such as 3,000 hits or 3,000 strikeouts that deserve automatic election in my opinion) and then use the Gold Ink Test to decide my remaining votes. This season, when looking at who to vote for using milestone votes, I noticed that more than five guys hit milestone numbers and have been nominated, which is a problem I’ve never run into before. So rather than list every single nominee I have decided to focus my Gold Ink Test segment on a shortlist of guys who would probably be at the top of the list anyway based on milestone numbers, so that we can elect as many as possible. Without further ado here’s my shortlist:

Reggie Darling, 2B…30 of 15

Career Awards:

  • 1 MVP
  • 14 All Star
  • 13 Silver Slugger
  • 2 Cycles

Darling made the shortlist for several reasons, and almost definitely has one of my votes. He finished his career with 3,601 hits and 689 steals…either of which could be argument on its own for HOF election, and to top it off he won double the amount of awards needed to pass the Gold Ink Test.

Rickey Taylor,RF…19 of 15

Career Awards:

  • 1 MVP
  • 6 All Star
  • 7 Silver Slugger
  • 3 World Series Rings
  • 1 Cycle
  • 1 All-Star MVP

Taylor is also a member of FYC’s 3,000 hit club and finished his career with a .315 batting average, but what truly makes his candidacy so impressive is his combination of contact and power. Out of his 3,005 career hits, 659 cleared the fence. Looking down the shortlist, he may end up getting the short end of the stick this season but he’s a no-doubt HOF’er.

Neifi Astacio, 1B…30 of 15

Career Awards:

  • 6 MVP
  • 1 Rookie of the Year
  • 11 All Star
  • 8 Silver Slugger
  • 4 World Series Rings

Astacio has my vote, no doubt about it. As if the 6 MVP awards weren’t enough, he finished with a lifetime .343 average and 741 career homers. Any of those three stats would be HOF worthy by themselves, but having all three makes this potentially the easiest vote I’ve ever cast.

Peter Suzuki, SP…21 Of 13

Career Awards:

  • 8 Cy Young
  • 12 All Star
  • 1 World Series Ring

When Suzuki decided to retire at the start of this season, I did the math on his career WAR for a “This Week” segment and then decided to compare it to the all-time MLB list. His career total of 124 WAR would put him 13th all time in Major League Baseball and I’d be absolutely shocked if his place on the all-time FYC list wasn’t significantly higher than that. This vote rivals the Astacio pick for easiest ever.

Victor Navarre,SP…3 of 13

Career Awards:

  • 3 All Star

Navarre makes this list because he had 3,128 strikeouts in his career but that seems to be his only HOF argument. It’s a good enough one to get him in, and it should do so as soon as next season but he looks to be the odd man out this year at the moment.

Rodrigo Castro, SP…9 Of 13

Career Awards:

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

Castro is also a member of the 3,000 strikeout club, thus his entrance onto the shortlist, and he’s got a pretty solid resume to back that up. With six guys on the shortlist and five votes to hand out he just needed to be better than one guy, and with Navarre only collecting three awards, I have my five (including Castro).

Honorable Mentions:

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