Hall of Fame voting is underway for the class of 2016. The 2016 Hall of Fame vote includes Edgar Martinez, who is on the ballot for a seventh year. On Sunday, December 13, an updated results tabulation was revealed for this year’s votes. Forty-two ballots have been revealed publicly, which equates to about 9.3 percent of the vote total. Thus far, Edgar Martinez shows up on 20 ballots, with a percentage of 47.6 to his name.
If this voting trend continues, Martinez would receive his highest vote percentage since first appearing on the Hall of Fame ballot in 2010. His high-water mark is 36.5 percent from 2012, showing that the Baseball Writers Association of America is starting to show Martinez more support. While 47.6 percent is certainly a nice boost in his personal results, it is still far away from the 75 percent necessary for induction.
One question that can be asked is whether fans of David Ortiz should be working harder to provide Edgar Martinez with public support for the Baseball Hall of Fame. It has been very clear that Martinez hasn’t received more support because he spent a lot of his MLB career as a designated hitter. The raw statistics point to Martinez being a better hitter than Ortiz, suggesting the recent hero of the Boston Red Sox could also have a hard time getting elected.
Edgar Martinez was one of the best hitters in baseball during the 1990s and was elected to seven All-Star teams. He won five Silver Slugger Awards and when he decided to retire from the Seattle Mariners, MLB named the annual award for the best designated hitter after him. Now known as the Edgar Martinez Award, David Ortiz has won the honor several times in recent years. There are a lot of personal achievements that have helped garner the Hall of Fame vote support that Martinez has had so far.
During his career, Martinez posted a .312 batting average, a .418 on-base percentage, and a .933 OPS. He amassed 2,247 hits, 1,283 walks, and 1,261 RBIs during his playing days. Martinez won two batting titles, led the league in on-base percentage three times, and also had 838 extra base hits in his career. His OPS+ was 147 with a WAR of 68.3 in 7,213 at-bats. Appearing in the ALDS four times, Martinez posted a .375 batting average,.481 on-base percentage, 1.262 OPS, seven home runs, and 20 RBIs over 17 games.
David Ortiz has a career batting average of .284, an on-base percentage of .378, and an OPS of .925. He also has 1,105 extra base hits and 2,303 overall hits in 8,103 career at-bats. In his 19 seasons with the Minnesota Twins and Boston Red Sox, Ortiz has an OPS+ of 139 and a WAR of 50.4 in those years. Ortiz has found a lot of success in the postseason, appearing in the ALDS eight times, the ALCS six times, and the World Series three times. Three times the Red Sox have won the World Series with him as the DH and in 2013 he was named the World Series MVP.
The Baseball Hall of Fame voters could possibly give David Ortiz a bump for playing in so many postseason games, especially when he served as the hero for the Red Sox several times. One stat worth noting is that Edgar Martinez had better numbers in the ALDS (more homers, more RBIs, better AVG, better OPS, and better OBP) than Ortiz has posted. This is with Martinez only appearing in the ALDS four times compared to the eight appearances for Ortiz.
Martinez also finished his career with a better batting average, better on-base percentage, better OPS, better OPS+, and a higher WAR than Ortiz. The only place where Ortiz surpasses Martinez is in the counting stats, which includes more home runs and more strikeouts. In comparing the statistics of the two players, there isn’t enough difference for a baseball analyst to state that one guy deserves to be in the Hall of Fame over the other player.
The writers only have four more chances to elect Martinez to the Baseball Hall of Fame before he comes off the ballot. The 2016 Hall of Fame voting results don’t look very positive, but Martinez is certainly trending in the right direction. The story could have been exciting for Seattle Mariners fans if Martinez got elected on the same ballot as Ken Griffey, Jr., but that appears unlikely now. The question that could quickly be coming, though, is why should David Ortiz get elected to the Hall of Fame if Edgar Martinez isn’t already in?
[Photo by: Otto Greule, Jr/Getty Images]