Hall of Fame votes are already getting submitted by BBWAA members for the 2017 induction. Edgar Martinez is on the Hall of Fame ballot for the eighth time, along with newcomers Vladimir Guerrero, Ivan Rodriguez, and Manny Ramirez. A report by baseball analyst Ryan Tibbs reveals a tabulation of ballots that have been publicized by active voters. It gives a snapshot on the 2017 Hall of Fame voting and shows that Edgar Martinez may be receiving more support this year than at any time in the past. So far, he has received 60 percent of the votes which have been made public.
During his 18-year career in Major League Baseball, Martinez posted a 0.312 batting average, a 0.418 on-base percentage, and a 0.933 OPS. He amassed 2,247 hits, 1,283 walks, and 1,261 RBIs during that time. 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 0.375 batting average, 0.481 on-base percentage, 1.262 OPS, seven home runs, and 20 RBIs over 17 games.
Edgar Martinez is also one of just 10 players in MLB history to have at least 300 home runs, 500 doubles, 1000 walks, a 0.300 batting average, and an on-base percentage of 0.400 or better. Those numbers have led to various players campaigning for his inclusion in the Baseball Hall of Fame. They include Mariano Rivera, Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson, and Ken Griffey Jr. What he needs to enter Cooperstown, though, is more votes from the members of the Baseball Writers Association of America.
With 60 percent of the public 2017 Hall of Fame votes, it may show that a trend is taking place in the early numbers. Three people who didn’t have Martinez on their 2016 HOF ballot have voted for him this year, helping increase his early numbers. Those voters are Steve Politi, Adam Rubin, and George Wills. With an estimated 450 ballots cast this year, Martinez would need at least 338 of them (75 percent) to include his name.
Edgar Martinez first appeared on the Hall of Fame ballot for the 2010 induction, receiving 36.2 percent of the vote. Since that point, his best showing was on the 2016 BBWAA ballot, when he received 43.4 percent of the vote. Those numbers still don’t place him close to getting inducted, but it’s possible that he will gain support as his time on the ballot starts to run out. If Martinez fails to get inducted on the 2017 Hall of Fame ballot, he can only appear in front of the BBWAA voters two more times.
Some baseball fans are now comparing Martinez to David Ortiz, who some MLB experts predict will receive a lot of support to join the Hall of Fame in five years. Martinez compares very favorably to Ortiz, as he has better statistical numbers in many important categories. Martinez has a higher batting average, on-base percentage, OPS, OPS+, and is far ahead in WAR (wins above replacement). In fact, there are more than 100 players who have had a worse WAR number than Martinez who were also ahead of Ortiz on the career list.
There are a lot of notable players who are in the Baseball Hall of Fame who have a lower WAR than Edgar Martinez (68.3) did during his career. They include Ryne Sandberg (67.5), Ernie Banks (67.4), Don Drysdale (67.2),Roberto Alomar (66.8), Duke Snider (66.5), Craig Biggio (65.1), Andre Dawson (64.4), Dave Winfield (63.8), Bob Feller (63.8), Jackie Robinson (61.4), Harmon Killebrew (60.4), Yogi Berra (59.5), Whitey Ford (57.3), and Sandy Koufax (49.0). David Ortiz is at 55.4 for his career.
Voters have until the end of December to submit their ballots for the 2017 Hall of Fame class. Then Seattle Mariners fans will find out if Edgar Martinez has received enough support to gain induction to Cooperstown. While his support has been growing, Martinez would need many additional voters to start including him on their ballots. The continued backlog of players could hurt his chances, but being one of the best hitters in the game should eventually find Martinez a place in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
[Featured Image by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images]