The 2019 Baseball Hall of Fame class has been announced, so who will be on the ballot for the first time in 2020?
Earlier this week the 2019 class for the Baseball Hall of Fame was unveiled, with first-ever unanimous selection Mariano Rivera joined by Roy Halladay, Edgar Martinez and Mike Mussina.
At least one player in his first year of eligibility has gained induction into Cooperstown every year since 2014, but will the streak continue in 2020? Who will be on the writers’ ballot for the first time next year?
The headliner among those who are Hall of Fame-eligible for the first time next year is Derek Jeter, who is a shoo-in with the only real question being if he joins former teammate Rivera as a unanimous selection.
But here’s a look at the other first-timers coming on the ballot for 2020, with some key numbers or accomplishments for each.
OF Bobby Abreu: 1998-2010: .297/.402/.492 slash-line, averaged 21 home runs, 95 RBI and 28 stolen bases per season. Posted at least a 5.2 WAR in seven straight seasons (1998-2004).
SP Cliff Lee: .611 career regular season win percentage, 2008 American League Cy Young Award winner, four-time All-Star, four other times top-10 in Cy Young Award voting
1B/DH Jason Giambi: 2000 American League MVP, Five-time All-Star, Eight seasons with 30-plus home runs-440 career home runs
1B/DH Paul Konerko: 439 career home runs, Five-time All-Star, 2005 ALCS MVP
SP Josh Beckett: 1.73 career postseason ERA (1.16 ERA in three World Series starts), 2003 World Series MVP, two-time World Series winner (Marlins and Red Sox)
3B Eric Chavez: Six-time Gold Glover, six straight seasons with over 25 home runs (2000-05), four 100 RBI seasons
OF Adam Dunn: 462 career home runs (exactly 40 four years in a row, 2005-08); .490 career slugging percentage
SS Rafael Furcal: 2000 National League Rookie of the Year, Three-time All-Star
OF/2B Alfonso Soriano: Seven-time All-Star, 40-40 season in 2006
2B Brian Roberts: Two-time All-Star, over 100 runs scored four times
OF/DH Raul Ibanez: Averaged 23 home runs and 89 RBI per season from age-30 to age-41 (2002-2013), with an .817 OPS and 1,800 hits over that span
If nothing else, a light class of first-year eligibles opens the door for Curt Schilling, Larry Walker and maybe even Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens to get enough of a boost in voting to gain induction next year.
All four need a big jump in the percentage of ballots they appear on though, and Walker will be in his 10th and final year on the writers’ ballot next year.