1) His current numbers are very nice, but there is no obvious HoF potential yet. He needs a lot more years at this level. If we assume 10 more years that equal the first 5, then we get to HoF numbers.

2) How can he get 10 more years like the first 5? He will have a decline after age 31-32, as all ML sluggers (all people in fact!) do suffer due to reduced speed, nagging injuries, normal aging in eyesight, etc. So he needs to have at least 3 years peaking higher than we have seen to offset the decline he will experience after age 32. At least 3 OPS+ seasons of around 185-195+ will be needed.

3) How likely is it that he will have 3 years like that (

**185-195+), **given his best is 166 now? It's less than 50/50. Why? Because most players have their 5 best years between ages 20-39, but 40% of those happen before age 28. (No one has their best 5 between 28-35.) Thus, we have likely seen 2 of his best 5 years, but it's not likely that we saw his 4th and 5th best season, while he has yet to have his 1st, 2nd and 3rd best.. While it's possible that he could have his 3 best years after after age 27, it's not very likely, given the averages. This makes it more difficult for him to sustain his quality stats over the next 10 years to match the prior 5 years.

http://baseballanalysts.com/archives/designated_hitter/
4) So what? So the next 5 years are critical to his chances because this is now where he is almost constrained to show higher peaks. If he can collect at least 2 seasons much better than this one (e.g., 185-195+) and do well in the rest, he will have an excellent chance to go to the hall. If he meanders between 130-160 the next 5 years, or misses most of a season or two due to injury, then his chances drop drastically.

5) Why? Because meandering means that all of his peak seasons were in the 145-166 range and, by the age of 37, his career OPS+ will drop to the 130's or lower. He will then have to keep playing well into his thirties to accumulate the counting stats to make up for falling quality stats.

He can still make it if he plays well into his 30's, the issues become: does he stay healthy? does he decline too fast? Career OPS+ values of 145 or more have a far better chance at the HoF than those around 130, UNLESS there is something ELSE great to back it up (awards, records, championships, base running, defensive wizardry, great relationships with votes, etc.)

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