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The Under-30 HOF candidates

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  • The Under-30 HOF candidates

    Who are the players with the best careers through age 29 who aren’t in the HOF? Not including players not in because of PED issues, or plarers who are or will be eligible and are expected to be shoo-ins. Here are some to consider:

    Andruw Jones
    Ron Santo
    Scott Rolen
    Cesar Cedeno
    Dick Allen
    Buster Posey
    David Wright
    Vada Pinson
    Andrew McCutchen
    Evan Longoria
    Joe Mauer
    Nomar Garciaparra
    Last edited by Stolensingle; 12-24-2019, 01:53 AM.

  • #2
    Nice list. You could swap in Bobby Bonds for Ron Santo. Among older players Cecil Travis comes to mind.

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    • #3
      Ron Santo is in the HOF.

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      • #4
        Albert Belle and Juan Gonzalez come to mind.

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        • #5
          Most of Dale Murphy's productive seasons came prior to age 30.

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          • #6
            Darryl Strawberry merits mention. Three of the players on your list are still active and two more haven't been retired for the requisite five years, so naturally they aren't in the Hall of Fame.
            Last edited by NJRob65; 12-24-2019, 07:25 AM.

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            • #7
              Tony Oliva

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              • #8
                A few more:

                Wally Berger
                Chuck Knoblauch
                Kenny Lofton
                Fred Lynn


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                • #9
                  Doc Gooden
                  Vern Stephens
                  Thurman Munson
                  Mo Vaughn

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                  • #10
                    Dave Parker

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                    • #11
                      20+ WAA, Thru Age-29 Season, Outside Cooperstown

                      P – Kevin Appier, Tommy Bond, Ted Breitenstein, Charlie Buffinton, Madison Bumgarner, Bob Caruthers, Roger Clemens, Wes Ferrell, Ned Garver, Dwight Gooden, Zack Greinke, Noodles Hahn, Cole Hamels, Felix Hernandez, Clayton Kershaw, Silver King, Jim Maloney, Jim McCormick, Sam McDowell, Tony Mullane, Roy Oswalt, Rick Reuschel, Jose Rijo, Nap Rucker, CC Sabathia, Bret Saberhagen, Chris Sale, Johan Santana, Dave Stieb, Jack Stivetts, Justin Verlander, Brandon Webb, Jim Whitney, Carlos Zambrano
                      C – Joe Mauer, Thurman Munson, Buster Posey
                      1B – Miguel Cabrera, Will Clark, Paul Goldschmidt, Todd Helton, Keith Hernandez, Albert Pujols, Mark Teixeira, Joey Votto
                      2B – Jose Altuve, Cupid Childs, Fred Dunlap, Bobby Grich, Chuck Knoblauch, Gil McDougald, Dustin Pedroia, Willie Randolph, Chase Utley, Lou Whitaker
                      3B – Dick Allen, Nolan Arenado, Sal Bando, Buddy Bell, Adrian Beltre, Heinie Groh, Evan Longoria, Denny Lyons, Manny Machado, John McGraw, Scott Rolen, David Wright
                      SS – Bill Dahlen, Jim Fregosi, Nomar Garciaparra, Jack Glasscock, Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Andrelton Simmons, Vern Stephens, Troy Tulowitzki
                      LF – Barry Bonds, Ryan Braun, Charlie Keller, Sherry Magee, Willie Wilson, Christian Yelich
                      CF – Carlos Beltran, Pete Browning, Cesar Cedeno, Andruw Jones, Chet Lemon, Kenny Lofton, Andrew McCutchen, Vada Pinson, Reggie Smith, Mike Trout
                      RF – Bobby Abreu, Mookie Betts, Bobby Bonds, Rocky Colavito, J.D. Drew, Joe Jackson, Dave Parker, Darryl Strawberry, Giancarlo Stanton
                      DH – n/a
                      "It is a simple matter to erect a Hall of Fame, but difficult to select the tenants." -- Ken Smith
                      "I am led to suspect that some of the electorate is very dumb." -- Henry P. Edwards
                      "You have a Hall of Fame to put people in, not keep people out." -- Brian Kenny
                      "There's no such thing as a perfect ballot." -- Jay Jaffe

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                      • #12
                        Don Mattingly's last HOF caliber season was at age 28.

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                        • #13
                          Ryan Braun looked like he may be headed for the HOF through age 28 or 29.

                          This thread makes me wonder if we may some day include Mike Trout in this group.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by jjpm74 View Post
                            Ron Santo is in the HOF.
                            Oopsie, I missed that.

                            Originally posted by willshad View Post

                            This thread makes me wonder if we may some day include Mike Trout in this group.
                            No way. While it's certainly possible Trout might turn out to have a disappointing career past 30, he's already a lock to make the HOF just based on what he's done so far, so he doesn't fit the criteria I defined. I'm basically trying to identify players who are not in the HOF, and have a very good chance of never getting in, who had HOF-level production up to about 30, after which injuries, an unusually early and/or sharp decline, early retirement, or other factors didn't allow them to seal the deal.

                            I was inspired by two current candidates who look quite unlikely to get in: Andrew Jones and Jeff Kent. If Jones had just been an average player through his late 30s, he would be almost impossible to ignore, while if Kent had played as well in his mid to late 20s as he did in his early to mid 30s, he'd be a very strong candidate.
                            Last edited by Stolensingle; 12-25-2019, 12:41 AM.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Stolensingle View Post

                              No way. While it's certainly possible Trout might turn out to have a disappointing career past 30, he's already a lock to make the HOF just based on what he's done so far, so he doesn't fit the criteria I defined. I'm basically trying to identify players who are not in the HOF, and have a very good chance of never getting in, who had HOF-level production up to about 30, after which injuries, an unusually early and/or sharp decline, early retirement, or other factors didn't allow them to seal the deal.

                              I was inspired by two current candidates who look quite unlikely to get in: Andrew Jones and Jeff Kent. If Jones had just been an average player through his late 30s, he would be almost impossible to ignore, while if Kent had played as well in his mid to late 20s as he did in his early to mid 30s, he'd be a very strong candidate.
                              I totally agree here. One need only look at his teammate Albert Pujols as an example. Pujols was arguably the best player in baseball when he was in his 20s. I remember that around the time the Angels signed him, many were projecting him to contend for the all time home run and hits crowns. Then he saw a sharp rapid decline. Even with that decline, Pujols will be a first ballot HOFer as soon as he is eligible.

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