Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

How baseball Hall of Fame voting trends are evolving

Thibodaux said one of the most interesting things about the electorate is how it has decreased in size. To earn a Hall of Fame vote, writers have to be BBWAA members for 10 years. But a new rule established in 2016 removed voters who hadn’t been active members for 10 or more years.

“That really makes a huge difference, especially when most of the people who have left the electorate are the older voters,” Thibodaux said. “Certainly they are more anti-PED than the younger voters. They also don’t vote based on analytics as much. They tend to be smaller-Hall style voters.”

The number of voters dropped from 549 in 2015 to 440 in 2016. After the ballots peaked at 581 in 2011, they’ve resided between 440 and 397 since the rule change.

Since 2016, Thibodaux points to Tim Raines, Edgar Martinez, and Larry Walker as evidence of change in voting criteria. None of those three reached 3,000 hits, which has long been an important consideration needed to gain entrance to the Hall as a batter.

David Ortiz, another candidate with fewer than 3,000 hits, has a chance to be a first-ballot Hall of Famer.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 12, 2022 at 12:03 PM | 8 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hall of fame

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Srul Itza Posted: January 12, 2022 at 02:35 PM (#6060808)
None of those three reached 3,000 hits, which has long been an important consideration needed to gain entrance to the Hall as a batter.

There are only 32 players who reached that number. That would make for a pretty darn small hall.
   2. Walt Davis Posted: January 12, 2022 at 04:23 PM (#6060828)
And of course Ortiz cracked 500 HRs.

The purge certainly changed things. Beyond that though, the process of change is a slow one. You get only something like 12-15 new voters per year; they seem to lose about the same number although that bounces around more. But roughly, about 4% leaves and 4% joins. Over the course of a player's 10 years on the ballot, about 36% of the electorate would have turned over. That would presumably help somebody like Rolen or Helton (assuming new voters are more WAR friendly) but it's not enough turnover to help somebody like Abreu.

We can use Helton as an example. This year he's gotten votes from 8 of 12 new voters. While that's probably a "substantial" improvement relative to the number of votes he got last year from whoever is not voting this year, it's no more than maybe 4 "extra" votes and, importantly, his support among this year's newbies is still just 67%, short of 75%. It hasn't really changed anything for him. In his 2nd year on the ballot, Helton received just 1 of 9 votes from newbies; 6 of 13 the year after that; now 8 of 12 so far. He may have converted some of those previous newbies (or lost one or two) but that's a baseline of 15 out of 34 newbies in his time on the ballot. Conversions have been a much bigger component of his growth (as will be true for anybody who advances) adding 49 in 2020, 49 again in 2021 and 11 so far this year. (Some of those conversions probably being old newbies of course.)

Looks like Ryan started tracking 1st-time voters in 2015. 2017 was the first year B/C cracked 75% with the 1st-time voters and they've done that every year since but they've never hit 100%.

EDIT: actually looks like it's more 3% turnover per year, not 4%.
   3. JRVJ Posted: January 12, 2022 at 07:20 PM (#6060860)
There's a ton of ballot real estate which is going to open up after this year (when Bonds, Clemens, Sosa and Schilling are off the ballot). Even moreso if Ortíz is chosen on the 1st ballot. And there's only one really solid candidate coming on the ballot in 2023 (Beltrán) and 2024 (Beltre).

Looking forward, the one player I am rooting for is Rolen, who seems like he should make it in, no later than 2024 (I wasn't particularly a fan of Rolen when he played, but he's the type of guy that I am excited to see being recognized nowadays).

Helton might get some serious traction out of this year, but I'm still fairly sanguine about his chances.
   4. alilisd Posted: January 12, 2022 at 09:43 PM (#6060874)
Helton might get some serious traction out of this year, but I'm still fairly sanguine about his chances.

I think he's doing really well, and all the benefits you cited will accrue to him as well. He's made excellent progress each year from his first. He stands at 57% right now, and he only lost 2.4% from his preliminary total last year. If Ortiz goes in, he'll be over 50% and the second highest guy returning to the ballot in his 5th year. That's a very good position to be in.
   5. JRVJ Posted: January 13, 2022 at 12:41 PM (#6060947)
4, nothing against Helton.

It's just that he has a steeper mountain to climb due to playing in Denver (pun intended).
   6. SoSH U at work Posted: January 13, 2022 at 12:45 PM (#6060950)
Once Rolen goes in, likely next year especially if Ortiz makes it this year, Helton is the next in line. I think he's in by 2025 at the latest.
   7. Walt Davis Posted: January 13, 2022 at 03:21 PM (#6060969)
At this point, probably the only way that Helton doesn't make it is if he has the bad luck to have big waves of 1st ballot guys over his last couple of ballots. Otherwise he'll likely plod along adding 5-7% of the vote until a big jump that puts him over. Even if he doesn't make it by the writers, he'll come close enough a VC is almost certain to put him in.

He's also in a good spot because 4 of the 5 voters who've dropped him this year are also B/C voters (and some Schilling/Sosa) and three of those 4 are full ballots so there's a very good chance they'll add him back next year. It would be interesting to look at whether (for non-Vizquel type examples) the number of adds or the overall +/- is a better measure of ballot momentum going forward -- i.e. whether there are any indicators of permanent vs temporary drops. Helton has the most adds of any player, his drops seem mainly about full ballots (i.e. he's 11th or worse on this ballot for those voters) and those ballots are opening up -- the 16 adds might well be more meaningful.

Andruw's similarly situated -- 5 of his 7 drops are full ballots with B/C/etc and the two non-full's are also at least B/C voters. Wagner is a full 5 for 5 in his drops. Both of those guys probably get most of those votes back next year. We could dig deeper but, the bizarre Juan Vene aside, the Helton/Andruw/Wagner drops are mainly the result of losing the battle for the 10th spot on the crowded B/C ballots.

Note, among non-B/C voters so far, there are no full ballots -- one 9, three 8s. The 9 has Helton, Hunter, Andruw, Kent, Ortiz, Schilling, Sheffield, Vizquel and Wagner.
   8. alilisd Posted: January 13, 2022 at 06:11 PM (#6060988)
6. SoSH U at work Posted: January 13, 2022 at 12:45 PM (#6060950)
Once Rolen goes in, likely next year especially if Ortiz makes it this year, Helton is the next in line. I think he's in by 2025 at the latest.

Yep, he's following a very typical path so far, and will have a good open road in front of him in the next few years.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.



<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Dynasty League Baseball

Support BBTF


Thanks to
for his generous support.

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogYankees, White Sox benches clear after Josh Donaldson calls Tim Anderson 'Jackie' Robinson
(47 - 10:45am, May 23)
Last: Rally

NewsblogOT Soccer Thread - Crowning Champions and Pro-Rel
(160 - 10:42am, May 23)
Last: AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale

NewsblogFormer Giants fan-favorite infielder Joe Panik retires from MLB
(14 - 10:29am, May 23)
Last: Ziggy: social distancing since 1980

(7 - 10:27am, May 23)
Last: Ziggy: social distancing since 1980

NewsblogAdley Rutschman, MLB's No. 1 prospect, called up to O's
(28 - 10:20am, May 23)
Last: Ziggy: social distancing since 1980

NewsblogZach Davies’ estranged wife says MLB pitcher ghosted her for a year
(58 - 10:14am, May 23)
Last: BDC

NewsblogWEEKEND OMNICHATTER for May 20-22, 2022
(120 - 9:59am, May 23)
Last: The Duke

NewsblogSports teams love crypto. What happens when their sponsor strikes out?
(12 - 8:35am, May 23)
Last: AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale

Newsblog2022 NBA Playoffs thread
(1721 - 8:03am, May 23)
Last: Cagerfan

NewsblogJuan Soto trade rumors: Nationals may be 'motivated' to trade outfielder
(57 - 5:51am, May 23)
Last: Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama

NewsblogSeattle Mariners sign Justin Upton
(14 - 12:33am, May 23)
Last: bookbook

NewsblogRoger Angell, Who Wrote About Baseball With Passion, Dies at 101
(52 - 10:48pm, May 22)
Last: ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick

Sox TherapyOne Step Forward
(18 - 4:59pm, May 22)
Last: Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful

NewsblogNew York Mets' Max Scherzer out 6-8 weeks with oblique strain
(16 - 12:25pm, May 21)
Last: nick swisher hygiene

NewsblogSports Venues Create Quiet Refuge for Fans with Sensory Needs
(2 - 7:23pm, May 20)
Last: AndrewJ

Page rendered in 0.2665 seconds
48 querie(s) executed