Adrián Beltré, Todd Helton, and Joe Mauer are the newest MLB Hall of Fame members. All three reached the necessary 75% support on the Baseball Writers’ Association of America Hall of Fame ballot.
Beltré received 95.1% of the vote in his first year. The third baseman is only one of two infielders with 3,000 hits and five Gold Gloves — the other being fellow Hall-of-Famer Derek Jeter. The Dodgers signed Beltré as a 15-year-old out of the Dominican Republic in 1994, and he made his major league debut in June of 1998. With a career slash line of .286/.339/.480 with 477 dingers and the third-highest WAR (93.5) ever among third basemen, El Koja was pretty much a slam-dunk for the Hall.
Helton earned election in his sixth year on the ballot, with 76.1% after missing induction last year by only 11 votes. The Toddfather spent his entire 17-year career with the Colorado Rockies. Some would argue that worked against a quicker election, due to the hitter-friendly conditions of Coors Field, as he only earned 16.5% of votes in his first year of eligibility. However, Helton was definitely no joke on the road, as 142 of his 369 career home runs came as a visitor. His slash line of .316/.414/.539, .953 OPS, 68.1 WAR, and three Gold Gloves were ultimately enough for the writers to check the box this year for the five-time All-Star and four-time Silver Slugger.
Mauer, like Beltré a first-ballot Hall-of-Famer, received 79.7% of the vote and is only the 20th catcher to make it to Cooperstown. The backstop spent his entire 15-year career with his hometown Minnesota Twins, who drafted him No. 1 in 2001. At age 40, he is currently the youngest member of the Hall and will be the seventh Twinkie inducted. Mauer was impressive on both sides of the ball, with a .306/.388/.439 slash line and three Gold Gloves along with six All-Star selections, five Silver Sluggers, and three batting titles. Undoubtedly, Mauer was one of the best catchers of his generation.
Pitcher Billy Wagner fell just five votes short of induction (73.8%), with one year of eligibility left. The lights-out closer will go big or go home in 2025.
José Bautista, Victor Martínez, Bartolo Colón, Matt Holliday, Adrián González, Brandon Phillips, José Reyes, and James Shields drop off the ballot for not receiving at least 5% of votes required to return for 2025. Additionally, in his 10th and final year of eligibility, Gary Sheffield did not make the cut, as only 63.9% of writers selected his name on the ballot, putting him 43 votes short of election. A mention in the Mitchell Report likely reduced Sheffield’s chances at election by the writers. Getting in via an Era Committee looks like the next step for the slugger.
Former White Sox great Mark Buehrle hangs on for another year, garnering 32 votes (8.3%). Last year the lefty received 10.8% so he is trending down, but still hanging on.
New Candidates for 2025
There are some interesting names on next year’s ballot: Melky Cabrera, David Freese, Carlos Gómez, Carlos González, Curtis Granderson, Félix Hernández, Edwin Jackson, Adam Jones, Ian Kinsler, Francisco Liriano, Russell Martin, Brian McCann, Kendrys Morales, Dustin Pedroia, Martín Prado, Hanley Ramírez, Mark Reynolds, Fernando Rodney, CC Sabathia, Ichiro Suzuki, Troy Tulowitzki and Ben Zobrist.
Cabrera, Jackson, and Liriano all had stints with the South Siders. Suzuki should be a slam dunk, possibly amassing 100% of the vote. A solid case can be made for Sabathia as well, but it’s definitely not a no-brainer.