Monday, March 31, 2008

Headed for the Hall?

I really wanted the Braves to come back and win against Washington last night, but the Ryan Zimmerman walk-off home run was a perfect ending to such a special night of baseball. Zimmerman is a great ball player, and the Nationals deserve to have some success this year and over the next decade. While watching the post-game interviews and highlights, I started thinking about how many Future Hall of Famers were on the field Sunday night, as well as how many other young players will be Hall of Fame candidates in 20 years or so.

Here's the list I came up with for Future Hall of Famers that were in the building Sunday night:

  • Chipper Jones
  • Jeff Francoeur
  • Tom Glavine
  • John Smoltz
  • Bobby Cox
  • Ryan Zimmerman
I realize that Francoeur and Zimmerman are both very young and unproven, but I think they have the capacity and body type to have long and very productive careers.

As for other Future Hall of Famers just beginning their careers, here's a short list I came up with:

  • Troy Tulowitzki
  • Billy Butler
  • Joe Mauer
  • Prince Fielder
  • David Wright
  • Miguel Cabrera

I didn't want to include any pitchers since their careers can easily be ruined by injuries. Of the 4 players above, I think Butler and Fielder are the most questionable due to their body types, but the definitely have the talent, and I think they both are intelligent and mature enough to realize that they'll have to take care of their bodies to reach their potential. Tulowitzki won't be the most prolific offensive shortstop to ever play, but his defensive and offensive skills combined make him very Cal Ripken-esque. Cabrera falls into the "bad body type" category, but I think as he matures and takes on more responsibility, he'll take proper care of himself.

Other players I thought about including in the list were Hanley Ramirez, Jose Reyes, Grady Sizemore, and Brian McCann, but none of those players seem to have the right mix of talent and potential for long, productive careers. Ramirez is probably the closest to being Hall of Fame caliber, but his defense is so terrible that I can't really include him in the list. Reyes is so dependent on his speed that I don't foresee his career being worthy of the Hall, and Sizemore doesn't have enough offensive talent for his position to put him in with other elite center fielders.

You may have your own short list of Future Hall of Famers, and you may very well have various disagreements with my list, so feel free to post your own list and opinions.

-Adam G.

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