Monday, the BBWAA released the 2020 ballot consisting of 32 names…14 returners and 18 new names for fans to argue their inclusion (or not).
Leading the pack (obviously) is Jeter, but the rest of the first-timers are highlighted by a bunch of guys who could be one and done or end up sticking around for all ten years of their eligibility.
So, with just two months until the eventual 2020 Hall of Fame class is revealed…let’s get to the first ballot nominees!
DEREK JETER. With five World Series rings and 3465 hits, Derek Jeter will have absolutely no issues when it comes to making it into the Hall of Fame. Matter of fact, dude is one of those rare cases where the BBWAA could’ve saved everyone’s time by just putting him in the minute after he retired.
ON THE BUBBLE.
BOBBY ABREU. Fun fact. Bobby Abreu fell a dozen home runs short of becoming just the third player (and the first not named Bonds) to hit 300 home runs and steal 400 bases. However…fun facts don’t get guys inducted into the Hall of Fame and a lot of times they struggle to even make it to a second ballot.
PAUL KONERKO. 439 home runs is pretty awesome, but not good enough. And you better believe Chicago White Sox fans will grouse when Paul Konerko falls off the ballot after one year.
ADAM DUNN. Nearly half (49.9%) of Adam Dunn’s 8328 plate appearances resulted in a home run (462), a walk (1317) or a strikeout (2379). It means absolutely nothing…but is fun to mention.
JASON GIAMBI. Looking at pictures of Jason Giambi standing alongside the likes of Rivera and Jeter (and even Alex Rodriguez!) during their collective New York Yankees heyday and you’d think he’d waltz right into the Hall of Fame. Sadly…the numbers just aren’t there. Not even close.
CLIFF LEE. Is Cliff Lee the “poor man’s Roy Oswalt” or vice versa? Either way, just like Oswalt, it’s possible the 2008 American League Cy Young award winner might not even make it to a second ballot.
ALFONSO SORIANO. Early in his career, the onetime 40-40 guy looks like he might have a shot at the Hall of Fame. Then reality set it.
THE OTHER ELIGIBLES. Josh Beckett, Heath Bell, Eric Chavez, Chone Figgins, Rafael Furcal, Raul Ibanez, Carlos Pena, Brad Penny, JJ Putz, Brian Roberts, and Jose Valverde.
It’s worth noting that the BBWAA has elected at least two candidates in six straight years…resulting in 20 new Hall of Famers.
The 2020 Hall of Fame class will be announced January 21, but you can follow along in real time HERE.