There are 33 names on this year's Baseball Hall of Fame ballot -- we broke down every player's chances of being elected

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The results of the 2018 Baseball Hall of Fame balloting will be revealed later this month, and it looks like we could see a number of big names inducted into Cooperstown this summer.

The Hall of Fame is an independent institution, but it entrusts the Baseball Writers Association of America with the yearly task of deliberating over the legends of the game. Each writer may vote for up to 10 players, and all candidates appearing on at least 75% of the ballots become enshrined. A player can stay on the ballot for up to 10 voting cycles, though the Veterans Committee provides another avenue for those unable to sufficiently impress the writers.

Below, read all about the 33 retired stars who make up this year’s crop of candidates, some of whom will join Veterans Committee honorees Jack Morris and Alan Trammell at this summer’s induction ceremony. Predictions are based on the painstaking work of Ryan Thibodaux and his Baseball Hall of Fame Vote Tracker.


Barry Bonds, LF

Jed Jacobsohn/Getty

Year on ballot: 6th

2017 result: 53.8%

Key stats: .298/.444/.607 (182 OPS+), 762 HR, 1996 RBI, 2,935 hits, 2,558 BB, 514 SB

The lowdown: By the numbers, Bonds is on a level with Babe Ruth and Willie Mays, but when it comes to performance-enhancing drug allegations, he’s closer to names like Rafael Palmeiro and Jose Canseco. While his Hall of Fame case appears to be gaining steam, a combination of steroid use and a prickly demeanour weakened what would have been first-ballot support. Suffice it to say that no one is keeping the all-time home run king out based on his resume.

Will he be inducted in 2018?: No.


Chris Carpenter, SP

Ronald Martinez/Getty

Year on ballot: 1st

Key stats: 144-94, 3.76 ERA (116 ERA+), 1,697 K

The lowdown: Carpenter won the 2005 NL Cy Young Award and enjoyed several other seasons as one of the best pitchers in baseball, even though he lost several prime years thanks to a series of arm woes. He was also a great postseason pitcher, going 10-4 with a 3.00 ERA, but even with all that success, his peak was too low and too disjointed for him to remain on the ballot.

Will he be inducted in 2018?: No.


Roger Clemens, SP

Year on ballot: 6th

2017 result: 54.1%

Key stats: 354-184, 3.12 ERA (143 ERA+), 4,672 K

The lowdown: Clemens, along with Walter Johnson, Lefty Grove, and Tom Seaver, has a legitimate case as the greatest starting pitcher to ever play the game. But while he has a slam-dunk case by the numbers, his later career was tainted by allegations of PED use – he was named in the Mitchell Report, and while he testified under oath that he had never taken steroids, that episode ultimately led to six charges of perjury and obstruction (he was found not guilty). The voters are trending towards forgiveness, but he won’t get there this year.

Will he be inducted in 2018?: No.


Johnny Damon, CF

Ezra Shaw/Getty

Year on ballot: 1st

Key stats: .284/.352/.433 (104 OPS+), 235 HR, 1139 RBI, 2,769 hits, 408 SB

The lowdown: Damon was never the biggest star, but his caveman look and important role on a pair of championship teams, the 2004 Red Sox and the 2009 Yankees, made him one of the most prominent players of the 2000s. Passing the 3,000-hits milestone would have made his case significantly more controversial, but after falling over 200 knocks shy of that number, he’ll be remembered as good, but not great.

Will he be inducted in 2018?: No.


Vladimir Guerrero, RF

Stephen Dunn/Getty

Year on ballot: 2nd

2017 result: 71.7%

Key stats: .318/.379/.553 (140 OPS+), 449 HR, 1,496 RBI, 2,590 hits, 181 SB

The lowdown: Never one to work on his plate discipline, Guerrero hacked at just about every pitch he saw during his 16-year career, earning an MVP Award and nine All-Star nods along the way. His free-swinging mentality hurt his on-base percentage, but it also helped him put the ball in play – he never whiffed more than 95 times in a season, a rarity in a strikeout-happy era. The advanced stats peg him as a borderline candidate, but he should go sailing in this year.

Will he be inducted in 2018?: Yes.


Livan Hernandez, SP

Matthew Stockman/Getty

Year on ballot: 1st

Key stats: 178-177, 4.44 ERA (95 ERA+), 1,976 K

The lowdown: A workhorse righty who pitched in an era of steadily decreasing workloads, Hernandez topped 199 innings pitched in 10 consecutive seasons between 1998 and 2007. With two postseason series MVPs (both with the Marlins in 1997) and a pair of All-Star appearances, he’ll be remembered fondly, but he didn’t miss enough bats or prevent nearly enough runs for a spot on Cooperstown.

Will he be inducted in 2018?: No.


Trevor Hoffman, RP

Donald Miralle/Getty

Year on ballot: 3rd

2017 result: 74.0%

Key stats: 61-75, 2.87 ERA (141 ERA+), 601 SV, 1,035 G, 9.4 K/9

The lowdown: Hoffman recorded more saves than all but one man: Mariano Rivera. He spent 15 seasons as the Padres closer, a stretch that could have begun even earlier if not for his long and winding road to the big leagues. In terms of raw value, he ranks below names like Goose Gossage and Lee Smith, but both of those players were versatile firemen who could pitch multiple frames. In today’s era of the one-inning closer, Hoffman would be a solid addition to the Hall’s relief pitching corps.

Will he be inducted in 2018?: Probably.


Orlando Hudson, 2B

Dave Sandford/Getty

Year on ballot: 1st

Key stats: .273/.341/.412 (97 OPS+), 93 HR, 542 RBI, 1,319 hits, 85 SB

The lowdown: Hudson was regarded as one of the best fielders of his day, picking up four Gold Gloves in five seasons between 2005 and 2009, and today’s advanced fielding metrics back up that reputation. As far as glove-first second basemen go, he was one of the more popular ones, but he never topped 109 OPS+ in a single season, sealing his fate on the ballot.

Will he be inducted in 2018?: No.


Aubrey Huff, 1B

Denis Poroy/Getty

Year on ballot: 1st

Key stats: .278/.342/.464 (114 OPS+), 242 HR, 904 RBI, 1,699 hits

The lowdown: Huff’s career began in the heyday of the expansion Devil Rays and ended with a pair of World Series rings as a member of the turn-of-the-decade Giants. Along the way, he played four positions – all of them poorly – and topped 20 home runs in seven seasons between 2002 and 2010.

Will he be inducted in 2018?: No.


Jason Isringhausen, RP

Jonathan Daniel/Getty

Year on ballot: 1st

Key stats: 51-55, 3.64 ERA (115 ERA+), 300 SV, 724 G, 7.4 K/9

The lowdown: A trio of Tommy John surgeries didn’t stop Isringhausen from recording 300 saves, tied for the 26th-most in baseball history. That resume will leave him well short of the Hall of Fame, but he still pitched well for some memorable teams, including the world-champion Cardinals in 2006.

Will he be inducted in 2018?: No.


Andruw Jones, CF

Al Bello/Getty

Year on ballot: 1st

Key stats: .254/.337/.486 (111 OPS+), 434 HR, 1,289 RBI, 1,933 hits, 152 SB

The lowdown: Jones was just 19 years old when he played a starring role in the Braves’ unsuccessful 1996 World Series bid, becoming the youngest player ever to hit back-to-back homers in his first two plate appearances in the Fall Classic. He followed that up with a decade of solid offence and outstanding defence, and while his career ended too abruptly for the Hall of Fame, he may receive enough token support to remain on the ballot for 2019.

Will he be inducted in 2018?: No.


Chipper Jones, 3B

Daniel Shirey/Getty

Year on ballot: 1st

Key stats: .303/.401/.529 (141 OPS+), 468 HR, 1,623 RBI, 2,726 hits, 150 SB

The lowdown: Jones was a throwback to a bygone era, spending his entire career with the Atlanta Braves and leaving little room for doubt in his Hall of Fame case – baseball fans have had this summer circled for his induction since the moment he announced his 2012 retirement tour. Only two third basemen in history hit more home runs: Mike Schmidt and Eddie Mathews.

Will he be inducted in 2018?: Yes.


Jeff Kent, 2B

Jed Jacobsohn/Getty

Year on ballot: 5th

2017 result: 16.7%

Key stats: .290/.356/.500 (123 OPS+), 377 HR, 1518 RBI, 2,461 hits, 94 SB

The lowdown: If Kent had been even slightly above average in the field, his Hall of Fame case might be significantly stronger. But his defence at the keystone was usually mediocre at best, and while he won an MVP Award in 2000, he didn’t have enough time to accumulate value after making his first All-Star team at 31. He was good, but not for long enough.

Will he be inducted in 2018?: No.


Carlos Lee, LF

Bob Levey/Getty

Year on ballot: 1st

Key stats: .285/.339/.483 (113 OPS+), 358 HR, 1,363 RBI, 2,273 hits, 125 SB

The lowdown: Lee provided home run pop and surprisingly stellar baserunning for well over a decade, but his brutal defence kept him from really contributing at an All-Star level, his three appearances in the Midsummer Classic notwithstanding. He still made over $US130 million in his career, most of it from the Astros.

Will he be inducted in 2018?: No.


Brad Lidge, RP

Jeff Zelevansky/Getty

Year on ballot: 1st

Key stats: 26-32, 3.54 ERA (122 ERA+), 225 SV, 603 G, 11.9 K/9

The lowdown: Lidge provided most of his value as an Astro, but his first two seasons in Philadelphia are what really sum up the highs and lows his career. After a terrific 2008, in which he posted a 1.95 ERA and converted every one of his 41 save opportunities, he was abysmal in 2009, blowing 11 saves to the tune of a 7.21 mark. It was a memorable career, but not one worthy of enshrinement.

Will he be inducted in 2018?: No.


Edgar Martinez, DH

Jonathan Daniel/Getty

Year on ballot: 9th

2017 result: 58.6%

Key stats: .312/.418/.515 (147 OPS+), 309 HR, 1,261 RBI, 2,247 hits

The lowdown: A quintessential late-bloomer, Martinez didn’t play more than 65 games in a season until 1990, when he was 27 years old. While he made up for lost time, posting a 153 OPS+ between that year and 2003, that delayed start prevented him from compiling Hall-of-Fame counting stats. Still, his status as the first greatest designated hitter of all time – David Ortiz arrives on the ballot in 2022 – should be enough for eventual enshrinement, even if it doesn’t happen this year.

Will he be inducted in 2018?: Quite possibly. If not, 2019 will be his year.


Hideki Matsui, LF

Al Bello/Getty

Year on ballot: 1st

Key stats: .282/.360/.462 (118 OPS+), 175 HR, 760 RBI, 1,253 hits

The lowdown: Nicknamed “Godzilla,” this two-time All-Star was the greatest Japanese position player to make a successful transition to the states since Ichiro Suzuki. It didn’t take him long to find his footing, as he clubbed 140 home runs for the most iconic team in the league, capping his time with the Yankees by earning World Series MVP honours in 2009. Cooperstown won’t call, but he seems like a lock for the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame.

Will he be inducted in 2018?: No.


Fred McGriff, 1B

Rick Stewart/Getty

Year on ballot: 9th

2017 result: 21.7%

Key stats: .284/.377/.509 (134 OPS+), 493 HR, 1,550 RBI, 2,490 hits

The lowdown: This Floridian had the bad fortune of being one of the game’s best home run hitters in an era that directly preceded an unprecedented power explosion. In 1992, McGriff led the National League with 35 home runs; six years later, Mark McGwire clocked 70 to set a new record. Writers with fond memories of a more innocent age may still vote for him, but his serious support has all but dried up.

Will he be inducted in 2018?: No.


Kevin Millwood, SP

Denis Poroy/Getty

Year on ballot: 1st

Key stats: 169-152, 4.11 ERA (106 ERA+), 2,083 K

The lowdown: Millwood spent most of the second half of his career as a mediocre pitcher for mediocre teams, but he did produce his fair share of highlights in his younger days, finishing third in the NL Cy Young voting in 1999 and leading the AL with a 2.86 ERA in 2005.

Will he be inducted in 2018?: No.


Jamie Moyer, SP

Chris McGrath/Getty

Year on ballot: 1st

Key stats: 269-209, 4.25 ERA (103 ERA+), 2,441 K

The lowdown: A reasonably effective pitcher in four different decades, Moyer received his first Cy Young vote at 36, made his first All-Star team at 40, and won his lone World Series ring at 45. Even with the 35th-most wins in history, the Hall of Fame numbers just aren’t there, but if there were a Hall of Longevity, he’d be a strong candidate for the inaugural class.

Will he be inducted in 2018?: No.


Mike Mussina, SP

Chris Trotman/Getty

Year on ballot: 5th

2017 result: 51.8%

Key stats: 270-153, 3.68 ERA (123 ERA+), 2,813 K

The lowdown: Mussina spent nearly two decades in the brutally tough AL East, squaring off with sluggers from Joe Carter and Albert Belle to Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz. He wasn’t necessarily viewed as a future Hall of Famer while he was playing, but after adjusting for era, his career matches up favourably with greats like Gaylord Perry and Joe Niekro. Last year, his fourth on the ballot, voters began to realise that.

Will he be inducted in 2018?: No, but perhaps in 2019.


Manny Ramirez, OF

Jim Rogash/Getty

Year on ballot: 2nd

2017 result: 23.8%

Key stats: .312/.411/.585 (154 OPS+), 555 HR, 1,831 RBI, 2,574 hits

The lowdown: Ramirez slugged 555 home runs, made 12 All-Star teams, and helped usher in a new era for a city that had only known baseball heartbreak. He also failed two official drug tests, the latter of which precipitated the end of his career in 2011. By value, his case is a slam dunk, but his steroid-riddled past makes him an easy omission on the ballot, even for the most forgiving of voters.

Will he be inducted in 2018?: No.


Scott Rolen, 3B

Jed Jacobsohn/Getty

Year on ballot: 1st

Key stats: .281/.364/.490 (122 OPS+), 316 HR, 1,287 RBI, 2,077 hits, 118 SB

The lowdown: With seven All-Star appearances and eight Gold Gloves, Rolen’s borderline Hall of Fame case might look significantly better if he didn’t have to share the ballot with fellow third baseman Chipper Jones, whose offensive numbers are far superior. It would be a shame to see his candidacy languish near the bottom of the ballot, but better third basemen (Ron Santo, Graig Nettles) have received similarly short shrift from the writers.

Will he be inducted in 2018?: No.


Johan Santana, SP

Mike Stobe/Getty

Year on ballot: 1st

Key stats: 139-78, 3.20 ERA (136 ERA+), 1988 K

The lowdown: For a short time, Santana was the best pitcher in baseball, winning the Cy Young Award in 2004 and 2006 and receiving votes on four other occasions between 2003 and 2008. He returned from a shoulder tear to achieve one final moment of glory in 2012, when he pitched the first no-hitter in Mets franchise history, but that herculean effort – 134 pitches -may have been what shortened his career so severely. Manager Terry Collins said the game was “the worst night I’ve ever spent in baseball.”

Will he be inducted in 2018?: No.


Curt Schilling, SP

Jeff Gross/Getty

Year on ballot: 6th

2017 result: 45.0%

Key stats: 216-146, 3.46 ERA (127 ERA+), 3,116 K

The lowdown: With a 2.23 ERA in 133 postseason innings and three runner-up finishes in the Cy Young voting, Schilling’s resume is Cooperstown-quality. But some of his post-retirement actions have complicated his case, as his social media posts on Islam, transgender issues, and other topics have caused endless controversy. He even tweeted a photo of a t-shirt bearing the slogan “Rope. Tree. Journalist. Some Assembly Required” – not a great look, especially when sportswriters are the ones with the Hall of Fame ballots.

Will he be inducted in 2018?: No, but his day is coming.


Gary Sheffield, RF

Doug Pensinger/Getty

Year on ballot: 4th

2017 result: 13.3%

Key stats: .292/.393/.514 (140 OPS+), 509 HR, 1,676 RBI, 2,689 hits, 253 SB

The lowdown: Sheffield’s dour demeanour caused him to play for eight teams in his career, and his connection to Barry Bonds and the BALCO scandal certainly hasn’t helped his candidacy. Still, his relatively modest WAR total is depressed by highly punitive defensive metrics. At the plate, he generated more value than both Frank Thomas and Edgar Martinez, two players with Hall of Fame cases built on offence alone.

Will he be inducted in 2018?: No.


Sammy Sosa, RF

Year on ballot: 6th

2017 result: 8.6%

Key stats: .273/.344/.534 (128 ERA+), 609 home runs, 1667 RBI, 2,408 hits, 234 SB

The lowdown: Sosa’s candidacy is caught in a tragic limbo: he’s been excluded by the old school, which abhors his reported positive test for PEDs, but ignored by the new school, which doesn’t view his staggering home run total as an automatic ticket to Cooperstown. He’ll have to hope that his status as a Steroid Era pariah eventually fades, but that possibility feels light years away.

Will he be inducted in 2018?: No.


Jim Thome, 1B

David Maxwell/Getty

Year on ballot: 1st

Key stats: .276/.402/.554 (147 OPS+), 612 HR, 1,699 RBI, 2,328 hits

The lowdown: Thome hit the eighth-most home runs in MLB history, but unlike the cases of Bonds, Ramirez, and Sosa, there are no PED allegations to dog him as he begins his time on the ballot. Like Frank Thomas in 2014, he should go sailing in.

Will he be inducted in 2018?: Yes.


Omar Vizquel, SS

Andy Lyons/Getty

Year on ballot: 1st

Key stats: .272/.336/.352 (82 OPS+), 80 HR, 951 RBI, 2,877 hits, 404 SB

The lowdown: This shortstop is poised to have the most controversial candidacy of this year’s newcomers to the ballot. Even with his outstanding defensive numbers, Vizquel lags far behind the average Hall of Fame shortstop in terms of advanced metrics, yet his grit and sure glove will make him a popular choice among more traditional voters. The writers won’t put him in, but the Veterans Committee could be his salvation, just as it was for fellow light-hitting infielders Phil Rizzuto and Bill Mazeroski.

Will he be inducted in 2018?: No.


Billy Wagner, RP

Ronald Martinez/Getty

Year on ballot: 3rd

2017 result: 10.2%

Key stats: 47-40, 2.31 ERA (187 ERA+), 422 SV, 853 G, 11.9 K/9

The lowdown: For all the talk of the electorate’s evolving standards, Wagner is proof that the save statistic isn’t going away any time soon. The Virginian pitched as well as contemporary Trevor Hoffman for the better part of two decades, blowing him away in the rate stats, but while Hoffman and his 601 saves polled at over 73% last year, Wagner’s total of 422 has him in danger of falling off the ballot. We’ll see if he gets a bump this year, but with a crowded crop of candidates, using even one slot on a reliever is a big ask.

Will he be inducted in 2018?: No.


Larry Walker, RF

Tom Hauck/Getty

Year on ballot: 8th

2017 result: 21.9%

Key stats: .312/.411/.585 (141 OPS+), 383 home runs, 1,311 RBI, 2,160 hits, 230 SB

The lowdown: While he fell short of the traditional counting milestones, Walker was a three-time batting champion who could also run the bases and play the outfield. He slugged above .600 in six out of eight seasons following the 1994 strike, but the hitters’ heaven that is Coors Field certainly played a role in that – for his career, his OPS was over 200 points higher at home than on the road. Still, he has a chance to be the biggest gainer on this year’s ballot.

Will he be inducted in 2018?: No, but he could be a dark horse for 2020.


Kerry Wood, SP

Dilip Vishwanat/Getty

Year on ballot: 1st

Key stats: 86-75, 3.67 ERA (117 ERA+), 63 SV, 1,582 K

The lowdown: One of just three pitchers to strike out 20 batters in a single game, Wood’s place in baseball history rests on his arm troubles as much as his intimidating velocity. 2004 was his last season with over 70 innings pitched; from there, he had two more injury-plagued years before making a successful transition to the bullpen, where he recorded 63 saves between 2008 and 2011. He displayed fearsome stuff for well over a decade, but could never stay on the field for long enough to fully realise it.

Will he be inducted in 2018?: No.


Carlos Zambrano, SP

Jonathan Daniel/Getty

Year on ballot: 1st

Key stats: 132-91, 3.66 ERA (120 ERA+), 1,637 K

The lowdown: With 37.1 WAR through his age-29 season, Zambrano had a chance to build a Hall of Fame resume, but diminished stuff and a bad attitude punched his ticket out of Chicago and plunged him into relative obscurity in Miami, where he played the final game of his career back in 2012. He’ll be remembered for his sinister stuff as well as his surprisingly potent bat -he hit 24 home runs and won three Silver Sluggers in his career.

Will he be inducted in 2018?: No.

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