Future Hall of Fame Shortstops

Future Hall of Fame Baseball Player Series:

  1. First Basemen
  2. Second Basemen
  3. Shortstops
  4. Third Basemen
  5. Outfielders – American League
  6. Outfielders – National League
  7. Catchers
  8. Starting Pitchers
  9. Closers

Shortstop is not the strongest position out there, but it’s certainly not as weak as second base is right now. I don’t think there are any “no doubt” hall of fame shortstops right now, although Derek Jeter is very close. I just couldn’t quite pull the trigger and say he’s in right now. On to the candidates.

Really good chance

  • Derek Jeter

Without question, Jeter is one of the best shortstops of his time, and maybe the best, now that Alex Rodgiuez has moved over to third base. If he were to retire today, there’s a good chance he would get voted in, but I wouldn’t say its a guarantee by any means. Jeter is 32 years old right now, and has no history of injury to speak of, so he could probably play another five years at a pretty high level. Let’s examine some of his statistical high points:

  • 2,223 hits – another five seasons averaging around 155 hits and he’ll reach the 3,000 mark.
  • 1,312 runs scored – he’s scored over 100 runs in all but one season, so he’ll probably end his career among the all-time leaders in this category.
  • .317 career batting average – That’s 5th among active players with at least 3,000 plate appearances, and his batting average has actually been getting better in recent years.

As far as awards and honors go, he won the Rookie of the Year award in 1996, was the 2000 World Series MVP, and has won 3 Gold Gloves. He’s also a seven time all-star. If he’s not already a Hall of Famer, he will be with another year or two of solid play.

  • Miguel Tejada

I don’t think Tejada is in the same class as Jeter, but he is certainly putting together a potential hall of fame career. He’s been one of the most durable players for the past decade, playing in 162 games in each of the last 6 seasons. He’s 31 years old, so he might also have another five years or so of decent production left in him. His career stats include:

  • 1,654 hits
  • 246 home runs
  • 982 RBI
  • 901 runs scored

I’ve got a feeling that his power numbers will continue to decrease (steroids?), but 2006 was a very solid year for him – 214 hits, 24 homers, 100 RBI, .330 batting average. If he does anything close to this for the next 4-5 years, he should end up with 2,500 hits, 350+ home runs and 1,400+ RBI. Very good numbers for a shortstop. Oh yeah, and he won the MVP in 2002.

50/50 Chance

  • Omar Vizquel

Vizquel is a very interesting case. He certainly is not known for his offensive prowess, but he is known for his defense. He has won 11 Gold Gloves, and could win another this year. He’s still the everyday shortstop for the Giants. His career is strikingly similar to Ozzie Smith’s. Let’s compare their numbers:

  Vizquel Smith
Hits 2,516 2,460
Runs 1,305 1,257
Doubles 406 402
Triples 69 69
Home Runs 73 28
RBI 832 793
Stolen Bases 369 580
Walks 910 1,072
Batting Average .275 .262
On Base % .341 .337
Gold Gloves 11 13

Vizquel is actually a little better in most offensive categories, and has nearly as many Gold Gloves. Ozzie just had that “it” factor going for him. I’m not sure Vizquel has that. In the end, I’m just not sure what to do with Omar, so that’s why I put him in the 50/50 chance category.

Iffy at best

  • Edgar Renteria

When you think of Hall of Fame type players, Edgar Renteria doesn’t usually come to mind, but he has quietly put together a very good career over the last 11 years. Right now he’s got 1,844 hits, 734 RBI, 975 runs, 266 stolen bases, and a .290 batting average. He started his career very young (age 20), which certainly helped him accumulate these numbers, but you can’t hold that against him. He’s only 31 right now, so he’s actually got an outside chance at 3,000 hits. How long he plays will be key, but I doubt he’ll reach 3,000 hits. His lack of power (only 113 career home runs), will also hurt his case for the hall.

Too early to tell

  • Jose Reyes

Reyes is really young (24 this month), but his career is off and running, literally. He has led the NL in stolen bases the last two season, and is killing the competition again this year. He’s got 186 career stolen bases so far, and barring injury, there’s a chance he could end up with 600+ by the time he’s done. The stolen base is a bit of a lost art, so its fun to see a guy that has a chance to dominate in the category again.

  • Jimmy Rollins

Rollins looks like a little bit younger, and slightly better version of Edgar Renteria. He’s 28 years old, but has some good numbers so far: 1,162 hits, 217 stolen bases, and 69 triples. Longevity will obviously be key here, and the ability to keep up the stolen bases and triples. He’s got a chance to end up as one of the best triples hitters of his day, for what that’s worth.

  • Michael Young

Michael Young has been one of the best pure and consistent hitters over the last 4 seasons. For the last 4 years, he’s finished in the top 3 in hits in the American League. He was the batting champ and hits leader in 2005. His career hit total is 1,164 and he’s 30 years old, so it will probably be tough for him to get very close to 3,000 hits. He’s off to a slow start this season, but if he can regain his form of the last four years, he’s got an outside shot at putting up HOF worthy numbers.

There are some other good, young shortstops out there like J.J. Hardy and Hanley Ramirez, but they don’t have enough skins on the wall to be in the conversation just yet. I think that Jeter, Tejada, Vizquel, and Reyes will end up getting in. I think the others will end up with very good careers, but it takes a great career to end up in the Hall of Fame.


15 Responses to “Future Hall of Fame Shortstops”

  1. bdunc1 Says:

    I think Vizquel is in for sure, though it probably won’t be a first-ballot occurrence. But you just can’t deny 11 gold gloves.

    I think Jeter is in the Hall of Fame today. He has the same “it” factor as Ozzie, plus his numbers are outstanding.

    Michael Young won’t make it as long as he is a Ranger, unfortunately.

  2. few4th Says:

    bdunc, the more I think about it, the more I think Vizquel will get in for sure. And I agree that Young won’t get in. Not because he’s a Ranger, but because he would need a string of several more 200 hit seasons to get numbers where they need to be, and he ain’t that young anymore.

  3. Elguille Says:

    other number that might help Vizquel to get in…

    Most DP by any shortstop in MLB History:
    Vizquel 1600
    Smith 1590
    Aparicio 1553

    Games played at SS:
    Aparicio 2583
    Smith 2511
    Vizquel 2484 (maybe he’ll be 1st by end of the season)

    Aparicio 2677
    Vizquel 2522
    Smith 2460

    I think he’s not in yet but really close.. if he can grab another GG and 1 more decent year he will be in for sure.

  4. few4th Says:

    Elguille, good numbers there. More numbers that make Vizquel look worthy of a making it to the Hall.

  5. Ken Says:

    as of today 8-22-07 the below are Miguel Tejada stats
    for first 10 years

    3 hits to 1700
    332 Doubles
    252 HRs
    1014 RBI
    AVG .287
    OBP .343
    SLUG 477

    EXTRA STUFF to think if hes a HoFer
    1-Time AL MVP( 2002)
    4- time AS (ss x 4)( 02 04 05 06)
    2-time Silver Sluggers SS,SS (04 05)
    1 RBI tittle 150RBIs (04)
    1-doubles tittle 50 (05)
    1- Sac. Flies tittle 14 (04)

    1 100 strikeout season only in first 10 years
    1-Allstart HR contest winner 2001
    1-MVP of AS game 2005
    Youngest man to be put on the top 500 hr list now listed 177 all time
    Youngest Player in AL (21) 1997

    3 200 hit seasons
    1-190+(199 hits)
    6 100 RBI seasons
    5 seasons of 30+ doubles
    2 seasons of 40+ doubles
    1 season of 50 doubles

    Many dont think he has a glove ,Hes not Jeter.974 FPCT with glove but hes holds hes own at 971 Yet did you knew that he almost every year he will lead in total chances, and Assists,6 of first 10yrs hes had 100+double plays and 1,005 double plays in 10yrs (really 9.2 worth of games played tho.

    In the Hall Of Fame for SS’s Hrs hes only behind Arod, Cal Rip,Banks, If Arod does not go back to short on new team then miggy has a chance to get 345hrs and pass Arod 345 at ss.

    I think he will play as long as he can do it because he love to play and get paid.

    How can anyone not put Vizquel in for glove and just glove no the dps and hits .Jeters going in at the highest ever rated bet

  6. andrew Says:

    Jeter is about 50 x better than Ozzie, on Smith’s best days. Derek’s the man. The Captain. The best.

  7. Ken Says:

    Most DP by any shortstop in MLB History:
    Vizquel 1600
    Smith 1590
    Aparicio 1553

    No one talks about miggy glove but in 9.7 worth of games and has over 1000+ double plays

  8. Ken Says:

    I wanted to add a few facts

    Look at Miguel Tejada’s stats for glove at 1500+ games a bit closer
    putouts 2300+
    Asst 4600+
    Double plays 1,025

    Now let look at a player like say Jeter
    Jeter 1800+ games
    putout 2700+
    Ast 4600+
    993 double plays

    Now once again Jeter 1800+ games Miggy 1500+
    both have same Ast 4600
    Jeter falls behind in double plays 1,025 to 993
    Miggy with almost 300 less games loses in putouts 2700+ to 2300+ something tells me that give same games miggy will match.

    To me miggy is underrated with the glove and and he was the best overall SS hitter in baseball since 98-06

  9. Ken Says:

    I wanted to add a few facts

    Look at Miguel Tejada’s stats for glove at 1500+ games a bit closer
    putouts 2300+
    Asst 4600+
    Double plays 1,025

    Now let look at a player like say Jeter
    Jeter 1800+ games
    putout 2700+
    Ast 4600+
    993 double plays

    Now once again Jeter 1800+ games Miggy 1500+
    both have same Ast 4600
    Jeter falls behind in double plays 1,025 to 993
    Miggy with almost 300 less games loses in putouts 2700+ to 2300+ something tells me that give same games miggy will match.

    To me miggy is underrated with the glove and and he was one of the best overall SS hitter in baseball since 98-06

  10. Jimmy Says:

    Jeter is definately in, as is Vizquel. Renteria has been pretty underated for a number of years and i would day he has a better chance than either Tejada or Young. Renteria already has over 2000 hits, 400 doubles, 1100 runs scored and will eventually close in on 300 steals and 1000 RBI’s. He has also won two gold gloves and famoulsy had the walk off hit of the 1997 series. Young has been very good for the past five years or so, but he got a late start and at the end his cumulative numbers will not be as impressive as the others’ from this era. Tejada’s (potential) power numbers could help in the long run, especially if he reaches 1500 RBI’s, but I think he got caught using some kind of banned substance, which will obviously hurt. Rollins will need to dore more, he will have a shot if he retires with over 300 home runs and 300 stolen bases. For youngsters like Reyes and Hanley Ramirez, the sky seems to be the limit but they obvoiulsy have to continue playing at that level to eventually have a chance.

  11. Ken Says:

    End of 09 season Miggys now played 12 full seasons and a Sept call up 26 games in 97

    1871 games

    Avg .289 5x over 300+

    Highs 4 were over 100

    2114 Hits
    7of 12 full seasons hes hit atleast 177+hits
    Highs of 177 179 199 199 203 204 214

    421 Doubles 10×30+
    Highs 40-42-46-50

    285 Hrs highs 4×20+ 4×30+hrs

    1185 RBIs 10×80+RBIs
    Overall 6 of 12 100+

    1200DPs turned and 5500ast Lifetime Glove% .971


    5th longest games played streak was stopped @1152
    6 of 12 full season hes played 162 games
    He just passed Mr Banks for 3rd most Hrs while playing shortstopat 278Hrs
    1 of 3 Shortstops to ever have 5 seasons in a row with 100+RBIs.
    1- Sac. Flies tittle 14


    1x RBI title lead MLB 150

    2 Doubles Titles 1X MLB leader and 1X NL

    2XSilver Slugger ( 2 in the AL)

    His 150 RBIs was most by a shortstop in 55 years and still is. Only 1x season where he stuckout 100.

    6x All-Star hes played for
    AS game MVP
    Hr Derby winner

  12. Ken Says:

    Never failed a test congress has the mitchell report.

    In Balt lt he was clear of no wrong doing.

    In last year he got busted lieing about hes knowing of players using.

    The mitchell report on him is manly 2nd hand down hear say. A smart man can see after Oakland hrs went down and RBis but Avg,Hits,Doubles have gone up.
    last year totals
    .313 199H 46D 14Hrs 86RBIs after the ties its was 14th highest total in NL

  13. Rowan Campbell Says:

    I would vote for Derek Jeter he is a tremendous all round ss .
    He is a great hitter and excellent defensive ss.
    He can hit for average, power and steal bases.
    the yankee captain has range and a powerful arm.
    he is the best yankee ss since Phil rizzuto.

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