Noted Canadian Jonah Keri makes the case, again, for other noted Canadian Larry Walker’s place in baseball history and for his induction into the baseball Hall of Fame. This is great to hear from Keri, although anybody who has followed Walker’s candidacy over the past few years won’t find any new information (Keri makes good use of adjusted batting metrics, Walker’s five-tool profile, and his JAWS score).
Keri led the charge to get Tim Raines into the Hall of Fame through a multi-year campaign that ultimately convinced enough voters to see how good of a career Raines had. It would probably work for Walker, too, if only eligibility wasn’t reduced from 15 to 10 seasons on the ballot. Walker earned 34.1% of the vote last year, which is well short of the 75% needed, and he only has two rounds of eligibility left.
I’ve resigned myself to the fact that Walker is not going to get voted in by the BBWAA. If he did manage to earn 41 percentage points more of the vote over the next two years, it would be an unprecedented leap. But I’m more confident now, too, that Walker will get in to the Hall of Fame — it’ll just be by committee rather than writers’ vote. Walker should be on the Today’s Game Committee in 2022, which is part of the new iteration of the Veteran’s Committee, except they actually elect people who are still alive.
Here’s how I prefer to look at it, and part of it depends on how well Todd Helton does in his first year of eligibility: There’s a pretty decent chance that Walker and Helton can enter the Hall of Fame at the same time.
So who’s going to join me in Cooperstown in 2023?
Want to join the crowd and voice your Hall of Fame preferences? FanGraphs is crowdsourcing their audience to see who they think should be voted in to the Hall of Fame. The ballot rules follow the rules of a real ballot, which means that you can only vote for 10 players. Unlike Deadspin’s crowdsourcing a couple of years ago, this ballot isn’t owned by a real voter. It’s just for fun.
Jon Gray, understandably, was not too happy about how his 2018 season progressed and ultimately ended. To prepare for next season, he’s focusing on making physical changes. Patrick Saunders reports that Gray is pushing his offseason workouts, and that he wants to add 20 pounds of weight before spring training. He attributes weight and strength loss to his velocity decrease in 2018. That could be part of it, but getting a year older likely does as well.
Gray is also thinking through mental changes. Saunders talked to Adam Ottavino, and Otto said that when Gray has a poor outing, he at least directs his anger to the right place. He takes an introspective look rather than placing blame elsewhere. At the same time, however, Ottavino said that Gray should stop overthinking small setbacks and instead to just keep competing.
This is a great read in anticipation of what will be a major 2019 storyline for the Rockies.
It may be a moot point now after the Mets spent prospect capital to acquire Robinson Canó and Edwin Díaz, but Luke Zahlmann of Mile High Sports explains why Noah Syndergaard is neither a desirable nor a reasonable trade target for the Rockies. If healthy, Syndergaard would probably be the team’s best pitcher. But that’s not where the Rockies need help. It’s also hard to imagine any deal that doesn’t include Brendan Rodgers. Perhaps it was moot to begin with.
The premise here is which player is a realistic candidate to be traded. The Rockies could trade Brendan Rodgers, but it’s unlikely. The pick here, from MLB.com’s prospect crew, is Sam Hilliard. They write that he’s a possibility for the Rockies to trade for “immediate help.”