FanGraphs author Jay Jaffe takes us through the specifics for the standard Baseball Hall of Fame ballot, from how to get on the list, how to stay on it, and how to finally get a plaque in Cooperstown. The key takeaway for Rockies fans is 75 percent; both Larry Walker and Todd Helton need that many ballots to check their box.
The two have some work to do.
Larry Walker received 21.9 percent of the vote in 2017, but saw percent increases of 12.2 and 20.5 the next two years. He still would need a jump like last year to reach the threshold, and as Jaffe of FanGraphs states, Walker would need the third largest leap ever over the finish line to be inducted this year. Barry Larkin and Vladimir Guerrero both made jumps over 21 percent in their induction year.
Todd Helton received 16.5 percent of the vote last season. He reached well over the five percent requirement to stay on the ballot, and it’s safe to reason he will keep his name on the list for next year, at the very least.
Derek Jeter joins the ballot this time around, with conversation around whether he will be the second ever unanimous selection. Each voter is allowed to pick 10 players on their ballot; Jeter alone could shrink that number to nine.
Baseball Reference has a full statistical table for all 2020 players on the ballot, with a whole mess of sortable statistics to see how players measure up. One such statistic, the ‘Bill James Hall of Fame Monitor,’ gives players a number score, with a higher number indicating greater success at player performance earning them a spot. A number over 100 reasons that player likely of induction. 16 players are over 100 this year. Walker is at 148 (ninth highest) and Helton scores 175 (sixth).
The scale is also a ‘really’ rough scale and holds little historical significance of who has got in throughout recent years; Miguel Tejada was ninth highest last year and didn’t even make the ballot this year. Forbes author Dan Schlossberg wonders if Jeter may be the only one elected this year, too.
While Bill James’ measure is admirable as a concept, the opinion of the baseball writers remain unpredictable. Derek Jeter, Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens all have a score over 300, and the latter two haven’t got in for the past seven years. The Mitchell Report remains undefeated in the eyes of many baseball writers.
Minor League Baseball launched the ‘Copa de la Diversion’ in 2018, and each participating team has taken on an alternate team name for a few games in the spirit of Hispanic and Latino heritage. The event is set to return in 2020—the Boise Hawks will be renamed the ‘Boise Papas Fritas’ for select dates next year, with a sporty looking fries logo to pair with the appropriate Idaho presence of potatoes.
The Rockies’ affiliates will be well represented in the event; names that teams will embrace in 2020 for select games are as follows:
- Alburquerque Isotopes: Mariachis de Nuevo México
- Hartford Yard Goats: Los Chivos de Hartford
- Lancaster Jethawks: El Viento (wind) de Lancaster
- Asheville Tourists: Yacumamas de Asheville (a mythical ‘snake’ creature)
- Boise Hawks: Boise Papas Fritas
Other minor league teams participating in the festivities will sport names such as the Avocados, Madres, Lowriders and Luchadores.
The San Antonio Missions became the Flying Chanclas de San Antonio for the event in 2018, and the name retains itself for a third year in 2020. We all have the opportunity to pick up their hat with a flying flip flop on it to celebrate.