Few get into the hall, but too many are left off the ballot.
With the Hall of Fame voting and announcements behind us, we all know who made it in and who did not. However, not many people pay attention to the players that only get one go at it. My least favorite of the ballot rules continues to throw out really solid players.
I am talking about the 5% rule. In the last 4 years, the rule has disqualified players like: Jorge Posada (2017), Nomar Garciaparra (2016), Carlos Delgado (2015), Rafael Palmeiro and Moises Alou (2014). The title of most notable player to be screwed by this rule belongs to the Cardinals’ own Jim Edmonds with only 2.5% in 2016.
Would he or anyone have made it to the Hall if they were still on the ballot? Most likely not, but there is always a possibility. Especially for Edmonds. Now I know that Edmonds was disqualified over a year ago, but it still grinds my gears to know we won’t see how close he would get. Only about 3% of the vote is crazy low for a player like Edmonds.
He was not a defensive only player.
With a career WRC+ of 132, Jim Edmonds could certainly more than hold his own at the plate. Now he did strike out a lot with 21% mark for his career, but he more than made up for it with his ability to hit the ball out of the ballpark, totaling 393 home runs in his career. Most guys that can hit for power and strike out a ton have low to mild averages and on base percentages. Not this guy. A career average and OBP of .274/.376 and hitting the .400 OBP mark four times is proof that Edmonds was a very good hitter. Jim Edmonds’ offense often becomes overshadowed by his miraculous defense.
Edmonds was the face of outfield defense.
Everyone knows Yadier Molina is the gold standard for defense with 8 Gold Gloves. By the same logic, Jim Edmonds is the gold standard for the outfield with, you guessed it, 8 Gold Gloves. That number carries a lot of weight with it. He was the player that kids were told to watch to learn how to catch a ball. Plus, he was a living highlight reel during his career.
Have you ever seen a better catch? I know I haven’t. Even better, he made pretty much the same play as a Cardinals too.
If you want a full view of how amazing he was in the field, search Jim Edmonds on YouTube. Edmonds definitely defended better than a lot of Hall of Fame players.
The only thing he lacked was support.
One of my favorite career stats is WAR7, which is the sum of the best 7 WAR seasons by a player (stat by BR). Edmonds had a total of 42.5 according to Baseball Reference, which is higher than 2 of the 3 that went in this year.
In other words, Edmonds’ peak years were dominant beyond all belief. From 2000-05 his WAR never dropped below 6 and peaked at 8.3 in 2004 (worthy of an MVP). Jim Edmonds has the stats to show anyone that he deserved to be considered. However, when Edmonds knocked on the door of the Hall, nobody answered. This is how it goes sometimes. Jim Edmonds will at least be in the Hall of Fame in our hearts, as he is already a member of the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame.
Photo by Jasen Vinlove- USA Today