The history and notoriety of the MLB Hall of Fame are unsurpassed in American sports. These 25 active players have the best chance to be voted into Cooperstown.
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Trout has had perhaps the most remarkable first 12 years of an MLB career, winning three MVP Awards, Rookie of the Year, and appearing in nine All-Star Games. Through 2021, he had over 300 career home runs and a career OPS above 1.000.
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Pujols is in likely his final season and is very likely to be a first-ballot Hall of Famer. Most of his success came in his first go-around with the Cardinals, and he has over 680 home runs and 3,300 hits for his career. Pujols’ accolades also include three MVPs, two World Series, and 10 All-Star Games.
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Miggy continues going strong in the Tigers lineup, in the 20th season of a remarkable career. He’s won two MVPs with four Batting Titles and appeared in 11 All-Star Games. Cabrera’s most impressive accomplishment, in addition to over 500 home runs and 3,000 hits, was his AL Triple Crown in 2012.
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Scherzer is on a short list of pitchers who have won three Cy Young Awards. He’s also been an All-Star eight times and has fanned over 3,000 batters for his career.
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5. Clayton Kershaw, SP
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The last few seasons of Kershaw’s career has been plagued by injuries, but he was the best pitcher in baseball from 2011-2015, winning three Cy Youngs and one MVP during that time. The nine-time All-Star is closing in on 3,000 career strikeouts and 200 wins.
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Verlander has shown incredible longevity, with 17 seasons and over 3,000 innings thrown. He’s won two Cy Young Awards, and also finished second place in the voting three times. The right-hander has over 230 wins and 3,000 strikeouts, also winning MVP in 2011.
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Molina might not make the Hall of Fame on the first ballot he is eligible for, but it’s only a matter of time as arguably the greatest defensive catcher in history. Over 19 seasons, Molina has won nine Gold Gloves, and four Platinum Gloves, and appeared in 10 All-Star Games. He’s also held his own at the plate as a career .279 hitter with 173 home runs.
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Greinke has a Hall of Fame resume with one Cy Young, two ERA titles, and six All-Star appearances. The right-hander has thrown over 3,100 innings in 19 seasons.
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If Harper isn’t a surefire Hall of Famer yet, he’s close. He won his second MVP last season and has appeared in six All-Star Games over 11 seasons. The outfielder also won Rookie of the Year in 2012 and has plenty of time to add to his stats at age 29.
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The best defensive third baseman of his era, Arenado has won nine Gold Gloves and five Platinum Gloves in 10 seasons. He’s also won four Silver Sluggers, though each one was aided by playing his home games at Coors Field. Arenado has more work to do with offensive stats that are aided by playing in Colorado, but his power has continued to be top flite in St. Louis.
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The sabermetrics era helps Votto’s candidacy as an on-base machine for most of his career with a career .415 on-base percentage. He won the NL MVP in 2010 and has appeared in six All-Star Games with over 330 career home runs.
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Betts has been an elite player in two large baseball markets, which can’t hurt his Hall of Fame candidacy. He has quietly put together an elite career with an MVP, five All-Star appearances, and five Gold Gloves in the outfield. Still shy of age 29, he has plenty of time to lock in his Hall of Fame credentials.
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The face of Houston’s recent success, for better or worse, Altuve has been arguably the best second baseman of his era. He has seven All-Star appearances and an MVP Award, along with three Batting Titles and five Silver Sluggers. At age 32, he still has a long way to reach 3,000 hits with just over 1,800 hits currently.
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Ohtani had arguably the greatest season in MLB history in 2021, considering he performed at an elite level as both a hitter and pitcher. The AL MVP winner had a .965 OPS with 46 home runs and 26 stolen bases, and he also produced a 3.18 ERA in 23 starts over 130.1 innings. He’s far from the Hall of Fame, but might only need two or three more similar seasons to be a lock.
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Cole has been an elite starting pitcher for much of his career, with a 3.22 ERA and over 1,700 strikeouts. He’s finished in the top five in Cy Young voting five times but has yet to win the award. Cole has plenty of time left considering his durability in 10 seasons.
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16. Jacob deGrom, SP
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DeGrom’s Hall of Fame candidacy is strong, but he might need a little more to get over the hump. Over eight MLB seasons, he’s won Rookie of the Year and two Cy Young Awards. DeGrom was well on his way to a historic season in 2021, but arm injuries sidelined him multiple times and continue to plague him early in 2022.
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Perez’s recent power has vaulted his Hall of Fame candidacy. The defense has declined following five Gold Gloves, but Perez has made seven All-Star appearances and won four Silver Sluggers. Now an elite power bat, leading the AL with 48 home runs last season, Perez is gaining momentum as a future Hall of Fame candidate.
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Machado’s Hall of Fame credentials don’t match that of Bryce Harper, but he’s still on a nice trajectory. Over 11 seasons, Machado has made five All-Star appearances with two Gold Gloves and one Silver Slugger. Nearing age 30, Machado has 261 career home runs.
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Cano is a Hall of Famer if solely judging on his baseball accomplishments, but suspensions for PEDs will likely keep him out of Cooperstown for a while. The second baseman made eight All-Star Games with two Gold Gloves, and five Silver Sluggers. His career batting average still stands at .301 with 335 home runs.
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Soto looks like a potentially all-time elite player if his first five seasons are any indication. He came just short of winning Rookie of the Year in 2018 and finished second in the MVP voting in 2021. However, Soto has already led the league on on-base percentage twice with over 100 home runs before turning 24.
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Chapman has been an elite closer for his entire career, with over 300 saves and seven All-Star appearances. However, getting voted into the Hall of Fame is difficult for relief pitchers, and Chapman’s recent struggles could sidetrack his candidacy.
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22. Jose Ramirez, 3B
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Ramirez is set to be in Cleveland for the long haul and should be able to pad his strong resume. He has three All-Star appearances with three Silver Sluggers, also finishing top three in MVP voting three times. His early 2022 numbers show the potential for his first MVP.
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Devers has quickly become the face of the Red Sox as an elite hitter. He made his first All-Star appearance last season at age 24 and continues to rake as an MVP candidate.
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The son of a Hall of Famer, Guerrero has similarly elite potential. He had a breakout 2021 season, leading the AL in home runs, on-base, and slugging. Guerrero was only prevented from an MVP Award due to Shohei Ohtani, and he’s on a great track at age 23.
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