The Baseball Hall of Fame website has a list of “future eligibles,” players who will have the right time away from the game to be included on ballots in the next few years. Here, take a look. Some are iffy picks—there always will be now, I think—but there’s a lot where I’m pretty much like, “yeah, no brainer.”
On that note, we turn our attention to the second of three former Pirates on this year’s ballot, Aramis Ramírez. Ramírez, who played for the Bucs from 1998 to mid-2003, isn’t a no-brainer but doesn’t quite hit the “really? HE’S on the ballot?!” threshold, which in the future I think I’ll call the Swisher Line.
Unlike Barry Bonds, Ramírez’s Pirates career was undistinguished but not horrible. In his seven years in the Burgh, his slash line was .261/.311/.433, his lowest among the three teams for which he played. His lifetime slash line is .283/.341/.492. He wasn’t a particularly impressive fielder either, with a .952 career fielding percentage, but to be fair the majority of third basemen in the Hall aren’t there due to their amazing glove skills. Still, there were a few years in which he was in the lower echelon of National League MVP voting (the closest he came was ninth in 2012), he was a three-time All-Star, and he won a Silver Slugger in 2011.
That makes him a decent major leaguer. It does not make him a prime candidate for Cooperstown.
Admittedly, I don’t remember Ramírez as a Pirate, but he was fun to watch on the Cubs, at least hitting-wise. I can understand why some think him Hall of Fame-worthy, particularly in this thin year, but I’d honestly be very surprised if he remains on the ballot after this year. Sorry, dude.
On Tuesday, we’ll take a look at AJ Burnett. I have … feelings about this.