With all that Roy Halladay has achieved this season, it's interesting to think about where he stands in terms of a possible Hall of Fame election.
Halladay spent his entire career before 2010 with the Toronto Blue Jays. He missed parts of 5 different seasons due to injury although he has enjoyed 5 essentially injury-free seasons in a row. He won the AL Cy Young award in 2003, has been a top-5 finisher each year from 2006 to 2009, and is the odds-on favorite to win the NL award this season.
Halladay is the active leader in W-L% despite never pitching for a playoff team before this season.
He's a 7-time All-Star and has pitched both a perfect game and a post-season no-hitter.
I'm switching up our Hall of Fame poll this week to take a look at the 8 playoff teams. I picked one position player and one pitcher from each team as candidates. I avoided guys who are quite obviously 'yes' already based on their past accomplishments. Some of these guys are pretty close already while others are off to great starts but still very young.
One other difference: you can vote for as many players as you like in this poll. Click through to vote and discuss!
John Smoltz was a cornerstone of the dynastic Braves teams of the 1990s and 2000s. He was a top starting pitcher in the late 1990s, including winning the NL Cy Young in 1996, and then reinvented himself as a stud reliever in the 2000s after an arm injury cost him the 2000 season.
Smoltz had one season, 2003, that was arguably the greatest season by a closer. In 64.1 innings, he allowed just 48 hits and 8 walks while striking out 73 (0.870 WHIP). His ERA+ was 385 and he generated 3.2 WAR that year.
Having proven that he could dominate as both a starter and reliever, Smoltz has done things that few other pitchers have done. However, because he split time between the two roles, his counting stats (such as career wins or saves) don't measure up to typical Hall of Famers who spent their entire career in one role or the other. Will this ultimately hurt him?
Please click through to read more, vote, and comment in the debate.
Edgar Martinez was signed by the Seattle Mariners as an amateur free agent in 1982 and played in 18 seasons in the majors with the team. Although he started off as a third baseman, by 1993 Martinez appeared more often as a DH and starting in 1995 was a full-time DH for the next 10 seasons.
Martinez won 2 batting titles, led the league in OBP 3 times, and was a 7-time All-Star. He finished with a .418 career OBP, good for 22nd all-time. 'Gar also led the league in doubles twice, RBI once, and even runs scored once.
There are two big knocks against Martinez--he was as slow as molasses and rarely played the field. I'm not sure we can blame Martinez for being a DH, but the fact that he wasn't good enough to contribute in the field has to count against him somewhat from a flexibility perspective.
Click through and let's discuss his HOF credentials.
Ron Santo played third base for 15 seasons. He was a 9-time All-Star, 5-time Gold Glove winner, never played for any team outside of Chicago (Cubs 1960-1973, White Sox 1974), and recently celebrated 50 years as a member of the Cubs organization.
Santo did not make the HOF during the normal ballot process. He reached a high of 43.1% in 1998, his last year of eligibility. He also has not been elected by the Veterans Committee in 4 times on the ballot.
Let's take a look at Santo's credentials and have a poll.
Craig Biggio, a lifetime Astro and member of the 3,000-hit club, is out next Hall of Fame debate subject.
Once known as one of the fastest catchers around, Biggio was moved to second base in 1992, his 5th season. Amazingly, he made another position move, this time to center field, in 2003. Biggio is the only player in baseball history to play as many as 130 games each at catcher, second base, and in the outfield.
Biggio was a 7-time All-Star, 4-time Gold Glove winner, and a 5-time Silver Slugger winner.
Click through to discuss his credentials and vote in the poll.
Next up in our debate is Jeff Kent, as per orders from the boss.
Kent was one of the best second-basemen of all time, in terms of offensive production. He also played in a high-run scoring era, so we'll need to determine how much that helped his raw numbers.
He was a 5-time All-Star, 4-time Silver Slugger winner, and he won the 2000 NL MVP. He also benefited from batting behind Barry Bonds for most of his years in San Francisco.
Kent didn't start hitting really well until about age 30 and was considered a top prospect for a long time, even while in the majors. Evidence to this fact includes the list of players he was involved in trades for: David Cone, Carlos Baerga, and Matt Williams.
Click through to read more about Kent's career and vote in the poll.