In the first part of our Hall Roll Call, we listed our first 20 future Hall of Famers from among the pool of active players. Most were pretty easy choices. The next 20, however, took hours of blood-and-sweat research and contemplation. But these are the fun debates, the players you're willing to brawl over in a steel-cage match as you defend their Hall of Fame-worthiness or attack them for their obvious lack of Cooperstown credentials. So here you are: 20 more future Hall of Famers.
21. Pedro Martinez
Only five starting pitchers in the Hall have fewer wins than Pedro's 194: Dizzy Dean (150), Addie Joss (160), Sandy Koufax (165), Lefty Gomez (189) and Rube Waddell (193). Every starting pitcher in the Hall has at least 100 complete games. Pedro has 44. And no starting pitcher with a jheri curl has ever been elected.
OPS = on-base percentage + slugging percentage|
OPS+ = Adjusted OPS, compares a player's OPS to his league average, with 100 being average and 110 being 10 percent better than average, etc.
ERA+ = Adjusted ERA, compares a pitcher's ERA to his league average, with 100 being average and 110 being 10 percent better than average, etc.
OPS+ and ERA+ taken from Baseball-reference.com
Ahh, but his career batting average-against is .209 (third-best all time behind Nolan Ryan's .204 and Koufax's .205) his on-base percentage allowed is .269 (best-ever for anyone who pitched after 1920) his lifetime winning percentage (194-79, .711) currently ranks No. 1 all time he has three of the top 15 seasons ever for adjusted ERA (ERA compared to the league average).
The numbers overwhelm. But let's put it in terms even people who only watch "Around the Horn" can understand: From 1997 to 2002, Pedro was the most dominating pitcher in the game's history.
22. Curt Schilling
The bloody sock, the three 300-K seasons, the three near-Cy Young Awards, the World Series MVP but is it really possible for a modern pitcher who might not win 200 games (he's at 186), let alone 300, make it in? Schilling has all the extra intangibles -- the fame, the postseason heroics, the Dunkin' Donuts commercials -- that I think will put him in the Drysdale class as opposed to the Blyleven class. He gets the nod when a couple of controversial ballots from Florida push him over the top.
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A good pitcher, more valuable than many Hall of Fame hurlers, but he lacks the gold stars that Martinez or Schilling have. And he's not exactly a favorite of the scribes, so he won't get within spittin' distance of Cooperstown.
23. Mark Prior and 24. Roy Oswalt
My top two Hall candidates among the 30-and-younger pitching set.
Prior's injuries, of course, raise a red flag, but I think they actually help his long-term future, since they served to limit his innings at a young age. A lot of pitchers have burned out from too many innings at a young age -- think Dwight Gooden and Fernando Valenzuela -- while many Hall of Fame pitchers didn't have heavy workloads until their mid-20s.