Welcome to our first post analyzing the 2019 Hall of Fame Ballot. Here we take a look at the top returnees from the 2018 ballot:

Edgar Martinez: The Mariners’ DH has inspired a lot of back-and-forth over the years. But he’s also gone on a remarkable run in Hall of Fame voting. In just three years, he’s gone from 27.2% of the vote to 70.4%. And with a +36 among returning voters and 84.6% with 1st time voters last year, there’s really nothing to worry about if you’re an Edgar fan. He’s going to get into the Hall of Fame, Tim Raines-style, in Year 10.

Patrick’s prediction: 81% and in

Barry Bonds/Roger Clemens: As usual, the Mussina HOF page has no official stance on what should happen to PED users, or alleged ones. We care only about what the voters will do. And it’s abundantly clear that these two have candidacies that are, for all intents and purposes, currently dead in the water.

Bonds was just +1 with returning voters, while Clemens was +3. And while both did very well with 1st-time voters (84.6% with Bonds and 92.3% for Clemens), those voters are too small a percentage to make up for the rest of the lack of movement elsewhere. They are making slow gains, but for next year, forget it.

Patrick’s prediction: 61% for both

Curt Schilling: I don’t even know where to start on analyzing his candidacy, so I’m taking a pass. He makes the comments he makes, and it’s obvious some voters have a problem with them. I’m honestly unaware if he’s said anything else they might find controversial recently, so I’ll just say, that he earned 51.2% last year, and I suspect he’ll finish somewhere in that range this year. He’s unlikely to get elected however, at least this year.

Larry WalkerWe love us some Larry Walker, and although his candidacy has finally moved into the 30s, with 34.1% of the vote, and was a +40 with returning voters, he got just 15.4% of the vote with the first-time voters. He’s going to continue to improve, but not enough to get in.

Patrick’s prediction: 45%

Omar Vizquel: The newest Jack Morris, Omar’s got a tug of WAR (pun intended) going on between the traditionalists who love his 2,877 hits and 11 Gold Gloves, and the Sabermetricians who look at his 45.6 WAR with just two seasons at 4 or higher and see someone who falls short. He earned 37% of the vote in his first year on the ballot. But with just 30.8% among first-timers, I don’t think his candidacy has legs.

Patrick’s prediction: 45%

No other players on the ballot really pique my interest as long-term, viable candidates, so this is where we’ll wrap up this post. Feel free to comment below.

On Monday, I’ll have a look at the newcomers to the ballot and on Tuesday I’ll discuss how all of this impacts Mike Mussina‘s HOF chances for 2019.

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