Ballot Update #3: “This is not going to go the way you think.”

First off, the Mike Mussina HOF Page hopes you had a wonderful holiday season and wishes you a very happy 2018.

With that out of the way, let’s talk the most exciting hobby of the year: HOF ballot tracking. As always, it’s presented in a Q&A.

How’s the Moose doing?

Let me start with a chart. Here’s Mike Mussina’s ballot progress on 1/4/2017 versus his ballot progress from 1/4/2018:

1/4/2017 1/4/2018
Ballots 164 163
Mussina 61.8% 73.6%
Vlad 76.2% 93.9%
Hoffman 72.6% 77.9%

I’ve also included the vote percentages for Vladimir Guerrero and Trevor Hoffman for the purposes of this discussion.

While it seems like Mussina and others are doing better this year, the big variable is that we don’t know what percentage this year’s 163 voters are represented in the 164 from last year. I’m guessing the groups are 80 to 90% the same, but that’s just an estimate.

As we’ve said repeatedly, positive momentum for a player’s candidacy is best gleaned from picking up new votes from returning voters, holding on to existing voters, and getting support from new voters. Mussina has netted 14 new voters this year (Vlad has 30 and Hoffman 9). Mussina has been named on seven out of nine ballots from first time voters (9 out of 9 for Vlad and 8 for 9 for Hoffman).

What’s it mean?

Vladimir Guerrero and Trevor Hoffman are going to get elected to the Hall of Fame this year. Vlad is in a formidable position, and in both of his first two years on the ballot, Hoffman’s support has only increased as more ballots came in. They will join Chipper Jones–named on all but two ballots so far–and Jim Thome–named on all but nine–in Cooperstown this summer.

Why haven’t you mentioned Edgar Martinez yet?

I don’t want to be the bringer of bad news, but Edgar Martinez is going to fall painfully short of induction this cycle. This also means he will have only one year of eligibility left for induction.

I don’t think he’ll make the cut because his current standing of 81% is not strong enough to hold up as more ballots come in. Last year, he dropped 7.3 percentage points from the his pre-announcement total in Ryan’s Tracker to his final number. While he’s added 18 votes this year and is seven for nine with new voters, he missed induction by 73 votes last year. He’s gaining rapidly, but is going to end up in the 72 to 74% range and have to wait one more year.

Check this chart out and notice what happens to Martinez’s % as more votes have come in during earlier cycles.

You’ll notice that right around the 150 to 160 ballot mark, he started to slowly drop off in 2017. There’s probably a 15% chance that Martinez’s vote percentage is high enough when the public ballots come in that he can still get elected. We are hoping this chance comes to reality.

Any other quick thoughts?

It’s criminal how little support Andruw Jones is getting.

I would be shocked if Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens improve their vote totals by more than two or three percentage points. I think they are close to maxing out their support with the electorate. Both players have netted only one new voter so far.

As I said on Twitter this week, the best case for Mussina is for Edgar Martinez to get elected this year because it means Mussina would be the top returning vote getter on next year’s ballot. That would be a great place to be in considering next year’s class only includes two candidates who may d├ębut above 50% (Roy Halladay and Mariano Rivera).