There is plenty of intrigue on the Hall of Fame ballot, which was released Monday to voting members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.
Will Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa and Curt Schilling — the top vote-getter last year — make any headway in their final year on the ballot? Will newly eligible Alex Rodriguez face the voter reluctance over performance-enhancing drugs that has haunted Bonds, Clemens and Sosa?
For White Sox fans, there’s the added intrigue of a Golden Days Era committee ballot that includes Minnie Minoso and Dick Allen. The committee considers players who played in 1950-69.
Minoso’s numbers are on the Hall of Fame cusp. In 15 seasons in the American League — 12 with the Sox — and one in the National League, he hit .298 with 186 home runs, 1,023 RBI, an .848 OPS, 133 weighted runs created plus, 50.8 Fangraphs WAR and 50.2 Baseball-Reference WAR.
The average bWAR for a Hall of Fame left fielder is 65.7, leaving Minoso in the ‘‘maybe’’ category. But as the first Black Latin American player in the AL or NL, Minoso deserves pioneer points. The color line meant three seasons in the Negro Leagues before the AL. His borderline WAR is, in part, a product of diminished opportunity.
Allen (.292, 351 homers, 1,119 RBI, .912 OPS, 61.3 fWAR, 58.7 bWAR) was a Hall of Fame-caliber hitter. His 155 wRC+, meaning he produced 155% as much offense as an average player, ranks 18th in major-league history, just ahead of Willie Mays’ 154 and just behind Mel Ott’s 156.
Questions about Allen have centered on off-the-field issues. Was he a disruptive influence who cost his team by taking days off? Jay Jaffe, Fangraphs’ Hall of Fame expert and the author of ‘‘The Cooperstown Casebook,’’ long has been an Allen proponent. He takes a nuanced view that Allen was a positive force for players in his time by showing them owners had too much control before free agency and arbitration.
As for the BBWAA ballot, no one was elected for 2021. The player closest to election was Schilling, who got 284 of the 401 votes, with 301 needed to reach the 75% threshold.
Among expansion-era starters who were elected, only John Smoltz, Don Drysdale and Sandy Koufax won fewer games than Schilling (216-146, 3.46 ERA). But with a 79.5 bWAR, Schilling is well above the 73.3 average for a Hall starting pitcher.
The ballot will feature three players with 100 WAR or better among only 30 all-time by bWAR and 28 by fWAR. Bonds’ 162.7 bWAR is tied for first with Babe Ruth but doesn’t include Ruth’s pitching, and his 168.4 fWAR ranks second to Ruth. Clemens leads pitchers with 133.7 fWAR and is third with 138.7 bWAR.
Both have stalled on the ballot, with Bonds at 61.8% and Clemens at 61.6% last year.
The other such player is A-Rod, who ranks eighth at 113.7 position fWAR and 12th at 117.5 bWAR.
Sosa, who polled only 17% last year, figures to fall way short, leaving Chicago’s chances with Minoso and Allen.