Nobody from the 2013 Hall of Fame ballot will be enshrined in Cooperstown this summer. A handful of players won't even be on the ballot next year because they did not reach the required 5% threshold. included in that group are David Wells, Kenny Lofton, Steve Finley, Shawn Green, and Julio Franco. Most of those guys aren't deserving of the Hall, but Lofton in particular is disappointing to see. David Golebiewski of Baseball Analytics looked at the best players that fell off the ballot after their first year.
Who are the best players to fall off the ballot in their first year of eligibility since the 5% vote minimum was implemented in 1979? Here's a closer look at the top five players to fall short of 5% BBWAA vote threshold in year one -- plus one guy who was initially snubbed but got the Hall call thanks to the Veterans Committee.
One guy that really stuck out to me was Lou Whitaker. Whitaker wasn't a big guy, he was only 5'11" and 160 pounds, but he was a solid defender who could hit for power. From 1982-1991 Whitaker accumulated 46.6 rWAR (baseball-reference), which averages out to just over 5 rWAR per season. He displayed excellent plate discipline, drawing 710 walks, and striking out only 661 times. He didn't have a great average during that time, only hitting at a .276 clip but that wasn't his game. As a whole he totaled just over 71 rWAR. That puts him just behind the likes of Eddie Collins, Joe Morgan, Nap Lajoie, and Charlie Gehringer for second basemen. The fact that he isn't in the Hall of Fame is just shocking.
One other player is Rick Reuschel. Reuschel was stuck in an extremely hitters friendly Wrigley Field during his career, and as a result his ERA and Win totals were never something to get excited about. The fact is that he had 66 rWAR during his career, which is higher than Jim Palmers (63.2 rWAR), and is right on par with Tom Glavine (69.3). Glavine is on the ballot for the first time in 2014.
Question for the community:
1) Out of all the players that fell off the ballot after their first year, who surprises you the most?