The history and notoriety of the MLB Hall of Fame are unsurpassed in American sports. These 25 active players have the best chance to be voted into Cooperstown.
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Trout has had perhaps the most remarkable first 12 years of an MLB career, winning three MVP Awards, Rookie of the Year, and appearing in 10 All-Star Games. Through 2022, he had 350 career home runs and a career OPS above 1.000.
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Miggy is playing out the end of his Tigers contract in the 21st season of his career, though he’s limping to the finish line. The Hall of Fame work is already complete, however, with two MVPs with four batting titles along with 12 All-Star Games. Cabrera’s most impressive accomplishment, in addition to over 500 home runs and 3,000 hits, was his AL Triple Crown in 2012.
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Verlander has shown incredible longevity, with 17 active seasons and over 3,100 innings thrown. He won his third Cy Young in 2022, and also finished second place in the voting three times. The right-hander has over 240 wins and 3,100 strikeouts, also winning MVP in 2011.
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Scherzer is on a short list of pitchers who have won three Cy Young Awards. He’s also been an All-Star eight times and has fanned over 3,100 batters for his career.
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The last few seasons of Kershaw’s career has been plagued by injuries, but he was the best pitcher in baseball from 2011-2015, winning three Cy Youngs and one MVP during that time. The nine-time All-Star is closing in on 3,000 career strikeouts and 200 wins, and is still dominant when healthy.
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The best defensive third baseman of his era, Arenado has won 10 Gold Gloves and six Platinum Gloves in 10 seasons. He’s also won five Silver Sluggers, and proved last season that he was still an elite hitter outside of Coors Field. Arenado has more work to do with offensive stats that were aided by playing in Colorado, but his power has continued to be top flight in St. Louis.
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Ohtani had arguably the greatest season in MLB history in 2021, considering he performed at an elite level as both a hitter and pitcher. He was no slouch in 2022, either, finishing second to Aaron Judge in the MVP voting and fourth in the Cy Young race. The elite pace as a two-way player seems like it could be tough to keep up long-term, but Ohtani has already done things no one could have truly expected. Five MLB seasons in the books, Ohtani has a chance to not only be a Hall of Famer but the best baseball player who ever lived if he continues this elite level as both a hitter and pitcher.
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Greinke has a Hall of Fame resume with one Cy Young, two ERA titles, and six All-Star appearances. The right-hander has thrown over 3,200 innings in 19 seasons.
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If Harper isn’t a surefire Hall of Famer yet, he’s close. He won his second MVP in 2021 and has appeared in seven All-Star Games over 11 seasons. The outfielder also won Rookie of the Year in 2012 and has plenty of time to add to his stats at age 30 if he can stay healthy.
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Betts has been an elite player in two large baseball markets, which can’t hurt his Hall of Fame candidacy. He has quietly put together an elite career with an MVP, six All-Star appearances, and six Gold Gloves in the outfield. Still shy of age 31, he has plenty of time to lock in his Hall of Fame credentials.
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Goldschmidt had plenty of career accolades before winning his first MVP Award at age 35 last season. The Cardinals star has seven All-Star appearances, four Gold Gloves, and five Silver Sluggers with over 300 home runs and a .917 OPS for his career. He likely sealed his status with his 2022 performance.
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The sabermetrics era helps Votto’s candidacy as an on-base machine for most of his career with a career .412 on-base percentage. He won the NL MVP in 2010 and has appeared in six All-Star Games with over 342 career home runs.
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The face of Houston’s recent success, for better or worse, Altuve has been arguably the best second baseman of his era. He has eight All-Star appearances and an MVP award, along with three batting titles and six Silver Sluggers. At age 32, he still has a long way to reach 3,000 hits with just over 1,900 hits currently.
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Cole has been an elite starting pitcher for much of his career, with a 3.23 ERA and over 1,900 strikeouts. He’s finished in the top five in Cy Young voting five times but has yet to win the award. Cole has plenty of time left considering his durability in 10 seasons.
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15. Jacob deGrom, SP
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DeGrom’s Hall of Fame candidacy is strong, but he might need a little more to get over the hump. Over nine MLB seasons, he’s won Rookie of the Year and two Cy Young Awards. DeGrom was well on his way to a historic season in 2021, but arm injuries sidelined him multiple times and continued to hamper him in 2022.
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Freeman has been one of the elite first basemen in baseball for over 10 years, and his move to the Los Angeles market should do him some favors if he keeps up his peak performance. Approaching his 14th season, Freeman has six All-Star appearances, three Silver Sluggers, a Gold Glove and an MVP in the shortened 2020 season.
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Machado’s Hall of Fame credentials don’t match that of Bryce Harper, but he’s still on a nice trajectory. Over 11 seasons, Machado has made six All-Star appearances with two Gold Gloves and one Silver Slugger. Nearing age 31, Machado has 283 career home runs.
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18. Aaron Judge, OF
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Judge is squarely on the MVP radar after winning AL MVP in 2022 with a historic 62 home run campaign. That adds to an already impressive career that included the Rookie of the Year in 2017, four All-Star appearances, and two previous top four MVP voting finishes. Judge likely punches his ticket to the Hall of Fame with a couple more elite seasons.
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Perez’s recent power has vaulted his Hall of Fame candidacy. The defense has declined following five Gold Gloves, but Perez has made seven All-Star appearances and won four Silver Sluggers. Now an elite power bat, leading the AL with 48 home runs in 2021, Perez is gaining momentum as a future Hall of Fame candidate.
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Soto looks like a potentially all-time elite player if his first five seasons are any indication. He came just short of winning Rookie of the Year in 2018 and finished second in the MVP voting in 2021. However, Soto has already led the league on on-base percentage twice with 125 home runs before turning 25.
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21. Jose Ramirez, 3B
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Ramirez is set to be in Cleveland for the long haul and should be able to pad his strong resume. He has four All-Star appearances with four Silver Sluggers, also finishing top five in MVP voting four times.
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Turner was paid like the elite player that he is during the offseason, though the 29-year-old has some work to do to garner Hall of Fame consideration. He does have two All-Star appearances and a batting title in his eight-year career, though early-career injuries did delay his elite seasons. Philadelphia hopes his play over the next 11 years puts him in Cooperstown.
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Devers has quickly become the face of the Red Sox as an elite hitter. He’s made back-to-back All-Star appearances by age 26 and continues to rake as an MVP candidate.
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The son of a Hall of Famer, Guerrero has similarly elite potential. He had a breakout 2021 season, leading the AL in home runs, on-base, and slugging. Guerrero was only prevented from an MVP award due to Shohei Ohtani, and he’s on a great track at age 24.
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Acuna has been one of the most exciting players in MVP since his promotion in 2018, winning Rookie of the Year and appearing in three All-Star Games with two Silver Sluggers. He returned from a knee injury last year and continues to produce at an elite level with a career .887 OPS.
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