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Mets Hall of Fame Candidates: Who makes it to Cooperstown next?

jleopold
NEW YORK - APRIL 13: Former Mets players Mike Piazza and Tom Seaver greet fans before throwing out the first pitch of the San Diego Padres against the New York Mets during opening day at Citi Field on April 13, 2009 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. This is the first regular season MLB game being played at the new venue which replaced Shea stadium as the Mets home field. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - APRIL 13: Former Mets players Mike Piazza and Tom Seaver greet fans before throwing out the first pitch of the San Diego Padres against the New York Mets during opening day at Citi Field on April 13, 2009 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. This is the first regular season MLB game being played at the new venue which replaced Shea stadium as the Mets home field. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
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On the 2018-2019 Ballot

Jason Bay, OF,  2010-2012

Jason Bay received 0% of the vote in the 2019 voting and is thus ineligible for induction, failing to receive the 5% minimum to stay on the ballot. with a 1.8 WAR in 3 seasons with the Mets, his lack of Hall of Fame support will forever be a tragedy.

Rick Ankiel, OF/LHP, 2013

Another player who failed to receive a vote from any of the 435 BBWAA members, Ankiel’s Hall of Fame candidacy will also come to an abrupt close. In a short stint with the Mets during the 2013 season, Ankiel hit .182 in 6 ABs with the Mets. Perhaps Ankiel’s greatest contribution to the club came during Game 2 of the 2000 NLCS where he was pulled in the first inning. Ankiel was credited for 2 ERs and the Mets went on to win the game, and later the series from the St. Louis Cardinals 4 games to 1.

Gary Sheffield, OF/DH, 2009

After receiving 13.6% of the vote in his 5th year of eligibility, Sheffield will remain on the ballot in 2020. He was a prolific slugger but will never be Cooperstown worthy. His best seasons were spent with the (then) Florida Marlins and the Los Angeles Dodgers. His most notable Mets moment was slugging his 500th HR on April 18, 2009. Sheffield became the 25th players to reach that milestone and did it in pinch-hit style. Since then, Albert Pujols and David Ortiz have joined him in the 500 home run club.

Billy Wagner, LHP, 2006-2009

Wagner received 16.7% of the vote during his 4th year on the ballot. While this number is up from the 11.1% the previous year, Wagner remains an unlikely candidate for Cooperstown. There are only 8 players who were primarily relief pitchers currently in the Hall of Fame.

Wagner’s 11.9 Ks/9 is the best mark in MLB history, while he struck out an astounding 33.2% of all batters faced. With a career .231 ERA and 422 saves, the Hall of Fame should open their eyes and let the recent/upcoming inductions of Mariano Rivera, Trevor Hoffman, and Lee Smith to open door to Cooperstown for Billy Wagner.

If ever elected, Wagner would almost certainly wear an Astros cap, pitching in Houston for 9 seasons compared to just 4 with the Mets. Wagner made 7 All-Star teams in 16 seasons as a member of the Astros, Phillies, Mets, and Braves.

Jeff Kent, 2B, 1992-1996

Kent received 18.1% of the vote in his 6th season on the ballot. He remains an unlikely candidate for Cooperstown. Kent’s career WAR of 55.4 is below the 69.5 average among current Hall of Fame second baseman, and even behind current players Ian Kinsler and Chase Utley.

Kent was still a prolific slugger; the second basemen slugged (377) HRs, most among second baseman all-time, and his 1599 RBIs are 3rd most among second basemen. Kent even beat out teammate Barry Bonds for 2000 NL MVP. Kent will likely remain on the outside looking into Cooperstown.

He spent his hay day as a member of the San Francisco Giants hitting behind Barry Bonds. After failing to get along with his teammates, the Mets famously traded him to the Indians alone with infielder José Vizcaíno around the 1996 trade deadline. Prior to this, the Mets acquired Kent from the Blue Jays for David Cone during the 1992 season.

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