Thanks to Ryan Thibodaux and his hard work every year at tracking public Hall of Fame ballots, we have an understanding of who may or may not get into Cooperstown this summer. New York Mets legend Carlos Beltran is the most intriguing first-time player on this year’s ballot. His Hall of Fame pedigree would have made him an easy first-ballot player if not for his connection to the 2017 Houston Astros cheating scandal.
Without revisiting the details, Beltran’s alleged connection put a stain on his reputation and cost him a job as the Mets manager before suiting up for a single game. In his first year of eligibility for the Hall of Fame, it’s not looking good either.
Through 32.5% of the known votes, Beltran has received 56.3% of the needed 75%. Jumping up another 20 percent will be difficult with this many votes already counted. It’s not impossible. It’s fairly unlikely with this sample already out there and another two-thirds of the voters likely feeling the same way.
NY Mets legend Carlos Beltran will need to wait another year for the Hall of Fame
When it comes to Beltran, leaving him off of the Hall of Fame ballot seems to come down exclusively to the Astros’ scandal. His 70.1 WAR ranks as a tie for 103rd all-time alongside Scott Rolen who looks like he will break on through into Cooperstown this summer.
It’s a number better than Tim Raines, Tony Gwynn, Eddie Murray, and other Hall of Famers. It’s right behind Gary Carter, Ron Santo, and Barry Larkin.
There is no need to plead the case in favor of Beltran making it into Cooperstown. His many awards, statistics, and reputation prior to the revelation about the Astros are common knowledge enough.
For Mets fans, it’s going to be a painful year on the Hall of Fame ballot. Lesser candidates but with a Mets connection don’t look like they’ll get in either. R.A. Dickey, Jeff Kent, and Francisco Rodriguez will come up short. Billy Wagner is the closest but in his 8th attempt will need a good showing from the unrevealed ballots. At 32.5% of the known ballots, Wagner is at 71.1%. He may come up slightly short.
Beltran not making it in the first time is nothing new for all-time Mets greats. Mike Piazza only received 57.8% of the votes his first year on the ballot. He didn’t get above 70% until 2016 when he received 83%. Belief that he may have taken steroids held him back from immediately going in. Something changed in the minds of enough voters to do the right thing.
It will be interesting to see how long it takes other voters to come around on Beltran. Will they forgive him for his misdeeds? It will set a precedence in the future when someone like Jose Altuve retires. Like it or not, he’s going to be one of the great second basemen in the history of the game. Holding Beltran out of the Hall of Fame in the first year likely means Altuve has to wait at least a year, if not forever.