Minnesota Twins Candidate No. 1: Torii Hunter
Career Stats: 2372 G, 9692 PA, .277 BA/.331 OBP/.461 SLG, 2452 H, 353 HR, 1391 RBI, 195 SB, 661 BB, 9x Gold Glove Winner, 2009 and 2013 Silver Slugger, 5x All-Star (2002, 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2013)
Hall of Fame Stats (Per Baseball Reference):
- Gray Ink: 29 (Average HOF: 144)
- Hall of Fame Monitor: 58 (Likely HOF: 100)
- Hall of Fame Standards: 34 (Average HOF: 50)
- JAWS (Hunter is the 34th-Ranked Center Fielder All-Time in JAWS)
- Hunter: 50.6 Career WAR/30.8 7-Year Peak/40.7 JAWS
- Average Hall of Fame Center Fielder: 71.3 Career WAR/44.7 7-Year Peak/58.0 JAWS
Making the Case For: Out of the three Twins making up this list, Torii Hunter has easily the best shot at making the Hall of Fame. In fact, of all the newcomers, Hunter is the most decorated and has the best odds out of the whole group, which gives him a big boost.
During his 19 year career, Torii Hunter was one of the most electric players in Major League Baseball. He hit for power, for average (later in his career), stole bases, and played some of the best defense by an outfielder in the last sixty years (Nine Gold Gloves).
He may never have led the league in anything, but he’s still got impressive career stats. On offense, he’s 187th All-Time in WAR (good), in the Top 100 in games, played, total bases, doubles, homer, and RBI. On defense, he’s 14th all-time in putouts by an outfielder and 54th in field percentage.
On top of all that, his 2,452 hits are 116th all-time, and while he’s just short of 2,500 hits (an important number), that’s still an impressive feat. It won’t guarantee him entry into the hall of fame, but it should earn him at least a second year on the ballot.
Making the Case Against: It’s very tough to find a reason why Torii Hunter shouldn’t stay on the ballot past 2021. It’s also very easy to find a reason why it’ll take more. Hunter isn’t thought of as highly as Andruw Jones, who is now on year three on the ballot (Just 19.4% this year).
He also never led the league in any category. That’s a big deal. Baseball Reference’s Black Ink counts how many times they led the league in a category, and Hunter never registered any ink. It’s a big thing voters look at, and it looks bad, especially without a World Series win. He has a tough path ahead.