The 2014 Hall of Fame Voting has completed , and now the discussion begins on who will earn induction in 2015. While no former Red Sox made it in this year (these three should have), next year’s ballot will consist of two former Red Sox players of note who will appear on the ballot for the first time: pitcher Pedro Martinez and shortstop Nomar Garciaparra.
Starting pitcher Pedro Martinez IS a Hall-of-Fame-caliber pitcher. I do not hold to only statistics, but let us begin there. In 18 seasons from 1992-2009, Martinez had a career record of 219-100, 2.93 ERA, 1.054 WHIP, and a 5.3 average WAR from 1993-2008. He also retired with a 10.0 K/9-IP strikeout ratio. He lost 10 games only twice while with the Expos early in his career. His 219 wins would put him ahead of 24 other Hall-of-Fame pitchers (not all starters), and he has fewer losses than 64 of them.
Martinez pitched for five different teams: Dodgers, Expos, Red Sox, Mets, and Phillies. He made eight All-Star teams, won three Cy Young awards (and finished in the top five four other times), and helped the Red Sox break the 86-year Curse of the Bambino and win the 2004 World Series.
Martinez’s longest team tenure was with Boston from 1998-2004 where he made himself a household name. With Boston, Martinez was 117-37 in 203 games, averaging 17-5, with a 2.52 ERA, and 0.978 WHIP, including an incredible 23-4, 2.07, ERA and 0.923 WHIP in his second Cy Young season and first in the American League. His average WAR with Boston was 7.7, which FanGraphs defines as MVP, their highest ranking. Here is the chart taken directly from FanGraphs:
|Role Player||1-2 WAR|
|Solid Starter||2-3 WAR|
|Good Player||3-4 WAR|
Even Martinez’s career average WAR of 5.3 puts him in the Superstar level. Pedro Martinez is a future Hall-of-Famer.
As much as I like Nomar Garciaparra — and as good a player as he was — he is not a Hall of Famer. Statistically speaking, Garciaparra hit .313/.361/.521 with 229 HR and 936 RBI and an average WAR of 3.2 in 14 years with the Red Sox, Cubs, Dodgers, and Athletics. The FanGraphs chart ranks him a good player. He made six All-Star teams, won a Silver Slugger award, the 1997 A.L. Rookie of the Year, and two batting titles. He was also a tough out as his .361 career on base average indicates. He struck out more than 63 times only once.
With Boston from 1996 to mid-2004, Garciaparra hit .323/.370/.523 with 178 HR and 690 RBI and made five A.L. All-Star appearances. He was one of the three big-name shortstops (Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez) who turned the position into an offensive one in the late 90s and early 2000s. Unfortunately for him and Red Sox fans, he missed out on the 2004 magic after his mid-season trade to the Cubs as part of a four-team deal.
Garciaparra, though, fell off after his trade to Chicago. He still had a solid last few years with other teams, but he never approached his performance that made him a fan favorite in Boston save for an N.L. All-Star year of 2006. He averaged .288, 8.4 HR, and 41 RBI in six years from that trade on. He was a very solid player but not a Hall of Famer.
Another name will appear on the 2015 Hall of Fame for the first time. John Smoltz pitched in eight games for Boston in his final season of 2009. He was 2-5 with a 8.33 ERA in those games, but his overall career record of 213-155, 154 saves, and 3.33 ERA makes him a Hall of Famer.
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