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Venom Strikes 2022 Baseball Hall of Fame Picks: Peter Smith

Peter Smith
2021 National Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
2021 National Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony / Jim McIsaac/GettyImages
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Barry Bonds

Barry Bonds' Hall of Fame candidacy is pretty clear to me. Go look at his Baseball Reference page. The numbers there are unfathomable in the game of 2022. From 1992 to the last year of his career, 2007, Bonds was one of the most dominant players on earth. He turned baseballs to ash and struck fear in the hearts of managers and pitchers alike. A single-season home run record with 73, an all-time home run record with 762. An all-time walk record with 2,558. He also has three of the best five Major League history by OPS+, which is a park and era-adjusted stat where 100 is average, behind two preposterous seasons from Josh Gibson. He also won seven MVP awards, including four consecutive awards from 2001-2004. He got plenty of other decorations during his career, but that's enough for me. It's time for him to get his number called.

Roger Clemens

Next up is Roger Clemens. Clemens has won seven Cy Young Awards, the most out of anyone. He also picked up an MVP award, won the triple crown (having the most strikeouts, lowest ERA, and most wins) twice, and picked up two rings. Oh, and he also pitched two 20-strikeout games. Taking a look at the stats, Rocket picked up 4,672 strikeouts, carried a career 3.12 ERA, and held a 1.173 WHIP over 4,916 and two-thirds innings pitched. He's plenty decorated and has the stats to back it up.

Todd Helton

Todd Helton is a really fun case. He never won an MVP award, never won a World Series ring, and only appeared in the Postseason twice. But what he does have is some excellent numbers. He had 2,519 hits, 369 homers, 1,406 RBI, and had a triple slash of .316 / .414 / .539, good for an OPS of .953. And yes, he played for the Rockies his whole career, meaning roughly half his games were played at Coors Field, but just like with his Rockies teammate Larry Walker, he still had an excellent OPS+. His OPS+ was 133, very good indeed. Helton was also a first baseman, where the standards are higher due to the offense-heavy nature of the position, although I think he still has what it takes.

Scott Rolen

Finally, for this section, we have Scott Rolen. Unless you are very picky, Rolen is a pretty clear Hall of Famer. He picked up a ring with the Cardinals, was awarded eight Gold Gloves, a Silver Slugger, and was sent to seven All-Star games. While the stats with the bat in his hand are a bit worse than Helton's, with a triple slash of .281 / .364 / .490, he played a much more important position in third base. And Scott didn't just rack up innings there and call it a day, he was an excellent fielder. His career defensive runs saved (DRS) was a whopping 114, and this doesn't even encapsulate his whole career, as the stat was invented in the middle of his career. Looking at counting stats, I'd say he's in "good enough" territory with 2,077 hits, 316 homers, and 1,287 RBI. Unless you're feeling particularly picky, Rolen has a place on everyone's ballot.

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