Venom Strikes 2022 Baseball Hall of Fame Picks: Peter Smith
By Peter Smith
Whenever I fill out a mock ballot, I always try to think about the first year or borderline players who I think are good enough for my standards but risk falling below that five percent threshold needed to stay on the ballot. A lot of first-year candidates would get my vote if not for the 10-player limit. The big exclusion for me is Jake Peavy, who I think should be in the Hall of Fame, but his candidacy appears dead in the water. Hopefully, he magically finds 20 votes before the election, although it's not looking good for him. Moving on to my actual picks...
Mark Buehrle is a downright fantastic starting pitcher. He managed to stay alive beyond his first year of eligibility, which is a great sign. Mark was never a power pitcher who racked up strikeouts, his game was command and pitching to contact. In 3,283 and a third innings, he held a 3.81 ERA, a 117 ERA+, a 1.281 WHIP, and 1,870 strikeouts. He also was on five All-Star teams, won four Gold Gloves, and has a ring from the 2005 World Series. I don't have much to say about him other than the fact that I straight up just like the guy. He was just plain fun to watch.
Finally, we have Joe Nathan. Joe Nathan is a sneaky, underrated pick. Nathan was a dominant reliever, with a career 2.87 ERA, 151 ERA+, a 1.120 WHIP, and 976 strikeouts. He also was on six All-Star teams, finished top five in Cy Young voting twice, and won the hilariously named Rolaids Relief Man Award in 2009. While I'm not entirely sure if he'd ever make the Hall of Fame, I think he deserves some looks when there aren't as many titans of the game crowding up the ballot. He's definitely got a great case.
While that's the end of my ballot, I'm curious what your ballot looks like! Leave a comment below with your ballot or maybe just a pick you agree with or disagree with! As always, so long, and thanks for all the hits!