How 2018 Hall of Fame candidates fared in Box-Toppers

Here are the results of Baseball Hall of Fame voting, with players listed from highest to lowest vote totals. The far right columns show how many Box-Toppers points (BTP) they earned during their careers (since 1995), their overall rank in Box-Toppers points (BT rank) and their rank among players at their position (BT pos rank). Thirty-three players were eligible for the hall and 26 received at least one vote. Players are listed here by their vote totals received in 2018. Inductees, who received the necessary 75 percent of the vote, are indicated with an asterisk (*).  
 

Name Votes
(Pct.)
Yrs on
ballot
Pos Yrs
active
BTP BT
rank
BT pos
rank
1 *Chipper Jones 410 (97.2) 1 3b 93‑12 149.0 24 2
2 *Vladimir Guerrero 392 (92.9) 2 rf 96‑11 128.3 33 3
3 *Jim Thome 379 (89.8) 1 1b dh 91‑12 146.7 27 2
4 *Trevor Hoffman 337 (79.9) 3 pi cp 93‑10 129.4 32 1
5 Edgar Martinez 297 (70.4) 9 dh 87‑04 77.5 139 10
6 Mike Mussina 268 (63.5) 5 pi sp 91‑08 155.6 23 14
7 Roger Clemens 242 (57.3) 6 pi sp 84‑07 164.8 13 10
8 Barry Bonds 238 (56.4) 6 lf 86‑07 153.2 22 2
9 Curt Schilling 216 (51.2) 6 pi sp 88‑07 194.1 4 4
10 Omar Vizquel 156 (37.0) 1 ss 89‑12 42.2 416 10
11 Larry Walker 144 (34.1) 8 rf 89‑05 100.1 81 10
12 Fred McGriff 98 (23.2) 9 1b 86‑04 57.7 257 41
13 Manny Ramirez 93 (22.0) 2 lf 93‑11 167.2 11 1
14 Jeff Kent 61 (14.5) 5 2b 92‑08 109.7 58 1
15 Gary Sheffield 47 (11.1) 4 lf 88‑09 124.1 39 4
15 Billy Wagner 47 (11.1) 3 pi cp 95‑10 108.7 59 3
17 Scott Rolen 43 (10.2) 1 3b 96‑12 97.6 84 5
18 Sammy Sosa 33 (7.8) 6 rf 89‑07 113.2 53 6
19 Andruw Jones 31 (7.3) 1 cf 96‑12 96.5 86 12
20 †Johan Santana 10 (2.4) 1 pi sp 00‑12 166.6 12 9
20 †Jamie Moyer 10 (2.4) 1 pi sp 86‑12 104.0 69 45
22 †Johnny Damon 8 (1.9) 1 lf 95‑12 63.0 210 43
23 †Hideki Matsui 4 (0.9) 1 lf 03‑12 54.8 278 56
24 †Chris Carpenter 2 (0.5) 1 pi sp 97‑12 113.3 51 34
24 †Kerry Wood 2 (0.5) 1 pi sp 98‑12 92.4 97 56
26 †Carlos Lee 1 (0.2) 1 lf 99‑12 85.5 113 23
26 †Livan Hernandez 1 (0.2) 1 pi sp 96‑12 76.7 145 77
28 †Kevin Millwood 0 1 pi sp 97‑12 108.3 61 40
28 †Carlos Zambrano 0 1 pi sp 01‑12 85.2 114 65
28 †Jason Isringhausen 0 1 pi cp 95‑12 62.4 219 12
28 †Aubrey Huff 0 1 dh 00‑12 61.6 225 20
28 †Brad Lidge 0 1 pi cp 02‑12 54.4 282 17
28 †Orlando Hudson 0 1 2b 02‑12 33.7 574 28
* 2018 Hall of Fame inductee. Received necessary 75 percent of the vote from baseball writers to be inducted.
† Player to be removed the Hall of Fame ballot in 2019 because he did not receive 5 percent of the vote to remain on subsequent year's ballots.
Note: Some Hall eligible candidates had careers that, in part, preceded the era of Box-Toppers player tracking, which began in 1995. However, 17 of the 33 players listed here began their career in 1995 or later, so their entire career was tracked by Box-Toppers.

Jones, Guerrero, Thome, Hoffman elected to Hall of Fame; Schilling, Kent, Santana among notable 2018 snubs

Box-Toppers Hall of Fame.png

Four players—Chipper Jones, Vladimir Guerrero, Jim Thome and Trevor Hoffman—were elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame Wednesday.

The four received the necessary 75 percent of the vote from members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America and will be inducted in the Hall in Cooperstown, N.Y., in July.

Top 100 ‘All-Time’ Players

Here are the 100 players with the most career Box-Toppers points since record keeping began in 1995. Players are listed in order of their career Box-Toppers point total. Also shown is their Box-Toppers point total for 2017 and their career ranking in Box-Toppers points at the end of the 2016 season.
 

Player Pos Team All
BTP
‘17
BTP
‘16
rank
1 Johnson, randy pi sp retired 278.8 1
2 Martinez, Pedro J. pi sp retired 244.8 2
3 Kershaw, Clayton 2494 pi sp lad nl 206.8 23.1 6
4 schilling, curt pi sp retired 194.1 3
5 Sabathia, C.C. 1492 pi sp nyy al 192.7 7.7 5
6 Pujols, Albert 1438 dh ana al 187.8 5.5 7
7 Rodriguez, Alex 3b released 187.0 4
8 Greinke, Zack 1871 pi sp ari nl 176.2 20.1 15
9 Hernandez, Felix 2064 pi sp sea al 171.4 2.7 9
10 Halladay, Roy 1178 pi sp retired 170.7 8
11 Ramirez, manny lf retired 167.2 10
12 Santana, Johan 1448 pi sp free agent 166.6 11
13 clemens, roger pi sp retired 164.8 12
14 smoltz, john pi sp retired 160.9 13
15 Hudson, Tim 1231 pi sp retired 157.0 14
16 Scherzer, Max 2588 pi sp dc nl 156.7 25.0 31
17 mussina, Mike pi sp retired 155.6 16
18 Verlander, Justin 2112 pi sp hou al 154.0 14.7 28
19 Lester, Jon 2173 pi sp chi nl 153.9 10.7 26
20 Hamels, Cole 2135 pi sp tex al 153.4 9.4 25
21 Colon, Bartolo pi sp min al 153.2 4.7 20
22 bonds, barry lf retired 153.2 17
23 maddux, greg pi sp retired 151.7 18
24 jones, chipper 3b retired 149.0 19
25 Vazquez, Javier 1146 pi sp retired 148.3 21
26 Cabrera, Miguel 1776 1b det al 146.9 2.0 24
27 thome, jim 1b dh retired 146.7 22
28 Ortiz, David dh retired 145.9 23
29 Peavy, Jake 1635 pi sp free agent 141.8 27
30 pettitte, andy pi sp retired 138.5 29
31 giambi, jason 1b retired 133.4 30
32 hoffman, trevor pi cp retired 129.4 32
33 Guerrero, Vladimir rf retired 128.3 33
34 Weaver, Jered 2178 pi sp retired 127.8 34
35 Burnett, A.J. 1300 pi sp retired 127.8 35
36 Lackey, John 1640 pi sp chi nl 127.2 6.0 39
37 Oswalt, Roy 1469 pi sp retired 127.2 36
38 rivera, mariano pi cp retired 126.4 37
39 sheffield, gary lf retired 124.1 38
40 Lee, Cliff 1798 pi sp free agent 119.1 40
41 Delgado, Carlos 1b retired 117.7 41
42 Wainwright, Adam 2150 pi sp stl nl 117.5 5.5 52
43 Zito, Barry 1415 pi sp retired 117.4 42
44 Buehrle, Mark 1407 pi sp retired 116.7 43
45 Helton, Todd 1060 1b retired 116.4 44
46 Hunter, Torii 1190 cf retired 115.9 45
47 Beltre, Adrian 1141 3b tex al 115.8 4.5 53
48 Lincecum, Tim 2288 pi sp free agent 115.0 46
49 Beckett, Josh 1544 pi sp retired 114.9 47
50 Santana, Ervin 2005 pi sp min al 113.4 16.1 83
51 Carpenter, Chris pi sp retired 113.3 48
52 Haren, Danny 1787 pi sp retired 113.2 49
53 sosa, sammy rf retired 113.2 50
54 brown, kevin j. pi sp retired 112.8 51
55 Sale, Chris 2806 pi sp bos al 111.5 25.1 108
56 Price, David 2593 pi sp bos al 110.9 4.7 59
57 glavine, tom pi sp retired 110.6 54
58 kent, jeff 2b retired 109.7 53
59 Wagner, Billy pi cp retired 108.7 54
60 Beltran, Carlos 1194 dh hou al 108.6 3.7 64
61 Millwood, Kevin pi sp retired 108.3 57
62 Berkman, Lance 1261 1b lf rf retired 108.1 58
63 Bumgarner, Madison 2753 pi sp sf nl 107.7 2.0 62
64 thomas, frank dh 1b retired 106.2 60
65 Ramirez, Aramis 1364 3b retired 105.8 61
66 Strasburg, Stephen 2736 pi sp dc nl 105.4 22.5 114
67 Liriano, Francisco 2104 pi sp hou al 105.2 2.0 66
68 Kazmir, Scott 1947 pi sp lad nl 105.1 63
69 moyer, jamie pi sp retired 104.0 65
70 Tejada, Miguel ss retired 102.3 67
71 griffey, ken jr. cf retired 102.2 68
72 Cueto, Johnny 2400 pi sp sf nl 101.8 2.0 75
73 Shields, James 2157 pi sp chi al 101.4 2.0 77
74 wakefield, tim pi sp retired 101.4 69
75 Teixeira, Mark 1738 1b retired 101.3 70
76 schmidt, jason pi sp retired 101.2 71
77 Holliday, Matt 1836 dh 1b lf nyy al 100.8 3.0 80
78 Cain, Matt 2081 pi sp sf nl 100.7 1.0 76
79 Konerko, Paul 1107 1b retired 100.7 72
80 bagwell, jeff 1b retired 100.4 73
81 walker, larry rf retired 100.1 74
82 edmonds, jim cf retired 98.8 78
83 Howard, Ryan 2040 1b col nl 98.7 79
84 Rolen, Scott 3b retired 97.6 81
85 Wolf, Randy 1235 pi sp retired 97.4 82
86 Jones, Andruw cf retired 96.5 84
87 Gonzalez, Gio 2626 pi sp dc nl 96.2 9.7 106
88 piazza, mike ca retired 95.7 85
89 Abreu, Bobby rf retired 95.5 86
90 nomo, hideo pi sp retired 95.5 87
91 Dempster, Ryan 1109 pi sp retired 95.2 88
92 Ordonez, Magglio rf retired 94.5 89
93 Dunn, Adam 1512 lf retired 94.3 90
94 williams, bernie cf retired 93.8 91
95 Lilly, Ted 1452 pi sp retired 93.3 92
96 giles, brian rf retired 92.5 93
97 Wood, Kerry pi sp retired 92.4 94
98 Braun, Ryan J. 2300 lf mil nl 91.7 3.5 100
99 Glaus, Troy 1132 3b retired 91.6 95
100 Lowe, Derek pi sp retired 91.5 96
BTP: Box-Toppers points
What are those numbers after players' names?

All four players selected for induction are among the overall top 35 players in career Box-Toppers points (tracking began in 1995). The three batters—Jones, Guerrero and Thome—rank among the top 10 batters in career Box-Toppers points since tracking began in 1995 and among the top three at their positions. Hoffman, the lone pitcher among the four, ranks first among closing pitchers in career Box-Toppers points since tracking began in 1995.

But overlooked Wednesday in voting were players who are among career overall Box-Toppers points leaders or leaders at their position. Most conspicuously absent was pitcher Curt Schilling who earned 194.1 career Box-Toppers points from 1995 through 2007, the fourth-highest total since 1995. Also not voted in was Jeff Kent, who leads all second basemen since 1995 with 109.7 Box-Toppers points.

Also not voted in were the usual suspects who have been ostracized for their association with performing enhancing drugs, including Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Gary Sheffield and Manny Ramirez.

In addition, pitcher Johan Santana, who dominated in Box-Toppers points in the mid-2000s and who ranks 12th among all players in career Box-Toppers points since tracking began, was not elected in his first year of eligibility and in fact, did not receive enough votes to return to the ballot in 2019. 

Here’s a look at the four players elected:

Chipper Jones

Jones, who played his entire career for the Atlanta Braves, received the most Hall of Fame votes (410, 97.2 percent of all writers) in his first year on the ballot. While Jones’ career pre-dates the advent of Box-Toppers tracking, he only played in eight Major League games prior to 1995 and examining those games, he would not have earned Box-Toppers Player of the Game honors in any of them. (Jones played in the eight games in 1993 and was injured and sat out the 1994 season.) In other words, the 149.0 Box-Toppers points he earned since 1995, when Box-Toppers tracking began, actually fully constitutes his career total.

Jones’ career Box-Toppers point total ranks 24th among all players, fifth among all batters and second among third basemen since tracking started in 1995. (At third base, Jones ranks behind only Alex Rodriguez with 187.0). Jones is the highest-ranked batter who never led his league's batters in Box-Toppers points in a single season. In his best season—2001—he had 16.7 Box-Toppers points, finishing behind NL batting leader Todd Helton of the Rockies, who had 17.0. 

Jones had five seasons with 10.0 or more Box-Toppers points. He finished in the overall top 10 in 2001 (in ninth place) and ranked among the top 10 NL batters four times.

Jones was voted NL Most Valuable Player in 1999, a year in which he had 9.7 Box-Toppers points, second among NL third basemen. He’s an eight-time All-Star, was a member the Braves’ 1995 World Series championship team, twice won the Silver Slugger Award and was the Majors’ batting champion in 2008.

Vladimir Guerrero

Guerrero, who played from 1996 to 2011 for the Expos, Angels, Rangers and Orioles, received the second-most Hall of Fame votes (392, 92.9 percent of the writers) in his second year on the ballot—last year he received 71.7 percent of the vote, falling just short of the needed 75 percent.

Guerrero is the first player voted into the Hall of Fame who played his entire career after the advent of Box-Toppers tracking. Guerrero began his career in 1996, the year after tracking began.

He earned 128.3 career Box-Toppers points, which ranks 33rd among all players, 10th among all batters and third among all outfielders since 1995, when Box-Toppers tracking began. His ranking at third among all outfielders would qualify him for a starting spot on Box-Toppers “All-Time” All-Star team, as he trails only Manny Ramirez (167.2) and Barry Bonds (153.2) in career points since 1995. Both of those players finished lower on the 2018 Hall ballot than Guerrero, with neither receiving enough votes for election.

Guerrero’s best season was 2004 on the Angels when he had 14.4 Box-Toppers points, which ranked second among American League batters, behind Gary Sheffield of the Yankees (16.2), who also fell short of being elected to the Hall in 2018. Guerrero was also voted AL Most Valuable Player in 2004.

Guerrero ranked among the top 10 AL batters in Box-Toppers points in four seasons and among the top 10 NL batters (with the Expos) three seasons. He had six seasons with 10.0 or more Box-Toppers points.

Guerrero is a nine-time All-Star and an eight-tine winner of the Silver Slugger.

Jim Thome

Thome, who played from 1991 to 2012 for the Indians, Phillies, White Sox, Twins, Dodgers and Orioles, received the third-most Hall of Fame votes (379, 89.9 percent of the writers) in his first year on the ballot.

Thome has 146.7 career Box-Toppers points since 1995 when tracking began, which ranks 27th among all players in that span, seventh among all batters and second among first basemen, behind only Miguel Cabrera of the Tigers, who just passed him in 2017 and now has 146.9 points.

However, Thome’s career pre-dates Box-Toppers. If Thome’s career from 1991 through 1994 were tracked, rough projections put his actual career Box-Toppers point total at 154, which would put him ahead of both Cabrera and Chipper Jones.

Box-Toppers lists Thome as both first basemen and designated hitter, since he spent a lot of time in the DH role late in his career. Thome also ranks second among designated hitters in career Box-Toppers points behind Albert Pujols of the Angels (187.8).

Thome’s best season tracked by Box-Toppers was 1996 with the Indians, when he had 16.2 Box-Toppers points, ranked sixth among all players and third among AL batters. He ranked among the top 10 in batters in Box-Toppers points five times—three times in the American League and twice in the National League with the Phillies. Thome had 10.0 or more Box-Toppers points in a season five times.

Thome was a five-time All-Star, won a Silver Slugger Award in 1996 and led the NL in home runs in 2003.

Trevor Hoffman

Hoffman, who played from 1993 to 2010 for the Padres, Brewers and Marlins, received the fourth-most votes (337, 79.9 percent of the voting writers) in his third year of eligibility. Hoffman narrowly missed induction in 2017, falling just five votes shy of the 75 percent needed for election.

Hoffman has 129.4 Box-Toppers points since 1995, ranking 32nd among all players and first among all closing pitchers (ahead of Mariano Rivera with 126.4). Hoffmann began his career in 1993, prior to the 1995 advent of Box-Toppers tracking. If his entire career were tracked, rough projections put his career total at about 135 Box-Toppers points (only increasing his lead on Rivera, who would still have 126.4).

While Hoffman leads all closing pitchers in Box-Toppers points, he ranks 23rd among all pitchers in Box-Toppers points since 1995, ranked between Andy Pettitte (138.5) and Jered Weaver (127.8). Of the top 100 pitchers in career points since 1995, seven are closing pitchers.

Hoffman’s best season tracked by Box-Toppers was 1996 when he had 14.7 Box-Toppers points, which ranked fifth among all NL pitchers (including starters). (Separate classifications for closing and middle relief pitchers were not kept by Box-Toppers until 1998.)

Hoffman is a seven-time All-Star and led the NL in saves in two seasons. His 601 career saves stood as a record until it was broken by Rivera, who still holds it with 652 saves; Hoffman still ranks second.

Here is a look at players who missed the cut:

Curt Schilling

In his sixth year of eligibility, Schilling received 51.2 percent of the vote, gaining from the 45.0 percent he received in 2017, but still below the 52.3 percent he received in 2016. Schilling played from 1988 to 2007 and had 194.1 Box-Toppers points since 1995, ranked fourth on the “all-time” list (also fourth among all pitchers).

He is the highest-ranked Hall-eligible player not to be elected to the Hall of Fame. Two players ahead of him in Box-Toppers rankings are Hall-of-Famers—pitchers Randy Johnson (278.8 Box-Toppers points) and Pedro Martinez (244.8). Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw, still active, passed Schilling in career Box-Toppers points in 2017 and now ranks third “all-time” with 206.8.

Jeff Kent

In his fifth year of eligibility, Kent received  14.5 percent of the vote, down from the 16.7 percent he had last year. Kent has 109.7 Box-Toppers points since 1995, ranked 58th among all players and first among second basemen. Kent’s consistent low vote total could be explained because he was not known as a great defensive player. But Kent didn’t just lead all second basemen in Box-Toppers points during his career, he dominated them. And 10 years after his retirement, no other second baseman has come close—Robinson Cano of the Mariners currently ranks second among all second basemen in Box-Toppers points since 1995 with 79.4, 30.3 points behind Kent.

Edgar Martinez

In his ninth year of eligibility, Martinez had 70.4 percent of the vote, falling 20 votes short of the 75 percent needed for election to the Hall. However, his percentage is up from the 58.6 percent he received in 2017. Martinez has just one more year of eligibility remaining on the writers’ Hall ballot. 

Martinez had 77.5 career Box-Toppers points, ranked 139th among all players and 10th among designated hitters. (Martinez began his career in 1987 and so would likely have about 100 total career Box-Toppers points, based on rough projections.)

Mike Mussina

In his fifth year of eligibility, Mussina received 63.5 percent of the votes, up from the 51.8 percent he received in 2017 and the 43.0 percent he received in 2016. Mussina has 155.6 career Box-Toppers points since 1995, ranked 23rd among all players and 14th among all pitchers. If his entire career from 1991 were tracked, rough projections put Mussina’s actual career Box-Toppers point total at 193.

Steroid-associated players

Five players associated with steroids who otherwise might have been shoo-ins to the Hall of Fame were again denied induction:

  • Roger Clemens, in his sixth year of eligibility, received 57.3 percent of the vote, up from the 54.1 percent he received in 2017 and the 45.2 percent he received in 2016. His career began in 1984 and he earned 164.8 Box-Toppers points from 1995 to 2007, 13th among all players and 10th among all pitchers. (If his entire career were tracked, projections put his Box-Toppers point total at about 320.)
  • Barry Bonds, in his sixth year of eligibility, received 56.4 percent of the vote, up from the 53.8 percent he received in 2017 and the 44.3 percent he received in 2016. His career began in 1986 and he earned 153.2 Box-Toppers points from 1995 to 2007, 22nd among all players and second among all outfielders. (If his entire career were tracked, projections put his Box-Toppers point total at about 230.)
  • Manny Ramirez, in his second year of eligibility, received 22.0 percent of the vote, down from the 23.8 percent he received in 2017. Ramirez had 167.2 career Box-Toppers points since 1995, ranked 11th among all players and first among outfielders. (Ramirez began his career in 1993, prior to Box-Toppers tracking. If his entire career were tracked, rough projections put his career total at about 173.)
  • Gary Sheffield, in his fourth year of eligibility, received 11.1 percent of the vote, down from the 13.3 percent he received in 2017 and down from the 11.6 percent he received in 2016. Sheffield has 124.1 career Box-Toppers points since 1995, ranked 39th among all players and fourth among all outfielders. If his entire career from 1988 to 2009 were tracked, he would have roughly 155 career Box-Toppers points.
  • Sammy Sosa, in his sixth year of eligibility, received 7.8 percent of the vote, down from the 8.6 percent he received in 2017 but up from the 7.0 percent he received in 2016. His career began in 1989 and he earned 113.2 Box-Toppers points from 1995 to 2007, 53rd among all players and sixth among all outfielders. If his entire career were tracked, projections put his Box-Toppers point total at about 135.

Johan Santana

The biggest Hall of Fame snub among players on the ballot for the first year in 2018, based on Box-Toppers statistics, belongs to pitcher Johan Santana.

Johan Santana

Here are Johan Santana's Box-Toppers statistics. The third column shows his Box-Toppers points (BTP) per season. The final column shows his All-Star Selections, his Box-Toppers key season rankings and his standing in Cy Young and Most Valuable Player Award voting.
 
Year Team BTP Notes
2000 min al 0.0
2001 min al 1.7
2002 min al 10.0
2003 min al 10.7 CYA‑7
2004 min al 26.8 BTP‑1, CYA‑1, MVP‑6
2005 min al 24.1 AS, BTP‑1, CYA‑3
2006 min al 25.7 AS, BTP‑1, CYA‑1, MVP‑7
2007 min al 18.1 AS, CYA‑5, BTP‑4, BTP‑AL pi‑1
2008 nym nl 15.4 BTP‑9, BTP‑NL pi‑5, CYA‑3, MVP‑14
2009 nym nl 11.4
2010 nym nl 12.0
2011 nym nl 0.0
2012 nym nl 10.7
2013 nym nl 0.0
Total 166.6 BTP‑12, BTP‑pi-9

AS All-star selection
BTP Finish among all players in Box-Toppers points
BTP-AL pi Finish among all AL pitchers in BTP
BTP-NL pi Finish among all NL pitchers in BTP
CYA Finish in league Cy Young Award voting
MVP Finish in league Most Valuable Player Award voting

Source: Information for player awards comes from Baseball-Reference.com

Santana received just 10 Hall of Fame votes, only 2.4 percent of the writers, below the 5 percent threshold to remain eligible to return to the ballot next year.

But Santana ranks among the top 10 pitchers in career Box-Toppers points since 1995, when tracking began, led all players in Box-Toppers points for three straight seasons and led all AL players for four straight seasons.

The case against Santana going into the Hall of Fame may be that his career was relatively short and he had injuries that kept him from playing. And though his success was overwhelming and dominant, it lasted just a few short years. And perhaps writers view his repeated comeback attempts in recent years as unseemly. 

At 38, he is still listed as a free agent and has consistently attempted to return to baseball. He last played a Major League game in 2012 with the Mets, a year in which he had 10.7 Box-Toppers points. But he has since been signed by the Orioles and Blue Jays but never appeared in a game. Santana has said recently he wants to continue his pitching career

In 2014, Box-Toppers profiled 14 players whose careers had ended or had appeared to end. Santana is the only one of them who is still trying to mount a comeback.

Santana has 166.6 career Box-Toppers points, which ranks 12th among all players and ninth among all pitchers since 1995, when tracking began. Because he’s listed as a free agent, he ranks fifth among all active pitchers in career points.

Santana played from 2000 to 2012 with the Twins and the Mets. His greatest success came from 2004 to 2007 with the Twins. He led all players in Box-Toppers points for three straight seasons (2004 to 2006), something only one other player has done (Randy Johnson led players for five straight years from 1998 to 2002). He led all AL players for four straight years (2004 to 2007). He won two Cy Young Awards in 2004 and 2006 but probably should have won four straight (2004 to 2007).

Here’s a look at Santana’s dominant seasons:

  • 2004—26.8 Box-Toppers points, led all players, won AL Cy Young Award, finished sixth in AL Most Valuable Player Award voting.
  • 2005—24.1 Box-Toppers points, led all players, finished third in AL Cy Young Award voting.
  • 2006—25.7 Box-Toppers points, led all players, won AL Cy Young Award, finished seventh in AL Most Valuable Player Award voting.
  • 2007—18.1 Box-Toppers points, led all AL players, ranked fourth among all players, finished fifth in AL Cy Young Award voting.

Santana moved to the Mets in 2008 and while he still had 10 or more Box-Toppers points in each of the four seasons he appeared with them, he never matched his success he had with the Twins. However, in 2008, he had 15.4 Box-Toppers points, ranked ninth among all players, fifth among NL pitchers and third in NL Cy Young Award voting.

Santana had 20 or more Box-Toppers points for three straight years, the fifth-longest streak of consecutive seasons with 20 or more points in Box-Toppers tracking history. He had nine straight years of 10 or more Box-Toppers points (2002-2010) and 10 total seasons with 10 or more points (2002-2010 and 2012).

Santana is a four-time All-Star, led the Majors in wins in 2006, led in earned run average and strikeouts three times and pitched a no-hitter with the Mets in 2012.

Writer Bill Baer compared Santana’s career to Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax. Both played 12 seasons, both were shortened by injury, both had very similar regular season numbers. Koufax was elected to the Hall in his first try and is considered one of the all-time great pitchers, despite his injury-shortened career. Baer deems Koufax’s career as better than Santana’s—but not by much.

While Santana will not appear on next year’s writers ballot for the Hall, there are still other ways he can be enshrined. He could be voted in as early as December by a subcommittee that considers players for induction who appeared after 1988. This year, a similar subcommittee voted to induct two players who had been passed over by writers.

And if Santana is able to comeback and appears in a Major League game, his Hall of Fame clock would be reset and he would be eligible for Hall of Fame voting by the baseball writers again as soon as 2024.

First year of eligibility

There were 19 players who were in their first year of Hall eligibility, having played at least 10 seasons and been retired for five. Two received the 75 percent vote needed for induction (Jones and Thome). Only three others received at least 5 percent of the vote to be eligible for the 2019 ballot—Omar Vizquel, Scott Rolen and Andruw Jones. Fourteen others did not receive the requisite 5 percent of the vote and so will not return to the 2019 ballot. Of those, only eight received votes—Johan Santana, Jamie Moyer, Johnny Damon, Hideki Matsui, Chris Carpenter, Kerry Wood, Carlos Lee and Livan Hernandez. Six players received no votes—Kevin Millwood, Carlos Zambrano, Jason Isringhausen, Aubrey Huff, Brad Lidge and Orlando Hudson.

Other facts

For the first time, all candidates on the writers’ ballot played the majority of their careers in the Box-Toppers era from 1995 on. (The candidate who played the largest percentage of his career before Box-Toppers tracking is Fred McGriff, who played nine seasons prior to tracking from 1986 to 1994 and 10 seasons from 1995 to 2004, while tracking was in effect.)

Seventeen of the 33 players on the ballot began their careers in 1995 or after, meaning their entire careers were tracked by Box-Toppers. However, 13 of those players did not receive enough votes to return to the Hall of Fame ballot in 2019. There are 15 players from the 2018 ballot who will return in 2019. Of those, 12 began their careers prior to 1995.

Adding up all the seasons all 33 players on the ballot were active results in 575 player seasons, an average of 17.4 seasons per player. Of those 575 player seasons, 95 took place prior to Box-Toppers tracking in 1995. That means 83.5 percent of all these players’ careers were tracked by Box-Toppers.

Morris and Trammell also to be inducted in 2018

In addition, two other players were voted into baseball’s Hall of Fame in December by the Modern Baseball Era Committee. Pitcher Jack Morris and shortstop Alan Trammell were selected and will be inducted alongside the four players chosen by the writers this week.

The Modern Baseball Era Committee is made up of 16 voters, including eight Hall of Famers, five baseball executives and three media members or historians. They select from a group of 10 candidates who participated in the game during baseball’s “modern era,” from 1970 to 1987.

Morris played from 1977 to 1994 for the Tigers, Twins, Blue Jays and Indians. However, he retired the year before Box-Toppers tracking began in 1995.

Trammell played for the Tigers from 1977 to 1996. While Box-Toppers wasn’t around to track his play from 1977 to 1994, Trammell did earn 3.5 Box-Toppers points in 1995. He earned no points in his final season, 1996.

In December 2018, a separate Hall of Fame subcommittee will vote on candidates to induct in 2019. That subcommittee will consider participants from “today’s” game, 1988 or later.

About Box-Toppers—Box-Toppers tracks who most helps their team win the most games. Using standard box score statistics, Box-Toppers uses a simple formula to determine a Player of the Game for each Major League Baseball game played. That player is the person who contributed most to his team’s win. In regular season games, players earn 1.0 Box-Toppers point for being named Player of the Game and can earn bonus points for being Player of the Day or top player or batter in their league for the day.

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How 2017 Hall of Fame candidates fared in Box-Toppers

How 2016 Hall of Fame candidates fared in Box-Toppers points

How 2015 Hall of Fame candidates fared in Box-Toppers points

Box-Toppers top 100 players of “all-time,” 1995-2017