The Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA) released its 2017 Hall of Fame ballot Monday, and Jeff Bagwell, Trevor Hoffman, Tim Raines, Vladimir Guerrero, Manny Ramirez, Ivan Rodriguez and Jorge Posada highlight the list of 34 former players.

Bagwell, Hoffman and Raines each obtained at least 67.3 percent of the vote in the 2016 Hall of Fame class, though the three failed to reach the requisite 75 percent needed for induction. Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza did reach that percentage and were inducted in 2016.

That bodes well for the trio in the future, as the BBWAA noted: “Every player who has ever cleared the 65 percent threshold in any one BBWAA election has eventually been inducted into the Hall of Fame, save for Jack Morris—who exhausted his BBWAA eligibility in 2015 and will not be eligible for the Modern Baseball Era Committee consideration until the fall of 2017.”

The three can certainly make a strong case.

Bagwell was the 1994 National League MVP and finished his career with a .297 batting average and 449 home runs. Hoffman was one of the most dominant closers in MLB history, finishing his career with 601 saves (second all-time), and he was twice voted as the runner-up for the Cy Young Award. Raines led the NL in steals four times and is fifth all-time in swiped bags with 808.

The newcomers to the ballot offer strong cases as well.

Vladimir Guerrero finished his career hitting .318 with 449 homers and 1,496 RBI, and he had one of the strongest outfield arms in the game. He was also exciting to watch at the plate, as he was unafraid to swing at a pitch no matter where it was thrown and had the power to hit pitches well off the plate out of the park.

“Vlad’s one of the greatest guys and best teammates I’ve ever been around,” former teammate Torii Hunter told Barry M. Bloom of “I felt honored to play on the same team with a Hall of Famer.”

Manny Ramirez was no slouch with the bat either, hitting .312 with 555 homers and 1,831 RBI. He was a phenomenal postseason hitter, blasting 29 home runs and 78 RBI in 111 postseason games, and he was one of the game’s quirkier figures during his career.

However, he also twice tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs—serving one suspension and retiring to avoid another—which may keep him off some ballots.

Ivan Rodriguez and Jorge Posada, meanwhile, were both excellent catchers. Rodriguez was known for his consistent fielding and his excellent offensive production for the position, hitting .296 with 311 home runs.

“I feel very excited about it,” Rodriguez told Bloom. “It’s hard to believe five years went by that quick. It feels like I just retired a couple of years ago. It will be nice. It will be fun. Hopefully I can be in the Hall of Fame. Nobody knows. I’m feeling positive.”

Posada won four titles with the New York Yankees as part of the legendary core of players for the team that included Mariano Rivera, Derek Jeter and Andy Pettitte.

The other notable names include Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Jeff Kent, Edgar Martinez, Fred McGriff, Mike Mussina, Curt Schilling, Gary Sheffield and Lee Smith.


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