Arnold McGee - Cobb Times Herald
In the continuing series, Hof or Not?, The Times Herald is examining which players have the potential to make the Hall of Fame. Today the subjects are shortstops, the wizards of the glove. Of course there are some heavy hitters in here as well, with Dallas Kline overshadowing every other player at the position. Once you look past him though there are some other very good players, so let's take a look at who they are and what their chances for immortality might be.
Dallas Kline - Louisville Tysons
Qualifications: 6 All Star appearances, 2 MVP, 5 Silver Sluggers, 2 Gold Gloves (1 @ 3B), 414 HR's, 939 Runs, 1.051 OPS, 1099 RBIs
HoF or Not: HoF - Kline is arguably the best player in the history of Cobb World, and along with Jose Barrios has been on another planet offensively for all 7 of his recorded seasons. Add his mastery of the glove which netted him two Gold Gloves, and you have a first ballot Hall of Famer, no questions asked.
Quinn Coleman - Free Agent
Qualifications: 3 All Star appearances, 1 Silver Slugger
Detriments: .969 Fielding %, average offensive numbers
HoF or Not: NOT - Coleman was one of the dominant shortstops for the first few years of Cobb World, but he hasn't aged well and his numbers aren't on the level of other players at the position. Good but not great is the consensus here.
Henry Wade - Free Agent
Qualifications: 3 All Star appearances, 1143 hits, .981 Fielding %
Detriments: 7:1 negative to positive play ratio, average offensive numbers
HoF or Not: NOT - Wade is in the same boat as Coleman. Both were good early, but eclipsed later by better players. Wade probably doesn't have enough to get him into the Hall.
Kevin Williams - Wichita Wankers
Qualifications: 2 Gold Gloves, .976 Fielding %, More plus plays than negative plays
Detriments: Weak hitter who is only average at the plate.
HoF or Not: NOT - Williams is arguably the best fielding SS in Cobb history, but his average bat will leave him short of Cooperstown. Still there are many teams who were glad to have him manning the SS position in his career.
Rico Romero - St. Louis HoundDogs
Qualifications: 3 All Star appearances, 1124 hits
Detriments: .969 Fielding %, average offensive stats outside of hit tally
HoF or Not: NOT - Not yet anyways. Romero has been very good for many seasons, but hasn't been able to match the elite status of his contemporaries. Still a very good player who might be able to make the Hall if he hangs on long enough.
Rico Estrada - New York Titans
Qualifications: 3 All Star appearances, 3 Silver Sluggers, 1237 hits, 808 runs. .302 BA
Detriments: .964 Fielding %, 4:1 negative to positive play ratio
HoF or Not: HoF: Estrada is a hitting machine, and that is enough to overcome his defensive deficiencies, which in all fairness are skewed as he played while still developing his glove at the ML level. Currently he is an elite defensive SS, and has the potential to win a gold glove. It will be interesting to see if his bust in the Hall has his trademark shades or not.
Corey Green - Fargo Fug Nuts
Qualifications: 2 All Star appearances, 1 Silver Sluggers, 1 MVP, 1 ROY, .302 BA, 1.025 OPS
Detriments: .969 Fielding %, few years of service
HoF or Not: NOT - This will change if Green keeps putting up numbers and improving his glove, but at the moment he is merely an incredibly talented SS, who barring one of the trade spasms that rock the Fug Nuts annually, should remain a rock in their lineup for years. Comparisons to a young Dallas Kline are valid.
R. J. Cubillan - Pittsburgh SSP
Qualifications: 2 All Star appearances, 1 Silver Slugger, .972 Fielding %
Detriments: Few years of service
HoF or Not: NOT - Cubillan is another young SS to watch out for, with the potential to be very good when his career is over. If he keeps improving at his current rate, there is no reason to believe he wont be in Cooperstown when it is all said and done. But as of now he isn't there yet.
Domingo Montana - Jackson Pollocks
Qualifications: 2 All Star appearances, 1 Silver Slugger, 316 HR's, 929 RBI's 3:1 positive to negative play ratio
Detriments: .969 Fielding %
HoF or Not: HoF - When compared to other shortstops of his generation, Montana is equal to any of them except for Dallas Kline. His power and glove have made him the cornerstone of the Pollocks lineup, and he will be that for some time yet. He should be one of the few shortstops to finish with over 500 HR's in his career, barring something unforeseen.
Geraldo Mendoza - Durham Pitbulls
Qualifications: 3 Gold Gloves, .983 Fielding %, 3:1 positive to negative play ratio
Detriments: He is required to hit
HoF or Not: NOT - Mendoza is an elite defensive SS, but his bat keeps him from entering the Hall
On the radar but not yet ready for the discussion: Pedro Chavez - Huntington Hillbillies, Enrique Guardado - Nashville Rebel Riders.