Edgar Martinez's Hall of Fame Chances

This is a guest post, courtesy an opportunity through FanDuel, so enjoy a non-Mariners fan's perspective of Edgar's Hall of Fame case.

* * *

It is another MLB offseason, which means for Mariners fans, the Edgar Martinez Hall of Fame debate heats up. While fans in the Pacific Northwest are pretty much unanimous in thinking that Martinez should be enshrined in Cooperstown, voters seem to be pretty mixed.

The biggest issue for Martinez right now has more to do with how the voters look at things than his actual numbers. It is not like he is getting new at-bats in-between each season to increase his odds. The numbers are staying the same, but as of right now, there needs to be a change in the way voters think for him to have a shot.

As has been the case since he first appeared on the ballot in 2010, the people against Martinez love to cite that he only played 592 games in which he needed to bring a glove. Defense has always been a tough thing to judge, but you can’t be judged at all if you are a designated hitter. That hurts him in the voting now just like it hurt him in the MVP voting during his playing days. Having just two top 10 MVP finishes in his career, many also believe he accumulated solid stats instead of ever dominating baseball.

Those voters who rely more on advanced statistics though are right with the Mariner homers who think Martinez should already be in the Hall of Fame. His career on-base percentage, which is a much more well-rounded metric than simply batting average, is .418. Since the 1940s, only Barry Bonds, Mickey Mantle and Frank Robinson have had better careers in that regard.

Winning batting titles while still slugging quite a few home runs is never an easy feat either. He has a pair of batting titles to his name, and with over 300 home runs, he has a rare blend of average and power that puts him in the upper-echelon of best all-around hitters.

Ever since receiving support somewhere in the 30-40% range, things have looked bleak for Martinez to make it into the Hall of Fame. He does have a few things working for him though that should get him in eventually.

For starters, he was well liked by the media, fans and fantasy baseball players. Character counts in the Hall of Fame, especially when it comes to fringe players. His numbers will age well as he is compared to other steroid-era guys and analyzed by a more analytical crowd. The wait your turn deal might seem silly to some (again, nothing changes between now and say 10 years from now regarding his statistics), but judging by the way the Hall of Fame votes, he still has some years to wait before finally being appreciated.