Phillies: Examining the Case for Future Philadelphia Hall of Famers

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Jul 26, 2015; Cooperstown, NY, USA; The 4 Hall of Fame plagues of Craig Biggio, Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez and John Smoltz installed and available for viewing in the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

Several extremely talented players propelled the Phillies to their NL East dominance from 2007 to 2011. Which were talented enough to be Hall of Famers?

Several Phillies are on this year’s Hall of Fame ballot in Pat Burrell, Matt Stairs, Arthur Rhodes, Billy Wagner, and Curt Schilling. With the ballots for this year’s class of Hall of Famers being tallied at this very moment, it appears Wagner and Schilling will be the only ones staying on the ballot. More on them in a bit.

There are several former Phillies who will be eligible for induction in the coming years. Several were part of the run of division titles from 2007 to 201, which only helps their case. Let’s take a look at several Phillies who could wind up in the Hall of Fame.

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Aug 2, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies wall of fame inductee Curt Schilling shakes hands with the Phillie Phanatic during the 2013 Philadelphia Phillies wall of fame induction ceremony prior to playing the Atlanta Braves at Citizens Bank Park. The Braves defeated the Phillies 6-4. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

RHP Curt Schilling

We’re going to knock the hard one right out of the way first.

By most standards, Curt Schilling should be a Hall of Famer. The 20-year veteran has a career 3.46 ERA, 216-146 record, 1.137 WHIP, 4.38 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He is a six-time All-Star and thrice finished as the Cy Young runner-up, twice to Randy Johnson and once to Johan Santana in his ridiculous 2004 season.

Turning towards Baseball Reference’s Hall of Fame statistics, Schilling is better than the average Hall of Famer in most of them. He is above-average in Black Ink, Gray Ink, and Hall of Fame Monitor. Meanwhile, he ranks 27th among starting pitchers in JAWS, a metric that uses wins above replacement to compare Hall of Fame candidates to current members of the Hall. Schilling ranks above current Hall of Fame pitchers like Al Spalding, Mickey Welch, and Bob Feller.

However, the detraction from Schilling as a Hall of Famer stems from his career after baseball, especially in the last few years. He was fired from ESPN after making several offensive tweets in regards to the North Carolina law which required transgenders to use the bathroom of their choice, as well as one comparing radical Islam to Nazism. He also uploaded a picture of a man wearing a shirt that supports lynching journalists. That alone probably hurt his Hall of Fame case, especially when being elected by a group of journalists.

Currently, Schilling has been added to ten ballots and dropped from 20 according to Ryan Thibodaux’s ballot tracker.

Several voters have invoked the “character clause” which says “Voting shall be based upon the player’s record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character and contribution to the team(s) on which the player played.” By claiming players like Schiling don’t have “character” or “integrity”, they leave them off their Hall of Fame ballot.

Schilling was a dominant pitcher during his career, and it would normally get him into the Hall with ease. However, his actions after his playing career ended soured his image to some voters. Only time will tell if he has enough supporters to get him into the Hall.

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RHP Roy Halladay

While Roy Halladay‘s tenure in Philadelphia lasted just four years, he aided the Phillies to two NL East crowns. In his four years as a Phillie, he carried a 3.25 ERA, 1.119 WHIP, and accumulated 17.1 WAR.

Over his career, Halladay was an eight-time All-Star and twice won the Cy Young award as well as being the runner-up twice. He has 67 complete games, including 20 shutouts. As a whole, he has a career 3.38 ERA, 1.178 WHIP, 203-105 record, and 3.58 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

Turning towards the Hall of Fame metrics, Halladay is above the average Hall of Famer in Black Ink and Hall of Fame Monitor but below-average in Gray Ink as well as Hall of Fame Standards. His seven-year peak WAR of 50.6 is nearly identical to the average Hall of Fame starting pitcher, but his career 64.7 WAR and 57.6 JAWS are both below-average. However, his career JAWS is better than several other Hall of Famers.

Overall, Halladay has a track record of awards, consistency, and advanced metrics that should get him into the Hall with ease. Since Halladay last played in 2013, he would be eligible for induction in 2018, and it isn’t a stretch to say he could be inducted his first year.

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Jun 18, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies second baseman Chase Utley (26) plays defense against the Baltimore Orioles at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies won 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

2B Chase Utley

While Chase Utley is still playing, it is never too early to wonder if he will be a Hall of Famer. He is by no means a sure thing to make it, but he still very well could.

In terms of honors, Utley was an All-Star six times and earned the Silver Slugger award four straight years. He placed in MVP voting five times, reaching as high as seventh in 2006.

Over his career, Utley has a .278/.361/.472 line along with 1777 hits, 381 doubles, 53 triples, and 250 home runs. His best season in terms of WAR came in 2008 when the Phillies won the World Series. He racked up nine wins above replacement that year after posting a .915 OPS, hitting 33 home runs, and driving in 104 runs.

Utley ranks below the average Hall of Famer in all of the Hall of Fame metrics.

However, his seven-year peak WAR of 49.1 is higher than the average Hall of Fame second baseman. However, Utley’s JAWS ranks higher than current players Robinson Cano, Ian Kinsler, and Dustin Pedroia, all of which are likely Hall of Fame candidates. In addition, his JAWS is higher than current Hall of Famers Roberto Alomar and Craig Biggio.

The last thing that may help Utley get into the Hall of Fame is his work ethic and character. Especially for older voters, this may help him get over the 75% threshold to Hall of Fame consideration, especially if he is on an overall weak ballot.

Phillies

Jun 14, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins (11) hits a single to right in the fifth inning to become the all time franchise hit leader and is congratulated by former record holder Mike Schmidt during a game against the Chicago Cubs at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

SS Jimmy Rollins

Jimmy Rollins was one of the top shortstops in Phillies history, but is that enough to get him to the Hall of Fame? The advanced statistics say not, as he ranks below the average Hall of Famer in every metric but Hall of Fame Monitor. His career and seven-year peak WAR both fall well below the average Hall of Famer as well.

However, Rollins does have some peripheral accolades that help his case as a Hall of Famer. He won the MVP award in 2007, along with three All-Star appearances, four Gold Gloves, and a Silver Slugger.

In addition to those awards, Rollins is the active leader for most double plays turned as a shortstop. He also led the league in triples four times and once led the league in stolen bases.

Overall, Rollins doesn’t have the most polished case for a Hall of Famer, but there are still some aspects of his game that may get him in.

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