Besides the guys that already appear on the ballots —such as Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte, and Jeff Kent, though they were part of the team for only a few seasons—, there were no notable Astros players on the Hall of Fame ballots this time. It’s time to look beyond 2021 and see who are the next former ballplayers to join the list and dream of HOF glory.
For the 2022 ballots, we’ll see former center-fielder Michael Bourn, who made his debut and spent four years with the Astros. Then things will get serious the following year, when OF/DH Carlos Beltrán and RHP Chad Qualls will get their first chance in ‘23.
Who of the three has the greatest odds?
Well, Bourn was a great base-stealer. He swiped 341 bags out of 435 attempts (78% success rate) and had a couple of 170-plus hits, but there’s not much more than that. The fact that he only played in 11 campaigns will only affect his chances.
Qualls was a 14-year major-leaguer and pitched for the Astros in six of those seasons. Despite being a good, durable middle reliever (807 1⁄3 innings, 3.89 career ERA), the righty won’t probably make it to a second year on the ballots, just like Bourn.
Now it all comes to Beltrán, who might live a different story. I don’t know if he could be a first-ballot Hall of Famer, though I think there’s a chance considering the potential HOF ballot for 2023. But what I do know for sure is that, no matter when, the Puerto Rican should have room in Cooperstown.
Beltrán enjoyed a 20-year career in the Bigs, compiled 2.725 hits, 565 doubles, 78 triples, 435 home runs, 1.587 runs batted in, 1.582 scored runs, 312 stolen bases, and 1.084 bases on balls.
Go to Stathead and search for players with those career stats (at least 2.700 hits, 500 doubles, 400 home runs, 1.500 RBIs, 300 steals, and 1.000 walks). Surprised, uh? Only FOUR players in MLB history with that resume: Barry Bonds, Alex Rodríguez, Willie Mays, and —yes, you guessed it— Beltrán.
It’s true he only spent two seasons as an Astro and wouldn’t probably wear the team’s hat to an eventual HOF induction, but he was an important piece in both years.
In 2004, he looked like a video-game character during the regular season (17 2Bs, 7 3Bs, 23 HRs in 90 games) and the postseason (.435/.536/1.022, 8 HRs, 14 RBIs in 12 games). In 2017, his final season, he was part of the team that won the World Series and immediately called it quits.
I don’t know whether the sign-stealing scandal could play a role in Beltran’s chances to get into the HOF, but his statistics should get him in anytime before his 10th and final attempt.
Should Carlos Beltran’s role in the Astros sign-stealing scandal cause him to be denied entrance into the Hall of Fame?
This poll is closed