Now that Derek Jeter is a Hall of Famer, it’s time to debate which former New York Yankees will be inducted into Cooperstown next.
For the second consecutive year, the New York Yankees will have one of their iconic former players inducted into the Hall of Fame.
After receiving 99.7% of the votes, Derek Jeter will now join his former teammate Mariano Rivera in Cooperstown. However, Jeter should have absolutely been voted into the Hall of Fame unanimously by every single voter.
Jeter will also become the 20th player in franchise history to enter the Hall of Fame as a former Yankee. In total, the Yankees are also slated to now have 61 former players and managers featured in Cooperstown.
Following Jeter, let’s determine which former Yankees will be next to enter into the Hall of Fame.
Along with “The Captain,” the Yankees could also have two more former players inducted in just a few years. The next two former Yankees to enter the Hall of Fame should be Andy Pettitte and Alex Rodriguez.
After receiving just 9.9% of the votes in 2019, the 47-year-old gained a 1.4% increase during his second year on the ballot. However, Pettitte still needs a massive number of votes before he can be inducted into Cooperstown.
In order for a player to be enshrined into the Hall of Fame, they require at least 75% of the total votes. Based on Pettitte’s percentage of votes, the left-hander will need a 63.7% boost from the voters over his last eight years on the Hall of Fame ballot.
Over those eight years, the three-time All-Star should become the 21st player to enter Cooperstown as a member of the Yankees. During his 18 seasons in the league, Pettitte completed 3316.0 innings and generated a career 60.2 bWAR, 68.2 fWAR, 3.85 ERA, 3.74 FIP, 3.70 xFIP, 1.35 WHIP, .265 OPP AVG, 117 ERA+ along with 2448 strikeouts as well.
Despite Pettitte (47.1) having a lower JAWS rating than both Hall of Fame pitchers Dazzy Vance (54.6) and Jim Bunning (54.1), the five-time World Series winner did record a higher bWAR and fWAR than both of them. In addition, Pettitte’s 117 ERA+ is 2% higher than Bunning’s 115 ERA+.
While he threw 349.1 innings more than Vance, Pettitte also induced 403 more strikeouts than him during his 18 seasons in the league.
Since Pettitte only created a 34.1 WAR7 rating during his career, he’ll likely be forced to wait a few more seasons until he’s inducted into the Hall of Fame. But, the hard-throwing hurler should eventually be one of the next players to enter Cooperstown as a former Yankee.
As for “A-Rod,” his Hall-of-Fame status will be heavily determined by the outcomes of Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens. Since Rodriguez tested positive for “PED’s” on two separate occasions, he’ll likely be placed in the same controversial category as Bonds and Clemens.
The 14-time All-Star will become eligible for the Hall of Fame ballot for the first time in 2022. During that same year, if they’re not inducted by then already, both Bonds and Clemens will be entering their final year of eligibility on the ballot.
Despite the controversy surrounding Rodriguez, the three-time MVP award winner certainly produced Hall-of-Fame worthy results through his 22-seasons in the league. Over those 22 seasons, Rodriguez received 12,207 plate appearances and he recorded a career 117.8 bWAR and 113.7 fWAR (both second-best all-time among shortstops and third basemen).
In addition, the two-time Gold Glove award winner is also ranked fourth all-time in home runs (696) and third all-time in RBI (2086) as well. Rodriguez is also one of five players who have hit at least 3,000 hits and 500 home runs during their career.
Along with his impressive bWAR and fWAR, Rodriguez also created the second-best WAR7 (64.3), JAWS (91.0) and oWAR (115.3) all-time among third basemen and shortstops.
Based on this year’s results, Rodriguez will likely be forced to wait until his final few years on the ballot before reaching the Hall of Fame. Since Clemens’ vote total only increased by 0.5% and Bonds’ by just 1.6% this year, Rodriguez will also likely struggle to earn 75% of the votes over his ten years of eligibility.
However, there’s a good chance that both Clemens and Bonds will be inducted into Cooperstown either next year or in 2022. If the controversial duo is voted into the Hall of Fame during Rodriguez’s first year of eligibility, then his chances of joining them should increase significantly.
While there wasn’t much hope for Jason Giambi’s Cooperstown dreams, he deserves at least a little recognition for his Hall-of-Fame worthy career.
The 2020 season marks the first time and now the last time that Giambi was eligible to be featured on the Hall of Fame ballot. During his first and only year of eligibility, the five-time All-Star earned a measly 1.5% of the votes.
Based on his impressive career, Giambi should have at least lasted more than just a single year on the ballot. Over his 20 seasons in the league, the left-handed hitter received 8,908 plate appearances and produced a career 50.5 bWAR, 49.8 fWAR, 440 HR, 1441 RBI, 2010 hits, 139 OPS+, 140 wRC+ along with a slashing line of .277/.399/.516/.916 as well.
In comparison to Orlando Cepeda (who was inducted into the HOF in 1999), Giambi deserved significantly more recognition on this year’s ballot.
Through Giambi’s 20 seasons in the league, he generated a 42.2 WAR7 rating (7.6 higher than Cepeda’s WAR7), a 46.4 JAWS rating (4.0 higher than Cepeda’s JAWS) along with a 58.4 oWAR rating which was 8.0 greater than Cepeda’s oWAR rating. Additionally, Giambi’s career OPS+, bWAR and home run totals all exceeded Cepeda’s career results.
Based on these metrics, Giambi could have definitely surpassed the 75% threshold that he would have needed before he’d be allowed to enter into the Hall of Fame. Although, his relation to steroids destroyed his chances of ever becoming a Hall of Famer.
While Giambi was also connected to “PED’s” during his career, he should have definitely received at least a minimum of 5% of the votes, which would have kept him on the ballot for next year.