Saturday, April 6, 2019

The Case for Nick Markakis 4/6/19

Hey baseball fans!

I've been very into these "The Case For" blogposts recently, so I'm pumping out another one! Nick Markakis has always been a prolific hitter and is set on a path that's headed straight for Cooperstown, despite only making his first All Star Game last year. Why is he so worthy of the Hall of Fame, you ask? Let me answer that question with some classic Baseball with Matt Hall of Fame precedence.

All Star Games do and don't matter for Hall of Fame consideration. Joe DiMaggio made an All Star Game every single year he played in the MLB, which, due to him only playing for 13 years, arguably pushed him over the edge for Hall of Fame consideration. Jim Thome, on the other hand, only made five All Star Games in 22 years, but is in the Hall of Fame for his 612 career home runs. Markakis definitely falls more under the Thome category rather than DiMaggio's at this current moment for being a player who excels at hitting without the deserving midsummer recognition.

But is Markakis's consistent hitting really comparable to Jim Thome's power? Realistically, probably not, considering 612 home runs is, to put it plainly, insane. However, Markakis's stats are nothing to insult. In just 13 years (excluding 2019), Markakis has 2,237 hits and a .288 batting average. Those averages equal to 172 hits per season, which puts him on track for 3,000 hits towards the middle of his 17th season. As long as he can keep up that pace to reach 3,000, he will be a Hall of Famer. I'm aware that you're tired of hearing this from me, but remember: 3,000 hits is an automatic ticket to Cooperstown.

But here's where things get interesting. Will Markakis's lifetime batting average affect his ability to get into the Hall on his first try? The best comparison for this question would have to be Craig Biggio, who totaled 3,060 career hits (and only seven All Star Games in 20 years), but it took him three years on the BBWAA ballots to get in. Biggio's delayed induction could've been due to steroid skeptics, but it was most likely due to his .281 batting average, the third-lowest batting average out of the members of the 3,000 hit club. However, the hitters who are number one and two, Cal Ripken Jr. and Rickey Henderson, both had other reasons for their Hall of Fame legitimacy and both received voting percentages of over 90% on their first time on the ballot.

Whether it takes one year or ten, Nick Markakis is a Hall of Famer if he reaches 3,000 hits. If he gets more All Star Game appearances under his belt and raises his batting average before he retires, though, the 3,000 hits might not be as necessary for him to see his plaque in Cooperstown. Thanks for reading this post and I hope you enjoyed it. Check back soon for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."

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