The 2021 MLB Hall of Fame ballot was released and four former Houston Astros made the list. Will any of them make it to Cooperstown?
With the 2021 MLB Hall of Fame ballot hitting the public, four former Houston Astros could make their way to Cooperstown this summer. The options are pitchers Billy Wagner, Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte with the one position player being Jeff Kent. With the ballot being filled with players from the steroid era, Wagner and Pettitte have a greater chance of getting in.
The Astros only have two former players entered into the Hall of Fame as Astros: Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell. The other former Astros entered the Hall with other teams such as Nolan Ryan and Joe Morgan.
Wagner was the closer for the Astros from 1996-2003, then bounced around until his retirement in 2010. Out of the four former Astros on the ballot, he is the only player who is a lock to go in as an Astro, if he is indeed selected. Over his 16-year career, Wagner led all of baseball twice in games finished, ranks sixth in all-time saves with 422, has been top-6 for Cy Young twice in his career and is a six-time All-Star. The accolades and success is there for Wagner, and he is currently on a weak ballot. Wagner was at 31.7% of the ballot last year and 75% gets you in. This will be his 6th year on the ballot.
Projected Hat: Houston Astros
The Rocket has received criticism throughout the years even before his steroid scandal came to light. Clemens’ accolades are heavy and too much to even bring up, but you would think a player with seven Cy Youngs, an MVP, and two World Series rings would be a first ballot Hall of Famer. Clemens played for 23 years and is one of the most successful players of all time. The issue is there is not enough voters that believe in casting their ballot for Clemens.
He did not spend much time in Houston so he likely would wear either a New York Yankees or Boston Red Sox hat, but the Yankees make the most sense. Clemens is on his ninth year on the ballot and is currently at 61% as of last year. After 10 years, you are dropped from the ballot.
Projected Hat: New York Yankees/Blank
Pettitte is another pitcher not well known for his time in Houston, but Astros fans remember it well. Over his 18-year career, Pettitte spent most of it with the New York Yankees. The lefty is a three-time All-Star, who was a regular finisher in Cy Young voting. Along with the accolades, he led baseball in games started, but missed a year due to injury. Pettitte doesn’t have too much to his name, but he’s only on his third year on the ballot and is at 11.3%.
Projected Hat: New York Yankees
The last player is Survivor star, Jeff Kent. Kent had a long and interesting career, but never showed enough to get him into the Hall of Fame. He is currently on his eighth year and at 27.5% of the vote, which is highly leaning towards a no-show in the Hall. Over his 16-year career, Kent was a five-time All-Star, an MVP and a four-time Silver Slugger. Kent has many accolades, but they only span for about half of his career. I would give him a vote, but it is not looking good for the former Astro. He only played 2 seasons in Houston and was a bounce around player the rest of his career.
Projected Hat: San Francisco Giants
The chances we see any of these players ever slip in are very low. Wagner is the only one who should go in, but his chances are very slim, and it would take all 10 years.