It’s likely nothing will ever compete with the HOF classes of the 1930’s, and that first class of Ruth, Cobb, Wagner, Johnson, and Mathewson is pretty much untouchable.
But the 2015 HOF class was among the strongest in terms of WAR in recent years, and this class could potentially be a strong one as well.
Here’s a handy Baseball Reference page with all the players on this year’s ballot. Plenty of stats, both old and new, for you to look at and sort through.
This could be a good year for clearing out some of the “backlog”, since the newcomers list isn’t particularly super strong. On the other hand, electing four guys at once is very much an outlier, so it’s probably not reasonable to expect a big class like that again.
And this will be the first year in which former writers, who haven’t written about baseball in over a decade, will no longer have a vote. This change should remove some of the stodgy and stuffy old gasbags from the process, though there’s still the problem of only being able to vote for 10 players. As far as I’m concerned, with the quality of names on this ballot, anyone who doesn’t submit a full 10-player ballot should be removed from the voter pool for next year.
I’ve got a pretty good idea of who my hypothetical votes would go to. I definitely want to find room to vote for Trammel in his last year. And while I very much try to separate the player on the field from the person off the field, in a ballot this crowded, I’d have no problem telling Schilling to fuck off and leave him off the ballot.