There are 14 returning players on the BBWAA ballot. Only one had at least 60% last year and has a real shot this year: Scott Rolen. Todd Helton and Billy Wagner both had over 50%. Andruw Jones had 41%. They could make moves to set them up for selection in future years. Gary Sheffield had 40% too but is in his sixth year on the ballot. He has no chance. Jeff Kent only had 32.7% last year, and this is his final year of eligibility. I bet he gets in eventually, but it will be via a veterans committee.
Of the new players, all but one are in the “it’s an honor to be on the ballot” category. That is, only one stands any chance of ever being inducted: Carlos Beltran. He has 70.1 WAR. By JAWS, his career stats place him right at average for a Hall of Fame center fielder. His main comparison on the ballot is Andruw Jones. He ha more WAR than Jones—he aged better. Jones had the better peak and was better defensively. JAWS has Jones the 11th best CF all time and Beltran 9th. Jones is in his sixth year on the ballot. I do not think Beltran will be a first ballot guy either. I think he will get in eventually, but I also think some writers will withhold their vote for him at least initially because of the 2017 Astros sign stealing scandal.
Thus, I predict a class of one for 2023: Scott Rolen. If I’m right, he will join Fred McGriff, who was selected via the vet committee vote.
If I were a BBWAA voter, my ballot would be: S. Rolen, B. Wagner, T. Helton, A. Jones, C. Beltran, A. Rodriguez, M Ramirez. It’s the first time in a long time I would not utilize all 10 votes. I thought about Sheffield, Kent, Abreu, and Pettite…they have their merits, but no.