Predicting who will make the Baseball Hall of Fame can be tougher than looking at a few numbers. Potential plays a huge role and those who do not reach it are sometimes held accountable. There are lots of talented players from the last twenty years whom because of controversy or all around bolstered statistics have been unable to obtain enough votes in the yearly election. Among the current players still playing in 2014, these are the ones listed by position ready to be enshrined once their careers are over as long as they continue playing at the same rate.
Catcher – Joe Mauer
The former catcher for the Minnesota Twins who now thankfully plays first base still has a bit to accomplish before guaranteeing a spot in Cooperstown. This man, Joe Mauer, has won three batting titles in seasons when he was still a catcher. Not only that, he has as many Gold Gloves as batting titles plus an MVP Award. Mauer needs to continue this pace and with being able to avoid the toll playing catcher takes on the body he may very well do it.
First Base – Albert Pujols
A member of the 500 Home Run Club as of 2014, Albert Pujols is one of the best hitters of his generation. He has led the league in runs five times, home runs twice, and even has a batting title. From 2001-2011 Pujols finished in the top five of the MVP vote with the exception of one season when he finished a distant ninth. After an injury plagued 2013 with the Los Angeles Angels, Pujols is on track to add to his career totals and maybe earn a few more minutes in his Cooperstown acceptance speech.
Second Base – None
The only position without any guaranteed Hall of Famers is second base. Typically not a position known for providing huge offensive numbers, there are still a few players on the cusp of the Hall of Fame nod. If not for several injuries throughout his career, Chase Utley would be mentioned among the all-time greats. Unfortunately age has caught up to him. Robinson Cano’s career is still not complete enough to assess whether he will make the Hall of Fame. As it currently stands, he will probably fall just short. Dustin Pedroia should also be mentioned, although with the competition with players at other positions he too may get the cold shoulder from the baseball writers.
Shortstop – Derek Jeter
An absolute mortal lock to not only get into Cooperstown, but to also maybe have a wing named after him (maybe just for a week) is Derek Jeter. The definition of a New York Yankee, Jeter was there throughout their entire run from in the late 1990s and 2000s. Jeter has a chance to finish as high as sixth on the all-time hits list, although it will take a lot of luck in his final season. He doesn’t have to do a thing in 2014. He’s already a legend.
Third Base – Miguel Cabrera
In 2012 Miguel Cabrera did something nobody had since Carl Yastrzemski in 1967, win the Triple Crown. Cabrera led the league in batting average, home runs, and RBIs. Coming off back-to-back MVP season, Cabrera is still in his prime. It would take a drastic change in his game to keep him from becoming a Hall of Famer.
Outfield – Ichiro Suzuki
Unfortunately for Ichiro Suzuki he didn’t join Major League Baseball until he was in his mid-20s as he was busy dominating baseball in his home country of Japan. In spite of the late start he has still surpassed the 2700 hit mark and has the distinction of having the most hits in a single season with 262. His career winding down, Suzuki should be remembered best for playing an old-school style of baseball where hard play was valued above everything else.
Pitcher – Felix Hernandez
Known as Felix Hernandez to his friends and King Felix to the batters he faces, the hard-throwing pitcher for the Seattle Mariners is one of the last guys anyone wants to see on the mound if they have a bat in their hands. Hernandez has managed to find success for some very bad teams. This was never truer than when he won the Cy Young Award in 2010 with a 13-12 record. Hernandez still has a lot of career ahead of him as he is only 28-years-old. When it’s all over he may have numbers that rank among the greatest pitchers to ever play the game.