Blue Jays: Former first baseman should make the Hall of Fame this year

Toronto Blue Jays v California Angels
Toronto Blue Jays v California Angels / Owen C. Shaw/GettyImages

In 2019, former Blue Jays first baseman Fred McGriff received 169 votes from the Baseball Writers' Association of America, coming in at 39.8% and well under the 75% threshold needed to enter the National Baseball Hall of Fame. It was his tenth and final year on the ballot, meaning he would no longer be one of the yearly ballot holdovers and would instead rely on the Era's voting if he was to ever find a place in Cooperstown.

This offseason, McGriff was named to the Contemporary Era Ballot for his contributions following the 1980 season, joining seven other players who could be enshrined in the Hall of Fame this winter, with the ballot including Albert Belle, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Don Mattingly, Dale Murphy, Rafael Palmeiro, and Curt Schilling.

The class is strong but also not without controversy, as numerous members on the ballot were known or affiliated PED users, which is why they did not make it through the first round of voting. Candidates still need to be on 75% of the votes in order to get elected into the Hall of Fame but there are only 16 members on the voting committee, meaning players need to be on at least 12 ballots in order to make it.

Former Blue Jays first baseman Fred McGriff is part of the Contemporary Era Ballot and could be elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame next week.

McGriff was drafted by the New York Yankees in the ninth round of the 1981 MLB Draft and was later traded to the Blue Jays the following season. With the Jays, McGriff made his MLB debut in 1986 and slashed .278/.389/.530 with 125 home runs, 305 RBI, and a .919 OPS across five seasons, winning a Silver Slugger Award during the 1989 campaign.

During the 1990 offseason, McGriff along with Tony Fernández was traded to the San Diego Padres in exchange for Roberto Alomar and Joe Carter, a move that later resulted in the Jays winning back-to-back World Series in 1992 and 1993.

Following the Jays, McGriff spent 14 seasons split between the Padres, the Atlanta Braves, the Tampa Bay Rays, the Chicago Cubs, and the Los Angeles Dodgers. During his 19 years in the big leagues, the lefty-batter authored a .284/.377/.509 slash line with 493 home runs, 1550 RBI, and a .886 OPS with a 52.6 bWAR.

Defensively, McGriff spent his entire career split between first base and the designated hitter spot, sporting a .992 fielding percentage with 167 errors (avg 8.8 errors a season). His 2490 hits have him sitting 103 on the all-time leaderboard and 29th in terms of home runs. McGriff also ranks 177 in terms of bWAR. For his career, McGriff finishes with three Silver Slugger Awards, five All-Star appearances, and a World Series win with the Atlanta Braves in 1995.

Looking at McGriff's stats compared to other Hall of Famers, "Crime Dog" does stand a good chance of hearing his name called next week when the committee gets together on December 4th. It will be interesting to see how the votes go considering some of the players who are tied to PEDs but hopefully that will not impact McGriff, who I believe should be a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame after a strong 19 seasons in the MLB.