Credit: Kelley L Cox-US PRESSWIRE
Yesterday, the Baseball Writers’ Association of America formally announced the 2013 nominees for the Hall of Fame. Among the 37 players vying for immortalization in Cooperstown are nine former Giants, from powerhouse slugger and San Francisco icon Barry Bonds to one-year wonders like Kenny Lofton and Reggie Sanders.
Inductees will be revealed on January 9, 2013. For the uninformed, here are the general voting guidelines for the Hall of Fame, as specified by the BBWAA website:
"“Voting shall be based upon the player’s record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character, and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played.”"
The complete list of Giants’ nominees is provided below, with a brief overview of each player’s value and offensive contributions. All nine players are in their first year of eligibility.
Barry Bonds — .312/.477/.666, 586 HR, 199 OPS+, 109.5 WAR
Royce Clayton — .249/.302/.339, 18 HR, 76 OPS+, 7.4 WAR
Kenny Lofton — .267/.353/.406, 3 HR, 104 OPS+, 1.7 WAR
Steve Finley — .246/.320/.394, 6 HR, 83 OPS+, 1.0 WAR
Reggie Sanders — .250/.324/.455, 23 HR, 107 OPS+, 3.3 WAR
Ryan Klesko — .260/.344/.401, 6 HR, 92 OPS+, 0.2 WAR
Roberto Hernandez — 2.48 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 2.50 K/BB, 1.0 WAR
Mike Stanton — 3.09 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 3.00 K/BB, 0.6 WAR
Jose Mesa — 3.52 ERA, 1.56 WHIP, 1.56 K/BB, 0.1 WAR
Some on this list need no introduction or defense. Barry Bonds’ résumé speaks for itself. In 15 seasons with the Giants, he was elected MVP five times, with five Gold Gloves, eight Silver Sluggers, and twelve All-Star appearances. He leads MLB in home runs, both as a career record (762) and in a single season (73). He led the National League in OBP eight times and five times in SLG. In 2009, he drew an unprecedented 232 walks, while opposing pitchers issued him an additional 120 intentional bases. He was one of the greatest hitters to grace the Bay—and Major League Baseball, for that matter.
Royce Clayton, though no Barry Bonds, holds the group’s second-longest tenure in San Francisco. He kickstarted his major league career with a five-year stint at Candlestick Park, contributing a 6.6 dWAR as his offense peaked at .282/.331/.372, 6 home runs, and 70 RBI in 1993.
The remaining seven players were one-year rentals for the Giants. Kenny Lofton and Reggie Sanders helped propel the team to a World Series run in 2002. Jose Mesa split his 1998 season between Cleveland and San Francisco, tacking his 3.52 ERA to a bullpen that touted a league-leading 3.16 ERA. Roberto Hernandez pitched a single inning in the 1997 NLDS, delivering a walk-off single to Florida’s Moises Alou in the 9th inning of Game 2. Both Steve Finley and Ryan Klesko arrived in SF at the tail end of their careers. At 41, Finley was the oldest center fielder with over 100 games in a single season. Klesko, for his part, managed a total of 116 games after a drastic shoulder surgery in the 2006 offseason.
Of course, a player’s full career should be taken into account when building a case for a Hall of Fame induction. According to the Hall of Stats, a website devoted to objectively evaluating players on their on-field merits, only Bonds and Lofton are eligible for Cooperstown. You can find further explanation, analysis, and an interactive 2013 ballot here.
All statistics are provided by Baseball-Reference and reflect only each player’s career with the San Francisco Giants.