I’m not even a drug player… Frustration in ML battle, second baseman’s most home runs “It’s not fair”

 Jeff Kent (55), who holds the record for the most home runs by a second baseman in major league history, failed to enter the Hall of Fame in his 10th attempt. 

As a result of the 2023 Major League Hall of Fame vote announced on the 25th (hereinafter Korean time) by the BBWAA, Scott Rolen was the only one elected. Rolen, who was a special third baseman with 316 homers and 8 Gold Glove careers, got 297 out of 389 votes, 76.3% of the votes, exceeding the 75% standard. 

However, Kent, who was a top-notch second baseman, ended up suffering. He received 181 votes, taking 46.5% of the vote, well short of the 75% criterion. This was the highest vote rate since she first qualified for the nomination in 2014. The previous 9 years were only 15.2%, 14.0%, 16.6%, 16.7%, 14.5%, 18.1%, 27.5%, 32.4%, and 32.7%. Kent lost his candidacy as he failed to enter the Hall of Fame for 10 consecutive years. 

Right-handed second baseman Kent, who debuted with the Toronto Blue Jays in 1992, played 17 seasons until 2008 with six teams, including the New York Mets, Cleveland Indians, San Francisco Giants, Houston Astros, and Los Angeles Dodgers. He was a great gun who played an active role in 2298 games with a batting average of 2.9, 2461 hits, 377 homers, 1518 RBIs, and an OPS of .855. 

Kent, who holds the record by hitting 351 of 377 career home runs as a second baseman, had a career high season with a batting average of 3.34, 33 homers, 125 RBIs, and an OPS of 1.021 in 2000, winning the National League MVP. He is a 5-time All-Star and 4-time Silver Slugger, but he lost all 10 chances after becoming a Hall of Fame candidate.  메이저놀이터

‘NBC Sports Bay Area’ of the United States pointed out that ‘Kent has no problems that would hinder him from entering the Hall of Fame, such as performance-enhancing drugs,’ and that ‘he played in a high-scoring era and his defense was not good’ as the reason for his dropout. He is a so-called steroid era player, and his batting performance is frothy and his defense is weak. He has not even won a Gold Glove Award. In terms of WAR, he is 19th all-time for second basemen, and from a sabermetric perspective, there are many factors that make Kent undervalued in the modern era. 

Kent’s teammate in San Francisco, infielder Rich Orillia, countered. He said, “Kent’s defense at second base was also above average. He was good at double play,” he said. “He was one of the best clutch hitters at the time, and we saw him up close. Kent definitely deserves a place in the Hall of Fame.” Since 1961, Kent has been the only clutch hitter among second basemen and shortstops with both a .300 batting average and .500 slugging percentage in scoring position. 

Kent did not accept the result easily either. In a text message to the local newspaper ‘San Francisco Chronicle’, he said, “For years, the voting results have left me scratching my head. Statisticians who do not have the right to vote are influencing the vote. It is also unfair to compare them with past generation players who have already entered the Hall of Fame,” he complained to the saber metrics who underestimated him. 

Apart from this, there is also a view that Kent’s personality problems during his active career are another reason. He was so fiery that he got into a neck-and-neck with teammate Barry Bonds in the dugout in June of 2002 while in San Francisco. He was not popular with reporters as a picky reporter. Kent, who was eventually shunned by reporters, re-challenges for entry into the Hall of Fame through the Modern Baseball Era Committee to be held in 2025. He must receive at least 75% of the vote from a committee made up of baseball elders.

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