Detroit Tigers History

Detroit Tigers: Who will be the Tigers next Hall of Famer?

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DETROIT, MI - JUNE 15: Torii Hunter #48 of the Detroit Tigers bats during the fifth inning of the game against the Minnesota Twins at Comerica Park on June 15, 2014 in Detroit, Michigan. The Tigers defeated the Twins 4-3. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - JUNE 15: Torii Hunter #48 of the Detroit Tigers bats during the fifth inning of the game against the Minnesota Twins at Comerica Park on June 15, 2014 in Detroit, Michigan. The Tigers defeated the Twins 4-3. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) /
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DETROIT, MI – JUNE 15: Torii Hunter #48 of the Detroit Tigers bats during the fifth inning of the game against the Minnesota Twins at Comerica Park on June 15, 2014 in Detroit, Michigan. The Tigers defeated the Twins 4-3. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI – JUNE 15: Torii Hunter #48 of the Detroit Tigers bats during the fifth inning of the game against the Minnesota Twins at Comerica Park on June 15, 2014 in Detroit, Michigan. The Tigers defeated the Twins 4-3. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) /

Torii Hunter

I think it is safe to say that if Torii Hunter does make the Hall of Fame, he will not be wearing a Tigers hat. Hunter spent 12 of his 19 seasons with the Twins and is one of the best players in team history.

However, Hunter did have two productive seasons in the Motor City toward the end of his career.

Between 2014-2015, Hunter slashed .295/.327/.456 with 34 home runs, 167 RBI and a 115 OPS+. He was an All-Star and Gold Glove winner in 2013 while also finishing 19th in MVP voting.

Hunter was known throughout his career as an elite defensive centerfielder, although he spent his time in Detroit patrolling right field.

Hunter is eligible for the Hall of Fame starting in 2020. While he has a compelling case, he is far from a sure thing for induction.

Hunter finished his career with 2,452 hits, 353 home runs, 1,391 RBI, 195 stolen bases, a .277 batting average, a 110 OPS+ and a 50.0 bWAR.

His case resides primarily on his defensive numbers. He won 9 Gold Glove Awards, the seventh most among outfielders. His five All-Star appearances and two Silver Slugger Awards will help as well.

However, Hunter’s number do not quite line up with other Hall of Fame centerfielders. According to Jay Jaffe’s Hall of Fame metric JAWS, Hunter’s 40.6 score ranks him 32nd all-time. The average Hall of Fame centerfielder has a score of 57.9.

Johnny Damon, Chet Lemon, Kenny Lofton, Jim Edmonds and Ellis Burks all rank ahead of Hunter. None of them are in the Hall.

Additionally, Hunter’s 50.0 career WAR falls considerably short of the average Hall of Fame centerfielder’s 71.2 mark.

Hunter will get a lot of votes based on name recognition alone. Getting 75% will be tough however, especially since Jim Edmonds and Kenny Lofton each received less than 5% in their first year on the ballot.

Next up is the Tigers most deserving candidate who has yet to get enshrined.

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