It seems pretty likely that 2018 will be Victor Martinez’s last season in the major leagues.
If that is the case, Martinez would first be eligible on the Hall of Fame ballot in 2023.
Similar to Hunter, Martinez would not go into the Hall of Fame wearing a Detroit Tiger’s hat. However, his contribution to the Tigers has been substantial, even if last season was one to forget.
Through the 2017 season, the 39-year-old Martinez has racked up 106 home runs, 486 RBI, 916 hits and 167 doubles in a Tigers uniform. He was a 2014 All-Star and finished second in MVP voting, while also winning the Silver Slugger Award.
Additionally, he has posted a 121 OPS+ and a .296/.357/.453 slash line in Detroit, along with a 9.4 bWAR.
For his entire career (mostly spent in Cleveland) Martinez has accrued 2,036 hits, 237 home runs, 1,124 RBI, 402 doubles, a 121 OPS+ and a 33.5 bWAR.
He made five All-Star games, won two Silver Slugger Awards and led the league in OBP and OPS once each.
His HOF case holds up simply because of how much time Martinez spent behind the plate earlier in his career.
Martinez has caught 858 games, compared to 746 at DH and 213 at first base.
The standards for the Hall of Fame are lower offensively for catchers than they are at other positions.
However, Martinez still falls short of the average HOF catcher according to most metrics.
His 33.5 bWAR ranks him 30th, and his 7-year peak WAR of 28.9 ranks him 23rd.
The average Hall of Famer has a 53.4 bWAR and a 34.4 7-year peak WAR.
Martinez may show some life with the stick next year, but is unlikely to make much of a dent in his current statistics. If his stats don’t increase dramatically, he is unlikely to make the Hall of Fame.
Next is another active player who should get some serious consideration when he retires.