Detroit Tigers History

Detroit Tigers: A look ahead to the 2019 Hall of Fame Ballot

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Jack Morris and Alan Trammell pose during the Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jack Morris and Alan Trammell pose during the Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /
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ANAHEIM, CA – AUGUST 26: Placido Polanco #14 of the Detroit Tigers plays against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angel Stadium on August 26, 2009 in Anaheim, California. The Angels defeated the Tigers 4-2. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CA – AUGUST 26: Placido Polanco #14 of the Detroit Tigers plays against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angel Stadium on August 26, 2009 in Anaheim, California. The Angels defeated the Tigers 4-2. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images) /

Placido Polanco

Polanco will reach the ballot for the first time in 2019. He had an accomplished 15-year career, spent primarily with three teams: the Phillies, the Cardinals and the Tigers.

Polanco is one of the best second basemen in Tigers history, spending five years with the team from 2005-2009. He hit .311 with a 103 OPS+ during his tenure in the Motor City, racking up a 19.2 bWAR, his highest with any team. His best individual season came in 2007, when Polanco hit .341 with 200 total hits. He was an All-Star and won both the Gold Glove and the Silver Slugger Award, while posting a 6.1 bWAR.

Looking at his complete scope of work, Polanco was a slick-fielding second baseman who accrued a 41.5 bWAR. That’s primarily thanks to his 18.7 dWAR, good for 62nd all-time. Polanco also won three Gold Gloves and one Silver Slugger award, while making two All-Star games and winning the ALCS MVP award in 2006.

However, comparing him to other Hall of Fame second basemen makes it clear he should fall short of enshrinement in Cooperstown. His 41.5 bWAR is 37th at the position, well behind the HOF average of 69.5. His defensive prowess is impressive, but he was not good enough offensively to make the Hall of Fame. In fact, he’s unlikely to even receive the 5% of the vote necessary to stay on the ballot the following year.

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