Jason Giambi isn’t a Hall of Famer. And chances are, the former New York Yankees slugger never will be. But it’s possible Hall-of-Fame voters made a mistake in dropping him from the ballot two years ago. That’s the argument being made by FanGraphs, which took a closer look at Giambi’s career by comparing it to Todd Helton.
This is the fourth year the Colorado Rockies star is on Hall of Fame ballot. Helton has been named on almost 58% of the ballots made public so far, well below the 75% threshold needed for induction. But with six more years of eligibility remaining, Helton could be tracking toward induction in Cooperstown down the road. And that’s where FanGraphs enters the picture.
Let’s take a snapshot look, keeping in mind that Giambi played 2,260 games, Helton in 2,247 games.
Giambi: .394 wOBA, 140 wRC+, 2,010 hits, 440 home runs.
Helton: .405 wOBA, 132 wRC+, 2,519 hits, 369 home runs.
Giambi is a former MVP with a higher JAWS peak score than Hall of Fame first basemen Harmon Killebrew, Eddie Murray, Tony Perez, Bill Terry, and Jim Thome. That’s pretty darn impressive (Giambi’s BALCO connection, not so much).
Giambi, a five-time All-Star, appeared on 1.5% of the Hall-of-Fame ballots cast in 2020 after getting just six votes. Since he was named on less than 5% of the ballots cast, Giambi’s name was dropped from future voting, with his candidacy likely cut short due to his connections with performance-enhancing drugs, most notably HGH.
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Mike Rosenstein may be reached at [email protected].