This is certainly going to be an interesting case to watch when Ryan Braun finally becomes eligible for the Hall of Fame.
Currently, Braun has 322 career homers, 1,802 hits, 1,053 RBIs, 204 stolen bases, and a .299 batting average. He’ll get 2,000 hits soon enough and could reach 400 home runs by the end of his career, depending on how much longer he plays after his contract ends in 2020.
Baseball-Reference’s Hall of Fame Monitor has a likely HOFer’s score as 100, and Braun’s score is currently 107. The average Hall of Fame left fielder has a 41.6 7-year peak WAR, and Braun’s 7 year peak had a 39.2 WAR.
If he has a strong finish to the end of his career, Braun is a borderline Hall of Famer, at best.
But what’s going to weigh heavily on the minds of the voters is the positive PED test in 2011, the dramatic denial, and then the Biogenesis reports and PED suspension in 2013. Braun’s numbers taking a downturn since his suspension also aren’t exactly helping get rid of the belief that his numbers were boosted by steroids.
A borderline case like Braun’s will see his chances of making the Hall torpedoed by his PED past. Even Barry Bonds, who was the most feared hitter of his generation and the home run “king” hasn’t gotten elected yet and this is his 7th year on the ballot, and it’s all because everyone knew he took steroids.
Even if voters decide to accept known PED users by the time Braun is eligible, they’re going to remember his vehement denial and how he handled the situation, and they’re not likely to vote for him.
What will be interesting to watch is how long he stays on the ballot. Will he immediately fall below the 5% threshold to stay on the ballot or will he stick around for a couple years? That much we don’t know, but he probably won’t be the next Brewers Hall of Famer.