The Milwaukee Brewers have two former players that will be making their debut on the 2021 Hall of Fame ballot.
We’re all tired of hearing about ballots by this point, right? But a new election is coming up, this time for the National Baseball Hall of Fame Class of 2021. The Milwaukee Brewers have two former players on the ballot.
Third baseman Aramis Ramirez, who wore a Brewers uniform from 2012 through 2015, is eligible for the first time. Also, reliever LaTroy Hawkins, who played in Milwaukee in 2010 and 2011, has made the ballot.
Let’s look at the Hall of Fame cases for both players.
The Hall of Fame case for Aramis Ramirez
In his prime with the Chicago Cubs, from 2003-2011, Ramirez was one of the most consistent offensive performers at the hot corner in baseball. He hit .294/.356/.531 in those seasons with a 126 OPS+.
Ramirez received MVP votes in four of those seasons, finishing 10th twice. He also received a pair of All-Star nods and won the 2011 Silver Slugger for third base.
After joining the Brewers in 2012, Ramirez led the league in doubles with 50 and put up a very good .300/.360/.540 slash line. He ended up finishing 9th in MVP voting that year, his highest finish ever.
However, Ramirez’s defensive performance at third base has dragged down his career WAR, and hurts his chances of getting elected. With the kind of longevity he had at the position (18 years) and with his offensive numbers not being very eye-popping, he would need a strong defensive profile to boost his candidacy. His -70 career DRS would suggest he doesn’t have that defensive profile.
Ramirez only has 32.4 career WAR per Baseball-Reference, and has a total of 2,303 hits and 386 home runs. That makes for a very good career, but those numbers likely aren’t good enough for the Hall of Fame.
Even if Ramirez were to get in, he would probably go in as a Cub instead of a Brewer since that’s where he spent most of his career and all of his prime. But based on the numbers, Ramirez is more of a Hall of Very Good player than a Hall of Fame player.
The Hall of Fame Case For LaTroy Hawkins
If guys went into the Hall of Fame for the kind of person they are, LaTroy Hawkins would be a first ballot inductee. He was one of the most respected players in the league and the kind of guy everyone wants to have on their team.
The Brewers had Hawkins on their team in 2010 and in 2011 when they made it to the NLCS. His leadership in that bullpen helped the Brewers get as far as they did, plus his performance was pretty solid, too. In 2011, Hawkins posted a 2.42 ERA in 52 games with a 2.76 FIP.
In the 2011 postseason, Hawkins threw four scoreless innings, including three of them in the NLCS.
Unfortunately, Hawkins’ Hall of Fame case can’t rest solely on the respect for the kind of person and teammate he is. He finished his career with a 4.31 ERA and 1.40 WHIP. After a few lackluster years in the rotation in Minnesota he was moved to the bullpen.
He put up some solid years in the bullpen, but never produced any ridiculous numbers. Most of the time he served as a setup man, but he spent a few scattered seasons as a closer, amassing 127 career saves.
Even the guys with 400 career saves and far better ERA and WHIP numbers have had a tough time getting in.
The best case for Hawkins is his longevity, pitching in 21 MLB seasons and staying productive even into his later years. But the counting stats aren’t there, the career numbers aren’t there, and the WAR numbers aren’t there. Another guy for the Hall of Very Good perhaps, but likely to fall short of the Hall of Fame.
Former Brewers outfielder Corey Hart was eligible for the ballot this year but was left off, ending his Hall of Fame candidacy before it even got started.
The last time the Brewers had a Hall of Famer inducted was former team owner Bud Selig in 2017. The last player to get inducted and go in as a Brewer was Paul Molitor in 2004.