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Assessing Jim Edmonds' Hall of Fame candidacy

Unlike Griffey Jr., the case for Jim Edmonds is not as cut and dried.

Jim Edmonds making one of his many catches while patrolling center field
Jim Edmonds making one of his many catches while patrolling center field
Elsa/Getty Images

Jim Edmonds was a very good player, for quite a long stretch of time, but his dominant stretch came later in his career than most and falls short in a few areas.

The case for Edmonds as a Hall of Famer

Edmonds arrived in Anaheim as a 23-year-old, getting his first cup of coffee in 1993. He opened as the starting center fielder for the Angels in 1994 and played well enough to finish eighth in Rookie of the Year voting.

In 1995, he made the first of four All-Star games and finished fourteenth in MVP voting. A well-regarded defender in center, he also ended up nabbing eight Gold Gloves in his 17-year career.

He ended up having a bit of a late career surge when he jumped over to the St. Louis Cardinals in 2000. From 2000-2005, he put up a very good 292/406/584  (154 OPS+) line with 210 homers and averaging just under 100 RBI and RS.

The case against Edmonds as a Hall of Famer

As noted above, his very good stretch was pretty late in his career, which meant he was unable to accumulate some of the milestone numbers that voters like. He has a career 284/376/527 slash, which is good enough for a 132 OPS+. That is very solid. But he finished just shy of 400 home runs, just over 400 doubles and was never a stolen base threat.

He did not crack the Top 100 in RS or in RBI. And even though he finished with all of those Gold Gloves, his other defensive metrics are not as pretty.

Each of the Hall of Fame metrics have him just below the threshold lines for each. JAWS does have him currently rated as the fourteenth best center fielder in history.

Final WAR numbers

Baseball Reference has his WAR at 60.3. JAWS has him at 51.4. And Fangraphs has his WAR at 64.5.

My two cents

Edmonds had a fine career, but I don't see anything that would convince me to add him into one of the ten slots on this year's ballot. I do believe he will accumulate enough votes (say 10%) to stick around for a second year of voting.