The Chicago White Sox has five current players most likely to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. It’s hard to know what makes a Hall of Fame player these days as the criteria is confusing and the writers are often inconsistent. However, once important baseball figures start discussing a player as a Hall of Famer, it’s often likely that they get voted in.
It’s generally pretty rare for even the best teams to have more than three Hall of Famers on their roster at once. The White Sox had three on their team in the early ’90s, with Frank Thomas, Carlton Fisk, and Tim Raines. The current Los Angeles Dodgers probably have a few more than that.
Nevertheless, here is a list of the five Chicago White Sox players who have the best chances of reaching Cooperstown:
Craig Kimbrel is a Chicago White Sox player that should be in the Hall of Fame.
If there’s one position that the Hall of Fame loves voting for, it’s closers. Mariano Rivera, a closer, is the only player ever elected unanimously. Trevor Hoffman was elected despite a career WAR in the 20s. If you can get 450 saves, you’re pretty much a lock for the Hall of Fame. Unfortunately, Craig Kimbrel is only at 372 and is unlikely to get many opportunities this year or the next if he continues to be stuck behind Liam Hendriks in the closer role.
Hendriks is a better pitcher at this point so that’s the right move. However, if he gets just 6 more saves, he’ll surpass Joe Nathan for 8th on the All-Time Saves list. Nathan will be on the ballot for the first time in 2022. If he gets Hall of Fame support, certainly Craig Kimbrel will as well. Kimbrel’s recent struggles haven’t stopped people like ESPN announcers and others from labeling him a future Hall of Famer.
The Chicago Cubs official Twitter account stated that they were honored for him to be another chapter in his “Hall of Fame career”. Hall of Fame voter and expert Jay Jaffe has declared him an obvious Hall of Famer. Personally, I don’t think I would vote for him yet, certainly not based on what he’s done with the White Sox so far (-0.2 WAR, 5.79 ERA).
If all the important baseball people start saying you’re a Hall of Famer, they have a tendency to speak it into existence. He does already have some records like the fastest pitcher to 300 saves and 1,000 strikeouts. He’s also pitched fewer career innings than a lot of great pitchers before him.