This one might seem out there, but let me explain it. If I had a vote, I would 100% include Bobby Abreu. Abreu spent 18 years in the big leagues with six different teams. His most memorable stint was his nine season stretch with the Philadelphia Phillies from 1998 through mid-2006. Abreu doesn’t seem like a clear HOF candidate, but here are some reasons why I would vote for him.
Abreu had a career .291/.395/.475 line with a 125 OPS+. Abreu had a great blend of speed and power. He hit 288 home runs and stole 400 bases. There is just one other right fielder in baseball history with over 280 homers and 400 steals. That’s Bobby Bonds. Abreu has 2470 hits, 570 of which went for doubles. The latter counting stat is the third most ever hit by a right fielder.
Overall, Abreu reached the +60 bWAR milestone, just barely. He snuck in with +60.2. That puts him right in between Vlad Guerrero Sr. (+59.5) and Dave Winfield (+64.2). So far, all but one of the right fielders with +60 bWAR and at least 2400 hits has made the Hall of Fame. The only other one not currently eligible for Hall of Fame voting not already in Cooperstown is Dwight Evans.
This is Abreu’s 4th year on the ballot and he only had 15.4% last year. It’s going to be a pretty uphill battle for Abreu, but Larry Walker had even less support by his fifth season and he eventually got into the Hall by his tenth go around. It took some convincing from the wider baseball community to influence voters, but he eventually got there once voters’ eyes were opened to his very underrated career. Could the same happen to Abreu in the coming years? We shall see.