This weekend in Cooperstown, New York the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame will induct its latest class.
The inductees for the 81st annual ceremony include Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez, catcher and World Series champion in 2003 with the Florida Marlins; Tim “Rock” Raines, an outfielder best known for his 13 seasons with the Montreal Expos; and Jeff Bagwell, first baseman who played his entire 15-year career with the Houston Astros. Also, executive John Schuerholz and former commissioner Allan H. “Bud” Selig will also be enshrined.
A person who has seen a player or two in covering baseball for nearly 40 years is ESPN MLB analyst Tim Kurkjian, who appeared this week on Sportscene with Steve Russell. Kurkjian says he’s implemented a three-step tactical method where he analyzes players on if they truly have what it takes to be a Hall of Fame inductee.
“I use the eye test first,” said Kurkjian. Watching players perform is key when assessing their talent. Unfortunately, not everyone has the ability to watch players when they were born and raised in different eras.
It seems like an obvious fact when you think about it, but without the real-time visualization of the player, your opinion might not be as strong as the audience who did get to watch the talent. Statistics should be the next option when evaluating future hall of famers.
“Advanced metrics can help but it shouldn’t be the only reliable source,” said Kurkjian.
Finally, word of mouth is his last step in evaluating players. Once the talent catches his attention, he seeks information from the player’s teammates to get their perception of his character and leadership on and off the field.
Kurkjian had an influence in this year’s nominees. He is a part of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America and is one of 17 ESPN writers who submitted ballots for the Hall of Fame inductees. And, he believes all three of the players going in to the Hall of Fame this weekend are deserving nominees.
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) July 28, 2017