1. Alex Rodriguez
In Rodriguez’s first full season (1996), the shortstop finished second in voting for the American League MVP Award after producing an impressive slash line of .358/.414/.631 with an absurd 54 doubles in addition to his 36 home runs.
A-Rod posted a .933 OPS with 148 homers and 111 steals over the next four years with the Seattle Mariners before joining the Texas Rangers. He bashed 156 home runs over the next three seasons while producing a 1.011 OPS and grabbing the AL MVP Award in 2003.
The Rangers then traded A-Rod to Yankees, for whom he played the remaining 12 years of his career.
Rodriguez went on to win two more AL MVP Awards and, between 2004 and 2010, he hit 268 home runs and maintained a .952 OPS for the Yanks. His outstanding hitting helped New York win its 27th World Series in 2009.
A-Rod finished his playing days with 696 home runs, presently fourth all-time. His WAR, WAR7, and JAWS statistics are excellent (117.5, 64.3, and 90.9, respectively).
In 2009, Rodriguez admitted using PEDs from 2001-2003 after adamantly denying taking them. He sued the league and players association and attempted to obstruct the investigation. His subsequent public apology to the baseball universe seemed disingenuous to many. He was then caught again for PED use in 2013 and was suspended for an MLB-record 211 games as a result.
A-Rod may never be inducted into the HoF unless writers radically change their feelings about his use of PEDs.
Readers should not be surprised if no one at all is voted into the Hall in 2022 for the second straight year. Former Yankees Jim Kaat and Roger Maris are on the 2022 Golden Days Era Committee Ballot and can be selected for admission, which might be the organization’s best shot here.