Who Are the Next Pitchers to Make the Baseball Hall of Fame?

John Healy
September 19, 2019 - 4:52 am

New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia pitched his final regular season game at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday as the Bombers' 39-year-old veteran southpaw finishes his final MLB season after a 19-year career.

Earlier in 2019 he joined an exclusive club when he became the 17th player in major league history to strike out 3,000 batters.

His final season has raised an interesting question: Is Sabathia a future Hall of Famer?

Sabathia is a six-time All-Star and his career numbers — 251 wins, 3,091 strikeouts, 3.74 ERA and 1.25 WHIP — are good. But wins are not held in as high regard as they used to be, and his ERA and WHIP fall more in the good-not-great range.

Yet every pitcher in the 3,000-strikeout club is in Cooperstown with the exceptions of controversial pariahs Roger Clemens and Curt Schilling, both of whom are still eligible. Sabathia is also only the third left-handed pitcher to reach the club, joining Steve Carlton and Randy Johnson.

Sabathia won a Cy Young Award in 2007 season and only did not win another in 2008 because he switched leagues at midseason following a trade from the Cleveland Indians to the Milwaukee Brewers. He pitched to a 1.65 ERA in 17 starts with the Brewers, carrying them to the postseason.

Sabathia finished in the top five of Cy Young Award voting just five times in his career, but at his peak he was among the best pitchers of his era. From 2006-12, he led pitchers in innings (1,591 ⅔), strikeouts (1,453) and was with Roy Halladay tied for the best ERA+ (140). He also had the second-most wins in that span (122) behind Justin Verlander and the fourth-best ERA (3.14).