Four named to Rotisserie Baseball Hall of Fame

Ron Shandler

While the BBWAA writers failed to induct any new members to the Baseball Hall of Fame, the fantasy industry has named its 2020 picks for the Rotisserie Hall of FameMatt Holliday, Jose Reyes, C.C. Sabathia and Ichiro Suzuki.

Eligibility for the Roto Hall is based on lifetime and peak Rotisserie dollar earnings, and number of times ranked within the top 15 batters or pitchers during the player’s career.

Unlike the BBWAA, there is no waiting period for Roto Hall induction. If a player meets all the other criteria, he can be inducted as soon as he officially retires.

Complete details about the eligibility criteria appear here.

Complete list of Hall of Fame members here.

Here are descriptions of the Roto Hall’s four new members:

Matt Holliday

Inducted with: Colorado Rockies (4th inductee with this team)
No. years in Majors: 15
Career 5×5 earnings: $338
Average annual earnings, career: $23
Average annual earnings, peak: $30
No. years in top 15: 4

While Holliday spent most of his career in St. Louis, the majority of his peak years were spent in his first tour in Colorado, from 2004 to 2008. This included three consecutive Top 15 finishes; the middle year was his monster 2007 season when he hit 36-137-11-.340, earning $41. From 2006 to 2010, his average earnings were just shy of $35 per season.

Jose Reyes

Inducted with: New York Mets (4th inductee with this team)
No. years in Majors: 16
Career 5×5 earnings: $342
Average annual earnings, career: $21
Average annual earnings, peak: $28
No. years in top 15: 5

From 2005 to 2008, Reyes averaged 14 HR, 65 SB and a .287 average, with $38 in earnings, finishing in the Top 15 all four years. He was Rotisserie’s No. 1 overall earner in 2006 behind 19 HR, 122 runs, 81 RBI, 64 SB and a .300 average. Even post-peak, from 2010 to 2014, he still averaged $26 per season, finishing in the Top 15 again in 2011.

C.C. Sabathia

Inducted with: New York Yankees (9th inductee with this team)
No. years in Majors: 19
Career 5×5 earnings: $250
Average annual earnings, career: $13
Average annual earnings, peak: $26
No. years in top 15: 5

Sabathia’s annual earnings form a neat career bell curve, with middling early levels for five years, a solid seven-year peak and another seven- year tail. That drove down his average annual level, but his longevity helped him reach the $250 threshold for Hall induction.

Despite winning his only Cy Young award in Cleveland, that peak was mostly with the Yankees, where he was Top 4 in the CYA voting three times and spent the last 11 years of his career. He was Top 15 in earnings for five straight years — 2007-2011 — averaging 19 wins and a 3.09 ERA.

Ichiro Suzuki

Inducted with: Seattle Mariners (2nd inductee with this team)
No. years in Majors: 19
Career 5×5 earnings: $404
Average annual earnings, career: $22
Average annual earnings, peak: $32
No. years in top 15: 5

Suzuki hit the ground running (pun intended) after coming over from Japan, posting an MLB-high $40 season in his 2001 debut. He had consecutive Top 15 finishes from 2004-2007, averaging $35 annually during that stretch. In fact, from 2001 to 2008, he fell short of a $30 season only once, and averaged 39 SB with a .331 average over 682 AB each year.

Suzuki is one of only 37 players with over $400 in career earnings. Imagine where he would be ranked if we included his nine seasons (951 games) in Japan, where he hit .353 and averaged 13 HR and 22 SB each year.

Several recent retirees just missed induction.

Ian Kinsler reached the average earnings thresholds at $21/$25 but was never ranked in the Top 15 and fell just short of the $300 bar with $295 in career earnings. As dominant as Troy Tulowitzki was early in his career, he finished at just $16/$22, one Top 15 finish and $212 in career earnings. Curtis Granderson also had a nice early run but finished at $15/$21, one Top 15 finish and $235 career earnings. Finally, Dustin Pedroia announced his retirement just as this was about to post. Despite several outstanding seasons, his $17/$24 averages with two Top 15 finishes and $239 in career earnings fell far short of the levels necessary for consideration.

Here are some tidbits about current players on the path to probable Hall consideration. (See Statistics and Rankings page.)

Albert Pujols’ $572 career earnings sits firmly at No. 4 on the All-Time list, but at $49 behind Alex Rodriguez, he may be a longshot to move up. Miguel Cabrera has jumped up to 8th overall at $506, passing Tim Raines ($492) and Rafael Palmeiro ($502) this year.

There are no other active players with even $400 in current earnings, and only 10 with even $300. Robinson Cano ($387) and Ryan Braun ($383) seem like reasonable bets to reach $400, but odds are higher for better career earnings from Clayton Kershaw ($374) and Mike Trout ($349). Everyone else over $300 has little chance to reach $400.

The odd 2020 season busted a streak that seemed unstoppable. Mike Trout had posted eight consecutive Top 15 finishes, but fell $1 short this year, finishing 16th, even with a $31 season. Barry Bonds’ all-time streak of nine consecutive seasons remains safe for now.

The longest current active streak is now just three seasons, shared by Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman, Trevor Story, Gerrit Cole and Jacob deGrom.7