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2019 Baseball Hall of Fame Announcement: 3 former Marlins fall off the ballot; Gary Sheffield far short of 75%

The Marlins franchise continues to be poorly represented in Cooperstown.

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Four ex-Marlins players listed on the 2019 BBWAA Baseball Hall of Fame ballot all fell short of induction, as revealed on Tuesday night.

Gary Sheffield is the lone “survivor” who will remain eligible on the 2020 ballot. He thrived with the Marlins (.288/.426/.543, 155 wRC+ in 2,358 PA) from 1993-1998, contributing to the franchise’s first World Series championship.

Despite extraordinary offensive stats with several teams, Sheffield’s case is damaged by suspected performance-enhancing drug use, defensive struggles at several positions and frosty relationships with many of the empowered BBWAA members. He compiled 49.3 JAWS, which ranks 23rd among all-time right fielders, in between Bobby Bonds and turn-of-the-century Hall of Famer Elmer Flick.

Support for Sheffield has flatlined in his fifth year of eligibility. Even though he will likely stick around for another five years, it’s gonna take a separate committee with a different perspective to get him in.

Gary Sheffield BBWAA Hall of Fame Votes, 2015-Present

Year Total Votes Percentage
Year Total Votes Percentage
2015 64 11.6%
2016 51 11.7%
2017 59 13.3%
2018 47 11.1%
2019 58 13.6%

During three seasons with the Marlins, Juan Pierre was at the peak of his powers (.295/.345/.368, 93 wRC+ in 2,544 PA). His 190 stolen bases are the third-most in franchise history. The speedster didn’t miss a game from 2003-2005, then returned to South Florida in 2013. That proved to be his final major league action.

However, Pierre’s 16.9 JAWS doesn’t come close to the Cooperstown-quality threshold. He ranks 161st among center fielders, sandwiched by Solly Hoffman and Ken Henderson.

Pierre received zero votes.

That is, surprisingly, not the case for Plácido Polanco—he snuck on to two of the 425 ballots, which rounds up to 0.5 percent.

Polanco established himself as a sure-handed infielder and phenomenal contact hitter with the Phillies and Tigers. You’d be forgiven for blanking on his Marlins tenure: .260/.315/.302, 75 wRC+ in 419 PA during the 2013 season (age 37).

His 36.9 JAWS is 37th-best for a second baseman, in between Hall of Famer Red Schoendienst and Gil McDougald.

Ultimately, Pierre, Polanco and journeyman left-hander Darren Oliver (2004 Marlins) were several tiers below the immortals of the game.