Baseball Hall of Fame: 2024’s top first-year candidates

Next year’s National Baseball Hall of Fame ballot is chock-full of legendary names.

Eight-time Gold Glove third baseman Scott Rolen was the only player elected to Cooperstown for the Class for 2023 through its traditional voting method — Fred McGriff was voted in by the Contemporary Era Committee in December — but that likely won’t be the case 12 months from now.

While a few holdovers from the current ballot have a great shot at getting in, several first-year candidates with sterling résumés are set to join next year’s field, including Adrián Beltré and Joe Mauer. 

Here is a look at some noteworthy names who will become eligible for the Hall of Fame in 2024.

José Bautista
Bautista is best known for his memorable decade in Toronto (2008-17) and, of course, his mammoth bat flip after a home run in the 2015 ALDS. “Joey Bats” was aptly nicknamed for a reason, as his power production in the early 2010s was unmatched. Bautista blasted more homers than any other MLB player from 2010 to 2015, including 54 in 2010. He hit at least 20 HRs in eight consecutive seasons and amassed 344 total.

Adrián Beltré 
His personality alone is Hall of Fame-worthy. The 21-year pro also collected over 3,000 hits (3,166), four Silver Slugger awards and Gold Gloves. He’s also a four-time All-Star and led the NL in home runs in 2004 (48). Beltré retired with 477 career blasts and 1,707 RBIs.

Matt Holiday
Colorado’s Coors Field has long been known as a hitters park, and few took advantage of its altitude quite like Holiday. The big-swinging left fielder became the ninth major-leaguer to post at least 20 homers, 30 doubles, 75 RBIs and 80 runs in nine consecutive seasons. At 6-foot-4, 240 pounds, Holiday was a massive presence in the middle of Colorado’s lineup for years. He finished top 20 in MVP voting four consecutive seasons from 2006 to 2009. In 2011, he won NLCS MVP honors with St. Louis en route to a World Series title.

Joe Mauer
A career-long Minnesota Twin, Mauer was the blueprint for consistency at the plate and defensive efficiency behind the dish. The standout catcher, who was drafted first overall by Minnesota in the 2001 draft, boasted a career batting average of .306 and is the only catcher in MLB history to win three batting titles. He also has five Silver Slugger awards, three straight Gold Gloves (2008-2010) and an MVP award from 2009 – the last AL catcher to win the award.

Chase Utley
Utley was a fixture in Philadelphia’s success during the early 2000s. A six-time All-Star and four-time Silver Slugger recipient (2006-09), he was excellent in a number of the game’s key facets. Utley was a dangerous power hitter, registering the most World Series homers for a second baseman in league history, and is tied for the most home runs in a single World Series with five. He holds the record for most stolen bases in a season without getting caught (23 in 2009), and was a reliable staple in the field at second base. 

David Wright
The “captain” moniker in New York is synonymous with one Derek Jeter, but Wright became the fourth player in Mets history to own the title after being selected in 2013. Wright played his entire 14-year career with the Mets and was a seven-time All-Star. He won a pair of Gold Gloves and Silver Sluggers in 2007 and 2008, while also posting a .300-plus batting average from 2005 to 2009.

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