The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is closed to the public due to the coronavirus pandemic, and this year's Induction Weekend festivities have been canceled. Nonetheless, the hall of fame that so many of us visit in our mind's eye -- whenever we take stock of greatness or steep ourselves in history -- is open year-round, even (or especially) when a trip to Cooperstown isn't possible. And right now, amid this MLB- and induction-free stretch, we're wondering who the next Hall of Famer for each team might be.
For this exercise, I've chosen one player per team, generally the most worthy pending honoree, whether he's on the upcoming writers ballot, still active or not yet eligible for such inclusion, or stuck in Era Committee limbo. For each, the idea is to choose a player who's good enough for the Hall and could plausibly wear that team's hat on his plaque; that doesn't have to be a certainty. For a few teams, finding such a player means looking at an active one who still has a ways to go but has a reasonable shot at getting there.
As with most Hall-related topics, I'm consulting my JAWS (Jaffe WAR Score) system, which takes the average of a player's career WAR and seven-year peak WAR (Baseball-Reference.com version for both) for comparison to that of the average Hall of Famer at his position. I'm open to considering other factors such as postseason player and historical importance, and for PED-related candidates, I'm inclined to penalize only those players whose infractions date to the testing-and-suspension era (2004 onward) -- but that's not to say all voters feel the same way.
I've divided the players into three groups: "Overdue" (deserving players on the current BBWAA ballot or likely to be on the next appropriate Era Committee ballot), "On the way" (active or recently retired players awaiting their time on the ballot) and "OK, we'll see" (active players who have significant work to do before they fit into the other two categories). Within each group, I've alphabetized by the team the player is representing.