According to the early numbers, he stands a good chance to be selected as a first-ballot Hall of Famer.
At 168 ballots, or approximately 42.9 percent of the entire votes known, the Red Sox postseason legend has seen his name appear on 83.9 percent of the ballots so far; a solid, promising number.
At 168 ballots/~42.9% known:
Ortiz – 83.9%
Bonds – 78.0%
Clemens – 76.8%
Rolen – 69.0%
Schilling – 60.1%
Helton – 56.5%
Jones – 48.8%
Wagner – 48.2%
Sheffield – 47.0%
A-Rod – 41.1%
Ramírez – 38.1%
Sosa – 25.0%
Abreu/Pettitte/Rollins – 11.3%
— Ryan Thibodaux (@NotMrTibbs) January 15, 2022
Former San Francisco Giants slugger Barry Bonds has appeared on 78 percent of the ballots.
He would seem to have a small shot, but there are historical precedents suggesting that the ballots that don’t become public will decrease his percentage by at least 10 percent.
But back to Ortiz.
A Phenomenal Career With Top Numbers And Unforgettable October Performances
Although Ortiz has a strong percentage so far, he is not a lock to get in because around 57.1 percent of the ballots are yet to be revealed and he has one clear disadvantage: he didn’t play the field, at least not frequently.
That takes away some points from some of the old-school voters.
However, he was so good as a designated hitter that he deserves to get in when all is said and done.
During an illustrious career that began with the Minnesota Twins and had its best moments with a Red Sox uniform, Ortiz played 2,408 games and took 10,091 plate appearances.
He swatted 541 home runs and slashed .286/.380/.552 during his career, with a 140 wRC+ (weighted Runs Created Plus) and 51.0 WAR (Wins Above Replacement).
The wRC+ stat allows us to evaluate a player’s offensive performance and adjust it to era, ballpark, and other external factors, so we can compare players of different decades and times.
Ortiz’s peak came between 2003 and 2007, when he had wRC+ marks of 145, 147, 157, 157, and 175.
He also hit 632 doubles in his entire career.
He is most widely known for his contributions in the postseason, though.
He hit .289/.404/.543 with 17 homers, 61 RBI, and a .947 OPS in October.
Ortiz’s resume is full of achievements and accolades: he went to 10 All-Star Games (2004–2008, 2010–2013, 2016), he is a three-time World Series champion (2004, 2007, 2013), he won the 2013 World Series MVP award and the 2004 ALCS MVP during the most amazing comeback of all time.
He also won seven Silver Slugger Awards (2004–2007, 2011, 2013, 2016), two AL Hank Aaron Awards (2005, 2016), led the AL in homers in 2006 and in RBI in 2005, 2006, and 2016, the last year of his playing career.
There are some steroids links on Ortiz’s resume, although they stem from a 2009 report by the New York Times saying that he was among a group of players who failed a test in 2003.
It was later revealed that players who appeared on that list didn’t necessarily fail a test, and the Commissioner Rob Manfred himself said Ortiz’s legacy shouldn’t be harmed by the alleged failed test.
If more traditional voters can be convinced that Ortiz’s achievements as a hitter alone are worthy of enshrinement, there is a good chance his name appears in Cooperstown eventually.
David Ortiz is in Boston for a few days. The Hall of Fame vote will be revealed a week from today but he says he's not nervous yet.
"I have too much going on in my life," Ortiz said. "Back home, everybody is talking about it. We'll see. I hope so; it would be a great honor."
— Pete Abraham (@PeteAbe) January 18, 2022
That could happen as soon as this year for one of the league’s most popular players back in the day.