Saturday, June 20, 2009

Is Brian Roberts A Potential Hall Of Famer?

You probably read the title to this post, and clicked on the link trying to figure out if I'm smoking crack or something. Most people will probably dismiss this subject with a quick and resounding "NO!". But consider this:

Roberts has only truly played 6 full seasons. Granted, he is currently 31 years old, but I am going to make the case that if he can manage to play at or near his current level for another 10+ seasons, which is entirely possible, he may in fact end up a borderline Hall of Fame caliber player.

Let's compare his stats to another potential Hall of Famer, Craig Biggio. I'm sure some people will argue that Biggio may not make it into the Hall either, but in my eyes, he belongs there.

Biggio (career):
Games: 2850
Runs: 1844
Hits: 3060
Doubles: 668
Triples: 55
Home Runs: 291
RBI: 1175
Steals: 414
Walks: 1160
Average: .281
On Base %: .363

Roberts (through 9 seasons, 6 full):
Games: 1043
Runs: 668
Hits: 1172
Doubles: 284
Triples: 33
Home Runs: 67
RBI: 393
Steals: 240
Walks: 467
Average: .284
On Base %: .355

You have to keep in mind that through his first 3 seasons he only played in 225 games. Jerry Hairston Jr. is the reason for his limited playing time. The Orioles could never decide whether himor Roberts was the future at second base. Ultimately they made the right decision, but too bad it took 3 seasons to decide.

Another factor to consider is that Roberts hasn't has the luxury of playing for a team that has made the playoffs, and hasn't been surrounded by the same level of talent that Biggio was throughout his career, which definitely effects his run and RBI totals.

If Roberts can play another 10 seasons minimun, surpass the 3000 hit mark, and hopefully reach 1000 RBI while maintaining his batting average and still stealing some bases, he just might sneak his way into "The Hall".

All of this comes as a bit of a shock to me, since even though Roberts has been here for quite a few years, I never really appreciated his game. When the steroid talk surrounding the Orioles really started to heat up in 2005, I pretty much decided I didn't like Roberts, since his name was mentioned amidst the specualtion.

Since then, he has done nothing but carry a struggling team in his tiny shoulders. Until Markakis came into his own a couple of seasons ago, Roberts and Melvin Mora were pretty much all the O's had, and when Roberts got on base, the O's typically scored runs. His balls-to-the-wall playing style has grown on me, which is why I am already attempting to make his case for baseball immortality.

There are a lot of "what ifs" that will have to happen in order for him to achieve Hall-worthy numbers, but I think the arguement could be made that it's possible.

I'm hoping he gets there, and not just because it would make this card more valuable:

That is of course, a 2009 Upper Deck Piece of History "Timeless Moments" patch card #'d to 25 that arrived in the mail yesterday. It's yet another piece of jersey lettering, just like the Markakis patch I've got from this set. I like how you can see a bit of the black that outlines the orange lettering.

If you think I am a total moron for even speculating that Brian Roberts could one day land in Cooperstown, please feel free to let me know. I didn't think it was possible either until I looked at his numbers.

*all stats courtesy of


  1. to get to 3000 in 10 is doable.

    Roberts will be 41 during the 2019 season. If he can get to 1300 this year that means he would need to average 170 hits a yr thru 2019 or play at the age of 42 and beyond to pick up the last couple of hundred hits. It is a long stretch but a good mid career would help.

    Jimmy Rollins is in a similar boat (1500 hits at age 30)

    One other issue is that Biggio is not in the HOF. For me he is a lock, but as you have stated he is a potential HOFerr.

  2. you may have a point there beardy. now biggio has to get in the hall

  3. Roberts might be kept out simply due to his steroid link.

  4. I like Roberts a lot. There were rumors of the Indians trading for him last off season. That would have been great.

    My initial reaction is yes, he has a shot. But I hesitate to use Biggio as a springboard. Biggio is one of the best 2nd basemen of all time and I hate to have to hold Roberts up to that standard to make a case for him.

    I'll think about this more and get back to you. I love to think about this stuff. Maybe I can get my own post out of it.

  5. Oh, and I doubt anyone thinks you are a moron for speculating here. There are plenty of other reasons to think you are a moron.

  6. Get your own damn post ideas Fatheritcher!

  7. Biggio got an earlier start and is an automatic HOFer. It's certainly possible, but Brian has to maintain high performance for a very long time and avoid injury. If he could have a Mazeroski Moment, that couldn't hurt either. Big time longshot but not impossible.

  8. Maybe they should create a wing in cooperstown for really good players who played on bad teams. Roberts would be a shoe in, Andre Dawson would be in, Carl Crawford and Aubry Huff could look forward to induction....