16. Andrew McCutchen
McCutchen has been the best centerfielder of the 21st century not named Trout. He’s been the unquestioned leader on some really good Pirates teams, but thanks to some heartbreaking Wild Card Game losses, hasn’t gotten to showcase his talents much in October. He had been trending down over the last season. However, he’s since righted the ship in 2017 — slashing .291/.382/.511 with 18 HRs and 8 SBs. Thought he feels like an institution in the game, he’s only 30. As such, I’m predicting a nice, slow decline for this Pirate. Speaking of which, he’s only controlled by Pittsburgh for one more season — meaning Cutch could end up in a bigger market with the chance for October heroics and visibility. Both of those aspects will boost his HOF chances immensely.
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15. Paul Goldschmidt
Already 29 years of age, Goldy has some work to do in his 30’s to merit a Hall of Fame selection. The reality is, the bar for first basemen is just ridiculously high. The good news for Goldschmidt is he’s already halfway to the average WAR total for a HOF first baseman. He complements a current 21-home-run season with a .308/.427/.561 slash line and some of the best base running in the game (15-of-19 on stolen base attempts). If he can string together a few more top-10 MVP finishes, Goldschmidt’s peak will absolutely be comparable with other Hall of Fame players at the position. The biggest question for Goldy is longevity. Fortunately for the Texas native, he’s been freakishly healthy aside from a fluke injury in 2014 when his hand was fractured by a pitch.
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