Even more than a previous blog post where I compared Dale Murphy and Dave Parker, Kenny Lofton stacks up pretty closely to Tim Raines, whose HOF chances, and qualifications, I analyzed here.
That said, Lofton has several problems Raines doesn't.
First is what is normally a deal-killer for me. At just 107, his OPS+ is below 110, and that's a baseline snap judgment tool for me. That in turn primarily reflects much worse BB/K ratio than Raines. He also is not quite as impressive on the stolen bases front.
However, on the flip side, Lofton won multiple Gold Gloves and deservedly so. His career dWAR is well into positive numbers.
On the third hand, though, his black and gray ink figures are even skimpier than Raines' numbers. Plus, whatever sort of peak he had seems even shorter — and earlier in career — than Raines.
That second one could hurt. People see you start well, but then you don't hit another gear, and they start to write you off a bit.
A second hurt? The number of teams for which Raines played. Since admission is based on baseball writers, many of whom work for specific newspapers in specific cities, not having a "home city" will probably hurt Lofton a fair amount with voters.
On "deserving," I'm not sure whether he's a legit candidate or not, but, really, I'd put him just a skoosh behind Raines.
On "likely"? I doubt he'll get in. I doubt that he'll break the 20 percent mark in this, his first year.
Oh, and please vote in my poll!
And, click the "MLB Hall of Fame" tag for more on other candidates on this year's ballot and my thoughts.