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Former Royals outfielder Carlos Beltrán headlines first-timers on Hall of Fame ballot

Will anyone be voted in this year?

White Sox v Royals Photo by John Williamson/MLB via Getty Images

Former Royals outfielder Carlos Beltrán is among 14 first-time candidates on this year’s Hall of Fame ballot that will join 14 holdovers from last year. Beltrán was drafted by the Royals in the second round of the 1995 draft and played for them from 1998 to 2004. He won 1999 Rookie of the Year, becoming the first rookie in 20 years to hit 100 RBI and score 100 runs. In 2003 he finished ninth in MVP voting with the Royals when he hit .307/.389/.522 with 26 home runs and 41 steals. Overall, Beltran played 20 seasons with 2,725 career hits, 435 home runs, and was just the fifth player ever to reach 400 home runs and 300 steals. He was a nine-time All-Star, won three Gold Gloves, and was a two-time Silver Slugger winner.

The other first-time candidates that made this year’s ballot include catcher Mike Napoli, shortstops J.J. Hardy and Jhonny Peralta, outfielders Jacoby Ellsbury, Andre Ethier, and Jayson Werth, and pitchers Branson Arroyo, Matt Cain, R.A. Dickey, Huston Street, John Lackey, and Francisco Rodríguez, and Jered Weaver.

There are also 14 holdover candidates, including second baseman Jeff Kent, who is in his final year of consideration after being named on 32.7 percent of ballots last year. Candidates must be on 75 percent of ballots to be inducted. The candidates who were closest at induction last year were Scott Rolen (63.2 percent of the vote), first baseman Todd Helton (52.0) and relief pitcher Billy Wagner (51.0). Alex Rodríguez, who would be a slam-dunk Hall of Famer were it not for his one-year suspension for performance enhancing drugs, received 34.3 percent of the vote last year. Other holdovers include infielders Jimmy Rollins and Omar Vizquel, outfielders Bobby Abreu, Torii Hunter, Andruw Jones, Manny Ramírez and Gary Sheffield, and pitchers Mark Buerhle and Andy Pettitte.

This year’s BBWAA ballot is not to be confused with the Contemporary Era Ballot that includes Albert Belle, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Don Mattingly, Fred McGriff, Dale Murphy, Rafael Palmeiro, and Curt Schilling. A select committee of 16 will decide on that ballot with results announced on December 4.

The BBWAA ballot will be announced on January 24, 2023 on MLB Network. Players will be inducted in Cooperstown on the weekend of July 21-24, 2023.

Who would be on your Hall of Fame ballot?