Former second baseman Jeff Kent has been up for Hall of Fame consideration for a decade, and this year marked his latest induction by the Baseball Writers Association of America. Kent received 46.5% of the vote this cycle, well short of the 75% needed for induction. He falls off the ballot and will no longer be considered by the BBWAA.
Kent remained in the 25-50% vote share range for his final four seasons. He was never in danger of falling below the 5% threshold that cuts players off the ballot early, but he also didn’t get the late momentum needed to keep him in compelling induction range. If he is to be booked in Cooperstown, it must now come through the Era Committee. The Players Committee of the Modern Baseball Era met this winter Fred McGriff during which means the earliest Kent will be considered again is the 2025-26 off-season.
A right-handed hitter, Kent was one of the best power bats in the game during his 17-year MLB career. He played just under 2,300 games for 6 different clubs, with his best seasons coming with the Giants. Kent hit .297/.368/.535 over six years in San Francisco from 1997-2002. He received MVP votes in five of those campaigns and won the award in 2000 thanks to a whopping .334/.424/.596 showing with 33 long balls.
Kent finished his career with a .290/.356/.500 line in over 9,500 plate appearances. His 377 career homers are the most by a major league second baseman, while he collected 2,461 hits, drove in 1,518 runs and scored 1,320 runs. He was a five-time All-Star and secured four Silver Slugger Awards, winning the aforementioned MVP. As strong as his offensive contributions were, Kent faced many questions about his glove. Those defensive concerns convinced enough voters to keep him from induction.
While Kent was the only player to “age out” of the ballot this year, a number of first-time nominees were unexpectedly dropped after falling short of the 5% threshold to continue for another season. Bronson Arroyo, RA Dickey, John Luckie, Mike Napoli, Houston Street, Matt Cain, Jacoby Ellsbury, Andre Ethier, JJ Hardy, Johnny Peralta, Jared Weaver and: Jason Werth each emerges from future consideration.
Only two of the first-time candidates passed the 5% threshold to remain on the ballot for at least another year. Carlos Beltran is debuting at 46.5% and looks to have a strong chance of induction at some point. Francisco Rodriguez has a tougher fight after 10.8% of the vote.