Hall of Fame

When Giants passed on drafting Hall of Fame pitchers twice in 1990s

When Giants passed on drafting Hall of Fame pitchers twice in 1990s

Disclaimer: The MLB draft is a crapshoot. Let's just get that out of the way. 

This isn't an exact science. It's far from it. We're talking about 17 to 21-year-olds who then have to succeed through multiple levels in the minor leagues just to turn pro. Mistakes have been made and there will be more in the future. 

The Giants certainly hope to hit a home run with their top pick in the upcoming draft, which begins June 10. They own the No. 13 overall pick for the first time and could go a number of different ways. San Francisco could continue its pattern of taking hitters in the first round, or they could look for a top pitcher in the draft.

One thing the Giants don't want to do is pass on a generational talent. We've already discussed when they passed on Mark McGwire with the No. 9 pick in the 1984 draft to take Alan Cockrell. In the 1990s, however, it was even worse. The Giants twice passed on Hall of Fame pitchers, starting with Mike Mussina. 

MLB.com's Andrew Simon looked at the biggest misses at each draft slot, and the Giants landed on the list twice, starting with 1990. 

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The Giants owned the No. 19 pick in the draft after being swept by the A's in 1989 World Series and whiffed by taking San Diego State catcher Eric Christopherson. One pick later, the Baltimore Orioles added Mussina. 

Christopherson never reached the major leagues. He finally made it to Triple-A for the Giants in 1995, but hit just .220. Mussina was an All-American right down the road at Stanford, yet the Giants passed on for some reason. All he did was win 270 games between the Orioles and New York Yankees, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame last year. 

Five years after passing on Mussina, the Giants did the same with Roy Halladay. 

With the No. 16 pick in the '95 draft, the Giants went with Joe Fontenot. The Toronto Blue Jays then took Halladay at No. 17. Both were right-handed high school pitchers, but only one is enshrined in Cooperstown. 

[RELATED: Why Keith Law believes Giants have 'big advantage' in draft]

Halladay was a two-time Cy Young award winner and became just the second pitcher to throw a no-hitter in the postseason. Fontenot was traded to the Florida Marlins in November 1997 in oder to acquire Robb Nen. The former Giants first-rounder made eight starts with the Marlins, going 0-7 with a 6.33 ERA in 1998. 

The Giants are set up nice with seven picks in the five-round draft this year. It's anyone's guess how they'll do. For their sake, hopefully they're on the right side of history.

Baseball Hall of Fame: Barry Bonds falls short in eighth straight year

Baseball Hall of Fame: Barry Bonds falls short in eighth straight year

The wait continues for Major League Baseball's all-time home run leader. 

Barry Bonds again fell well short of the needed vote total to make it to the Hall of Fame, finishing with 60.7 percent of the vote in his eighth year on the ballot. Bonds needs to get to 75 percent to make it to Cooperstown and now has just two more years to get there. 

Bonds saw a very slight uptick from 2019, when he received 59.1 percent of the vote. Since crossing over the halfway mark in 2017, he has gotten 53.8 percent, 56.4, 59.1 and now 60.7, but there is still a long way to go and not a whole lot of momentum at the moment. Bonds continues to see more support from younger voters and those who are willing to make their selections public -- he was at 71.2 percent on the 211 ballots that were released before Tuesday's announcement -- but he annually sees a big drop when the private ballots are added in. 

Bonds is MLB's all-time leader in homers and walks and was a seven-time National League MVP, but he continues to pay for his connection to performance-enhancing drugs. Roger Clemens, who has a remarkably similar case, received 61 percent of the vote this year. 

[RELATED: Giants first base coach Richardson defined by perseverance]

The class will be a small one, with just Derek Jeter and Larry Walker making it. Jeter was listed on 396 of 397 ballots, coming one vote shy of joining former teammate Mariano Rivera as the only unanimous Hall of Famers. Walker made it in his final year on the ballot, clearing the threshold by just six votes. 

Two of Bonds' teammates received enough support that they will stay on the ballot. Longtime big league shortstop Omar Vizquel finished at 52.6 percent and former Giants MVP Jeff Kent at 27.5. Former A's Jason Giambi and Eric Chavez were among those who did not receive the five percent needed to stay on the ballot another year. 

Barry Bonds likely will fall short of 2020 Baseball Hall of Fame class

Barry Bonds likely will fall short of 2020 Baseball Hall of Fame class

When he had a bat in his hands, Barry Bonds had more control over a game than just about anyone in the history of the sport. But Bonds can do nothing but watch these days, and on Tuesday afternoon, he'll once again be disappointed by the end result. 

Bonds is tracking well below the 75 percent needed for induction in the Hall of Fame, and when results are announced this afternoon, he'll be left with just two more chances at induction.

According to Ryan Thibodaux, who closely tracks the vote every offseason, Bonds has been listed on 71.3 percent of ballots that have been made public. He traditionally takes a significant hit when non-public ballots are added to the mix. The 2020 Hall of Fame class will be announced at approximately 3:15 p.m. PT on MLB Network. 

This year's class should be a small one, and it's possible that only Derek Jeter has his named called. Jeter has been listed on every ballot thus far and has a chance to join former teammate Mariano Rivera as the only unanimous selections in MLB history. 

Larry Walker, in his final year on the ballot, is currently at 83.3 percent. Curt Schilling also is currently in position to get inducted (77.8 percent) but he is expected to drop off when all votes are counted. Walker could end up being one of the tightest decisions in HOF voting history. 

Bonds might get that "final year" bump in 2022, but thus far he has not gotten particularly close to induction. He got up to 59.1 percent last year, but the steroid cloud has kept him off too many ballots to even make the annual January announcement day remotely dramatic. 

[RELATED: Antoan Richardson's journey showed perseverence]

Bonds, a seven-time MVP who is the sport's all-time leader in home runs, will be on the ballot two more times, and a couple of his former teammates garnered enough support that they will remain on the ballot. Omar Vizquel currently is at 49.1 percent and Jeff Kent is tracking at 32.9 percent.

Former A's Jason Giambi and Eric Chavez are among those who will fail to get the five percent required to stay on the ballot another year.