The biggest knock on his enshrinement is that he played as the team’s designated hitter and thus had little to no impact on the defensive part of the game. However, he still deserves to be in.
For starters, the American League has required a designated hitter ever since the 1973 season, so to penalize him for playing at the position is ludicrous. Martinez played his entire 18-year career with the Mariners (1987-2004) and spent the final 10 seasons primarily as a designated hitter. He was so good they named the award for outstanding designated hitter after him.
Martinez hit .312 for his career with an on-base plus slugging percentage that was 47 percent higher than the league average after adjusting for park effects. He also led the league in on-base percentage three times (1995, 1998 and 1999) and had a career mark of .418. He struck out 100 times just once in 18 seasons: his last in 2004 at 41 years old.
According to the Bill James’ Hall of Fame Monitor, which attempts to determine how likely a player is to be elected to the Hall of Fame, Martinez is at 132. Anything over 100 is considered to be likely enshrinement.
Bill James’ Hall of Fame Career Standards, a 0 to 100 scale which determines how well a player’s career statistics match up to the typical standards of the HOF, has Martinez right at where you would find the average Hall of Famer (50).
His 68.3 career rWar is higher than that produced by Craig Biggio (65.1), who received 74.8 percent of the vote last season. it is also higher than Mike Piazza (59.4), who was listed on 62.2 percent of last year’s ballots.
The numbers speak for themselves: the best designated hitter of all time deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.