There’s a lot of things you could say about Jeff Kent: bad teammate, nice stache, a better Pippen than a Jordan, and a lock for the Hall of Fame. The Los Angeles Dodgers’ second baseman is walking away from baseball at the age of 40 and after 17 seasons.
If you take a close look at Kent’s batting statistics at baseball-reference.com, you’ll notice how similar his career numbers are to those of some pretty big names. The only other 2B (although there are 5 guys who spent time at Catcher) with totals reasonably close to Kent’s is Ryne Sandberg, and he has already gone to Cooperstown.
Kent holds the all-time record for home runs by a second baseman with 351, Sandberg finished with 277. Kent’s career .290 average isn’t exactly eye-popping, but it’s very respectable. He was the winner of the 2000 National League MVP award with the San Francisco Giants, and was an All-Star 5-times.
Unlike Jim Rice (whose case for the Hall is questionable at best), Jeff Kent will likely have the support of the media. Kent was probably never accused of being well-liked in the clubhouse, but he might get the call to the hall before someone whose shadow he never liked standing in: Barry Bonds.