I’m really interested to see how many of the voters vote for Lee. I would be shocked if he is a first-ballot Hall of Famer, but can he get a significant percentage of votes?
On the surface he doesn’t really seem like a Hall of Famer, but once you start digging into his numbers and looking back at his career there is a case to be made for him.
He has the fourth-highest WAR of any of the first-time eligible players this year, behind Derek Jeter, Bobby Abreu and Jason Giambi, and his strikeout-to-walk ratio is the fifth best in MLB history. He had a 7-3 record in the postseason (11 starts), pitched in two World Series and was the Game 1 starter in 2010.
When you think back on it, over about an eight-year period from 2006-13, there were not many left handers who were as good as he was overall. He had the bad 2007 season after the groin injury, but bounced back in 2008 and won the Cy Young, and followed that up with about five more good seasons.