Tom DiPace/MLB Photos via Getty Images
January 02, 2017

Hall of Fame standards: 71.1 Career WAR / 44.5 Peak WAR / 57.8 JAWS
Lofton: 68.1 Career WAR / 43.2 Peak WAR / 55.7 JAWS

In 17 seasons spent mostly with the Indians, Lofton was a stellar leadoff hitter with a career .372 on-base percentage, six All-Star appearances, five Gold Gloves and 11 trips to the postseason (where, alas, he hit just .247/.315/.352 in 438 PA). He ranks ninth among centerfielders in JAWS, just a bit below the standard on all three fronts. A first-time eligible candidate in 2013, the well-traveled Lofton—who played for one team for 10 seasons and 10 teams for one or less—got lost in the shuffle. I couldn't find room for him on my virtual ballot that year, and I wasn't alone, for he fell off after receiving just 3.2% of the vote. He deserved far better than that, but he won’t get another shot until the 2024 Today’s Game Era Committee ballot at the earliest.

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