Analyzing active players' HOF candidacies

Updated: September 8, 2012, 1:31 PM ET
By Buster Olney

Alex Rodriguez anticipated a fastball from Wei-Yin Chen on Friday night and mashed it, deep into the bullpens beyond the fence in left-center field. It was the 645th homer of his career, and, before Rodriguez crossed home, Derek Jeter stepped on the plate ahead of him, the 1,885th run of Jeter's career.

Both Rodriguez and Jeter have produced numbers that are overwhelmingly worthy of the Hall of Fame -- for Rodriguez, the question of whether he'll actually get in is a separate issue -- and so have Chipper Jones, who began his last series in New York on Friday and was honored there, and Mariano Rivera, who is recovering from knee surgery. Omar Vizquel built the best parts of his résumé years ago and is in the final days and weeks of his career, as is Jim Thome, who is almost certainly a sure thing to be voted in on his first year on the ballot. Andy Pettitte has done enough to have his career mulled over, but, like Rodriguez, he'll have to overcome the PED stigma that a large number of voters are attaching to certain candidates.

There are other active players who may already have done enough to earn strong consideration for the Hall of Fame.

The locks