We have another 1st year ballot candidate for review today, closer John Franco.
4 All-Star Appearances
8 30+ Save Seasons
2.89 Career ERA
138 Career ERA+
25.8 Career WAR
The Case for Franco
Franco was one of the top closers in the game for the majority of his career, and is now 4th on the All-Time saves list. He led the league in saves 3 times (1988, 1990, 1994), and was one of the premier relievers in the league from 1985-1992.
The Case Against Franco
While Franco was one of the top relievers for a majority of his career, at no point was he really considered to be the TOP reliever in the Majors. His numbers, with the exception of the saves total, were solid but not elite for his career.
I always have a tough time trying to evaluate closers in the history of the game. While I believe that there are definitely Hall-of-Fame caliber closers, I almost expect them to have defined the position while they played. And for Franco, I just don’t quite see it. He was a great closer at the start of his career, and a solid one for the majority of it, but I don’t know if I see enough to just know that he is a Hall of Famer. He definitely became one of the faces of the franchise for the Mets during his long tenure there, but I don’t know if that adds enough to his case.
MY VOTE: NO