Are David Ortiz's Career Numbers as DH Enough to Convince Bullish HOF Voters?

Chris Stephens@@chris_stephens6Correspondent IIJuly 11, 2013

ANAHEIM, CA - JULY 05: David Ortiz #34 of the Boston Red Sox hits a two run pinch hit home run in the eighth inning against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on July 5, 2013 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

With a second-inning double, Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz became the all-time hits king among designated hitters, according to CBS Sports' Mike Axisa.

However, are his career numbers at DH enough to convince bullish Hall of Fame voters?

If you were to ask Boston fans if Ortiz belongs in Cooperstown, most would say, "yes." In fact, many fans outside of Boston would agree.

But as we've seen over the last four years with Edgar Martinez and from 2007-11 with Harold Baines, designated hitters don't exactly get much respect when it comes to the Hall of Fame.

Martinez received his highest voting percentage in 2012 when he received 36.5 percent. However, he dropped to 35.9 percent in 2013.

Baines got even less respect, reaching a high of 6.1 percent in 2010 before failing to make the cut after the 2011 vote with only 4.8 percent of the vote.

The Baseball Writers Association of America hasn't given respect to the DH position in the past, and it's hard to think they'll give respect to it in the future.

When comparing the numbers of the three designated hitters, it's easy to see why Ortiz will end his career being considered the best DH of all time.

PlayerGames as DHHitsHRRBIAVG.OPS
David Ortiz*1,5631,6903691,209.289.944
Edgar Martinez1,4031,6072431,003.314.959
Harold Baines1,5621,688236981.291.837

* Ortiz's stats are through Wednesday.

While we do see Ortiz's overall numbers are far superior, they still don't rank up there with other guys who've gotten shafted by voters, much less players who have been elected.

However, if players like Fred McGriff, Larry Walker and Dale Murphy never got into Cooperstown with their numbers, there's no reason to believe Ortiz will get in.

When it comes to the Hall, voters don't take too kindly to guys who rarely (if ever) played the field.

However, if Ortiz can hang on a little longer and play into his 40s, he could reasonably put up numbers comparable to other Hall members.

He has 1,953 career hits, 420 career home runs and 1,391 career RBI. There's no doubt he'll get to 2,000 hits.

But if he can get close to 2,500 hits, hit at least 80 more home runs and drive in at least 109 more runs, he should be a shoo-in for Cooperstown.

As for now, the debate will continue about whether he deserves to be enshrined.