21. Mike Mussina, SP, 1991-2008
Mussina was overshadowed by a group of dominant pitchers during his era, including teammates like Clemens and Andy Pettitte. Still, his impressive career totals during an offense-heavy era indicate Mussina’s great talent and may help him into Cooperstown a little down the road.
The lack of a Cy Young award indicates that Mussina was never a dominant pitcher and hurts his chances. However, finishing in the top six of the voting eight times in a 10 year period show Mussina’s excellent consistency, which he kept right through the end of his career.
That helped Mussina accumulate impressive career totals worthy of a Hall of Famer. Mussina collected 270 wins and 2813 strikeouts while posting a career ERA+ of 128 in over 3,500 innings according to Baseball Reference.
With excellent control throughout his career, Mussina was able to post 82.7 career WAR. That total ranks 23rd among starting pitchers all time, and well ahead of many already in the Hall of Fame.
Mussina was unfortunate to be on the ballot with a number of no-doubt Hall of Fame pitchers and will need to wait for the logjam to clear. After receiving just shy of 25 percent of the vote this season, look for Mussina’s totals to surge in 2016.
Next: 20. Keith Hernandez, 1B, 1974-1990