David Ortiz is in the midst of a renaissance year. Following a 2012 campaign in which an Achilles injury stopped Ortiz' season at 90 games, the 37-year-old slugger has returned to full health and full form.
Big Papi was on the DL for the first two weeks of this season, but has made up for lost time. In 73 games in 2013, Ortiz has 19 home runs, 65 RBIs, and is batting a robust .327. He leads the first-place Red Sox in those first two categories, and if it wasn't for the surprising efforts of Jose Iglesias, he would be the headliner in the third as well.
This success has re-iginited talk about the DH's Hall of Fame candidacy. Ortiz has some impressive numbers on his resume, most notably 420 career home runs, 1391 runs batted in and a respectable .287 batting average for his slugging ways. But is this enough to get him in the Hall?
A panel of four on Uno Sports Tonight tackled this topic. Gary Tanguay, Andy Gresh, the Boston Herald's Ron Borges and WEEI's Kirk Minihane all spoke on whether Ortiz' candidacy deserves merit.
Minihane was blunt, stating that Edgar Martinez is the leader in the DH position and Ortiz stands no chance.
"I don't think he gets in, I don't think he comes close."
Borges had a more optimistic view, but felt Ortiz's offense-only status may seriously hinder his prospects.
"It's an interesting debate. Say he has another year like this one, which would be another tremendous season for him, well then you could make a pretty strong case," Borges said. "The DH position is really going to work against him, the voters of the Hall of Fame don't think that's a position."
Gresh further elaborated on that point, and noted that Ortiz's past link to PEDs might also do his candidacy much harm.
"Well, that's the thing: When are the voting members going to recognize the designated hitter for what it is?" Gresh said. "He's a hitter and I think that the worst thing for David Ortiz, as crazy as it sounds, is that the better years he has at 37, 38, is he's already linked to PEDs, that's the big alarm for the guys over the course of history what they've done after age 35 and been accused of doing PEDs."
Not to be left out, Tanguay had his say as well. He believes Ortiz may indeed be a Hall of Famer one day, but it won't be any time soon.
"If he gets in, it's going to be like Jim Rice. It's going to be because all of the other steroid guys get in ahead of him, the Sosas, the McGwires, all of these other guys are going to have to get in ahead of him before him. And, finally, 15 years later, 'Oh, Big Papi! He's a great guy, we'll put him in!'"
Click on the video above to hear all that was said about Big Papi's Hall of Fame candidacy.