The Baseball Hall of Fame is great. If possible, every baseball fan should make the trip to Cooperstown at least once in their lives. But it isn't perfect. There's numerous players that shouldn't be in but are, and even more that should be in but aren't. Let's look at some borderline players to see if they should have made the cut.
Ozzie Smith (Padres and Cardinals SS, 1978-96)
Ozzie might just be the greatest defensive player of all time. But is that enough to earn him an induction? Looking at the five tools, we know Ozzie’s defense is off the charts, so we can skip that, since nothing else needs to be said. His arm is alright, he would've gotten more if he played third base or any outfield position, but as it stands, it's good enough. He doesn't have blazing speed, but it's still above average, stealing 580 bases in his career. That's really good, good for xth all time. I'll give him credit where credit is due here. Offensively though? That's a diffrerent story. How does he hit for contract? Only .262 for his career. That isn't good by any means. However, it can be excused with power. Harmon Killebrew’s batting average was lower than that at .256, but his 573 home runs are more than enough to get him inducted. Ozzie has the most famous home run in Cardinals history this side of David Freese, but he hit only 28 for his career. I can't ignore his offense when it's such a big part of the game. My verdict is: he doesn't deserve induction.
Kenny Lofton (Indians, Astros, Braves, White Sox, Giants, Pirates, Cubs, Yankees, Phillies, Dodgers, and Rangers CF, 1991-2007)
In recent years, Lofton has been a sabermetrics darling. However, he got only 3.2% of the vote his first and only year on the ballot, leading to his dropping off the ballot. Did he deserve better? Just like with Ozzie, let's start with the positives. Lofton had blazing speed. His 622 stolen bases are 15th all time. His defense was also a plus, as he was one of the best defensive center fielders of his era. He wasn't too bad on contact either, hitting a respectable .299 for his career. That's even higher than Mickey Mantle’s. However, just like with Ozzie, it's Lofton's power numbers that bring him down. So, Lofton played 17 years in the major leagues. How many dingers did you think he hit in that time? You can probably tell he's not a huge power guy, but how many did he hit? Maybe 250? Maybe 300? More than that? No. He hit 130. There's no excuse for a player who played that long to have that few homers. Nolan Arenado already beat him in less than half the time. And besides, look at his ballot: Craig Biggio, Jack Morris, Jeff Bagwell, Mike Piazza, and even more who made it to Cooperstown. My verdict is: the BBWAA made the right choice. Lofton shouldn't get in.
Barry Bonds (Pirates and Giants LF, 1986-2007)
Barry Bonds is one of the most controversial players in any sport of all time. Statistically, he is a Hall of Famer. 762 home runs (the most all-time), 162.8 WAR (the most all-time), 2558 walks (the most all-time), and countless other records. However, he has yet to be inducted due to the cloud of steroids hanging over his head. It's as clear as day. No player who is clean can hit much more than 60 homers in a season. Hitting 73 in a season? That's essentially impossible for a clean player. He must have been on something. And that's why I agree with the BBWAA. The Baseball Hall of Fame is a sacred place, and it shouldn't be tainted with cheaters. My verdict is: the BBWAA is making the right decision keeping him out.
There are more borderline cases than just these guys, but they're the most famous. And at the end of the day, none of them deserve to be inducted.