gold star for USAHOF

2021 Baseball Eligibles (21)

With a solid fastball, A.J. Burnett had a long career in Major League Baseball, securing 164 Wins on the Major League level.  Burnett always seemed to be on the cusp of possibly having that elite season, and while he never did, he did lead the AL in Strikeouts once and had over 2,500 Ks in his career.  Burnett made his first All Star Game in…
Predominantly known for his time with the Cincinnati Reds, Aaron Harang had two straight 16 Win seasons, the second of which saw him finish fourth in Cy Young voting.  Harang, who recorded 1,842 Strikeouts over his career, would lead the National League in that category in 2006.
With nearly 1,500 Hits in MLB, Adam LaRoche had a decent career in Major League Baseball where despite having what might be considered a vagabond career was won with over 250 Home Runs.  LaRoche would become best known for his 2012 season where he would win the Gold Glove and Silver Slugger Award.
Twice an All Star with the Toronto Blue Jays, Alex Rios was highly touted for years and for awhile he would live up to those projections.  He would quickly decline, though managed to have a comeback year with the White Sox in 2012 and went out a World Series Champion with the Kansas City Royals in 2015.  He finished his career with a more than…
A three time All Star, Aramis Ramirez was a good power hitter who finished 14 shy of 400 Home Runs.  The Dominican born Third Baseman was never really a threat to win the MVP, but did have five seasons where he received MVP votes, finishing as high as ninth in 2012.  The year before, he would be named a Silver Slugger.
Barry Zito would win two World Series Rings as a member of the San Francisco Giants but there is no debate that he had a much better career across the bay with the Oakland Athletics where he won the Cy Young in 2002 and was a three time All Star. Had Zito been three quarters of the pitcher he was in Oakland as a Giant,…
The straight edge southpaw, C.J. Wilson used his collection of pitches to put together a good run in the Majors, specifically a six year stretch where he accrued 13 or more Wins, two of which saw him make the American League All Star Team.  He would finish 6th in Cy Young voting in 2011.
A two time All Star with the Milwaukee Brewers, Corey Hart showed some power and speed having two seasons where he had 20 Home Runs and 20 Stolen Bases.  Hart would have five seasons where he blasted more than 20 Home Runs.
Named an All Star three times, Dan Uggla would not always have the best Batting Average (though he did walk a considerable amount) but did show some good power with five consecutive seasons hitting over 30 Home Runs.  Uggla would also win the Silver Slugger in 2003.
From 2005 to 2008, Grady Sizemore was considered one of the better players in the American League, and was named to the All Star Game three years in a row.  In this timeframe, the Outfielder had at least 170 Hits and 20 Home Runs per season and always received MVP votes.  He would also win two Gold Gloves and a Silver Slugger.  Injuries reduced him…
Australian born Pitcher, Grant Balfour would hit his stride late in his career when after a near ten year run in middle relief he won the closer’s role with the Oakland Athletics.  Balfour would be named an All Star in 2013 and would tally 38 Saves for the season.
Jason Marquis would win 124 over his career, and had a stint of six seasons where he had more than 11 Wins.  Marquis, was never considered an elite pitcher, but he was named to the National League All Star Team in 2009.
Jeremy Affeldt is one of the few players who can boast three World Series Rings, all of which were won with the San Francisco Giants.  Affeldt was used predominantly in the bullpen over his career, often in the set-up role and was very good at it.  The southpaw would have a 0.86 ERA over 33 playoff games.
While Kevin Gregg was certainly a journeyman pitcher, he did record 20 Saves in a season six times; though the fact that he did that for four different teams (one of which in two different runs) shows off that no MLB General Manager viewed him as an elite talent.  Still, he recorded a more than respectable 177 Saves over his career.
One of the few players to pitch over 1,000 Games and to play into his 40’s, LaTroy Hawkins played for eleven teams in his MLB career.  Hawkins played most of his career in the bullpen where he recorded 127 Saves.  As of this writing, he is 10th overall in Games Pitched.
A two time All Star, Michael Cuddyer spent most of his career with the Minnesota Twins, but his best season was in 2013 when he was with the Colorado Rockies.  That year, Cuddyer won the Batting Title and earned his only Silver Slugger.  He would have over 1,500 Hits over his career.
An All Star in 2009, Nick Swisher had nine consecutive seasons where he belted 20 Home Runs.  A member of the Yankees 2009 World Series Championship team, Swisher was at his best in New York and was a popular figure there.  He would overall tabulate 245 Home Runs over his career.
A reliever with over 200 career Saves, Rafael Soriano had three seasons where he eclipsed 40 in that metric.  His best season was his lobe campaign with Tampa Bay, where he led the American League in Saves and finished 8th in Cy Young voting.
While Shane Victorino is not likely to escape the first year on the ballot, “The Flyin’ Hawaiian” has quite a few accolades to comfort him.  Victorino has two World Series rings, four Gold Gloves and a pair of All Star appearances and the fleet footed outfielder would also lead his league in Triples twice.  This is a pretty good career, wouldn’t you agree?