Tag: Nolan Ryan

Ranking the Top 5 Los Angeles Angels Players in Franchise History

The Los Angeles Angels franchise has enjoyed plenty of success since being established back in 1961. While the Angels have a relatively short franchise history in comparison to some MLB teams, there has been no shortage of both team and player achievements. The Angels have seen multiple MVP, Cy Young and Rookie of Year Award winners, as well as a World Series Championship in their franchise’s history.

With players like Nolan Ryan, Tim Salmon and Mike Trout documented throughout franchise record books, determining the top-five players in Angels franchise history is no easy task. However, a careful analysis of statistics and player value may help give perspective to this never-ending debate.

This list will count down the five best players in Angels franchise history.

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Dissecting Nolan Ryan’s One-of-a-Kind Legacy, 25 Years After 5,000th Strikeout

Let’s go back 25 years to Aug. 22, 1989, to appreciate Nolan Ryan doing something that hadn’t been done before, hasn’t been done since and may never be done again.

Ryan, then a 42-year-old veteran in his first year with the Texas Rangers, began a game against the Oakland A’s needing six strikeouts to reach 5,000 for his career. Hardly a tall order for The Ryan Express, so the only real question was who would help him make history.

It turned out to be a fellow great in Rickey Henderson. In the fifth inning, he went down as so many opposing hitters had gone down before against Ryan: swinging at a fastball.

Afterward, Henderson took his new distinction in the record books like a champ.

“It was an honor to be the 5,000th,” he said, via The Associated Press. “As Davey Lopes says, ‘If he ain’t struck you out, you ain’t nobody.'”

With that, we now return to the present day to do what we usually do in the event of important sports anniversaries. We must speak of Ryan’s legacy.

Which is actually a complicated thing, featuring as many question marks as exclamation points. But if we have to pick one of those two things to discuss first, it has to be the exclamation points.

Starting, naturally, with the strikeouts.

Ryan was born to strike guys out. Well before he had the numbers to prove it, that he had the right arm for it was obvious as early as 1964.

That was when New York Mets scout Red Murff saw a 17-year-old Ryan throwing for Alvin High School. As The New York Times noted in 2008, he reported back to the Mets that Ryan had “the best arm I’ve ever seen in my life.”

Whether Ryan had the best arm anyone had ever seen became a legit question soon after he started his pro career. So much so that it was determined science was needed to answer it.

This is according to Ron Fimrite of Sports Illustrated, who wrote in 1975 that scientists had clocked Ryan’s fastball at a record 100.9 miles per hour the year prior. And amazingly, that might actually be a conservative figure.

Here’s Jay Jaffe of Sports Illustrated:

That speed was measured by a laser radar when it was 9-10 feet from the plate; if measured at the standard distance of 50 feet from the plate (as PITCHf/x does), that extrapolates to an astounding 108.1 mph.

So yeah. Take a 106-mph fastball by Aroldis Chapman and add two miles per hour, and you have an idea of what Ryan’s best fastball might have been like.

Should we mention that he also had a hammer curveball that was clocked at 85 miles per hour, meaning it might have actually been more like 92 or 93? Yeah, let’s mention that.

Ryan first got the chance to put this stuff to serious use in Anaheim in 1972 after the Mets traded him (and others) to the Angels for Jim Fregosi. The result was him striking out a league-leading 329 batters, thus announcing his arrival as baseball’s strikeout king.

That was one of Ryan’s six 300-strikeout seasons, tying him with Randy Johnson for the most all time. But Ryan holds the edge in 200-strikeout seasons, with 15, and in career 10-strikeout games, with 215.

Among the more notable entries in that list of games are a record four contests with at least 19 strikeouts and another effort that went down in Ryan’s final start in 1973. Needing 15 strikeouts to match Sandy Koufax’s single-season record of 382, he naturally collected 16 to finish with 383.

And so it continued all the way to number 5,000, and then to No. 5,714. Though Johnson charged hard at Ryan, the 4,875 strikeouts he finished with are more than 800 off the mark.

Now, in an age when seemingly every pitcher throws mid-90s heat with physics-defying secondaries, the thought of somebody having the stuff to make a spirited run at becoming just the second member of the 5,000-strikeout club isn’t unthinkable.

That Ryan was able to hang on long enough to collect 714 more strikeouts after getting No. 5,000, however, is perhaps the ultimate reminder that it wasn’t just stuff that got him so many strikeouts. 

Ryan played in 27 big league seasons. If that sounds like a large amount, it’s not.

It’s an absurd amount.

No other modern-era player has logged as many as 27 seasons. And even despite not becoming a full-time starter until his sixth season, Ryan still made a modern-era record 773 starts. And though he’s not the modern-era leader with his 5,386.0 innings, he is the modern-era leader with 24 100-inning seasons

Even more amazing is how Ryan never stopped being a hard thrower. 

“On our radar gun at our Arlington Stadium home games, Nolan has topped out at 97 miles an hour,” then-Rangers manager Bobby Valentine told The New York Times‘ Dave Anderson in early 1989. “And he’s averaged 93 miles an hour. Averaged!”

How did Ryan do it? Certainly not without hard work, but he also granted a couple of years ago that, yeah, he really was a freak of nature.

“But the biggest thing is genetics,” he said, via Daniel I. Dorfman of The Philadelphia Inquirer. “There were a lot of pitchers who wanted to pitch as long as I did. But because of their body type or injury, it didn’t allow them to play as long as I did.”

When you can hang around for as long as Ryan did without losing your stuff, you can do more than just pile up strikeouts.

You can also win 324 games. An antiquated point, sure, but there is something to be said about how Ryan won so many games while playing mainly for mediocre teams. From 1972 on, 15 of the 22 teams he played on were sub-.500 clubs. Ryan won 295 games anyway. 

We also can’t forget Ryan’s record seven no-hitters. Koufax is the only other pitcher with as many as four, and Ryan’s seventh no-hitter in 1991 saw him top his own record for being the oldest pitcher to ever throw one at 44 years and three months.

“I haven’t gotten bored with no-hitters yet,” he said to mark the occasion, via The New York Times‘ Jack Curry.

These are the exclamation points you think of when pondering Ryan’s legacy. You think of the strikeouts and longevity first and foremost, and then the wins and no-hitters as icing on the cake.

But after the exclamations come the questions, and they fall under the umbrella of one in particular:

Just how good was Nolan Ryan?

That Ryan’s right arm was a force of nature is good news and bad news. The good news is everything we discussed above. The bad news is how, like all forces of nature, there was no controlling it.

Just as Ryan’s the all-time leader in strikeouts, he’s also the all-time leader in walks. And not just because of his longevity, either. He averaged 4.67 walks per nine innings, easily the highest rate among 3,000-inning pitchers.

Elsewhere, Ryan’s also the all-time leader in wild pitches and in the top 10 in hit batsmen. No wonder Oscar Gamble once told The New York Times‘ Dave Anderson that a good night against Ryan was “0-for-4 and don’t get hit in the head.”

With all this wildness, Ryan’s strikeout habit wasn’t just a rare talent. It was a necessity.

And even his strikeout habit could only help his ERA so much most seasons. Ryan only finished eight seasons with an ERA under 3.00—certainly giving him fewer chances to contend for a Cy Young Award that, shockingly, he never wonand retired with a 3.19 career ERA.

Using ERA+ to adjust for park and league standards, Ryan’s career 112 ERA+ puts him in the same company as Al Leiter, Bartolo Colon and Josh Beckett. Good company, but far less than great company.

This is when you remember that Ryan paired a modern-era record 292 losses with his 324 wins. Of those, 254 came in those final 22 seasons we discussed. It’s commendable that he won so many games with mediocre teams, but he himself wasn’t entirely separate from that mediocrity.

All this leads us to the obligatory wins above replacement discussion. If you consult FanGraphs‘ version of WAR, Ryan is the sixth-most valuable pitcher ever. Consult Baseball-Reference.com’s WAR, however, and Ryan is only 20th all time. 

Such is the essential conundrum of Ryan’s legacy. As easy as it is to argue he’s one of the greatest pitchers ever, it’s just as easy to argue he’s not. If you’re in the latter camp, it boils down to how being born a great thrower isn’t the same as being born a great pitcher.

This debate exists. This debate must be acknowledged. This debate will rage on.

And yet, something tells me it will never escape the background of Ryan’s legacy.

Where Ryan ranks among great pitchers is not the point. His is more a legacy of feats. It’s more appropriate, and indeed more fun, to remember him for the things he could do that nobody else could. 

That includes throwing a baseball at record speeds. And playing forever. And through those two things, making more hitters look puny than any other pitcher we’ve ever seen and perhaps ever will see.

All this was worth celebrating 25 years ago. It’s still worth celebrating today.


Note: Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com unless otherwise noted/linked.

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Nolan Ryan Will Rejoin Astros in Advisory Role

Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan has been off the mound for over two decades, but he can’t seem to stay away from the game of baseball.   

The 67-year-old will now reunite with the Houston Astros in an advisory role, as first reported by Brian McTaggart of MLB.com:

McTaggart later confirmed the news and offered a quote from Ryan:

Jose de Jesus Ortiz of The Houston Chronicle also confirmed the news and provided comments from Astros owner Jim Crane during an official announcement:

Ryan chimed during the announcement and shared his thoughts on re-joining his old team, according to Ortiz:  

Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram provides a little more information about the situation:

Bill Shaikin of The Los Angeles Times notes the exact role as a special assistant that Ryan will take on, as well as another important note:

Ryan was the Texas Rangers President and CEO from 2008 through 2013. He retired from the role on Oct. 31, 2013, and said during his final press conference that he might not be out of the game for good, according to Richard Durrett of ESPN.com

Will I be the CEO of another major league ballclub? No, I won’t. But I’m not going to sit here today and tell you that I don’t know what a year from now might bring. This might be the final chapter of my baseball career. If there was something else I did, it certainly wouldn’t be in the role I had with the Rangers.

Though it may not be a popular decision with Rangers fans, Ortiz is excited to see Ryan back with his old team:

While Ryan spent the twilight of his career with the Rangers and took on a huge role with the team, his best years were undoubtedly during his time in an Astros uniform.

During his nine years spent in Houston, Ryan compiled 106 wins in 282 games started, a 3.13 ERA, 13 shutouts and, most notably, 1,866 strikeouts.

The move is certainly an interesting one as the Astros just recently made the switch in 2013 to the American League East, the same division as the Rangers. Therefore, Ryan will be helping a team defeat the same franchise that he helped to turn around during his five years as the President and CEO.

The most likely situation for Ryan is that he wants to help improve the Astros’ pitching staff, and the team could certainly use his expertise. Scott Feldman (12-12, 3.86 ERA in 2013) and Brett Oberholtzer (4-5, 2.76 ERA in 2013) currently sit at the top of the rotation.

A young cast will be working their way through the minor leagues, including Mark Appel, the first overall pick in 2013, and possibly even N.C. State pitcher Carlos Rodon, who is projected to be the first overall pick in 2014.

Ryan has proven that he can turn around an entire franchise with the Rangers, helping lead them to two American League pennants, and he’ll be expected to bring that same success to the Astros’ pitching staff.

Only time will tell if the move pays off for the Astros, but it is great to see Ryan still in the sport of baseball.


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Nolan Ryan Hears 2013 Might Not Be Impacted by Biogenesis Suspensions After All

MLB players involved in the Biogenesis scandal may not be suspended in 2013, according to an ESPN Dallas report.

In an interview with Texas Rangers executive Nolan Ryan, Todd Wills reported that Ryan has had conversations with commissioner Bud Selig concerning the matter.

Ryan said, based on his talks with MLB, the investigation is going to be a “long, drawn-out affair.” (Nelson) Cruz, who could be facing a 50-game suspension, said last week that he hasn’t talked to MLB investigators yet.

I don’t know that there’s a time frame that they’re dealing with, Ryan said. I know that they’re in a fact-finding mode right now, so we’ll just have to wait and see how that plays out. But do I worry about losing Nellie here shortly? No, I don’t. I really think he’ll be with us and we’ll just have to see where that goes.

In fact, if there are any suspensions, they likely wouldn’t happen until the beginning of the 2014 season.

This is good and bad for all involved.

The good part about it is for players like Cruz, Alex Rodriguez, Bartolo Colon, Jhonny Peralta and Melky Cabrera, whose suspensions won’t get in the way of their teams’ 2013 playoff runs.

Colon would be the biggest beneficiary of this, as he’s close to retirement age and could just walk away from the game after this season.

Owners and team executives would also like for it to not happen during the 2013 season. If the suspensions happen afterwards, they can plan for it and make the necessary roster adjustments.

So what’s the bad?

The worst part is that it will continue to be in the forefront of baseball conversations. The speculation about what might happen will continue to run rampant.

While the investigation continues, those players are going to help their teams make playoff runs.

Then you have the “what if” factor. What if one of those players has the game (or games) of their life and helps their team win the World Series? What if all of it happens while they’re supposed to be suspended for their past transgressions?

If one of these players ends up being a league championship series or World Series MVP, and is then suspended to start 2014, there are going to be some serious issues.

Cabrera nearly won the batting title last year. Had he not pulled himself out of consideration, he would have won the title over Buster Posey. Would Posey have then won the NL MVP?

There are a lot of variables going on in this case and I think it’s important for MLB to do their due diligence.

But if one of these players does something magical to affect the 2013 season, and is then suspended in the offseason, baseball is going to be in big trouble.

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5 MLB Prospects Who Could Be the Next Nolan Ryan

With the ongoing emphasis on pitch counts, innings and extra days of rest, it’s likely that we’ll never see a pitcher with the dominant longevity of Nolan Ryan.

After flashes of brilliance with the Mets from 1966 through 1971, Ryan’s Hall of Fame career didn’t truly take off until he joined the California Angels in 1972.

The right-hander erupted that season, registering a 2.28 ERA over 39 starts and led the league with nine shutouts, 329 strikeouts, 157 walks and 18 wild pitches. However, as was the case throughout his entire career, Ryan’s wildness was offset by his overall lack of hit-ability. That season, his 5.3 H/9 (166 hits in 284 innings) was the best mark among all pitchers.

Although it was undocumented, Ryan also paced the circuit in overall old-man strength—as a 25-year-old. But in all seriousness; when debating the best plus-plus fastball-curveball combinations in baseball history, the conversation should start and end with Ryan.

Ryan’s fastball received its own nickname, “The Ryan Express,” and was nearly impossible to barrel due to exceptional late life, not to mention the fact that it routinely scraped triple digits. Equally impressive was his curveball—an absolute hammer of the 12-to-6, downer variety.

Over his historic 27-year career, Ryan, now 65, posted a 324-292 record, 3.19 ERA, 9.5 K/9 (5,714 K), 4.7 BB/9 (2,795 BB) and 6.6 H/9 in 5,386 innings.

He is the all-time career leader in strikeouts (5,714), fewest hits allowed per nine innings (6.6), no-hitters (7), walks allowed (2,795) and wild pitches (277).

But as we look toward the minor leagues, are there any pitching prospects with the potential to be the next Nolan Ryan? Well, considering that he played for 27 seasons and holds so many prestigious records, it’s extremely doubtful.

However, there are several pitching prospects worth noting who, like Ryan, post high strikeout and walks rates but allow few hits.

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Texas Rangers: Josh Hamilton Sends Message with 4-Homer Game

At the rate Josh Hamilton started this season, you just knew that he was bound to do something special at some point in this season.

Well, wait no more for that special moment.

Hamilton became the 16th man in baseball history to blast four home runs in a single game, giving him a major league leading 14 on the year, as the Texas Rangers seem to have again found their groove. By a score of 10-3, they won their third game in a row and guaranteed a split with the Baltimore Orioles.

Everyone knew that Hamilton was going to be looking for some money either this year or next, as he’s currently in the final year of his contract, and the former American League MVP has shown early on that he’s deserving of every dollar that he gets.

So I sincerely hope that Jon Daniels and Nolan Ryan have taken notice of what he’s done.

It’s understandable that you don’t want to take a chance on someone who has dealt with a good number of injuries the last three years, and it’s also understandable that if Hamilton were to get hurt again, the Rangers’ front office would rather wait until after the season to pay him.

Well, it doesn’t matter if he gets the money now, before the trade deadline or even after the season. If he wins another MVP award this year, Daniels and Ryan better be prepared to open up the checkbooks and give him any amount he wants. Because at this point so far, he’s earned every penny, and then some.

It’s been a while since baseball fans have seen this kind of start by anyone, and he’s producing at an even or better rate than Los Angeles Dodgers superstar Matt Kemp. Hamilton’s average of .406 ties the league lead with Kemp, but 14 home runs and 34 RBI put him at the top.

Not to mention, Hamilton has played three less games than Kemp. It’s a tossup as to who the best player in baseball is, so I’ll let you all handle that debate.

But staying with the American League, Hamilton also sent a message to the AL in that he’s the undisputed favorite right now for the MVP, and every AL pitcher should be very cautious as to how they approach him.

Not even in his MVP season a couple of years ago did Hamilton get off to a start like he’s on right now. He was always driving in runs with ease, but his power has been fine-tuned better than ever before and he’s making it look easy at the plate.

Obviously, he’s not going to keep up with the batting average, and he’s going to have to cool off sooner or later for a stretch during the summer. But if he keeps up with the way he is, it’ll be a few months before he gets another MVP trophy, and it’ll only be a matter of time before Hamilton gets his pay day.

The Rangers are a dangerous contender when everyone’s on point, producing on offense and pitching effectively.

And they’re a deadly threat to any team in the league if Josh Hamilton is playing the way he’s playing right now.

But if there’s anyone who can make a giant billboard outside of Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, please put a picture of Hamilton on it with just three words in bold red letters:

Pay the man.

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New York Mets: 13 Players Who Have Had Better Careers on Other Teams

Perhaps it’s just coincidence and happenstance, but it seems like the New York Mets have had the worst luck and/or timing when it comes to collecting talent on their roster.

Whenever they would obtain a perennial All-Star-type player or former MVP, that player would prove to be a huge bust and completely tank with the Mets.

On the flip side, the Mets seem to always trade away or let go of players who would go on to lead All-Star, MVP and even Hall of Fame careers.

The talent that has come and gone through the Mets is quite extraordinary. So, let’s take a look at some of the top players, past and present, the Mets either gave up on too soon, or brought in too late in their respective careers.

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Texas Rangers: Michael Young Situation Turns Ugly as New Details Emerge

Michael Young, Texas Rangers‘ second baseman, shortstop, third baseman, first baseman, I mean designated hitter, has finally had enough.

The longest tenured player on the American League’s defending champions has demanded a trade from the only Major League team he has ever known. Not only that, but he has finally broken his silence regarding his perception of the manner in which the Rangers have handled him in recent seasons.

Originally the Rangers’ starting second baseman upon his ascension to the big league squad in 2001, Young made the transition to shortstop in a selfless move to accommodate the newly acquired Alfonso Soriano prior to the 2004 season. Short had recently been vacated by the departing Alex Rodriquez, who was heading to the Bronx in exchange for Soriano.

Young made the transition easily, dutifully serving as the Rangers’ shortstop from 2004 to 2008, while being named to the American League All-Star squad in each of those five seasons. Much like Derek Jeter, his fellow All-Star shortstop, Young grew into a reputation as a quiet leader, a consummate teammate, and one of the the most respected players in the game.

The 2009 season saw Young cement his reputation as a team-oriented player as he once again switched positions, this time to allow the arrival of much-heralded youngster Elvis Andrus, thought by many to be the Rangers’ star shortstop of the next decade. Initially, Young was reluctant, contemplating his own departure from Arlington, before finally relenting and moving to third base in favor of the superbly athletic Andrus.

Once again, Michael Young made a seamless transition, sliding over to third and being named an All-Star in his first year at the hot corner, then helping lead the team to their first World Series during his second year at the position. He was never a perfect third baseman, but continued hitting and performing his role as a team leader and face of the Rangers franchise.

Something didn’t quite sit right with Rangers’ management, however, as the team moved to upgrade third base with the free-agent signing of Adrian Beltre. While most cannot deny that Beltre is the superior third baseman, the acquisition left many wondering why the team had fixed a position that wasn’t broken.

There was discussion of moving Young to first base, effectively blocking the development of the promising Mitch Moreland. While that was a possibility, it didn’t necessarily make a lot of sense, and the talk turned to making Young the full-time DH. After all, Vlad Guerrero was assumed to be leaving via free agency, and Young’s greatest asset had always been his bat.

At the time, Young had spoken out, saying that he would move to allow Beltre to assume his rightful place at third, and he would do whatever was best for the team, whether that meant playing first, designated hitter or serving as a super-utility player.

Not long after that selfless statement, he apparently changed his mind and decided that the latest move was one affront too many. When asked about it yesterday by Ken Rosenthal of Foxsports, Young said, “I’ll be the first to admit that I was not particularly keen on the idea of being a DH. But I did agree to do it. I wanted to put the team first. I wanted to be a Ranger.

“But in light of events that happened in the process, I got pushed into a corner one too many times. I couldn’t take it any more.”

Shortly after he agreed to DH, the Rangers acquired Mike Napoli, a catcher, but a player better suited for the DH role or first base. That move may have served as the proverbial “writing on the wall,” but Young wouldn’t admit that much when asked.

Again speaking to Rosenthal, Young refused to pinpoint a specific maneuver that served as the impetus, saying, “It wasn’t one specific thing, it had nothing to do with any other players. I certainly don’t want to drag other players into this. It’s not fair to them. It’s not necessarily important to reveal the details. I know how this thing unfolded.”

Rangers brass had earlier in the day attempted to place the blame on Young changing his mind after first agreeing to accept the move, but he moved quickly to offer his side of the story.

When Nolan Ryan and GM Jon Daniels told reporters that Young had simply changed his mind after initially accepting another positional change, Young responded, “The suggestion that I had a change of heart and asked for a trade is a manipulation of the truth.” Young added, “I asked for a trade because I’ve been misled and manipulated and I’m sick of it.”

Apparently, the tension that many had long suspected, had been bubbling beneath the surface for some time. While Young had quietly taken the previous moves in stride, he could no longer deal with feeling like was being taken advantage of.

Being pressed for juicy quotes Young, as ever, took the high road, adding, “Other than that, I’m not going to reveal any details about how this process unfolded. It’s not my nature to start blasting people publicly when I don’t think it’s necessary. I don’t think it’s fair or productive for anybody, particularly my teammates and coaching staff.”

Even in the face of what he perceived to be the final offense pushing him out the door, Michael Young remained the consummate professional and teammate.

Despite that well-earned reputation as one of baseball’s good guys, even Young has his breaking point, and apparently the Rangers found it.

“This has been a long time coming based on things that occurred off the field. I’m sick of it. It hit a point where I felt it was unfair to me and my family,” he said.

Rumors have been circulating around a potential trade of Young since the winter meetings, but public declarations from team president Nolan Ryan and manager Ron Washington seemed to indicate that Michael Young fit into the team’s plans moving forward.

The Rockies, Angels and Cubs, among several others, have tested the waters regarding a possible deal for the former AL batting champ, but things seemed to have been smoothed out between the team and their longtime star. 

With these recent developments, the Rangers front office is now plowing full steam ahead in an effort to trade their unsettled leader. Though the desire is there, the deal may actually be more difficult than expected, considering the three years and $48 million left on Young’s contract. The Rangers are also unwilling to part with their star infielder in a deal that is less than beneficial to the club, so while he desperately wants out, he won’t be given away in a mere salary dump.

Sadly, this unfortunate turn of events has turned the once stoic “face of the franchise” into a bitter, snarled visage intent upon presenting his version of the circumstances with a candor and acrimony rarely seen from the well-traveled star.

Though his travels have thus far been around his team’s own infield, this time Michael Young may need more than just a different glove for his new job.

It remains to be seen how negative the rhetoric becomes on each side, as Young has given his side of the story rather frankly, we can likely expect a response from the Rangers’ front office.

Despite declining to place blame or to give many details, Young did hint at a possible root of the issues, stating, “At the end of the day, I know the truth. And so does JD (GM Jon Daniels).”

And the Rangers better begin looking for a new face, because it doesn’t look like they’re going to be able to save this one.


All Michael Young quotes first appeared in Ken Rosenthal’s article on Foxsports

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MLB Power Rankings: The Greatest Pitcher In The History of Every Franchise

I spend way to much time at baseballreference.com. For real. There actually might be something wrong with me. I don’t know what it is about baseball statistics and history that fascinates so much, all I know is that I’ve studied this stuff since I was eight years old and got my first pack of cards.

In one of my days of “research,” I compiled a list of the greatest pitchers for each franchise. There were teams like Atlanta that had guys like Warren Spahn, Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine. Then there were teams like the Milwaukee Brewers that hadn’t ever had a great pitcher in the history of their franchise. Guys like Roger Clemens and Curt Schilling didn’t make this list, but others like Doug Drabek did. 

So anyway, here are greatest pitchers in each teams history.

Writer’s Note: Players had to be playing during or after Jackie Robinson’s debut to be considered (for obvious reasons). Baseball has been around for ever, and you gotta draw the line somewhere. 

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Nolan Ryan and the Top 15 Starting Pitchers in the History of the Houston Astros

The Houston Astros have always had a team that was based on strong pitching. From the 1980s with Mike Scott, J.R. Richard and Nolan Ryan to their most recent World Series run with Roy Oswalt, Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte.

When the Astros have had success, you can bet they had one or more superb pitcher behind it. The Astros have used strong pitching to secure six division titles, two wild card berths and one National League pennant. I have compiled a list of who I think are the top 15 starting pitchers in the history of the Houston Astros.

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