'77 ... That's a C+, Right?
Saturday, January 06 2007 @ 05:13 PM EST
Contributed by: Mick Doherty
You might recall that a while back -- actually, way back in June of '06 -- we
introduced a new Hall of Names category focused on players born in a
particular year. We met The Bicentennial Men, players born in 1976, and readers chipped in by adding teams for players born in 1957, 1980, 1982 and 1983.
It's a new year and a new group of MLB players is turning 30 this year,
so let's take a gander at players born in 1977 (there have been more than 200, at least so far) as we meet ...
The '77 Percent Solution
* indicates All-Star
** indicates All-Star and potential Hall of Famer
Okay, that team name sucks. Better suggestions? Please make them in the thread below!
So let's ask, as we did for the Bicentennial Men, who are the active
leaders in major counting categories among the '77 babies? Here's a
"Top 10" sample (totals in parentheses are through the close of the
Other guys worth mentioning: Bronson Arroyo, Ben Davis, Adam
Eaton, Justin Duchscherer, Jody Gerut, Orlando Hudson, Mike Maroth,
Eric Munson, Lyle Overbay, Josh Towers, Ty Wigginton ... who's missing?
- Wins: Mark Mulder (103), Roy Oswalt (98), Roy Halladay
(95), Kerry Wood (71), Vicente Padilla (66), AJ Burnett (59), Odalis
Perez (57), Kip Wells (57), Ryan Dempster (57), Jake Westbrook (56)
- Saves: Danys Baez (111), Ryan Dempster (59), Mike
MacDougal (50), J.J. Putz (46), Chris Reitsma (37), Shawn Chacon (35),
Ryan Kohlmeier (19), Fernando Rodney (19), Jason Frasor (18), Dan
- Homers: Andruw Jones (342), Eric Chavez (212), Carlos
Beltran (203), Travis Hafner (118), Jay Gibbons (115), Brad Wilkerson
(98), Craig Monroe (92), Alex Gonzalez (90), Eric Hinske (79), Brandon
- Steals: Juan Pierre (325), Carlos Beltran (227), Rafael
Furcal (226), Brian Roberts (136), Andruw Jones (133), Adam Everett
(55), Jason Tyner (53), Willie Bloomquist (50), Aaron Rowand (48), Eric
Now, let's see if we can't build a decent roster from the players named above ...
C Brandon Inge (29 homers in 2006)
1B Lyle Overbay (.312/22/92 in 2006)
2B Orlando Hudson (.287/15/67, GG in 2006)
SS Rafael Furcal* (.300/15/63, 37 SB in 2006)
3B Eric Chavez (.271, 212 homers through 2006)
LF Carlos Beltran** (.276/41/116, GG in 2006)
CF Andruw Jones** (nine GG at age 29)
RF Brad Wilkerson (.252, 98 homers, 46 SB through 2006)
DH Travis Hafner (.308, 42 homers in 2006)
C Ben Davis (.237, 1998-2004)
3B/C/1B Eric Munson (.211 through 2006)
IF Alex Gonzalez* (.246, 90 homers through 2006)
OF Craig Monroe (averaging 22 homers, 2003-06 DET)
OF Juan Pierre (.303, 325 SB through 2006)
UTIL Willie Bloomquist (.257 career utilityman)
RHSP Roy Oswalt** (98-47)
LHSP Mark Mulder** (103-57)
RHSP Roy Halladay** (95-48)
LHSP Odalis Perez* (58-59)
RHSP Kerry Wood* (71-56)
CL-RH Danys Baez* (31-37, 111 saves)
SET-RH Jason Frasor (10-13, 18 saves)
SET-LH Dennys Reyes (27-31, 2 saves)
RHRP Ryan Dempster* (29 wins in '01-'02; 33 saves in '05)
RHRP Shawn Chacon* (22 wins in '01-'03; 35 saves in '04)
Notes ... The fifth starter's slot could have gone to any one of
about 10 guys, but Wood, even with all the injury issues, just noses
out Westbrook, Burnett and Padilla, in that order ... There are no
star-quality lefty relievers with a '77 pedigree, so we end up with
Dennys setting up Danys as the only lefty in the 'pen ... Actually,
the bullpen is a weak spot on the roster, regardless of the
availability of lefties; each of the three All-Stars in that unit are
one-time Midsummer Classic selections so far, while the other two guys,
both solid enough, are in no danger of having to make July travel plans
any time soon ...
Because neither Munson nor Inge were certifiable full-time catchers,
we'll also carry Ben Davis, who fell off the map after a couple of nice
campaigns but might see some serious playing time behind the dish for
this team ... Actually, with the exception of Inge starting behind the
plate -- he's now the Tigers everyday 3B -- this would be one of the
best defensive teams ever to take a major league field of play ...
With three guys who have played CF in the majors all in the starting OF
(including two who will get at least some Cooperstown attention down
the road), Pierre and Monroe might collect quite a bit of dust on the
bench ... Bloomquist is the quintessential 25th man for this team; he's
never pitched or caught a game in the big leagues, but has played
everywhere else -- in fact, he's played between 13 and 86 games at every other big league position, including DH ...
Yes, Halladay is legitimately the #3 starter on this team, but really
that means there are three #1 guys fronting the rotation ... Speaking
of Halladay, that's quite a Blue Jay influence coming out of the '77
crop -- in addition to Doc, there's Lyle Overbay, Orlando Hudson, Alex
Gonzalez and Eric Hinske (hey, that could be somebody's starting
infield right now) along with Jason Frasor, AJ Burnett and Josh Towers,
among others, also available ... No, wait, that's the other Alex Gonzalez born in '77, not the one who once played short in TO ...
Shortened career/steep cliff-dive coming for Andruw Jones? His most
comparables at BBRef include Darryl Stawberry, Ron Gant, Eric Davis and Juan Gonzalez ... Brad Wilkerson was the last man
ever to wear a Montreal Expos jersey in game competition, in a
post-season Japan tour by MLB just after the 'Spo's final season in
Canada ... To date, Overbay, Hudson, Chavez and Hafner have combined to
appear in exactly ZERO All-Star Games, or two less than Mark Fidrych
has all by himself ... Juan Pierre's .303 career average and 325 steals
don't reflect the fuller picture -- a .727 career OPS (OPS+ of 86) and
116 times caught stealing ...
So, again ... who's missing?