Season 3 – AL ROY – Braden Cox
ROY Team: Minnesota Explorers (now Pawtucket Patriots)
Current Team: Pawtucket Patriots
Career Stats: 448 HR 1249 RBI 289 SB .302 AVG .990 OPS
Career Awards: 6-Time All-Star, MVP (S6) & 4 Silver Sluggers LF
Cox has spent his entire career with the same franchise and followed up his rookie year with an excellent career even garnering an MVP. However, when Cox’s career is over he may not be revered in the esteem he should be. The beginning of Cox’s prime coincided with Magglio Javier’s prime, Cox finished 2nd in MVP voting twice and in the top 5 another two times. He did manage to break through and become the only other player other than Javier to be named MVP during seasons 5-10. However, had Magglio not existed is would be safe to assume that 2-3 MVP’s might already be on Cox’s mantle.
With all of the above said Cox should go down as an all-time Hunter great, despite not making the bigs till season 3, Cox was a member of the All-Decade Team for the AL (as Javier’s backup). Cox has an outside shot at the 500-500 club, the HRs are lock the SBs will be tougher at the very least 500-400 seems reasonable.
To pick-up the ROY Cox authored the following stat-line: 48 HR 157 RBI 37 SB .311 Avg. Which was the 2nd best rookie line that I saw over the first five seasons, any guesses who was number 1?
With his nemesis gone to the NL, Cox still has a couple seasons of MVP caliber skills left. I for one am rooting for him to at least make a pair.
Season 3- NL ROY- Patrick Hernandez
ROY Team: St. Louis (now Augusta)
Current Team: Retired S6 as a member of Minnesota (now Pawtucket)
Career Stats: 34-22 4.64 ERA
Awards: None other than ROY
Of all the ROY of the years from the first 5 seasons Hernandez had the shortest ML career, spanning only 4 seasons.
He burst on to the scene in Season 3 with a 15-2 record and 3.45 ERA for the Clydesdales. Then poof 4 seasons later he was retired. His career arch reminds me of a lyric from a popular song “It is better to burn out than it is to fade away”
Hernandez pitched for St. Louis until season 5 and then was traded to Charlotte (now NO) for Kurt Linclon (now with Roch) a very good reliever (2.84 ERA 183 IP), Tommy Thomas (now with Burl) an okay reliever (5.45 ERA 160 IP) and a terrible reliever Timothey Shouse (AAA Cle) who only pitched 69 ML innings. Given that Linclon and Thomas are still in the majors 9 years later and Hernandez only pitched 4 seasons, you’d have to give the W to St. Louis on the trade. An interesting follow-up note the St. Louis owner at the time of the trade was jdkaput who now owns the Burlington franchise, which is the current home of Tommy Thomas. As a sidebar is there any doubt his nickname growing up was Tom-Tom?
Continuing on with Hernandez career he only played one season with Charlotte before leaving as a FA and signing with Minnesota (Pawtucket). He played there one season before deciding to retire.