LaTroy Hawkins pitched for 21 years and 11 teams in his career. He gets on the ballot for the first time this year. Let’s take a look at the big righty’s career.
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LaTroy Hawkins was drafted in the seventh round by the Minnesota Twins in 1991 out of West Side HS (IN). Hawkins made his MLB debut in 1995, and it didn’t go well. In fact, he was a starter for his first five seasons with Minnesota. After 98 starts (one relief appearance) and a dismal 6.16 ERA, the Twins moved him to the bullpen. Hawkins pitched exclusively in relief for the next 16 years. In 2001 Hawkins set a career-high with 28 saves, but he seemed to find his groove in 2002-2003 when he went a combined 15-3 with a 2.00 ERA in 139 appearances.
Hawkins pitched for the Chicago Cubs in 2004 and returned to the closer role saving 25 games. In 2005 the real moving around began as he spent time with 10 teams over the next 11 seasons including two stints with the Colorado Rockies, for whom he pitched in the World Series in 2007. His major league tenure ended with the Toronto Blue Jays after being traded there in 2015 with Troy Tulowitzki for Jose Reyes, Miguel Castro, Jeff Hoffman, and Jesus Tinoco. He made 60+ appearances with seven different teams
He is 10th on the All-Time list for appearances with 1,042 and is one of only 16 pitchers with over 1,000. He had a solid 12-year stretch from 2002-2013 where he averaged nearly 60 appearances a season and maintained a 3.08 ERA
Hawkins never led the league in any major relief category. He never saved 30 games and didn’t quite make it to even 1,000 Ks (983). There are no accolades to speak of either.
It is hard enough for relievers to make get enshrined into Cooperstown. While he had a solid career and helped many bullpens over the years, his accomplishments don’t come close to many including Billy Wagner who is on the ballot with him still awaiting induction.
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