(Photo: Baltimore Sun)
Power with a great glove hand to match.
This baseball season will be remembered for a lot of things. The Stephen Strasburg imbroglio about when he should be shut down. What damage shutting him down would do to the Zombie Expos’ playoff hopes and if he should have been shut down at all. It will also be remembered for playoff races fraught with drama, Miguel Cabrera snatching the greatest hitter alive title from Albert Pujols, Derek Jeter leading the league in hits at the age of 38, and Josh Hamilton being the most intriguing free-agent pickup in my living memory.
But when I look back on the 2012 MLB season, I think of something else entirely. I think of ascendance. Not just Mike Trout and Bryce Harper already becoming the faces of their respective franchises at scarily young ages. Not even the A’s and Orioles who ascended to heights that no one expected them to.
I also think of the players known as young guys with potential who became franchise cornerstones. Andre Ethier was this way. Robinson Cano has become this, even as he is surrounded by quite a few stars. And Andrew McCutchen is putting his name in the hat as the guy who can restore the old glory to the Pirates. BJ Upton is becoming that for the Rays, and going forward for whatever team he signs with in the off season.
The player I’m thinking of right now has done more to make the proverbial leap from future star to star. The player I’m thinking about has revived a moribund franchise. Reminding his city that people actually still play baseball, and in a normal year would be an AL MVP candidate. The player I’m talking about is Adam Jones.
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