Why we like him: There was a time when Gregg Jefferies looked like a sure bet to be a perennial All Star. Sadly, that time in the future star limelight was spent as quickly as a tub of Rollie Fingers's mustache juice. Despite an ultimately lackluster career, Jefferies, who spells his first name with not two but three Gs, did finished in the top six in Rookie of the Year voting twice, coming in 6th in 1988 and 3rd 1989. I assume he probably could have won it in 1990 had he been allowed on the ballot.
Fans and scouts loved Gregg Jefferies. As a first-round pick in the legendary 1985 draft, the expectations were already high, but as the choice of the New York Mets, the spotlight was just a little brighter and a little hotter. After just six at-bats in 1987, the Mets were reluctant to give Jefferies a roster spot in 1988, opting to keep proven veterans like Lenny Dykstra, Mookie Wilson, and Kevin McReynolds in place of an untested hotshot rookie. However, after an impressive .321 showing in 29 games in the big leagues that season, the Mets realized they had to make room for him.
The following season was a huge disappointment for Jefferies and the Mets. An 87-75 finish saw the talented Mets left out of the postseason while Jefferies batted a less-than-acceptable .258. After his struggles were pointed out by teammates to the ever-loving New York media, Jefferies penned a letter to WFAN stating that when his teammates struggle, he tries to help them out in whatever way he can instead of running to the media to start a soap opera. The following season, Jefferies batted .283 and led the league in doubles before being traded to the Royals in a package for Bret Saberhagen.
Jefferies found a temporary home in St. Louis in 1993 and 1994, putting together some pretty impressive stats like his .342 average in '93. He even garnered semi-significant mentions in the MVP races in those years. Gregg Jeffereies was actually a very good player for 14 years, but he was never quite the superstar he seemed destined to become. Whether it was because of a petty lack of power or the fact that he simply never seemed to find a ballclub to settle with, Jefferies's career never really reached that next level. I guess he'll just have to live knowing that he was a team player and a two-time All Star with a career .289 average. That's probably fine with him.
Ladies and gentlemen, Gregg Jeffries, Ballplayer.