Mark Portugal

1991 Bowman #552 Mark Portugal Front
Just west of Spain and just north of .500.

Why we like him: I've always had a soft spot for journeyman starting pitchers, and especially ones with a single inexplicably fantastic season. I'm talking about that wonderful year of 1993. That season Portgual, then with the Astros (the team for which he's probably most well-known), smoked the National League to the tune of an 18-4 record and 2.77 ERA in 33 starts. That season was good enough for 6th place in the Cy Young voting. And just so you know, that's one spot behind Tommy Greene who finished at 16-4 with an ERA of 3.77. Talk about an uneducated vote.

Even better, Portugal took his frustrations out on the rest of the league's pitchers the next season (which was strike-shortened), rolling off a .354 batting average and even earning the Silver Slugger Award for pitchers. He wasn't a bad hitter for his career either as he brandished a semi-respectable (in pitching circles) .198 career average over 15 seasons. He even batted .260 in 1998 at the age of 35. He finished his pitching career at 109-95, just north of .500.

Ladies and gentlemen, Mark Portugal, ballplayer.

No comments:

Post a Comment