Monday, April 27, 2009
1989 Topps Major League Debut #60: Chris Hoiles
PHOTO: I'm not crazy about photos that don't allow the reader to identify anything about the player. In other words, this is the type of photo usually given to a pitcher, and it would be fine if Hoiles were a pitcher. But as a catcher, I'd rather see a photo of him wearing some sort of catching gear or at least swinging a bat so we know he's a position player.
STAT: Hoiles was part of the first team ever (the 1996 Orioles) to have 7 players hit at least 20 homers. It's since been done twice. The Orioles were a good team that year until little Jeffrey Maier came along.
Hoiles was a good offensive player, posting the 4th-highest OPS+ for a catcher from 1992 to 1998 (minimum 1000 PAs.) I'm not sure why his career ended so abruptly after the 1998 season, when he was still a good offensive player.
It's also surprising to me that Hoiles was never an All-Star.