Sunday, June 14, 2009

1989 Topps Major League Debut #139: John Wetteland

John Wetteland

PHOTO: Wetteland looks like he was just told that he has to wash the vets' jocks after practice. A love the glimpse of the batting cage behind him and what looks like a guy in a red jersey.

STAT: From 1992 to 2000, he had the most saves in baseball, by far.

ANAGRAM: John Wetteland = Handle jet town. Ironically, this suggests that he should have pitched well against Seattle, but we all remember the 1995 ALDS when he got absoluetly torched by the Mariners.

CAREER: 6/10

Wetteland really did have a great career. He walked away when he could still pitch, probably leaving 4-5 more good years on the table. His finale resume includes more than 300 saves, a stretch from 1992-2000 when he was one of the top closers in baseball, more than 1 strikeout per inning pitched with low hit and walk totals, one championship, and one World Series MVP award. Not too shabby.


  1. Stanton gets an 8, while Wetteland only nets a 6? I hope this wasn't just because of longevity.

  2. Yeah it was because of longevity...why doesn't longevity count in a player's career analysis? Most people would agree that Koufax was one of the best pitchers ever to play, but that many pitchers had better careers thanks to more achievements over a longer period of time.

  3. Don't have a problem with Stanton's 8 so much as Wetteland only being a 6. As you showed yourself, for a nine year stretch he had more saves than anyone by far. Wetteland should at least be a 7 if not an 8 as well.

  4. I might give you a 7 on Wetteland. The argument against is that closers are overrated, that the save search benefits Wetteland by being centered on his specific career (there are plenty of guys with higher totals over other 9-year periods) and that his numbers were very good but not dominant.

    I'm curious--what's your specific angle on Wetteland? Are you a fan of one of his teams?