Each year in MLB, a player seemingly emerges from the shadows to the shock and surprise of many baseball fans. In 2011, San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Ryan Vogelsong, who hadn’t won a game in the majors since 2005, posted a 13-7 record and 2.71 ERA, making the All-Star team and even earning some votes in Cy Young Award balloting.
In 2010, San Francisco Giants outfielder Cody Ross, who had literally been dumped by the Florida Marlins in late August, joined the Giants in a waiver-wire transaction for the final month of the season, and was the hero of the NLCS, belting three home runs to help the Giants upset the favored Philadelphia Phillies.
In 2002, Anaheim Angels reliever Francisco Rodriguez pitched in just five games at the end of the season as a September call-up, yet his five victories in the postseason were a major factor in the Angels capturing their first ever World Series championship.
Vogelsong, Ross and Rodriguez are all shining examples of players who literally came out of nowhere to become key components for their particular teams.
Who could become unlikely heroes for their MLB team during the 2012 season? Let’s take a look.