Current Players Who Will Have Careers in the Media After MLB

Ben StepanskyCorrespondent IFebruary 8, 2013

Current Players Who Will Have Careers in the Media After MLB

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    It seems, nowadays, that professional athletes are retiring from the playing field directly to the broadcast booth or analyst round table.

    In some cases, this hasn't been quite the best decision for the network or the former player (i.e. Tim McCarver, Charles Barkley, Dan Marino, etc.).

    Whether it's a vibrant personality or a pretty face, networks like ESPN, the MLB Network and others have been dipping into the vast talent pools of retired athletes to bring a recognizable face to pregame and postgame shows.

    Let's take a peek into the future and envision which current players would fit in front of the camera.

8. Paul Konerko

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    Paul Konerko fits the bill for an on-air personality for a variety of reasons. 

    He is an accomplished 16-year veteran of the game with a World Series championship and six All-Star appearances. He has produced on the field, compiling 422 home runs in his career (415 with the Chicago White Sox), and ranks second on the White Sox all-time home run list behind Frank "The Big Hurt" Thomas.

    Most importantly, he is a loyal leader—the captain of his White Sox since 2006, the year after they won their ring.

    With tightly-coiffed hair and a killer goatee, Konerko would fare fine as an analyst. 

7. Torii Hunter

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    Torii Hunter has always been one for flair. Other than the baseball diamond, another great place for his flashy style is on camera.

    With his bright personality and accolade-filled career, Hunter is an ideal fit for the MLB Network crew or SportsCenter guest spot.

    A 16-year veteran just like Konerko, Hunter is a four-time All-Star and won nine straight Gold Glove awards from 2001 to 2009.

    He was a fan favorite in Minnesota, where he spent nine full seasons; won the hearts of Angels fans in Los Angeles and should continue the trend in Detroit.

    Who says he couldn't do the same on television?

6. Roy Halladay

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    For some reason, when I thought of Orel Hershiser on Baseball Tonight, I immediately thought of Roy Halladay. 

    The eight-time All-Star and two-time Cy Young Award winner (one in each league) would certainly be a valuable addition to any analyst crew due to his valued insight into the world of pitching. 

    In 2010, Halladay become just the second pitcher in MLB history to throw a no-hitter in the postseason, a 4-0 shutout in Game 1 of the NLDS against Cincinnati. It was just another addition to his illustrious career. 

    A truly selfless individual—proven by his numerous nominations for the Roberto Clemente Award—Halladay may find himself in front of the camera in just a few years.

5. David Ortiz

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    David Ortiz is uniquely adored, which makes Big Papi one of the most popular players in the game. 

    Whether he's clobbering home runs or changing the hearts of New Yorkers, Ortiz has generated a special distinctness to his name.

    Sure, his strong Dominican accent could come in the way of becoming a big-time broadcaster, but Big Papi could certainly end up on the New England Sports Network (NESN). 

    As one who has redefined the designated hitter position, he would be a pleasant piece to the media.

4. Cody Ross

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    Cody Ross may not possess the on-field production of some other players on this list, but he may become the most talented of all his peers after retirement.

    Ross has been a moderately productive outfielder during the course of his career and truly came under the national spotlight during the San Francisco Giants' World Series run in 2010.

    He was the NLCS MVP and won over the fan of San Francisco with his feel-good attitude and stellar postseason numbers.

    His chipper personality would bode well for an analyst crew.

3. Joe Mauer

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    Whether it's appearing in commercials for Head and Shoulders, Pepsi or ESPN, being featured on video game covers or winning batting titles, Joe Mauer has done it all.

    The trophy case is full: three AL batting titles, one MVP award, four Silver Slugger awards, three Gold Gloves and five All-Star appearances. All Mauer needs now is a World Series ring.

    Before we know it, he'll be the guest MLB analyst on Sportscenter or calling games for Wednesday Night Baseball.

    He's got the face for television—it's just always hiding behind his catcher's mask. 

2. David Price

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    If you don't follow David Price on Twitter, you're missing out. He's active, engaging and funny.

    All three are qualities members of the media must possess. In addition, Price happens to be one of the best starting pitchers in the game.

    After just four full seasons in the majors, the 26-year-old has already locked in three All-Star appearances and his first AL Cy Young award last season.

    His high baseball IQ and appealing personality make him a great candidate for the media upon retirement.

1. Nick Swisher

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    Forget whatever was previously said about beloved ballplayers because Nick Swisher may just be the most charismatic player in baseball.

    Other than expert knowledge of the game, charm is the next best quality a media analyst can have.

    There is no doubt in my mind that the former-Yankee will be on the MLB Network within a year of his retirement. He has the same sort of energy as former Red Sox Kevin Millar, who now works for the MLB Network.

    It may still be four or five more years before Swisher calls it quits, but mark my words, he'll never leave the baseball spotlight.