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Jose Bautista and the 20 Best Late Bloomers in MLB History

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Jose Bautista and the 20 Best Late Bloomers in MLB History
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

What exactly is a late bloomer in regards to baseball?

Well, in my opinion, it's someone that didn't start to have productive years at the major league level until they turned 28 years old or older. 

It can be someone that toiled in the minor leagues for years and finally got their shot at "The Show" and made the best of it, or it's someone who was basically a role player, but then all of a sudden, they turned it on when they "got old" and started having MVP-type years.

It was hard to find late bloomers from baseball's early days; players were either good right from the start, or they weren't around long enough to turn it around.  Once the minor leagues started, players were given more of a chance to develop, so a chance for a late bloomer increased. 

The rise of the Steroid Era drastically increased the number of late bloomers in baseball.  Older players all of a sudden started having Hall of Fame careers while doing nothing earlier in their careers.

In order to be in this list, the player could not have been in consideration for any award before they turned 28 or have any "black ink" in key categories on their Baseball-Reference player page before the age of 28.

While there may be others, here's who I think are the 20 best late bloomers in baseball history, in no particular order.  Some may surprise you.

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