Saturday, November 13, 2010

Unknown Heroes Pt. 5: Tim Naehring

If not for injuries, Tim Naehring may have turned into a pretty good player. He was well on his way, but a bad knee injury prematurely ended his career.

Naehring came up to the Red Sox in 1990 and played pretty well down the stretch. He was handed the team's starting shortstop job in 1991, but injuries and ineffectiveness lead to him being removed. He came back in 1992 to play a little better, but was still not the player he would eventually become.

It was not until 1994 that Naehring started to match his potential. That year, he hit .276/.349/.414/.764 with seven home runs, while playing mostly at second base. In 1995, Scott Cooper was traded to St. Louis opening up third base. Naehring moved over to that position and turned in a good year, better than Cooper ever had. He hit .307/.415/.448/.863 with ten home runs and 57 RBIs. He also played good defense.

1996 was a bit of a down year for Naehring, but his defense was improved further and he hit 17 home runs. Naehring looked to be a rising star and he started the 1997 campaign off well. Unfortunately, he suffered a knee injury which ended his career.

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