Every once in awhile, the Red Sox pick up a veteran player for a year, or just the stretch run that was a star at one point that I become fascinated with. It's a player that is basically only a role player at that point in their career, but may show flashes of their old brilliance. It's so unusual to see them as a member of the Red Sox, that I try to find as many of their cards as possible. This series will be about some of those players.
I just realized I already did one of these this week. Oh well, let's talk about Butch Huskey.
First of all, what a name.
Huskey was acquired from Seattle at the trading deadline in 1999. All he cost was minor league pitcher Rob Ramsay, who never really did all that much anyway. Huskey was a giant, 6'3" and 240 lbs. He was brought in to platoon with Reggie Jefferson at designated hitter, providing the right-handed bat in that platoon. He did have a lot of power, having previously had a season with 24 home runs, but he had not fully broken through yet and he was not seen as a serious bet to win a starting job at that point in his career. Huskey was only 27 though, so it was worth finding out.
Huskey played in 45 games the rest of the season for Boston and did hit with some decent power, slugging .484 and hitting seven home runs to finish the year at 22. His batting average and on-base percentage nosedived though and he did not have any defensive value at all, leaving him with a WAR of -0.3.
Huskey was intriguing to me because he was a big guy with a lot of power potential. He looked like he could have been the next Mo Vaughn at one point in his career, he even wore uniform #42 at one point. Unfortunately, since he did not play all that well, Boston saw him as expendable and non-tendered him. He signed as a free agent with Minnesota and was traded to Colorado later in the year. Despite the fact that he finished strong, Huskey was never able to make it back to the Majors after 2000.