Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Underrated Player of the Year: 1999

In this series, I look at one player per year from 1991-the present who came out of nowhere or had a great year that no one really noticed or expected.1999 - BRIAN DAUBACH
Brian Daubach came out of nowhere. He played in just ten games at the Major League level prior to 1999 when he played for the Marlins the prior year and did very little in 17 plate appearances. So it was a move with no fanfare when Boston signed him as a free agent in December of 1998. Who knew that the 27 year old rookie would be the team's principal first baseman and a contender for the A.L. Rookie of the Year by the end of 1999?

Daubach went on a tear late in the season and ended up leading A.L. rookies in on base percentage and slugging percentage while hitting 21 home runs and driving in 73. Daubach was not too bad in the field either and would actually improve over the course of his career.

Daubach never really got the attention he deserved due to his status as a former scab player, but 1999 was the beginning of a four-year stretch where he hit 20 plus home runs and drove in more than 70 runs each year as Boston's first baseman.

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