Over the next few weeks, we are going to hear a lot of chatter about one-and-done players as March Madness unfolds. Let’s revisit the players who had the biggest impact in their lone season as a member of the Cincinnati Reds.
March Madness is in full swing. Over the next few weeks, we’ll hear terms like buzz-beater, underdog, Cinderella, and upset. However, today we’re going to focus on another college basketball term; one-and-done. Let’s look back at some of the greatest one-year runs in Cincinnati Reds‘ history.
As fans, we hope that our heroes stay with our team for their entire career. Unfortunately, that’s not the case in professional sports. Heck, the Cincinnati Reds have only three Hall of Fame players (Bid McPhee, Johnny Bench, and Barry Larkin) in their storied 150 year history who’ve spent their entire career in the Queen City.
So, while we cheer for those players who dedicate their entire career to the Reds, there are some who’ve carved out nice careers having spent just one year in Cincinnati. Let’s look back at the best one-and-done players in Cincinnati Reds history.
5. Josh Hamilton (2007)
You could write a book about Josh Hamilton’s life before he reached the Major Leagues as a rookie for the Cincinnati Reds during the 2007 season. The No. 1 overall pick of the 1999 draft by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Hamilton’s life and career spun out of control while battling alcohol and drug addiction during his time in their minor league system. The power-hitting left-hander spent nearly three years away from the game while battling his demons and being suspended by MLB.
Fast forward to the 2006 offseason, the Rays finally gave up on Josh Hamilton and removed him from their 40-man roster. This move exposed him to the Rule 5 Draft where he could be selected by any team with the stipulation he must remain on that team’s 25 man roster for the entirety of the 2007 season.
The Cincinnati Reds and then GM Wayne Krivsky bought themselves a lottery ticket. The Reds who were selecting 8th in the Rule 5 Draft were determined to make a play for Hamilton. Fearing the 25-year-old slugger would not last until the 8th pick, they made a deal with the Chicago Cubs who were selecting 3rd. The Cubs would select Hamilton and immediately dealt him to the Reds.
Josh Hamilton received a 22-second standing ovation when he made his Major League debut on April 2, 2007 at Great American Ballpark as a pinch-hitter against the Chicago Cubs. It was an incredibly emotional moment for what may be the most turbulent path to the majors in baseball history.
Playing 90 games for the Cincinnati Reds in 2007, Josh Hamilton had an outstanding rookie campaign. Slashing .292/.368/.554 with 19 home runs in 337 at-bats, Hamilton looked every bit of the can’t miss phenom he was described as coming out of Athens Drive High School in Raleigh, NC.
After the 2007 season Hamilton was dealt to the Texas Rangers for Edinson Volquez and Daniel Ray Herrera. Hamilton would go on to to win the 2010 AL MVP award and become one of the most feared sluggers in the game. Unfortunately, Hamilton would continue to battle the addictions of his past and following the 2015 season, he was out of baseball.