I find it extremely hard pressed to find an MLB outfield who could match then Cleveland Indians OF Grady Sizemore‘s production from 2005-08.The statistics were that of a future Hall of Famer. Oddly enough, Sizemore now finds himself without a ball club as the calendar slowly turns to January. No team has felt comfortable signing Sizemore up to this point due to his injury riddled past. News has crossed that Sizemore, who ended the 2012 season on the 60-day DL, underwent micro fracture surgery on his right knee in September and is rumored to miss at least half of 2013 the season.
Although nostalgic, looking back at Sizemore’s numbers from 2005-08 is something special. In this time period, Sizemore only missed ten games in five seasons. He averaged 26 HR’s a season, 118 runs, averaged .281 and stealing an average of 28 bases a season not to mention 40 doubles a year. Wrap all of that offensive production into a 6’2 210 frame and two gold gloves, Sizemore was atop almost all MLB outfielders Now, Sizemore’s dramatic face plant lands him on the free agent market at age 30.
A five tool player from 2005-08 can be described as a player without a single tool from 2009- to now. A season after 33 home runs and 94 knocked in, Sizemore’s production dropped as he missed 56 ames with a knee injury. Little did we know Sizemore would only play in only 104 games in 2011 and 2012 combined.
A leadoff hitter who at a time struck fear into every pitcher that took the mound, Sizemore is now a needy free agent. Looking back at his numbers is not something I advise any Indians fan to do, however to look at his injury riddled career it is a shame he could not stay healthy and blossom into the Hall of Famer we had all hoped he would be.
Best case scenario from here is that Sizemore is able to prove himself with a club needing a replacement body in the middle of the summer. For now, we bask in the always popular “what could’ve been”.