If I told you a baseball player finished the 2013 season with a .300 batting average, a .389 on-base percentage, 22 home runs and 94 RBI, it would be reasonable of you to think that could very well be that athlete’s best career season. But that was Matt Holliday’s 2013 and it was just another run-of-the-mill year in a career that has been the epitome of absolute consistency.
In fact, Holliday’s reliability ranks highly among the all-time greats. In his 10-year career, Holliday has finished with 100 or more games, a batting average of .295 or better, 75+ RBI and 19 home runs or more on nine separate occasions. The only season he was unable to perform to those standards was his rookie year.
To put that statistic into perspective, there have only been 17 major leaguers to post more than nine seasons matching those criteria since 1901. Holliday lands himself among the ranks of legendary players like Hank Aaron (15 seasons), Babe Ruth (14), Ted Williams (13), Willie Mays (12) and Joe DiMaggio (10). The only active players with as many or more seasons of this nature than Holliday are Albert Pujols (11 seasons), Alex Rodriguez (10) and Miguel Cabrera (9). Name dropping is usually frowned upon, but when you are in that kind of company, you deserve to drop all the names you want.
Holliday was a main factor in leading the St. Louis Cardinals to the 2013 World Series and will need to play a crucial role in order for the Redbirds to make it back to baseball’s biggest stage in 2014. Of all the players in this series of MLB’s Top 50 Players, I am least worried about Matt Holliday continuing his success next season. Even though the 6-4 leftfielder will turn 34 in January, you can count on Holliday performing among the best in baseball in 2014.