Part of the bullpen’s “Core Four” that helped lead the San Francisco Giants to three World Series titles in five years, Sergio Romo earns the No. 9 spot on our list.
He began his pro career as a starter, but transitioned to the bullpen in 2006 when he posted a 2.53 ERA and 0.94 WHIP with 95 strikeouts in 103.1 innings spanning 10 starts and 21 relief appearances at Single-A.
The right-hander made his MLB debut on June 26, 2008, and he went on to post a 2.12 ERA and 0.71 WHIP with five holds in 29 appearances.
Following that performance, he began the 2009 campaign as the No. 10 prospect in the San Francisco Giants system, according to Baseball America. He stepped into a prominent role in the relief corps and by 2010 he was one of the team’s key setup options.
He wound up being a key contributor to all three World Series winners:
- 2010: 68 G, 0 SV, 22 HLD, 2.18 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, 10.2 K/9
- 2012: 69 G, 14 SV, 23 HLD, 1.79 ERA, 0.85 WHIP, 10.2 K/9
- 2014: 64 G, 23 SV, 11 HLD, 3.72 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, 9.2 K/9
The slider specialist was equally impressive during the playoffs, posting a 2.11 ERA in 25 appearances spanning 21.1 innings. He served as the team’s closer during the 2012 title run, nailing down four saves in 10 appearances, including three during the World Series.
In total, Romo spent nine seasons with the San Francisco Giants, logging a 2.58 ERA and 0.96 WHIP with 84 saves and 142 holds in 515 appearances.
His 9.3 WAR during his time with the team doesn’t tell the whole story of how valuable he was to the team’s impressive run of success.
Finding a cornerstone piece of the pitching staff in the 28th round of the draft is a testament to the team’s scouting and development department.
Since departing, he’s spent time with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Tampa Bay Rays, Miami Marlins and Minnesota Twins, and he’s still going strong in his age-36 season.
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