2008 Mlb Best Players of All Time

Frank Jones

The 2008 Major League Baseball season was a special one for fans across the United States. It began with an exciting series of games in Tokyo, Japan between reigning World Series champions Boston Red Sox and Oakland Athletics. Throughout the regular season teams battled fiercely to secure their spots in the playoffs, with multiple teams vying for division titles and wild card berths up until the last day of play on September 30th. This year featured some tremendous individual performances from stars like Albert Pujols, CC Sabathia and Manny Ramirez that made it truly memorable.

Table of Contents

1. Ryan Ludwick

St. Louis Cardinals

Ryan Ludwick Career

  • All-Star (2008), Silver Slugger Award (2008)

Ludwick was a solid outfielder for the Cincinnati Reds from 2002 to 2014. He had his best season in 2009, when he hit .269 with 31 home runs and 96 RBIs.

Ludwick is perhaps best known for his walk-off home run against the St Louis Cardinals in 2010. After playing 14 seasons in MLB, Ludwick announced his retirement at the end of the 2014 season.

Ludwick currently works as an analyst for Fox Sports Midwest on their Reds coverage Ryan Ludwick was a key player for the St. Louis Cardinals from 2007-2010, where he averaged over 30 home runs and 100 RBI's per season.

He is best known for his power and ability to drive in runs, as evidenced by his .260 batting average and 587 run batted in total career numbers. Ryan Ludwick also has an impressive record of being selected to three All Star Games during his time with the Cardinals.

In 2010, Ryan Ludwick signed with the San Diego Padres on a four year contract worth $32 million dollars; however after just one season he was traded to Pittsburgh Pirates where he finished out the remainder of his playing days before retiring at age 34 in 2014.

2. Grady Sizemore

Cleveland Guardians

Grady Sizemore Career

  • 3× All-Star (2006–2008), 2× Gold Glove Award (2007, 2008), Silver Slugger Award (2008)

Grady Sizemore was born on August 2, 1982, in Seattle, Washington. He played his first MLB game with the Cleveland Indians on July 21, 2004, and last appeared for the Tampa Bay Rays on October 3, 2015.

In total, he played in 949 games over 12 seasons (2004-2015) batting .261 with 211 home runs and 893 RBIs. After leaving baseball Grady enjoyed a successful career as a professional golfer where he won two PGA Tour events .

The Barclays in 2014 and The Deutsche Bank Championship in 2016 Grady Sizemore was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the 2003 amateur draft.

He made his MLB debut with the Cleveland Indians in 2004 and spent all but one of his nine seasons with them through 2011. 

In 2006, he became just the fourth player ever to win both a Gold Glove Award and an MVP award in their rookie season, winning both awards unanimously. Between 2007 and 2009, Sizemore led the American League in runs scored five times each (he also finished second once).

He signed with Boston Red Sox as a free agent prior to the 2014 season and helped lead them to their first.

World Series title since 1918 while batting .318/.371/.522 over 111 games played including 25 home runs and 21 stolen bases en route to earning AL Most Valuable Player honors for 2013 playoff run as well as 3× All-Star selection at designated hitter.

3. Geovany Soto

Chicago Cubs

Geovany Soto Career

  • All-Star (2008), NL Rookie of the Year (2008)

Soto was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 6th round of the 2003 MLB Draft. After three seasons with the Cubs, Soto was traded to the White Sox on July 31st, 2007 for outfielder Milton Bradley and pitcher Mark Prior.

In 2009, Soto led all catchers in Wins Above Replacement (WAR) at 5.5 according to Fangraphs while playing for the White Sox. 

On May 7th 2017, Soto announced his retirement from baseball after 11 seasons and 357 games played including nine years with Chicago White Sox organization Geovany is a two-time.

 All Star catcher who won five Gold Glove Awards and finished as runner up twice more during his eleven year career Geovany Soto was drafted in the first round of the 2005 amateur draft by the Chicago Cubs.

He made his major league debut with the Cubs in 2007 and played for them until 2012. In 2012, he was traded to Texas Rangers where he stayed for two seasons before being traded again, this time to Oakland Athletics. 

After playing one season with Oakland, Geovany signed a contract with the Chicago White Sox and has been there ever since except for a brief stint with Los Angeles Angels in 2016. 

Overall, Soto has compiled a batting average of .245 over 906 games played (including 707 as an outfielder). 

He's also hit 108 home runs and 361 RBIs during that span which makes him one of baseball's most prolific hitters overall despite appearing in only half of all possible games due to injury or other reasons.

Most notably however is his Gold Glove Award from 2013-2014 which speaks volumes about his defensive abilities on both offense and defense at second base (he started all 162 games at 2B during those years). 

Finally, because he is Cuban-born but now resides in Miami Beach Florida , Geovany is often given credit for helping revive interest among MLB teams into signing Latin American players – something that had slowly decreased since 2000 when Nomar Garciaparra won two MVP Awards while playing on mostly American teams.

Also Played For: chicago cubs

4. Ryan Howard

Philadelphia Phillies

Ryan Howard Career

  • 3× All-Star (2006, 2009, 2010), World Series champion (2008), NL MVP (2006), NL Rookie of the Year (2005), NLCS MVP (2009), Silver Slugger Award (2006), NL Hank Aaron Award (2006), 2× MLB home run leader (2006, 2008), 3× MLB RBI leader (2006, 2008, 2009)

Howard enjoyed a successful MLB career with the Philadelphia Phillies, tallying over 2,000 hits and 100 home runs in his 13-year stint. Howard's best season came in 2007 when he hit .291 with 34 home runs and 117 RBIs.

Injuries hampered Howard throughout most of his later years in the MLB, causing him to retire after 2016 at age 44. After retirement, Howard is focusing on his charity work as director for The Ryan Howard Foundation which raises money for children who have cancer or are going through tough times financially.

A Missouri Tiger fan by birth, Howard attended college at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville before being drafted by the Phillies in 2000 Ryan Howard is a three-time All-Star and World Series champion who was NL MVP in 2006. 

He led the National League in home runs twice, with 62 in 2006 and 2008; he also finished third in RBIs both years.

In 2009, Howard hit 30 home runs to win the NL Hank Aaron Award as well as being named NLCS MVP after batting .529 with four homers and 10 RBIs over six games. 

After playing for Philadelphia from 2004 to 2016, Howard signed with the Washington Nationals for 2017 but retired at season's end due to injuries sustained during his final year of play.

5. Brandon Webb

Arizona Diamondbacks

Brandon Webb Career

  • 3× All-Star (2006–2008), NL Cy Young Award (2006), 2× NL wins leader (2006, 2008)

Brandon Webb is a former pitcher in the MLB. He made his debut for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2003 and played until 2008. Webb was known for his control and ability to strike out batters.

In 2008, he had one of the worst seasons of his career with the Diamondbacks, posting an ERA of 5.10 After leaving baseball, Webb began coaching at a high school in Kentucky before being hired by Texas Tech as their new pitching coach.

Brandon Webb was a dominant pitcher for the Arizona Diamondbacks from 2003 to 2009. He won three All-Star games and two Cy Young Awards during his time in Phoenix. 

Brandon Webb is one of only six pitchers in baseball history to win at least 20 games four times, joining Roger Clemens, Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson, Nolan Ryan and Sandy Koufax.

In 2008, Webb became the first pitcher in MLB history to allow fewer than 200 hits in a season while also recording 100 or more strikeouts – an accomplishment he repeated in 2009. 

A free agent after the 2009 season, Webb signed with the San Diego Padres but suffered a setback that ended his career prematurely just shy of 300 innings pitched (299).

6. Tim Lincecum

San Francisco Giants

Tim Lincecum Career

  • 4× All-Star (2008–2011), 3× World Series champion (2010, 2012, 2014), 2× NL Cy Young Award (2008, 2009), 3× NL strikeout leader (2008–2010), Golden Spikes Award (2006), Pitched two no-hitters (2013, 2014)

Tim Lincecum was born on June 15, 1984 in Bellevue, Washington. He attended the University of California-Berkeley and played for the college's baseball team before being drafted by the San Francisco Giants in the third round of the 2003 MLB Draft.

After spending four years with the Giants' minor league teams, he made his MLB debut on May 6, 2007 against the Colorado Rockies and went on to have a successful career with them over six seasons (2007-12). 

In 2012 he signed with the Los Angeles Angels as a free agent and had two more good seasons before retiring at age 33 after 2016 season.

During his time in Major League Baseball, Lincecum won three Cy Young Awards (2008-10), led National League in ERA twice (2008 & 2009), set an all-time record for most complete games by a lefty pitcher (33), threw a no hitter on September 25th 2010 against.

Arizona Diamondbacks and became only fifth pitcher ever to win 10 or more games in both their rookie year and their fourth season in baseball (11 & 12).

Tim also holds many other records such as becoming first player ever to pitch 300 innings without winning 20 or more games; having one of lowest WHIPs (.923) among qualified starting pitchers during his prime; leading majors 8 times consecutively.

Longest streak any pitcher has ever led majors ; holding AL single game strikeout record 5 times - tying Sandy Koufax's NL record ; is 3rd player overall behind Nolan Ryan & Walter Johnson for most strikeouts per nine innings pitched.

Also Played For: san francisco giants, salt lake bees

7. Willy Taveras

Houston Astros

Willy Taveras Career

  • NL stolen base leader (2008)

Willy Taveras is a professional baseball player who has played in the major leagues for the Houston Astros and Washington Nationals. He was born on December 25, 1981 in Tenares, Dominican Republic.

As a center fielder, Willy Taveras has been successful both offensively and defensively throughout his career. 

In 2007, he helped lead the Astros to their first World Series appearance since 2005, batting .267 with 3 home runs and 10 RBIs during the playoffs.

However, after appearing in just 45 games for Washington in 2010 due to injuries , Willy Taveras retired from professional baseball at age 41. 

Taveras was a top prospect in the Astros organization before being traded to the Rockies for Roy Oswalt in 2007. He made his big league debut with Colorado that year and helped lead the team to their first playoff berth since 1997.

Taveras was signed by Cincinnati as a free agent prior to the 2009 season, and he led them to their first division title since 1990. In 2010, he was traded to Washington where he struggled with injuries but still managed to hit 20 home runs and drive in 95 RBIs. 

Taveras is coming off of an injury-plagued 2013 season during which he played just 47 games due to hamstring issues and surgery on his left hand (which cost him all of August).

However, according to reports, Taveras is feeling better now and looks poised for a strong 2014 campaign. 

Willy has always been known as one of the most talented players in baseball when it comes to hitting for power; over his career, he's hit 118 home runs while batting almost .300-.305-.350 each year. 

Additionally, he's got excellent speed – evidenced by his 195 stolen bases over the course of nine seasons – making him difficult opponent both on defense and at bat.

8. Akinori Iwamura

Tampa Bay Rays

Akinori Iwamura Career

  • 3× NPB All-Star (2001, 2004, 2005), 6× Mitsui Golden Glove Award (2000–2002, 2004–2006)

Iwamura made his MLB debut with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 2007. Iwamura spent four seasons with the Oakland Athletics before moving to Japan in 2014. Iwamara is a batting average (.290) and home run (193) hitter in NPB play.

Iwamra will return to MLB action this season with the Tokyo Yakult Swallows of NPB's Central League division 1 Akinori Iwamura is a former Japanese professional baseball player. 

He played for the Yakult Swallows from 1998 to 2006 and then signed with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 2007.

Iwamura had his best season in 2010, when he hit 16 home runs and drove in 117 runs batted in while batting .267. Akinori Iwamara was born on July 9, 1981, in Tokyo, Japan. 

He began playing professional baseball at the age of 23 with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles before signing with the Yakult Swallows later that year.

In 2006, Wakatsuki won both MVP and Best Nine Awards as recognition of his outstanding play for Yakult during their historic championship run that saw them win 116 games over the course of two seasons (2005-2006). 

Akinori Iwanoma retired from professional baseball after spending six years with three different teams: The Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles (2000-2002).

The Yokohama BayStars (2004-2006) and finally making a return to Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks where he currently plays as OF/1B At 32 years old; Iwamura has yet to retire due to various injuries including concussions which have plagued him throughout his career but it's thought this will be his final hurrah.

9. Mark Reynolds

Arizona Diamondbacks

Mark Reynolds

Reynolds was drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 6th round of the 2004 MLB Draft. Reynolds made his MLB debut with Arizona in 2007 and played for them until he was traded to Colorado in 2019.

Reynolds is a third baseman and first baseman, but has also played center field on occasion. Injuries have been an issue for Reynolds throughout his career - most notably a torn ACL that forced him to miss almost all of 2009 season - but he has bounced back each time.

Reynolds has hit .236/.328/.473 with 139 home runs and 723 RBIs in 975 games over 17 seasons in the majors, making him one of Colorado's all-time great hitters (he ranks second behind only Nolan Arenado). 

Reynolds has played for six different teams in his career, but is most notably associated with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Reynolds enjoyed a successful run in Arizona, ranking fifth all time in home runs and sixth overall in RBIs while playing on their team from 2007-2010. After being traded to Baltimore Orioles midway through the 2011 season, Reynolds struggled mightily and was released after just two seasons with the club. 

He bounced back quickly however, signing with Cleveland Indians where he spent three productive seasons before joining New York Yankees following another trade during the 2013 offseason.

With an average of over 30 homers per season throughout his career, Reynolds currently holds five of MLB's fifteen longest homer streaks (2012-2017). 

Known for his powerful swing that generates plenty of long balls each year - sometimes to controversial effect - Reynolds remains one of baseball's biggest attractions regardless of which team he plays for next season or beyond.

10. José López

Seattle Mariners

José López Career

  • MLB, All-Star (2006), , NPB, , 3× All-Star (2015, 2018, 2019), 4× Golden Glove Award (2013, 2016–2018), Best Nine Award (2017), CLCS MVP (2017)

José López is an infielder for the Yokohama DeNA BayStars in Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball. He played in MLB for the Seattle Mariners from 2004-2012, and also had a stint with the Chicago White Sox from 2012-12.

José has 92 home runs to his credit in MLB, and was signed by the BayStars as part of their rebuilding project this year. 

José competed at the 2008 Olympics as Venezuela's second baseman, where they finished 4th overall after losing to Cuba in the semifinals and Brazil in the bronze medal game).

In 2013 he was acquired by Yomiuri Giants (now known as DeNA) and went on to have one of his best seasons ever batting .295 with 20 home runs over 124 games played (in NPB he previously hit just 3 HRs over 74 games played). 

His contract with DeNA expired at the season's end but both sides have agreed to renew it until 2020; during that time José will continue playing alongside longtime friend Robinson Chirinos who joined him on team earlier this year.

11. Cliff Lee

Cleveland Guardians

Cliff Lee Career

  • 4× All-Star (2008, 2010, 2011, 2013), AL Cy Young Award (2008), AL Comeback Player of the Year (2008), MLB wins leader (2008), AL ERA leader (2008)

Cliff Lee is a highly successful pitcher in the MLB. He has won 143 games in his career and lost 91. Cliff Lee was born on August 30, 1978, in Benton, Arkansas.

Prior to entering the MLB, Lee played for several minor league teams including the Indians and Phillies Organizations. In 2002, Cliff Lee made his MLB debut with the Cleveland Indians and would go on to be one of their most consistent pitchers over the next decade or so.

After winning 143 games during his career, he announced his retirement from professional baseball in 2014 after 11 seasons with Philadelphia Phillies Cliff Lee was a highly successful starting pitcher in the major leagues for 10 seasons. 

He started with the Cleveland Indians from 2002 to 2009 and won three Cy Young Awards, two ERA titles, and led his team to four straight playoff appearances.

After leaving Cleveland, Lee had mixed success with the Philadelphia Phillies before ending his career with Seattle Mariners in 2010. Cliff Lee finished his career having an earned run average of 3.52 and striking out 1,824 batters over 1382 innings pitched.

12. J. D. Drew

J. D. Drew Career

  • All-Star (2008), World Series champion (2007), Golden Spikes Award (1997), Dick Howser Trophy (1997)

J.D. Drew was a very successful outfielder for the Boston Red Sox from 2001 to 2011, winning two World Series titles during that time. Drew was drafted by St Louis in 1998 and made his MLB debut with them that same year.

He then spent six seasons with the Cardinals before being traded to the Boston Red Sox in 2004 - where he would spend the next seven years of his career until leaving at the end of 2011. 

Drew is known for having great speed on both sides of the ball and has also been praised as one of baseball's best defensive right fielders over this period- helping him rack up Gold Glove Awards between 2006 and 2010 inclusive.

In total, J D Drew played in 1202 games across all competitions, hitting .278/.363/.439 with 86 home runs and 468 RBIs along the way J. D. Drew was a three-time All-Star and World Series champion with the St. Louis Cardinals in the late 1990s and early 2000s. 

He is most well-known for his batting average of .278, home runs 242, and runs batted in (RBI) 795 over a 13-year career. Drew had some trouble staying healthy throughout his career but still managed to produce at an elite level despite injuries from time to time.

Signed by the Atlanta Braves as a free agent in 2004, he spent four seasons with them before being traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers midway through 2007 season where he played until 2011 when he signed with Boston Red Sox where he finished out his playing days after winning another World Series title in 2013.

Final Words

. . The 2008 Major League Baseball season was a special one for fans across the United States. It began with the death of legendary Boston Red Sox pitcher and four-time World Series champion Ted Williams, who passed away on Feb.

21 at age 83 after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. The season also saw new stars emerge on both sides of the ball, including Texas Rangers rookie sensation Yu Darvish and Detroit Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera, who each led their teams to pennants and world championships.

These outstanding performances have made these players not only some of the best in history, but also among the most iconic figures in all of professional sports.

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