Sunday, November 21, 2010

Jersey Hall of Fame Doubles to Four

Cooperstown--Jersey League voters added two deserving candidates to the Hall of Fame over the offseason, as reliever Carlos Prieto and 2B/LF Donantello Barker were elected.

Carlos Prieto, the league's first HoF reliever, played in the first 14 seasons of the Jersey League. He was a closer for the first 13, then suffered an injury in season 14 at age 42, appearing in only 3 games before retiring at season's end. Prieto was originally was a Detroit Lugnut, but that team was taken over by Helena in season 2. Prieto then stayed with Helena through season 9 when he was claimed off waivers by the New York Mutuals, which is were Prieto stayed until retirement. Prieto was a 7-time all-star and 3-time Fireman of the Year. Perhaps his best season was in Season 1 when he had 37 saves and a 1.71 ERA and 0.85 WHIP. Prieto unfortunately struggled in the playoffs, saving just 8 of 16 with a 9.97 ERA in 20 games. Hall of Fame voters apparently shrugged the poor playoff performance off in electing Prieto. Prieto made $77M over 14 years.

Donatello Barker played from seasons 1-12 and was one of the Jersey League's finest hitters. Barker played 777 games at 2B and 556 at LF, with the LF mostly in the latter half of the career, where he won two Gold Gloves. Barker was a .310 lifetime batting average and hit 410 career HRs, earning 5 all star appearances and the season 5 AL MVP. Barker was originally with the Toledo Pain Train (the precursor to the Minnesota Peacefrog) but was traded to the Colorado Rockies in season 3, where the thin mountain air put a charge into his hitting totals. Barker was a big free agent signing for Tacoma in season 8, where a big park put a damper on his hitting during seasons 8-10, although part of season 10 was played Norfolk after a waiver claim. Barker then left for Philadelphia in season 11, finishing up after season 12. Barker was an available free agent for season 13, but at age 37, the future Hall of Famer couldn't hook on anywhere. Barker never won a ring, but he saw action in 6 post-seasons, hitting 8 HRs and putting up a .985 OPS. Like fellow inductee Prieto, Barker made $77M, but did it over just 12 years.

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