Career w/Phillies: .257 AVG / 251 HR / 827 RBI / 5 SB
With the first pick in the 1998 draft, the Phillies selected Pat Burrell, a big outfielder from the University of Miami. In return, the slugger gave the Phils and their fans nine crazy but ultimately rewarding seasons. He finished second on the franchise all-time home run list with 251, but no hit was larger than his final hit as a Phillie, a smoked double off the left-center field wall that turned into the winning run of the clinching game of the 2008 World Series. Before then, Burrell bashed the ball regularly, with eight straight seasons of 20 or more home runs. He also had troubles staying consistent, hitting for below a .260 average six times. Still, his best seasons were extremely good. In 2002 he hit .282 with 37 homers, and he parlayed a ridiculous second half in 2007 to finish with 30 homers. He also reached base a ton toward the end of his run, finishing in the NL top 10 for walks in his final four seasons in Philadelphia. He signed as a free agent with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2009, the same team that fell victim to his biggest hit.
Comment: Burrell gave fans some great times during his nine-year career. He was what he was: A strong power hitter who found consistency sparingly. But when he was on, boy was he on. We’ll miss Burrell, and he definitely earns a top 25 spot in the Greatest Phillies countdown, with a little debate on whether he should be top 20.
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