Toronto Blue Jays Poll: Greatest Players of All Time Rd2

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Matchup 8: Roy Halladay vs Pat Hentgen

We saved the best for last. While, on the surface, it might seem an easy choice, it might be tougher than you think. Both of these starters gave Toronto some stellar years, but only one of them even made it to the playoffs.

Toronto Blue Jays
Toronto Blue Jays /

Toronto Blue Jays

Hentgen received 59% of the vote in Rd 1. He has two World Series rings to show for his efforts in Toronto. Granted, 1992 only saw him throw 50 innings, but the next year, he burst onto the scene with 19 wins. He was a key figure in the franchise’s second championship. That year, he was an All Star and finished 6th in Cy Young voting. Yet, it wasn’t his best year. He won the Cy Young Award in 1996 when he went 20-10 with 10 complete games in 265.2 innings!

In total, Hentgen provided the Blue Jays with 18.4 WAR in his 9 seasons with the club. His highest total was 6 in ’96. He was never known as a strike out pitcher as evidenced by his 5.59 career K/9 mark. Though, he does rank 5th on the Blue Jays’ all time list with 1028. His highest total in a year was 177 in ’96. Hentgen is so respected by the organization, he’s held coaching positions in the past and always seems to be mentioned when spots are available.

Halladay (who received 99% of the vote in Rd 1) is one of the more respected names in club history. That might be due to the fact that he struggled early on and rebuilt himself, working his tail off to get to the level at which he performed in his prime. And, with that success, he chose to stick with the Blue Jays through some very lean years when he wasn’t really provided with much in the way of a winning club. Where Hentgen had 2 World Series to show for his career, Halladay would never see a playoff game in Toronto. It might be that sympathy (combined with some hefty numbers) that endear him to fans.

Next: Top 10 Blue Jays Catchers of All Time!

In 12 seasons as a Blue Jay, Halladay totaled an amazing 48.9 WAR. He was a 6 time All Star (2 more with the Phillies) and finished in the top 10 in Cy Young voting  5 times (2 more with the Phillies). He won the award in 2003 (1 more with the Phillies). He had 15+ wins 6 times as a Blue Jay. He’s 2nd on the club’s all time list with 1495 strikeouts. He’s also 2nd with 148 wins. He’s third with 2046.2 innings.

There you have it. Let the debate begin!