A former New York Yankees pitcher, in fact one of the best pitching prospects of the mid-2000s, has decided to call it a career. Phil Hughes, who contributed with the 2009 team that won the World Series as a setup man, announced via Twitter that he is retiring from baseball.
Hughes, a first-round pick out of high school by the Yankees in 2004, hadn’t pitched in the majors in a couple of years, which is why his announcement is seen as more of a formality.
During a successful 12-year career in MLB, Hughes pitched with the New York Yankees, the Minnesota Twins, and the San Diego Padres, which is the last uniform he wore back in 2018.
“While it’s been fairly apparent to most over these last couple years, I’d like to officially announce my retirement from baseball. Through many ups and downs over 12 years, I look back and am incredibly proud of what I was able to accomplish,” he wrote in his official Twitter account.
Expected to dominate in MLB when he was a prospect and fooling minor league hitters, he wasn’t quite a star but was able to carve a successful career. He finished with a 4.52 ERA (4.22 FIP) in 1291 innings, most of them with the Yankees and Twins.
The Yankees’ best young pitchers back in the 2000s
Yankees fans of the 2000s will remember him for being perhaps the best prospect of that time, together with Joba Chamberlain. Both carried the future of the franchise on their backs at one point.
During New York’s 2009 title run, Hughes posted a 3.03 ERA/3.22 FIP in 86 innings, including nine appearances in the postseason. He worked as one of Mariano Rivera’s setup men, and was very good.
Hughes had his best season with the Twins in 2014, after pitching to a 7th place Cy Young finish thanks to a 3.52 ERA/2.65 FIP and an MLB-leading 11.63 K/BB rate in 209 2/3 innings.
While he wasn’t what most Yankees fans expected him to be in the end, they will likely remember his playing days fondly.