Grady Sizemore had an excellent run with Cleveland early in his career, but a series of injuries prevented a long career.
This is Untapped Potential, a look back at athletes whose careers or circumstances were kept from reaching full potential, and today’s spotlight is on Grady Sizemore. a veteran outfielder for more than a decade with four teams in the MLB, Sizemore was a star in Cleveland before injuries severely limited his production. This isn’t my first look at the series, as I discuss about NBA guard Brandon Knight here.
A three-sport athlete in high school, Sizemore was a third-round pick by the Montreal Expos in the 2000 MLB Draft. He would later be dealt to the Cleveland Guardians in 2002 along with Brandon Phillips and Cliff Lee for Tim Drew and Bartolo Colon.
Untapped Potential for Greatness
After making his MLB debut on July 21, 2004, Sizemore immediately became a fan favorite in Cleveland. He could hit for power and could run well, almost like a left-handed hitting Bo Jackson. This Wikipedia article here notes that he began to take off as a rising star in the 2005 campaign. He also won a Silver Slugger Award and two Gold Gloves while earning MVP votes.
After a successful run and three straight All-Star appearances from 2006 to 2008, Sizemore looked to be on the cusp of an illustrious career.
However, in 2009, injuries began to strike. Sizemore only played in 33 games in 2010 before having microfracture surgery to repair his left knee. His right knee also was problematic during the 2011 campaign with a bruise and a sports hernia. The recovery time cost the center fielder all of 2012 and 2013, as well. In 2014, the Boston Red Sox decided to give Sizemore another opportunity, but eventually cut him midway through June. The Phillies would pick him up and retain him through May of 2015. He would finish his playing days with the Tampa Bay Rays, retiring after the 2015 season.
Where is Sizemore Now?
As of last notice, Sizemore is with the Guardians as an advisor for player development.
But, at the end, we always ask, “What If?” And the injuries always will leave us wondering the Untapped Potential Grady Sizemore could’ve had. Who knows, if he stayed healthy, he might be one of Cleveland’s best players ever.
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