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Opening Day Countdown: Quintessential Red #54

We're using Hanny pics whenever possible.
We're using Hanny pics whenever possible.
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport

Next up is #54. Has it sunk in how good the current crop of players are?

Honorable mention: Darrell Osteen, Tim Leary, Chad Mottola, Jared Fernandez, Bill Selby, Joey Hamilton, Elizardo Ramirez, Jolbert Cabrera

5. Luke Hudson (0.4 WAR)

A fixture of those early to mid 2000s teams, Luke Hudson ended up making 25 starts for the Reds from 2002 to 2005. I barely remember him. He pitched for the Royals after that.

4. Jim Pearce (0.3 WAR)

Pearce pitched for the Reds in 1954 and 1955, and is the first entrant on any list who was a "Redleg" instead of a "Red". He ended up pitching 14.1 innings for the Redlegs, with a 3.77 ERA total. Fun fact: Pearce was from Zebulon, NC, where he could have watched the Reds AA team a few years ago had he not passed away in 2005.

3. Tom Browning (1.2 WAR)

I bet you're wondering what he's doing on this list, aren't you? Browning wore #54 his rookie year, where he went 1-0 with a 1.54 ERA in 3 starts. It was a good start to a career which would span 11 years with the Reds. I have a feeling we'll see him on a future list.

2. Steve Foster (1.8 WAR)

Foster was a solid reliever for the Reds from 1991 to 1993, putting up a very respectable 2.41 ERA in 59 appearances. Why wasn't his career longer? In the 1993 season, Foster injured his shoulder after an appearance on the Tonight Show, where he threw baseballs at milk bottles. After surgery and a few rehab starts in '94, his career was over. Just the Reds' luck.

1. Aroldis Chapman (6.4 WAR)

Another current Red, and another one where we can't really argue. Chapman has been better than any #54 so far. It looks right now that he'll go into another season as the Reds' closer, where he'll add more value. How long will he stay at the top of this list? That's kind of up to him.