The Hottest Men in Baseball 2013

Mostly trim and muscled, young and nattily attired, baseball players are a sight to behold as they gallop and roll across the lawns of glorious parks across the country. Sports commentators have been known to say, “He really fills out his uniform.” It’s all that filling that keeps me coming back to baseball.

With the World Series upon us, it’s a good time to celebrate the boys of summer, with an intentionally biased collection (I am partial to pitchers, and have been since high school) of the finest men to swing a bat, pound a glove, or make dreams come true with a game-ending triple play.

Madison Bumgarner

Madison Bumgarner

Ability: 4 bats
Looks: 3 bats
Age 24
At 6’5” and 225 pounds, Bumgarner owns the mound in more ways than one. His huge, handsome, hulking presence and remarkable pitching agility has earned him spots in the Top 10 best MLB pitchers lists for the past three seasons. The youngest and best pitcher for the San Francisco Giants, Bumgarner’s wicked fastballs, change ups, curveballs and sliders slip past batters at an amazing rate, earning the Hickory, South Carolina native two World Series rings (in fact, he was the youngest-ever left-handed pitcher to throw 8 scoreless innings in a World Series start at age 21 and 91 days). Soft-spoken, with a Southern drawl that could melt butter, Bumgarner is married to his high school sweetheart, and they live on a South Carolina farm.

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Robinson Cano

Robinson Cano

Ability: 3 bats
Looks: 4 bats
Age 30
The leggy, sensuously-lipped Cano has been a N.Y. Yankee since starting his MLB career in 2001. A five-time All-Star, Cano began the past season with a strong .302 batting average. During his only plate appearance at the All-Star Game, he was hit by a pitch and suffered a right quad contusion. On August 20, he hit his 200th career homer, a three-run center field blast in Yankee Stadium. In addition to extensive charity work, he has a pediatric rehabilitation ward in New Jersey named after him. Cano has a son (also named Robinson) who lives with his mother in the Dominican Republic. In 2012, Cano became a naturalized American citizen.

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Matt Carpenter

Matt Carpenter

Ability: 4 bats
Looks: 3 bats
Age 27
In his first full season with the St. Louis Cardinals, intense and handsome Carpenter moved to cover second base, and became the team’s leadoff hitter. He excelled in the new position, leading MLB in hits, doubles and runs. In September, he broke Stan Musial’s 60-year old franchise record for doubles by a left-hander. Cardinals manager Mike Matheny told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, “He has established himself as the best second baseman in the league.”

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Jacoby Ellsbury

Jacoby Ellsbury

Ability: 3 bats
Looks: 4 bats
Age 30
A standout since playing little league in his hometown east of Mt. Hood, Oregon, Ellsbury, as a Boston Red Sox rookie in 2007 played a big role in securing the team’s World Series Championship. Jacoby is officially a member of the Colorado River Indian Tribes and is the first Native American of Navajo descent to reach the Major Leagues. The left handed center fielder set a Red Sox team record this season for the most stolen bases (5) in Boston’s win over the Philadelphia Phillies on May 30. At “only” 6’1”, Ellsbury is almost a balletic player, often leaping four feet or more in the air to make a stunning catch.

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Jose Fernandez

Jose Fernandez

Ability: 4 bats
Looks: 3 bats
Age 21
The second-best pitcher in all of baseball plays on one of the worst performing teams in the sport. One of baseball’s youngest pitchers, his brilliant big smile and youthful exuberance had good reason to shine this season as he racked up an amazing 12 wins in an historic rookie season. Against the Pittsburgh Pirates on July 28, Fernandez recorded 13 strikeouts and on August 3, with a 14 strikeout performance against the Cleveland Indians, Fernandez became just the sixth pitcher since 2000 to strike out 13 or more batters in consecutive games. Born in Cuba, Jose, his mother and sister successfully defected in 2008. When his mother fell overboard when the boat hit turbulent waters, Jose dove into the water to save her life.

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Gio Gonzalez

Gio Gonzalez

Ability: 3 bats
Looks: 4 bats
Age 28
The handsome Cuban, born in Florida, began his MLB career in 2004, but was traded between the White Sox, the Phillies and the Athletics before finding a compatible home with the Washington Nationals. A seasoned strike out pitcher, Gonzalez has honed his curveball to near-perfection, earning him a rate of at least 1 strikeout per inning over his career. Gonzalez created the GIO (Giving Individuals Opportunities) foundation, a charity to assist medical patients in need of financial support. Earlier this season, Gio’s name appeared on a list, along with other players, in connection with a clinic believed to produce performance enhancing drugs. By August, he was cleared and was not among the 12 players suspended in the scandal.

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Matt Harvey

NY Mets' Matt Harvey

Ability: 4 bats
Looks: 4 bats
Age 24
Dubbed “The Dark Knight of Gotham” by a sportswriter, N.Y. Mets pitcher Matt Harvey’s 2013 season lived up to the promise of his major league debut the year before, leading a former Mets manager to call him the “best Met pitcher to ever wear the uniform.” Game after game, Harvey pitched relentlessly. He was the starting pitcher for the 2013 MLB All-Star game, which took place at the Mets’ ballpark, Citi Field. On August 7, Harvey pitched his first-ever complete game shutout, giving up 4 hits and striking out six in a win over the Colorado Rockies. Shortly thereafter, he was diagnosed with a partial ligament tear and spent the rest of the season on the disabled list. Harvey is said to be dating Russian model Anne Vyalitsyna, well-known for her numerous Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition appearances. Harvey has modeled as well, memorably appearing in ESPN Magazine’s “Body Issue” in little more than his birthday suit and his strategically-placed pitcher’s glove.

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Ubaldo Jimenez

Ubaldo Jimenez

Ability: 3 bats
Looks: 3 bats
Age 29
Starting pitcher for the improving Cleveland Indians, Jimenez led the team through one of their most impressive seasons ever, racking up an amazing 13 wins. Only the the third pitcher in MLB history to win 11 out of his first 12 games, Jimenez pitched the first no-hitter in Colorado Rockies history in 2010, but was traded to the Cleveland Indians the next season. In 2012 he was suspended for 5 games for hitting a former teammate with a pitch to the elbow. After struggling through the season, Jimenez rebounded in 2013, upping his fastball to past 100mph, and perfecting an extraordinary “sinking” change up that flummoxed many of the hitters he faced.

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George Kontos

George Kontos

Ability: 4 bats
Looks: 4 bats
Age 28
The scruffy and handsome Illinois native was an essential relief pitcher for the San Francisco Giants’ sweep of the 2012 World Series, and this season was an important factor in keeping the faltering Giants out of last place in their division. The dark and often bearded Kontos shifted to relief pitching in 2009 after undergoing Tommy John surgery, a procedure that repairs ligaments in the pitching arm elbow. A confident and sometimes intimidating presence on the mound, Kontos stirred up trouble for himself and his team this season when he apparently purposefully beaned a batter, was suspended and later demoted to the Giants’ farm team in Fresno.

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James Loney

James Loney

Ability: 3 bats
Looks: 3 bats
Age 29
With his movie-star looks and hot hitting ability, Loney was a handsome standout for six stellar seasons with the L.A. Dodgers before he was traded to the Red Sox in 2012. This season he played for the Tampa Bay Rays, in what some sportswriters consider to be a decided career setback. Despite his personally unfortunate performance, Loney still plays so well that he remains in the MLB Top 25 statistics. In 2011 Loney was involved in a traffic collision when his Maserati sideswiped a Mercedes. He refused a breathalyzer test, was arrested on suspicion of DUI, but charges were dropped when toxicology tests came back negative.

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Joe Mauer

Joe Mauer

Ability: 4 bats
Looks: 4 bats
Age 30
A classically handsome and impossibly tall ballplayer, Mauer’s 2013 season with the Minnesota Twins was his most successful of his career, landing him in third place in all-around baseball statistics. As the only catcher in MLB history to win multiple batting titles and Golden Glove awards, Mauer may be even better known for his modeling career, appearing in ads and TV commercials for Perry Ellis, Head & Shoulders, Pepsi, ESPN, and Gatorade. He roomed together with a former teammate in a St. Paul home before his marriage to a St. Paul nurse in 2011.

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Buster Posey

Buster Posey

Ability: 4 bats
Looks: 4 bats
Age 26
Bounding back in 2012 from a potentially devastating home plate collision, the handsome and earnest Posey won the National League batting title, becoming only the second San Francisco Giant to win the batting title. In addition to his grand slam hitting abilities, Posey has become one of the best catchers in the MLB – Giants pitchers often remark how well he calls every pitch in the game. This March, he signed a remarkable 9-year contract extension worth $167 million, a record in sum and length for a player his age and experience. With a killer smile, a rocket body and the best butt in baseball, Posey is married to his high school sweetheart; they are parents of twins (a boy and a girl).

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Jean Segura

Jean Segura

Ability: 3 bats
Looks: 3 bats
Age 23
Segura debuted with the L.A. Angels in July 2012, but after only one game, he was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers, where he has excelled. This season, he was involved in one of the most confusing plays ever in baseball history. In the eighth inning of an April game, he stole second base, then “re-stole” first base, and was thrown out trying to steal second base again. The confusion was over whether Segura should have been allowed to “re-take” first base after he had occupied second base. Umpires on the field allowed it, but the MLB later declared the ruling wrong.

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Julio Teheran

Julio Teheran

Ability: 4 bats
Looks: 3 bats
Age 22
Signed by the Atlanta Braves out of his Cartegena, Colombia hometown at the age of 16, Teheran’s pinup looks and pitching style have earned him a devoted fan base amongst sportswriters, who consider him to among the best pitchers in baseball. After years of struggling to claim a spot in the majors, 2013 was his best season ever, with an amazing 14 wins. Armed with a fierce fastball and impressive command, Teheran led the Braves in one of their best seasons ever.

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Justin Verlander

Justin Verlander

Ability: 4 bats
Looks: 3 bats
Age 30
Statistically the best pitcher in baseball, Verlander has won almost every award and broken virtually every record in MLB pitching. He was Rookie of the Year, pitched the first-ever no-hitter at Comerica Park, won the CY Young Award, and was named the American League’s most valuable player. He’s the only pitcher to win Rookie of the Year, start in a World Series game, toss a no-hitter and be in an All-Star game in his first two full seasons. Thanks to a lucrative multi-year contact with the Detroit Tigers (the only team he’s ever played for) Verlander is the highest-paid pitcher in baseball.

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C.J. Wilson

CJ Wilson

Ability: 3 bats
Looks: 4 bats
Age 32
At an age when many pitchers begin considering retirement, the uber-hot Wilson is sustaining a moderately successful career on the mound. Outside of the ballpark, he tends to get in a little trouble with blog posts that have ranged from liberal to vaguely racist and insulting of his teammates. A devoted Taoist, Wilson adheres to a way of life that abstains alcohol, illegal drugs, tobacco and sex in order to maintain health. As a Texas Ranger, he wore a blue glove to match his uniform and now, as an L.A. Angel, wears a red glove. But with that face and body, who’s looking at the glove?

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