Patrick George Hentgen (born November 13, 1968 in Detroit, Michigan) is a former Major League Baseball player. Hentgen was a right-handed starting pitcher in the major leagues and a Cy Young Award winner in 1996.
Hentgen was offered a baseball scholarship to Western Michigan University, but signed with the Toronto Blue Jays instead after being drafted in the 5th round of the 1986 free agent draft. He made his debut in 1991 and played a large part in their World Series championship in 1993 while winning 19 games in the regular season. His best year, however, came in 1996 when he went 20-10 with a 3.22 ERA and 177 strikeouts to win the American League Cy Young Award, barely beating New York Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte. Hentgen was an American League All-Star in 1993, 1994, and 1997.
On November 18, 2003, Hentgen returned to the Blue Jays on a one-year free agent deal worth $2.2 million. However, he was unable to regain the consistency that had made him successful in the mid-90s, and on July 24, 2004, Hentgen announced his retirement from baseball. His last game was earlier in the week vs. the Yankees, where he surrendered Gary Sheffield's 400th career home run.
The right-hander left with his name all over the Blue Jays' team record book, ranking in the top five in wins (107), starts (238), innings pitched (1,636) and winning percentage (.557). Overall, the three-time All-Star spent 14 seasons in the majors, going 131-112 with 34 complete games, 1,290 strikeouts and a 4.32 ERA.
He will be eligible for consideration for the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2010.
Hentgen was noted for his success in challenging hitters directly, mostly throwing his fastball for strikes to get ahead early in the count. This would set up his curveball or high fastball to strike out the batter.
- Career statistics and player information from ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or The Baseball Cube
- ESPN Profile
- Blue Jay Way Interview
|American League Cy Young Award|