No. 66, Robin Yount – The Athletic

Starting in December and ending on Opening Day, Joe Posnanski will count down the 100 greatest baseball players by publishing an essay on a player every day for 100 days. In all, this project will contain roughly as many words as “Moby Dick.” Yes, we know it’s nutty. We hope you enjoy.

You probably have not heard of a ballplayer named Larry Yount. He was a promising pitcher from Woodland Hills, Calif. He had a presence about him. The Houston Astros took him in the fifth round in 1968, and he was advanced enough that the Astros tried him out in Triple A in his first professional year. At 19, he dominated in Hampton, Va., and the next year he was pretty good in Columbus, Ga.

The Astros had their eye on him. He had grown to be 6-foot-2, he gained 30 or 40 pounds after turning pro, his fastball had become an imposing pitch. Houston thought about keeping him after spring training in 1971 but sent him down to Triple A instead, where he struggled a bit.

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