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5. Mike MacDougal – 2003
“Mac the Ninth,” as he came to be known, was one of the many players on the 2003 Kansas City Royals to have their career season at the same time, as the Royals parlayed the improbable into their only winning season from 1995-2012. MacDougal, as the closer, received a solid amount of attention, as he posted a 2.59 ERA and 24 saves at the All-Star break, earning a spot on the American League squad.
As good as those numbers may have been, they belied the fact that Mike MacDougal was walking a tightrope as the Royals closer. MacDougal walked 22 batters in 41.2 innings at the break, and had a 1.368 WHiP. For someone that threw hard, MacDougal also did not strike out many batters, with 6.9 strikeouts per nine innings. It was a matter of time before things fell apart. They did in the second half. MacDougla had a 6.85 ERA and a 1.746 WHiP in the second half of the season, losing the closer job to . He truly fell apart in August, as the Royals slid back into the pack, as his 8.64 ERA and 2.400 WHiP certainly did not help matters.
For the season, MacDougal had 27 saves, with a 4.08 ERA and a 1.500 WHiP. That was enough to earn a 0.6 WAR, making just above replacement level.