Aubrey Huff has had a very interesting career, mostly on awful teams like the early 2000s DEVIL RAYS and Baltimore, before he joined the Giants prior to 2010 – who, of course, won the World Series. Drafted by the Rays back when they sucked, he made his debut as a 23-year-old in 2000 and put up rather unspectacular numbers there and in 2001. However, from 2002 to 2004, he put up very good numbers for a crappy team: .307/.364/.524/.887, 135 OPS+, while accumulating 8.6 bWAR (and quite a bit of that was lost to that system’s defensive metrics rating him poorly, especially in 2003). In the three seasons after that, however, his line was much less impressive: .269/.333/.445/.778, 103 OPS+, with less than 1 total WAR over that period.
After 2006, he was signed by the Orioles to a three-year deal. He had a pretty awesome year in 2008 – .304/.360/.552/.912, 135 OPS+ – but other than that, he was a disappointment. In 2009, putting up below-league-average offensive numbers while playing DH and 1B, he was placed on waivers and sent to the Tigers, where he put up a line of .189/.265/.302 in 117 PA.
Needless to say, this didn’t really help his free agent appeal. The Giants took a flyer on Huff, signing him to a $3M deal. All he did was put up a line of .290/.385/.506/.891, 138 OPS+, and a .388 wOBA that was the best of anyone on the Giants. Not only that, he was tied for seventh in WAR in the NL overall with a very strong 5.9, and the only position players that beat him were Albert Pujols, Adrian Gonzalez, and Joey Votto, three absolutely elite first basemen. Huff continuing to be at the level of Pujols, Gonzalez, and Votto is extremely unlikely, but hey – it’s unlikely he would ever be at their level to begin with.
As Sports Illustrated put it during the World Series:
“Eleven years. Five different teams. Five different positions. Good seasons. Dreadful seasons. And now here he is in the World Series, having the time of his life, and if people want to know him for wearing a red thong—”the rally thong,” as it has become known—well, hey, whatever. The thing works.”