(c) Houston Astros

See Also:
Baseball Reference
SABR Bio Project
Baseball Almanac


Position: P      Born: Jul 25, 1971      Bats: Left      Throws: Left

The little lefthander with the 100-mph fastball settled into the closing role for Houston not long after he was called up in 1996 and did not leave before claiming the franchise record for saves (225) after the 2003 season. The first-round choice from tiny Ferrum College in Virginia had a 26-29 record with a 2.53 ERA while an Astro and appeared in four post-seasons with the ballclub. He set the team record for most saves in a season (44, in 2003) that has since been tied by Jose Valverde.

Dealt to Philadelphia after complaining about the management, Wagner spent two years as a Phillie then signed a free agent deal with the Mets. After four seasons in New York, he spent part of a season in Boston then signed to pitch with the Braves for 2010.

Through the 2009 season, Wagner has compiled a 40-38 record with 385 saves and a 2.59 ERA over 15 campaigns. He's also averaged 11.8 strikeouts per nine innings, one of the best rates of all time. He's currently sixth all-time in saves and will likely move into the top five but whether he climbs any further up the list than that is up for debate. While it could be argued he has established Hall of Fame credentials for a closer, the top four pitchers in the category are not in the Hall so he may have a long wait when his name comes up on the ballot.