The best baseball players born on Oct. 10

October 10th, 2023

Who are the best players born on each day of the year? We have a list for every day on the calendar.

Here’s a subjective ranking of the top five for Oct. 10:

1) Andrew McCutchen (1986)
Cutch made an immediate impact for the Pirates when he debuted in 2009, becoming the first rookie in franchise history to hit three homers in a game and finishing fourth in NL Rookie of the Year voting. He stole 20 or more bases in each of his first five big league seasons, including a career-high 33 in 2010. Meanwhile, his power began to blossom as he made his first of five straight NL All-Star teams in 2011. He slugged 23 homers that year and set a career high with 31 in 2012, while also leading the NL with 194 hits and winning his only Gold Glove Award in center field. But it was 2013 when Cutch really made his mark, leading the Pirates to their first postseason berth since 1992 and becoming the team's first NL MVP since Barry Bonds that same season. He had another monster year in 2014, finishing third in MVP voting while leading the Majors with a .410 OBP and pacing the NL with a .952 OPS. It was the third of four consecutive Silver Slugger Awards for McCutchen, and he ranked among the top 10 in franchise history in home runs, doubles, total bases and walks when he was traded to the Giants in 2018. After spending time with the Yankees, Phillies and Brewers from 2018-22, McCutchen returned to the Pirates on a one-year deal for '23.

2) Troy Tulowitzki (1984)
One of the top shortstops in baseball during his 13 big league seasons, Tulo often battled injuries but was dominant any time he was on the field. He made five All-Star teams with the Rockies, winning two Gold Gloves and two Silver Slugger Awards. He was runner-up to Ryan Braun in 2007 NL Rookie of the Year voting in one of the closest ballots in history, falling only two points shy. He batted .291 that season with 24 homers and 99 RBIs, one of seven times he topped 20 home runs. The home run total broke Ernie Banks' NL record for a shortstop, and he also turned the 13th unassisted triple play in AL/NL history on April 29. Tulo finished fifth in NL MVP balloting two years later, when he set career highs with 32 homers and 20 stolen bases. He also hit for the cycle on Aug. 10 that season, going 5-for-5 with seven RBIs against the Cubs. Tulowitzki went on one of the greatest tears in history in 2010, tying an AL/NL record by homering 14 times in 15 games. After hitting 30 homers and driving in a career-high 105 runs in 2011, injuries began to take their toll. He played in only 47 games in 2012 and 91 games in 2014, and his last full season came in 2016 for the Blue Jays at age 31.

3) Gene Tenace (1946)
Tenace had been a part-time player for four seasons and had hit only five homers in 1972 before going 1-for-17 in the ALCS, so there was no way anyone could have anticipated what he would do for the A's in the World Series. He became the first player to homer in his first two career Fall Classic at-bats, and he added two more in the series to earn World Series MVP honors. What could have been a fluke instead launched a successful Major League career. Tenace hit 20 or more homers in each of the next four seasons, including a career-high 29 in 1975 as he was an All-Star for the first and only time. The catcher also had a keen eye at the plate, walking 100 or more times in six seasons, including an MLB-best 125 in 1977 for the Padres. Tenace finished with 984 walks and 998 strikeouts in his 15-year career, posting a .388 on-base percentage despite hitting only .241. He won a fourth World Series title with the Cardinals in 1982 before wrapping up his career the next season.

4) Wally Berger (1905)
Berger was a Major League star from day one, blasting 38 homers as a rookie for the Boston Braves in 1930. That stood alone as the rookie home run record for 26 years before Frank Robinson tied it, and another 31 years before Mark McGwire broke it. Berger appeared in four All-Star Games, including as the National League's starting center fielder in the inaugural contest in 1933. Two years later, he led the league with 34 homers and a career-high 130 RBIs. But shoulder and hand injuries suffered by Berger in 1936 slowed him for the rest of his career. He played in 100 or more games only one more time and was done in 1940 after 11 big league seasons.

5) Placido Polanco (1975)
Polanco did not walk much and rarely hit for power, but he racked up 2,142 hits over 16 seasons for the Cardinals, Phillies, Tigers and Marlins. He batted. 297 for his career, including a career-high .341 during one of his two All-Star seasons in 2007. Polanco won Gold Glove Awards at both second base and shortstop, and he also filled in from time to time at shortstop. At second base, he set an AL/NL record for consecutive errorless games with 186 from July 2006 to August 2007, breaking Luis Castillo's previous mark of 144. Polanco also starred for the Tigers in the 2006 postseason, when he batted .529 in the ALCS against the A's to win MVP honors.

Others of note:

Pat Burrell (1976)
Selected by the Phillies first overall in the 1998 Draft, Burrell ranked among the best hitters in NCAA history with a .442 career batting average and .888 career slugging percentage for the University of Miami. He hit 30 or more homers four times for the Phillies, including a career-high 37 along with 116 RBIs in 2002. His only other 100-RBI season was 2005, when he set a career high with 117 RBIs. He ended up with 292 homers in his 12-year career, which also included stops with the Rays and Giants.

Kolten Wong (1990)
Wong was the third Hawaiian-born player to be drafted in the first round when the Cardinals selected him 22nd overall in 2011. He debuted in the Majors two years later and was St. Louis' regular second baseman in 2014 while finishing third in NL Rookie of the Year voting. Wong quickly established himself as a contact hitter who could do a little of everything, reaching double digits in home runs and steals in each of his first two full seasons. His best season for the Cardinals came in 2019, when he batted .285 with 11 homers and 24 steals and won his first of back-to-back Gold Glove Awards.

Brad Ziegler (1979)
Ziegler did not make his Major League debut with the A's until he was nearly 29 years old, but he made up for lost time. The righty submariner pitched 39 consecutive scoreless innings to begin his big league career, shattering the previous AL/NL record of 25. He also took over as closer late in the season and saved 11 games with a 1.06 ERA to finish eighth in AL Rookie of the Year voting. Ziegler was dealt to Arizona in 2011 and spent parts of seven seasons with the D-backs, where he saved a career-high 30 games in 2015. He ended up pitching in 11 seasons with 105 career saves and a 2.75 ERA over 739 Major League games.

Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (1993)
The son of legendary Cuban player Lourdes Gurriel Sr. and the younger brother of Yuli Gurriel, Lourdes and his brother defected from Cuba after the 2016 Caribbean Series to fulfill their dreams of playing in the Major Leagues. Gurriel Jr. signed with the Blue Jays in November of that year and accomplished his goal two years later. He showed some pop from the very beginning, homering 11 times in only 65 games in 2018 and hitting 20 more homers in 84 games in 2019. After the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, he finally played in a full season in 2021 and delivered with a .276 average, 21 homers and 84 RBIs. Toronto traded Gurriel Jr. to Arizona prior to the start of the 2023 season, and he was an All-Star in his first season with the D-backs, hitting .261 with 24 homers while helping the club to the postseason.

Want to see more baseball birthdays for Oct. 10? Find the complete list on Baseball Reference.