Colbert Michael "Cole" Hamels (born December 27, 1983) is an American professional baseball pitcher for the Philadelphia Phillies of Major League Baseball. Originally from San Diego, California, Hamels excelled in Ranch Bernardo High School both academically and athletically. The Philadelphia Phillies drafted him out of high school in the first round of the 2002 draft (17th overall), and he began his career in the Phillies minor league system. Numerous issues, including an injury sustained in a bar fight as well as other injuries, occurred during his first few minor league seasons. Having reached the Triple-A level, he was the top pitcher in the Phillies' minor league system in 2006.
In May 2006, Hamels made his major league debut for the Phillies. After securing a long-term spot as a member of the Phillies starting rotation in his rookie season, he made large strides in the 2007 Major League Baseball season and won the Phillies' top major league pitcher award. He was the top pitcher on the team entering the 2008 season, and during the Phillies' postseason run, during which they ultimately won the 2008 World Series, he won the World Series Most Valuable Player Award. Since then, he has been a top starter in the Phillies' rotation. After the 2008 season, Hamels signed a three-year contract with the Phillies. His statistics declined over the next two seasons, struggling through a tumultuous 2009 campaign and somewhat bouncing back in 2010, however still not approaching his 2008 numbers. Over the next few seasons, Hamels was joined by fellow all-star pitchers including Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, and Roy Oswalt, and flourished with them, putting up some of his top career seasons before suffering from poor run support in 2013.
By Dean Hanley
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