Saturday, October 08, 2016

2016 Topps Heritage Minors leaders

I prefer individual player cards, though these two cards have some novelty - Jose Martinez [featured on card #195] is a journeyman who hit .384 with the Kansas City Royals AAA team in 2015.

I learned about Martinez while listening to a Baseball America podcast and found this story on their Web site - he was sold to the St. Louis Cardinals in May and while his batting average plummeted back to a more reasonable .278 for the year, he earned a cup of coffee in the big leagues, where he collected 7 hits in 16 at-bats.

Looking through my 'loose archive' of autographed cards, I actually have a Richard Bleier [featured on card #197] autograph card [or two] I must have gotten when he was a Texas Rangers minor leaguer - he spent parts of 9 seasons in the minor leagues as a pretty unremarkable arm [55-57 record, 1035 hits allowed with 507 strikeouts in 925.1 innings pitched].

However, the New York Yankees must have seen something in Bleier and gave him an opportunity to pitch some innings for the big league team - small sample size coming from a 29-year old journeyman noted, but Bleier only walked four hitters in 23 innings, while allowing five earned runs in 20 appearances.

1 comment:

Jimmy said...

I was also looking at that 2015 AVG Leaders card last week and had never heard of Michael Pierson before. Sure enough, he was released earlier this year by Burlington. Another fun one to try to get signed.