Thursday, October 8, 2015

Doug Demetre, Talked Up - 3383

Gonzaga catcher Doug Demetre knew his pitchers. He talked up one, Billy Walker, to The Spokane Spokesman-Review in April 1990.

"You've got to look for his fastball," Demetre told The Spokesman-Review of Walker, "and if you're looking for anything else, it's all over. And if you look for the fastball, he'll still beat you. I mean, it's really a no-win situation."

Demetre went on to take his catching skills from Gonzaga to the pros. His pro career, however, was brief. He got into just 20 games.

Demetre's brief career began and ended in 1990, signed by the Yankees as an amateur free agent out of Gonzaga.

Demetre went to Gonzaga out of Juanita High School in Kirkland, Wa. As a youth, Demetre was part of a team that made the Little League World Series.

At Gonzaga, Demetre hit a two-run home run in a March 1990 game, then a bases-loaded double in an April 1990 contest.

Demetre came out of Gonzaga in 1990 and the Yankees assigned him to short-season Oneonta. He got into 20 games and hit .204. He hit one home run and knocked in 12. It was his only season as a pro.

Demetre has gone on to continue in the game, coaching in high school and junior college. He also coaches a youth travel baseball team.
1990 Minor League Tally
Players/Coaches Featured: 2,142
Made the Majors: 921-43.0%
Never Made Majors:1,221-57.0%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 391
10+ Seasons in the Minors:230

Mike Hankins, Having Fun - 3385

After four seasons in the minors, Mike Hankins tried his hand in 1994 at extending his career in independent ball.

The Winnipeg Goldeye infielder also had himself a good time, he told The Los Angeles Times that July.

"I think I've had some good years," Hankins told The Times. "It's a little different (in Winnipeg). I'm having a lot more fun, and having fun has helped me play better."

That season ended up being Hankins' last as a pro. He's since gone on to a career helping others play better as a high school and college coach.

Hankins' career began in 1990, taken by the Yankees in the 32nd round out of UCLA. Hankins' father Terry Hankins also played in the minors.

Hankins started with the Yannkees at short-season Oneonta. He hit .271 in 50 games. He moved to high-A Prince William for 1991, hitting .263 there. He picked up three hits in a July game. He singled and scored in an August game.

He split 1992 between Prince William and high-A Fort Lauderdale. He also saw seven games that year at AAA Columbus. He hit .287 overall.

Hankins' final season with the Yankees came in 1993 at AA Albany-Colonie. He hit .223 in 63 games, including a 2-for-3 game in June. Hankins then moved to independent Winnipeg for 1994, hitting .320 and finishing out his career.

Hankins later took over the reins of the Lincoln High School in California and served as a baseball instructor. He stayed with the Lincoln program until 2006.

In 2014, Hankins took over the fledgling program at William Jessup University. He also continued to serve as a high school physical education teacher. The school's program itself was founded by former major league manager Jerry Manuel, according to The Sacramento Bee.

"He's young enough to take the bumps and bruises that come with being a new program," Manuel told The Bee of Hankins in January 2015. "He's got a great baseball background, and you’ve got to like his values. He’s going to do an awesome job."

Read more here:
1990 Minor League Tally
Players/Coaches Featured: 2,141
Made the Majors: 921-43.0%
Never Made Majors:1,220-57.0%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 391
10+ Seasons in the Minors:230

Brian Romero, Felt Better - 7

Originally published May 18, 2014
Brian Romero won his fifth-straight start for high-A Port Charlotte in 1990 and he did it with a complete game.

He got that complete game after reassuring his manager that he could do it, after his team gave him a three-run cushion in the eighth, according to The Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

"I feel better with the lead," Romero told The Herald-Tribune after the game. "With it I feel relaxed. No one can get to me."

Romero made Port Charlotte in his second season as a pro. He went on to make AA Tulsa in his third. But, in a career that spanned seven seasons, Romero never made it higher.

Romero's career began in 1989, taken by the Rangers in the 50th round of the draft out of East Los Angeles College.

Romero played his first season in the rookie Pioneer League at Butte. There, he went 5-0, with a 1.79 ERA in 10 outings, seven starts.

He started 1990 at single-A Gastonia, later moving to Port Charlotte. He earned his bump up to high-A with 15 starts and a 1.48 ERA at Gastonia.

At Port Charlotte, Romero went 7-2, with a 1.70 ERA over 12 starts. In early July, Romero had a 16-inning scoreless streak broken up. He picked up his seventh win in late-August, with a six-inning, four-hit effort.

For 1991, Romero moved to AA Tulsa. He also stayed there for four seasons. He went 6-5, with a 4.98 ERA over 23 outings, 14 starts his first season there. His 1992 season consisted of just 13 outings, 11 starts.

Romero's last extensive time came in 1993, with 21 outings, 18 starts. He had a 3.91 ERA. He got just seven outings at Tulsa in 1994 and then returned for a final four starts at independent Sonoma County in 1995, ending his career.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Cesar Perez, Ninth Inning - 3369

Originally published Jan. 13, 2015
The Greensboro Hornets already had this May 1991 game well in hand, but Cesar Perez helped close it out, according to The Sumter Item.

Perez came on in the ninth inning, his Hornets leading 14-0. He proceeded to record the final three outs without letting a Sumter Flyer reach base, The Item wrote.

Perez came into that game in his fourth season as a pro. He went on to see time in seven seasons. He briefly made AA, but he didn't make it higher.

Perez' career began in 1988, signed by the Yankees as a free agent out of his native Panama.

He played his first two seasons in the rookie Gulf Coast League. He got into six games his first season and 11 in his second. He had ERAs under 3 both years.

Perez played 1990 between single-A Greensboro and short-season Oneonta. He got into 41 games between them, with a 3.14 ERA. He also went 2-2 and saved two games.

He returned to Greensboro for all of 1991. He pitched a third of an inning in an August loss. Overall, he had a 2.65 ERA in 30 relief outings.

He got into another 33 games at high-A Fort Lauderdale in 1992, getting a 2.70 ERA. He then moved to the Indians system for 1993.

Perez played the 1993 season between single-A Columbus and high-A Kinston. The then-22-year-old had a stellar 1.06 ERA on the year.

He started 1994 at AA Canton-Akron. He gave up a run in an April inning of work. But Perez got into just seven games for the club. They were the last games of his career.
1990 Minor League Tally
Players/Coaches Featured: 2,139
Made the Majors: 921-43.1%
Never Made Majors:1,218-56.9%
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 391
10+ Seasons in the Minors:230

Ken Dominguez, Changed Goal - 3390

Ken Dominguez' University of Tampa team made the 1987 Division 2 World Series but the team's goals had yet to be met, Dominguez told The Lakeland Ledger that May.

"We had three goals to start the season - to win the Sunshine State Conference title, win the regional and win the national title," Dominguez told The Ledger.

Dominguez' team fell short of the national title, coming in sixth in that world series. Dominguez' own goals soon changed.

The next year, he made the jump from college to the pros. His pro career has lasted more than two decades, Dominguez working to fulfill the ultimate goal of getting his players on to the majors.

Dominguez arrived at the University of Tampa as head coach in 1985, continuing there until 1988. His overall record came in 141-69-1.

Dominguez started coaching with the Yankees in the rookie Gulf Coast League. he moved to short-season Oneonta in 1990. Before the decade was out, Dominguez had at least five more seasons in the GCL.

In 1998, Dominguez watched over a young Dominican named Ricardo Aramboles. Aramboles gave up three earned in four innings in his GCL debut.

"I wouldn't call it a bad outing," Dominguez told The Orlando Sentinel after that game. "For his potential, I would say it was fair. He wasn't pleased, but it wasn't like somebody shot his dog."

Dominguez moved up to coach at AA Norwich in 2000. He then moved to the White Sox and single-A Kannapolis for 2001. He continued coaching in the minors. He's most recently credited as coaching in the Brewers system in 2013.
1990 Minor League Tally
Players/Coaches Featured: 2,140
Made the Majors: 921-43.0%
Never Made Majors:1,219-57.0%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 391
10+ Seasons in the Minors:230

Eric Bickhardt, His Makeup - 14

Originally published May 21, 2014
Charlotte Ranger Eric Bickhardt's task on this day in July 1991 was a little different, but no less intimidating.

His task, according to The Sarasota Herald-Tribune, was to get kids interested in reading.

"Even if you're not playing baseball,"Bickhardt told the kids at the local library, according to The Herald-Tribune, "it's still great to read about."

Bickhardt was playing baseball for high-A Charlotte that summer in his third season as a pro. He ended up playing baseball for just one more. He never made AA.

Bickhardt's career began in 1989, taken by the Rangers in the 45th round of the draft out of St. Joseph's University.

At St. Joseph's, Bickhardt pitched four seasons. He got 28 starts, 213.1 innings pitched, 126 strikeouts and 15 complete games, according to He also, years later, made the school's Hall of Fame.

In his final season, though, he was 3-4, with a 5.15 ERA, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer. But the Rangers took him anyway.

"We just liked his makeup and competitiveness," Rangers area scout Dick Coury told The Inquirer. "We're not always signing players because of their numbers. This kid knows how to pitch. With the proper instruction, he might be able to improve."

Bickhardt started at rookie Butte. In 17 outings, one start, he went 3-0, with a 2.33 ERA. He moved to single-A Gastonia for 1990, going 8-6 in 50 relief outings, with a 3.14 ERA.

For 1991, Bickhardt arrived at high-A Charlotte. In 54 outings, he went 5-5, with a 3.56 ERA. In April, Bickhardt and the Charlotte starter gave up a combined two hits.

He returned to Charlotte or 1992, but his season was brief. He just into just three games, ending his career.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Mark Shiflett, Strong Pitching - 3391

Fort Lauderdale pitching coach Mark Shiflett explained to The South Florida Sun-Sentinel his organization's approach to prospects in April 1992.

The topic: The top overall selection in the 1991 draft, the Yankees' Brien Taylor.

"The Yankee philosophy is don't rush these kids -- let them have success and enjoy where they are," Shiflett told The Sun-Sentinel. "Brien Taylor's going to be successful here, and he's going to learn a lot. For a kid who hasn't had any college experience, he's got some games to get under his belt."

Shiflett watched over a pre-injury Taylor early on in his career as a minor league coach. Shiflett had his own career as a player. He got into six seasons and made AA. His coaching career spanned a decade, Shiflett spending much of that time at high-A.

Shiflett's pro career began in 1981, taken by the Yankees in the 27th round out of Auburn University.

Shiflett started with the Yankees at short-season Oneonta. The hurler got into 12 games, starting seven. He had a 4.15 ERA. He moved to single-A Greensboro for 1982 and improved his ERA to 2.42.

He made AA Nashville in 1983, staying there for 1984. He had a complete-game win for Nashville in August 1984.

Shiflett moved to the Tigers and AA Birmingham for 1985, throwing a shutout on three hits that June. His final time as a player came in 1987 with the Royals at AA Memphis.

Shiflett returned to the game in 1990 at the spot where he started as a player. Shiflett served that year as pitching coach at Oneonta. He moved to single-A Greensboro for 1991.

Shiflett coached at Fort Lauderdale in 1992 and then high-A Prince William for 1993. That April, Shiflett liked what he saw in his young pitchers, according to The Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star.

"We're loaded," Shiflett told The Free Lance-Star in the preview of a season that included a young Andy Pettitte. "This is a very strong pitching staff."

Shiflett's final recorded coaching time came at high-A Tampa from 1996 to 1998.
1990 Minor League Tally
Players/Coaches Featured: 2,139
Made the Majors: 921-43.1%
Never Made Majors:1,218-56.9%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 391
10+ Seasons in the Minors:230
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