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Saturday, December 26, 2015

Dean Palmer, More Relaxed - 1170

Originally published May 14, 2014
Dean Palmer started off 1992 about as hot as anyone. He hit a home run in each of his team's first three games.

To The Associated Press later that month, Palmer credited a new outlook he took late the previous year.

"I'm a different person now," Palmer told The AP. "I'm more relaxed and I'm playing my game. I'm going out there and trying to have fun and I think it shows."

Palmer ended up hitting 26 home runs for the Rangers that year and 33 the next. By the time his 14-season major league career was over, Palmer had hit 275.

Palmer's career began in 1986, taken by the Rangers in the third round of the draft out of Florida High School in Tallahassee, Fla.

Palmer started in the rookie Gulf Coast League. He made single-A Gastonia in 1987, then AA Tulsa in 1989.

In September 1989, Palmer made the Rangers in Texas. He got into 16 games, hitting .105. He then didn't make it back to Texas until 1991, when he got into 81 games and hit .187. But he also hit 15 home runs.

By 1992, Palmer was a regular, hitting his 26 home runs that year and his 33 home runs in 1993.  He also struck out 154 times in each season.

Going into 1994, Palmer got praise from his manager, Kevin Kennedy.

"He's hard on himself, too hard sometimes," Kennedy told The Dallas Morning News. "But he works hard every day. He's a great guy to have on the team."

Palmer picked up 19 home runs in the shortened 1994 season. He then got into just 36 games in 1995, then returned to form for 1996, hitting a career-high 38 home runs.

He moved to the Royals in mid-1997, then got his first All-Star nod in 1998. That year, he hit 34 home runs and hit .278. Late that July, Palmer went on a streak where he hit five home runs in a week after a temporary move to DH.

"I've had good streaks before," Palmer told The AP early that August. "But this is about as good as it gets for me."

Palmer moved to Detroit for 1999 and stayed there through 2003. His final three seasons were limited by injury. He played his final game in May 2003. Palmer tried a brief comeback in spring 2005, but he didn't make it back.
1990 Minor League Tally
Players/Coaches Featured: 2,210
Made the Majors: 935-42.3%
Never Made Majors:1,275-57.7%
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 393
10+ Seasons in the Minors:237

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