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Friday, April 23, 2021

Rafael Ochoa used his ability over four pro seasons; Hoped to make bigs, made single-A

Rafael Ochoa caught the hard liner to right for the final out of this May 1992 win for single-A South Bend, The South Bend Tribune wrote.

"It's a win," South  Bend manager told The Tribune afterward. "All I want is for our guys to play hard all the time. I don't ask that. I demand it. If they do, whatever ability they have will come out."

Ochoa's ability took him to time in four pro seasons. He topped out at single-A.

Ochoa's career began in 1989, signed by the White Sox as a free agent out of his native Venezuela.

Ochoa started with the White Sox in the rookie Gulf Coast League. He got into 17 games and hit .150.

He moved to short-season Utica for 1990. He saw 61 games there and hit .192. He hit a two-run double to help Utica to a 5-4 August win.

The back of his 1990 Utica card provided a window into his (obvious) ambitions as a minor leaguer, though unsurprising - "Rafael's ambition is to become a big league player and be one of the best in the sport."

He returned to Utica for 1991. He hit a two-run double in a June game to help Utica to a win. He scored the go-ahead run in an August game.

Ochoa then moved to single-A South Bend for 1992. His stay, however, proved brief. He saw 12 games, went 6 for 37, then got his release to end his career.

His playing days over, Ochoa soon settled in Miami, where he became a real estate broker associate with Coldwell Banker, according to his LinkedIn profile. He continued in that role in 2021. 

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:3,631
Made the Majors:1,248-34.4%
Never Made Majors:2,383-65.6%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:520
10+ Seasons in the Minors:307

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