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Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Rey Noriega worked hard in college, turned pro as late-round pick; Saw five seasons, made AAA

Rey Noriega impressed as a freshman at the University of Miami in 1988 as he hit .321 and a teammate explained to The Miami Herald why.

"Rey Noriega is a very hard worker and it's pretty evident in the numbers he's put up," teammate Mike Fiore told The Herald. "He's determined. He's a strong kid, but his biggest attribute is that he's willing to work,  and when you do that, you're going to be successful."

Noriega went on from Miami to the pros. He saw five seasons. He made AAA, but missed the bigs. 

Noriega's career started in 1989, taken by the Yankees in the 60th round of the draft out of Miami. He played his high school ball at Southwest Miami.

Noriega drew notice at Southwest Miami in baseball, football and in track, The Herald wrote.

"He's an amazing kid," Noriega's baseball coach told The Herald in March 1986.

Noriega started with the Yankees in the rookie Gulf Coast League. He hit .296 over 39 games.

He then moved to high-A Fort Lauderdale for 1990 and 1991. He hit .226 his first year there, then .249 in his second.

He returned to Fort Lauderdale for much of 1992, but he also saw AA Albany-Colonie. He hit .103 in 22 games there.

Noriega isn't recorded as playing in 1993 or 1994. He then returned for 1995 for 62 games in the White Sox system. He hit .164 in 20 games at AAA Nashville, but he hit one home run.

"It felt good to hit it," Noriega told The Tennessean that August after hitting his home run. "My timing has been okay, I just haven't been able to see the ball recently."

That season marked Noriega's last as a pro. He's later credited as returning as a coach, with the Marlins at high-A Jupiter in 2017.

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:3,686
Made the Majors:1,255-34.1%
Never Made Majors:2,431-65.9%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:522
10+ Seasons in the Minors:309

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