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Sunday, May 1, 2022

Steve Michael started as pitcher, but loved playing every day; Saw four pro seasons, made high-A

Steve Michael made the move to hitter in his second pro season in 1988, after spending his first season on the mound.

He then had some success with short-season Elmira - and enjoyed it more. In one July game, he picked up two hits and hit the ball hard each time to bat, The Elmira Star-Gazette wrote.

"I'm trying to see the ball better, not guessing," Michael told The Star-Gazette after that July game. "I love playing every day. I hated sitting there for four days."

Michael managed to play every day over the next two seasons. He played four pro campaigns in all. He topped out at high-A.

Michael's career began in 1987, taken by the Red Sox in the fifth round of the draft out of Emporia State University in Kansas. Michael was also credited as Harry Michael.

Michael started with the Red Sox at Elmira, as a pitcher. He went 3-9 over 16 starts, with a 4.10 ERA. 

He spoke to his hometown Vancouver Columbian at year's end, about his record and his choice to forgo his senior season in college to turn pro.

"I still felt it was the right move," Michael told The Columbian. "It was a pretty good offer."

Michael then returned to Elmira for 1988, mostly as an outfielder, though he did see six outings as a pitcher. He hit .262 over 34 games and went 0-1, with a 10.13 ERA as a pitcher.

Michael saw a third campaign at Elmira in 1989, where he hit .240 over 67 games. He also found a new position, seeing 36 games at first base.

"I'm just happy to be playing," Michael told The Star-Gazette that July. "Even if they release me this winter, I have no regrets."

Michael ended up returning for 1990, but moving up to high-A Winter Haven. He saw 102 games that year and hit .211, with nine home runs. That season marked his last as a pro.

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:3,904
Made the Majors:1,301-33.3%
Never Made Majors:2,603-66.7%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:528
10+ Seasons in the Minors:325

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