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Sunday, October 9, 2022

Tony Mortensen changed colleges, turned out well enough to make pros; Saw three seasons, made high-A

Tony Mortensen started out on scholarship at Fresno State. But, for his senior year, he left his scholarship behind for Division II Cal State Stanislaus, The Los Angeles Times wrote.

Mortensen cited enjoyment as his reason for the move, The Times wrote.

"I wanted to spend my senior year somewhere I would enjoy playing," Mortensen told The Times in February 1990. "It's turned out well so far."

For Mortensen, it eventually turned out well enough for him to sign professionally. He played three seasons and topped out at high-A.

Mortensen's career began that year in 1990, signed by the Padres as a free agent out of Cal State Stanislaus. Mortensen was also credited as Anthony Mortensen.

At Stanislaus, Mortensen went 7-6, with a 2.89 ERA. He threw seven complete games. He went there after spending his junior year used sparingly at Fresno State, and then his first two years at the College of Southern Idaho.

Mortensen started with the Padres at short-season Spokane. He went 4-2, with a 3.77 ERA over 18 games, six starts. 

He moved to single-A Waterloo for 1991. He got into 19 outings there, six starts, and went 5-2, with a 3.10 ERA. 

Mortensen picked up a relief win in a June 1991 game, pitching the eighth inning and striking out one. In early July, Mortensen and another reliever retired 14 batters in a row in a late win, The Waterloo Courier wrote.

"I'm throwing a lot better since I've been in the bullpen," Mortensen told The Courier. "The walks were what got me in trouble before. I'm finally starting to cut down on them."

Mortensen then moved to high-A High Desert for 1992. He saw 15 relief appearances, one start. He went 2-0, with a 6.28 ERA to end his career.

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:4,046
Made the Majors:1,344-33.2%
Never Made Majors:2,702-66.8%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:548
10+ Seasons in the Minors:333

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