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Sunday, November 6, 2022

Jeff Pearce started as an outfielder, finished as a pitcher; Saw six pro seasons, made high-A

Jeff Pearce started as a pro in the outfield. Later, a shoulder injury caused him to change positions - to pitcher, The Los Angeles Times wrote in May 1996.

The Times caught up with Pearce as he returned to the California League and Rancho Cucamonga as a visitor with high-A Lancaster. 

"I never thought I'd be here again," Pearce told The Times then.

Pearce arrived at Lancaster in his sixth pro season. It also proved his last. He topped out at high-A.

Pearce's career began in 1990, taken by the Padres in the sixth round of the draft out of Pepperdine University.

Pearce started with the Padres at short-season Spokane. He got into 21 games and hit .162.

He moved to single-A Charleston for 1991 and saw 117 games. He hit .277. He then saw single-A Waterloo for 1992 and hit .271 over 118 games.

That August with Waterloo, Pearce went 2 for 4, with a home run and a two-run triple against rival Peoria, The Waterloo Courier wrote.

"The hits just seem to fall in for me when we play Peoria," Pearce told The Courier. "I'm just getting lucky."

Pearce moved to high-A Rancho Cucamonga for 1993. He hit .281 in 101 games. He then arrived in independent ball at Thunder Bay for 1994. He saw 51 total games and hit .237. But he also got 10 games on the mound.

For 1995, Pearce signed with the Mariners as a pitcher. He got into 27 games in relief, with a 7.03 ERA. He moved to high-A Lancaster for 1996. He got into 21 games in relief there, with a 2.08 ERA to end his career.

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:4,064
Made the Majors:1,348-33.2%
Never Made Majors:2,716-66.8%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:548
10+ Seasons in the Minors:333

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