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Thursday, May 11, 2023

Phil Maldonado looked fastball at Durham; Saw five seasons, twice briefly made AAA

Phil Maldonado 1990 Durham Bulls card, Maldonado seen holding bat

Durham Bulls catcher Phil Maldonado had a good night at the plate in this April 1990 game. He picked up wo hits, an RBI, a walk and scored a run, The Durham Sun wrote.

Maldonado explained to The Sun why.

"I just looked for the fastball all night," Maldonado told The Sun afterward. "(Kinston starter Tommy) Kramer's got a good fastball and he's going to use it a lot. Tonight I had good results with it."

Maldonado had that night in is fifth season as a pro. It also turned out to be his last. He topped out at AAA.

Maldonado's career began in 1986, taken by the Braves in the 32nd round of the draft out of Texas Tech University.

Maldonado started with the Braves at rookie Idaho Falls. He played both 1986 and 1987 there. He hit .250 and .266.

He saw 15 games at single-A Durham in 1988. He also saw 23 at AA Greenville and one game at AAA Richmond.

Maldonado returned to Durham for 54 games in 1989, and Greenville for nine. He hit .202 between them. At Durham, he caught a young Steve Avery

"I knew right away," Maldonado told The Raleigh News and Observer in 1990 of Avery after Avery made Atlanta. "He was only 18 or 19 years old, but he had a major-league arm."

Maldonado returned to Durham at high-A for 48 games in 1990. He also saw eight at Greenville and four at Richmond. He hit .204 on the year to end his career.

Phil Maldonado 1990 Durham Bulls card, Maldonado seen holding bat

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:4,163
Made the Majors:1,374-33.0%
Never Made Majors:2,789-67.0%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:558
10+ Seasons in the Minors:340

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