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Sunday, August 6, 2023

Jeff Darwin used his pitches to make majors over three seasons; Followed brother Danny to bigs

Jeff Darwin 1990 Peninsula Pilots card

Peninsula Pilots hurler Jeff Darwin posted the shutout this night in May 1992, a performance where at one point he set down 17 straight batters, The Newport News Daily Press wrote.

Darwin attributed his success that night to his pitches working.

"You can do a lot when you're throwing three pitches for strikes," Darwin told The Daily Press.

Darwin pitched that year in his fourth pro season. He ultimately had his pitches working enough to see the pros over 11 campaigns - three of those with time in the majors.

Darwin's career began in 1988, taken by the Mariners in the 13th round of the draft out of Alvin Junior College in Texas.

Darwin's move to the pros followed his brother Danny's more than a decade earlier. Danny Darwin went on to play two decades in the majors, and even two springs with his brother Jeff.

Jeff Darwin started with the Mariners in 1989 at short-season Bellingham. He saw 12 starts and went 1-7, with a 4.92 ERA. 

He made high-A Peninsula in 1990, then high-A San Bernardino in 1991. He started 1993 at AA Jacksonville, then moved to the Marlins and AAA Edmonton in a mid-season trade. The Marlins then sent him back to Seattle in the offseason.

Then, in June 1994, Darwin debuted in the majors with Seattle. He saw two outings and gave up six earned in four innings. He then returned to AAA and played 1995 at AAA Tacoma. 

He moved to the White Sox in a trade for 1996. He not only saw Chicago, but saw some regular major league playing time. He got into 22 games in relief and turned in a 2.93 ERA. 

To The Arlington Heights Daily Herald that August, Darwin credited his success then to advice he'd received from his brother, for throwing inside.

"It's something he's talked to me about a lot," Darwin told The Daily Herald. "To be successful up here, you have to throw inside. He's drilled that into my head."

Darwin returned to the White Sox for 14 more outings in 1997. He went 0-1, with a 5.27 ERA. Darwin's time with the White Sox that year also almost coincided with playing with his brother, as the White Sox traded Danny just before Jeff got called up.

The two spent another spring together in 1998 with the Giants. Danny spent one last year in the majors then. Jeff spent that year at AAA Fresno, then time with the Padres at AAA Las Vegas in 1999. He didn't return to the majors.

Jeff Darwin 1990 Peninsula Pilots card

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:4,199
Made the Majors:1,379-32.8%-X
Never Made Majors:2,820-67.2%
5+ Seasons in the Majors:560
10+ Seasons in the Minors:344

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