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Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Kevin Baez showed guts enough to see bigs over three seasons

Kevin Baez 1990 Jackson Mets card
Kevin Baez had just been called back to the majors in April 1992 when the Mets' regular shortstop went down, The New York Times wrote.

Baez then found himself in the middle of the game-saving double-play - and hurt his own finger in the process, getting blood on the incoming runner's helmet, The Times wrote.

"He showed me guts," Mets' second baseman Willie Randolph told The Times of Baez.

Baez showed guts enough to make the majors over three seasons, for 63 total appearances. He's gone on to a career as a manager in independent ball.

Baez' career in baseball began in 1988, taken by the Mets in the seventh round of the draft out of Dominican College in Orangeburg, NY.

Baez started with the Mets at short-season Little Falls. He hit .266 in 70 games. He moved to single-A Columbia in 199, then AA Jackson in 1990.

Baez hit .233 at Jackson, but still got a call up directly to Flushing that September. He saw five games and went 2 for 12.

Baez returned to the minors in 1991 at AAA Tidewater. He saw 65 games and hit .171. He then saw the Mets again that year in 1992. He got into six games and went 2 for 13. He got picked off first as a pinch-runner in another April game.

Baez saw the most time in his major league career in 1993. He got into 52 games and hit .183. He also drove in seven.

Baez continued playing in the minors for much of the next decade, without returning to the majors. He went through the systems of the Orioles, Tigers, Twins, Reds and Mets.

In 2002, he got his first look at independent ball with the Long Island Ducks. He played with Long Island over four seasons. He saw his final time in 2005.

He then turned to coaching with the same Long Island squad. In 2010, the team made him manager.

"As we head into our 12th season, we are excited to have Kevin lead our team," Ducks owner Frank Boulton said in a statement, according to Newsday. "He brings a wealth of experience as a player and a coach, and I am certain he will enjoy great success at the helm."

For 2019, Baez is serving as manager at independent Rockland.

1990 Minor League Tally
Players/Coaches Featured:3,149
Made the Majors:1,143-36.3%-X
Never Made Majors:2,006-63.7%
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 475
10+ Seasons in the Minors:283

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