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Sunday, May 9, 2021

Kyle Washington was once traded for Jose Mesa; Played 11 pro seasons, made AA

Sonoma County Crushers manager Paul Deese heaped praise on his outfielder Kyle Washington in June 1995, according to The Santa Rosa Press Democrat.

The praise came even as Washington suffered through a post-injury slump, The Press Democrat wrote.

"I've said it before, Kyle Washington is the best player on the team," Deese told The Press Democrat. "If his knee ever gets completely healthy, he's a major-league prospect. He's got the best arm in the outfield."

Washington went on to prove Deese right, as he hit .370 on the year, with 17 home runs

Washington's 1995 season at independent Sonoma County came two seasons after the end of his affiliated career, and three seasons after he'd been traded straight up for a major leaguer. That major leaguer, Jose Mesa, also had a good year in 1995, with the Indians in Cleveland.

Washington's career began in 1988, taken by the Mets in the sixth round of the draft out of Kishwaukee College in Illinois.

Washington started with the Mets in the rookie Gulf Coast League. He hit .202 in 52 games. He then moved to rookie Kingsport for 1989. He hit .222 there over 62 contests. 

Washington knocked in three in a July game, the first on a sacrifice fly, The Kingsport Times-News wrote.

"I was just looking for a pitch that was up so I could drive it and get the run in," Washington told The Times-News of the sacrifice fly.

Washington played 1990 at short-season Pittsfield. He hit .267 in 62 games. He moved to the Indians system for 1991 and played most of the season at single-A Columbus. He hit .343 at Columbus and took the league batting title.

For 1992, he started at AA Canton-Akron and hit .293 in 67 games. The Indians then traded him to the Orioles for Mesa. 

Washington played the rest of the season at AA Hagerstown, then the next at AA Bowie. He hit .252 in 120 games at Bowie. That season marked his last in affiliated ball.

After a season away, he signed on with Sonoma County for 1995. He stayed with the team for three seasons, hitting double-digit home runs each year. 

He then played at independent Tri-City in 1998 and then Zion and Sacramento in 1999 to end his career.

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:3,645
Made the Majors:1,250-34.3%
Never Made Majors:2,395-65.7%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:521
10+ Seasons in the Minors:308-X

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