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Monday, November 1, 2021

Jeff Hulse improved in college, then got drafted; Saw three seasons, made high-A

Jeff Hulse's numbers at Kansas State markedly improved from 1987 to 1988 and Hulse credited playing time, The Manhattan Mercury wrote.

"Last year it was hard to produce because I didn't get to see the field consistently," Hulse told The Mercury.

The catcher hit .319, with nine home runs by that time in April 1988. That proved enough for Hulse to gain the notice of scouts as he soon turned pro. His pro career ended up lasting three seasons. He topped out at high-A.

Hulse's career began that year in 1988, taken by the Royals in the ninth round of the draft out of Kansas State.

While at Kansas State, Hulse also played summers with Hutchinson. In one August 1987 National Baseball Congress World Series game, Hulse led-off a five-run rally with a home run, The Wichita Eagle wrote.

"I had a lot of confidence going in," Hulse told The Eagle afterward. "I think that (homer) got us going. It feels good to start an inning like that."

Hulse started with the Royals at short-season Eugene. He got into 55 games and hit .265. 

He moved to single-A Appleton for 1989. He got into 119 total games there and hit .241. He also hit 10 home runs.

Hulse hit the game-winner in a July 1989 game for Appleton, a long fly ball the carried, then popped out of the outfielder's glove to allow the run to score, The Appleton Post-Crescent wrote.

"(The pitch) was up so all I could try to do was muscle it," Hulse told The Post-Crescent. "I had no idea it was going to carry that far."

Hulse moved to the Phillies and high-A Clearwater for 1990. He hit .221 there over 69 games to end his career.

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:3,769
Made the Majors:1,275-33.8%
Never Made Majors:2,494-66.2%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:525
10+ Seasons in the Minors:313

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