Player: Brent Abernathy
Born: September 23rd, 1977 (Currently 37 years old)
Positions: 2B, LF, DH
Drafted: 2nd Round, Pick #44 of the 1996 MLB draft out of Lovett High School in Atlanta, GA by the Toronto Blue Jays
End of Tenure: April 4th, 2003 claimed by the Kansas City Royals
* - Only played in the Minor Leagues
Retired: 2009, Career span of 13 years, (1997-2009)
Rays Stat Line: 1 WAR, .251 AVG, .302 OBP, .638 OPS, 7 HR, 73 RBI, 19 SB
Brent Abernathy was drafted in the 2nd round of the 1996 draft by the Toronto Blue Jays. It took all the way until August 24th for the Blue Jays to sign Abernathy. He started he career the following April at class A Hagerstown. Abernathy hit well at each level and slowly moved up the latter to the show.
Heading into 2000, Abernathy was 7th in the Blue Jays system, behind some notable players (1. Vernon Wells, 2. Felipe Lopez, 3. Cesar Izturis, 4. Michael Young, and 2 former Rays, Josh Phelps and Gary Glover). Abernathy started the season with AAA Syracuse and continued to hit well. When the 2000 Trade Deadline came, Toronto was in desperate need of pitching. So, the Blue Jays traded their up and coming prospect to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays for Steve Trachsel and Mark Guthrie, who coincidentally was dealt to Tampa 2 months earlier for current managerial candidate, Dave Martinez.
One of the few high points in Abernathy's career were the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia where he played for Team USA. During the 9 Olympic games, Abernathy recorded the most at bats and hit .385 to help Team USA win the gold. Abernathy finished the season with AAA Durham and at the beginning for the 2001 season, he was ranked 6th in the Devil Rays system behind; 1. Josh Hamilton, 2. Jason Standridge, 3. Carl Crawford, 4. Aubrey Huff, and 5. Jesus Colome.
Brent Abernathy made his major league debut 11 months after the 2000 Trade Deadline in Boston on June 25th, 2001. The first pitcher he would face would be David Cone in the top of the 2nd inning. Cone would walk him. In his next at bat, Cone would get him to fly out to Trot Nixon in center.
In the top of the 6th, with the Devil Rays trailing 5-10, the Red Sox brought out Rich Garces to face the bottom of the Devil Rays order (Mike Difelice, Abernathy, and Andy Sheets). With a 2-0 count, Difelice launched a solo shot over the monster in the left. Now it was Abernathy's turn. Abernathy fouled off Garces' first 2 offerings and took the next 2 for balls. On the 5th pitch, Abernathy sent a solo shot of his own over the monster for his first career hit, RBI, and Home Run.
Unfortunately for Abernathy, he wouldn't have that much success in a D-Rays uniform, or any MLB uniform. He spent the rest of the 2001 season and the entire 2002 season on the big league roster. One of Abernathy's lone claims to fame, came on April 27th 2002 when he was the lone Devil Ray to reach base against Derek Lowe during his no-hitter when he walked to lead off the 3rd. He played 3 games in 2003 for Tampa, then was optioned to AAA Durham. He played 1 game there, than was claimed by the Kansas City Royals.
Abernathy spent most of his career in AAA jumping around with various teams. He occasionally returned to the majors, but only for cups of coffee. He retired from professional baseball in 2009 after 2 years in the Independent League.
Career Stat Line: 0.0 WAR, .244 AVG, .297 OBP, .622 OPS, 8 HR, 79 RBI, 21 SB
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