Baldelli was originally selected by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in the first round (6th overall) of the 2000 MLB Draft. After breaking out as a prospect, the “Woonsocket Rocket” was even dubbed “my Joe DiMaggio” by then-owner Vince Namoli.
Though Baldelli never lived up to those lofty expectations due to injuries (including Tommy John surgery) and those expectations being — well — ridiculous, he was still on his way to solid major league career, before he was finally diagnosed with a rare metabolic/muscular disorder (eventually identified as mitochondrial channelopathy).
Baldelli played through the disorder for several years as he and the team searched for an effective treatment, and even played a pivotal role in the 2008 playoffs, homering in both the ALCS against Boston and in the World Series against the Phillies. His playing career ended in 2010.
Since then, the popular Baldelli has served in numerous capacities within the Rays organization, including Special Assistant for Baseball Operations, first base coach, and most recently in the newly created position of major-league field coordinator in the dugout.
Take care of him, Twinkies. You are getting a good one.