Tuesday, August 19, 2014

#264 Paul Sorrento

About the Front: Good action shot, bringing a little photographic variety to the set. Paul Sorrento is either racing to the bag for an unassisted putout or to catch a toss from his pitcher. The glove appears to be clamped shut, so I think he has the ball.

About the Back: Rats! I was going to use that tidbit about the first Camden Yards home run later in this post. It was a three-run shot off of Bob Milacki, by the by.

Triple Play:

1. Sorrento was traded from the Angels to the Twins in the deal that sent future Hall of Famer Bert Blyleven to the Halos.

2. He hit a career-high 31 home runs with Seattle in 1997.

3. Paul is now coaching in the Angels' organization; he spent some time on the big league staff earlier this season while Don Baylor was recovering from a broken femur.

11-Year-Old Kevin Says: I perceived Sorrento as a thorn in the Orioles' side, what with the links to Camden Yards history (his second-inning single on April 6, 1992 was the first-ever base hit in the ballpark), as well as his ninth-inning solo homer in Game Three of the 1997 ALDS, which helped delay Baltimore's clinching of the series. But over the course of his career, the first baseman wasn't so great against the O's: .215/.297/.341 in 293 plate appearances, with eight home runs and 38 RBI in 74 games.

Bill James Said: "He is 28 now, past the age at which players normally improve, although there have been cases where players needed a thousand at bats or so before reaching their full potential as hitters." Paul was roughly as productive from 1994-1997 as he'd been in his first two seasons as a regular, but fell off when he arrived in Tampa Bay in 1998 and was finished a year later.

On This Date in 1993: August 19. The Yankees signed 18-year-old Victor Zambrano as an amateur free agent from Venezuela. He went 45-44 with a 4.64 ERA in a seven-year MLB career (2001-2007), though his legacy is as the pitcher that the Mets inexplicably traded prospect Scott Kazmir to acquire.

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