Wednesday, June 3, 2015
#431 Rich Amaral
About the Back: Three years seems like an awfully long time to spend in Pittsfield, MA. That was the Cubs' AA affiliate at the time. If not for the White Sox drafting Amaral in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 draft, he may well have spent a fourth year there. Instead, Rich played for the Pale Hose AA club in Birmingham in 1989.
1. Amaral still qualified as a rookie in 1993 at age 31, when he batted .290/.348/.367 with 19 stolen bases in 30 tries for Seattle. His 421 plate appearances that year would remain a career high.
2. In a big league career that spanned 10 seasons with the Mariners and Orioles, Rich played at least 40 games at every position except for pitcher and catcher.
3. He and his son Beau both starred collegiately for UCLA's baseball team. The younger Amaral was a seventh-round draft pick with the Reds in 2012, and is currently an outfielder at AA Pensacola.
11-Year-Old Kevin Says: Rich "Protect Your Car With" Amaral. I can only imagine the useful facts that might have been crowded out of my brain by Chris Berman nicknames.
Bill James Said: "Most backup infielders are good glove/no hit guys who can also run; Amaral is a better hitter than most middle infielders and can also steal bases, but his glovework kept him out of a job until last year."
On This Date in 1993: June 3. Draft time! The Mariners choose wisely with the first overall pick, taking a high school shortstop from Miami named Alex Rodriguez. Other notable first round selections include Trot Nixon (7th overall), Billy Wagner (12th), Derrek Lee (14th), Chris Carpenter (15th), Torii Hunter (20th), and Jason Varitek (21st). The Twins take Hunter and Varitek with back-to-back picks, but are unable to reach an agreement with the latter, a Scott Boras client.