Billy Sylvester

From BR Bullpen

William Eugene Sylvester

BR Minors page

Biographical Information[edit]

Billy Sylvester pitched in the minor leagues from 1997 to 2006. He was not drafted and signed with the Atlanta Braves as an amateur free agent before the 1997 season. His first two pro seasons were as a starting pitcher, but after going 0-11, 6.51 for the Eugene Emeralds of the Northwest League in 1998, he was moved to the bullpen. He had a great season in 2000 for the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, going 3-0, 0.79 with 16 games in 32 games. He played in the 2001 Futures Game for the U.S. Team, a year when he saved 23 games while reaching AAA for the first time. However, that season was a tale of two cities, as he went 1-0, 2.37 in 26 games for the Greenville Braves in AA, but 0-4, 5.11 in 36 games for the Richmond Braves.

He continued to split his seasons between Greenville and Richmond over the next two seasons, 2002 and 2003, saving 26 and 18 games respectively. However, he was never called up to the Show. In 2004 moved to the Texas Rangers organization. Once again, he was outstanding in AA, but struggled in AAA to finish at 5-5, 4.18 with 12 saves. From 2000 to 2004, he was an All-Star during four of his five seasons, once in the Carolina League, twice in the Southern League and once in the Texas League. He is Greenville's all-time saves leader with 55. In 2005, he bombed with the Sacramento RiverCats, the AAA affiliate of the Oakland Athletics, with an ERA of 11.57 in 12 games, but then found his footing back in AA with the Harrisburg Senators in the Washington Nationals system, where he was 2-4, 4.35 in 26 games. In 2005, he made 2 starts with Harrisburg but lost both and washed out of organized baseball. After one final season as a starter in the independent leagues in 2006, with the Somerset Patriots of the Atlantic League, he called it a day.

Sylvester returned to school after his playing career, earning a business degree from Limestone College. He coached baseball on the side to earn a living and in 2013 was appointed head baseball coach at Darlington (SC) High School. He later worked as a social sciences teacher and baseball coach at Johnsonville High School and later at Myrtle Beach High School. He also runs a baseball academy, Swingman Baseball, on the side.

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