Brian Baker (minors02)

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Brian Baker

BR Minors page

Biographical Information[edit]

Pitcher Brian Baker played in the minor league from 2005 to 2015, reaching AAA but not the majors. As a freshman, he was named the Most Outstanding Player of the 2002 Division II College World Series in which Columbus State University won the title - the only one in school history. He was a NCAA Division II All-American in 2004 and 2005. He was named to the school's athletic Hall of Fame in 2012.

He signed with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays as an undrafted free agent and began his pro career in 2005 with the Princeton Devil Rays of the Appalachian League, going 6-2, 3.90 in 17 games as a reliever. In 2006, he was with the Hudson Valley Renegades of the New York-Penn League, going 0-1, 2.93 in 21 games, with 6 saves. In 2007, he was with the Columbus Catfish of the South Atlantic League, playing full-season ball for the first time, and went 4-3, 2.40 in 39 games, with 7 saves. He was slowly making his way into the category of "prospect", and continued to help his cause in 2008 with another solid season as he went 5-5, 3.49 with 1 save in 46 games for the Vero Beach Devil Rays of the Florida State League.

He started being used as a starting pitcher in 2009, with the Montgomery Biscuits of the AA Southern League, where 18 of his 31 appearances were as a starter. He went 5-6, 4.54, logging 121 innings and in 2010 he had a nice season in AAA for the Durham Bulls of the International League. He finished at 9-5, 3.86 in 37 games, including 12 starts, logging 105 innings. Following the season, he played winter ball for the Leones del Caracas in the Venezuelan League. However, he had hit his professional peak by this time: his 2011 season for Durham proved to be a tough one as he went 7-9, 6.62 as a quasi full-time starter (20 of his 25 games were in the role). He became a free agent after the season and signed with the Milwaukee Brewers. In 2012, he made a couple of starts in AA for the Huntsville Stars but was mainly with the Nashville Sounds of the Pacific Coast League, where he went 4-4, 4.36 in 25 games, again mainly as a starter. Many pitchers with worse records in AAA have been given a shot at the majors, but it wasn't Brian's case, and when he became a free agent again after that season, he could not find another major league organization interested in his services and had to start looking abroad.

In March of 2013, he signed with the Vaqueros Laguna of the Mexican League, going 7-5, 3.93 in 21 games as a starter. After the season, he tried his luck in the Australian Baseball League, with the Perth Heat, going 1-0, 1.69 in 4 games. His top performance came on February 8th, in the final game of the Claxton Shield championship against the Canberra Cavalry, when he combined with Cameron Lamb and Warwick Saupold to pitch a three-hitter in a 2-1 win. In 2015, he split the season in the Mexican League between Laguna and the Broncos de Reynosa, going 3-5 in 10 games, and then finishing the season with the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs of the Atlantic League where he was 1-4, 3.25 in 10 games. His return engagement with Perth was not as successful as the première, as he finished at 2-1, 7.46 in 11 games. He finished his career with one more season with Southern Maryland, going 5-9, 5.15 in 22 games.

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