Drew Maggi

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Andrew Jerome Maggi

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Biographical Information[edit]

Infielder Drew Maggi began his professional career in 2010. It took him 13 years and 1,154 minor league games before he finally made it into a big league game in 2023, after missing out on an opportunity to do so two years earlier.

Maggi won state titles in both baseball and football in high school. He was originally drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 47th round of the 2008 amateur draft, but opted not to sign. He hit .309/.442/.392 as a freshman at Arizona State, becoming the starter at short by the midway point. He scored 63 runs and stole 21 bases in 61 games. He broke the school records for steals and runs by a freshman; Barry Bonds had a share of the stolen base record (16). He tied for second in the Pac-10 Conference in runs (behind only Jason Kipnis), was second in swipes (also behind Kipnis), tied for 4th in triples (5) and tied for 6th with 40 walks.

As a sophomore in 2010, he continued to shine - .326/.411/.444, 54 R, 36 SB in 45 tries over 62 games. He was 6th in the Pac-10 in runs, 4th in hits (85), first in steals (9 ahead of Niko Gallego) and tied Adalberto Santos for 5th in walks (36). He tied for 13th in NCAA Division I in stolen bases. He was named All-Conference at SS. He was with Team USA's college edition that summer, leading the team in steals. He was named the Outstanding Defensive Player in the 2010 World University Championship, in which the US got the Silver Medal.

He did ink a contract after being taken by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 15th round of the 2010 amateur draft, one round before Matt Curry. The scout was Larry Broadway.

He began his career by stealing five bases (only caught once) in 18 games -- speed had been one of his best assets in college as well. He hit .156/.257/.203 with nearly as many errors (8) as runs (9). In 2011, he stole 32 bases but was caught 18 times. He hit .267/.361/.357 in 125 games for the West Virginia Power and was 0 for 2 with a walk for the Bradenton Marauders. He tied four others for 6th in the South Atlantic League in swipes and was second in caught stealing (one behind Rafael Ortega). He was second in the Pirates chain in swipes (two behind Raul Fortunato) and was 5th in walks (65).

In 2012, he swiped 22 bags in 27 tries while splitting time between Bradenton (.241/.352/.308 in 54 G) and the Altoona Curve (.218/.299/.263 in 53 G). Maggi tallied another 18 steals (in 24 tries) in 2013, hitting .254/.338/.333 for Altoona; by now, he was a utility man, playing 10-26 games at SS, LF, 1B and 2B and also seeing action at 3B and RF. For the 2014 Curve, he improved his batting line to .280/.382/.340 and went 37-for-56 in steal attempts in another utility role, playing all four infield slots and the corner outfield. He was 4th in the Eastern League in steals but first in times caught. He led Pirates farmhands in both steals (7 over Chase d'Arnaud) and times caught. In the 2014 Eastern League All-Star Game, he replaced Francisco Lindor at 2B for the West in the 6th inning of a 5-2 win. He struck out against Cody Satterwhite in his lone at-bat.

Released by the Pirates prior to the start of the 2015 campaign, he signed with the Los Angeles Angels and began the year at Double-A. He earned a spot on the Texas League Mid-Season All-Star club.

It took 11 years and over 1,000 minor league games for Maggi to make it to the Show, but he finally did when he was added to the major league roster by the Minnesota Twins on September 18, 2021, following injuries to Rob Refsnyder and Andrelton Simmons. However, he never got a chance to play in any games for which he was eligible, remaining a phantom major leaguer. He got a second chance two years later, on April 22, 2023, when the Pittsburgh Pirates called him up from the AA Altoona Curve where he had started the season. After sitting out his first few games, he finally made his first appearance in a game on April 26th, when he struck out against Alex Vesia as a pinch-hitter for Andrew McCutchen in the 8th inning of an 8-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers. He received a standing ovation from the crowd at PNC Park when he was announced into the game, and afterwards manager Derek Shelton quipped that everyone was getting on his case about when he would finally use Maggi in a game - including his wife. He made his first career start the next day, at third base in place of Ke'Bryan Hayes in a 6-2 win over the Dodgers; he went hitless in three at-bats. His first hit came on April 29th, a single up the middle as a pinch-hitter off Hobie Harris of the Washington Nationals in the 7th inning of a 16-1 win in the second game of a doubleheader. He then added a double against position player Lane Thomas, who was pitching mop-up relief, in the 9th. He had been sent back to Altoona before the two games, but had been allowed to remain on the roster as the "27th man" because of the twinbill". His week in the bigs had made him a minor celebrity in baseball circles across the land.

His brother, Beau Maggi, began his professional career in 2012. They had been the sixth set of brothers to be teammates on the ASU baseball team (doing so in 2010).

Primary Sources[edit]

Further Reading[edit]

  • Justice delos Santos: "Bucs add 13-year Minor League veteran to big league roster: 33-year-old Maggi could finally make 1st appearance in The Show", mlb.com, April 23, 2023. [1]
  • Justice delos Santos: "'Phantom ballplayer' no more, Maggi a big leaguer after 13 years", mlb.com, April 27, 2023. [2]
  • Steve Gartner (USA Today): "Pirates call up 33-year-old career minor leaguer Drew Maggi from Class AA", Yahoo! News, April 23, 2023. [3]
  • Do-Hyoung Park: "After 11 years in Minors, Maggi a big leaguer", mlb.com, September 18, 2021. [4]
  • Joe Trezza: "For Maggi, 1st MLB hit proves 'you can do anything'", mlb.com, April 30, 2023. [5]

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