Julian Yan (minors01)

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Julian Yan.jpg

Julian Yan

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 6' 5", Weight 215 lb.

BR Minors page

Biographical Information[edit]

Slugging first baseman Julian Yan played in the minor leagues for many seasons and hit 402 home runs in his career (not counting the winter leagues). He won two home run titles and finished second three times. Despite that, he never made the major leagues. His career took him to the USA, Mexico, Canada, Taiwan, South Korea and the Dominican Republic.

He originally signed with the Toronto Blue Jays on August 22, 1984, though he played his first season stateside in 1986. That year, he paced the New York-Penn League with 15 home runs (exceeding Todd Zeile's total by one) for the low-A St. Catharines Blue Jays as he hit .273/~.332/.472 in 73 games. He was named the All-Star DH. Baseball America named him the #10 prospect in the NYPL. In 1987, his average dropped to .231 (.299 OBP, .389 SLG) with 129 strikeouts, yet he still managed 17 home runs and 71 RBI for the Single-A Myrtle Beach Pelicans. He was second on Myrtle Beach in homers, ahead of Mark Whiten, Junior Felix, Francisco Cabrera and Tom Quinlan among others who would make the majors.

He spent both 1988 and 1989 with the Single-A Dunedin Blue Jays, hitting .249/.316/.408 with 16 home runs and 75 RBI in the former season, finishing second in the Florida State League in both home runs and RBI (behind Brian Morrison and Dave Hansen, respectively). His 31 errors led FSL first basemen. In the latter season, he hit .250/.330/.474 with 24 home runs and 72 RBI, leading the league in dingers, total bases (218) and strikeouts (130). He failed to win All-Star honors as Henry Rodriguez was chosen at first base.

From 1990 to 1992, Yan played for the Double-A Knoxville Blue Jays. In his first year with the team, he batted .244/.297/.422 with 15 home runs and 48 RBI in 113 games and in 1991, he hit .280/.332/.480 with 16 home runs and 61 RBI in 103 games. Had he qualified, he would have been 8th in the Southern League in batting average. He wrapped up his tenure with the team by hitting .270/.325/.472 with 16 home runs and 49 RBI in 1992. He led the SL with six intentional walks.

He moved further up the organizational ladder in 1993 and 1994, playing for the Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs. In 1993, he batted .266/.301/.410 with 7 home runs and 36 RBI in 91 games (backing up Domingo Martinez at first) and in 1994, he hit .259/.333/.432 with two home runs and 11 RBI in 34 games. On June 8, 1994, he was released by the Blue Jays.

The Montreal Expos signed him on February 13, 1995 and he spent the next two seasons with the Triple-A Ottawa Lynx. He had a career resurgence in 1995 as he hit .280/.310/.532 with 22 home runs and 79 RBI in 114 games, though he continued to battle with the strikeout as he whiffed 90 times in 372 at-bats (with only 15 walks, perhaps a problem of his large strike zone due to his weight). He led first basemen in the 1995 International League with a .997 fielding percentage and tied Carlos Delgado for fourth in the circuit in circuit clouts. In 1996, he hit .184/.248/.309 with four home runs and 21 RBI in 48 games as a backup to Ryan McGuire and was granted free-agency following the season.

From 1997 to 1999, Yan played primarily in the Mexican League, spending time with the Aguascalientes Rieleros (.302/.330/.496 in 1997), Reynosa Broncos (.312/.402/.485 in 1998) and Cordoba Cafeteros (.291/.397/.550 in 1999). He spent the last couple months of 1997 with the Chinatrust Whales in the CPBL but hit only .209/.221/.328 in 23 games. He also spent 28 games with the Atlantic City Surf of the independent Atlantic League in 1999, hitting .242/.296/.545 with eight home runs and 17 RBI. His 27 homers in the '99 Mexican League were one shy of pacesetter Mike Meggers.

Yan had the best year of his professional career in 2000. He began the season with the Cordoba Cafeteros, with whom he hit .332/.407/.647 with 38 home runs and 129 RBI in 117 games—it was a highly offensive league, however, so despite posting such gaudy numbers, he led the league in only one category, RBI (8 ahead of Warren Newson). He was third in home runs behind Eduardo Jimenez and Newson. He then signed with the Atlantic City Surf at the end of August, hitting .304/.376/.579 with 9 home runs and 30 RBI in 30 games with them. Combined, Yan slugged 47 home runs and had 159 RBI while hitting .326 with 104 runs scored, 178 hits, 28 doubles and 347 total bases in 147 games (546 at-bats). Yan then spent 2001 with the Korea Baseball Organization’s Lotte Giants, hitting .270/.367/.479 with 17 home runs.

He returned to North America in 2002, playing for Cordoba once again and hitting .283/.363/.503 with 24 home runs and 70 RBI. He also managed for the first time that year, leading the Cafeteros for part of their 37-71 record and a last-place finish in the Mexican League’s Southern Division. In 2003, he hit .297/.388/.484 with 18 home runs and 90 RBI for the Puebla Pericos and finishing second in RBI, 5 behind Guillermo Garcia. In 2004, he played for the Tabasco Olmecas and posted a .279/.358/.419 line.

To start the 2005 season, Yan was again with the Olmecas de Tabasco and slugged 32 home runs in 109 matches, batting .258/.385/.551 average with 87 RBI. He led the Mexican League with 109 strikeouts but was also tied for third in home runs, even with Carlos Valencia and behind Roberto Saucedo and Jorge Vazquez. He finished the summer with a return to independent ball and played for the Atlantic City Surf, hitting .318/.375/.659 with nine home runs and 19 RBI in 24 games. In total, he hit .269 with 41 home runs, 106 RBI and 276 total bases in 133 games that year. He also managed the Olmecas for part of 2005, being replaced by Mario Mendoza on May 9. He returned to Tabasco in 2006 and hit only .214/.297/.286 with one home run and three RBI in 18 games.

Yan played his final season in 2007 and certainly went out with a bang. In 106 games with the Rieleros de Aguascalientes, he hit .290/.370/.574 with 30 home runs and 90 RBI. The 41-year-old did not lead the league in any categories (though he was only one home run behind leader Donny Leon and ranked 4th in RBI), though he did pace the team in all major categories save for hits, triples, stolen bases, batting average and on-base percentage.

Yan also spent many seasons playing for the Azucareros del Este of the Dominican Winter League.