Jason Phillips was drafted by the Mets in the 24th Round, 720th overall, of the 1997 draft.
While there was not a lot of fanfare about the pick, he quickly became the Mets top catching prospect and it was assumed for a while that he would bump Piazza from catcher to first. He was generally considered a defense first type catcher, but had plenty of pop and should of been able to hold his own in the bottom of a NL lineup.
He rated the teams #17 prospect in 2001, and #13 in 2002.
He did not really stick in the majors until 2003…it should have been sooner, but the Mets signed Mo Vaughn…and put up pretty good numbers. But then, as it often happens, the pitchers adapted and he did not; he went from an .815 OPS in ’03 to a .624 in ’04. He would start in 2005, but his numbers did not improve at all, and he started riding the AAA-majors shuttle.
Even in the minors his numbers never really recovered, and he was out of baseball by 2008.
But there is a nice ending to the story. He was released by Seattle in 2009, but stuck on as the teams bullpen catcher. He was catching in the pen in a game in Oakland in 2009 when he saw a girl in the stands. He threw a ball up with his number. She texted. Next thing you know, they are getting married in the bullpen at Safeco Field. That is very cute.
I got this autograph while I was deployed, back in 2004. I remember it pretty well: I was happy to see that I had gotten one of my first Spring Training returns, and instead of ripping it open at the post office decided I would really savor it by stopping off at the little coffee shop, getting a drink and a sandwich, and really make an event out of it. Of course, when I got to the coffee should I had lost the envelope. So I retraced by steps and could not find it. I was bummed.
Next day a friend of mine hands me the envelope while we are at work, saying that he found it near his room that evening. Thing had been laying outside all day, but it looked fine.
|162 Game Avg.||481||10||59||39||59||.249||.314||.684||80|