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Brian Jeffrey Horwitz

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Outfielder Brian Horwitz hit .481 with 5 doubles, a triple, 10 runs and 12 RBI for Team USA in the 1998 World Youth Championship. He led the team in RBI and tied tourney MVP Tony Richie for the most doubles as the US won their first World Youth Championship.

He hit .347/.405/.535 as a college junior and was drafted in the 26th round of the 2003 amateur draft by the Oakland A's but did not sign. He hit .288/.400/.453 as a senior and went undrafted. Signed by scout Matt Nerland for the San Francisco Giants as a free agent, Horwitz was assigned to the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes and batted .347/.407/.466 to take the Northwest League batting title and lead with 93 hits. He made the league's All-Star team but failed to make Baseball America's list of the circuit's top 20 prospects.

Moving up to the 2005 Augusta GreenJackets, Brian hit .349/.415/.460 with 38 doubles. His average led the South Atlantic League by 18 points and he also had the most two-baggers in the loop. He was named to his second straight All-Star team but again failed to make BA's top 20 prospect list for his league.

Entering 2006 as a career .348 hitter in Organized Baseball, the 23-year-old outfielder batted .324/.414/.425 for the San Jose Giants, went 2 for 16 in a brief look with the Fresno Grizzlies, then was moved up to the Connecticut Defenders in mid-June and hit .286/.365/.349 in 78 games. Had he qualified, he would have tied Randy Ruiz for 7th in the Eastern League in average.

Horwitz split 2007 between Connecticut (.309/.371/.390 in 35 games) and Fresno (.326/.383/.432 in 84 games). Had he qualified, he would have finished 6th in the Pacific Coast League in average. Brian began 2008 with Fresno and batted .294/.351/.441 in 44 games, showing improved power but worse contact. He was promoted to the majors when Dan Ortmeier went on the disabled list. He made his big league debut pinch-hitting for Keiichi Yabu in the bottom of the 10th of a 3-3 game against Mike Adams and struck out swinging.

Sources: 2004-2008 Baseball Almanacs, minorleaguebaseball.com, 5/4/06 article in the Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle by Jonathan Mayo

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