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Dewon Brazelton

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Dewon Cortez Brazelton

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[edit] Biographical Information

Dewon Brazelton was drafted third overall, behind Joe Mauer and Mark Prior, in the 2001 amateur draft. He was picked ahead of Mark Teixeira, among other prominent names, and there was pressure on the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, who picked him, to justify their selection of a relatively unheralded player from a college without much of a baseball tradition. On the other hand, he had been a consensus All-American after finishing third in NCAA Division I in ERA (1.42) behind Lee Gronkiewicz and Todd Pennington, tied for 12th in wins (13-2) and 5th in strikeouts (154, trailing Prior, Kenny Baugh, Justin Pope and Shane Komine. He was rushed to the majors, a little over a year after he was drafted, and struggled with his control, walking more batters than he struck out over his major league career. His best year was 2004, when he went 6-8, 4.77 in 22 games (21 starts), and struck out 64 batters in 120 2/3 innings, while walking 53 and allowing 121 hits. He then regressed significantly in 2005, falling to 1-8, 7.61, and was dealt to the San Diego Padres after the season for another big-time draft bust, Sean Burroughs. He only made 9 appearances with the Padres early in 2006, going 0-2 with an ERA of 12.00.

He did not only struggle in the big leagues: in 6 minor league seasons form 2002 to 2007, he never posted a winning record, his best being a 2-2 mark in 2005, and never won more than 6 games in a season. He washed out of organized baseball after posting a 7.11 ERA over 4 starts for the Omaha Royals, all of them losses, in 2007, then reappeared in the Independent Leagues in 2009. He was 6-8, 3.69, in 22 starts with the Camden Riversharks of the Atlantic League that year, then made two starts with the Kansas City T-Bones of the Northern League in 2010.

The book The Story of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays points out that he is one of the few major league pitchers ever to have a triple play performed behind him in his major league debut.

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