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Felipe Crespo

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Felipe Javier Crespo Claudio

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[edit] Biographical Information

Felipe Crespo was a marginal infielder-outfielder who had one solid season at AAA, made the playoffs with the San Francisco Giants, was involved in a statistical quirk, was traded for a former closer, played in Japan for one season, and hasn't been in baseball since 2004.

Crespo was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 3rd round (95th overall) of the 1990 amateur draft. The Puerto Rican infielder-outfielder advanced at a steady pace through the Blue Jays' farm system, showing a good average and eye, and some power. (His final minor league numbers were .283/~.378/.443.)

In 1996, Crespo looked like a lock at second base in the majors, but suffered an injury. [1]

Crespo reached the majors in 1996, but only played in 22 big-league games with 49 at-bats. He played 10 games at second base, 6 games at third base, and 2 games at first base. In 1997 he split time between the Blue Jays and the AAA-Syracuse Sky Chiefs. With the Blue Jays, he played 7 games at third base, 2 at DH and 1 at second base.

The 1998 season saw Crespo finally sticking in the Majors, playing predominantly in the outfield (25 games in right field, 19 in left field, 10 in the infield). Crespo finished with a middling line of .262/.342/.362.

In spring training of 1999, he was released by the Blue Jays and signed a month later by the San Francisco Giants. Crespo spent the entire 1999 season with the AAA Fresno Grizzlies where the 26 year-old had a breakout season with 24 home runs, 84 RBI and 17 stolen bases and a line of .332/~.447/.616. He had a 20 game streak where he hit .514. That year, he led the Pacific Coast League in slugging on-base percentage.

Crespo re-signed with the Giants for the 2000 season, earning $232,000. He appeared in 89 games with 131 at-bats, spending 27 games in the outfield, 11 games at first base, 7 games at second base and 1 game at DH. Crespo finished with a solid .290/.351/.443. In 50 at-bats with RISP in 2000, he drove in 24 runs. That season also saw his only playoff action, appearing as a pinch hitter in 4 games, hitting .250 with one single in 4 at-bats. The Giants lost to the New York Mets in the 2000 NL Division Series.

The Giants brought back Crespo for the 2001 season at a price of $425,000 and filled in for 16 games at first base and 2 games at second base. On June 7, the San Diego Padres beat the Giants, 10–7. Felipe's brother Cesar Crespo hit his first major league homer for San Diego, while Felipe, playing 1B for the Giants in J.T. Snow's absence, hit a pair. It was the 9th time that brothers on opposing teams had both homered in the same game. The last time was when Bret Boone and Aaron Boone did it in the previous season.

Crespo was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies on July 27 for former closer Wayne Gomes, because the Phillies felt they needed to improve their bench. Despite his .197 average with the Giants, Crespo was one of the top pinch-hitters that season. He was 10 for 43 in the role, with 3 doubles, 2 homers and 7 RBI while drawing 6 walks.

Crespo continued to serve as the designated pinch-hitter for the Phillies, with 44 at-bats in 33 games. Crespo was absolutely terrible with the Phillies, with a .171 average and .527 OPS. His poor hitting may have been caused by plantar fasciitis, a painful foot injury for which he was placed on the disabled list by the Giants in April. [2]

For the 2002 season, Crespo joined the Yomiuri Giants of Japan. He continued to hit poorly, posting a .122 average and .533 OPS, with only 41 at-bats in 24 games. Crespo returned to America in 2003, earning an invitation to spring training with the Cincinnati Reds. Crespo went 2 for 8 with 1 RBI in the Grapefruit League, then spent the rest of the season at AAA Louisville. Crespo improved, with a line of .244/.330/.350.

In 2004, Crespo was a non-roster invitee with the Florida Marlins in spring training. He went 1 for 6 with a run scored. The Marlins reassigned him to the minor league camp [3]

At that point, Felipe decided to retire. He then ran a real estate business in his hometown Caguas, Puerto Rico.

Crespo also played in the Puerto Rico Winter Baseball League with the Caguas Creoles, Carolina Giants and Santurce Crabbers.

[edit] Sources

  1. Rotoman (May, 1996). "Ask Rotoman: April-May 1996". AskRotoman.com. Google's Cache. Retrieved July 23, 2006.
  2. MLB.com (April 24, 2003). "Major League Baseball: Transactions". MLB.com. MLB. Retrieved July 23, 2006.
  3. AP? (March 12, 2004). "JDM Scoresheet Rookie Reports: Rookies 2004". AtthePlate.com. AP Wire?. Retrieved July 23, 2006.

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