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Jeff Bianchi

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Jeffrey Thomas Bianchi

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Infielder Jeff Bianchi made it to the majors in 2012.

As a high school senior, Bianchi hit .516 with 15 home runs, 48 runs and 48 RBI in 91 at-bats. He was named Gatorade Player of the Year for Pennsylvania in 2005. Baseball America named him a second-team All-American infielder, with the first team going to C.J. Henry, P.J. Phillips and Justin Upton. Jeff was selected by the Kansas City Royals in the second round of the 2005 amateur draft and signed by scout Sean Rooney for a $690,000 bonus. He had a superb pro debut with the AZL Royals, hitting .408/.484/.745 with 30 runs and 29 RBI in 28 games. He was named the Arizona League All-Star shortstop and would have led in average, slugging and OBP had he qualified. Baseball America ranked him as the league's 4th-best prospect behind pitchers Mark Pawelek, Nick Adenhart and Craig Italiano. Despite that, he was returned to the same club in 2006 and was again lighting things up (.429/.537/.667 in 12 G, 13 R) before a season-ending injury.

Bianchi struggled in his return from the injury, hitting just .247/.296/.315 for the 2007 Burlington Bees with 15 steals in 19 tries. Moving from shortstop to second base the next year with the Wilmington Blue Rocks, he batted .255/.290/.442 with 34 doubles. He won the Frank White Award as the top defensive player in the Royals minors. He tied Beau Mills for 7th in the Carolina League in doubles. In 2009, the Lancaster, PA native started to show some of the offense he had displayed in 2005-2006, hitting .300/.360/.427 in 60 games for Wilmington and .315/.356/.441 in 68 games for the Northwest Arkansas Naturals. For the year, he had 29 doubles, 22 steals in 28 tries, 74 runs and 70 RBI. He ranked third in the Royals chain in average. He was then sidelined by injury again, missing all of 2010 due to Tommy John surgery.

Back with the Naturals in 2011, Bianchi again showed some rust on the rehab trail, hitting .259/.320/.333 and swiping 20 bases in 25 attempts. Waived by Kansas City in December, he was claimed by the Chicago Cubs, but they in turn waived him the next month and he was taken by the Milwaukee Brewers. Beginning the year with the Huntsville Stars, Jeff looked healthy again, batting .351/.398/.403 in his first 19 games. He was promoted to the Nashville Sounds and hit .305/.361/.368 in his first 51 AAA games.

Bianchi was then called up to Milwaukee to replace Taylor Green, who was sent down. He debuted as a pinch-hitter in a 10-7 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates. With one on and one out in the 7th and a 6-6 tie, he pinch-hit for Manny Parra. Facing Brad Lincoln, he struck out on a full count.

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