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Kanekoa Texeira

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Kanekoa Jacob Texeira

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Kanekoa Texeira (Kan-ih-koa tuh-SHARE-uh) made his major league debut in 2010. He is a cousin of Shane Victorino.

Out of high school, Texeira was picked by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 31st round of the 2004 amateur draft but went unsigned. After two years of junior college, he went to the Chicago White Sox in the 22nd round of the 2006 amateur draft.

Texeira was signed by scout Danny Ontiveros and split 2006 between the Bristol Sox (1-2, 3 Sv, 0.76, 29 K in 23 2/3 IP) and the Kannapolis Intimidators (3 R in 6 IP). In '07, he was 5-2 with 16 saves and a 3.69 ERA for Kannapolis, whiffing 58 in 53 2/3 IP. He tied Oneli Perez for the most saves by a ChiSox minor leaguer. He had a 8.31 ERA in eight games for the Honolulu Sharks in the Hawaiian Winter League. (the 2010 Mariners Media Guide lists better stats; these are as per the 2008 Baseball Almanac) Baseball America named him as possessing the top slider in the Pale Hose farm chain.

In 2008, Texeira was excellent for the Winston-Salem Warthogs (3-1, 20 Sv, 0.93, .194 opponent average) and Birmingham Barons (3-2, Sv, 2.01, 24 K in 22 1/3 IP). Overall, he had a 1.33 ERA for the campaign. He was second to Jon Link for saves by a Chicago White Sox farmhand and he was second in the Carolina League in saves, four behind Tyler Chambliss. The 2010 Mariners Media Guide lists him as a postseason All-Star, but the 2009 Baseball Almanac lists Luis Perdomo instead. Baseball America rated him as the #19 prospect in the league.

In November, the White Sox dealt him with Nick Swisher to the New York Yankees for Wilson Betemit, Jeff Marquez and Jhonny Nunez. He was 9-6 with two saves and a 2.84 ERA as a swingman for the Trenton Thunder in 2009.

That winter, the Seattle Mariners took him in the 2009 Rule V Draft. Unlike some Rule 5 picks, he was thrown into the fire pretty quickly. In Seattle's second game, he replaced Mark Lowe in the top of the 9th with a 1-1 tie. Texeira got Eric Chavez to fly out on the first pitch he threw in the majors, then gave up a single to Mark Ellis on the next. Travis Buck doubled. Don Wakamatsu stuck with the Hawaiian rookie, who walked Cliff Pennington on four pitches. With his back to the wall, he fanned Rajai Davis and got Daric Barton on a fly. Let in to pitch the 10th, he struck out Ryan Sweeney. Kevin Kouzmanoff and Kurt Suzuki both singled. Chavez lined out, but Ellis singled in the game-winner, giving Texeira the defeat. After spending a couple of months in the majors, the Mariners tried to send him down to the minor leagues, but he was claimed on waivers by the Kansas City Royals. He went 1-0 with a 4.64 ERA in 27 games in relief for the Royals over the rest of the season; combined with his 0-1, 5.30 record in 16 games for the M's, he finished the year 1-1 4.84 in 43 games, all in relief, having given up 73 hits and 25 walks in 61 1/3 innings while striking out 33.

Kanekoa was back with the Royals in early 2011, after starting the season with the AAA Omaha Storm Chasers, and while his 2.84 ERA over 6 games looked superficially good, the 13 hits and 3 walks he gave up while striking out none in 6 1/3 innings showed he actually struggled on the mound. The Royals tried to send him down, but this time his old team the Yankees put in a waiver claim. They kept him around for a little over a week before releasing him on July 6th, the signed him again on July 19th. He was injured during his stint in the Yankees' organization, putting in a few rehab appearances with the GCL Yankees, and was not particularly sharp either with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees in AAA (0-1, 22.85) or the Trenton Thunder in AA (0-1, 10.64). He was granted free agency after the season.

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