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Tyson Gillies

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Tyson A. Gillies

BR Minors page

[edit] Biographical Information

Tyson Gillies made his AA debut to open 2010.

Tyson was born deaf and wears hearing aids in both ears. No one knew he was deaf until he was four because he learned to read lips very well. Gillies was the last player cut from Canada's roster before the 2006 World Junior Championship. The Seattle Mariners took him in the 25th round of the 2006 amateur draft as a draft-and-follow.

After a year of junior college, Gillies was signed by scout Wayne Norton. The Mariners sent him in 2007 to the AZL Mariners, where he hit .221/.337/.302 and to the Everett AquaSox, where he was 5 for 8. The Vancouver native opened 2008 with the High Desert Mavericks, going 7 for 30 with a walk, steal and a triple. Demoted back to Everett, he found his hitting stroke, batting .313/.439/.427 with 24 steals in 31 tries. He also had 8 outfield assists in 56 games. He tied Nate Tenbrink for the most swipes in the Northwest League and finished 5th in the loop in average, right behind Josh Vitters. Baseball America rated him the #15 prospect in the circuit.

At age 20, Gillies continued to improve. He produced at a .341/.430/.486 rate for the 2009 High Desert Mavericks with 14 triples, 104 runs and 44 steals in 63 tries. He had 18 outfield assists while making only two errors. He led Mariners farmhands in runs, hits (170, tied with teammate Alex Liddi), triples (tied with teammate Carlos Peguero) and steals. He tied Koby Clemens for third in the affiliated minors in average (behind Liddi and John Bowker), tied Terry Evans for 4th in runs, tied Liddi and Drew Locke for 4th in hits, tied for third in triples and was 5th in OBP. He led California League outfielders with 273 putouts and was one assist shy of leader Danny Payne. He led the Cal League in stolen bases, times caught stealing and sacrifice hits (16, tied with Andrew Romine). He was one triple behind league leader Jon Gaston and was third in average behind Clemens and Liddi. Despite all of that, he was left off the Cal League All-Star team as Thomas Neal, Roger Kieschnick and Gaston were chosen. Baseball America ranked him as the league's #13 prospect, right behind Kieschnick and Cory Luebke as well as calling him the loop's most exciting player. In the 2009 Futures Game, he played right field and center field for the World team, hitting second between Alcides Escobar and Liddi. In his first at-bat, he grounded out against Chris Tillman. The next time up, he bunted his away aboard versus Brian Matusz and promptly showed off some more speed, stealing both second and third base. He scored on a grounder by Bárbaro Cañizares. In the fifth, he drew a walk from Danny Duffy. Two innings later, he struck out facing Trevor Reckling.

That winter, he was dealt with fellow Canadian prospect Phillippe Aumont and J.C. Ramirez to the Philadelphia Phillies for Cy Young Award winner Cliff Lee. Philadelphia assigned him for 2010 to the Reading Phillies; he hit a modest .253/.290/.358 in his first 23 games at AA.

In August 2010, Gillies was charged with cocaine possession.

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