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Wes Rachels

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Wesley Adam Rachels

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[edit] Biographical information

Wes Rachels was the absolute best offensive player in all phases of the game I have ever seen in 36 years of coaching. He was a grand master at executing all the skill so offense such as the drag, push, sacrifice, squeeze, hit and run, slash…you name it. I’ll never forget the 1998 College world Series where he was named MVP. Many people don’t realize that from the first day of the College World Series to the last, Wes did everything offensively you can do. He got a squeeze down, drag bunt, slashed twice, hit and run, moved a runner over, hit two doubles and a home run. --Mike Gillespie in Collegiate Baseball Newspaper (October 11, 2002)

Wes Rachels was a second baseman who is most notable for winning the 1998 College World Series Most Outstanding Player award while a sophomore at University of Southern California. He is one of seven players from University of Southern California to win that award. The others are Bill Thom, Bud Hollowell, Russ McQueen, George Milke, Bill Seinsoth and Rod Boxberger.

[edit] Amateur Career

A starter as a freshman in 1995, Rachels batted .276 for USA. He went 8 for 18 in the 1995 College World Series with 8 runs and was named to the All-Tournament Team at second base. USC lost in the finals. Rachels hit .364 for USC in 1997 and was named to the All-Pacific-10 Conference team as the second baseman. In 1998, Wes fell to .327 in the regular season. In the 1998 College World Series, though, he set a championship game record with seven RBI; more impressively, he did the feat out of the leadoff spot, not one known for being conducive for RBI opportunities. He tied another when he had five hits in that game.[1] He was a triple shy of the cycle in the contest; the home run he hit was just his 3rd of the season.

[edit] Professional Career

Rachels was drafted in the 33rd round of the 1998 amateur draft by the Philadelphia Phillies, playing professionally in 1998 and from 2000 to 2002, never reaching the major leagues. He began his professional career with the Batavia Muckdogs, hitting .301/~.364/.338 with 16 RBI. He had a good eye at the plate, walking 18 times and striking out only 15 times in 133 at-bats. He missed the 1999 season.

For the remainder of his career, he'd play in the Baltimore Orioles organization. In 2000, he played for the Delmarva Shorebirds, hitting .260/.414/.303 with 46 RBI. He walked 96 times and had 58 strikeouts. He was 7-for-7 in steal attempts. He led all South Atlantic League first basemen in fielding percentage (.996) and was only 5 walks behind league leader Nate Espy.

He played for the Frederick Keys in 2001, hitting .261/.371/.294 with 26 RBI, 58 walks and only 52 strikeouts. He saw time at first base (14 games), second (27 games) and the outfield (19 games) and presumably played DH regularly as well.

2002 was his final professional season. He spent it with the Bowie Baysox, hitting .201/.279/.241 with 21 walks and 33 strikeouts in 69 games, again being used as a backup at 2B, 1B and the outfield.

Overall, Rachels hit .254 in 340 minor league games. In 1,062 at-bats, he did not hit a single home run; however, he scored 139 runs and drove 107 in. He walked 193 times and struck out 158 times.

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