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Will Rhymes

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William Daniel Rhymes

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[edit] Biographical Information

Will Rhymes came to the majors in 2010.

Rhymes hit .282 as a college freshman then was just 7 for 42 as a sophomore. His junior year, he improved to .388 with 52 runs in 49 games in 2004. He was third in the Colonial Athletic Association in average and was named the All-Conference 2B. He batted .308/.375/.358 for the Brewster Whitecaps in the Cape Cod League that summer, winning All-Star honors as a utility infielder. He was second in the elite circuit with 49 hits and tied for 4th in average. Returning to college for a senior year, he hit .413 with 58 runs, 47 RBI and 22 steals in 53 games. He led the CAA in average. The Detroit Tigers picked him in the 27th round of the 2005 amateur draft and he was signed by scout Bill Buck.

Will made his pro debut with the Oneonta Tigers in '05 and produced at a .328/.391/.420 rate with 14 steals in 17 tries and 49 runs in 61 games. He was 7th in the New York-Penn League in average and was the second-hardest batter to strike out. Rhymes fell to .261/.332/.324 for the 2006 West Michigan Whitecaps with 80 runs and 23 stolen bases (caught six times). He led Midwest League second basemen with 80 double plays and was third in runs, 6 behind co-leaders Jeff Beasley and Will Venable.

In 2007, Rhymes split time between the Lakeland Flying Tigers (.304/.389/.390 in 88 G) and the Erie SeaWolves (.265/.297/.323 in 39 G). He stole 29 bases on the year while only being thrown out four times. He finished 4th in the Florida State League in OBP and 7th in average. He was named the FSL All-Star second baseman.

Rhymes hit over .300 in 2008 for both Erie (.306/.362/.391) and the Toledo Mud Hens (.320/.370/.400 in 8 G). He was 6th in the Eastern League in average and led with 158 hits. He also led in putouts (236), errors (16) and twin killings (86) at second base. All-Star honors instead went to Scott Campbell. He then batted .287 in the Arizona Fall League.

The Texan infielder struggled with Toledo in 2009, hitting .260/.324/.354 and stealing 20 bases in 28 tries. He started 2010 much better with the Mud Hens, at .304/.367/.414 after 88 games. He was then called up to the majors to replace the injured Carlos Guillen. He became the third infielder to debut with the Tigers that year, following Scott Sizemore and Danny Worth. Will debuted in the 9th inning of a game, trailing 5-3. Pinch-hitting for Gerald Laird, he struck out on a full count from Kevin Gregg. His first hit came two days later, a single off James Shields. he played 54 games for the Tigers, hitting .304/.350/.414 with a home run and 19 RBI. He was 6th in the 2010 International League in average, between Justin Turner and Chris Valaika.

In 2011, he was the team's opening day second baseman, but was sent down to AAA on May 1st as he was hitting only .221 in 19 games as the starter. He came back for one game in mid-August, then spent September with the Tigers, hitting .235/.323/.271 in 29 games; his slugging percentage was down from .414 in 2010 to an anemic .271. In the minors, he hit .306/.377/.390 in 111 games for Toledo, with statistics almost identical to his 2010 season. He was 8th in the 2011 International League in average, between John Bowker and Timo Perez.

Rhymes was not on the Tigers' roster for the 2011 postseason, but he got himself in trouble by sending out a message on his Twitter account qestioning manager Jim Leyland's decision to use Danny Worth as a pinch-runner for Ramon Santiago in one of the games, adding "I turned the game off" (at that point). The comment was considered inopportune, and may have contributed to his being released by the Tigers in December. He was signed by the Tampa Bay Rays for 2012; he failed to make the team in spring training and was instead sent to the AAA Durham Bulls. Recalled to Tampa Bay on May 2nd, he was immediately inserted as the starter at second base. On May 16th, he gave everyone a scare after being hit in the arm by a Franklin Morales fastball in the 8th inning of the Rays' 2-1 win over the Boston Red Sox. Rhymes shook off the pain and went to first base, then suddenly fainted and collapsed into the arms of first base coach George Hendrick; he revived quickly but was taken out of the game. X-rays showed no fracture, and trainers explained the fainting spell by an adrenaline rush following the bruise, which ran out once he reached his base.

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