January 19 – Happy Birthday Fernando Seguignol

seguignolIn one of the best deals in Yankee history, New York acquired closer John Wetteland from the Expos at the start of the 1995 regular season. At the time, Wetteland was considered one of the very best closers in the game and the only reason he became available was the precarious financial condition of the Montreal franchise. The transaction cost George Steinbrenner lots of Yankee bucks and an intriguing giant-sized switch-hitting prospect from Panama with a name that was impossible to say and even harder to spell.

Fernando Seguignol (pronounced SEG ee nol) was a 6’5″ outfielder who tipped the scales at close to 260 pounds. The Yankees had signed him as an amateur free agent in 1993 and after a rough first year in the rookie league, he had put up some decent numbers in his sophomore season with the Yankees’ Oneonta, NY single A affiliate. The Expos were hoping he’d develop as a power hitter and though it took a bit longer than expected, that’s exactly what happened. When he hit 31 home runs during the 1998 minor league season, he got a four-year shot to break into the Expos’s starting outfield but never made it.

He then spent the 2002 season playing in Japan. That’s when he returned to the States and re-signed with the Yankees. He very nearly won the International League triple crown in 2003. That earned him a September call-up, during which he got his one and only Yankee hit, a single off of Baltimore’s Rodrigo Lopez.

When that season ended he was 28 years old and not a part of the Yankees immediate outfield plans so he decided to go back to the Land of the Rising Sun. It turned out to be a good decision. Seguignol became a star slugger there, hitting 121 home runs during the next four seasons. He retired in 2010.

Seguignol shares his birthday with this former Yankee pitcher and this long-ago Yankee outfielder.

2003 NYY 5 8 7 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 3 .143 .250 .143 .393
5 Yrs 178 402 366 42 91 23 0 17 40 0 20 114 .249 .303 .451 .754
MON (4 yrs) 173 394 359 42 90 23 0 17 40 0 19 111 .251 .305 .457 .761
NYY (1 yr) 5 8 7 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 3 .143 .250 .143 .393
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 1/19/2014.

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