Obscure Spotlight: Esteban Yan


  • Esteban Yan had massive batting success in three Major League plate appearances– He hit a home run on the first pitch of his first ever MLB at-bat. He recorded a single in his other AB. He also has one career sacrifice bunt, giving him a 1.000 career average. Of course, Yan was a pitcher, though, and he was a completely mediocre hurler, independent of his batting success.
  • Yan pitched parts of 11 Major League seasons. He compiled a 33-39 record with a 5.14 earned run average. Of his 472 career appearances, all but 23 were in relief. Yan was signed as an amateur free-agent by the Braves in 1990, but made his debut six years later for the Orioles in 1996.
  •  His one year as a regular starter, 2000 with the Devil Rays, was a disaster. In 137.2 innings, Yan went 7-8 with a 6.21 ERA. He hit 11 batters, placing him fourth in the American League despite his low number of innings pitched. He would never start another Major League game.
  • The following year Yan moved to the bullpen for the D-Rays, where he recorded 21 saves and finished 51 games. He finished with an ERA of 3.90, one of just three seasons he would finish with an Earned Run Average under four. He played for five teams between 2003-2006, most notably Detroit in 2004. Yan went 3-6 with a 3.83 ERA in 69 appearances for the Tigers, in his only season there.
  • Yan played for a total of seven different MLB teams. Since he last appeared in 2006, Yan has also pitched in Japan, Korea, and Mexico, in addition to the unaffiliated American Minor Leagues. Yan’s bounced around, but no doubt the 38-year old is hoping to resurrect his career in the Majors. He last played for Saraperos de Saltillo of the Mexican Major Leagues. He remains the only Rays pitcher ever to hit a home run.

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