Results tagged ‘ henry cotto ’

January 5 – Happy Birthday Henry Cotto

You need to be a pretty good and long time Yankee fan to remember today’s featured player. The 1985 and ’86 Yankees would have been the AL Wildcard playoff team if that postseason format was in play back then. The 1987 squad finished fourth in the super-tough AL East but would have won the West Division crown with their 89 victories. These were good Yankee teams, with offenses anchored by Don Mattingly, Dave Winfield and before he was traded, Ricky Henderson. Today’s Pinstripe Birthday celebrant was a Bronx born outfielder who hoped to join Winfield and Henderson as a starter in the Yankee outfield.

That didn’t happen. Cotto first came to New York in a December 1984 trade with the Cubs.The Yankees got him, catcher Ron Hassey, pitcher Rich Bordi and Porfi Altamirano (that last guy’s name is not misspelled) for pitcher Ray Fontenot and outfielder Brian Dayett. In 1985, Ken Griffey started in left for New York while Cotto, when he was not down in Columbus, hit .304 during his first season in pinstripes, appearing in 34 games. He was supposed to compete for the job the following year but Cotto’s back and forth trips to Columbus continued as Dan Pasqua ended up starting. In 1987, Cotto saw his most action in pinstripes, playing in 68 games, hitting five home runs and driving in 21. But he hit just .235 with a putrid .OBP of just .269 as Gary Ward took over in left for New York.

Cotto had had his three strikes in Yankee Stadium and he was out, when in December of 87, the Yanks traded him and pitcher Steve Trout to Seattle for pitchers Lee Guettermann, Clay Parker and Wade Taylor. That deal turned out to be a Godsend for Henry because the Yankees evolved into a horrible team over the next few seasons and Cotto finally got a chance to start in a big league outfield as a Mariner. He played the next five and a half years in Seattle, until 1993. Though he was never more than an average player, his big league career lasted a decade. He ended up with a .261 lifetime average and 44 big league home runs. He played in Japan in 1994 and then ended up back with Seattle, coaching in the Mariner’s organization.

Cotto shares his January 5th birthday with this 1983 winner of the AL Rookie of the Year Award and this legendary Yankee third base coach.

Year Age Tm Lg G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
1985 24 NYY AL 34 60 56 4 17 1 0 1 6 1 3 12 .304 .339 .375 .714
1986 25 NYY AL 35 83 80 11 17 3 0 1 6 3 2 17 .213 .229 .288 .516
1987 26 NYY AL 68 157 149 21 35 10 0 5 20 4 6 35 .235 .269 .403 .672
10 Yrs 884 2334 2178 296 569 87 9 44 210 130 107 352 .261 .299 .370 .669
SEA (6 yrs) 588 1732 1612 221 420 61 9 34 156 102 83 247 .261 .301 .373 .674
NYY (3 yrs) 137 300 285 36 69 14 0 7 32 8 11 64 .242 .272 .365 .637
CHC (1 yr) 105 160 146 24 40 5 0 0 8 9 10 23 .274 .325 .308 .633
FLA (1 yr) 54 142 135 15 40 7 0 3 14 11 3 18 .296 .312 .415 .727
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 1/6/2014.