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Blue Jays Birthdays: Brad Fullmer

Brad Fullmer #20...

It is Brad Fullmer’s 49th birthday.

Also, 22 years ago (2002), the Blue Jays traded Brad Fullmer to the Angels for Brian Cooper.

So it is a shared birthday/today in Jays' history post.

About the trade:

Cooper was an RHP. He was 27 at the time. He pitched in portions of 3 seasons for the Angels, made 21 starts and 6 relief appearances, and reached 5-10 with a 5.33 ERA in 128 innings, 57 walks, and 58 strikeouts.

Fullmer was also 27 at the time of the trade.

It wasn’t one of J.P. Ricciardi’s better trades. Fullmer was always thought of as a disappointment. Maybe because, as an LHB, he didn’t hit lefties at all. Maybe because Brad really couldn’t play defense. But I wonder why J.P. gave him away so cheaply (perhaps he was tired of paying for cleaning chewing tobacco out of the Skydome’s turf?). Cooper wasn’t much of a pitcher, nor was Brad a great prospect, but Ricciardi must have seen something in Cooper that the rest of us missed. I can’t imagine what he thought he saw. Cooper had as many walks as strikeouts when we traded for him.

The Expos picked Brad in the 2nd round draft pick in 1993. He played two-plus seasons with the Expos and had been a disappointment. He wasn’t very good with the glove at first base, and his bat didn’t show quite as well as the Expos hoped. Nevertheless, he hit .276/.326/.459 with 25 home runs in 259 games with Montreal.

In March 2000, Fullmer was part of a three-team trade between the Expos, Rangers, and Blue Jays. The Rangers sent Lee Stevens to the Expos, the Jays sent David Segui to the Rangers, and the Expos sent Fullmer to the Jays.

Stevens did a good job for the Expos, hitting .243/.334/.450 with 57 home runs in 3 seasons. Segui hit .336/.391/.519 in 93 games, and the Expos traded him to Cleveland for Ricky Ledee. Segui was always good at getting on base but didn’t have the power you’d like to have from a first baseman.

Fullmer DHed for the Jays for two seasons, hitting .284/.333/.499 with 50 home runs and 187 RBI in 279 games. He had an excellent season in 2000, hitting 32 home runs and driving in 104 runners. If the Jays had a better team, we’d consider Fullmer one of the better D.H.s in team history.

The trade with the Angels didn’t go well for the Jays.

Fullmer played two seasons for the Angels and hit .294/.367/.521 with 28 home runs and 94 RBI in 193 games. He also starred in the Angels’ 2002 World Series win. He hit .294/.351/.471 in 12 playoff games. Brad also stole home in game two of the World Series as part of a double steal. Pretty crappy defense there, Giants.

Brad signed with the Rangers before the 2004 season, and was hitting .233/.310/.442 with 11 home runs in late June when he suffered a knee injury that ended his career.

In all, Fullmer played 8 seasons and hit .279/.336/.486 with 114 home runs.

Chad Beck turns 39 today.

Chad was a 43rd-round draft pick in 2004 (now the draft is only 20 rounds). Beck pitched 2.1 innings in 2011 and 15.2 innings in 2012 and that was his career. Only 1 other player picked in that round in 2004 made the majors, Chris Schwinden, who threw 29.2 innings, over two seasons, in the majors. Gotta love guys who beat odds that long.

Also, on January 17, 2011, 13 years ago now, the Jays signed Jon Rauch, without which we would have never had this: