Juan Minaya pitched for the Legends in 2010 and 2011. (Photo-Mary Lay)
Two more former Legends received the call to the big leagues September 1. Right-handed pitcher Juan Minaya, a Legend in 2010 and 2011, was called up by the Chicago White Sox. Third baseman Hunter Dozier, Kansas City’s top pick in the 2013 draft who came to Lexington for 15 games late in the season that year, was added to the Royals’ active roster.
Minaya made his major league debut September 1 with a scoreless inning against Minnesota and came back with two scoreless innings against the Twins last night (Saturday).
Minaya, 25, was designated for assignment by Houston on June 14 of this year, meaning that within 10 days, he could be traded, claimed off waivers or released. The White Sox claimed him June 22 and assigned him to their triple-A team in Charlotte, where he had a 4-3 record and a 3.38 earned run average in 17 appearances. He struck out 28 batters and walked 10 in 26 and two-thirds innings before his call to the White Sox.
Hunter Dozier batted .327 in 15 games for the Legends in 2013. (Photo-Mary Lay)
A native of the Dominican Republic, Minaya signed with Houston as an international free agent in June of 2009. With Lexington at age 19 in 2010, Minaya was 4-12 with a 4.79 ERA. In 2011, he was 1-5 with an ERA of 6.90. But despite struggling with control issues (73 walks in 127 and two-thirds innings in 2010), he showed signs of potential with 76 strikeouts in 77 innings in 2011.
The Astros sent him back to short-season baseball with Tri-City of the New York-Penn League in 2012, and when he returned to class A in 2013, the Legends had switched affiliations from Houston to Kansas City. He pitched at Houston’s new class A affiliate, Quad Cities, in 2013, moved on to advanced-A Lancaster and double-A Corpus Christi in 2014, and to triple-A Fresno in 2015. He was pitching for Fresno again this year before the DFA move by the Astros in June.
Dozier, also 25, was the eighth overall pick in the 2013 draft after an outstanding college career at Stephen F. Austin State. After 54 games with Idaho Falls in 2013, he was assigned to Lexington, where he had 18 hits in 55 at bats (.327) with six doubles and nine runs batted in in 15 games.
Dozier moved on to advanced-A Wilmington and double-A Northwest Arkansas in 2014 and to Northwest Arkansas again in 2015. This year, he played in 26 games for Northwest Arkansas before moving to triple-A Omaha, where he was batting .294 with 15 homers and 54 RBI in 103 games before getting the call to the Royals.
With the callups of Minaya and Dozier, the total of former Legends who have reached the major leagues is now at 70.