A Look Into The MLB'S Breakout Star: Dean Anna
APRIL 22, 2014, NEW YORK - It may be Derek Jeter's last year as a Yankee, but another teammate
has been stealing some of the spotlight since opening day: infielder Dean Anna.
Dubbed the 'most underrated player in baseball,' the left - handed batter has already made a splash in his Major League season debut - homering against the Red Sox's Clay Buchholz, closing a game as pitcher against the Rays, and with multiple infield starts at second base and shortstop opposite Jeter. Not to mention, he was the center of the league's first instant replay controversy in the Yankee's opening series against the Red Sox, ultimately being found 'safe.'
While Anna may be 'suddenly an important Yankee,' as a headline from Newsday reads, this Mokena, Ill., native didn't appear out of thin air.
Anna's remarkable skill can be seen from his humble beginnings at John A. Logan College in Carterville, Ill, where he was named All - Great Rivers Athletic Conference during his sophomore year. The 27 - year - old also led his team in home runs and broke the school's single game RBI record with nine.
Following his transfer to Ball State University, Anna continued to shine, leading his team in doubles, triples, walks and runs. This success ultimately led to Anna being selected by the San Diego Padres organization in the 26th round of the 2008 MLB Amateur Draft.
The utility - player spent the next five years of his career with the Padres and received numerous
honors, including 2013 Hitter of the Year and Player of the Year.
Just before signing his Yankees Major League contract in January, Anna spent time in the Dominican Republic participating in their Winter Ball League.
From his expansive experience, it's easy to see why Anna's recent success is more than warranted.
'It was a long journey to get to where I am now, but it was all worth the ride,' said Anna about his
whirlwind first weeks. 'Every step of the journey has been leading to this moment, and it's
great to finally be here.'
The ride is only expected to keep rolling for Anna, who continues to nab headlines and show his versatility. The story behind MLB's latest breakout star is a true testament to the adage that hard work pays off.
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