ANTOAN RICHARDSON, CENTER FIELDER
|Born: October 8, 1983
Drafted: 35th Round, 1062nd Overall, 2005 (Giants)
How Acquired: Minor league free agent
College: Vanderbilt University
Agent: Orpheus Sports
WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES
|Richardson is a speedy center fielder who’s drawn a lot of walks and put up a career .395 OBP in the minors. He’s also been a prolific, high-percentage base stealer. Scouts have never liked his bat — even in college he didn’t hit near the top of the order — and he has no power at all. The Pirates signed him to a minor league deal for 2016.
Richardson played mostly center and some left for the Giants’ rookie league team. He hit for average and drew a lot of walks, and also stole nearly one base per game, but he was a college draftee from a major program playing in rookie ball. He also struck out a lot and didn’t hit for any power.
The Giants moved Richardson up to low A, where he was the regular center fielder. He continued to hit for average and draw walks, and steal a lot of bases. He also cut his K rate.
Richardson played center in high A and continued to get on base.
In AA, Richardson struggled at the plate for the first time.
Richardson continued to struggle at the plate in AA and moved into a backup role. The Giants released him in late July and he caught on in independent ball.
Richardson returned to independent ball, then signed with the Braves in late May, taking over as their center fielder in AA. He was more successful there than previously, although he hit with no power at all. The Braves moved him up to AAA late in the year.
Richardson played much of the season in AA and continued much as before. The Braves called him up in September and employed him strictly as a pinch hitter and pinch runner. They outrighted him after the season and he chose free agency, signing with Baltimore.
The Orioles assigned Richardson to AA, moving him up to AAA for just two weeks in May. He played mainly in center, but saw some time in left and right. After the season he became a free agent and signed with the Twins.
The Twins sent Richardson to AA to start the season, then moved him up to AAA in May. He continued to draw walks and get on base, and to be a very efficient base stealer. After the season he signed with the Yankees.
For the first time in his career, Richardson opened the season in AAA. He continued as before, then got a callup in September. The Yankees employed him mainly as a pinch runner, but also gave him a few starts in right. After the season they outrighted him and he signed with Texas.
Richardson suffered a back injury and had surgery during spring training. For some reason, the Rangers added him to their 40-man roster during spring training, presumably before the injury. As a result, he spent the season on the 60-day disabled list, except for some rehab appearances. Texas outrighted him after the season.
Despite being 32, Richardson has played far more in AA than AAA. He’ll nevertheless go to Indianapolis and get at least some of the playing time in center field.
|2016: Minor League Contract
|Signing Bonus: N/A
MiLB Debut: 2005
MLB Debut: 9/4/2011
MiLB FA Eligible: 2016
MLB FA Eligible: N/A
Rule 5 Eligible: Eligible
Added to 40-Man: 9/4/2011 (since removed)
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 1.052
|June 6, 2001: Drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the 27th round, 803rd overall pick.
June 5, 2002: Drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the 27th round, 796th overall pick.
June 8, 2004: Drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 13th round, 386th overall pick.
June 7, 2005: Drafted by the San Francisco Giants in the 35th round, 1062nd overall pick; signed on June 16.
July 24, 2009: Released by the San Francisco Giants.
May 27, 2010: Signed by the Atlanta Braves as a minor league free agent.
September 4, 2011: Contract purchased by the Atlanta Braves.
November 1, 2011: Outrighted to AAA by the Atlanta Braves; elected free agency on November 2.
December 16, 2011: Signed by the Baltimore Orioles as a minor league free agent.
November 3, 2012: Became a free agent.
February 1, 2013: Signed by the Minnesota Twins as a minor league free agent.
November 5, 2013: Became a free agent.
November 13, 2013: Signed by the New York Yankees as a minor league free agent.
September 2, 2014: Called up by the New York Yankees.
November 3, 2014: Outrighted to AAA by the New York Yankees; elected free agency.
December 11, 2014: Signed by the Texas Rangers as a minor league free agent.
March 11, 2015: Called up by the Texas Rangers.
October 21, 2015: Outrighted to AAA by the Texas Rangers; elected free agency and became a free agent on October 25.
December 14, 2015: Signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates as a minor league free agent.