TYLER GAFFNEY, CORNER OUTFIELDER
|Born: April 20, 1991
Drafted: 24th Round, 736th Overall, 2012
How Acquired: Draft
College: Stanford University
WTM’s PLAYER PROFILE
|A running back with Stanford’s football team, Gaffney has a muscular build but was more of a gap-to-gap hitter than a power hitter in college. Since he profiled as a corner outfielder, that probably limited his projection to fourth outfielder. He showed good patience at the plate. For some reason, he had a terrible junior year, although I found no indication that he was hurt. Baseball America rated him the #350 draft prospect anyway. He signed at the beginning of July, but after one season went back to Stanford to continue his football career.
Gaffney batted leadoff for State College, playing right initially and then center after Barrett Barnes got hurt. He got on base nearly half the time and hit for good gap power. His OBP was supported by a high walk rate and a remarkably high total of 20 HBPs. He missed the last two weeks with a shoulder problem.
Gaffney returned to Stanford to play football and was drafted by the NFL’s Carolina Panthers. Gaffney eventually spent several years with New England, including two in which they won the Super Bowl, but he never played in a regular season game. Instead, he spent all of his time either on injured reserve, part of that due to a torn meniscus, or on the practice squad.
The injuries finally convinced Gaffney to abandon football for baseball and he approached the Pirates about returning. He went initially to Bradenton and played more or less regularly in the outfield corners, mostly left. He hit well and the Pirates promoted him to Altoona at the beginning of June. Gaffney struggled there. He did continue to bolster his OBP with hit batsmen, totaling 23 between the two levels.
Despite the long absence, Gaffney adapted quickly to high A. AA was a different story, which makes it hard to see him as a prospect given his age, which will be 28 early in the 2019 season. He should be back at Altoona.
|2019: Minor league contract.|
|Signing Bonus: N/A
MiLB Debut: 2012
MiLB FA Eligible: 2023
MLB FA Eligible:
Rule 5 Eligible: 2020
Added to 40-Man:
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
|June 6, 2012: Drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 24th round, 736th overall pick; signed on July 2.|