July 10, 1967 |
Kansas City, Missouri
|July 16, 1990, for the California Angels|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 27, 2002, for the Cleveland Indians|
|Runs batted in||531|
DeWain Lee Stevens (born July 10, 1967) is a former first baseman and designated hitter drafted by the California Angels in 1986. A highly regarded prospect, Stevens batted .314 with 19 home runs for the Edmonton Trappers in 1991. The Angels considered him heir apparent to popular first baseman Wally Joyner. However, in parts of three seasons he hit just .225 with little power.
The California Angels selected Stevens out of Lawrence High School in Kansas in the first round (22nd overall) of the 1986 amateur draft. Rick Sutcliffe had been the only other high school player from the Kansas City area selected in the first round of the draft.
Stevens first played at the major-league level with the Angels between 1990 and 1992. After about 200 at bats in the 1992 season, Stevens was struggling with less than a .200 batting average and manager Buck Rodgers did not think that he was open to receiving help. Working with hitting instructor Rod Carew, Stevens adjusted his batting stance to keep his bat on his shoulder. He hit .395 for the month of August. He finished the season with a .221 batting average and seven home runs.
Traded to the Toronto Blue Jays organization the following January, Stevens spent the 1993 season in the minor leagues with the Class AAA Syracuse Chiefs of the International League. In 116 games, Stevens batted .264 with 14 home runs, but he was not promoted to the major leagues that year. He signed with the Kintetsu Buffaloes in Japan after the 1993 season; he would get $425,000 for 1994, with an option for a second year. He hit 20 or more home runs in each of two seasons with the team.
After an American Association MVP season in 1996 where he hit 32 home runs, Stevens resurfaced with the Texas Rangers. He played in 27 games during the second half of that season. Though his role with the team was uncertain, Stevens took advantage of the opportunity to fill in for Will Clark and other injured Rangers that year. He hit .300 and had the first of five consecutive 20 home run seasons. Stevens played for the Montreal Expos from 2000 to the middle of the 2002 season, when he was traded to the Cleveland Indians with three minor league prospects (Cliff Lee, Brandon Phillips and Grady Sizemore) in exchange for Bartolo Colón and Tim Drew.
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- Norwood, Robyn (September 1, 1992). "Baseball daily report: Angels: Stevens getting another chance". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 22, 2016.
- "Lee Stevens Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved November 22, 2016.
- Woodling, Chuck (December 1, 1993). "Lee Stevens". Lawrence Journal-World. Retrieved November 22, 2016.
- "Lee Stevens Register Statistics & History | Baseball-Reference.com". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved November 22, 2016.
- Newhan, Ross (20 April 1997). "Rest of Stevens' life began on corner in Texas". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 22, 2016.
- Rosenthal, Ken (April 12, 2012). "It's been a decade since one of the baseball's most amazing trades". FOX Sports. Retrieved November 22, 2016.
- "Milwaukee Brewers". Baseball America. Retrieved November 22, 2016.
- Spolane, Adam (January 8, 2015). "Entire Grand Junction field staff back for '15". MiLB.com. Retrieved November 22, 2016.
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube