Wednesday, October 26, 2011

2004 Bowman, Van Pope

#BDP120 Van Pope

Here is a card that I got signed in Amarillo, Texas over the summer. Van was playing for the Amarillo Sox this past season and I was able to get this card signed before the game started.

Van was drafted by the Braves in fourth round of the draft in 2004 after playing at Meridian Junior College. He progressed steadily through the Braves system and hit AAA in 2009. He struggled at the AAA level and only hit .202 over 106 games. But that is not surprising. If you look at Van's stats year by year, he has struggled with every advancement. But after repeating the level a second year, he has always done better. But rather than have Van repeat AAA, the Braves had other ideas. They decided to convert him to a pitcher.

So, in 2010, Van was sent down to high-A Myrtle Beach to work on becoming a pitcher. He appeared in only nine game there and he had an 0-2 record with a 6.35 ERA over 11.1 innings while striking out 5 and walking 16. Ouch. It would appear that the Braves gave up on him then and released him.

So, the Amarillo Sox were more than happy to have him this season and they signed him as a third baseman. No more pitching for Van Pope. This past season with the Sox, Van ended up hitting .299 with 10 home runs and 61 RBI. Maybe another affiliated team will take a flier on Van next season.

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