Wes Rachels

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Wesley Adam Rachels (born January 19, 1976 in Los Angeles, California) was a second baseman who is most notable for winning the 1998 College World Series Most Outstanding Player award while a senior at University of Southern California. He is one of seven players from University of Southern California to win that award. The others are Bill Thom, Bud Hollowell, Russ McQueen, George Milke, Bill Seinsoth and Rod Boxberger. In that College World Series, he set a championship game record with seven RBI. He tied another when he had five hits in a game.[1]

Wes Rachels was the absolute best offensive player in all phases of the game I have ever seen in 36 years of coaching. He was a grand master at executing all the skill so offense such as the drag, push, sacrifice, squeeze, hit and run, slash…you name it. I’ll never forget the 1998 College world Series where he was named MVP. Many people don’t realize that from the first day of the College World Series to the last, Wes did everything offensively you can do. He got a squeeze down, drag bunt, slashed twice, hit and run, moved a runner over, hit two doubles and a home run.

Mike Gillespie in Collegiate Baseball Newspaper (October 11, 2002)

Professional career[edit]

Rachels was drafted in the 33rd round of the 1998 amateur draft by the Philadelphia Phillies, playing professionally in 1998 and from 2000 to 2002, never reaching the major leagues. He began his professional career with the Batavia Muckdogs, hitting .301 with 16 RBI. He had a good eye at the plate, walking 18 times and striking out only 15 times in 133 at-bats. He missed the 1999 season.

For the remainder of his career, he'd play in the Baltimore Orioles organization. In 2000, he played for the Delmarva Shorebirds, hitting .260 with 46 RBI. He walked 96 times and had 58 strikeouts. He played for the Frederick Keys in 2001, hitting .261 with 26 RBI, 58 walks and only 52 strikeouts. 2002 was his final professional season. He spent it with the Bowie Baysox, hitting .201 with 21 walks and 33 strikeouts.

Overall, Rachels hit .254 in 340 minor league games. In 1062 at-bats, he did not hit a single home run, however he scored 139 runs and drove 107 in. He walked 193 times and struck out 158 times.