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Today's Padres Birthday: Brian Buchanan

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Brian Buchanan was born this day 39 years ago. He was drafted in the first round of the 1994 draft by the Yankees and sent to Minnesota in the Chuck Knoblauch trade while still a prospect. Buch spent two years with the Twins in the early 2000s before being acquired by San Diego for a minor league shortstop named Jason Bartlett. After being released by the Padres in 2004 he got into two games with the Mets and never played in the Majors again. But that's not where his story ends. Oh, no, not at all.

During his time with the Padres, Buchanan was generally utilized as one of the first bats off Boch's bench, getting occasional starts in the corner outfield positions and first base. He had a little pop in his bat and an eye for walks. His other eye had a propensity for striking out looking. In 2003, his only full season with San Diego he got into a career high 115 games, 36 of them starts. He got on base at a .346 rate and hit 8 home runs in 229 plate appearances, also collecting 6 of his 9 career steals. He fared much worse the next season and was used sparingly before being released August 24th.

His Major League statline ends after going hitless in 3 at bats with the Mets in 2004 but his real journey was just beginning. He signed with the Devil Rays after the season but was cut toward the end of Spring Training. He signed with the Rockies a week later and performed well for their AAA team before being released after three months. He finished up the season with Rochester, Minnesota's AAA affiliate. After a month with the Reds' AAA team in Louisville to begin '06, he was released and turned to the independent St. Paul Saints. 2007 brought a trip to Japan where he performed adequately for the Soft Bank Hawks. He came back to the states in '08 and signed a minor league deal with the Royals and played sparingly with AAA Omaha the next two years. As a last ditch effort to work his way back up, Buchanan also tried his hand at pitching, making 3 ineffective mop-up appearances each of his last two seasons. Brian announced his retirement after the '09 season and stayed with the Kansas City organization, working his way up their managerial ladder. Before this season he was promoted to High-A Kane County of the Midwest League.