Surprising at-bats: J.B Shuck is a professional baseball player in the country of America

proof - Thearon W. Henderson

There are a lot of people in the world that exist that I have no cognizant knowledge of. Some of them are baseball players. Here are a few.

I can't know all of the people. Even professional athletes, who by default have some amount of fame because they show up in articles on the internet. The internet! They have statistics and a special talent and people follow them on Twitter simply because they might see them on the television. But even then, I can't know all of the players in sports and especially not in baseball where there are so many people.

There are thousands of people.

Even in my own division (I'm a Mariners fan) there's going to be names that I've either never heard of, or had no idea that they were playing as much as they have. The M's are playing the Angels this week and aww shucks who the heck is this guy.

J.B. Shuck, Angels - 74 at-bats!?

Nope, never. Not once. Not even in passing. I have never heard of J.B. Shuck. I don't proclaim to be a genius (I'll let MENSA do the proclaiming for me!) but I'd like to think I know the starting outfield of the Angels. I'd like to think I know a lot of things, like how to talk to girls, but we make due with what we've got!

Shuck seems to have been something of a "non-prospect" in the Astros farm system, having picked up over 2,000 at-bats from 2008 to 2012 and spending three seasons in AAA. There are many JB Shuck's out there. Guys that don't suck at baseball obviously, but guys that will likely never do more at the major league level other than hold a bat at the plate without pooping their pants. A skill that I myself would not possess when a 98 MPH fastball (or hell, a 70 MPH fastball) was coming at me. Think of just how significant that gap is between AAA and the majors when there are so many guys that can do well at the highest level of the minors and absolutely flail in the majors.

He played in 37 games for the Astros in 2011 and hit .272/.359/.321 with 11 walks and 7 strikeouts. Never much for power, especially for an outfielder, Shuck hit 7 home runs in 558 minor league games. Finkel is Einhorn and Shuck is Eckstein. (No, he's not even Eckstein.) But he's shown very good plate discipline and has a career minor league mark of a .301 average and a .382 OBP.

All he knows right now is that he's being given an opportunity to make his pockets fatter while Peter Bourjos is out and good on him. After being let to walk by the Astros last year, he's skipped straight to the majors and probably a pay increase of 10,000% or so and if he doesn't completely suck (.284/.333/.351) he might pick up a full years salary.

And that certainly doesn't shuck.

Marwin Gonzalez, Astros - 122 at-bats?!

This doesn't seem like to end, right? I mean, what harm does it do the Astros to throw just about anybody out there for this season. It's not going to get any better if they all of a sudden try to start winning, they just don't have the talent.

Gonzalez can turn that into a full-year paycheck despite hitting .238/.266/.361.

The same can be said for Robbie Grossman and a whole bunch of other Astros. You just won't get more-wins with Marwin. (haha)

Robert Andino, Mariners - 96 at-bats!!

I honestly don't know how to handle this one because nothing on the Mariners surprises me. But Robert Andino (.184/.253/.237) has been able to finagle a starting job because Brandan Ryan is actually a worse hitter. There's at least two shortstops in the minors that might not be that far away, and also Carlos Triunfel is hitting pretty well.

Robert Andi-no more.

That's all I've got for today. There were no surprises on the Athletics (because every player on the A's is always "such an A's player") and the Rangers are good. So there!

Kenneth on Twitter

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