Who doesn’t want to start out their Friday morning with a little bit of “feel good news?” I know I like to so I thought I would bring you some this morning on this beautiful Friday and it involves the New York Yankees organization and one of their own, a former prospect named Radley Haddad. The New York Yankees signed Haddad as a non-drafted free agent out of Butler University back in 2013 as the catcher began his professional career with the ultimate dream every young baseball player has of reaching the Major Leagues. Well Haddad has done that, sort of.
Haddad, 26-years old, ended his four-year playing career this season with the organization to take a job that allows him to enter Yankee Stadium 81 times a season as the former catcher will now serve as the Yankees bullpen catcher. An hour before the Opening Day loss with the Tampa Bay Rays the Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman handed Haddad a contract to make the promotion official after Haddad has taken a few weeks to consult with friends and family on whether to accept the position or not.
Haddad played in just 92 professional games since being signed by the organization hitting just .203 with one home run in his minor league career. Needless to say Haddad and the Yankees both at least had a sneaking suspicion that the advanced levels of Minor League Baseball were going to be too much for Haddad so they both made a decision that should benefit both Haddad and the organization, which is an awesome story to read about.
Haddad spent the second half of the 2016 season with the Staten Island Yankees being groomed to be a coach thanks to Yankees Vice President of Development Gary Denbo. With this knowledge the Yankees called Haddad up many times this spring to catch bullpens and manager Joe Girardi even rewarded him by allowing him to get an at-bat in the exhibition game with the Atlanta Braves inside newly built SunTrust Park. Haddad grounded back to pitcher Josh Johnson after just two pitches but Haddad can retire knowing he took at least one at-bat inside of a Major League stadium and that is thanks to the kindness and thoughtfulness of not only manager Girardi but of the Yankees organization that was once donned with the moniker “The Evil Empire.”