Bryan Byrne began the 2009 season in Double-A not because he wasn't ready for more advanced pitching, but because the re-signing of Tony Clark clogged up the first base scene. Josh Whitesell, who was the PCL Rookie of the Year last season, blocked Byrne's way until today, when a hand injury to Clark moved both Whitesell and Byrne up one level.
The right-handed-throwing first baseman had been hitting .279 with five doubles and one home run in 68 Double-A at-bats. He was also 7th in the Southern League with a .440 on-base percentage thanks to his 18 walks, which matched his strikeout total of 18. Additionally, Byrne was tied for 8th in the league with 15 RBI.
Byrne earned FutureBacks.com Position Player of the Year honors with Visalia in 2007, as he lead the Oaks in six offensive categories and batted .386 in the postseason.
Byrne provides fantastic run production despite not being a major home run threat, and is one of the best glovemen around. He has yet to commit an error this season, and he made only 10 a year ago. Additionally, Byrne makes a habit of saving his fellow infielders errors on their stats sheets by consistently picking out low throws from the dirt.
Bryan Byrne would have begun the 2009 season at Triple-A had he not been blocked by Josh Whitesell. …