Fort Wayne, Indiana -- During the first week of the 2014 season, two more former TinCaps put on a Major League Baseball uniform for the first time. With Dean Anna debuting as a New York Yankee and Vince Belnome suiting up for the Tampa Bay Rays, the number of former Fort Wayne players who have reached the majors has climbed to 120.
Anna, who hails from Mokena, Illinois, and played collegiately at Ball State, was with the TinCaps for part of the 2009 season and all of 2010. The 26th-round selection of the Padres in 2008 led the Triple-A Pacific Coast League in hitting a year ago with a .331 average as a member of Tucson Padres. However, he was traded by San Diego to New York this past offseason. On Friday night at Toronto, he started for the Yankees at shortstop in place of Derek Jeter.
Coincidentally, Anna's first time reaching base as a big leaguer came when another former Fort Wayne player - Blue Jays All-Star reliever Steve Delabar - walked him. Anna also singled in his debut and started again for the Yankees on Saturday at second base.
Meanwhile, Anna's 2009 TinCaps teammate, Belnome (pronounced: Bell-NO-may), was called up to the Rays last Thursday. The West Virginia University alum was selected by San Diego in 2009 and traded to Tampa Bay after the 2012 season.
Thirteen members of the TinCaps' 2009 Midwest League championship-winning team have now gone from Fort Wayne to fruition in the majors. Anna and Belnome join a list that already included pitchers Mat Latos, Anthony Bass, Brad Bach, Simon Castro, Erik Davis, and Colt Hynes, as well as position players James Darnell, Jaff Decker, Andy Parrino, Ali Solis, and Blake Tekotte.