Rocco Baldelli at a glance
Born: Sept. 25, 1981, in Woonsocket, R.I. A standout student at Bishop Hendricken High School, he was nicknamed “The Woonsocket Rocket” for his athletic exploits.
Turning pro: Baldelli was taken in the first round (sixth overall) of the 2000 MLB draft by Tampa Bay. He turned down a scholarship at Wake Forest to get a $2.25 million bonus from the Devil Rays (they have since dropped the “Devil”). The Twins had the No. 2 pick in that draft and chose pitcher Adam Johnson from Cal State Fullerton; the Marlins took first baseman Adrian Gonzalez with the first choice.
MLB debut: In 2003, Baldelli started in center field for Tampa Bay and finished third in the American League rookie of the year voting after hitting .289 with 11 home runs and 27 stolen bases.
Injury issues: Baldelli was sidelined for a season-and-a-half when he injured his ACL in 2005 while playing baseball with his brother and then hurt his elbow while in rehab. He didn’t return until midway through the 2006 season. Baldelli batted .302 with 16 homers in 92 games.
Career end: A muscular disorder limited Baldelli to 135 games over the next four seasons with Tampa Bay, Boston and Toronto. He was eventually diagnosed with mitochondrial channelopathy, which causes severe muscle fatigue.
Coaching days: After retiring as a player in 2010, Baldelli held a variety of positions in the Rays organization. He was most recently the major league field coordinator, which entailed analyzing the tendencies of opposing teams.
On Twitter: @roccodbaldelli