Ricky Otero – 45th Round Success Story

An article by posted on January 17, 2014 1 Comment

While Brandon Villafuerte was selected and signed by the Mets in the 66th round of the 1994 MLB June Amateur Draft and was the deepest pick the Mets ever signed that made it to the Major Leagues, he did not make it to the majors as a member of the Mets.

So who holds the distinction of being the deepest pick that made it to Queens after originally signing with the Mets?

That distinction goes to Ricky Otero.

ricky otero-2Ricky was selected by the Mets in the 45th round of the 1990 June amateur draft out of Lind Padron Rivera High School in Vega Baja, Puerto Rico.

It was the second time Ricky had been drafted – he had been selected by the Toronto Blue Jays the previous June in the 65th round, but did not sign. The Mets inked Ricky to a contract on September 10, 1990.

The outfielder worked his way up the Mets system, and in his fifth season of professional ball, he was called up to the Mets.

He made his Major League Debut on April 26, 1995 at Coors Field against the Rockies where he was brought into the game in the bottom of the 11th to replace Bobby Bonilla and took over in left field.

He finally came to the plate for his first MLB at bat in the top of the 14th inning against Mark Thompson where he stroked a single through the infield to left.

While his major league career with the Mets began with a hit, he did not see much success after that in the Orange and Blue. He appeared in 35 games with the Mets and made his last appearance on July 22nd, also at Coors Field, as a pinch runner for Edgardo Alfonzo.

His final plate appearance as a Met came the prior day on July 21st against the very same Mark Thompson. On the season, he hit .137 with 0 HR, 1 RBI, and just 7 base hits.

That offseason, Ricky was traded to the Phillies for minor leaguer Phil Geisler and was the Phillies’ starting Center Fielder for the 1996 season beginning in May, replacing Lenny Dykstra who made his final MLB appearance.

Otero appeared in 104 games and hit .273 with 2 HR and 32 RBI in a Phillies lineup that also included Gregg Jefferies, Benito Santiago, Mickey Morandini, Todd Zeile, Pete Incaviglia, and Jim Eisenreich.

Ricky appeared in 50 more games with the Phillies in 1997, playing his final MLB game on August 17th at the Astrodome against the Houston Astros.

His MLB career ended with a hit, just like it began. He entered the game as a pinch runner for Gregg Jefferies in the 7th and he doubled in the top of the 9th off Russ Springer.

He bounced around for a few years afterward until 2002, playing for the Orioles’ Triple-A team, some independent ball in the Western League, and three final seasons in the Mexican League.

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About the Author ()

Roger is a lifelong Mets fan since 1981, now married with kids and still knows that there is no such thing as a bad day at the ballpark with your child. Growing up, he wanted to be either the Second Baseman for the Mets - or their statistician. Follow him at @BigMetsFan1. email him at metsfanontwitter@aol.com