Born: Jul 19, 1979
Rick Ankiel was a highly regarded left-handed power pitcher who was signed by the Cardinals in the second round of the 1997 amateur draft as an 18-year-old. His big chance with the major-league club came in 2000, where he posted an 11-7 record in 31 appearances (30 starts) with a 3.50 ERA, but also with 12 wild pitches and 90 walks issued.
By 2005, the Cardinals had moved him to the outfield to take advantage of both his arm and his bat. He peaked as a hitter at .285/.328/.535 in 2007, but after the 2009 season the Redbirds granted him free agency.
The pitcher-cum-outfielder saw stints in Kansas City, Atlanta, and Washington, DC before signing as a free agent with the Astros for 2013. The 33-year-old slashed .194/.231/.484 in 25 games before Houston released him. After 20 games with the Mets that same year he hung up his spikes.
For his 11-year MLB career, Ankiel slashed .240/.302/.422 at the plate, and posted a 13-10 record with a 3.90 ERA in his four seasons as a pitcher.