Pete Rose Jr’s long bus ride
When Pete Rose Jr was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the 12th round of the 1989 June draft, there was some promise that the Cincinnati Oak Hills High School product could eventually be a top prospect.
The younger Rose was thought to be picked in the first three rounds of the draft. Some clubs reportedly passed on him to allow the Cincinnati Reds to snatch up the hit king’s son, while others were turned off by his lack of speed and arm strength, according to a St. Petersburg Times article.
Rose initially spurred Baltimore’s offers and enroll at Cerritos Junior College in California after leading Cincinnati’s American Legion Club to a World Series title in 1988. He eventually signed after the Orioles tripled their offer and promised him a spot in their fall instructional league along side the club’s other top prospects.
After struggling in the fall league, Rose Jr. suited up for the Erie Orioles of the New York-Penn League in 1989 while his father was being investigated for gambling on baseball. In 58 games, he batted .276 before being promoted to the Frederick Keys of the Carolina League late in the season.
Rose, a third baseman, was stuck in the Class-A level for nearly six seasons until he was promoted to the Class-AA Birmingham Barons late in 1995 season while with the Chicago White Sox organization.
Fortunately after just a little more than two seasons on the AA level, Rose finally made it to the Class-AAA Indianapolis Indians and the Cincinnati Reds late the 1997 season. During his cup of coffee with his hometown club, Pete Jr. collected two hits while appearing in just 11 games late in the season.
His assent to the big leagues did not last long. The following season, he was sent back to Indianapolis and never reached the major leagues again. After spending a couple more years in Class AAA with Indianapolis and the Nashville Sounds, an aging Rose Jr. started to slip back down the pecking order.
In 2000-01 he played for both the Class-AA Chattanooga Lookouts and the Reading Phillies.
His plummet continued for the next seven seasons, after Rose Jr. bounced from one independent team to the next and eventually drifted to the Cordoba Cafereros of the Mexican League and he Tigres del Chinandega, a Nicaraguan professional baseball team.
After 21 seasons and 23 minor league teams, Rose Jr was released by the York Revolution, an independent club in the Atlantic League, at the end of the 2009 season at the age of 39-years-old.