Before they were postseason bound: Yankees

Before they were postseason bound: Yankees

The Yankees are headed to the postseason for the first time since 2012, and here's the skinny on the origins of every player in pinstripes.

Masahiro Tanaka, RHP
Born: Itami, Japan
DOB: 11/1/88
HS: Komazawa University Tomakomai High School, Hokkaido
• Tanaka became the seventh Japanese player in franchise history to compete for the Yankees when he made his Major League debut in 2014. The other six players were Hideki Irabu, Hideki Matsui, Kei Igawa, Hiroki Kuroda, Ryota Igarashi and Ichiro Suzuki.
• Tanaka's wife, Mai Satoda, is a famous singer and pop star in Japan. The couple wed in March 2012.
• When Tanaka was in high school, he registered 458 strikeouts, which was a new national high school record at the time. When the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles signed him in 2006, they gave him jersey No. 18, because that's the number aces in Japan typically wear. He now wears No. 19.

Date Result
Oct. 6 HOU 3, NYY 0

Michael Pineda, RHP
Born: Yaguate, Dominican Republic
DOB: 1/18/89
Minors: DSL Mariners (Rookie), Wisconsin (A-), High Desert (A+), AZL Mariners, West Tennessee (AA), Tacoma (AAA)
Jose Ramirez of the Mariners and Arodys Vizcaino of the Braves are the two other active MLB players from Yaguate.
• Per the Elias Sports Bureau, Pineda was just the second player in Major League history to be named to the All-Star team as a rookie. Pineda received the honors in 2011 with the Mariners.
• Pineda was born on Jan. 18, 1989, and he was signed by the Mariners as a non-drafted free agent on Dec. 12, 2005. That means Pineda was still a month away from turning 17 years old when he found out he'd have a professional career in baseball.

CC Sabathia, LHP
Born: Vallejo, Calif.
DOB: 7/21/80
HS: Vallejo (Calif.) High School
Minors: Burlington (R), Mahoning Valley (SS), Columbus (A-), Kinston (A+), Akron (AA), Buffalo (AAA)
• Before Sabathia made the decision to fully devote himself to baseball, he was All-Conference tight end for his Vallejo High School football team. Sabathia, in fact, had college scholarship offers to play football and signed a letter of intent to play at Hawaii before he was drafted.
• Sabathia has done a plethora of charity work over the years and was inducted into the Boys & Girls Club National Hall of Fame in 2012. Along with his wife, Amber, Sabathia founded "PitCCh In Foundation," a charity that helps inner-city kids both financially and emotionally. The charity has given more than 20,000 students in Sabathia's hometown backpacks filled with school supplies. In 2009, he helped deliver 500 dinners to families in need for Thanksgiving in Vallejo, and at Christmas, he took 22 teenagers in foster care on a shopping trip for the holidays.
• When he's not playing baseball, Sabathia sometimes takes his talents to television. In January 2014, he and Mark Teixeira were on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. A month later, he was a celebrity judge on Spike TV's show, Ink Master.

Postseason
Before they were postseason bound

Adam Warren, RHP
Born: Birmingham, Ala.
DOB: 8/25/87
HS: New Bern (N.C.) High School
College: North Carolina
Minors: Staten Island (A-), Tampa (A+), Trenton (AA), Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (AAA)
• Warren was part of a lethal 2009 team at UNC featuring himself, Kyle Seager, Dustin Ackley and Matt Harvey. Ackley is now one of his teammates with the Yankees, as is Andrew Miller, whom Warren played with in 2006. Miller was a junior and Warren was a freshman. Warren graduated with a business administration degree.
• In his four years at UNC, Warren lost just four games. He left Chapel Hill with the second-most wins in program history and started his career off with 19 straight for the longest streak since 1983. His .889 winning percentage was tied for the best at UNC when he graduated, cementing him as one of the best pitchers to come through Coach Mike Fox's program.
• Warren excelled in the classroom, as well as on the field. In high school, he graduated fifth in his class. At UNC, he was named to the ACC Academic Honor Roll for all four years. He was the academic team captain for the baseball team, and he was recognized more than once by ESPN The Magazine for his academic achievements, as well.

Luis Severino, RHP
Born: Sabana de la Mar, Dominican Republic
DOB: 2/20/94
Minors: DSL Yankees (Rookie), GCL Yankees (Rookie), Charleston (A), Tampa (A+), Trenton (AA), Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (AAA)
• It's been a busy season for Severino for more reasons than one. Severino was one of four prospects general manager Brian Cashman refused to field offers for in advance of the July 31 Trade Deadline. Since then, Severino has made his Major League debut and has settled into the Yankees' rotation. But Severino's personal life has been busy, too. Severino is a new father. In July, his daughter, Abigail, was born while he was playing at Triple-A.
• Severino is the only active player in the Majors from Sabana de la Mar.
• It has been reported that Severino was a Yankees fan all throughout his childhood. The Yanks signed him as Minor League free agent on July 20, 2012.

Nathan Eovaldi, RHP
Born: Houston
DOB: 2/13/90
HS: Alvin (Texas) High School
Minors: GCL Dodgers (Rookie), Ogden (Rookie), Great Lakes (A-), Inland Empire (A+), AZL Dodgers (Rookie), Chattanooga (AA)
• Eovaldi attended the same high school as Nolan Ryan in Alvin, Texas. When Eovaldi was pitching for the Marlins two years ago, he unexpectedly got a package from Ryan with a ball in it that said "Congratulations." Though the two don't communicate regularly, Ryan has been known to keep tabs on Eovaldi's career.
• Had he not gone straight from high school to the Majors, Eovaldi had plans to suit up for Texas A&M. The Aggies have sent 12 players to the Dodgers -- who originally drafted Eovaldi -- since 1965.
• After leading the entire National League in hits allowed in 2014, Eovaldi has turned into one of the American League's most dominant pitchers. He credits his new split pitch as a big reason for his success. As of Sept. 8, when he was shut down, Eovaldi had the best winning percentage in the Majors.

Andrew Miller, LHP
Born: Gainesville, Fla.
DOB: 5/21/85
HS: Buchholz (Fla.) High School
College: North Carolina
Minors: Lakeland (A+), Erie (AA), Toledo (AAA), GCL Marlins (Rookie), Jupiter (A+), Carolina (AA), Jacksonville (AA), New Orleans (AAA), Pawtucket (AAA)
• Andrew's wife, Katie, was a four-year soccer player at Duke. The two have joked in the past about how heated the house can get when their alma matters UNC and Duke play each other in basketball. Katie's mom, dad and brother are also Blue Devils, meaning Miller is often the only Tar Heel.
• When he was at UNC, one of Miller's two favorite pro teams was the Marlins. He ended up getting to suit up with his favorite Major League team, having been a Marlin in 2008, '09 and '10 before he was acquired by the Red Sox.
• In Chapel Hill, Miller tallied 325 career strikeouts, a school record. In 2006, he was Baseball America's National Player of the Year and won the Roger Clemens Award for the nation's best collegiate pitcher. He was a crucial part of UNC's 2006 College World Series team, which eventually fell in the championship game to Oregon State. Miller was a business major and has talked about going back to earn his degree at some point.

Dellin Betances, RHP
Born: New York
DOB: 3/23/88
HS: Grand Street Campus (N.Y.) High School
Minors: GCL Yankees (Rookie), Staten Island (A-), Charleston (A), Tampa (A+), Trenton (AA), Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (AAA)
• Betances broke Mariano Rivera's record for the most strikeouts in a single season as a reliever in franchise history. Rivera had 130 in 1996. Betances tallied 135 in 2014.
• Betances once recorded a school record 20 strikeouts in one game as a high school senior at Grand Street Campus High School in Brooklyn.
• The right-hander was the first player from New York City to receive Aflac All-America honors in 2005.

Justin Wilson, LHP
Born: Anaheim
DOB: 8/18/87
HS: Buchanan (Calif.) High School
College: Fresno State
Minors: Lynchburg (A+), Altoona (AA), Indianapolis (AAA)
• In 2008, when Fresno State was in the College World Series, it was Wilson who picked up the win in the deciding game against Georgia after an eight-inning, one-earned run performance.
• Wilson was with the Pirates in 2013. That season, he ranked second in the Majors and first in the NL for ERA amongst rookie relievers.
• According to ESPN, Wilson was pitching on three days' rest on the night he took the mound for the championship game in the College World Series. His eight innings were the most by any pitcher in the entire College World Series that year. He walked just one batter and struck out nine.

Chasen Shreve, LHP
Born: Las Vegas
DOB: 7/12/90
HS: Bonanza (Nev.) High School
College: College of Southern Nevada
Minors: Danville (R), Rome (A-), Lynchburg (A+), Mississippi (AA), Gwinnett (AAA), Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (AAA)
• Both natives of Las Vegas, Shreve and Bryce Harper were college teammates and remain good friends. When Shreve needed a recommendation for where to get a suit in Vegas for his brother's wedding, he called Harper to see where he goes.
• Before he committed to playing baseball, Shreve grew up with a love for skateboarding. He even entered a skateboarding competition once.
• Shreve's older brother, Colby, was also a professional baseball player. He was drafted by the Braves in the eighth round in 2007 and by the Phillies in the sixth round in '09. He also attended the College of Southern Nevada.

Bryan Mitchell, RHP
Born: Reidsville, N.C.
DOB: 4/19/91
HS: Rockingham County (N.C.) High School
Minors: GCL Yankees (Rookie), Staten Island (A-), Charleston (A), Tampa (A+), Trenton (AA), Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (AAA)
• Mitchell was selected in the 16th round of the 2009 Draft and chose to enter the Yankees' farm system right out of high school instead of play college ball. He had originally intended to play at North Carolina, where current Yankees Andrew Miller, Adam Warren and Dustin Ackley all played.
• Mitchell made headlines for taking a line drive to the face in mid-August against the Twins. He left the mound with severe bleeding, but felt lucky to have just been diagnosed with a small nasal fracture. The injury sparked discussion between reporters and pitchers in the Yankees clubhouse about the need and desire for protective gear for pitchers.
• Mitchell comes from the same high school as John Settle, who was a running back for the Atlanta Falcons from 1987 until 1990. He was also a member of the Washington Redskins' Super Bowl XXVI Championship team. After stints as a coach in the NFL, he's now the running backs coach at Wisconsin.

Branden Pinder, RHP
Born: Corona, Calif.
DOB: 1/26/89
HS: Centennial (Calif.) High School
College: Cal State University, Long Beach
Minors: Staten Island (A-), Tampa (A+), Trenton (AA), Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (AAA), GCL Yankees2 (Rookie)
• Pinder was part of a stacked 2011 Long Beach State class that saw four different players get drafted that year. Kirk Singer, Mike Marjama and Drew Gagnon all went in the 29th, 23rd and third rounds, respectively. The Yanks took Pinder in the 16th.
• Pinder also played at Santa Ana College. Santa Ana has helped produce a handful of Major League talent, most notably Heath Bell and C.J. Wilson. Bell was a National League All-Star and led the NL in saves in 2009. Wilson is currently a member of the Angels' rotation.
• At Long Beach State, Pinder was a communications major.

Andrew Bailey, RHP
Born: Voorhees, N.J.
DOB: 5/31/84
HS: Paul VI (N.J.) High School
College: Wagner
Minors: Vancouver (R, SS), Kane County (A-), Stockton Ports (A+), Sacramento (AAA), Midland (AA), GCL Red Sox (Rookie), Portland (AA), Pawtucket (AAA), Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (AAA), Tampa (A+), GCL Yankees (Rookie), Trenton (AA)
• Though he's spent a lot of time in the Minors of late, Bailey is no stranger to the Majors. He was named the 2009 American League's Rookie of the Year when he was with the A's and he was an All-Star in 2009 and '10.
• Bailey did not pitch at all in 2014. He spent the season recovering from surgery on his right shoulder, which was done in July 2013.
• Bailey's Wagner jersey from college was retired in January 2010.

Caleb Cotham, RHP
Born: Mt. Juliet, Tenn.
DOB: 11/6/87
HS: Mt. Juliet (Tenn.) High School
College: Vanderbilt
Minors: GCL Yankees (Rookie), Staten Island (A-), Charleston (A), Tampa (A+), Trenton (AA), Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (AAA)
• Cotham, a fifth-round Draft pick in 2009, attended Vanderbilt University, where he was an economics major.
• Cotham was teammates with David Price in 2007 at Vanderbilt. Price was a junior at the time, Cotham a freshman. That season, Cotham appeared in just three games and was given a redshirt. It was Price's final season on campus.
• Cotham was a member of the National Honor Society in high school. He also served as the junior class president.

Nick Rumbelow, RHP
Born: Bullard, Texas
DOB: 9/6/91
HS: Bullard (Texas) High School
College: Louisiana State University
Minors: Staten Island (A-), Charleston (A), Tampa (A+), Trenton (AA) Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (AAA)
• Now in the same organization, Rumbelow was college teammates with Nick Goody in 2012. Goody was drafted after the 2012 season. and Rumbelow followed suit in '13.
• Like Goody, Rumbelow also excelled academically at LSU. Rumbelow made the SEC Academic Honor Roll in both 2012 and '13 as an interdisciplinary studies major.
• Rumbelow was a jack of all trades in high school, serving as a linebacker and punter on the football team, as well as a point guard on the basketball team. Through his senior year of high school, Rumbelow allowed just six earned runs the entire season.

Ivan Nova, RHP
Born: Palenque, Dominican Republic
DOB: 1/12/87
Minors: DSL Yankees (R), GCL Yankees (Rookie), Charleston (A), Tampa (A+), Trenton (AA), Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (AAA)
• Nova has a place in the deep history of the Yankees, becoming just the third pitcher in the franchise's history to log at least 50 career starts with the Yanks before losing two in a row as a starter. It took 55 starts before Nova lost two in a row. David Cone lasted 81 and Whitey Ford went 53.
• Between June 2011 and April 2012, Nova won 15 straight decisions. That is the second-longest streak in franchise history. He trails only Roger Clemens, who won 16 straight.
• Nova's hometown of Palenque is also the hometown of Mets infielder Juan Uribe. He and Nova are about eight years apart.

Nick Goody, RHP
Born: Orlando, Fla.
DOB: 7/6/91
HS: University (Fla.) High School
Minors: Staten Island (A-), Charleston (A), Tampa (A+), Trenton (AA), Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (AAA)
• Goody played college ball at LSU for one year after transferring from State College of Florida in Bradenton, Fla. In his one year at LSU, Goody made the 2012 SEC Academic Honor Roll as a sports administration major. He also made the Dean's List at State College of Florida, and finished high school with a 4.2 GPA.
• Goody was actually drafted twice by the Yankees. In 2011, he opted to stay in school after they took him 22nd round. In '12, he was picked again by the Yanks, this time in the sixth round.
• Athletics are in Goody's genes, as his mother, Cheryl, was on Austin Peay's track team. Before he became a pitcher, he was a four-year letter winner in high school as a shortstop. Goody left LSU one season before Alex Bregman, the No. 2 pick in this year's Draft, started his career with the Tigers.

Chris Martin, RHP
Born: Arlington
DOB: 6/2/86
HS: Arlington (Texas) High School
College: McLennan Community College
Minors: Greenville (A-), Salem (A), Portland (AA), Pawtucket (AAA), Colorado Springs (AAA), Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (AAA)
• Before he was a Major League player, Martin worked at Texas Appliance after stints with Lowe's and UPS, according to several feature stories written about him. Martin's college career came to an end in 2005, when he tore his labrum in his right shoulder as a sophomore. He told several newspapers that after the injury, he essentially gave up on the idea of playing professional baseball.
• After Martin's 2005 injury, he had surgery to repair the tear in '07. He didn't pitch again until the summer of 2010, when he pitched for Grand Prairie in the South Division of the Independent American Association.
• Martin was drafted twice prior to his Major League debut but never signed. In 2004, the Tigers took him in the 18th round. In '05, the Rockies selected him in the 21st round. It wasn't until 2014 when he made his Major League debut, nearly a decade after his shoulder injury.

Jacob Lindgren, LHP
Born: Biloxi, Miss.
DOB: 3/12/93
HS: St. Stanislaus (Miss.) High School
College: Mississippi State
Minors: GCL Yankees (R), Charleston (A), Tampa (A+), Trenton (AA), Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (AAA)
• Lindgren excelled academically, as well as athletically at Mississippi State. He was a member of the 2012 SEC Freshman Academic Honor Roll, the 2013 SEC Spring Academic Honor Roll and the 2014 SEC Spring Academic Honor Roll. Lindgren was a business administration major and enrolled at Mississippi State after having attended an all-male Catholic boarding school.
• In 2014 with the Bulldogs, Lindgren led the nation with 16.3 strikeouts per nine innings. He also has cemented himself in school history with his 0.88 ERA in 2014. It was the third-best mark for a single season in Mississippi State history.
• In high school, Lindgren was a member of FCA -- Fellowship of Christian Athletes -- and was also a four-year letter winner in football. In 2009, he was a member of St. Stanislaus' 4A state championship team for football. He was drafted right out of high school by the Cubs in the 12th round of the 2011 Draft, but elected to go to college. His college teammate, Jonathan Holder, was also drafted by the Yankees in 2014. Lindgren went in the second round, Holder in the sixth.

Brian McCann, C
Born: Athens, Ga.
DOB: 2/20/84
HS: Duluth (Ga.) High School
Minors: GCL Braves (R), Rome (A-), Myrtle Beach (A+), Mississippi (AA), Gwinnett (AAA)
• McCann comes from a baseball family. His older brother, Brad, played first base for the Marlins and the Royals. His father, Howard, is a former collegiate coach at Marshall University.
• McCann has played a big role in the community since joining the big leagues. He and his wife, Ashley, have raised $5.2 million in childhood cancer research. He has been the spokesperson of the Rally Foundation for Childhood Cancer Research since 2008.
• With 26 homers through Sept. 30, McCann is the only Major League catcher to register at least 20 homers in his last eight seasons since 2008.
• McCann grew up a Braves fan as a kid in Georgia. When his hometown team drafted him in the second round of the 2002 Draft, McCann got to suit up with some of his idols. He credits Chipper Jones for teaching him how to hit at the Major League level.

John Ryan Murphy, C
Born: Bradenton, Fla.
DOB: 5/13/91
HS: The Pendleton School (Fla.)
Minors: GCL Yankees (Rookie), Charleston (A), Tampa (A+), Trenton (AA), Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (AAA)
• Murphy is vocal about his faith, and when he's not playing baseball, he's often involved in charity work. Murphy is a board member for a "Where Love Grows," a nonprofit that visits Boys & Girls Clubs around Tampa, Fla. "Where Love Grows" has another branch within it, called "Victoria's Good Table," an organization that serves home-cooked meals to those children in the Boys & Girls Club. Murphy also teamed up with a close friend of his from IMG Academy, Kat Leibbrandt, to start "IAmMore," a nonprofit that encourages those with illnesses or disabilities to not be defined by those setbacks, but instead by their passions.
• Murphy had plans to play collegiately for Miami before the Yankees drafted him in the second round of the 2009 MLB Draft. Several outlets have reported that Murphy was actually a Red Sox fan as a kid.
• Murphy was part of one of the most historic moments in Yankees history when he caught the final pitch of Mariano Rivera's career in 2013.

Gary Sanchez, C
Born: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
DOB: 12/2/92
Minors: GCL Yankees (Rookie), Staten Island (A-), Charleston (A), Tampa (A+), Trenton (AA), Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (AAA)
• After his 2013 season with Class A Tampa and Double-A Trenton, Baseball America tabbed Sanchez as the Yankees' top prospect.
• Sanchez's hometown of Santo Domingo is an absolute baseball hub. Currently, there are 91 active players from Santo Domingo competing professionally.
• Roybell Herrera and Damaso Marte join Sanchez as the only other two players in the Yankees' organization from Santo Domingo.

Austin Romine, C
Born: Lake Forest, Calif.
DOB: 11/22/88
HS: El Toro (Calif.) High School
Minors: GCL Yankees (Rookie), Charleston (A), Tampa (A+), Trenton (AA), Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (AAA)
• Romine comes from a long line of baseball players. His older brother, Andrew, was drafted by the Angels in 2007 and now plays for the Tigers, primarily as a third baseman. Together, they were one of seven brother duos in 2011 to finish the season in the Majors. Their father, Kevin, was an outfielder for the Red Sox between 1985-91.
• In 2011, Romine received the Kevin Lawn Award for being the Yanks' Minor League Player of the Year.
• In high school, Romine was teammates with Nolan Arenado, the Rockies' All-Star third baseman.

Greg Bird, 1B
Born: Memphis, Tenn.
DOB: 11/9/92
HS: Grandview (Col.) High School
Minors: GCL Yankees (R), Staten Island (A-), Charleston (A), Tampa (A+), Trenton (AA), Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (AAA)
• When he was a senior in high school, Bird was named the 2010-11 Gatorade Colorado High School "Player of the Year."
• Bird still vividly remembers his mom telling him that he always had a knack for hitting and a natural eye at the plate. He still carries that with him today and credits her for much of his success at the Major League level. He made his debut on Aug. 13 and then became the Yankees regular first baseman for a stretch of time when Mark Teixeira went down with a bone bruise in his right leg, which was later diagnosed as a fracture.
• Bird was originally drafted as a catcher before he made the transition to first base. Had he not signed with the Yankees straight out of high school, Bird had plans to play collegiate ball at Arkansas.

Stephen Drew, 2B
Born: Hahira, Ga.
DOB: 3/16/83
HS: Lowndes County (Ga.) High School
College: Florida State
Minors: Lancaster (A+), Tennessee (AA), Tuscon (AAA), Reno (AAA), Mobile (AA), Portland (AA), Greenville (A-), Pawtucket (AAA)
• Baseball runs deep in Drew's family. His two older brothers, J.D. and Tim, also played in the Major Leagues. The trio of brothers were all drafted in the first round of their selective Drafts. Additionally, Drew's two sons are named Hank and Nolan.
• J.D. played for the Braves and Tim played for the Montreal Expos. Drew's two older brothers were the only siblings in Major League history to be selected in the first round of the Draft in the same year.
• While at FSU, Drew was a sports management major. In 2002, he was the ACC's Rookie of the Year and Baseball America's Freshman of the Year. Drew was one of five people drafted out of Florida State in 2002, but he was the only first-round pick. 

Didi Gregorius, SS
Born: Amsterdam, Netherlands
DOB: 2/18/90
Minors: GCL Reds (R), Sarasota (A+), Billings (R), Dayton (A-), Lynchburg (A+), Bakersfield (A+), Carolina (AA), Pensacola (AA), Louisville (AAA), Reno (AAA)
• Gregorius' real name is Mariekson Julius Gregorius. Gregorius was knighted in 2011, making him a Sir. When his Netherlands team won the 2011 IBAF Baseball World Cup, instead of given money, the players were all knighted.
• Gregorius speaks four languages fluently. His first language is Papiamento, but he's also well-versed in Spanish, English and Dutch. He spent most of his life growing up in Curacao.
• When he's not playing baseball, Gregorius has been known to sketch -- people, animals, athletes, or anything that's on his mind. Sometimes he'll publicly share his sketches like he did with one of Derek Jeter. Other times, it's more personal for Gregorius and he keeps them to himself.

Chase Headley, 3B
Born: Fountain, Colo.
DOB: 5/9/84
HS: Fountain-Fort Carson (Colo.) High School
College: Tennessee
Minors: Eugene (A-), Fort Wayne (A), Lake Elsinore (A+), San Antonio (AA), Portland (AAA)
• Headley was a high school standout at Fountain-Fort Carson High School, becoming a four-year letter winner in both basketball and baseball. He graduated as a valedictorian. He batted .604 his senior season of baseball and was an All-Conference basketball player for two seasons.
• Before he transferred to Tennessee, Headley spent his freshman season at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, Calif. Once he arrived at Tennessee in 2004, Headley decided to be a sports management major. During his time at Tennessee, Headley was an All-American, an All-SEC honoree and an Academic All-American. He was also part of the 2005 Tennessee team that competed in the College World Series.
• In college, Headley played with Luke Hochevar, who is now a pitcher for the Royals. Headley's high school also produced Don Cockroft, who kicked for the Cleveland Brown for 13 seasons.

Jose Pirela, 2B
Born: Valera, Venezuela
DOB: 11/21/89
Minors: DSL Yankees (Dominican summer), GCL Yankees (Rookie), Charleston (A), Tampa (A+), Trenton (AA), Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (AAA)
• In 2014, when Derek Jeter's final at-bat at Yankee Stadium resulted in a walk-off single that scored Antoan Richardson, Richardson was pinch-running for Pirela. It was Pirela's leadoff single against the Orioles that represented the winning run.
• There have been 338 players born in Venezuela to play in the Majors, but Pirela is just one of two from Valera. Leonel Campos of the Padres' organization is also from Valera.
• Pirela's first Major League hit in 2014 came in style: an RBI triple. He is the fifth player in Yankees history to make his debut as a starting designated hitter. He is joined by Darryl Jones (1979), Kevin Maas (1990), Shelley Duncan (2007) and Jesus Montero (2011).

Rob Refsnyder, 2B
Born: Seoul, South Korea
DOB: 3/26/91
HS: Laguna Hills (Calif.) High School
College: Arizona
Minors: Charleston (A), Tampa (A+), Trenton (AA), Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (AAA)
• Jane and Clint Refsnyder adopted Rob from South Korea when he was an infant. They also adopted his sister, Elizabeth, who played softball at Kenyon College.
• While at Arizona, Refsnyder was a member of the 2012 College World Series Championship team and was named the College World Series' "Most Outstanding Player" that year. Terry Francona is also a fellow former Wildcat.
• When he left Laguna Hills High School, Refsnyder broke school records for highest career batting average and highest single-season batting average. He was the school's Athlete of the Year his senior year, when he played football, basketball and baseball. At Arizona, he majored in regional development and minored in sports management. He was the seventh player the Yankees drafted out of Arizona since 1974.

Brendan Ryan, 2B/SS/3B
Born: Los Angeles
DOB: 3/26/82
HS: Notre Dame (Calif.) High School
College: Lewis-Clark State
Minors: New Jersey (A-), Peoria (A-), Palm Beach (A+), Springfield (AA), State College (SS), Memphis (AAA), Tampa (A+), Trenton (AA), Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (AAA)
• Ryan made his first pitching appearance this season since his days at Notre Dame High School in California. The last time he pitched was when he helped get Notre Dame to the state championship game in 2000. His team then got walked off at Dodger Stadium.
• Ryan recently became a father in the offseason, when his son, Hudson James, was born on 12/13/14.
• Ryan's high school has quite a few notable alumni of baseball players, including Giancarlo Stanton, Chris Dickerson, Brett Hayes, Pat Gillick, Jorge Piedra and Cy Young Award winner Jack McDowell. The school also produced actress Rachel Bilson, Pittsburgh men's basketball coach Jamie Dixon, actress Kirsten Dunst and football guru Terry Donahue.

Mark Teixeira, 1B
Born: Annapolis, Md.
DOB: 4/11/80
HS: Mt. St. Joseph's (Md.) High School
College: Georgia Tech
Minors: Port Charlotte (A+), Tulsa (AA), Frisco (AA), Trenton (AA)
• Teixeira comes from a baseball family. His father is a former Navy Pilot who played high school ball with Bucky Dent. Teixeira's uncle, Pete, was a member of the Braves' organization in the Minor Leagues.
• When he's not playing baseball, Teixeira can be found doing charity work or trying his hand at broadcasting. In 2011, he donated $1 million to Harlem RBI. When Prince Harry visited Harlem RBI's "Field of Dreams," Teixeira threw him batting practice. He also hosts a segment on YES Network called "Foul Territory." He's been on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and has been a playoff analyst for MLB Network.
• Teixeira is known for his power at the plate as a switch-hitter. Naturally a right-hander, Teixeira made the decision at the tender age of 13 to learn how to hit from both sides.
• When he was a freshman at Georgia Tech, Teixeira became the first freshman to lead the team in batting since 1978. He set freshman records for hits and RBIs and met his wife, Leigh, at Georgia Tech. Leigh was an industrial-design major and the two met as freshmen. They now have three kids.

Dustin Ackley, 2B/OF
Born: Winston-Salem, N.C.
DOB: 2/26/88
HS: North Forsyth (N.C.) High School
College: North Carolina
Minors: West Tennessee (AA), Tacoma (AAA), Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (AAA)
• After spending all of his career until July with the Mariners and his former college teammate Kyle Seager, Ackley now joins another pair of Tar Heels in New York. He is now with former teammate Adam Warren and fellow Tar Heel Andrew Miller, who left the year before Ackley arrived on campus.
• Ackley's father, John, played in the Red Sox's organization.
• Ackley flourished at UNC, becoming the first three-time All-American in program history. He was the conference's Player of the Year in 2009 and its Freshman of the Year in 2007. He left UNC after having set a career College World Series record with 28 hits. He also left, at the end of his junior season, as the only player to be a member of the College World Series All-Tournament Team three times.

Carlos Beltran, OF
Born: Manati, Puerto Rico
DOB: 4/24/77
HS: Fernando Callejo, Manati (P.R.)
Minors: GCL Royals (Rookie), Lansing (A-), Spokane (SS), Wilmington (A+), Wichita (AA), GCL Royals (Rookie), Omaha (AAA)
• In 2013, Beltran won the Roberto Clemente Award for best representing the game of baseball, both on and off the field. Beltran is committed to his charity, the Carlos Beltran Foundation, which is a foundation aimed at helping students.
• Beltran ranks fourth in baseball history for homers by a switch-hitter. As of Oct. 1, he had 392 career homers as a switch-hitter. Mickey Mantle leads everyone with 536.
• Beltran has a storied career that includes eight NL All-Star selections, three NL Gold Glove Awards, two NL Silver Slugger Awards and an AL Rookie of the Year Award from 1999. He is the only player in the game's history to have four or more straight seasons registering 100 runs, 20 homers, 100 RBIs and 30 stolen bases. He did that from 2001-04.

Jacoby Ellsbury, OF
Born: Madras, Ore.
DOB: 9/11/83
HS: Madras (Ore.) High School
College: Oregon State
Minors: Lowell (A-), Wilmington (A+), Portland (AA), Pawtucket (AAA)
• It is believed that Ellsbury is the first Native American of Navajo descent to suit up as a Major League Baseball player.
• When he left Oregon State, Ellsbury had set a record for career runs scored, and his 99 hits in a single season were also an all-time mark. He set that in 2005, when his team went to the College World Series. It was announced that he and his team would be a part of Oregon State's Athletics' Hall of Fame this year. At Oregon State, Ellsbury was a business major.
• In 2013, his 92.9 percent stolen-base percentage was the AL's best mark since 1951 among those with at least 50 stolen bases.

Brett Gardner, OF
Born: Holly Hill, S.C.
DOB: 8/24/83
HS: Holly Hill-Roberts (S.C.) High School
College: College of Charleston
Minors: Staten Island (A-), Tampa (A+), Trenton (AA), Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (AAA)
• Gardner's journey to the Major League level isn't a conventional one. He wasn't recruited to play baseball out of high school, so instead he worked tirelessly to walk on to the College of Charleston's team. By the next year, he was a starter, and by his senior year, he had the third-best batting average in the whole nation. It was then that he really exploded onto the Major League radar and earned himself a position with the Yankees, becoming the highest Draft pick in school history. But it started with him not getting recruited out of high school.
• Gardner and his wife, Jessica, are both very involved with the Ronald McDonald House. In 2013, he bought a therapy puppy, Gardy, and gave it to the Ronald McDonald House. Jessica prepares home-cooked meals for the families.
• Gardner was the first Yankee to hit an inside-the-park homer at the new Yankee Stadium. He's always relied on his speed, and before the game that day, a teenager in the hospital had given him a bracelet, saying that it would help him hit a homer. That night, he did.

Slade Heathcott, OF
Born: Texarkana, Texas
DOB: 9/28/90
HS: Texas High School
Minors: GCL Yankees (Rookie), Charleston (A), Tampa (A+), GCL Yankees (Rookie), Trenton (AA), Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (AAA)
• Heathcott's journey to the Major Leagues was a trying one, featuring two right knee surgeries, two left shoulder procedures and a stay in rehab for alcohol abuse. He experienced some trials growing up at home, but has managed to stay focused on baseball. This year, he made his Major League debut in May.
• Now strictly an outfielder, at Texas High School, Heathcott played the outfield, but he also was an AFLAC All-American as a left-handed pitcher.
• Heathcott lends his support to "IAmMore," a nonprofit co-founded by his teammate, John Ryan Murphy. Heathcott, the senior outreach coordinator, has traveled across the country with Murphy to spend time with kids with illnesses and disabilities, giving them a day they won't forget.

Chris Young, OF
Born: Houston
DOB: 9/5/83
HS: Bellaire (Texas) High School
Minors: AZL White Sox (Rookie), Bristol (Rookie), Great Falls (Rookie), Kannapolis (A-), Birmingham (AA), Tucson (AAA), Reno (AAA)
• Like a few of his teammates, Young also has a bit of experience in television. In 2010, he hosted and narrated "Hitting Home with RBI," which aired on ESPN2. He was also a studio analyst for MLB Network in 2010.
• Young has hit for double-digit homers in the past nine seasons in a row.
• In his free time, Young said he loves to watch movies. Action movies seem to be his favorite.

Alex Rodriguez, DH
Born: New York
DOB: 7/27/75
HS: Westminster Christian School (Fla.)
Minors: Appleton (A-), Jacksonville (AA), Calgary (AAA), Tacoma (AAA)
• A-Rod was drafted by the Mariners in the 1993 Draft. The youngest player on the Yankees' roster right now is pitcher Luis Severino, who was born in February 1994, meaning Rodriguez was drafted before one of his teammates was even born.
• Rodriguez is extremely vocal about how important the Boys & Girls Club of Miami has been to him. That's because he himself joined the club when he was 7 years old, and remained in it all the way until the day he was drafted.
• With 14 All-Star selections, Rodriguez still has the most among all active players.

Rico Noel, OF
Born: Lawton, Okla.
DOB: 1/11/89
High School: Lawton (Okla.) High School
College: Coastal Carolina
Minors: Fort Wayne (A-), Eugene (A-), Lake Elsinore (A+), San Antonio (AA), El Paso (AAA), Trenton (AA), Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (AAA)
• At Lawton High School, Noel was a football player and was an All-Star Honorable Mention Selection his junior year, in addition to playing baseball. He was almost a member of the National Honor Society and was on the Principal's Honor Roll.
• Noel left Oklahoma and came to the East for college, attending Coastal Carolina in Conway, S.C. He was a business major.
• In 2009, while at Coastal Carolina, Noel attempted to steal 51 bases and impressively swiped 48 of them. He led the Big South in stolen bases and was tied for the nation's lead, as well, that year.