Sep 2, 2015

Short Time Italian / American Mets Catcher: Joe Depastino (2003)

Joseph Bernard Depastino was born on September 4, 1973 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The big six foot two right hand hitting catcher was signed by the Boston Red Sox in 1992 in the seventh round of the draft.

DePastino would spend thirteen seasons in the minor leagues, batting .266 with 88 HRs 174 doubles & 470 RBIs.
He would post a .988 fielding % while throwing out 34% of would be base stealers.

He arrived in the Mets organization in 2002 batting .298 & throwing out 40% of would be base stealers behind the Norfolk Tides regular catcher Jason Phillips.

In 2003 he was the Tides main catcher as Jason Phillips went North getting promoted to the Mets big league club. DePastino batted .267 but only hit 2 HRs with 16 doubles & 22 RBIs. Defensively he once again was steady (.995 fielding %).

At one point during the 2003 season, his AAA Manger Bobby Floyd, called him into the club house & told him the team had a new rule about facial hair. Some of the players had grown goatees when the team went on a winning streak. When Depatino claimed his case, the manager said "keep it, your going to the big leagues anyway". His dream had finally come true.

As Mike Piazza was down with an injury, Depastino made a brief appearance in the major leagues. He got to appear in two games on a Houston road trip in early August, going 0-2 while donning the uniform #10. He caught one inning behind the plate, as a battery mate of Mike Stanton. As soon as he had arrived in the dugout, Piazza told him, " hey, your in the encyclopedia".

Retirement: After his playing days he landed a job in the Detroit Tigers organization, managing the A ball, West Michigan White Caps from 2008-2010.

He now serves as a Tigers roving catching coordinator, tutoring the up & coming prospects.

He & his wife have two children & reside in Sarasota, Florida.

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