Brandon Drury: Former Mets Utility Player & Pinch Hitter (2021)

 Brandon Shane Drury was born August 21st, 1992, in Grants Pass, Oregon. The six-foot two infielder / outfielder was drafted right out of high school by the Atlanta Braves, in the 13th round of the 2010 draft.

He began in the Braves minor leagues, winning the co-MVP Award of the 2011 Appalachian League. In January 2013, he was involved in a six-player trade, where the Braves got Justin Upton & Drury landed with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Drury debuted with the Diamondbacks as a September 2015 call up, batting .214 in 20 games with a pair of HRs. His first coming against the Los Angeles Dodgers on September 22nd. 

He spent parts of three seasons in Arizona, becoming a regular in 2016. He had his best season that year, with career highs in batting (.282) hits (130) HRs (16) runs scored (59) & on base % (.329%). 

He played 89 games as an outfielder (62 as a left fielder) 29 at third base & 16 at second base, to keep his bat in the lineup.

In 2017 he became the teams primary second baseman, as the d-backs won 93 games, winning a wild card spot, advancing to the NLDS. Drury had career highs in RBIs (63) & doubles (37) while batting .267 with 13 HRs. 

On June 10th, he began a stretch where he homered in three straight games, hitting four long balls in a six-game stretch. On June 21st, he enjoyed a career high six RBI Day while collecting four hits in a 16-5 win at Colorado.

2017 Post Season: Drury had a pinch-hit appearance (0-1) in the NL Wild Card Game win over the Colorado Rockies. In the NLDS he went 1-5, hitting a three run HR in Game #2 in an 8-5 loss to the eventual NL Champion Los Angeles Dodgers.

In the winter he was part of a three-team trade that landed him with the AL New York team. After just 18 games he was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays along with (another 2021 future Met) Billy McKinney for J.A. Happ.

Drury spent parts of three season with Toronto, seeing the most action in 2019. That season he played primarily at third base (65 games) as well as outfield (25 games) & first base (12 games). 

Overall, he saw action in 120 games, hitting 15 HRs with 21 doubles & 41 RBIs, but batted just .218 with 113 strike outs in 418 at bats. It was the third time in his career he had 100 or more Ks in a season.

In 2020 he was designated for assignment & then outrighted, electing free agency.

Mets Career: In January of 2021, he signed a minor league deal with the Mets, appearing at Spring Training with the team. 

He began the year at AAA Syracuse & got called up to an injured first place, Mets club on May 21st. He made his Mets debut that night, going 0-4 in a 6-5 Mets win in South Florida.

Pinch Hit HRs: On May 24th, Drury came to bat as a pinch hitter in the bottom of the 9th inning in a game against the Rockies. He blasted a pinch-hit HR off Austin Gomber, but the Mets still lost the game 3-2. On May 29th, he hit another pinch-hit HR, this one off the Braves Edgar Santana. The Mets romped the Braves 13-2.

On June 2nd, he broke a 5-5 tie against his old D-backs team, with an RBI base hit. The Mets went on to a 7-6 win. He drove in another run on June 14th, but his average was well below .200. On June 21st his average was at .182 & he was sent back down to AAA Syracuse.

In just over a month at AAA Syracuse, he batted .303 with 5 HRs getting recalled back up on July 24th. In his return he doubled in his first two games, both times as a pinch hitter. 

On July 27th, he came into the game in the 4th inning & would go 3-3 with a HR & 2 RBIs in a loss to the Braves. The next nigh the was the offensive hero, with a 7th inning, pinch hit HR off Max Fried. The Mets won the game 2-1 & took a five game lead over Atlanta in the division.

Drury would go 8-8 since getting back up from AAA Syracuse, he would fall one hit shy of the Mets record. 

Drury hit safely in his first seven games back up, collecting 11 hits in 15 at bats in that span. He was batting .550 as a pinch hitter with four HRs.

On July 30th in another pinch-hit appearance, he doubled off the Reds Amir Garrett bringing home a run in the Mets 6-2 loss to the Reds.

Walk Off Hit: On July 31st he was given a start in right field. He led off the 3rd inning with a double & scored on Jonathan Villar's RBI single. In the bottom of the 10th inning with the scored tied 4-4 Drury singled off the Reds Luis Cessa bringing home the walk off winning run, helping the Mets avoid a series sweep.

By August 10th, the Mets had fallen into second place one game behind the Phillies & just a half game above the Braves. In the 8th inning the Mets tied up a game with the Nationals, as Drury came to bat singling off Mason Thompson bringing in the go ahead run which ended up being another game winner.

Pitching Debut: On August 15th in a Mets 14-4 loss to the Dodgers, Drury made his pitching
debut in the top of the 9th inning. After retiring the first two batters, he hit Trea Turner with a pitch, next Matt Beaty hit a two run HR off him. He then gave up two singles & walk before being taken out oft the game.

He would go 1-9 as a pinch hitter the rest of August as the Mets faded from the divisional race. On the season he batted .263 with 23 hits 5 doubles 4 HRs & 14 RBIs with a .783 OPS. He as designated for assignment after the season & elected free agency.

He signed on with the Cincinnati Reds having a good year, in 92 games he hit 20 HRs with 22 doubles & 59 RBIs. Fans wanted him back in New York & those in Cincinnati wanted him on the All-Star team. On August 2nd he was traded to the San Diego Padres for a minor leaguer. 

Grand Slam: In his first game with the Padres, he hit a grand slam HR off the Rockies Chad Kuhl in his first Padre at bat.  In 46 games with the wild card winning Padres, he hit .238 with 8 HRs & 28 RBIs.

2022 Post Season: In the NLWC series against the Mets he appeared in one game going 0-4. In the NLDS he went 1-11 in the win over the Dodgers. 

In Game #2 of the NLCS against the Phillies he hit a 2nd inning lead off HR off Aaron Nola & then added a two-run single off Brad Hand in the 5th inning in the Padres 8-5 win in San Diego. He would drive in two runs in the Game #4 loss as well. The Padres lost the series in five games.

After the season he signed as a free agent with the L.A. Angels.

In his eight-year career he is a .252 hitter with 79 HRs 133 doubles 6 triples & 277 RBIs. He struck out 501 times with 136 walks a .302 on base % & .736 OPS in 645 games played. The all-around fielder has played all infield & outfield positions as well as pitched in his career.

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