Tigers sign inspirational ex-Pirates infielder you may remember

Pittsburgh Pirates v Washington Nationals
Pittsburgh Pirates v Washington Nationals / Jess Rapfogel/GettyImages
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Drew Maggi had to wait 13 long years and trudge through six different organizations before getting his major league call. Last season, he was down in Double-A when the Pirates lost abruptly Bryan Reynolds to the bereavement list. They needed an emergency fill-in on the roster, so they looked two hours east to Altoona and decided to give Maggi his first shot at the majors since he was drafted by Pirates in 2010.

He stayed with the major league team for just three games and had to wait until the last to put his first two major league hits and RBI on his resume. Even though the Pirates were playing away in DC at the time, the sparse crowd at the stadium gave him a standing ovation.

The Pirates sent him back the next day before eventually releasing him altogether at the end of the season after he hit .181/.257/.221 with the Curve, but he wasn't done with baseball. Maggi started a season in independent ball in May, playing with the Staten Island Ferry Hawks, but now he's headed back to MLB — this time, with the Tigers, who signed him to a minor league deal on Thursday.

Tigers sign longtime farmhand Drew Maggi to a minor league deal

Maggi has slid up and down and up and down the top two levels of the minor leagues throughout his career, with an almost equal amount of time split between Double-A and Triple-A, with pretty similar numbers between them. He has a career .252 average and .656 OPS in the former, and a .254 average and .733 OPS in the latter, so it's sort of understandable why he never really looked like a serious major leaguer.

His best year was back in 2016, when he was playing in the Dodgers organization and spent time between Double- and Triple-A, batting .289 with a .756 OPS between them. His number have slowly slipped since then, and he was on the Curve's Development List when he was released last year.

It's hard to do anything but respect the hustle. Maggi is now 35 and he's still out there, making baseball his career and trying to get back into the majors. It makes him one to watch for Tigers fans this season. If he's showing signs of improvement, even if it's just for the shortest of stints, Maggi should get another shot at the show.

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