Have you ever wondered how your favorite major leaguers performed on their journey through the minor leagues? It's fun to look back at the statistics of different players before they became household names in professional baseball.

Boston Red Sox right fielder J.D. Drew was one of the primary catalysts in the defending World Series champions' memorable comeback over the Tampa Bay Rays last night in Game 5 of the American League Championship Series. He was 2-for-4 with a two-run home run in the eighth inning and a game-winning RBI single in the ninth.


Drew has a .284 career batting average with 192 home runs and 637 RBIs in 11 seasons in the major leagues. Prior to playing for Boston, he was a member of the St. Louis Cardinals, Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers.

The San Francisco Giants originally selected the 32-year-old outfielder in the 20th round of the 1994 MLB draft, but Drew decided to attend Florida State University instead of signing a professional contract. He was picked as a first-team freshman All-American outfielder in 1995 after hitting .325 with 17 home runs and 63 RBIs. Drew became the first player to hit three home runs in a single game during the College World Series on June 6, 1995 against USC.

Drew was a two-time All-American during his sophomore and junior seasons in 1996 and 1997. He batted .386 with 21 home runs and 94 RBIs as a sophomore. Drew won the Golden Spikes Award, as well as Baseball America's Player of the Year award, after hitting .455 with 31 home runs, 100 RBIs and 32 stolen bases as a junior.

The Philadelphia Phillies drafted Drew with the second overall pick in the 1997 draft. The outfielder was reportedly asking for around $11 million to sign, but Philadelphia was only willing to offer approximately $2 million. So, Drew opted to play for the St. Paul Saints of the independent Northern League instead of starting his career in the Phillies' organization. He earned the league's Rookie of the Year award after hitting .341 with 18 home runs and 50 RBIs in 44 games for St. Paul.

Drew had a .386 batting average with nine home runs and 33 RBIs in 30 games for St. Paul in 1998 before the St. Louis Cardinals selected him with the fifth overall pick.

The outfielder signed with the Cardinals on July 3 and he was immediately assigned to the Double-A Arkansas Travelers in the Texas League. Drew batted .328 with five home runs and 11 RBIs in 19 games before he was promoted to the Triple-A Memphis Redbirds of the Pacific Coast League. He hit .316 with two home runs and 13 RBIs in 26 games for Memphis.

Drew was a September call-up for the Cardinals at the end of the 1998 season. He batted .417 with five home runs and 13 RBIs in 14 games, including a home run on Sept. 9 against the Cincinnati Reds for his first major-league hit.

The right fielder made the Cardinals' roster to start the 1999 season. Although he has endured multiple injuries throughout his career, Drew has managed to have several successful years after his circuitous path to the majors.