The Pittsburgh Pirates announced on Saturday morning that minor league outfielder Tyler Gaffney has retired. Gaffney was originally drafted by the Pirates in the 24th round in 2012 out of Stanford and played that summer for State College. After putting up strong stats, he returned to school to pursue a football career, which led to two Super Bowl rings without him actually getting into a real game.
After injuries derailed his football career, Gaffney decided to return to baseball last year. He went to Bradenton to begin the season and hit .291/.391/.470 in 38 games, before moving up to Altoona in early June. There he saw limited time and hit .194/.313/.298 in 51 games. He went 14-for-19 in stolen bases during the season.
Gaffney, who turns 28 years old in April, would have been competing this spring for a spot in the Altoona outfield.
John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.
When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.