Open main menu

List of baseball players who went directly to Major League Baseball

This is a list of baseball players who went directly to the major leagues. They are distinguished as a group by the fact that they made their North American professional debut with a Major League Baseball franchise without previously having played at the professional level (excluding fall leagues and winter leagues), such as minor league affiliates of major league teams, the Negro Leagues, Japanese professional leagues, or independent professional teams.

After their major league debuts, many of these players played in professional leagues other than Major League Baseball. Included are the Bonus Babies, who joined major league rosters from 1947 to 1957 and from 1962 to 1965 under the Bonus Rule.

In recent years, the practice of players going directly into the majors has become rare: it has only occurred eight times since 1980, and only twice since 2000.


* Inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame
+ Bonus babies
Players who debuted in Major League Baseball without playing minor league baseball
Name Position Amateur Team Major League Team Debut
Jim Abbott Pitcher Michigan California Angels 1989
Mike Adamson Pitcher Southern California Baltimore Orioles 1967
Joey Amalfitano+ Second baseman Loyola Marymount New York Giants 1954
Wayne Ambler Second baseman Duke Philadelphia Athletics 1937
Walter Ancker Pitcher Philadelphia Athletics 1915
Johnny Antonelli+ Pitcher Thomas Jefferson HS (Rochester, N. Y.) Boston Braves 1948
Eddie Bane Pitcher Arizona State Minnesota Twins 1973
Reno Bertoia+ Third baseman Assumption College HS (Ont.) Detroit Tigers 1953
Steve Boros+ Infielder Michigan Detroit Tigers 1957
Clete Boyer+ Third baseman Alba HS (Mo.) Kansas City Athletics 1955
Jim Brady+ Pitcher Notre Dame Detroit Tigers 1956
Pete Broberg Pitcher Dartmouth Washington Senators 1971
Mack Burk+ Catcher Texas Philadelphia Phillies 1956
Tom Carroll+ Infielder Notre Dame New York Yankees 1955
Wayne Causey+ Infielder Neville HS (La.) Baltimore Orioles 1955
David Clyde Pitcher Westchester HS (Texas) Texas Rangers 1973
Tim Conroy Pitcher Gateway Senior HS (Pa.) Oakland Athletics 1978
Billy Consolo+ Shortstop Dorsey HS (California) Boston Red Sox 1953
John DeMerit+ Outfielder Wisconsin Milwaukee Braves 1957
Jim Derrington+ Pitcher South Gate High School (California) [1] Chicago White Sox 1956
Moe Drabowsky+ Pitcher Trinity College Chicago Cubs 1956
Darren Dreifort Pitcher Wichita State Los Angeles Dodgers 1994
Steve Dunning Pitcher Stanford Cleveland Indians 1970
John Edelman+ Pitcher West Chester Milwaukee Braves 1955
Rob Ellis Outfielder Michigan State Milwaukee Brewers 1971
Bob Feller* Pitcher Van Meter HS (Iowa) Cleveland Indians 1936
Frankie Frisch* Second baseman Fordham New York Giants (NL) 1919
Tom Gastall+ Catcher Boston University Baltimore Orioles 1955
Paul Giel+ Pitcher Minnesota New York Giants 1954
Dick Groat+ Shortstop Duke Pittsburgh Pirates 1952
Bobby Henrich+ Shortstop Compton HS (California) Cincinnati Redlegs 1957
Dave Hardwood+ Pitcher Northwestern Kansas City Athletics 1957
Gil Hodges Third baseman Petersburg High School (Indiana) Brooklyn Dodgers 1943
Jay Hook+ Pitcher Northwestern Cincinnati Redlegs 1957
Burt Hooton Pitcher Texas Chicago Cubs 1971
Bob Horner Third baseman Arizona State Atlanta Braves 1978
Catfish Hunter*+ Pitcher Perquimans County HS (N.C.) Kansas City Athletics 1965
Pete Incaviglia Outfielder Oklahoma State Texas Rangers 1986
Ron Jackson+ First baseman Western Michigan Chicago White Sox 1954
Vic Janowicz+ Catcher The Ohio State University Pittsburgh Pirates 1953
Joey Jay+ Pitcher Woodrow Wilson HS (Conn.) Milwaukee Braves 1953
Don Kaiser+ Pitcher East Central University [2] Chicago Cubs 1955
Al Kaline*+ Outfielder Southern HS (Maryland) Detroit Tigers 1953
Harmon Killebrew*+ First baseman Payette HS (Idaho) Washington Senators 1954
Jerry Kindall+ Second baseman Minnesota Chicago Cubs 1956
Nick Koback+ Catcher Hartford Public High School (Conn.) [3] Pittsburgh Pirates 1953
Sandy Koufax*+ Pitcher Cincinnati Brooklyn Dodgers 1955
Kenny Kuhn+ Infielder Louisville Male HS (Kỳ.) Cleveland Indians 1955
Mike Leake Pitcher Arizona State Cincinnati Reds 2010
Frank Leja+ First baseman Holyoke High School [4] (Massachusetts) New York Yankees 1954
Ralph Lumenti+ Pitcher Boston University Washington Senators 1957
Mike McCormick+ Pitcher Keppel HS (California) New York Giants 1956
Lindy McDaniel+ Pitcher Arnett HS (Okla.) St. Louis Cardinals 1955
Von McDaniel+ Pitcher Arnett HS (Okla.) St. Louis Cardinals 1957
Cal McLish Pitcher Central HS (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma) Brooklyn Dodgers 1944
Bob G. Miller+ Pitcher J. Sterling Morton High School District 201 [5] (Ill.) Cincinnati Redlegs 1953
Bob L. Miller+ Pitcher Beaumont High School (Mo.) [6] St. Louis Cardinals 1957
Brian Milner Catcher Fort Worth Southwest High School Toronto Blue Jays 1978
Cass Michaels Second baseman Hamtramck High School (Mich.) [7] Chicago White Sox 1943
Paul Martin+ Pitcher Marion Center Area High School (Pa.) Pittsburgh Pirates 1955
Mike Morgan Pitcher Valley HS (Nev.) Oakland Athletics 1978
Xavier Nady Outfielder California San Diego Padres 2000
Tex Nelson+ First baseman Baltimore Orioles 1955
Joe Nuxhall Pitcher Hamilton High School (OH) Cincinnati Reds 1944
Harry MacPherson Pitcher Johnson HS (Johnson, MA) Boston Braves 1944
Eddie O'Brien+ Shortstop Seattle Pittsburgh Pirates 1953
Johnny O'Brien+ Second baseman Seattle Pittsburgh Pirates 1953
Billy O'Dell+ Pitcher Clemson Baltimore Orioles 1954
John Olerud First baseman Washington State Toronto Blue Jays 1989
Mel Ott* Outfielder Gretna High School (La.) [8] New York Giants 1926
Jim Pagliaroni+ Catcher Wilson High School (California) Boston Red Sox 1955
Chan Ho Park Pitcher Hanyang University Los Angeles Dodgers 1994
Don Pavletich+ Catcher Cincinnati Reds 1957
Laurin Pepper+ Pitcher Southern Miss Pittsburgh Pirates 1954
Leroy Powell+ Pinch runner Michigan State Chicago White Sox 1955
Ariel Prieto Pitcher Oakland Athletics 1995
Buddy Pritchard+ Second baseman USC Pittsburgh Pirates 1957
Jim Pyburn+ Third baseman Alabama Polytechnic Institute Baltimore Orioles 1955
Tom Qualters+ Pitcher McKeesport HS (PA) Philadelphia Phillies 1953
Mel Roach+ Infielder Milwaukee Braves 1953
Dave Roberts Third baseman Oregon San Diego Padres 1972
Dick Ruthven Pitcher Fresno State Philadelphia Phillies 1973
Jerry Schoonmaker+ Outfielder Missouri Washington Senators 1955
Al Silvera+ Outfielder USC Cincinnati Reds 1955
George Sisler* First baseman Michigan St. Louis Browns 1915
Jim Small+ Outfielder Detroit Tigers 1955
Red Swanson+ Pitcher LSU Pittsburgh Pirates 1955
Hawk Taylor+ Catcher Milwaukee Braves 1957
George Thomas+ Outfielder Detroit Tigers 1957
Fred Van Dusen+ Pinch hitter Bryant HS (N.Y.) Philadelphia Phillies 1955
Jerry Walker+ Pitcher Byng HS (Okla.) Baltimore Orioles 1957
Herb Washington Pinch Runner Michigan State Oakland Athletics 1974
Dave Winfield* Outfielder Minnesota San Diego Padres 1973
Frank Zupo+ Catcher Baltimore Orioles 1957
  This sports-related list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it.


  • "Straight to the Majors". Infoplease. February 1, 2009. Retrieved June 12, 2009.
  • Treder, Steve (November 1, 2004). "Cash in the Cradle: The Bonus Babies". The Hardball Times. Retrieved June 12, 2009.
Inline citations