Bret Randolph Prinz...was a 1995 graduate of Centennial High School in Peoria, Ariz., then attended Phoenix College for three years before being drafted by Arizona.
Prinz went to spring training with the Yankees before being acquired by LA of Anaheim in a March 29 trade for catcher Wil Nieves...spent most of the season rehabbing...appeared in 3 of the Angels' first 6 games before being placed on the disabled list with a strained right shoulder sustained in outing April 10 vs. Kansas City...it would be his last major league outing of the year...placed on the DL the next day and did not begin a rehab assignment until Aug. 6...was placed on 60-day DL on May 21...made 9 rehab appearances for 3 different Angels affiliates before he was unconditionally released on Sept. 6.
In five separate stints with the Yankees, was 1-0 with a 5.08 ERA in 26 relief
appearances...retired 15-of-26 first batters faced (58%)...prevented 16-of-23 inherited runners from scoring
(70%)...pitched in 29 games for Triple-A Columbus, posting a 3-1 record with 11 saves and a 3.52
ERA...earned saves in 10 of his final 11 appearances with the
Clippers (11.0IP, 3ER)...was first recalled by the Yankees on
5/5 to replace Jose Contreras on the 25-man roster...made his
first appearance of the season in 5/7 loss at Seattle, tossing 1.1
scoreless innings (1H)...did not allow a run in his first nine
appearances with the Yankees (9.2IP, 3H, 1BB, 9K)...earned his
first win as a Yankee on 6/2 at Baltimore, pitching 1.2 scoreless
Began the season with Arizona, but on Opening Day vs. Los Angeles (3/31) suffered a strained
right groin...was placed on the 15-day disabled list on 4/1 and was transferred to the 60-day disabled list on
4/3...joined Triple-A Tucson on 6/26 on a Major-League rehab assignment...was reinstated from the D.L. on 7/24
and was optioned to Tucson that same day...was traded to the Yankees with OF David Dellucci and C Jon-Mark
Sprowl for OF Raul Mondesi and cash considerations on 7/29...joined Triple-A Columbus on 7/31 and was
recalled by New York on 8/11...made two appearances with the Yankees (2.0 IP, 6H, 4ER) before being optioned
back to Columbus on 8/15, where he spent the remainder of the season.
Bret had 3 tours of duty with the Diamondbacks in 2002, making the opening-day roster, and working 11 times before being optioned to Tucson on April 30 ... Prinz retired the first batter faced in 5 of his first 6 outings, but was charged with 6 earned runs in his first 6.1 innings of work and was optioned to Tucson on April 30 ... he was recalled May 28, and surrendered the game-winning hit at San Francisco that night ... after 4 more appearances, including a loss June 4 vs. Houston, he was optioned again on June 11, but this time, Bret specifically requested an assignment to Lancaster (A), so he could be reunited with pitching coach Royal Clayton to work on his mechanics ... Prinz went 1-0 with 6 strikeouts over 7.0 innings in 5 games with the JetHawks, not allowing a hit in his last 5.0 innings ... he rejoined Tucson on July 1, and was 1-0 with 11 saves in his first 20 games back with the Sidewinders ... all told, in 33 games in the minors he was 2-0 with 17 saves, 4 walks and 34 K's ... Prinz recorded saves in 7 consecutive appearances with Tucson from August 2-14 ... he returned to the Diamondbacks on September 2, appearing in 4 games during the final month of the season.
Signed as Arizona's 18th round selection in the 1998 June Free Agent Draft.
At the urging of the minor league coaching staff, Bret made an adjustment to his delivery in spring training that turned him into one of the most dominant closers in the minors ... he changed from a conventional delivery to sidearm, where he continued to throw hard and with amazing control ... Prinz opened the season at South Bend (A), but after 6 appearances in which he didn't allow an earned run, then was promoted to El Paso on April 25 and reeled off 5 saves in as many appearances from April 30-May 9 ... he allowed just 1 earned run in his first 9 outings for the Diablos, spanning 11.2 innings for a 0.77 ERA ... Bret wound up finishing second in the Texas League with 26 saves, while walking just 16 men and fanning 69 in 60.2 innings, while earning the Texas League Rolaids Relief Man Award with 94 points (9-1 record with 26 saves) ... combined with his brief stint with South Bend, his 99 overall points were fourth among all minor leaguers ... he was a member of the Texas League All-Star team in the Tex/Mex All-Star series ... his arrival jumpstarted El Paso's run that led to a playoff berth, as the Diablos were just 7-12 prior to his arrival, but went 67-54 after Prinz came on board, as he figured in 35 of the wins ... he appeared 3 times in the playoff series against Round Rock, going 0-1 with a save ... while at South Bend, Bret combined with 3 other hurlers on a no-hitter at Peoria on April 21.
At the urging of the minor-league coaching staff, adjusted his delivery from conventional to sidearm and
became a dominant closer, going 10-1 with 27 saves and a 3.18 ERA in 59 minor-league appearances...after
only six shutout appearances with Single-A South Bend he was promoted to Double-A El Paso...finished second
in the Texas League with 26 saves, while allowing only 16 BB and striking out 69 in 60.2 IP to earn the
Texas League Rolaids Relief Man Award...was also named to the Texas League All-Star Team.
Was employed mainly as a starter in his first full season pro stop, going 6-10 for South Bend (A) in 30 games (23 starts)b&tied for fifth in the Midwest League with 16 home runs allowed. 1998bSigned with the Diamondbacks as their 18th round choice in the June draft, making 4 relief appearances for the Rookie League club in Tucson, then going to Lethbridge for the remainder of the yearb&worked 11 times for Lethbridge, featuring 10 starts.
In his first professional season, made four relief appearances for Arizonabs Rookie-League club and then
moved to Single-A Lethbridge for the remainder of the season...made 11 appearances (10 starts), going 4-2
with a 3.09 ERA.