Player Profile: Chris Coste

Like a child walking past a candy store window, Chris Coste wants just a taste. Just one little piece of the sweetness that is major league baseball. His resume screams veteran and it also screams of a man who for whatever reason has just never gotten his shot at being a major leaguer. Now, Chris Coste hopes the road to the majors runs somewhere through Philadelphia.

Generally, players who have played in 337 minor league games are getting antsy to reach the majors. They've been through a few seasons of minor league ball and they're moving up the ladder toward the top. The majors start to come into view. For players who have played 337 games at the AAA level, the view is blurred. The picture can be seen, but it is just that, a picture. It's not somewhere that they know they'll ever see for real.

Chris Coste (pronounced Coast) knows that picture. He paints it everyday in his head. If he spends this season at AAA, he will have played over half of his minor league games at the highest level of minor league baseball. "Believe me, I dream of life in the major leagues. It's what every player dreams of and where all of us in the minors want to be eventually," explained Coste.

It's not that Chris Coste hasn't produced. His AAA numbers include averages like .294, .318 and .288 for the top teams in the Cleveland, Milwaukee and Boston organizations. Injuries have slowed him, but still, there seems no reason why Coste hasn't gotten a taste of the majors. Now, at age 32, the excuse is that he's not a prospect and teams don't worry about whether or not he reaches the major league level.

This season, Coste is trying to reach the majors through Philadelphia. A little bit of light has shone through the door with David Bell being sidelined with a bad back. His injury could mean that the Phillies would need another infielder and Coste is ready. The Phillies aren't disinterested. They're taking a good, long look at Coste to see what he's all about. Coste has responded, hitting .364 in eight games with the big league club.

The odds of Coste making the club are remote. The Phillies would have to find a roster spot for him on the 40 man roster, which isn't always easy. It's an issue that has plagued Coste in the past. It's much more likely that someone already on the 40 man roster will get a big league job or if room is made, it would likely be for a veteran major leaguer like Jose Offerman.

You have to love players like Chris Coste. He has come close, but hasn't gotten the chance. Maybe, once he does get the chance - if he does get the chance - we'll all wonder why nobody found him before then. Coste wonders about it everyday, but he never lets it slow him down. "If you think about what might have been, you're done," said Coste. He fights for every chance and considers himself lucky to play a game that he loves.


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