Bergeron: See A Need, Fill A Need?

At one time, Peter Bergeron was thought to be the future of center field in Montreal or San Juan or Washington, or wherever the franchise formerly known as the Expos would wind up. Then, it all fell apart and Bergeron's career has taken a very different path.

Peter Bergeron hit a combined .320 between AA Harrisburg and AAA Ottawa in the Expos organization in 1999. It was good enough to get him a September audition, which went well enough to get him a starting job in center field for the Expos in 2000. Unfortunately for Bergeron, things went down hill from there. After struggling in 2001, he was back at AAA and spent two seasons bouncing back and forth between Ottawa and Montreal. Of course, that was better than 2003 when he didn't see the majors at all.

After playing just 11 games at the major league level in 2004, Bergeron headed off to Baltimore, looking to play in the Orioles outfield. Last season, the former major league prospect was at AA Bowie and hit .294 for the Bay Sox, but longs to get back to the highest level of the game.

"It's humbling, that's for sure," reports Bergeron, who signed with the Phillies as a minor league free agent this winter. He's in camp as a non-roster player and looking to open some eyes. He did just that in an intrasquad game with a pair of homeruns off left-handers Eude Brito and newcomer Arthur Rhodes. Not a bad day's work for Bergeron, who is a left-handed hitter.

Hmmm, could Bergeron be the power-hitting left-handed hitting reserve outfielder the Phillies are looking for? Not likely. He's got just eight major league homeruns in just over 1100 at bats and 36 minor league homeruns in just under 3300 minor league at bats. Not great ratios. He does remember hitting two homeruns in a game back in the Texas League, but that was in 1998.

"I don't know if I can be considered for the outfield spot in Philly. All I do know is there's an opening and I'm going to do all I can to take advantage of it," said Bergeron. "I'm here in camp and that gives me better odds than a lot of other guys, I guess."

Bergeron making the big league club would be a longshot to say the least. He's a career .226 hitter in the majors and isn't really what the Phillies are looking for. Odds are that he's more fighting to stick with the club at the AAA level and then wait it out to see if he's needed to fill any needs during the season. For now though, Bergeron can dream about filling that need that he so clearly sees on the Phillies.

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