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Josh Spence

Josh Spence - LHP
Hometown: Grovedale, VIC
Debut: 24 June 2011
Final Game: still active
Teams played for: San Diego Padres

Victorian Josh Spence began his MLB career with a bang, facing three All-Star hitters and retiring them in order.

Spence was born and raised in Grovedale, just south of Geelong, and moved to the US in 2007 to play baseball at Central Arizona College. He played for the Vaqueros for two seasons and was drafted in both 2008 and 2009 but opted not to sign. Spence transferred to Arizona State University to join the southwest powerhouse Sun Devils for a season and continued to thrive there as a crucial part of the team's rotation. After one season at Arizona State, the San Diego Padres drafted him in the ninth round of the 2010 amateur draft, and he signed with them shortly thereafter.

Pitching for three years in college gave Spence an advantage in his development as a baseball player, and his pathway to the Majors sped along at a strong pace. He went 2-2 with a 3.00 ERA in 10 games and reached three Minor League levels in his first professional season alone, striking out 42 batters in his 24 innings pitched.

Spence began the 2011 season with Double-A San Antonio, and after beginning the season 3-1 with a 1.71 ERA in 35 relief appearances, San Diego called him up and added him to the 40-man roster. He made his MLB debut on June 24, pitching the final inning of an 11-2 win over the Atlanta Braves. Despite facing three of the Braves' best hitters -- Jason Heyward, Chipper Jones, and Brian McCann -- Spence needed just 12 pitches to retire the side.

The Padres continued to use the lefty out of the bullpen for the rest of the season, and Spence ended his 2011 time in the majors with an 0-2 record and 2.73 ERA.

Thanks to his strong 2011 season, Spence began the 2012 season with the Padres. He struggled in some of his initial outings, and the team sent him back down to the Minors in the middle of May. Spence finished 2012 with an 0-1 record and 4.35 ERA in 11 MLB games to go along with a 4-2 record with a 4.20 ERA in 31 Minor League games.

The Padres designated him for assignment after the 2012 season, and he was claimed off of waivers by the New York Yankees, spending the 2013 season with Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Spence pitched well for the RailRiders, going 1-1 with a 3.98 ERA in 33 relief appearances. Nevertheless, the Yankees released him that August.

Spence signed a Minor League deal with the Miami Marlins for 2014 and went 0-0 with a 3.97 ERA in 11 games for Triple A New Orleans. After being released by the Marlins in the middle of May, Spence finished the 2014 season with two different independent league teams, the Amarillo Sox of the American Association and the Windy City Thunderbolts of the Frontier League.

View Josh Spence's career statistics from Baseball Reference