Raul Ibanez, left fielder and designated hitter for the Seattle Mariners, is playing for the Mariners for the third time in his 17-year career. The Mariners first drafted him in 1992 but they never played him in more than 104 games in any season. He spent his first eight years with the Mariners primarily in the minor leagues, playing for them in just 4 games in 1996, 11 games in 1997, and 37 games in 1998.
MLB Designated Hitters (DH) for 2013
Victor Martinez, designated hitter for the Detroit Tigers, was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in 1996. He played in the minor leagues for several years and after winning back-to-back MVP awards and batting titles in the minors in 2000 and 2001, Martinez got his chance with the Indians in September, 2002. In 12 games that month, he batted .281 with 9 hits. The following season, Martinez played in 49 games with the Indians. He played in the minor leagues for the rest of the season. His batting average with the Indians in 2003 was .289 with 46 hits.
Billy Butler, designated hitter for the Kansas City Royals, was drafted by the Royals in 2004 at the age of just 18. He played in the minor leagues from 2004 through 2006 before joining the Royals in 2007 for 92 games. He ended that season with a batting average of .292, with 96 hits and 23 doubles.
David Ortiz, designated hitter for the Boston Red Sox, was first signed by the Seattle Mariners in 1992. After playing in the minor leagues for the Mariners, Ortiz was traded in 1996 to the Minnesota Twins. He spent six seasons with the Twins, playing both for the team and for their minor league teams. Due to injuries, Ortiz played in over 100 games in only two seasons. In 2000, he played in 130 games and batted .282, with 117 hits, 36 doubles, and 10 home runs. Two seasons later, he played in 125 games and batted .272, with 112 hits, 32 doubles, and 20 home runs.
Albert Pujols, all star first baseman and designated hitter for the Los Angeles Angels, was first signed by the St. Louis Cardinals in 1999 for $70,000. It took only two years for Pujols to make it to major league play, starting his active career with the Cardinals in 2001. In his rookie year with St. Louis, Pujols batted .329 with 37 home runs and 130 RBIs. Pujols became a free agent in 2012 and after 11 successful years with the Cardinals (2001-2011), he signed a lucrative 10 year, $254 million contract with the Angels.
Lance Berkman, designated hitter for the Texas Rangers, has played for most of his career in the major leagues with the Houston Astros. In July of 2010, he was traded by the Astros to the New York Yankees. The following year, he signed on with the St. Louis Cardinals and stayed with them through the 2012 season. This year marks his first year with the Rangers and his second time as a designated hitter (he was DH and a backup first baseman for the Yankees).