Brandon Phillips, second baseman for the Cincinnati Reds, was first drafted in 1999 by the Montreal Expos and he played on their minor league teams until they traded him to the Cleveland Indians in 2002. Phillips played in only 11 games for Cleveland in 2002, but the following year he became their starting second baseman. In 112 games in 2003, Phillips batted only .208 with 6 home runs, 18 doubles and 33 RBIs. For the next two seasons, he played in the minor leagues, joining the Indians for only 6 games each season.
Joey Votto, the power hitting first baseman for the Cincinnati Reds, was first drafted by the team straight out of high school in 2002. However, Votto spent almost six years in the minor leagues before finally getting a chance to play with the Reds in September of 2007. He played in only 24 games in 2007 but the following year, his rookie year, Votto played in 151 games. That year, he broke the Reds' record for most RBIs by a rookie with 84.
Dusty Baker, manager of the Cincinnati Reds, is another manager who had a successful career as a player first. Baker was an outfielder for 19 years with four teams (Atlanta Braves, 1968-1975; Los Angeles Dodgers, 1976-1983; San Francisco Giants, 1984; Oakland Athletics, 1985-1986). He was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in 1967 while he was still in high school and he started playing with them the following year.