CINCINNATI OH - SEPTEMBER 28: Paul Janish (R) and Jonny Gomes of the Cincinnati Reds celebrate following the game against the Houston Astros at Great American Ball Park on September 28 2010 in Cincinnati Ohio. The Reds won 3-2 to clinch the NL Central Division title. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Janish signed with the Reds eight years and month a go today (June 16, 2004), having been drafted in the 5th round out of Rice. He hit the ground running in Billings, and after stop in Dayton (and Tommy John surgery), he climbed three levels in 2006.
He made his foray into the Baseball America Reds Top 10 prospect list before the 2007 season (just behind former future SS of the Future, Milton Loo). Just over a season later, he made a thunderous major league debut on May 14, 2008, with a walk-off single to lift the Reds over the Marlins. It was about as romantic as a debut can get, down to the bloody-nose he sustained in the celebration scrum from an over-exuberant Ryan Freel.
From the post-game notes:
Janish's mother happened to be visiting Louisville when he was called up. She made the two-hour drive to Cincinnati with him, got to see the ballpark before the game, then watched her son win it.
Despite getting cred from prospect-watchers and receiving some general acclaim for his glove, Janish continued to toil in obscurity. He only really drew the full attention of fans after he started floundering in 2011. But perhaps nowhere on the face of the Earth - outside the Janish ancestral home - was Paul Janish more popular than Red Reporter.
After the jump, some snapshots from our tragic love affair with Paul Janish...
Farmer's Only: May 14, 2008
Paul Janish was lifted in the middle of a Bats game to replace Jeff Keppinger. There are some interesting comments in this thread, from the POV of 2012. Thundering Turtle re-posts a draft prediction saying the Reds would take Aaron Crow. Thankfully, they took Yonder, though Lawrie and Cashner were also on the board.
Post-game thread: May 14, 2008
Red Reporter celebrated Janish's game-winning hit.
Game recap: August 4, 2010
A highlight in what's been Janish's best MLB season so far: "The Invisible Touch went 3-3 with a walk, a home run, four RBI, and reached in and grabbed right hold of our hearts"
Game recap: August 25, 2010
Janish tied an acid-trip of a game in San Francisco at 11-11 in the top of the ninth, helping to avoid what could have been a crushing late-season defeat.