In 1978, the Sox brought shortstop Harry Chappas to the team and billed him as the shortest player in MLB history at 5-3.â†µ
Turns out that was yet another Bill Veeck promotional gimmick — Chappas was really 5-6 (listed in some references as 5-7). Chappas was only an OK shortstop and couldn’t hit at all (.590 lifetime OPS), so his career lasted only 72 games.â†µ
Now there actually IS a player who’s 5-3 — Chris Cates, an infielder in the Twins system just promoted to Double-A. David Pinto of Baseball Musings writes:â†µ
I would think he would use his small strike zone to at least draw a ton of walks, but he only has 100 in 1215 at bats. With no offensive value, the only way heâ€™d make the majors is if a team put a poor defender at shortstop and wanted a late inning replacement.â†µ
It’d still be fun to see him in the majors. The Twins usually are pretty good at player evaluation, but Cates is 25 — it’ll have to happen soon, or not at all.