Anthony John "A. J." Pierzynski (pronounced /pɪərˈzɪnski/) (born December 30, 1976) is an American Major League Baseball catcher who is currently with the Chicago White Sox. Pierzynski previously played with the Minnesota Twins (1998-2003) and San Francisco Giants (2004). Pierzynski was also a wrestler for Total Nonstop Action Wrestling.
Anthony John Pierzynski was born on December 30, 1976, in Bridgehampton, New York. He attended Dr. Phillips High School in Orlando, Florida, where he won All-State honors in baseball. Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Johnny Damon was one of Pierzynski's high school teammates.
Pierzynski graduated from high school in 1994 and signed a letter of intent to play baseball at the University of Tennessee. He was also drafted by the Minnesota Twins that year, and he chose to sign with the Twins. He began his minor league career with the Gulf Coast League Twins and spent the next four years playing for the minor-league Elizabethton Twins, Fort Wayne Wizards, Fort Myers Miracle, New Britain Rock Cats, and Salt Lake Buzz.