|San Diego Padres – No. 7|
May 9, 1984 |
|Bats: Switch||Throws: Right|
|June 15, 2007 for the San Diego Padres|
(through 2013 season)
|Runs batted in||369|
|Career highlights and awards|
Chase Jordan Headley (born May 9, 1984) is an American professional baseball third baseman with the San Diego Padres of Major League Baseball (MLB). During the 2012 season, the switch-hitter led the National League (NL) in runs batted in (RBIs) and was honored for his hitting with a Silver Slugger Award. He also won a Gold Glove Award for his defense.
High school and college
Headley graduated as valedictorian from Fountain-Fort Carson High School in Fountain, Colorado, in 2002. He distinguished himself in two sports, receiving four varsity letters in both baseball and basketball. In baseball, he was a three-time Colorado All-State player, and was named to the South Metro All-League team for all four of his seasons. Other high school honors included being named 2002 Player of the Year by the Colorado Springs Gazette, 2002 Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year by Rotary International/KRDO-TV, and 2002 Male Athlete of the Year by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He was selected to play in the 2002 Colorado Rockies Senior All-Star Game, in which he hit a home run in his first time at bat. He also played two seasons with the Colorado Rockies Select Scout Team, and in the National Baseball Congress World Series. In basketball, he was named to the All-Conference squad for two seasons.
Headley continued to play baseball in college, playing shortstop for the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California, and only transitioning to third base, which would become his primary position, when he transferred to the University of Tennessee in 2003. His sophomore year at Tennessee was difficult for him, as he had meniscus surgery on his knee, and a hamstring injury. He recovered, however, and worked out 62 walks (breaking Todd Helton's 1995 school record), approached the college's single-season mark for on-base percentage, and was named the 2004 team Most Valuable Player. He also did not neglect his studies, becoming an Academic All-American with a 3.63 GPA, majoring in Sports Management. He was drafted by the San Diego Padres in the second round of the First-Year Player Draft in June 2005.
Minor league career
Headley first played professionally with the Eugene Emeralds, where he was described as a team "mainstay," then for the Lake Elsinore Storm, where he was called "one of the top prospects in the Padres' organization." In 2006, he was one of seven players representing the Padres organization in the Arizona Fall League, playing for the Peoria Saguaros. He was the only one who had not played in a Class AA league before.
|“||I try to do as much as I can to mentally prepare myself every day, mainly because I'm not quite as physically gifted as some of the guys I play against. I'm trying to get every advantage mentally as I can – keeping track of what different pitchers have done to me in the past, or what other hitters do in certain situations against our guys, so I can position myself better – I just try to apply myself and see if I can't pick something up and use it to benefit what I'm trying to do.||”|
Headley was named the 2007 Texas League Player of the Year, after hitting .330/.437/.580 with a 1.016 OPS and leading the league in many fielding stats for third basemen. He did strike out 114 times, though, in just 443 at bats.
Headley hit well in spring training in 2008, .371 with a team-leading 12 RBIs, but was sent to the AAA Portland Beavers to get more experience playing left field. In 65 games in Portland, he hit 13 HRs and 24 doubles, batted .305/.383/.556, and was then called up to the Padres.
Major league career
On June 15, 2007 after hitting .357 in AA San Antonio, Chase Headley was brought up for 8 games because of an injury to Padres third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff. He made his major league debut against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. His first major league hit came on June 17; a single to center field in the second inning against the Cubs. Headley finished the season with the majors.
Headley was again called up on June 17, 2008, and went 2–4 with two strikeouts against the Yankees at Yankee Stadium. He picked up his first major league home run the following night, an eighth inning shot off Kyle Farnsworth. Headley batted .269/.337/.420, with 9 HR and 104 strikeouts in 331 at bats that year.
Headley began the 2009 season as the Padres' starting left fielder. On July 10, he was the only player to reach base during Jonathan Sanchez's no-hitter, reaching on an error by Juan Uribe, and ending the perfect game bid after 22 straight retirements. He finished the season with a .262 BA, 12 HR, 64 RBIs and a .734 OPS. Headley also had the second-highest Range Factor/Game as LF.
In early January 2010, the Padres traded third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff to the Oakland Athletics, moving Headley back to third base, his original position. On April 16, Headley hit a walk-off three-run HR off Diamondbacks pitcher Juan Gutierrez, snapping the Padres two-game losing streak. Headley finished the season with a .264 batting average, 11 HR, 17 SB and a .702 OPS. He led the National League in games played at third base and appeared in the top 10 for Defensive WAR (1.5), Games Played (161), At Bats (610), Plate Appearances (674), singles, assists at 3B, and fielding % at 3B (.966).
Headley had multiple career bests in 2011, batting .289/.374/.399 with a .773 OPS. But an injury limited Headley to only 4 home runs in 381 at bats. He also led the National league in putouts at 3B.
During spring training in 2012, Headley set initial goals of hitting 15 homers and 75 RBI in the upcoming season after a discussion with former Padre and Hall of Fame outfielder Dave Winfield. While the Padres were extending contracts of some of their players, they did not pursue a deal with Headley due to the potential of third base prospects Jedd Gyorko and Logan Forsythe. Headley was rumored to be traded but was kept at the trade deadline in July. He was named the NL Player of the Week for the week ending August 12 in 2012. He was later named NL Player of the Month for August, becoming the first Padre to be so honored since Tony Gwynn won the award in May 1997. Headley that month was tied for the major league lead in home runs (10) and led the majors with 31 RBIs. He hit .306 (33-for-108) in August with 20 runs scored and a .611 slugging percentage. He earned a second consecutive Player of the Month honor in September after hitting .324 that month with nine homers, 30 RBIs, a .410 on-base percentage, and a .645 slugging percentage. He was the second Padre to win Player of the Month in consecutive months, the first being third baseman Ken Caminiti in August and September of 1996. He became the first Padre to ever have more than one 30-RBI month. Over the final 57 games of the season, he batted .313 with 19 homers, 44 runs scored and 63 RBIs.
He was unanimously voted the Padre Player of the Year by the San Diego chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) after hitting .286 and leading the league in RBIs with 115. He joined Winfield (118 in 1979) as the only Padres to lead the league in RBIs. Headley set career highs in hits (173), runs (95), home runs (31), walks (86), RBIs, total bases (301), on-base percentage (.376) and slugging percentage (.498) and matched career highs in games played (161), doubles (31) and steals (17). He reached base in 146 games, breaking the Padres record held by Gwynn (144 in 1987)
Headley won a Gold Glove Award after leading all major league third basemen in games played (159) and assists (315) and the National League in total chances (425). He also won a Silver Slugger award after leading all NL third basemen in home runs, runs scored, and walks. He was the eighth third baseman in NL history to win a Gold Glove and a Silver Slugger in the same season. Headley finished in fifth place with 127 votes in the voting for the NL Most Valuable Player (MVP) award, and won the This Year in Baseball award for "MLB Breakout Hitter of the Year".
On January 30, 2013, Headley signed a one-year contract worth $8.575 million with San Diego. On March 17 during spring training, he fractured the tip of his left thumb when it got caught under the second base bag while he was sliding feet-first to break up a double play. He started the 2013 season on the disabled list, and returned exactly a month after the injury on April 17. He also played through a torn meniscus in his left knee during the season, which began giving him problems during spring training. His offensive production slipped from the previous season. At season's end, Headley admitted his knee troubles "probably" contributed to his decline. He was scheduled to undergo arthroscopic surgery on his knee during the offseason.
- "Player Bio: Chase Headley" Official website of the University of Tennessee Volunteers
- "Headley has 'makeup' to be a star", by Amanda Branam / MLB.com, August 31, 2006.
- "Vols' duo on way to Padres system: Headley, Alley both drafted by San Diego", By Kevin T. Czerwinski / MLB.com, June 17, 2005
- "Daily Dish: July 5" by Chris Kline, July 5, 2006, Baseball America
- "Padres Prospect Interview: Chase Headley", by John Conniff, August 29, 2005, Scout.com
- "Headley headlining Arizona Fall League", by Benjamin Hill / Special to MLB.com, October 13, 2006
- "Headley named to AFL 'Rising Star Showcase'", by MadFriars.com, October 24, 2006, Scout.com
- "Q&A with Padres' Prospect Chase Headley", By Denis Savage, September 19, 2006, Scout.com
- "Farm aid at third base still a couple of years away" by Tom Krasovic, San Diego Union-Tribune, August 7, 2006
- Center, Bill (October 4, 2012). "Headley extension major question facing Padres". U-T San Diego. Archived from the original on October 5, 2012.
- Paris, Jay (October 4, 2012). "PARIS: Progress, but Padres could come to regret decision on Headley". North County Times. Archived from the original on October 5, 2012.
- Center, Bill (September 4, 2012). "Headley named NL Player of the Month". U-T San Diego. Archived from the original on September 7, 2012.
- Center, Bill (October 2, 2012). "Headley wins second straight Player of the Month award". U-T San Diego. Archived from the original on October 2, 2012.
- Center, Bill (November 8, 2012). "Headley has silver bat to go with Gold Glove". U-T San Diego. Archived from the original on November 15, 2012.
- Center, Bill (October 3, 2012). "Padres win finale behind bullpen, Headley". U-T San Diego. Archived from the original on October 4, 2012.
- Jenkins, Chris (October 30, 2012). "Headley wins Gold Glove". U-T San Diego. Archived from the original on October 31, 2012.
- Brock, Corey (November 15, 2012). "Headley adds Silver Slugger to growing trophy case". MLB.com. Archived from the original on November 15, 2012.
- Gilbert, Steve (November 15, 2012). "Headley finishes fifth in NL MVP voting". MLB.com. Archived from the original on November 15, 2012.
- Brock, Corey (December 4, 2012). "Headley's breakout season now includes GIBBY". MLB.com. Retrieved 19 October 2013.
- "Padres' Chase Headley gets $8.6M". ESPN.com. January 30, 2013. Retrieved 19 October 2013.
- Center, Bill (March 19, 2013). "Forsythe and Gyorko among Padres’ options at 3B while slugger recovers from fracture to tip of thumb". U-T San Diego. Archived from the original on April 27, 2013.
- Center, Bill (April 17, 2013). "Padres celebrate Dodgers sweep". U-T San Diego. Archived from the original on April 27, 2013.
- Eymer, Rick (September 29, 2013). "Headley played through knee pain, will have surgery". MLB.com. Archived from the original on September 30, 2013.
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