|Washington Nationals – No. 8|
April 25, 1987 |
Santa Ana, California
|Bats: Switch||Throws: Right|
|September 1, 2010 for the Washington Nationals|
(through 2013 season)
|Runs batted in||149|
|Competitor for United States|
|Pan American Games|
|Silver||2007 Rio de Janeiro||Team|
Espinosa played college baseball at California State University, Long Beach. He played shortstop and hit .303 with 11 home runs and 98 RBIs in his three year career. As a freshman, he was the Big West Conference Freshman of the Year. He was drafted by the Washington Nationals in the third round of the 2008 Major League Baseball Draft.
Espinosa spent the rest of the 2008 summer with the Vermont Lake Monsters, where he batted .328. The following year he was promoted to high-A Potomac and hit .264 with a .375 on-base percentage while hitting 18 home runs with 72 RBIs and 29 steals, and was a High-A and Carolina League All Star. He began 2010 in AA Harrisburg, hitting .262 with 18 home runs, before being promoted to AAA in Syracuse. In AAA, he hit .295 with four home runs and was just the second player in all of organized baseball to reach 20 homers and 20 steals in 2010. At Syracuse, Espinosa, who had played shortstop for his college and minor league career, was shifted to second base, since Ian Desmond was already playing shortstop for the Nationals.
When the major league rosters expanded on September 1, 2010, Espinosa was called up to the majors for the first time. He appeared in his first game that night. In his first at bat, he hit a ground ball to second base that took an odd hop and went into right field, allowing Espinosa to turn it into an RBI double when he saw that the right fielder hadn't charged the ball. On September 6, 2010 against the New York Mets, in his first game at Nationals Park, Espinosa went 4 for 5, with two home runs (the second and third of his career) including a grand slam and six RBI. Espinosa played in the Puerto Rican winter league after the 2010 season.
Espinosa had a productive 2011 season, hitting 21 home runs and stealing 17 bases. He finished 6th in the National League Rookie of the Year balloting. He was also hit by a pitch 19 times, tied for first with Justin Upton.
Espinosa began the 2013 season in a slump, hitting only .171 through mid-May. Due to his consistent low average, the Mendoza Line, referring to players who hit less than .200, has been renamed the Espinosa Line among Washington National fans.[neutrality is disputed] Espinosa was consequently sent down to the AAA club at Syracuse and batted .216 with 2 home runs, 22 runs batted in, and 6 stolen bases over 75 games for the rest of his season in the minors.
- Keisser, Bob (September 1, 2010). "Former Dirtbag Espinosa makes his way to the bigs; BASEBALL: Former LSBU alum becomes 37th alum to reach majors". Long Beach Press-Telegram. Retrieved September 2, 2010.
- "Danny Espinosa Awards". The Baseball Cube. Retrieved September 2, 2010.
- Zuckerman, Mark (September 1, 2010). "Zuckerman: Nats Promote Espinosa, Ramos". CSNwashington.com. Retrieved September 2, 2010.
- Boswell, Thomas (September 1, 2010). "For Washington Nationals' real fans, September call-ups hold much promise". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 2, 2010.
- Kilgore, Adam (September 1, 2010). "Danny Espinosa, Wilson Ramos and Collin Balester to be called up". Nationals Journal (The Washington Post). Retrieved September 2, 2010.
- Kilgore, Adam (September 2, 2010). "Hello, Danny Espinosa. Goodbye, Scott Olsen?". Nationals Journal (The Washington Post). Retrieved September 2, 2010.
- Kilgore, Adam (September 6, 2010). "Danny Espinosa hits 2 homers, drives in 6 in Nats' win over Mets". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 6, 2010.
- "2011 Awards Voting". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved 6 September 2012.
- "2011 National League Batting Leaders". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved 6 September 2012.
- "Danny Espinosa 2012 Batting Splits". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved 6 September 2012.
- "Fantasy Baseball Busts for 2013". ESPN.com. Retrieved 18 May 2013.
- "Danny Espinosa Stats, Bio, Photos, Highlights". MiLB.com. Retrieved February 18, 2014.