Mark Kotsay

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Mark Kotsay
Mark Kotsay Baserunner.jpg
Kotsay with the Milwaukee Brewers
Outfielder
Born: (1975-12-02) December 2, 1975 (age 38)
Whittier, California
Batted: Left Threw: Left
MLB debut
July 11, 1997 for the Florida Marlins
Last MLB appearance
September 29, 2013 for the San Diego Padres
Career statistics
Batting average .276
Home runs 127
Runs batted in 720
Teams
Career highlights and awards
Mark Kotsay
Medal record
Competitor for  United States
Men's Baseball
Summer Olympics
Bronze 1996 Atlanta Team

Mark Steven Kotsay (born December 2, 1975) is an American former professional baseball outfielder . He played for the Florida Marlins, San Diego Padres, Oakland Athletics, Atlanta Braves, Boston Red Sox, Chicago White Sox, and Milwaukee Brewers.

Amateur career[edit]

Born in Whittier, but raised in Santa Fe Springs California,[1] Kotsay played college baseball at Cal State Fullerton. Kotsay spent the summer of 1994 playing for the Bourne Braves of the Cape Cod Baseball League. In 1995, Kotsay won the Golden Spikes Award and was the Most Outstanding Player of the College World Series, as CS-Fullerton won its third Series championship. In addition to being an outfielder, Kotsay was a closer in college; he pitched the final five outs to clinch his team's CWS title. Kotsay was a consensus choice as an All-American in 1995 and 1996.

Professional playing career[edit]

Florida Marlins[edit]

Kotsay was selected by the Florida Marlins as the 9th pick of the 1996 Major League Baseball Draft.

Kotsay appeared in 14 games for the Florida Marlins in 1997 before taking over as the team's center fielder in 1998. He was moved to right field after Gary Sheffield was traded, a position better suited for the strong throwing arm which Kotsay regularly showed off. As a rookie, he led all National League outfielders with 20 assists, and led them again in his second year with the same number. In 2000, he led all right fielders with 13 assists. At the plate, Kotsay was an average hitter during these years, hitting around .280 with occasional power and the occasional stolen base.

San Diego Padres (first stint)[edit]

Kotsay was traded in 2001, barely a week before Opening Day, to the San Diego Padres as part of a deal for Matt Clement and Eric Owens. Moved back to center field, Kotsay improved his hitting, but he recorded only four outfield assists. This can be largely attributed to the fact that few chose to run on Kotsay. Over the next two seasons, however, Kotsay was defensively back on form, leading all National League center fielders in that category. Kotsay hit .291 with a .807 OPS in 2001 and .292 with a .810 OPS in 2002. After his batting average slipped to .266 with a .726 OPS in 2003, Kotsay was traded to the Oakland Athletics for Terrence Long and Ramón Hernández.

Oakland Athletics[edit]

Kotsay with the Athletics in 2006

With Oakland in 2004, Kotsay found his stroke and batted a career best .314 hitting second in the A's lineup. Displaying his customary strong arm afield, he led American League center fielders with 11 assists.

On July 9, 2005, the Athletics announced that Kotsay and the team had come to terms on a three-year, $29 million contract extension.[2] The extension kept Kotsay under contract with the Athletics through the 2008 season and included a no-trade clause through the 2006 season. News of the contract extension ended speculation that Kotsay would be traded to a team in need of a starting center fielder, such as the New York Yankees.

On Mother's Day, May 14, 2006, Kotsay was one of more than 50 hitters who brandished a pink bat to benefit the Breast Cancer Foundation. He was one of a handful of players to hit a pink bat home run.

The 2006 season marked Kotsay's first-ever appearance in a postseason game, as the Oakland Athletics clinched the 2006 AL West Division title. On October 4, he hit his first postseason home run against Minnesota Twins pitcher Dennys Reyes for a two run inside-the-park home run which scored Jason Kendall that put the Oakland A's ahead 4 to 2, leading his team to win Game 2 of the ALDS.

Kotsay underwent back surgery during spring training 2007, and missed the first two months of the 2007 campaign.

Atlanta Braves[edit]

Kotsay with the Braves in 2008.

On January 14, 2008, after passing a physical, Kotsay was officially traded to the Atlanta Braves along with $5.3 million of his $7.3 million salary from the Athletics for Joey Devine and prospect Jamie Richmond.

On August 14, 2008, Kotsay became the first Atlanta Brave to hit for the cycle since Albert Hall did it in 1987. He doubled to right in the 7th inning against Bob Howry of the Chicago Cubs. The double that completed the cycle was also Kotsay's 1,500th career hit. He would hit another single in the 9th inning to have his third career 5-hit game and first since 2005. However, despite the great effort, the Braves lost to the Cubs 11–7.

Boston Red Sox[edit]

On August 27, 2008, Kotsay was traded to the Boston Red Sox for minor league outfielder Luis Sumoza.[3]

Kotsay quickly became the Red Sox's preferred first baseman after third baseman Mike Lowell was lost for the season due to injury and Kevin Youkilis was moved to third. Supplanting Sean Casey, he was the regular first baseman throughout the playoffs. He finished the Sox regular season batting .226/.286/.345 in 84 at-bats, and he batted .250/.250/.325 in the playoffs. Despite the poor totals, he was frequently referred to throughout 2008 as someone who hit baseballs hard right at someone, a hard-luck hitter.

On January 15, 2009, Kotsay signed a one-year deal to return to the Red Sox. He underwent back surgery to remove a displaced disc in February 2009 but did not miss significant time.[4]

On July 24, 2009, Kotsay was designated for assignment by the Red Sox to free up a roster spot for newly acquired Adam LaRoche.

Chicago White Sox[edit]

On July 28, 2009, Kotsay was traded to Chicago White Sox for minor league outfielder Brian Anderson and cash considerations. On November 5, 2009, he was re-signed by the White Sox for a one-year, $1.5 million deal.[5] In 2010, Kotsay appeared in 107 games, primarily as a designated hitter and first-baseman, hitting .239/.306/.376.

Milwaukee Brewers[edit]

On February 1, 2011, Kotsay agreed to sign a one-year contract with the Milwaukee Brewers. The contract was worth $800,000 plus $450,000 in incentives.

Kotsay with the Brewers in 2011.

Kotsay served as a utility man, mostly as a reserve outfield and pinch hitter.

In 2011, he batted .270 with 3 home runs in 233 at-bats.[6] Through 2011, he was fourth of all active major leaguers in career outfield assists, with 120.[7]

San Diego Padres (second stint)[edit]

On November 15, 2011, Kotsay signed a one-year deal, worth $1.25 million, with the San Diego Padres.[8]

Kotsay began the year on the disabled list with a calf strain. He made his regular season debut on April 17, 2012. He had another stint on the disabled list in May with a lower back strain.[9] On August 12, 2012, Kotsay signed a one-year extension to stay with the Padres through 2013 for $1.3 million. Kotsay was hitting .275/.333/.363 with 1 HR and 9 RBI in 55 games before the deal.[10] Kotsay made 26 starts in the field and had 51 appearances as a pinch hitter, batting .259/.314/.357 overall. His 13 pinch-hits tied him for second in the Major Leagues.[11]

In 2013, Kotsay made 23 starts in the field at the corner outfield spots and first base but appeared in 104 games, mostly as a pinch hitter. He finished the season hitting .194/.253/.226 in 155 at-bats. On September 14, Kotsay announced he would retire after the 2013 season.[12] Kotsay was honored in a special ceremony in his final home game at Petco Park on September 26.[13]

Career after playing[edit]

Kotsay joined the Padres front office in 2014 as a special assistant.[14]

Personal[edit]

Kotsay and his wife Jamie have three children. Kotsay attended Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe Springs, California where he excelled in football and baseball. Often referred to as the "Human Toaster" for his rocket fire arm and consistent toasting of runners at the plate from his domain in center field, as well as his "Don't mess with me" attitude.

Kotsay is Catholic. His father, Steve Kotsay, is a retired Los Angeles Police Motorcycle Officer. [15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Mark Kotsay Stats, Bio, Photos, Highlights". MLB.com. Retrieved July 28, 2008. 
  2. ^ "Kotsay gets no-trade clause through 2006". ESPN.com. Retrieved July 28, 2008. 
  3. ^ By Mark Bowman / MLB.com (August 27, 2008). "Red Sox land Kotsay from Braves". Boston.redsox.mlb.com. Retrieved October 3, 2011. 
  4. ^ Boston 1B-OF Kotsay Has Back Surgery Yahoo Sports, February 4, 2009
  5. ^ "Chicago White Sox sign Mark Kotsay to one-year deal". Sports.espn.go.com. November 5, 2009. Retrieved October 3, 2011. 
  6. ^ "Mark Kotsay Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved October 3, 2011. 
  7. ^ "Active Leaders &amp Records for Assists as OF". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved October 3, 2011. 
  8. ^ http://www.piercecountyherald.com/event/article/id/40847/
  9. ^ "Padres place OF Mark Kotsay on 15-day DL and recall OF Blake Tekotte from Triple-A Tucson". Padres Press Release. MLB.com. May 19, 2012. Retrieved 17 March 2013. 
  10. ^ Perry, Dayn (August 12, 2012). "Padres sign Mark Kotsay to contract extension". CBS Sports. 
  11. ^ Brock, Corey (February 28, 2013). "Veteran Kotsay not quite ready for swan song". MLB.com. Retrieved 17 March 2013. 
  12. ^ Center, Bill (September 14, 2013). "Padres lose 2-1; Kotsay to retire". U-T San Diego. Retrieved August 1, 2014. 
  13. ^ Emerick, Tyler (September 26, 2013). "Kotsay honored before final game in San Diego". MLB.com. Retrieved August 1, 2014. 
  14. ^ Brock, Corey (December 19, 2013). "Kotsay joining Padres' front office". MLB.com. Retrieved August 1, 2014. 
  15. ^ Beattie, Trent. "MLB Veteran Mark Kotsay Pursues Perfect Work". Retrieved 2013-03-31. 

External links[edit]