Matt Murton

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Matt Murton
Matt Murton 20120817.jpg
Murton with the Hanshin Tigers
Hanshin Tigers – No. 9
Outfielder
Born: (1981-10-03) October 3, 1981 (age 33)
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Bats: Right Throws: Right
Professional debut
MLB: July 8, 2005 for the Chicago Cubs
NPB: March 26, 2010 for the Hanshin Tigers
MLB statistics
Batting average .286
Home runs 29
Runs batted in 112
NPB statistics
(through 2012)
Batting average .311
Home runs 35
Runs batted in 189
Teams

Matthew Henry Murton (born October 3, 1981, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida), nicknamed "Thunder Matt",[1] is an American professional baseball outfielder for the Hanshin Tigers of Nippon Professional Baseball. He previously played five years in Major League Baseball for the Chicago Cubs, Oakland Athletics, and Colorado Rockies.

Baseball career[edit]

Boston Red Sox[edit]

Murton was drafted out of Georgia Tech baseball in the supplemental first round of the 2003 MLB Draft by the Boston Red Sox.[2] Murton played just 155 games in the Red Sox organization, with the Lowell Spinners and the Sarasota Red Sox, hitting for a high on-base percentage and average power.

Chicago Cubs[edit]

Murton was acquired at the 2004 trading deadline by the Chicago Cubs along with Red Sox star shortstop Nomar Garciaparra as part of a four-team blockbuster deal.[3] He spent the rest of the year with the Single-A Daytona Cubs.

He started 2005 with the Double-A West Tenn Diamond Jaxx and on July 8, he was called up along with Adam Greenberg, replacing the struggling Corey Patterson, and Jason Dubois.[4] On the same day, he went 2-for-2 with a walk and a sacrifice fly against the Florida Marlins in his major league debut.[5] He continued his success in the majors over the rest of the season, hitting .321 with two stolen bases, seven home runs, and an on-base percentage of .386 in 51 games in 2005.

In 2006, Murton became the Cubs' starting left fielder. On August 3, 2006, Murton went 4-for-4 with 4 doubles and 5 RBIs in game 2 of a doubleheader against the Arizona Diamondbacks, matching a major league record for doubles in a single game.[6] He finished the year with the second-highest mark on the team in batting average, at .297, with 13 home runs and 62 runs batted in.[7]

For 2007, Murton saw his playing time reduced when the Cubs signed Cliff Floyd to spend time in left field. When center fielder Alfonso Soriano switched back to left field in April, Murton switched to right field. On June 13, after hitting only one home run with eight RBIs in limited playing time, Murton was optioned to Triple-A to make room for left-handed pitcher Clay Rapada.

On July 27, 2007, Murton was called back up to the major leagues, along with pitcher Rocky Cherry, with his first start coming on July 30.[8]

In 2008, Murton saw his playing time diminish even further, playing in just nineteen games, and recording only 42 plate appearances in the first three months of the season for the Cubs.

Oakland Athletics[edit]

On July 8, 2008, Murton was traded along with three other Cubs prospects to the Oakland Athletics for pitchers Rich Harden and Chad Gaudin.

Colorado Rockies[edit]

On February 4, 2009, Murton was traded to the Colorado Rockies for infielder Corey Wimberly. When stepping to the plate at Rockies home games, "Strong Tower" by Kutless plays over the speaker system.

Hanshin Tigers[edit]

On December 4, 2009, Murton was released by the Rockies,[9] who sold his contract to the Hanshin Tigers of Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball.[10] In Murton's rookie season with the Hanshin Tigers he became only the fourth player in Nippon Professional Baseball history to have a 200-hit season. [1][dead link] On October 5, 2010, Murton broke the single season hit record, set by Ichiro Suzuki, hitting his 211th hit (in 130 games). He successfully finished his first regular season in Japan with 214 hits (in 144 games), .349 batting average, 17 home runs and 91 RBIs.

Personal life[edit]

Murton is married to Stephanie Murton and has homes in Georgia, Florida, and Colorado. Murton played baseball for Eagles Landing High School in McDonough, Georgia, and later for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. Matt's younger brother, Luke, also played for Georgia Tech and is currently in the New York Yankees farm system.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Matt Murton: Who Is He and Why Should the Boston Red Sox Sign Him". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 15 October 2014. 
  2. ^ http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/draftday/search.jsp?sc=team&sp=bos 2003 First-Year Player Drat Tracker | MLB.com
  3. ^ http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2004/baseball/mlb/07/31/trade.deadline/ SI.com - MLB - Red Sox trade Nomar to Cubs in deadline deal
  4. ^ http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2103231 Patterson recently lost starting job - MLB - ESPN
  5. ^ http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/FLO/FLO200507080.shtml July 8, 2008 Chicago Cubs at Florida Marlins - BaseballReference.com
  6. ^ http://mlb.mlb.com/chc/history/single_game_records.jsp Cubs Single Game Records | cubs.com History
  7. ^ http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/CHC/2006.shtml 2006 Chicago Cubs Batting, Pitching, & Fielding Statistics - BaseballReference.com
  8. ^ http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/news/press_releases/press_release.jsp?ymd=20070727&content_id=2112908&vkey=pr_chc&fext=.jsp&c_id=chc Cubs recall outfielder Matt Murton and right-hander Rocky Cherry from Triple-A Iowa | cubs.com Press Release
  9. ^ Ringolsby, Tracy. Rockies release Murton to pursue career in Japan, FOX Sports. Published December 7, 2009. Retrieved December 7, 2009.
  10. ^ Harding, Thomas. Rockies clear space for Spilborghs, MLB.com. Published December 7, 2009. Retrieved December 8, 2009.

External links[edit]