Matthew LeCroy

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Matthew LeCroy
Washington Nationals – No. 24
Designated hitter / Catcher / Bullpen Coach
Born: (1975-12-13) December 13, 1975 (age 38)
Belton, South Carolina
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
April 3, 2000 for the Minnesota Twins
Last MLB appearance
September 30, 2007 for the Minnesota Twins
Career statistics
Batting average .260
Home runs 60
Runs batted in 218
Teams
Matthew LeCroy
Medal record
Competitor for  United States
Men's Baseball
Summer Olympics
Bronze 1996 Atlanta Team
Pan American Games
Silver 1999 Winnipeg Team

Matthew Hanks LeCroy (born December 13, 1975 in Belton, South Carolina) is a former Major League Baseball catcher, first baseman, and designated hitter and is currently the bullpen coach for the Washington Nationals. During his time in the major leagues, LeCroy had the distinction of being the active player with the most plate appearances without a stolen base in his career.

Career[edit]

LeCroy is a 1994 graduate of Belton-Honea Path High School in Honea Path, South Carolina and attended Clemson University to pursue a degree in elementary education. While at Clemson, he was named to the 1996 U.S. Olympic Baseball Team and helped the team to a bronze medal after losing to both Cuba (gold medal) and Japan (silver medal) before defeating Nicaragua in the bronze medal game. In 1997, he was drafted as a catcher in the first round (50th overall) of the Major League Baseball Draft by the Minnesota Twins. Although challenged defensively behind the plate, averaging double-digit passed balls while throwing out less than 30 percent of potential base stealers, LeCroy put up superior power numbers in the minor leagues, hitting 101 home runs over five years in the Twins' system.[1] In 1999, LeCroy again competed at the international level when he played for the United States at the 1999 Pan American Games in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The United States took second place behind Cuba in a games made notable by the first time professional baseball players were allowed to compete in international games.

LeCroy got his first taste of the majors in 2000 when he made the major league club out of spring training. From 2000-2002, LeCroy would split time between the Twins and their AAA teams, playing for the Salt Lake City Trappers and later for the Edmonton Eskimos after the Twins changed their minor league affiliate in 2001.[1] Due to his struggles behind the plate, LeCroy also spent time at first base and designated hitter; totaling more games in the major leagues at the latter position than he did at first base and catcher combined.[2] His peak years in the majors were 2003 (.287, 17 HR, 64 RBI in 107 games) and 2005 (.260, 17 HR, 50 RBI in 101 games). Despite his productive 2005 season, Minnesota chose not to resign LeCroy and he signed a minor league contract with the Washington Nationals.

Though battling bone spurs in his throwing knee, LeCroy was asked to fill in during a May 25, 2006, game against the Houston Astros at a time when Washington's starting catcher, Brian Schneider and backup Wiki Gonzalez, were out with injuries. He was replaced by utilityman Robert Fick in the middle of the seventh inning after the Astros stole six bases and LeCroy committed two catching errors. After the game, manager Frank Robinson shed tears during the press conference regarding his removal of Matt in the middle of the seventh inning, which is usually considered embarrassing.[citation needed] LeCroy was designated for assignment July 18, which he accepted, and spent the rest of the year playing for the New Orleans Zephyrs, then Washington's AAA affiliate team.

LeCroy was signed to a minor league deal by the Twins in 2007 after turning down an offer from the Washington Nationals to manage one of their minor-league teams. LeCroy started the 2007 season as designated hitter playing for the Rochester Red Wings in the International League.[3] He had his contract purchased by the major league club on September 9, 2007, when their fourth catcher José Morales went down with an injury, and finished the season with the Twins.

LeCroy was outrighted to the minor leagues by the Twins on October 11, 2007, but he refused the assignment and became a free agent. On February 15, 2008, LeCroy signed a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training with the Oakland Athletics. On March 16, 2008, LeCroy was reassigned to minor league camp and asked the Athletics to grant his release, which they did. LeCroy then signed with the Lancaster Barnstormers of the independent Atlantic League of Professional Baseball in April 2008.[4] LeCroy would play 94 games with Lancaster (hitting .326 with 22 HR and 83 RBI) before retiring at the end of the season.

As a member of the Twins, LeCroy became one of the few major leaguers to pinch hit a walk-off grand slam in a win over the Toronto Blue Jays.[5] He was always a threat to hit a home run, and hit 60 in his career of limited at bats in 472 games over his eight-year major league career.

Coaching Career[edit]

In November 2008, LeCroy was hired by the Nationals to manage the team's Class A affiliate, the Hagerstown Suns. In 2011, LeCroy was moved up to the High Single-A Carolina League when he was named as the manager of the Potomac Nationals. In 2012, he was named the Double A Harrisburg Senators manager. In November 2013, he was named the bullpen coach on new Nationals manager Matt Williams' coaching staff, replacing Jim Lett.[6]

Personal Life[edit]

LeCroy and his wife Holly have five children, daughter Isabella (b. 2004), daughter Maggie (b. 2006), son Noah (b. 2008), and fraternal twins Max and Mabree (b. 2012).[7]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Jim Lett
Washington Nationals Bullpen Coach
2014-Present
Succeeded by
Incumbent