Hundley with San Diego Padres in 2009
September 8, 1983 |
|July 4, 2008 for the San Diego Padres|
(through 2014 season)
|Runs batted in||214|
Nicholas John Hundley (born September 8, 1983) is an American professional baseball catcher who is a free agent. He has played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the San Diego Padres and Baltimore Orioles.
Hundley was born in Corvallis, Oregon to Pam and Tim Hundley. He grew up with his brother, Jake, and they would play catch with their father when he came home from his job as an American football assistant coach with Oregon State. When their father was late, Hundley would pressure his mom to fill in.
As a 12-year-old, Hundley played on the Santa Clarita Mudcats. Other Mudcats alumni include Ryan Braun and James Shields. Hundley played baseball for Lake Washington High School and was drafted in the 5th round of the 2002 Major League Baseball draft by the Florida Marlins but opted to attend college instead.
Hundley was drafted in 2005 by the San Diego Padres in the second round.
Hundley began 2006 with the Class-A Fort Wayne Wizards and was promoted in July to the High-A Lake Elsinore Storm. He played all of 2007 with the Double-A San Antonio Missions, batting .247 with 20 home runs. He began 2008 with the Triple-A Portland Beavers where he batted .189 through May, but raised his average to .232 before his call-up on July 3. He also threw out 38% of base stealers in his 57 games.
San Diego Padres
Hundley was called up to the majors for the first time on July 3, 2008, when Michael Barrett suffered a season-ending injury. Hundley moved into the role of primary catcher, backed up by Josh Bard and Luke Carlin. On July 26, 2008, he hit his first career home run against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Based on his performance in 60 games in 2008, Hundley went to spring training in 2009 as the Padres starting catcher. During the season he was mentored by back-up Henry Blanco, but he missed approximately 50 games from late June to early August due to a wrist injury.
In 2011, Hundley was the Padres primary catcher, but he lost significant playing time to an oblique injury and elbow surgery. Against the Florida Marlins on August 21, 2011, he hit his fifth triple of the season, tying the Padres single season record for triples by a catcher set by Benito Santiago in 1990. It was also Hundley's fourth triple in his last six games. Hundley finished the season with a .288/.347/.477 batting line and 9 home runs in 281 at-bats, career highs in all categories at the time. Behind the plate, he threw out 36% of runners trying to steal.
On March 20, 2012, Hundley signed a long-term contract with the Padres that would keep him in San Diego through 2014 with a club option for 2015, which is the first year Hundley will be eligible for free agency. After a prolonged slump at the start of the 2012 season, Hundley was optioned to Triple-A Tucson on June 30, and catcher Yasmani Grandal was recalled. At the time, Hundley was hitting only .166 with three home runs, 22 RBIs, and 50 strikeouts in 55 games with San Diego. Hundley batted .190 in 13 games in Triple-A and spent time on the disabled list with a strained hamstring before returning to the Padres on August 9. He played in only three more games before a torn meniscus in his right knee forced him to the disabled list and eventually required surgery, ending his season. Hundley said that he had injured the knee in a game in April when he was trying to recover a pitch in the dirt and got tangled with the umpire. Manager Bud Black believes the injury contributed to Hundley's poor season at the plate. He ended the season with a .156 average in 204 at-bats.
Hundley opened 2013 as the Padres primary catcher as Grandal was serving a 50-game suspension for using performance-enhancing drugs. Hundley stirred up some controversy in May when he made remarks about Grandal's steroid use in an interview, but the two reportedly settled the issue. Hundley and Grandal briefly shared catching duties until Grandal suffered a season-ending injury on July 6. Hundley returned to the primary catching role and finished the season with a career-high 102 starts behind the plate. He also set career highs in at-bats (373), hits (87), doubles (19), and home runs (13). He put up a .233/.290/.389 batting line and threw out 26% of base stealers.
On May 24, 2014, the Padres traded Hundley and cash to the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for Troy Patton. On August 19, 2014, Hundley hit his 50th career home run off of Chicago White Sox pitcher Daniel Webb in the 7th inning of a 5-1 victory for the Orioles.
Hundley's wife Amy gave birth to their first child, a daughter, on August 15, 2013.
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- "Padres reinstate C Nick Hundley from paternity leave list and option C Chris Robinson to Triple-A Tucson". Padres Press Release. MLB.com. August 17, 2013. Retrieved 12 October 2013.
- "Nick Hundley".