Bourjos with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (2010-2013)
|St. Louis Cardinals – No. 8|
March 31, 1987 |
Park Ridge, Illinois
|Bats: Right||Throws: Right|
|August 3, 2010 for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim|
(through June 29, 2014)
|Runs batted in||100|
Peter Christopher Bourjos (born March 31, 1987) is an American professional baseball center fielder for the St. Louis Cardinals of Major League Baseball (MLB). The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim selected him in the tenth round of the 2005 amateur draft from Notre Dame Preparatory High School in Scottsdale, Arizona. He made his MLB debut for the Angels in 2010. The Cardinals obtained him in a trade with the Angels after the 2013 season. Bourjos has gained considerable attention for his defensive skills, including his range and speed.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim selected Bourjos in the 10th round of the 2005 Major League Baseball Draft, signing on August 18, 2005. In 2008, Bourjos registered 50 stolen bases (SB) and a .295 batting average (AVG) with the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes.
Bourjos spent 2009 with the Arkansas Travelers. With a strong season at the plate, he batted .281 in 110 games, scored 72 runs, hit 16 doubles, 14 triples, six home runs (HR) and drove in 51 runners (RBI). In 109 games in the outfield, he recorded 294 putouts, five double plays and seven assists in 302 total chances with only one error for a .997 fielding percentage. Bourjos led the Texas League (TL) in triples and led the Travelers in runs. In May, he was selected as the Angels' Defensive Player of the Month and as a TL All-Star. He was also recognized as the Angels minor league system's Defensive Player of the Year in 2009.
In the offseason after 2009, the Angels bought his contract and added him to their 40-man roster to prevent him from being selected by another team in the Rule 5 Draft. Going into the 2010 season, Baseball America named him the second-best prospect in the Angels system, the "fastest baserunner," and "best defensive outfielder." In 487 games and seven minor league seasons in the Angels system, Bourjos batted .291 with a .345 on-base percentage, .455 slugging percentage, 88 doubles, 54 triples, 41 HR, 225 RBI and 141 SB.
Bourjos made his Major League debut on August 3, 2010. He appeared in 51 games that year, batting .204 with six doubles, four triples, six home runs and ten SB. He played 450 innings in the outfield and recorded ten assists, which placed second among all American League (AL) center fielders.
In 2011, he, along with Austin Jackson, led the AL with 11 triples. It was an overall breakout season for Boujos with a .271 batting average, 26 doubles, 12 HR, 49 extra base hits and 22 stolen bases in 147 games. He also registered seven assists, fifth among AL center fielders. The next season, he lost most of his playing time as heralded prospect Mike Trout emerged and the Angels continued playing Vernon Wells and Torii Hunter. Bourjos appeared in 101 games and totaled just 195 plate appearances. In September, he suffered wrist soreness in the aftermath of being hit by a pitch. Bourjos' final batting line included a .220 batting average, .291 on-base percentage and .315 slugging percentage, with three HR, seven doubles, and three stolen bases. After the season, Hunter signed with the Detroit Tigers as a free agent, clearing an opportunity for Bourjos regain regular playing time.
To increase his production at the plate, Bourjos began taking batting practice off a tee before the 2013 season. His strategy was to change his approach by hitting more ground balls and line drives, and fewer fly balls. In 2011, he had posted a ground ball rate of 46.8 percent. In 2013, he had raised that total to 58.7 percent, which was top-ten for hitters with at least 170 plate appearances. The extra practice and change in approach showed improved results. As of June 29, he had carried a .333 batting average, .392 on-base percentage and .457 slugging percentage and started to recoup a regular role. However, in August, Bourjos took another pitch off his wrist from Jordan Lyles of the Houston Astros. He attempted to rehabilitate it without surgery, but produced just five hits 46 in PA in August and September. Surgery was required to repair the wrist. His final 2013 batting included a .274 AVG, .333 OBP, .374 SLG, three doubles, three triples and three home runs with six stolen bases in 55 total games and 196 PA.
St. Louis Cardinals
On November 22, 2013, the Angels traded Bourjos and Randal Grichuk to the St. Louis Cardinals for third baseman David Freese and relief pitcher Fernando Salas. With the previous season's starting center fielder Jon Jay producing a decline in offensive performance and below average defense, acquiring Bourjos allowed the Cardinals to offset some defensive inconsistency. On January 17, 2014, Bourjos and the Cardinals avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $1.2 million contract, with a plate appearance-based performance incentive worth $150,000.
During a May 29, 2014, game against the San Francisco Giants, he advanced from first base to third on pitcher Jaime García's sacrifice bunt. The Giants had optioned for an infield shift, leaving third base without a stationed fielder. The play also occurred without the benefit of an error. Bourjos' first home run at Busch Stadium gave the Cardinals the go-ahead run against the Kansas City Royals on June 4.
Bourjos is prized mainly for his speed and defense. According to Fangraphs in 2013, he "rate(d) as one of the very best defensive center fielders in baseball," and also noted his base running. Baseball Prospectus noted that he "covered so much ground as a center fielder that it sometimes backfired early in the season. His corner outfielders (Hunter and Wells), unaccustomed to flanking a player with such range, sometimes weren't giving way to Bourjos, while other times they flinched or back away at his mere approach." Even after Trout became a full-time player for the Angels in 2012, Bourjos exclusively played center field when he was in the game, pushing Trout into left field. Through 2013, center field was the only position Bourjos had played in 341 Major League games, aside from five as a designated hitter.
As a hitter, Bourjos was mainly a ground ball hitter, posting a 50.5% ground ball rate over his career as of 2013. In 2011, he posted his lowest career ground ball rate at 46.8%. Every other season, it has been above 50%. In 2013, it was 58.7%. According to former Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan's anecdotes, Bourjos' batted-ball style is one that allows little margin for extra base hits.
- "Peter Bourjos minor league statistics & history". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved December 6, 2013.
- Arkansas Travelers (October 1, 2009). "Reckling & Bourjos win Angels annual awards".
- Shaikin, Bill (November 17, 2009). "Peter Bourjos added to roster; new number for Kendry Morales". Los Angeles Times.
- Eddy, Matt (January 18, 2010). "Los Angeles Angels Top 10 Prospects". Baseball America.
- "Peter Bourjos statistics and history". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved December 6, 2013.
- bgh (December 2, 2013). "Will the St. Louis Cardinals' bet on Peter Bourjos pay off?". Viva El Birdos. Retrieved December 6, 2013.
- Mitchell, Houston (November 14, 2012). "Torii Hunter signs two-year deal with Detroit Tigers". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 6, 2013.
- Megdal, Howard (March 29, 2014). "Untapped potential". Sports on Earth. Retrieved June 30, 2014.
- González, Alden (November 22, 2013). "Angels land third baseman Freese in deal for Bourjos". MLB.com. Retrieved November 22, 2013.
- Gordon, Jeff (June 13, 2014). "Jon Jay won't go away". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved June 27, 2014.
- Langosch, Jenifer (January 17, 2014). "Cardinals avoid arbitration with Jay, Bourjos". MLB.com. Retrieved June 27, 2014.
- Kilpatrck, Brian (May 29, 2014). "Peter Bourjos advances from 1st to 3rd on sacrifice bunt". SB Nation. Retrieved June 27, 2014.
- Latsch, Nate (June 4, 2014). "Bourjos is just trying to stay ready as at-bats are hard to come by". Fox Sports Midwest. Retrieved June 27, 2014.
- Cameron, Dave (November 22, 2013). "Cardinals continue being smart, acquire Peter Bourjos". Fangraphs Baseball. Retrieved December 6, 2013.
- "Mike Trout statistics and history". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved December 6, 2013.
- Brock, Corey (February 22, 2012). "Spring gives Padres scout chance to watch son". MLB.com. Retrieved April 24, 2013.
- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)