Scott Baker (right-handed pitcher)
|Chicago Cubs – No. 32|
September 19, 1981 |
|Bats: Right||Throws: Right|
|May 7, 2005 for the Minnesota Twins|
(through 2011 season)
|Earned run average||4.15|
High school/college years 
Baker attended Captain Shreve High School in Shreveport, Louisiana, and graduated in 2000. He was selected to the All-State team his senior year and played college baseball at Oklahoma State University. In the 2001 season, he was named Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American. In the 2003 season, he was named second team All-Big 12.
Draft and minor league career 
Baker began his minor league career with then Minnesota Twins affiliate team the Quad Cities River Bandits in 2003. In his 2004 minor league season, he played for the Class A+ Fort Myers Miracle, Class AA New Britain Rock Cats, and Class AAA Rochester Red Wings, where he would spend the rest of his minor league career. He pitched the majority of his 2005 and 2006 seasons with the Rochester Red Wings. He pitched just seven games in 2007 for the Red Wings before being called up to pitch the rest of his 2007 season with the Twins.
Baker pitched 487 innings in his minor league career, which combined for a 27-23 record, 3.01 ERA, and 412 strikeouts.
Major league career 
Minnesota Twins 
2005 season 
Baker made his Major League debut pitching one scoreless inning out of the bullpen in an 8-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays. On July 5, he made his first Major League start by going five innings while giving up just two runs on five hits and striking out five, however he took the loss in a 2-1 defeat against the Los Angeles Angels. A few weeks later on July 23, Baker had his first career win in Detroit with a 5-2 victory over the Tigers. He started and pitched seven strong innings, allowing just two runs.
Baker split time in 2005 between the Twins and Rochester, the Twins AAA affiliate. On August 29, he returned to the Twins starting rotation for the remainder of the year, making seven consecutive starts to close the season. Baker finished his rookie year with a record of 3-3 and an ERA of 3.35.
2006 season 
Baker beat out the competition to earn the team's No. 5 starting spot out of Spring Training. But he struggled with his command and did not live up to the expectations following his rookie season. The slow start caused Baker to be demoted to Triple-A Rochester on June 1.
Baker ended up spending nearly the entire second half with the Rochester Red Wings, making only a handful of starts after the demotion. While the Twins played great baseball after a 25-33 start by winning the division on the last game of the regular season, Baker's season was a major disappointment. He finished the year with a 5-8 record and a 6.37 ERA in 83.1 innings, with two of the wins coming against the New York Yankees. Baker did not make the Twins' postseason roster.
2007 season 
On August 31, 2007, Baker took a perfect game into the ninth inning against the Kansas City Royals at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome during the second game of a doubleheader, but lost his bid for perfection when he issued a walk to the first batter he faced in the ninth, John Buck. The second hitter after Buck that he faced, Mike Sweeney, hit a single, ending Baker's bid for a no-hitter. Baker finished the game by beating the Royals 5-0 allowing just one hit and completing his second complete game of his career.
2008 season 
On June 15, 2008, Baker became the first Minnesota Twins pitcher to ever throw 4 strikeouts in the same inning. In the 3rd inning against the Milwaukee Brewers, Baker struck out Ryan Braun, then struck out Prince Fielder, but the ball bounced away from catcher Mike Redmond, so Fielder went to first base. Baker then proceeded to strike out Russell Branyan and Mike Cameron. The last pitcher to record such a feat was Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Brad Penny, who did it on September 23, 2006 against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Through September 29, 2008, Baker was 11-4 with a 3.45 ERA and 141 strikeouts.
His 0.48 ground ball/fly ball ration was the lowest in the major leagues for 2008.
=2009 season 
Scott Baker had a solid season, leading the Twins with 15 wins, 162 strikeouts, and 2nd on his team behind Nick Blackburn with a 4.37 ERA, while pitching a career high 200 innings.
2010 season 
Baker started on Opening Day for the Twins to kick off the 2010 season against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. On June 16, 2010, Baker struck career best 12 batters through seven innings against the Colorado Rockies.
2011 season 
Despite being the last pitcher selected for the starting rotation in 2011, Baker had a strong season before missing time with injuries. His ERA at the end of July was 2.86, and he made two starts in August before spending much of the rest of the season on the disabled list with an injured elbow. He finished the season with an 8-6 record and a 3.14 ERA. Baker was the Twins only starting pitcher to have a winning record in 2011, and he was named Twins Pitcher of the Year, leading the team in ERA, strikeouts (123), and WHIP (1.17).
2012 season 
On March 31, 2012, Baker was placed on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to March 26, due to elbow tendinitis. He made a rehab start with the Single-A Fort Myers Miracle in their first game of the season. It was later announced that he would require season ending elbow surgery and would miss the entire 2012 season.
On October 26, 2012, the Twins announced they declined their club option for Baker worth $9.25MM.
Chicago Cubs 
Pitching style 
Through the 2011 season, Baker threw six pitches: a four-seam fastball, his lead pitch (89–94 mph); a two-seam fastball (88–93 mph); a cut fastball (mid 80s); a slider (low 80s); a curveball (79–81 mph); and a changeup (low 80s). His repertoire against right-handed hitters is mostly four-seamer/slider, while against lefties he throws the two-seamer, as well. The cutter, curveball, and changeup are infrequent offerings.
Personal life 
See also 
- Scott Baker: Biography and Career Highlights - twinsbaseball.com: Players.
- Associated Press (2008-06-15). "Baker first Twin to strike out four (Brewers) in single inning". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2009-02-10.
- ESPN - Scott Baker Stats, News, Photos - Minnesota Twins
- Bollinger, Rhett (March 31, 2012). "Baker dealing with elbow tendinitis, lands on DL". twinsbaseball.com.
- Nicholson-Smith, Ben (October 26, 2012). "Quick Hits: Baker, Hunter, Kershaw, LaRoche". MLB Trade Rumors.
- "Brooks Baseball · Home of the PitchFX Tool - Player Card: Scott Baker". Brooks Baseball. Retrieved 27 November 2012.
- "Scott Baker Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved 27 November 2012.
- "Twins-Tigers: First pitch scheduled for 1:30 p.m.". Retrieved 2012-08-12.
- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)
- Baker likes taste of big leagues (Minnesota Public Radio)