Brad Boxberger

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Brad Boxberger
Brad Boxberger on August 31, 2015.jpg
Boxberger pitching for the Tampa Bay Rays in 2015
Tampa Bay Rays – No. 26
Relief pitcher
Born: (1988-05-27) May 27, 1988 (age 28)
Fullerton, California
Bats: Right Throws: Right
MLB debut
June 10, 2012, for the San Diego Padres
MLB statistics
(through August 4, 2016)
Win–loss record 10–13
Earned run average 2.98
Strikeouts 239
Saves 44
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Bradley George Boxberger (born May 27, 1988) is an American professional baseball relief pitcher for the Tampa Bay Rays of Major League Baseball (MLB). He previously played in MLB for the San Diego Padres from 2012 through 2013.

Boxberger attended the University of Southern California (USC), where he played college baseball for the USC Trojans. Drafted in the first round of the 2009 MLB draft by the Cincinnati Reds, Boxberger played in minor league baseball for the Reds until was traded to the Padres after the 2011 season. Boxberger made his MLB debut with the Padres in 2012. The Padres traded him to Tampa Bay after the 2013 season.

Amateur career[edit]

Boxberger attended Foothill High School in Santa Ana, California.[1] He was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the 20th round of the 2006 Major League Baseball draft, but did not sign, choosing to attend the University of Southern California (USC). For the USC Trojans baseball team, he was named a Second Team All-American by Rivals.com.[2] Boxberger was a part of the USC rotation his freshman and junior year, and split his sophomore season between starting and relief.[3]

Professional career[edit]

Cincinnati Reds[edit]

Boxberger was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the first round (43rd overall) of the 2009 Major League Baseball draft, and signed. Boxberger made his professional debut with the Lynchburg Hillcats of the Class A-Advanced Carolina League in 2010. He was named to the Carolina League All-Star Team.[2] He was then promoted to the Carolina Mudcats of the Class AA Southern League. He had a combined win–loss record of 5–10 with a 4.91 earned run average (ERA) in 36 games, including 13 starts, as he was converted from a starter to a reliever after the promotion.[4]

Boxberger pitching for the Louisville Bats, triple-A affiliates of the Cincinnati Reds, in 2011

Boxberger began the 2011 season with the Mudcats, but was promoted to the Louisville Bats of the Class AAA International League. He finished the 2011 season with a 2.03 ERA and 11 saves in 55 games combined.[4] He had the best strikeout ratio and lowest batting average against among all qualified Southern League relievers.[5] Boxberger was the top Double-A closer in the minor leagues in 2011.[6]

Boxberger pitched in the Arizona Fall League for the Phoenix Desert Dogs after the 2011 regular season, where he was named to the Top Prospects Team.[4]

San Diego Padres[edit]

Boxberger, Yonder Alonso, Edinson Vólquez, and Yasmani Grandal were traded to the San Diego Padres for Mat Latos on December 17, 2011.[7] Boxberger began the 2012 season with the Tucson Padres of the Class AAA Pacific Coast League. He was promoted to the Major Leagues on June 10, and made his debut the same day, pitching a hitless eighth inning against the Milwaukee Brewers in Miller Park.[8]

Boxberger was returned to Tucson on June 26 after five relief appearances. He was called up to the majors again on July 30 when Joe Thatcher was placed on the disabled list[9] and was optioned back to Triple-A on August 22 after eight appearances to make room on the roster for starter Andrew Werner.[10] Boxberger joined the Padres again September 4 and remained with the club through the end of the season. In his time with Tucson, Boxberger posted a 2.70 ERA and 12.9 strike-outs per 9 innings over 37 games in relief.[11] His totals for the 2012 season in 24 games with the Major League club were a 2.60 ERA and 33 strike-outs versus 18 walks in 2723 innings.

Boxberger started the 2013 season with Tucson.[12] He was recalled by the Padres on May 2, and optioned back to Tucson on May 11. The Padres recalled him again on June 2.[13]

Tampa Bay Rays[edit]

On January 22, 2014, the Padres traded Boxberger, Logan Forsythe, Matt Lollis, Matt Andriese, and Maxx Tissenbaum to the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for Alex Torres and Jesse Hahn.[14] During spring training, the Rays optioned Boxberger to the Durham Bulls of the International League.[15] On May 8, 2014, Boxberger made an appearance in the top of the 6th inning vs the Baltimore Orioles with the bases loaded. He proceeded to strike out 3 batters on 9 pitches thus becoming the 2nd Rays pitcher ever to pitch an immaculate inning and the first pitcher ever on record to do so with the bases loaded.[16]

With Jake McGee on the disabled list at the start of the 2015 season, Boxberger served as the Rays' closer.[17] He successfully converted his first ten save opportunities, and remained the closer after McGee's return.[18] Boxberger was selected for the 2015 MLB All-Star Game.[19] Boxberger finished the season with a 3.71 ERA in 69 appearances, converting 41 of 47 save opportunities to lead the American League.[20]

In his first spring training appearance of 2016, Boxberger tore his adductor brevis muscle, requiring surgery.[21] He began the season on the disabled list, returning to the Rays on May 30.[22] In his first appearance of the 2016 season, Boxberger strained his left oblique muscle, and went back on the disabled list.

Scouting report[edit]

Boxberger is considered a good fit for the late innings of games, either as a setup pitcher or closer.[4] He has a four-seam fastball that ranges from 92 to 96 miles per hour (148 to 154 km/h), a changeup, a slider he throws at 88 miles per hour (142 km/h), and a 12-6 curveball he can throw from 78 to 81 miles per hour (126–130 km/h).[23] Boxberger is tough on right-handers, posting a .225/.356/.354 line in 2012, but lefties hit .262/.380/.500 against him in the same span.

Personal life[edit]

Boxberger's father, Rod, also attended USC and played for the Trojans baseball team. Rod was named the Most Outstanding Player of the 1978 College World Series.[24]

Boxberger and his wife, Anna, have a daughter, Ava Marie, born September 2014.[25][26]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "#1 in College Sports". CSTV.com. May 16, 2008. Retrieved December 18, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b "Boxberger Named Carolina League All-Star — OurSports Central — Independent and Minor League Sports News". OurSports Central. June 10, 2010. Retrieved December 18, 2011. 
  3. ^ Sickels, John (September 26, 2012). "Rookie Review: Brad Boxberger, RHP, San Diego Padres". SBNation Minor League Ball. Retrieved March 3, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Reds prospect Brad Boxberger affirms potential in Arizona Fall League | reds.com: News". Cincinnati.reds.mlb.com. November 21, 2011. Retrieved December 18, 2011. 
  5. ^ Curtright, Guy (June 20, 2011). "SL notes: Boxberger shows brilliance | The Official Site of Minor League Baseball". Web.minorleaguebaseball.com. Retrieved December 18, 2011. 
  6. ^ Center, Bill (December 17, 2011). "Latos traded to Reds for Volquez, 3 top prospects". The San Diego Union-Tribune. Archived from the original on December 17, 2011. 
  7. ^ "Reds acquire Latos in five-player deal". Fox Sports. December 17, 2011. Retrieved December 17, 2011. 
  8. ^ Warnemuende, Jeremy (June 10, 2012). "Boxberger realizes Major League dream". MLB.com. Retrieved March 3, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Padres place LHP Joe Thatcher on 15-day DL and recall RHP Brad Boxberger from Triple-A Tucson". Padres Press Release. MLB.com. July 30, 2012. Retrieved March 3, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Padres select Werner from Triple-A Tucson, option Boxberger to Tucson". Padres Press Release. MLB.com. August 22, 2012. Retrieved March 3, 2013. 
  11. ^ Aderhold, Nathan (September 5, 2012). "Padres Notes: Team DFAs Ohlendorf, Rodriguez; Activates Bass; Recalls Boxberger, Parrino, Solis". MLB Daily Dish. Retrieved March 3, 2013. 
  12. ^ Daniel Berk (April 2, 2013). "Tucson Padres announce 2013 roster". Arizona Daily Star. Azstarnet.com. Retrieved April 18, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Padres recall RHP Brad Boxberger from Triple-A Tucson; option LHP Robbie Erlin to Triple-A Tucson". San Diego Padres. June 2, 2013. Retrieved June 2, 2013. 
  14. ^ "Rays acquire Forsythe in seven-player deal with Padres | MLB.com: News". Mlb.mlb.com. January 22, 2014. Retrieved April 13, 2014. 
  15. ^ "Boxberger optioned; 7 others reassigned | Tampa Bay Times". Tampabay.com. March 20, 2014. Retrieved April 13, 2014. 
  16. ^ "Boxberger strikes out side on nine pitches; MLB.com". May 8, 2014. Retrieved April 7, 2015. 
  17. ^ Topkin, Marc (March 29, 2015). "Rays expect Brad Boxberger to fill in as closer". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved April 7, 2015. 
  18. ^ Roger Mooney – Tribune Staff (May 18, 2015). "Rays' Boxberger quietly emerges as one of game's top young closers". TBO.com. Retrieved July 7, 2015. 
  19. ^ "Rays pitchers Chris Archer, Brad Boxberger named AL All-Stars". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved July 7, 2015. 
  20. ^ "Brad Boxberger Statistics and History". Baseball Reference. Retrieved 13 January 2016. 
  21. ^ http://www.tampabay.com/sports/baseball/rays/rays-brad-boxberger-discusses-injury/2270819
  22. ^ http://www.foxsports.com/florida/story/tampa-bay-rays-activate-brad-boxberger-053016
  23. ^ "Player Card:Brad Boxberger" www.brooksbaseball.net
  24. ^ Curtright, Guy (June 21, 2011). "SL notes: Boxberger shows brilliance". Milb.com. Retrieved April 18, 2013. 
  25. ^ "Rays: Name coincidence between Boxberger baby, Maddon restaurant". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved July 13, 2015. 
  26. ^ "Rays' Karns amped up for second start, home finale". MLB.com. Retrieved July 13, 2015. 

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