|Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters – No. 5|
September 11, 1987 |
|MLB: July 22, 2011, for the New York Yankees|
|NPB: March 27, 2015, for the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters|
(through 2013 season)
|Runs batted in||16|
(through August 26, 2016)
|Runs batted in||164|
Brandon J. Laird (born September 11, 1987) is an American professional baseball third baseman for the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters of Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB). Previously, he played for the New York Yankees and the Houston Astros of Major League Baseball (MLB).
High school and college career
Laird attended La Quinta High School in Westminster, California. He was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the 27th round of the 2005 Major League Baseball Draft, but did not sign, opting to attend Cypress College.
New York Yankees
On August 2, 2010, Laird was promoted from Double A Trenton Thunder to Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees. Laird was named both the Most Valuable Player and Rookie of the Year of the Eastern League in 2010, following a breakout season. Following the 2010 season, he was added to the Yankees' 40 man roster in order to protect him from the Rule 5 Draft.
Laird was promoted to the majors for the first time on July 18, 2011, when Ramiro Peña was placed on the disabled list. On Friday July 22, 2011 at Yankee Stadium, Laird made his Major League debut, and got his first Major League hit and RBI against Oakland Athletics pitcher Craig Breslow on a single to center field. He scored his first run earlier in the game, scoring on a single by Nick Swisher after working a walk off of A's pitcher Joey Devine. The Yankees designated Laird for assignment on August 27, 2012.
Laird was claimed by the Houston Astros on September 1, 2012. Laird started the 2013 season with the Triple-A Oklahoma City RedHawks. The Astros promoted Laird to the big leagues on April 18, 2013, after Brett Wallace was optioned to Oklahoma City. Laird had been hitting .353 in 12 games to earn his promotion. He was outrighted off the roster on October 2, 2013.
Kansas City Royals
Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters
In November 2014, Laird signed with the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters of Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball. Laird struggled to start the 2015 season with Nippon, batting under .200 into June, but finished his first season with 34 home runs and a batting average of .231. In 2016, Laird led the Pacific League with 39 home runs. He hit the game-winning home run in Game 4 of the 2016 Japan Series.
- Nalbone, John. "Thunder lose; Franklin ejected; Laird promoted". Nj.com. Retrieved July 23, 2011.
- "Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees Blog » Laird named Eastern League MVP, ROY". Blogs.thetimes-tribune.com. September 2, 2010. Retrieved July 23, 2011.
- "Yankees add three to 40-man roster". The LoHud Yankees Blog. November 19, 2010. Retrieved July 23, 2011.
- "Hurt corner: Pena to DL thins options at third". MLB.com. Major League Baseball. July 18, 2011. Retrieved July 23, 2011.
- Stephenson, Colin (August 28, 2012). "Yankees' acquisition of Steve Pearce proves timely with injury to Mark Teixeira". The Star Ledger. NJ.com. Retrieved December 27, 2014.
- "Astros claim Laird from Yankees". MLB.com. September 1, 2012. Retrieved December 27, 2014.
- "Astros option infielder Wallace to Triple-A". April 18, 2013. Retrieved April 18, 2013.
- McTaggert, Brian (October 2, 2013). "Astros add Singleton to 40-man roster". MLB.com. Retrieved December 27, 2014.
- de Jesus Ortiz, Jose (October 2, 2013). "Astros continue staff shakeup by making Tremley bench coach". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved December 27, 2014.
- Kaegel, Dick (November 23, 2013). "Infielder Laird among five signed to Minor League deals". MLB.com. Retrieved December 27, 2014.
- Wild, Danny (December 10, 2014). "Difo, Souza, Giolito step up for Nationals". MILB.com. Retrieved December 27, 2014.
- Coskrey, Jason (October 27, 2016). "Laird sends Fighters past Carp to tie Japan Series". The Japan Times. Retrieved October 27, 2016.