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Eric Hacker

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Eric Hacker
Eric Hacker on August 19, 2012.jpg
Hacker with the San Francisco Giants
NC Dinos – No. 8
Pitcher
Born: (1983-03-26) March 26, 1983 (age 34)
Duncanville, Texas
Bats: Switch Throws: Right
Professional debut
MLB: September 22, 2009, for the Pittsburgh Pirates
KBO: April 4, 2013, for the NC Dinos
MLB statistics
(through 2012 season)
Win–loss record 0–1
Earned run average 4.00
Strikeouts 11
KBO statistics
(through 2016 season)
Win–loss record 44–27
Earned run average 3.54
Strikeouts 522
Teams

Eric Lynn Hacker (born March 26, 1983) is an American professional baseball pitcher for the NC Dinos of the KBO League. Hacker stands 6 feet 1 inch (1.85 m) and weighs 230 pounds (100 kg). He throws right-handed but is a switch hitter. He has also played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Minnesota Twins, and San Francisco Giants. He throws a fastball, a slider, a curveball, and a changeup.

Hacker was drafted out of Duncanville High School by the New York Yankees in 2002. He pitched in their minor league system from 2002 to 2009 (missing 2004 and 2006 with injuries) before getting traded to the Pirates. He made his major league debut with Pittsburgh on September 22, 2009, and pitched in three games for them that season. He signed with the Giants in the offseason and spent the entire 2010 season in the minor leagues. In 2011, he signed with the Twins and appeared in two games with them. He signed with San Francisco in 2012 and made his first career start in the majors, recording a loss. He also pitched three games in relief for the Giants that year.

High school and personal life[edit]

Hacker was born in Duncanville, Texas; growing up, he attended Duncanville High School.[1] He was named the starting quarterback on the school's football team his senior year, but he broke his foot in the second game of the season. Although some colleges were interested in him as a football player, he decided to concentrate on baseball as a result of the injury.[2] As a senior, he was a third-team Class 5A All-State pitcher.[3] Currently, Hacker lives in Corsicana, Texas, with his wife, Christine, whom he married in November 2008.[3] He is a Dallas Cowboys fan. Two of his hobbies are fishing and pool.[2]

Professional career[edit]

New York Yankees organization[edit]

Drafted by the New York Yankees in the 23rd round of the 2002 Major League Baseball draft, Hacker began his career with the GCL Yankees of the rookie-level Gulf Coast League. He appeared in three games with them in 2002. In 2003, he appeared in seven games (five starts) with them, posting a 3–2 record, a 2.86 earned run average (ERA), 26 strikeouts, and seven walks in 28 13 innings pitched. He also pitched with the Staten Island Yankees of the Class A short-season New York–Penn League, where he had no record and an ERA of 1.00 in two starts.[4] He underwent Tommy John surgery in 2004 and missed the entire season.[5] During his time with the GCL Yankees, he was roommates with Brandon Weeden. The two still correspond.[6]

In 2005, Hacker pitched for the Charleston RiverDogs of the Class A South Atlantic League and was named to the league's All-Star game. On July 2, he threw eight shutout innings in a 1–0 victory over the Rome Braves.[7] However, he was placed on the disabled list the next day and missed the rest of the season with right shoulder inflammation.[3] In 10 starts, Hacker had a 5–2 record, a 1.60 ERA, 40 strikeouts, 14 walks, and one complete game in 62 innings pitched.[4] Hacker missed the entire 2006 season after undergoing right shoulder surgery.[3]

Hacker began 2007 with Charleston, where he had a 9–2 record, a 2.56 ERA, 54 strikeouts, 18 walks, and 95 innings pitched in 17 starts. He also appeared in nine games (seven starts) for the Tampa Yankees of the Class A advanced Florida State League (FSL), posting a 3–3 record, a 6.10 ERA, 22 strikeouts, and 14 walks in 38 13 innings.[4] He finished the season by appearing in one game (which he won) with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees of the Class AAA International League (IL).[3]

Hacker began 2008 with Tampa. He was named the FSL Pitcher of the Week from April 8 to 14 after throwing 14 scoreless innings. After recording a 2–2 record, a 1.87 ERA, 31 strikeouts, nine walks, and 53 innings pitched in nine starts, he was promoted to the Trenton Thunder of the Class AA Eastern League on May 28.[3] In 17 starts with the Thunder, he had a 7–4 record, a 2.76 ERA, 84 strikeouts, and 28 walks in 95 13 innings pitched. His minor league totals were a 9–6 record, a 2.43 ERA, 79 strikeouts, 33 walks, and 144 13 innings pitched in 26 starts.[4] In the playoffs, he had a 2–0 record and a 1.54 ERA in two starts as the Thunder won the Eastern League championship.[3]

In 2009, Hacker attended spring training with New York for the first time but was sent to the minors on March 8 after two games.[3][8] He began the season with Trenton, where he recorded a 1–1 record, a 4.11 ERA, eight strikeouts, seven walks, and 15 13 innings pitched in three starts. After three starts, he was promoted to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, where he had an 0–1 record, a 7.88 ERA, 12 strikeouts, four walks, and 16 innings pitched in three starts.[3] On May 9, he was designated for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster for Brett Tomko.[9]

Pittsburgh Pirates[edit]

On May 16, Hacker was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Rómulo Sánchez. The Pirates assigned him to the Indianapolis Indians of the International League.[10] He was named the IL Pitcher of the Week for August 3–9 after winning both of his starts and striking out 14 hitters during the week.[11] He recorded a 5–5 record, a 4.02 ERA, 82 strikeouts, 46 walks, and 116 13 innings pitched in 21 starts and was called up to the majors for the first time on September 8 following the IL season.[4] Hacker said upon being called up:

Hacker made his major league debut on September 22, allowing two runs in an inning in a 10–4 loss to the Cincinnati Reds.[13] He pitched a scoreless inning in a 6–0 loss to the Chicago Cubs in his next game on September 29.[14] In his final game of the year on October 4, he pitched a scoreless inning in a 6–0 loss to Cincinnati.[15] Hacker had no record, a 6.00 ERA, one strikeout, two walks, and three innings pitched in his three games with the Pirates. He was outrighted (sent to the minors and removed from the 40-man roster) on November 6, and he became a minor league free agent on November 9.[16][17]

San Francisco Giants (first stint)[edit]

On December 18, 2009, Hacker signed with the San Francisco Giants.[17] He pitched in four games for the Giants in spring training but was sent to the minors after posting a 14.29 ERA.[3] With the Fresno Grizzlies of the AAA Pacific Coast League (PCL), he won eight consecutive decisions from July 4 to August 20.[3] In 29 starts, Hacker posted a 16–8 record, a 4.51 ERA, 129 strikeouts, and 62 walks in 165 23 innings pitched.[4] He tied for the PCL lead in starts with Lance Lynn while finishing sixth in innings pitched, sixth in ERA, and fourth in strikeouts (behind Lynn (141), Brandon Dickson (137), and Michael Kirkman (130)).[18] His 16 wins led the PCL, the highest total since 1995 when Donne Wall won 17.[3] On November 6, he became a free agent.[17]

Minnesota Twins[edit]

On November 9, 2010, Hacker signed with the Minnesota Twins.[17] He attended spring training but was sent to the minors after posting a 13.50 ERA in five games.[3] He was called up to Minnesota on April 19 to replace Alex Burnett (who was optioned) in the bullpen; Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said, "We need a long guy [in the bullpen]."[19] He made his Twins' debut that day, throwing two scoreless innings in an 11–0 loss to the Baltimore Orioles.[20] In his next game on April 27, he gave up one unearned run in 3 13 innings but allowed three inherited runners to score in an 8–2 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays.[21] After the game, Hacker was optioned back to Triple-A Rochester to make room on the roster for Anthony Swarzak.[3][22] On July 17, he was outrighted off the 40-man roster to make room for Scott Diamond.[23] With the Rochester Red Wings of the International League, Hacker had a 7–14 record, a 6.10 ERA, 98 strikeouts, 50 walks, and 135 23 innings pitched in 26 games (25 starts). He tied with Diamond for the league lead in losses, ranked sixth in the league in walks, led the league in runs allowed (103), and ranked third in the league in earned runs allowed (92, behind Thad Weber's 95 and Corey Kluber's 93).[24] On October 4, he became a free agent.[17]

San Francisco Giants (second stint)[edit]

In 2012, Hacker re-signed with the Giants. He was called up to make his first career start for the Giants on April 27 due to an earlier doubleheader. He allowed three runs and got the loss (his first career decision) but recorded seven strikeouts in six innings as the San Diego Padres defeated the Giants 5–3. After the game, he was returned to Fresno to make room for Steve Edlefsen on the roster.[25] Hacker was selected to the PCL All-Star Game in 2012.[26] On August 17, he was called up to be used as a long reliever soon after Brad Penny was placed on the disabled list.[27] The next day, he gave up a run in 1 23 innings (a home run by Carlos Quentin) in an 8–7 victory over San Diego.[28] He gave up a run in one inning (a home run by Will Venable) in a 7–1 loss to San Diego on August 19.[29] He allowed a run in one inning in a 7–3 loss to the Atlanta Braves in his next outing on August 25.[30] After the game, Hacker was optioned to Fresno to make room for Eli Whiteside when the Giants decided to have three catchers on their roster.[31] With the Giants, he had an 0–1 record, a 5.59 ERA, eight strikeouts, two walks, and 9 23 innings pitched in four games (one start).

In 26 games (25 starts) with Fresno, Hacker had a 12–6 record, a 4.01 ERA, 103 strikeouts, and 43 walks in 150 13 innings pitched. He tied with Tom Koehler, Ryan Verdugo, and Brad Peacock for fourth in the PCL in wins (behind John Ely's and Sean O'Sullivan's 14 and Barry Enright's 13) and finished fourth in ERA (behind Ely's 3.20, Yusmeiro Petit's 3.46, and Brad Hand's 4.00).[32] He was designated for assignment on September 4 to make room for Emmanuel Burriss on the Giants' roster, and he became a free agent four days later.[17][33]

NC Dinos[edit]

On January 15, 2013, Hacker signed with the NC Dinos of the KBO League.[34]

On April 4, he started against the Lotte Giants. He pitched 7 innings, while allowing 3 earned runs, but no run support and poor defence caused him to take the loss. During the rest of April, Hacker had a lot of trouble in dealing with runners on base, because his pitching motion was vulnerable to stolen bases. So, by the end of April, Hacker was forced to make changes his pitching delivery.

On March 10, he faced the Doosan Bears, and delivery was changed. Though he ended up with no decision, there was a bit of hope that he could pitch well. Twelve days later, he got his first win in KBO.

However, during the rest of the season, wins were hard to come by, because the batting was especially poor when he was on the mound. Even worse was that the bullpen couldn't hold the lead he had given them. He ended 2013 season with 4–11 with a 3.63 ERA. He had 3 completed games, and pitched 178.1 innings.

However, the Dinos didn't hesitate to extend his contract. In late 2013, Hacker re-signed for the 2014 season with NC Dinos. He has since resigned twice with the Dinos. On December 27, 2016, Hacker signed a one-year, $1 million contract to remain with the Dinos.[35]

Pitching style[edit]

Hacker throws four pitches: a fastball, a slider, a curveball, and a changeup. Early in his minor league career, he only threw the fastball and the slider; former Indians' pitching coach Ray Searage believes the other two pitches have helped him keep hitters "off balance."[11] After his first start (against the Padres in 2012), Padres' manager Bud Black said, "He has a deliberate motion out of the windup."[36]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Stohs, Seth (April 19, 2011). "Get to know 'em: Eric Hacker". Star Tribune. Retrieved September 30, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Coleman, Anthony (September 3, 2008). "Blog: The Eric Hacker File". nj.com. Retrieved October 13, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "Eric Hacker Stats, Video Highlights, Photos, Bio". MLB.com. Retrieved June 20, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Eric Hacker Minor League Statistics & History". Baseball-Reference.com (Minors). Retrieved June 20, 2012. 
  5. ^ Teale, Patrick (December 23, 2008). "Scouting Yankees Prospect #28: Eric Hacker". Scout.com. Retrieved June 20, 2012. 
  6. ^ Miller, Jeff (November 23, 2011). "Having a ball". ESPN.com. Retrieved June 20, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Gonzalez's Blast Ruins Rome as RiverDogs Win, 1–0". Our Sports Central. July 2, 2005. Retrieved June 21, 2012. 
  8. ^ Feinsand, Mark (March 9, 2009). "Mariano Rivera tosses off concerns". New York Daily News. Retrieved March 21, 2009. 
  9. ^ Carig, Marc (May 9, 2009). "New York Yankees DFA Eric Hacker". Newark Star-Ledger. Retrieved June 26, 2012. 
  10. ^ Mayo, Jonathan (May 16, 2009). "Bucs make Minors trade with Yanks". MLB.com. Retrieved May 17, 2009. 
  11. ^ a b Jennings, Andy (August 10, 2009). "Hacker Named IL Pitcher Of The Week". milb.com. Retrieved June 26, 2012. 
  12. ^ Langosch, Jenifer (September 8, 2009). "Hacker has thirst for big league action". Pirates.MLB.com. Retrieved June 26, 2012. 
  13. ^ Langosch, Jenifer (September 23, 2009). "Hacker's debut with Bucs fulfills dream". Pirates.MLB.com. Retrieved June 28, 2012. 
  14. ^ "September 29, 2009 Pittsburgh Pirates at Chicago Cubs". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved October 1, 2012. 
  15. ^ "October 4, 2009 Pittsburgh Pirates at Cincinnati Reds". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved October 1, 2012. 
  16. ^ Langosch, Jenifer (November 6, 2009). "Pirates outright three off 40-man roster". Pirates.MLB.com. Retrieved June 28, 2012. 
  17. ^ a b c d e f "Eric Hacker Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved June 28, 2012. 
  18. ^ "2010 Pacific Coast League Pitching Leaders". Baseball-Reference.com (Minors). Retrieved June 30, 2012. 
  19. ^ Karpovich, Todd (April 19, 2011). "Morneau is latest Twins player to miss time". Minnesota Twins. MLB. Retrieved June 30, 2012. 
  20. ^ Seidel, Jeff (April 19, 2011). "Pavano struggles as Twins fall to O's". Minnesota Twins. MLB. Retrieved September 30, 2012. 
  21. ^ Bollinger, Rhett (April 28, 2011). "Liriano chased early in snowy loss to Rays". Minnesota Twins. MLB. Retrieved September 30, 2012. 
  22. ^ Bollinger, Rhett (April 28, 2011). "Swarzak starts Game 2; Pavano to go Sunday". Minnesota Twins. MLB. Retrieved June 30, 2012. 
  23. ^ Schelling, Jordan (July 17, 2011). "Twins put Baker on DL, promote Diamond". Minnesota Twins. MLB. Retrieved June 30, 2012. 
  24. ^ "2011 International League Pitching Leaders". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved July 4, 2012. 
  25. ^ Haft, Chris (April 28, 2012). "Hacker solid, but Giants fall to Padres". San Francisco Giants. MLB. Retrieved July 7, 2012. 
  26. ^ Pentis, Andrew (June 28, 2012). "PCL announces All-Star Game picks". milb.com. Retrieved June 29, 2012. 
  27. ^ Haft, Chris (August 17, 2012). "Bochy noncommittal about Mota's return". San Francisco Giants. MLB. Retrieved August 18, 2012. 
  28. ^ "August 18, 2012 San Francisco Giants at San Diego Padres". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved October 2, 2012. 
  29. ^ "August 19, 2012 San Francisco Giants at San Diego Padres". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved October 2, 2012. 
  30. ^ Lee, Jay (August 25, 2012). "Giants fall short of picking up Bumgarner". San Francisco Giants. MLB. Retrieved October 2, 2012. 
  31. ^ Lee, Jay (August 26, 2012). "Giants bring up Whiteside as protection for Posey". San Francisco Giants. MLB. Retrieved August 28, 2012. 
  32. ^ "2012 Pacific Coast League Pitching Leaders". Baseball-Reference.com (Minors). Retrieved September 7, 2012. 
  33. ^ Lee, Jay (September 4, 2012). "Giants add Burriss, two pitchers to roster". San Francisco Giants. MLB. Retrieved September 5, 2012. 
  34. ^ DiPietro, Lou (January 15, 2013). "Hacker's Decision: 'I'm taking my talents to South Korea'". YES Network. Retrieved January 21, 2013. 
  35. ^ Adams, Steve (December 27, 2016). "Eric Hacker Re-Signs With KBO's NC Dinos". mlbtraderumors.com. Retrieved December 27, 2016. 
  36. ^ "Hacker has strong start in Giants' loss to Padres". San Francisco Chronicle. Associated Press. April 27, 2012. Retrieved October 8, 2012. 

External links[edit]