JD Hammer

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JD Hammer
J.D. Hammer (48053069338) (cropped).jpg
Hammer with the Phillies in 2019
Philadelphia Phillies – No. 65
Born: (1994-07-12) July 12, 1994 (age 25)
Fort Collins, Colorado
Bats: Right Throws: Right
MLB debut
May 26, 2019, for the Philadelphia Phillies
MLB statistics
(through July 17, 2019)
Win–loss record1–0
Earned run average3.79

John Dale Hammer (born July 12, 1994), is an American professional baseball pitcher for the Philadelphia Phillies of Major League Baseball (MLB). He was drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the 24th round of the 2016 Major League Baseball draft, and made his major league debut with the Phillies in 2019.[1][2]

Apart from his pitching abilities, Hammer is known for his signature black big-framed glasses, compared by the press to those of Ricky (Wild Thing) Vaughn, of the movie Major League.[3][4][5][6]

Personal and early life[edit]

Hammer was born in Fort Collins, Colorado.[4][7] He is the third native of Fort Collins to play in MLB, after pitcher Marco Gonzales and infielder Andy Burns.[4] His parents are Jason and Sindi Hammer, and his father played college baseball.[8] He has three younger siblings.[9] His brother Garrett has played baseball at Kellogg Community College and New Mexico Highlands University.[7][10] He has another brother, Kalen, and a sister, Brenli.[7]

High school and college[edit]

Hammer attended Fossil Ridge High School in Colorado for two years.[11] He then attended Fort Collins High School for two years, hitting .390 with eight home runs his junior year (when he was named Second Team All-State), and batting .390 his senior year with five home runs as he played shortstop.[8][11][7][12]

Hammer played college baseball first for two years at Navarro College in Texas where, converted from shortstop to pitcher, he had a 1.09 earned run average (ERA) and was named a JuCo Academic All-American and 2014 All-Region XIV.[13][14][8][15] He then played for two years at Marshall University in West Virginia, majoring in Health Sciences and graduating in 2016.[14][8][15] He was drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the 24th round (710th pick overall) of the 2016 Major League Baseball draft.[7] His signing bonus was $1,000.[5]

Professional career[edit]

Minor leagues[edit]

Pitching in 2016 for the Grand Junction Rockies in the Rookie Pioneer League, Hammer was 0-2, with a 3.92 ERA, in 27 games, notching 52 strikeouts, in 43.2 innings pitched.[16]

That season, Hammer had difficulties seeing (both) the catcher and home plate, because of his poor eyesight; so, after the 2016 season, he picked out a pair of glasses with thick black plastic frames, to be worn while on the field.[6] Apart from Hammer‘s pitching abilities, he is known for those signature black big-framed glasses, (naturally) drawing comparison to those of Ricky (Wild Thing) Vaughn, a character in the movie Major League (as portrayed by Charlie Sheen).[3][4][5][6] Hammer chose glasses over contacts because contacts burned his eyes, and said:

"I was like, 'OK, if I'm going to do glasses, I might as well do something different'. They kind of look like the Wild Thing, so I figured I might as well just go for it. I got teased last spring. I got called everything from Harry Potter to Professor, but it's kind of what I've been known for."[6]

On July 26, 2017, the Rockies traded Hammer, shortstop Jose Gomez, and pitcher Alejandro Requena to the Philadelphia Phillies, for Pat Neshek.[1][17] He was named a South Atlantic League 2017 Mid-Season All Star.[15] Pitching in 2017 for three Class A minor league teams (the Lancaster JetHawks of the California League, the Asheville Tourists of the South Atlantic League, and the Clearwater Threshers of the Florida State League), Hammer totaled a 6-2 win–loss record, with a 1.87 ERA, appearing in 48 games, with 85 strikeouts, in 57.2 innings;[16] he saved 13 games, in 14 save opportunities, had a 0.88 WHIP, and held hitters to a .175 batting average.[18]

In the fall of 2017, while playing for the Glendale Desert Dogs in the Arizona Fall League, Hammer was named an AFL Mid-Season All Star, and named to the AFL All-Prospect Team and Rising Stars after posting an 0.66 ERA in 10 games.[19][16]

In 2018, while pitching for three minor league teams (the GCL Phillies West and GCL Phillies East of the Rookie Gulf Coast League, and the Clearwater Threshers), Hammer was 1-2, with a 2.63 ERA, in 12 games (his number of appearances limited due to an elbow strain), posting 17 strikeouts, in 13.2 innings.[16][5] Pitching for Philadelphia's Reading Fightin Phils in the AA Eastern League and the Lehigh Valley IronPigs in the AAA International League in 2019 (prior to his major league call-up), Hammer was 2-0, with a 1.61 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, accumulated a combined 29 strikeouts, in 22.1 innings.[4][20]

Major leagues[edit]

Hammer was called up to the major leagues for the first time on May 25, 2019. He made his debut a day later at Miller Park against the Milwaukee Brewers.[1][2][21]

Pitching style[edit]

Hammer’s fastball, which reaches 96 mph, is his best pitch. He also throws a slider and a changeup.[5]


  1. ^ a b c "JD Hammer Stats". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. 2019. Retrieved May 28, 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Philadelphia Phillies at Milwaukee Brewers Box Score, May 26, 2019". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. 2019. Retrieved May 28, 2019.
  3. ^ a b Matt Breen (May 25, 2019). "Phillies promote prospect J.D. Hammer and his signature glasses"
  4. ^ a b c d e Lytle, Kevin (May 27, 2019). "Fort Collins graduate called up by Philadelphia Phillies, makes MLB debut". Fort Collins Coloradoan. Retrieved May 28, 2019.
  5. ^ a b c d e Jim Salisbury (May 25, 2019). "Phillies call up hard-throwing reliever J.D. Hammer, place Pat Neshek on injured list," NBC Sports Philadelphia.
  6. ^ a b c d Todd Zolecki (January 17, 2018). "JD Hammer among Phillies' non-roster invitees; Resembling Ricky Vaughn, bespectacled reliever among Phils' non-roster invitees," MLB.com.
  7. ^ a b c d e Lytle, Kevin (June 12, 2016). "Greenwalt is Windsor's first MLB pick, Hammer to Rockies". Fort Collins Coloradoan. Retrieved May 25, 2019.
  8. ^ a b c d "JD Hammer - Baseball - Marshall University Athletics: 2016 Baseball Roster". www.herdzone.com. Marshall Thundering Herd. 2016. Retrieved May 28, 2019.
  9. ^ 2015 Marshall Baseball media guide by Marshall Sports Information - Issuu
  10. ^ "Garrett Hammer - 2018 Baseball - New Mexico Highlands University"
  11. ^ a b "J.D. Hammer Stats & Scouting Report," Baseball America.
  12. ^ "All-State Baseball: Colorado," ESPN.
  13. ^ College Athletics|Baseball Statistics
  14. ^ a b "It's JD Hammer time for the Fightin Phils," Reading Eagle.
  15. ^ a b c "JD Hammer Stats, Fantasy & News," MLB.com.
  16. ^ a b c d "JD Hammer Stats, Highlights, Bio"|MiLB.com Stats| The Official Site of Minor League Baseball
  17. ^ Gelb, Matt; Breen, Matt (July 26, 2017). "Phillies trade Pat Neshek to Colorado for three minor league prospects". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved May 25, 2019.
  18. ^ Prospects1500 on Twitter: "#Phillies J.D. Hammer RP Prospect of the Year nominee"
  19. ^ "J.D. Hammer Minor & Fall Leagues Statistics". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. 2019. Retrieved May 28, 2019.
  20. ^ "Phillies' J.D. Hammer: Set for big-league debut" - CBSSports.com
  21. ^ Montemurro, Meghan (May 26, 2019). "J.D. Hammer makes his MLB debut, coming out for the 6th inning. #Phillies". Retrieved May 26, 2019.

External links[edit]