Powell with the Oakland Athletics
|Born: March 19, 1982|
Raleigh, North Carolina
|April 11, 2009, for the Oakland Athletics|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 28, 2011, for the Oakland Athletics|
|Runs batted in||45|
Landon Reed Powell (born March 19, 1982) is an American collegiate baseball coach and former professional catcher. Powell played in Major League Baseball for the Oakland Athletics from 2009 to 2011. He was the catcher during Dallas Braden's perfect game on May 9, 2010.
Powell led Apex High School in Apex, North Carolina to the 2000 4-A state championship as a junior. Because he was already 18 years old, he was eligible to enter the 2000 Major League Baseball Draft and did so. However, he went undrafted because his agent, Scott Boras, did not inform teams he was available. This made Powell a free agent, but he chose to attend college after failing to receive an acceptable offer from an MLB club. This loophole in the drafting system was later closed due to this incident and one a year later involving pitcher Jeremy Bonderman.
Powell attended the University of South Carolina. In 2002, his first season playing for them, he had a .292 batting average with 12 home runs and was part of the team that went to the 2002 College World Series. They went all the way to the finals and lost to the Texas Longhorns. Powell continued to play for the University of South Carolina and was third on the team in batting average in 2003 (.339) and 2004 (.328). Both those years, he helped his team to the playoffs, but did not get as far as the first time.
After three seasons with the Gamecocks, Powell was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 2003 Major League Baseball Draft as the 733rd overall pick in the 25th round. He did not sign with the Cubs and opted instead to play another season with the University of South Carolina. After his final season there, he entered the draft again in 2004 and the switch hitting catcher was taken in the 1st round by the Oakland Athletics as the 24th overall pick and was the Athletics' first overall pick.
Upon signing with the Athletics on July 22, 2004, he was assigned to play for the Single-A Vancouver Canadians. He played in 38 games and hit just .237. Teammate Kurt Suzuki, also taken in the 2004 draft, got more playing time as he played in 46 games and hit .297. Both were the organizations catchers of the future and only time would tell who would reach the majors first. Powell's chances were ruined when in 2005, he was out for the entire season when he underwent surgery to repair a left torn ACL. After a lost year, he played again in 2006, playing for the Single-A Stockton Ports and the Double-A Midland RockHounds.
Powell began the 2007 season playing for the Rockhounds. In 60 games with them, he hit .292 with 11 home runs. He was promoted to play with the Triple-A Sacramento River Cats on June 28. He played just 4 games for the River Cats before reaggravating the same knee that forced him to sit the 2005 season. Powell missed the rest of the 2007 season. He was considered as a possibility to split the catching duties for the major league club in 2008 but with his injury, it wasn’t possible.
On November 20, 2007, the Athletics purchased his contract, protecting him from the Rule 5 draft.
Powell made his major league debut for the Athletics on April 11, 2009. In his first major league at-bat, Powell doubled in the second inning off the Seattle Mariners' Félix Hernández, driving in two runs. He spent the entire season in the big leagues, yet only appeared in 46 games (36 at catcher, 6 at first base and 3 at DH), as Kurt Suzuki for the second straight year led the majors in games caught. He finished the season with .229 batting average with 7 home runs and 30 RBIs.
On May 9, 2010, Powell caught Dallas Braden's perfect game.
New York Mets
Reassigned to AAA Las Vegas 51s on March 30, 2013. On June 8, 2013 the Las Vegas 51s released Powell from his contract.
On January 25, 2013, Powell and his wife Allyson lost their infant daughter Izzy, who died from Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis. Powell continues to raise awareness for the need for organ donation, due to his own struggles with autoimmune hepatitis. The Powells have two other children, a son and another daughter.
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- Slusser, Susan (2007-07-05). "Kennedy walks 4, retires 2, takes loss". sfgate.com. Retrieved 2007-11-25.
- Shea, John (March 9, 2012). "Landon Powell on release by A;s: 'It's something I knew was coming'". San Francisco Gate.
- Nicholson-Smith, Ben (March 14, 2012). "Astros Sign Landon Powell". MLB Trade Rumors.
- Campbell, Steve (April 3, 2012). "Astros unveil minor league rosters". Ultimate Astros.
- "Mets Sign Landon Powell To Minor League Deal". amazinavenue.com. amazinavenue. Retrieved 17 February 2013.
- Rubin, Adam (January 26, 2013). "Landon Powell's infant daughter dies".