Hague with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2012
|Hanshin Tigers – No. 36|
August 20, 1985 |
|MLB: April 7, 2012, for the Pittsburgh Pirates|
|NPB: March 25, 2016, for the Hanshin Tigers|
(through 2015 season)
|Runs batted in||7|
(through June 5, 2016)
|Runs batted in||11|
Matthew Donald Hague (born August 20, 1985) is an American professional baseball first baseman for the Hanshin Tigers of Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB). He has played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Pittsburgh Pirates and Toronto Blue Jays. Prior to beginning his professional career, he played college baseball at the University of Washington and Oklahoma State.
Hague was raised in Kent, Washington and attended Kentwood High School in Covington, Washington. For his contributions to the high school baseball team, which finished second in the state of Washington, he was named to the Class 4A All-State First Team as a pitcher and Second Team as an outfielder. Hague began his college baseball career at the University of Washington in 2005, where he played for the Washington Huskies baseball team for three seasons. He began his tenure with the Huskies as a backup third baseman and outfielder, but he also pitched in relief. The Cleveland Indians drafted Hague in the 11th round (347th overall) of the 2007 Major League Baseball draft, but he opted not to sign. He transferred to Oklahoma State for his senior season, where he played for the Oklahoma State Cowboys baseball team.
Hague was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the ninth round (264th overall) of the 2008 Major League Baseball draft as a third baseman. He began his professional career that season with the State College Spikes of the Class-A Short Season New York–Penn League, before he was promoted to the Hickory Crawdads of the Class-A South Atlantic League. In 2009, Hague played for the Lynchburg Hillcats of the Class-A Advanced Carolina League, where he began playing first base. That year, he finished third in the Carolina League with a .293 batting average.
Hague was promoted to the Altoona Curve of the Double-A Eastern League in 2010, where he was named the team's Iron Man. Hague batted .309 with 12 home runs and 75 runs batted in (RBIs) during the 2011 season with the Triple-A Indianapolis Indians, leading the International League in hits and receiving midseason and postseason International League All-Star honors. However, he did not receive a September call-up to Pittsburgh as the team already had a number of first basemen and outfielders. He was added to the Pirates' 40 man roster to protect him from the Rule 5 draft after the 2011 season.
After impressing the Pirates with his power in 2012 spring training, Hague made the Pirates' Opening Day roster. He made his MLB debut on April 7. He recorded his first MLB hit on April 8, a pinch hit RBI single off Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Kyle Kendrick.
Toronto Blue Jays
On August 18, 2014, Hague was claimed off waivers by the Toronto Blue Jays and assigned to the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons. He was designated for assignment on September 2. He was added back to the 40-man roster on September 28. On August 17, 2015, Hague was called up by the Blue Jays. He debuted for Toronto on August 22, coming on as a pinch hitter against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and striking out. Following the game, Hague was optioned back to Triple-A Buffalo.
Hague was recalled to the Blue Jays on September 8 at the conclusion of the Minor League season to provide an extra bat off the bench during the Blue Jays' pennant race. He would appear in 10 games with the Blue Jays in 2015, batting .250 with 1 double.
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