Infante in 2012 for Detroit
|Kansas City Royals – No. 14|
December 26, 1981 |
Puerto la Cruz, Anzoátegui, Venezuela
|Bats: Right||Throws: Right|
|September 7, 2002 for the Detroit Tigers|
(through 2013 season)
|Runs batted in||421|
|Career highlights and awards|
Omar Rafael Infante [in-FAHN-tay] (born December 26, 1981) is a Venezuelan professional baseball infielder for the Kansas City Royals of Major League Baseball. He has also played in MLB for the Detroit Tigers, Atlanta Braves, and Miami Marlins. He was an All-Star in 2010.
Infante entered the 2003 season as the starting shortstop for the Detroit Tigers. Ramón Santiago, considered a better glove-man started the season at second base. Considered two of the Tigers better prospects, both proved overmatched; Infante hit .222 with no home runs and eight RBIs in over 200 at-bats. Midway through the season, Tigers manager Alan Trammell sent Infante to the minor leagues for failing to hustle on a consistent basis. Santiago switched to shortstop after Infante was sent down.
In 2004, Infante lost any chance to claim the starting shortstop role when the Tigers acquired Carlos Guillén, who went on to be an All-Star that year (Santiago had been included in the trade for Guillén) . With Guillén at shortstop and free agent acquisition Fernando Viña at second base, Infante was likely to spend much of the season in the minors. Then he received an opportunity in mid-May to play every day at second base when Viña was sidelined for the year by a hamstring injury. He responded by playing solid defense and hitting .264 with 16 home runs and 55 RBIs in 142 games.
Infante's rebound in 2004 fueled speculation that he may one day become a star at second base. In 2005, however, he regressed, and the Tigers sought his replacement. In June of that year, the Tigers traded for Plácido Polanco, who had been filling a utility role with the Philadelphia Phillies. Polanco became the starting second baseman, and Infante moved to the bench.
Following his move to the bench, Infante played seven different positions during the 2007 season.
On November 12, 2007 Infante was traded to the Chicago Cubs for Jacque Jones. On December 4, 2007 Infante was traded again, this time along with Will Ohman to the Atlanta Braves for José Ascanio. A Cub for less than a month during the off-season, Infante never appeared in a game.
National League manager Charlie Manuel selected Infante to the 2010 National League All-Star Team, earning Infante his first selection after proving to be one of the most valuable utility men in the National League. Infante was one of six Braves on the All-Star team.
After the 2010 season, Infante and reliever Michael Dunn were traded to the Florida Marlins for second baseman Dan Uggla. On September 27, 2011, it was announced that Infante and the Marlins had agreed on a two-year extension, worth around $8 million.
In 2011, Infante lead the Majors in fielding assists.
Return to Detroit
In Game 4 of the 2012 World Series on October 28, 2012, Infante suffered a broken left hand after being hit by a pitch.
Omar had a stellar 2013 season for the Tigers, despite spending over a month on the disabled list with a lower leg injury. He hit a career-high .318, with 10 home runs and 51 RBI. He also posted the highest slugging percentage of his career (.450).
Kansas City Royals
- Bowman, Mark (January 12, 2009). "Infante signs two-year contract". MLB.com. Retrieved November 18, 2009.
- Post Comment (November 17, 2010). "Florida Marlins trade Dan Uggla to Atlanta Braves". Msn.foxsports.com. Retrieved November 13, 2011.
- "Omar Infante, Marlins reach agreement". Florida.marlins.mlb.com. Retrieved November 13, 2011.
- Frisaro, Joe and Tom Green. Marlins deal Anibal, Infante for Tigers prospects MLB.com. Retrieved July 23, 2012
- Royals announce $30.25M, 4-year deal for 2B Omar Infante AP report at foxsports.com on 16 December 2013.
- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)
- Infante maturing rapidly (article)