Piscotty with the St. Louis Cardinals
|Oakland Athletics – No. 25|
|Born: January 14, 1991|
|July 21, 2015, for the St. Louis Cardinals|
|MLB statistics |
(through 2018 season)
|Runs batted in||251|
Stephen Edward Piscotty (born January 14, 1991) is an American professional baseball outfielder for the Oakland Athletics of Major League Baseball (MLB). He previously played for the St. Louis Cardinals. He played college baseball for Stanford Cardinal baseball of Stanford and was the St. Louis Cardinals' first-round selection in the 2012 Major League Baseball draft. He made his major league debut on July 21, 2015, and was the Cardinals' organization Player of the Year that season.
Early life and amateur career
Stephen Piscotty is the eldest of three sons of Michael and Gretchen Piscotty. He has two younger brothers, named Austin and Nicholas. Born in Pleasanton, California, he began attending college baseball games of the Stanford Cardinal of Stanford University with his uncle for his birthday when he was young. He grew up a fan of the Oakland Athletics. Piscotty attended Amador Valley High School in Pleasanton, where he played for the school's baseball team as a pitcher and a shortstop. In 2009, his senior year, he was named the Most Valuable Player of the East Bay Athletic League.
The Los Angeles Dodgers selected Piscotty in the 45th round of the 2009 Major League Baseball draft but he opted not to sign. He enrolled at Stanford to play college baseball for the Cardinal as a third baseman, pitcher, and an outfielder. In 2011, Piscotty was named to the All-Pacific-10 Conference first team. Piscotty also played collegiate summer baseball for the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox in 2011 and was the Cape Cod League batting champion with a .349 batting average.
Piscotty was named a preseason All-American prior to the 2012 season. That year, he batted .329, led the Cardinal with 30 walks and 56 runs batted in (RBIs), and was named All-Pac-12 in 2012. As a pitcher, Piscotty posted a 5–2 won–lost record with a 2.57 earned run average in 2012. During his Stanford career, he batted .340 with 124 runs, 132 RBIs, 43 doubles, 12 home runs and 62 walks in 172 games.
St. Louis Cardinals
The St. Louis Cardinals selected Piscotty in the first round, with the 36th overall selection, of the 2012 Major League Baseball draft and signed him on June 16 with a $1.4 million bonus. After playing in the infield for the Quad Cities River Bandits of the Class A Midwest League in 2012, the Cardinals moved him to the outfield before the 2013 season. His first season showed mixed results as he batted .295 with a .376 on-base percentage, .448 slugging percentage, four home runs, 18 doubles and 27 RBIs, but committed 22 errors in just 36 games at third base. The Cardinals assigned Piscotty to the Palm Beach Cardinals of the Class A-Advanced Florida State League (FSL) in 2013, where he was selected as an All-Star.
After batting .295 with 15 home runs in 112 games for Palm Beach and the Springfield Cardinals of the Class AA Texas League in 2013, the Cardinals assigned Piscotty to the Arizona Fall League (AFL) to play for the Salt River Rafters. Piscotty spent the 2014 season with the Memphis Redbirds of the Class AAA Pacific Coast League, and opened the 2015 season with Memphis. There, he batted .272 with an .841 OPS in 87 games for the Redbirds.
The St. Louis Cardinals promoted Piscotty to their major league roster on July 21, 2015. He made his major league debut that night as the starting left fielder against the Chicago White Sox in an 8–5 win, and singled off Carlos Rodon in his second at bat for his first hit. His sacrifice fly scored Peter Kozma on July 25 and was the only run of the game and game-winner in a 1–0 win over the Atlanta Braves for his first RBI. His first home run came at Busch Stadium on August 16 in a 6–4 loss to the Miami Marlins, and he hit his first triple the next day in a 2–1 win over the San Francisco Giants. Piscotty set a career-high five RBI on August 23 against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park, including his first career multi-home run game, while adding a triple. The first four-hit game of Piscotty's professional, and major league, career was in 6–0 win over the Giants at AT&T Park on August 29.
While playing the Pittsburgh Pirates on September 28, Piscotty was injured on a fly ball into left field when he collided with Peter Bourjos' knee, which hit him in the head. He suffered a bruise, but tests results were negative for injury, including concussion. His regular season totals in the major leagues included a .305 batting average, .359 on-base percentage, .494 slugging percentage, seven home runs and 39 RBI. Ready for game action in time for the playoffs, Piscotty's first playoff appearance was in the National League Division Series (NLDS) against the Chicago Cubs. There, he hit both his first career postseason home run and double in a 4–0 win. The Cardinals lost the NLDS in four games, but Piscotty batted .375 with 1.000 SLG, three home runs and six RBI in four games. He tied for sixth in the National League Rookie of the Year Award voting, and was the franchise's Minor League Player of the Year for 2015. He lost to the winner of the National League Rookie of the Year Award to Cubs' third baseman Kris Bryant.
After spring training of 2016, Piscotty won the role of starting right fielder for the Cardinals. While facing Max Scherzer of the Washington Nationals on May 27, Piscotty hit his first career grand slam in a 6–2 win. Piscotty finished his first full season in the majors batting .273 with 22 home runs and 85 RBI's. Piscotty also finished the season batting .363 with runners in scoring position.
Now 26, he signed a six-year extension for a reported $33.75 million ($5.625 mil. average), with a $15 million option for 2023 on April 3. Piscotty was not yet arbitration-eligible, and his first year of free-agent eligibility was to be 2022. Five years ago, the Cardinals plucked Piscotty out of Stanford University with one of the two picks they netted as compensation for Albert Pujols' departure. Since making his big league debut, Piscotty has posted a .282/.349/.467 slash line and an .816 OPS. In 2016, Piscotty led the Cards in games played (153), runs scored (86), RBIs (85) and game-winning RBIs (10).
The day after signing a new contract, he received the rare distinction of getting hit by a ball three times in one AB and trip around the bases, including a bruised head in scoring a run on April 4. At bat, he was hit by a pitch near the right elbow. Piscotty then hustled to second on a wild pitch, only to be struck on the left elbow by the catcher's throw. After a bobbled-ball error in the infield, giving him an opening to take the extra base, he sprinted home. The second baseman's throw hit him in the left side of his head, wearing a helmet, as he slid in 'safe at home'. He was subject to concussion tests before he can return to action after taking the hit by the ball, sustaining a contusion. Starting pitcher and teammate Adam Wainwright said afterwards, "Probably the roughest turn around the bases I've ever seen." He passed the concussion protocol on April 5, clearing him to play. He said he was more sore around his right elbow where he was hit by the pitch to start the unusual sequence of getting hit three times in that one inning at bat.
He took personal leave on May 26. After returning from personal leave, Piscotty was placed on the DL once again and missed 16 games. Piscotty returned from the DL, and was subsequently optioned to Triple-A Memphis due to his underachieving year, with a .232 batting average.
On December 14, 2017, the Cardinals traded Piscotty to the Oakland Athletics in exchange for Yairo Muñoz and Max Schrock. The trade came at the request of Piscotty who wished to spend time and be closer with his mother, Gretchen, who battled and eventually died from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
On May 15, 2018, in his first game back after returning from bereavement leave following the death of his mother, Piscotty hit a home run.
With a short, compact swing, Piscotty consistently hits to the gaps. In the FSL, which is considered a pitcher-friendly league, he hit .292 with a .477 slugging percentage in 63 games. As of September 2013, he is thought to have a hit tool and approach that should help him get to the Major Leagues, but scouts are unsure if he will develop the type of power that is associated with corner outfield positions. He is rated to have a smooth swing and a strong arm. As a pitcher, he has been clocked up to 93 miles per hour (150 km/h).
Achievements and awards
- Minor leagues
- Florida State League All-Star, 2013
- The Cardinal Nation/Scout.com 2013 Top Prospect #12
- St. Louis Cardinals Minor League Player of the Year, 2015
- High school
- Most Valuable Player, East Bay Athletic League, 2009
- Rawlings California All-Region First Team, 2009
- All-East Bay Athletic League, 2006, 2007, and 2009
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