Tommy Hunter (baseball)

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Tommy Hunter
Tommy Hunter 2018 (cropped).jpg
Hunter with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2018
Philadelphia Phillies – No. 40
Relief pitcher
Born: (1986-07-03) July 3, 1986 (age 32)
Indianapolis, Indiana
Bats: Right Throws: Right
MLB debut
August 1, 2008, for the Texas Rangers
MLB statistics
(through July 15, 2018)
Win–loss record 53–40
Earned run average 4.15
Strikeouts 539
Teams

Raymond Thomas Hunter (nicknamed "Tommy Two-Towel";[1] born July 3, 1986) is an American professional baseball relief pitcher for the Philadelphia Phillies of Major League Baseball (MLB). He previously played for the Texas Rangers, Chicago Cubs, Cleveland Indians, Baltimore Orioles, and Tampa Bay Rays.

Hunter was drafted by the Rangers in the supplemental first round of the 2007 Major League Baseball Draft out of the University of Alabama. He made his major league debut in 2008. In 2010 he led the American League with a .765 win-loss percentage, as he was 13–4.

Early and personal life[edit]

Born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana, Hunter attended Cathedral High School.[2] He played both baseball and football for the school.[3] He was also a two-time Junior Olympic judo champion.[3]

Hunter married girlfriend Ellen Cohara on January 4, 2014.[4] They have two sons, Henry and Oliver.[3]

College[edit]

Hunter attended the University of Alabama for two years.[3] At Alabama, Hunter played for the Alabama Crimson Tide and was a Second-Team All-American in his freshman season, during which the team won the 2006 Southeastern Conference Championship, and a pre-season All-American entering his sophomore season.[5] He also earned a gold medal at the World University Baseball Championship with the USA National Baseball Team in 2006.[3]

Major league career[edit]

Texas Rangers (2008–11)[edit]

Hunter with the Texas Rangers

Hunter was drafted by the Texas Rangers in the supplemental first round of the 2007 Major League Baseball Draft out of the University of Alabama. The Rangers were awarded a compensatory pick when Mark DeRosa left to go to the Chicago Cubs in free agency.

Hunter made his major league debut on August 1, 2008, taking on the Toronto Blue Jays as the fourth-youngest player in the American League shortly after turning 22 years of age.[1] He recorded his first MLB win on July 3, 2009, against the Tampa Bay Rays. He recorded his first Major League complete game on September 13 against the Seattle Mariners. On October 3 Hunter gave up Ken Griffey Jr's 630th career home run.

In 2009, he was 9-6 with a 4.10 ERA.[3] He held right-handed hitters to a .228 batting average (7th-lowest in the AL), and opponents at home to a .226 average (the lowest single-season figure ever by a pitcher with at least 10 starts at Rangers Ballpark).[3]

Hunter made his 2010 season debut on June 5, pitching a complete game win against the Tampa Bay Rays. He was 13–4 for the season (an American League-leading .765 win-loss percentage), with a 3.73 ERA as he pitched 128 innings.[1] His 13 wins tied Derek Holland for the most wins by any pitcher in the Rangers organization in 2010, in either the major or minor leagues.[3] Hunter started Game 4 of the ALCS vs the Yankees.

Baltimore Orioles (2011–15)[edit]

Hunter with the Baltimore Orioles

On July 30, 2011, the Rangers traded Hunter and first baseman Chris Davis to the Baltimore Orioles for reliever Koji Uehara.[6] In the 2012 season, Hunter posted a 7–8 record. He was a starter for a while, but was optioned to Triple A Norfolk. He was placed in the bullpen as a reliever. As a reliever Hunter's fastball averaged 96 MPH over the month of September, and topped out at 100 MPH, after averaging 91-92 MPH for his career.[7] In 2013, he was 6-5 with a 2.81 ERA in 68 games, and held right-handed batters to a batting line of .141/.190/.154 in 159 plate appearances.[1][3]

After former closer Jim Johnson was traded to the Oakland Athletics, Hunter was named the new Orioles closer for the 2014 season. Hunter started the 2014 season as the Orioles closer and was successful in 11 of his 12 save opportunities, but he blew two consecutive saves on May 10 and 13 and then was placed on the 15-day disabled list.[8] When he returned, he continued to work out of the bullpen, but not as the closer. For the 2014 season, he was 3-2 with a 2.97 ERA and 11 saves in 60 games.[1] He agreed to a one-year deal worth $4.65 million in January 2015, avoiding arbitration.[9]

Chicago Cubs (2015)[edit]

On July 31, 2015, Hunter was traded to the Chicago Cubs for outfielder Junior Lake.[10][11] After the season, he had two surgeries to repair a core muscle injury.[3]

Cleveland Indians (2016)[edit]

Hunter signed a one-year contract worth $2 million with the Cleveland Indians on February 12, 2016.[12] He was placed on the disabled list on July 17 after suffering a non-displaced fracture in his back following a fall at his home.[13] On August 25, Hunter was released.[14]

Baltimore Orioles redux (2016)[edit]

The Baltimore Orioles signed Hunter on August 28, 2016.[15] He was 0-0 with a 2.19 ERA in 12 games.[1]

Tampa Bay Rays (2017)[edit]

On February 22, 2017, Hunter signed a minor league deal with the Tampa Bay Rays[16]. Hunter impressed in spring training and received a spot in the bullpen. He had an ERA of 1.08 in 10 appearances before suffering a calf injury after running to first base on a ball in play. On April 23, Hunter was placed on the 10-Day DL. He was activated off the DL on May 25th.[17] Hunter finished the season pitching in 61 games with a 2.61 ERA, a career low, pitching predominantly in the 8th inning before closer Alex Colomé, and held all hitters to a .202/.254/.333 batting line.[18]

Philadelphia Phillies (2018–present)[edit]

On December 15, 2017, Hunter signed a two-year contract with the Philadelphia Phillies.[19]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Tommy Hunter Stats | Baseball-Reference.com
  2. ^ "Cathedral alum Tommy Hunter settling into Orioles' closer role". Indianapolis Star. March 18, 2014. Retrieved April 6, 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Tommy Hunter Stats, Fantasy & News | MLB.com
  4. ^ "Get to know your Orioles: Tommy Hunter". Camden Chat. Retrieved December 22, 2017. 
  5. ^ "MLB Trade Deadline 2015: Former Alabama star Tommy Hunter changes wild-card races in trade". AL.com. Retrieved February 13, 2016. 
  6. ^ "Rangers to acquire Koji Uehara from Orioles for Chris Davis and Tommy Hunter". HardballTalk. Retrieved February 13, 2016. 
  7. ^ "Tommy Hunter, or Generics versus the Brand Name - FanGraphs Baseball". Retrieved February 13, 2016. 
  8. ^ "Tommy Hunter". ESPN.com. Retrieved September 17, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Orioles, Hunter agree on 1-year contract". ESPN. Associated Press. January 12, 2015. Retrieved January 13, 2015. 
  10. ^ Muskat, Carrie (July 31, 2015). "Cubs get Hunter from O's, send Lake in return". MLB.com. Retrieved July 31, 2015. 
  11. ^ "Baltimore Orioles on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved February 13, 2016. 
  12. ^ "Cleveland Indians sign RHP Tommy Hunter to 1-year deal worth $2 million". cleveland.com. Retrieved February 13, 2016. 
  13. ^ Hoynes, Paul (July 17, 2016). "Cleveland Indians recall Cody Anderson; Tommy Hunter placed on disabled list". cleveland.com. Retrieved August 25, 2016. 
  14. ^ Bastian, Jordan (August 25, 2016). "Veteran pitcher Hunter released by Tribe". MLB.com. Retrieved August 29, 2016. 
  15. ^ "Orioles sign RHP Tommy Hunter". ESPN. Associated Press. August 28, 2016. Retrieved August 29, 2016. 
  16. ^ "Rays, Tommy Hunter Agree To Minor League Deal". MLB Trade Rumors. Retrieved 2017-06-02. 
  17. ^ "Tommy Hunter, RP, Tampa Bay Rays". CBSSports.com. Retrieved 2017-06-02. 
  18. ^ "Tommy Hunter Stats | Baseball-Reference.com". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved 2017-10-13. 
  19. ^ Zolecki, Todd (December 15, 2017). "Phillies add another bullpen piece in Hunter". MLB.com. Retrieved December 15, 2017. 

External links[edit]