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Chone Figgins

Seattle Mariners — No. 9
Second baseman
Born: January 22, 1978 (1978-01-22) (age 32)
Leary, Georgia
Bats: Switch Throws: Right 
MLB debut
August 25, 2002 for the Anaheim Angels
Career statistics
(through 2009 season)
Batting average     .291
Home runs     31
Hits     1045
Runs batted in     341
Stolen bases     280
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Desmond DeChone "Chone" Figgins [pronounced 'Shawn'] (born January 22, 1978 in Leary, Georgia) is an American Major League Baseball second baseman for the Seattle Mariners. Figgins is widely regarded as one of the fastest and top utility players in the Major Leagues, possessing the ability to play all positions except catcher, pitcher, and first base.

Contents

Career

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Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

A fourth-round draft pick by the Rockies in the 1997 Major League Baseball Draft, Chone played baseball during his childhood at North Brandon Little League in Brandon, Florida. Figgins attended Brandon High School in Florida where he was third-team High School All-American as a senior. He was acquired by the Angels in a trade in 2001 for Kimera Bartee.

Figgins made his major league debut in 2002 for the World Series-winning Angels, used mostly, and effectively, as a pinch runner. His first full season in the majors was 2004. His breakout year came in 2005, when he was moved from nearly the bottom of the batting order to leadoff hitter, after original leadoff hitter David Eckstein signed with the St. Louis Cardinals, and used his speed to steal a major league high 62 bases, which was second most in Angels single season history. That year, he played two positions in the same game 24 times. He was named team co-MVP of the 2005 season for the Angels, with Bartolo Colón.

Prior to the 2006 season, the Angels signed Figgins to a three-year, $10.5-million deal. He had been eligible for salary arbitration, which could have been substantial considering his accomplishments the year before. [2]

Figgins became the sixth Angel to hit for the cycle on September 16, 2006, in Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Against the Oakland Athletics on September 29, 2006, Figgins hit his first career inside-the-park home run at Angel Stadium.

Along with third base, Figgins can also play shortstop, second base, and all three outfield positions. He is known as being one of the top utility players in the game of baseball. Although he was initially considered the most likely starter for center field in 2006, when the Angels decided to move Darin Erstad back to that position it opened up Figgins to be the starter at third base. [3] With Erstad on the disabled list for much of the season, however, Figgins saw more time in center field.

Chone Figgins with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

On March 21, 2007, in a spring training game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Figgins suffered two broken fingers on his throwing hand while attempting to field a ground ball hit by Conor Jackson. He began the season on the disabled list and was expected to be out for at least five to six weeks.[4]

In June 2007, Figgins recorded an Angels team record 53 hits in a month, breaking the record set by Darin Erstad in April 2000. With six hits on June 18, 2007, against the Houston Astros, including a walk-off triple, Figgins matched the American League record for most hits in a 9-inning game. On July 15, 2007, Figgins stole his 187th base as an Angel, breaking the 20-year-old club record previously held by Gary Pettis, in attendance that day as a coach for the visiting Texas Rangers.

In 2009, Figgins was selected to his first All-Star Game. American League manager Joe Maddon, a former bench coach with the Angels, selected Figgins to fill the roster spot vacated by injured Tampa Bay Rays third-baseman Evan Longoria.[5]

Although he stole 42 bases in 2009, he was caught 17 times – tied for the most in the majors.[6]

2009 free agency

Following the close of the 2010 season, Figgins became a free agent. Figgins was expected to sign a $50 million deal and was considered the most desirable third baseman on the market, drawing interest from Philadelphia, the Mets and both Chicago teams. [7] ESPN wrote "Figgins probably ranks as the third baseman most likely to be in demand, especially given his versatility."[8]

Seattle Mariners

On December 4, 2009, it was reported that Figgins and the Seattle Mariners agreed to a four-year contract worth approximately $36 million with a vesting option for 2014 that could increase the value to $45 million over five years.[9] The deal was finalized on December 8 .[10]

During spring training for the 2010 season, Figgins was converted from a third to second baseman replacing teammate Jose Lopez who is now the third baseman for Seattle.

See also

References

External links

Preceded by
Carl Crawford
American League Stolen Base Champion
2005
Succeeded by
Carl Crawford

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