Doug Mientkiewicz: Wikis

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Doug Mientkiewicz

Los Angeles Dodgers
First baseman
Born: June 19, 1974 (1974-06-19) (age 35)
Toledo, Ohio
Bats: Left Throws: Right 
MLB debut
September 18, 1998 for the Minnesota Twins
Career statistics
(through 2009 season)
Batting average     .271
Home runs     66
Runs batted in     405
Teams
Career highlights and awards
Olympic medal record
Men’s Baseball
Gold 2000 Sydney Team competition

Douglas Andrew Mientkiewicz (pronounced /mɪntˈkeɪvɪtʃ/ mint-KAY-vich[1] (born June 19, 1974 in Toledo, Ohio) is a Major League Baseball first baseman with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Mientkiewicz is notorious for his superb fielding ability and control with the bat. He has previously played for the Minnesota Twins (1998-2004), Boston Red Sox (2004), New York Mets (2005), Kansas City Royals (2006), New York Yankees (2007), Pittsburgh Pirates (2008), and the Los Angeles Dodgers (2009).

Contents

Olympics

Mientkiewicz was on the U.S. Olympic team when they won the gold medal at the 2000 games in Sydney, hitting the game-winning home run against South Korea in the semi-finals.

Minor league career

Mientkiewicz was first drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 12th round of the 1992 Major League Baseball Draft, but did not sign. He was then drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 5th round of the 1995 Major League Baseball Draft. In 1998, he was the Eastern League (Double-A) All-Star DH. He batted .323, with a .432 OBP and .508 slugging percentage, in 509 at bats for New Britain.

In 2000, he was the Triple-A All-Star 1B, and Pacific League All-Star DH. He batted .334, with a .446 OBP and .524 slugging percentage, in 485 at bats for the Salt Lake Buzz, while both scoring and driving in 96 runs.

MLB career

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Minnesota Twins

In 2001, he was 8th in the league with 39 doubles, as he batted .306.

In 2003, he was 9th in the AL with a .393 on base percentage, as he batted .300.

Boston Red Sox

In July 2004, as part of a 4-team deal between the Twins, Cubs, Expos and Red Sox, Mientkiewicz was traded for Justin Jones.

Mientkiewicz recorded the final out of the 2004 World Series. In Game 4 in St.Louis, Mientkiewicz entered the game in the bottom of the 7th inning as a substitute at first base. Mientkiewicz didn't handle the ball until there were two outs in the 9th. St. Louis shortstop Edgar Rentería grounded back to pitcher Keith Foulke, who trotted toward first base and underhanded the ball to Mientkiewicz. As the ball that symbolically ended the so-called "Curse of the Bambino", the item was of considerable interest to memorabilia collectors. Controversy resulted when Mientkiewicz kept the ball, as dictated by baseball tradition, and the Red Sox asked for its return. A spokesperson for Major League Baseball indicated that the ball belonged to Mientkiewicz, but the Red Sox contended that it belonged to them, as they wanted to have it to archive for museum use. In an announcement made with the Red Sox in January 2005, Mientkiewicz said the ball would accompany the World Series trophy as it made its way through New England during its yearlong tour. On April 23, 2006, it was announced that he had reached an agreement with the Red Sox, and the ball would go to the Hall of Fame.

Mets/Royals

In January 2005, he was traded by the Red Sox with cash to the New York Mets for Ian Bladergroen.

In December 2005, he signed as a free agent with the Kansas City Royals.

New York Yankees

On January 5, 2007, he signed a one-year deal with the New York Yankees to play first base.[2]

On June 2, 2007, Mientkiewicz collided with long time friend Mike Lowell of the Boston Red Sox while trying to field a throw from shortstop Derek Jeter. He suffered a mild concussion and a fractured scaphoid bone in his right wrist and was placed on the disabled list. Missing three months, Mientkiewicz returned on September 4 as a substitute at first base against the Seattle Mariners.

He made his first start since the injury on September 16, 2007. He went 2 for 3 with two clutch defensive plays.

Pittsburgh Pirates

On February 11, 2008, he signed a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training with the Pittsburgh Pirates. On March 26, he was added to the 40-man roster and soon after was added to the 25-man major league roster.

Los Angeles Dodgers

On February 26, 2009, he signed a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training with the Los Angeles Dodgers [3] He made the Major League roster as a pinch hitter and appeared in seven games for the Dodgers in April before he suffered a shoulder injury and went on the 60-day disabled list. Mientkiewicz rehabbed with the AAA Albuquerque Isotopes from July 28 to August 17. During that stretch, he hit .306. He did not rejoin the Dodgers until September, seeing sporadic action as a pinch hitter down the stretch.

Hitting and defense

Mientkiewicz is a notorious line-drive hitter and hits well against both lefties and righties. He has a nice, short stroke with gap power (though not a home run hitter) and tremendous discipline at the plate, coupled with a good knowledge of the strike zone. For his career he has a good 0.951 walk-to-strikeout ratio (310-to-326). Although he batted .300 for two years with the Minnesota Twins, Mientkiewicz has not produced at the plate at that level in recent years.

He bats left-handed and throws right-handed. He is one of the few major leaguers to not wear batting gloves, along with former teammate Jorge Posada, and other players such as former outfielder Moisés Alou, Orioles catcher Gregg Zaun, Brewers catcher Jason Kendall, Royals outfielder Coco Crisp, and Los Angeles Angels outfielder Vladimir Guerrero.

Defense is the best part of Mientkiewicz's game. He has a great glove with soft hands, great mobility, good range, and a strong arm. Also, Mientkiewicz is excellent at scooping balls in the dirt, tagging down on a high throw, and extending himself to make the play. He won the Gold Glove Award in 2001 with the Minnesota Twins.

In a ten-year career, Mientkiewicz is a .271 hitter with 64 home runs, 201 doubles, 372 RBI, 385 runs scored, and a .358 On-Base Percentage in 942 games. Almost all of his home runs lifetime have been hit to right field or right center.[4] He is a lifetime .317 hitter at Yankee Stadium.

References

External links


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