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Eric Chavez

Eric Chavez batting at Tampa Bay
Oakland Athletics — No. 3
Third Baseman
Born: December 7, 1977 (1977-12-07) (age 32)
Los Angeles, California
Bats: Left Throws: Right 
MLB debut
September 8, 1998 for the Oakland Athletics
Career statistics
(through 2009 season)
Batting average     .270
Home runs     229
Runs batted in     777
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Eric Cesar Chavez (born on December 7, 1977 in Los Angeles, California) is a Mexican-American third baseman in the Major League Baseball who has played for the Oakland Athletics since 1998.

Chavez is the last member of the Athletics team described in the Moneyball era of 2000 to 2003. Due to this, Chavez is also seen regarded as the prominent "team leader" of the A's today. As of February 2010, he is married to Nancy Li.

During Chavez's career he has won six Rawlings Gold Glove Awards (2001-2006).

Contents

High school career

Chavez attended Mount Carmel High School in San Diego, California, where he was a two-time Baseball America High School All-American selection.[1] In his junior year, he was the only junior selected nationwide for the honor, finishing the year with a batting average of .535, nine home runs, 35 runs batted in, and 51 stolen bases.[1] As a senior, he batted .458 with 11 home runs, 24 RBIs and 33 stolen bases en route to his second All-American selection.[1]

Professional career

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Minor leagues

Chavez's high school success was such that in the 1996 Major League Baseball Draft, he was selected by the Oakland Athletics in the first round as the tenth pick.[2] Chavez eventually chose a professional baseball career over a full scholarship at the University of Southern California (USC), signing with the Athletics on August 27, 1996.[2] His time in the minor leagues was relatively short, lasting just under two seasons. He spent the 1997 season playing for the Visalia Oaks, the Single-A team in the Athletics' farm system.[3] He played 134 games, all at third base, and hit .271 with 18 home runs and 100 RBI.[3] Before the start of the 1998 season, Chavez was promoted to the Double-A Huntsville Stars.[3] After 88 games, he had a batting average of .328, 28 home runs, 86 RBIs, 12 stolen bases, and a triple.[2] His efforts caused him to be promoted to the Edmonton Trappers, where in 47 games he hit 11 home runs and had a .325 batting average.[3] When Edmonton's season finished up on September 8, 1998, he was called up to the major leagues.[4] He finished his minor league career by being named Minor League Player of the Year by Baseball America, as well as earning the J.G. Taylor Spink Award as the Topps/NAPBL Minor League Player of the Year.[4]

Oakland Athletics

He made his professional debut on September 8, 1998, in a game against the Baltimore Orioles, where he came in as a pinch hitter for Mike Blowers and struck out in his only at bat.[4] He finished the 1998 season having played in 16 games, and ending with a .311 batting average, as well as a triple.[2]

Chavez won six consecutive Rawlings Gold Glove Awards from 2001–2006. In 2004, the A's signed him to a six-year, $66-million contract extension.

In the 27 games of September and October in 2001, Chavez hit ten home runs with 31 RBIs, a .379 batting average and a .738 slugging percentage resulting in him being named the American League Player of the Month for the only time in his career.

Between 2002-2005, his batting average remained consistent, hitting in the .270-.280 range. His home runs hit remained steady, hitting 29 in 2003 and 2004, and 27 in 2005. However, his offense production dropped in 2006, with his batting average dropping to .241, despite hitting 22 home runs. This slump continued into 2007, hitting .240 and 15 home runs.[5]

Through his first ten years with the A's, Chavez played 1256 games and batted .269. He had 227 home runs and 762 RBIs. Chavez batted .250 and slugged .445 in April and in May combined, but batted .294 and slugged .544 in June, July and August, continuing a constant theme in the Oakland A's organization in that they are a "second half" team.

He started the 2008 season on the disabled list, due to back pain. He was activated from the disabled list on May 29. On July 2, he was placed on the 15-day disabled list again with right shoulder inflammation. On June 14 2009 Chavez was placed on the disabled list once again due to back pain, this time out for the season. He will have back surgery which may end his career.

See also

References

External links

Preceded by
Jermaine Dye
American League Player of the Month
September, 2001
Succeeded by
Torii Hunter

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