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Garrett Atkins

Baltimore Orioles — No. 25
First baseman
Born: December 12, 1979 (1979-12-12) (age 30)
Orange, California
Bats: Right Throws: Right 
MLB debut
August 3, 2003 for the Colorado Rockies
Career statistics
(through 2009 season)
Batting average     .289
Home runs     98
Runs batted in     479
Teams

Garrett Bernard Atkins (born December 12, 1979, in Orange, California) is a Major League Baseball first baseman for the Baltimore Orioles. He bats and throws right-handed.

In 2005, his 89 runs batted in led not only the Rockies, but all major league rookies as well. In 2006, Atkins ranked in the top ten of nearly all batting categories in the National League, posting a .329 batting average with 120 runs batted in and 117 runs scored.

Contents

High school career

Atkins attended University High School in Irvine, California.[1] As a senior, he was named the Irvine World News All-City MVP, after posting a .557 batting average, along with a school single-season record 13 home runs.

College career

After being drafted by the New York Mets in 1997 out of high school, Atkins elected to attend college instead.[1] He was recruited by Pepperdine, USC, Oklahoma State, Cal State Fullerton and UCLA, choosing the latter. At UCLA, Atkins majored in sociology[2] and became the first three-time All-American.[1] His accomplishments included compiling a 33-game hitting streak. He began as a first baseman before converting to third base, where he made 51 starts in 1998. However, in 1999, his sophomore campaign, Atkins played first base again and led the team in hits. He was a teammate and roommate of Philadelphia Phillies' second baseman Chase Utley,[3] and along with him, was one of only two Bruins to start every game. Atkins was drafted in 2000 out of UCLA by the Colorado Rockies in the fifth round (137th overall).[3] This time, he chose to accept the offer from an MLB club and began the process of reaching the majors.

Professional career

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Colorado Rockies

2007 season

Garrett Atkins

Hit .301 overall, batting .349 at mile-high Coors Field, but hit only .254 in away games. However, it should be noted that one of the reasons for any substantial differences in home and road splits for Rockies batters is that they have to make adjustments in how they see pitches away from Coors Field - particularly breaking balls, such as sliders and curve balls - since those pitches act differently at Coors Field than on the road.[4]

2008 season

In 2008, Atkins spent much of the season playing first base in the absence of injured teammate Todd Helton, marking a defensive transition to "a more natural position for him." [5]

2009 season

Prior to the start of the 2009 season, Atkins accepted a one-year $7 million dollar contract from the Rockies. He struggled in the 2009 season hitting .226 with nine home runs, and 48 RBIs.

Atkins was non-tendered by the Rockies on December 12, 2009, officially making him a free agent[6].

Baltimore Orioles

2010 season

According to The Baltimore Sun, Atkins had agreed to a 1-year, $4 million deal with the Baltimore Orioles. The deal includes a one-year club option for $8.5 million, with a $500,000 buyout. He is expected to be the starting first baseman after the signing of Miguel Tejada who will be the third baseman.

On December 22, 2009, Atkins officially signed with the Baltimore Orioles for one year $4 million with an $8.5 million club option for 2011.[7]

Awards and honors

Personal

Atkins' parents are Ron and Diana. His mother is a breast cancer survivor. He has a younger sister named Kristan. Atkins used to reside in Irvine, California during the off-season, before moving to the Denver area after the 2006 season. For the past four seasons, he has lived with former teammate Matt Holliday and his family during spring training, even serving as babysitter to Holliday's two young sons. One of Atkins' primary hobbies is golf.

References

External links

Awards
Preceded by
Ryan Church
National League Rookie of the Month
June 2005
Succeeded by
Zach Duke
Preceded by
Chad Tracy
Topps Rookie All-Star Third Baseman
2005
Succeeded by
Ryan Zimmerman

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