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Jason Kendall

Kansas City Royals — No. 18
Born: June 26, 1974 (1974-06-26) (age 35)
San Diego, California
Bats: Right Throws: Right 
MLB debut
April 1, 1996 for the Pittsburgh Pirates
Career statistics
(through 2009)
Batting average     .290
Home runs     75
Runs batted in     707
Hits     2084
Stolen bases     177
Career highlights and awards
  • 3x All-Star selection (1996, 1998, 2000)
This article is about an athlete; For the musician and videogame designer see Jason "King" Kendall

Jason Daniel Kendall (born June 26, 1974, in San Diego, California) is a Major League Baseball catcher who currently plays for the Kansas City Royals. He is the son of former catcher Fred Kendall, who played in the majors from 19691980.


High school

Kendall attended and played at Torrance High School in California, where he tied a national high school record by hitting safely in 43 straight games. He was drafted out of high school in the first round of the 1992 Major League Baseball Draft (23rd overall pick) by the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Professional Career

Pittsburgh Pirates

He made the major league team in 1996, and was the Pirates' starting catcher until he was traded to the Oakland Athletics for Arthur Rhodes and Mark Redman after the 2004 season. In his rookie year, he hit .300, made the National League All-Star Team, and was named NL rookie of the year by The Sporting News (he finished third in voting for the MLB Rookie of the Year award). He was also an All-Star in 1998 and 2000.

In 1999, he suffered a season-ending injury when he dislocated his ankle while running to first base in a July 4 game against Milwaukee. The unusual compound dislocation, which was initially misidentified as a fracture, was one of the most grisly injuries in recent baseball history.

On November 18, 2000, Kendall signed a six-year contract extension worth $60 million. The contract made him the second-highest-paid catcher at the time, behind Mike Piazza.[1]

In 2002 and 2005, he led the majors in at-bats per strikeout (18.1 in 2002, 15.4 in 2005).[2] He also led the major leagues in 2005 in times reached base on an error (15).[1]

From 2002-04, Kendall led all major league catchers in games and innings behind the plate. He is the Pirates' all-time leader in games caught.

As a batter, he is a careful, consistent hitter. Though he lacks power, he is a lifetime .290 hitter who rarely strikes out. Though fast for a catcher, Kendall does not possess overwhelming speed for a major league ballplayer. He has led all major league catchers in steals a number of times in the past 7 years, however (2000, with 22; 2001—13; 2002—15; 2004—11; and 2006—11). His lifetime steal percentage of 68.5% is about the league average. Kendall has led off many games in his major league career. The frequency by which he gets hit by pitches (he is the Pirates' all-time leader in the category) is a testament to both his batting focus and his unwillingness to be intimidated by pitchers.

Athletics, Cubs

Kendall batting for the A's

During the 2005 season, however, Kendall struggled at the plate. His .321 slugging percentage was the worst (by 20 points) among all major league players who qualified for the batting title. His .271 batting average was the second-lowest of his career. In the field, he allowed 101 stolen bases, more than any other catcher in major league baseball.

The 2006 season marked Kendall's first ever post-season appearance, as the Athletics clinched the 2006 American League Western Division championship on September 26. He recorded his first playoff hit in the second game of the American League Division Series off Minnesota's Boof Bonser.

On July 16, 2007, he was traded to the Chicago Cubs for fellow catcher Rob Bowen and minor league pitcher Jerry Blevins.[3] At the time of the trade, Kendall had the lowest on base percentage (.261) and second lowest slugging percentage (.281) of any starter in major league baseball for 2007. In the field he allowed 111 stolen bases (131 attempts, 20 caught), more than any other catcher in major league baseball.

Milwaukee Brewers

On November 21, 2007, he agreed in principle to a one-year deal with the Milwaukee Brewers.[4] Kendall threw out roughly 40% of base stealers in 2008. Upon making his 110th start of the 2008 season, Kendall fulfilled the option in his contract, securing himself a spot in the Brewers lineup in 2009.

On May 18, 2009, Kendall recorded his 2,000th career hit, becoming the eighth full-time catcher to reach that milestone.[5]

In 2009 he had the lowest slugging percentage of any starter in the major leagues, at .305.[6]

Kansas City Royals

On December 11, 2009 Jason Kendall signed a 2 year contract with the Kansas City Royals.[7]

See also


External links

Preceded by
Chipper Jones
Sporting News NL Rookie of the Year
Succeeded by
Scott Rolen

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