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Josh Phelps

San Francisco Giants — No. 31
First baseman
Born: May 12, 1978 (1978-05-12) (age 31)
Anchorage, Alaska
Bats: Right Throws: Right 
MLB debut
June 13, 2000 for the Toronto Blue Jays
Career statistics
(through 2008 season)
Batting average     .273
Home runs     64
Runs batted in     244
Teams

Joshua Lee Phelps (born May 12, 1978 in Anchorage, Alaska) is a Major League Baseball first baseman for the San Francisco Giants organization. He has also played as a designated hitter and emergency catcher at the major league level. He bats and throws right-handed.

A .273 career hitter through 2008 with a .472 slugging percentage, he has hit .300/.496 with runners in scoring position.

Contents

High school years

Phelps attended Lakeland High School in Rathdrum, Idaho, where he was the baseball team's Most Valuable Player as a senior, and graduated 4th in his class in 1996 with a 3.94 GPA.[1]

Phelps was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays as a catcher in the 10th round of the 1996 draft. Phelps planned to pursue engineering in college before he signed with the Blue Jays.

Minor league career

In 1999, he led the Florida State League in slugging percentage (.562), and was 2nd in batting (.328). He was rated as the 5th best prospect in the organization by Baseball America.

In 2001, with Tennessee of the Southern League (Double-A), he hit .292, led the league with 36 doubles and 31 home runs, and was third in RBI (97). He was the Southern League MVP, was named to their All-Star team as the catcher and designated hitter, was selected to Baseball America's Minor League Second Team All-Star as catcher, was named as the R. Howard Webster Award winner (team MVP), and was twice selected as the SL Player of the Week.

He then hit .433 in 23 games in the Arizona Fall League for Scottsdale. He was rated the top prospect in the Blue Jays organization by Baseball America.

In 2002, he started the season with Syracuse (Triple-A) of the International League, and was recalled on July 2 by Toronto. At the time of his recall, he was leading all of minor league baseball in home runs (24), and was leading the IL in RBI (64) and slugging percentage (.658).

He was named to the Triple-A All Star team, and was selected to play for Team USA at the Futures game in Milwaukee.

He spent 2006 with the Toledo Mud Hens, the Detroit Tigers Triple-A franchise. He hit .308 (2nd in the league), and ranked second among International League hitters with a .532 slugging percentage, and 3rd in the league with 24 HR and 90 RBI.

Through 2006 in his minor league career, he had hit .288/.360/.524.

Major league career

In 2000 he appeared in one game for Toronto at the age of 22. The following year, he caught in 7 games, and went hitless in 12 at bats. In 2002, he hit .309 with a .562 slugging percentage, and was 5th in the AL in HBP (17). In 2003, he hit a career-high 20 home runs. In August 2004, he was traded by the Blue Jays to the Cleveland Indians for Eric Crozier.

In December 2004, he signed as a free agent with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. In January 2006, he was signed by the Detroit Tigers to a minor league contract. In November 2006, he signed with the Baltimore Orioles to a one-year minor league contract, but he was acquired by the Yankees in the Rule 5 Draft on December 7, 2006. On March 30, 2007, he was placed on the New York Yankee 40-man roster, beating out Andy Phillips. Initially picked to platoon at first base with Doug Mientkiewicz, Manager Joe Torre hinted that Phelps might man the position by himself if his impressive spring training numbers continued into the regular season. On June 19, 2007, Phelps was designated for assignment. He was claimed by the Pittsburgh Pirates on June 22 and replaced Brad Eldred on their 25-man roster.

On November 29, 2007, he elected to file for free agency and was signed to a minor league contract by the St. Louis Cardinals on January 10, 2008.[2] Phelps was promoted to the Major League roster on August 27, 2008.

On October 15, 2008, he was designated for assignment to make room for left-handed relief specialist, Charlie Manning.[3]

On November 3, 2008, the San Francisco Giants signed Josh Phelps to a minor league contract with a spring training invite

Phelps is the all-time leader in home runs for a player born in Alaska.[4]

Awards

  • 1999 - Florida State League All-Star DH
  • 2001 - Baseball America 2nd team Minor League All-Star C
  • 2001 - Southern League All-Star C
  • 2001 - Southern League Most Valuable Player
  • 2001 - Double A All-Star C
  • 2001 - Toronto Blue Jays Minor League Player of the Year
  • 2002 - Baseball America 2nd team Minor League All-Star C
  • 2002 - Triple A All-Star DH
  • 2002 - Toronto Blue Jays Minor League Player of the Year
  • 2002 - AL Rookie of the Year (Voting Rank: # 6)

References

  1. ^ http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/columns/story?columnist=schwarz_alan&id=1540471
  2. ^ FOX Sports on MSN - MLB - Cards sign Phelps to minor league contract
  3. ^ "Cards claim lefty Manning off waivers: Former Nationals reliever adding to Spring Training mix". MLB.com. 2008-10-15. http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20081015&content_id=3623204&vkey=news_stl&fext=.jsp&c_id=stl.  
  4. ^ "Players Born in Alaska". Baseball-Reference.com. 2007-10-28. http://www.baseball-reference.com/bio/AK_born.shtml. Retrieved 2008-03-23.  

External links

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