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Kevin Kouzmanoff

nicknames: Crushin Russian, Mashin Macedonian, Kooooz
Oakland Athletics
Third baseman
Born: July 25, 1981 (1981-07-25) (age 28)
Newport Beach, California
Bats: Right Throws: Right 
MLB debut
September 2, 2006 for the Cleveland Indians
Career statistics
(through 2009 season)
Batting average     .261
Home runs     62
Runs batted in     257
Teams

Kevin Kouzmanoff (born July 25, 1981, in Newport Beach, California) is a Macedonian American [1][2][3] Major League Baseball third baseman for the Oakland Athletics.

He became the third player to hit a grand slam in his first major league at-bat after Bill Duggleby in 1898 and Jeremy Hermida in 2005,[4] and the first to do so on the first pitch.

Contents

Amateur career

High school

Kouzmanoff grew up in Evergreen, Colorado where he played high school baseball at Evergreen High School.

College

In 2002, he attended the University of Arkansas at Little Rock where he hit .364.

In 2003, he attended the University of Nevada-Reno where as a walk-on he hit .361.

Professional career

Cleveland Indians

In the 2003 Major League Baseball Draft, the Cleveland Indians selected Kouzmanoff in the 6th round (168th overall).

Kouzmanoff made his professional debut later in 2003 with the Mahoning Valley Scrappers, hitting .272 with eight home runs and 33 RBI in 206 at-bats. Kouzmanoff also played for the Winchester Royals in Virginia.

In 2004, Kouzmanoff hit 16 home runs, 87 RBI and a .330 average with the Lake County Captains of the South Atlantic League. Bothered by back problems in 2005, he was limited to only 254 at-bats with the Kinston Indians, but still hit .339 with 12 home runs and 58 RBI.

Starting the 2006 season with Double-A Akron, Kouzmanoff flirted with a .400 average[5] before finishing at .389 and being promoted to the Buffalo Bisons in July.

On September 2, 2006, Kouzmanoff became the 23rd major leaguer to hit a home run on his first Major League pitch, the 12th American Leaguer to do so, and the second of 2006 (along with Adam Wainwright of the St. Louis Cardinals). Kouzmanoff hit a grand slam off of then-Texas Ranger Edinson Volquez on the first pitch he ever saw in the major leagues, the only player in MLB history to ever to do so on the first pitch.

On November 8, 2006, Kouzmanoff was traded with pitcher Andrew Brown to San Diego in exchange for second baseman Josh Barfield.

San Diego Padres

Kouzmanoff with the Padres in 2008.

Padres fans were slow to embrace Kouzmanoff at the beginning of the season; Barfield had been popular with fans, and Kouzmanoff endured a slow start. However, he has since increased his production and fans affectionately root "Koooz" when he makes a play, comes to bat, or has a hit, leading some uninitiated spectators to believe he is being booed.

In 2007, Kouzmanoff was ninth among all NL rookies in RBI (74; behind Troy Tulowitzki and Ryan Braun), 7th in home runs (18; behind Braun, Chris Young, Tulowitzki, and Josh Hamilton), hits (133), and extra base hits (50), and tied for 10th in runs (57).

In 2008 he had the worst strikeout-to-walk ratio in the majors, 6.04.[6]

In 2009 he set an National League single-season record for third basemen with a .990 fielding percentage, committing three errors in 309 total chances. Kouzmanoff broke the record of .987 by Colorado's Vinny Castilla in 2004.[7]

Oakland Athletics

On January 15, 2010, it was reported that Kouzmanoff will be traded to the Oakland Athletics for outfielders Scott Hairston and Aaron Cunningham, pending physicals.[8]

See also

References

External links


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