Nate Schierholtz

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Nate Schierholtz
SchierholtzAB.jpg
Chicago Cubs – No. 19
Outfielder
Born: (1984-02-15) February 15, 1984 (age 30)
Reno, Nevada
Bats: Left Throws: Right
MLB debut
June 11, 2007 for the San Francisco Giants
Career statistics
(through April 22, 2014)
Batting average .264
Hits 475
Home runs 45
Runs batted in 198
Teams
Career highlights and awards
Olympic medal record
Competitor for  United States
Men's baseball
Bronze 2008 Beijing Team

Nathan John Schierholtz (born February 15, 1984), nicknamed "Nate the Great," is an American professional baseball outfielder for the Chicago Cubs of Major League Baseball. He bats left-handed and throws right-handed. Known by his nickname particularly during his tenure with the San Francisco Giants, Schierholtz commonly bats without batting gloves, one of the few Major Leaguers to do so.1 Schierholtz is known for his particularly strong and accurate throwing arm, being better known for defensive rather than offensive skills.

High school and college

Schierholtz attended San Ramon Valley High School in Danville, California, the same high school as former Giants teammate Randy Winn. Schierholtz was not heavily recruited out of high school and instead decided to play for Chabot College, a community college located in Hayward, California. He played only one season for Chabot, starting at third base. He batted .400 with 72 hits, 60 RBI, 18 home runs, and 45 runs scored that season. He was the co-MVP of the 2000 junior varsity team with Gregory Fortayon.

Professional career

Schierholtz was drafted by the Giants in the second round (63rd overall) of the 2003 MLB Draft. In 2004, Schierholtz switched from third base to right field. He excelled at each of his stops in the minor league system, en route to his call up in 2007.2

San Francisco Giants

Schierholtz made his major league debut on June 11, 2007, against the Toronto Blue Jays as a defensive replacement. He got his first hit the next night in his first career at-bat. His most notable moment while on the big league club was on June 23, at home against the New York Yankees, when he blooped a single into center field in the bottom of the 13th inning to win the game for the Giants. Despite a .325 batting average in 40 at-bats, Schierholtz was sent down at the start of July.3

Schierholtz was again called up in September 2008, as the Giants' roster expanded.

Schierholtz during his tenure with the Giants

Schierholtz started the 2009 season as a pinch hitter. On June 14, 2009, Schierholtz had an inside-the-park home run, only the fourth in AT&T Park history, in the 3rd inning against the Oakland A's.4

The next year, Schierholtz's Giants won the 2010 World Series. He appeared in 137 games during the regular season, mostly as a pinch-hitter and late-inning defensive substitution. He received regular playing time throughout the postseason as a replacement for starting outfielder Pat Burrell. Burrell was one of the best hitters on the Giants, but was a poor defender in the outfield. Whenever the Giants held a lead in the 6th inning or later, manager Bruce Bochy would remove Burrell from the game and replace him with Schierholtz. This strategy was meant to provide the Giants with the best possible defensive outfield and, thus, the best chance of holding the lead and winning the game. Schierholtz ultimately appeared in 11 of San Francisco's 15 playoff games, accumulating 13 plate appearances and recording an RBI in Game 1 of the World Series against the Texas Rangers.

In 2011 Schierholtz began playing more as a starting Giant, due to a slump by outfielder Pat Burrell. On July 6, 2011, against the San Diego Padres, Schierholtz recorded his first multi-home run game. In the bottom of the 14th inning of that game, he hit a walk-off home run that secured a 6-5 victory for the Giants. On Sep 21, 2011, the Giants announced that Schierholtz's season might be over due to a broken right foot. In 2012, Schierholtz started the season as a bench player. On July 20 he told the Giants organization that he was open to trade due to the fact that he played less than manager Bruce Bochy had promised him earlier that season. The same day he started against the Philadelphia Phillies in right field, when he went 1 for 3 with a walk and scored two runs. He started July 21 and 22, causing rumors that Bochy and general manager Brian Sabean might be showcasing him to other teams that may have been interested in acquiring him. Bochy denied the comment, stating that he started Schierholtz for logical reasons. On July 20, Bochy wanted to rest Angel Pagan, prompting him to put Schierholtz in right field and starting everyday right fielder Gregor Blanco in center field, his natural position. On July 21, pitcher Cole Hamels started the game. Prior to the game, Schierholtz was 4 for 6 in his career against Hamels. On July 22, Schierholtz started against pitcher Joe Blanton. Prior to the game, Schierholtz was 3 for 3 in his career against Blanton. That day, Schierholtz recorded his third career multi-home run game, including a home run that forced the game into extra innings. In the same game, Schierholtz hit his first career leadoff home run.

Philadelphia Phillies

On July 31, 2012, Schierholtz was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies along with minor league catcher Tommy Joseph and minor league pitcher Seth Rosin for outfielder Hunter Pence. Schierholtz did not request a trade but felt open to the trade so he could have more playing time. He homered in his debut against the Washington Nationals. In the transaction Schierholtz changed his number from 12 to 22. Schierholtz was sent to the Disabled List on August 13 after fracturing his right big toe.

Despite being traded to the Phillies, Schierholtz received his second World Series ring from the Giants due to his contributions during the first half of the 2012 season with the team.

Chicago Cubs

On December 5, 2012, Schierholtz signed a $2.25 million, one-year deal with the Chicago Cubs.5

On January 17, 2014, Schierholtz signed a $5 million, one-year deal with the Chicago Cubs.6

2008 USA Baseball Olympic Team

In 2008, Schierholtz was batting .314 with fifteen home runs and 65 runs batted in for the Giants' Triple-A Pacific Coast League affiliate, the Fresno Grizzlies when his minor league season ended as a result of his being selected for the 2008 USA Olympic Baseball Team. In the sixth inning of a preliminary round game against China, Schierholtz collided with China backup catcher Yang Yang at the home plate on a sacrifice fly, a play that resulted in a near brawl between the teams and saw Chinese manager Jim Lefebvre ejected from the game.7

Personal life

Schierholtz married Kate Eveland, a former guard on the San Diego State basketball team on December 3, 2011.8 His brother Cainan was arrested on a DUI in 2004 and was charged with another DUI and felony hit-and-run on August 1, 2010. Nate said, "Obviously, it's very upsetting... It's just something very irresponsible and he's going to have to do some decent time for what he's done. I'll stick by him and support him to get the counseling he needs."9

References

  1. ^ "Nate Schierholtz Player File". MLB.com. Retrieved 2007-09-13. 
  2. ^ "Nate Schierholtz Baseball Statistics". The Baseball Cube. Retrieved 2007-08-31. 
  3. ^ "Nate Schierholtz 2007 Batting Splits". Baseball-Reference. Retrieved 2007-09-09. 
  4. ^ "Oakland Athletics vs. San Francisco Giants - Recap - June 14, 2009 - ESPN". ESPN.com. 2009-06-14. 
  5. ^ Muskat, Carrie (December 6, 2012). "Cubs, outfielder Schierholtz agree to terms". MLB.com. Retrieved December 7, 2012. 
  6. ^ Muskat, Carrie (January 17, 2014). "Cubs sign Schierholtz, Valbuena, Russell, Strop". MLB.com. Retrieved January 17, 2014. 
  7. ^ Shea, John (2008-08-19). "Schierholtz a big hit after play in Olympics". San Francisco Chronicle. 
  8. ^ http://www.csnbayarea.com/blog/giants-talk/post/Looking-good-Zito-Schierholtz-both-get-m?blockID=607004&feedID=2796.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  9. ^ Baggarly, Andrew (August 4, 2010). "Giants outfielder Nate Schierholtz shocked by brother's actions". Contra Costa Times. Retrieved April 22, 2014. 

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