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 Brad Ausmus Career Tracker

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PostSubject: Brad Ausmus Career Tracker   Brad Ausmus Career Tracker Icon_minitimeThu Jun 17, 2010 10:08 am

Brad Ausmus Career Tracker Ph_110385

Brad Ausmus
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Bradley David "Brad" Ausmus (born April 14, 1969) is an American three-time Gold Glove Award winning catcher in Major League Baseball with the Houston Astros. With more than 100 games caught in 11 consecutive seasons, he ranks third among active catchers in games played. He is fifth all-time of all Jewish Major Leaguers in hits, and eighth in home runs and RBIs, trailing only Hank Greenberg and Shawn Green in all three categories.[1] He also won the 2007 Darryl Kile Award "for integrity and courage".

Early life

High school

Ausmus was born in New Haven, Connecticut. He was a standout athlete at Cheshire High School ('87), in basketball, as a guard.[3] He was also a star in baseball -- as a freshman he was a teammate of National Hockey League defenseman Brian Leetch, who was then a pitcher on the high school's baseball Connecticut state championship team in 1984. As a sophomore he played shortstop and batted .327, as a junior he hit .436, and as a senior he hit .411 and was named the Chesire (CT) Area High School Player of the Year. Was named to the All-State team both his junior and senior years.[4]

Draft and college

Ausmus chose an unusual route to the Major Leagues. He initially refused to sign with the Yankees after the 1987 draft, instead choosing to pursue another childhood dream, that of attending Dartmouth College.[5] The Yankees allowed him to attend classes at the Ivy League school while playing in the minor leagues during his off terms.[6] (Dartmouth has an unusual academic calendar, giving students more flexibility to do such things.) Given NCAA rules barring paid professional athletes from playing college sports, the MLB-drafted minor leaguer Ausmus could not play for Dartmouth's team, the Big Green, and instead served as a volunteer coach and bullpen catcher. He graduated in 1991 with a B.A. in Government, and was a member of Chi Gamma Epsilon ("Chi Gam") fraternity. In 2005, Ausmus became the first Ivy League catcher to play in the World Series since 1916.[7]

Ausmus was not drafted until the Yankees picked him in the 48th round, but of the 1,150 players drafted ahead of him in 1987 only five (Ken Griffey, Jr., Mike Timlin, Reggie Sanders, Mike Mussina, and Jeff Cirillo) are still in the game.[8]

Minor league career

Ausmus spent five years in the Yankees' minor league system, then was selected by the Colorado Rockies with the 54th pick of the 1992 expansion draft. He spent less than a year in the Colorado organization. He was traded to the San Diego Padres with Andy Ashby and Doug Bochtler for Bruce Hurst and Greg Harris in July 1993.

San Diego Padres (1993-96)

He made his Major League debut two days later, when he started for the Padres against the Chicago Cubs, and went 1-for-3 with a single.[9] In 1995 he batted .293, a career-best, and stole 16 bases (the most by any catcher since Craig Biggio stole 19 in 1991). Within three years, Ausmus was on the move again. In June 1996, after 149 at-bats in which he batted just .181, the Padres traded him, Andujar Cedeno, and minor leaguer Russ Spear to the Detroit Tigers for John Flaherty and Chris Gomez.

Detroit Tigers (1996)

Despite bouncing back somewhat in Detroit, hitting .248, Ausmus was again traded in December 1996. He was traded with Jose Lima, Trever Miller, C. J. Nitkowski, and Daryle Ward to the Houston Astros for Doug Brocail, Brian Hunter, Todd Jones, Orlando Miller, and cash. This marked the first of three times Ausmus would be exchanged between the two teams.


Houston Astros (1997-98)

In January 1999 he was traded by the Houston Astros with C.J. Nitkowski to the Detroit Tigers for Paul Bako, Dean Crow, Brian Powell, and minor leaguers Carlos Villalobos and Mark Persails.

Detroit Tigers (1999-2000)

Generally considered light-hitting but sure-handed, Ausmus had his best offensive season in 1999 at the age of 30, when he batted .275 and set career highs in on-base percentage (.365) and slugging percentage (.415), and made the All-Star team. He was hit by pitches 14 times, sixth in the league and a career high. Ausmus batted leadoff for the Tigers seven times, the first catcher since Bruce Kimm in 1976 to do so.

In December 2000, he was traded by the Detroit Tigers with Doug Brocail and Nelson Cruz to the Houston Astros for Roger Cedeno, Chris Holt, and Mitch Meluskey.


Houston Astros (2001-present)

In November 2003, he signed as a free agent with the Houston Astros, and he did the same in December 2005. In 2004 he batted .308 against left-handers, and .364 in situations that were "late and close" (in the seventh inning or later, with the score tied or the tying run on base, at the plate, or on deck).[10] In 2005, he had more walks (51) than strikeouts (48). He batted .304 with 2 out and runners in scoring position. In 2006, Ausmus hit .230 and set a career high with nine sacrifice hits.

In 2007, Ausmus was batted .235, but was tied for second of all NL catchers with six stolen bases. He recorded his 100th career stolen base on July 27, becoming the 21st catcher all-time to reach the 100-steal plateau.[11]

Ausmus is considered managerial material when his playing career is over.

Ironically Garner was fired on August 27th.

After completing a two-year, $7.5 million deal, Ausmus accepted a 1-year, $2 million (plus incentives based on playing time) contract on October 30, 2007.[13] The plan is for Ausmus to play on a part-time basis and mentor J. R. Towles, with Towles catching the majority of the games. Should Towles struggle, however, the Astros can turn to Ausmus.[14]

Defense

Known as "one of the best defensive catchers in the game,"[1] Ausmus has exhibited better range at catcher than the league average each season in his career. He is known for his strong arm, quick release, nimble footwork, framing pitches deftly, and smart handling of pitchers. While the vast majority of his games have been at catcher, Ausmus has also played a handful of games at first base, second base, third base, and shortstop, all of them without making an error.

He nabbed 39% of opposing baserunners in 1995, second in the NL only to the Marlins' Charles Johnson, and led the league with 14 double plays and 63 assists at catcher. On August 2, 1997, he was the first catcher to wear the FOX mini-camera, in a Houston-New York Mets game. In 1997, he had 16 double plays, a career-best, and led the league in caught-stealing percentage, as he threw out 46 of 93 runners. In 1998, he finished second to Charles Johnson in the NL Gold Glove voting.

In 1999, he led the AL with a .998 fielding percentage. In 2000, he appeared in 150 games, starting 140, which was the most ever by a Detroit catcher. He led the league with 68 assists, and he threw out 30 of 74 baserunners attempting to steal (43.2%), leading the AL in that category. In 2001, he led the NL with a .997 fielding percentage and only 1 passed ball, had the second best caught-stealing percentage (40%) in the Majors, and won the first of two consecutive National League Gold Gloves with the Houston Astros. He led the league again with a .997 fielding percentage and an 8.40 range factor, while being charged with only 2 passed balls in 2002. In 2003, Ausmus had a .997 fielding percentage, for the third season in a row. He led the league with a .999 fielding percentage in 2005.

Ausmus led the league again with a .998 fielding percentage (the fifth-best of any catcher ever at the time) and a 7.94 range factor, with only 1 passed ball, and won his third Gold Glove in 2006. He made his franchise-record eighth Opening Day start at catcher for the Astros in 2007, breaking a tie with Alan Ashby. On July 22, 2007, Ausmus passed Gary Carter to move into sole possession of second place in Major League career putouts by a catcher (11,792). Ausmus in addition passed Ted Simmons that day to take sole possession of 12th place all-time on the games caught list, with 1,772.[15] He also had the 3rd best lifetime fielding average (.991) of any catcher with a minimum of 1,000 games played. In 2007 he had the 2nd-best fielding percentage (.995) and range factor (8.04) of all catchers in the NL, while being charged with only 2 passed balls. His 12,040 career putouts through 2007 rank second on the all-time list, trailing only Ivan Rodriguez (12,504).[16]

Post-season career

Ausmus has played in the post-season five times, all with the Astros, including the 2005 World Series. In Game 4 of the 2005 National League Division Series against the Atlanta Braves, Ausmus homered with two outs in the bottom of the 9th to tie the game at 6-6 and send it to extra innings; the Astros eventually won in the 18th inning of the longest postseason game in Major League history.

National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame

Ausmus was inducted into the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 2004.

"I have to keep him playing, because if he starts managing, he'll be better than me."
--Astros' manager Phil Garner, joking

"Yeah, but if he keeps playing me more, he may end up losing his job anyway".
--Ausmus, in a quick-witted response


Transactions from RetroSheet




June 2, 1987: Drafted by the New York Yankees in the 48th round of the 1987 amateur draft.
November 17, 1992: Drafted by the Colorado Rockies from the New York Yankees as the 54th pick in the 1992 expansion draft.
July 26, 1993: Traded by the Colorado Rockies with a player to be named later and Doug Bochtler to the San Diego Padres for Greg Harris and Bruce Hurst. The Colorado Rockies sent Andy Ashby (July 27, 1993) to the San Diego Padres to complete the trade.

June 18, 1996: Traded by the San Diego Padres with Russ Spear (minors) and Andujar Cedeno to the Detroit Tigers for John Flaherty and Chris Gomez.
December 10, 1996: Traded by the Detroit Tigers with Jose Lima, Trever Miller, C.J. Nitkowski and Daryle Ward to the Houston Astros for Doug Brocail, Brian Hunter, Todd Jones, Orlando Miller and cash.
January 14, 1999: Traded by the Houston Astros with C.J. Nitkowski to the Detroit Tigers for Carlos Villalobos (minors), Mark Persails (minors), Paul Bako, Dean Crow and Brian Powell.
December 11, 2000: Traded by the Detroit Tigers with Doug Brocail and Nelson Cruz to the Houston Astros for Roger Cedeno, Chris Holt and Mitch Meluskey.
October 27, 2003: Granted Free Agency.
November 19, 2003: Signed as a Free Agent with the Houston Astros.
November 1, 2005: Granted Free Agency.
December 13, 2005: Signed as a Free Agent with the Houston Astros.
October 29, 2007: Granted Free Agency.
October 30, 2007: Signed as a Free Agent with the Houston Astros.
October 31, 2008: Granted Free Agency.
January 21, 2009: Signed as a Free Agent with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
November 6, 2009: Granted Free Agency.
January 26, 2010: Signed as a Free Agent with the Los Angeles Dodgers.


"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson


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PostSubject: Re: Brad Ausmus Career Tracker   Brad Ausmus Career Tracker Icon_minitimeThu Jun 17, 2010 10:09 am

Ex-Tiger Ausmus analyzes the Tigers pitching staff

Astros catcher Brad Ausmus, one of the most articulate people in baseball, saw the Tigers' full lineup last week and raved about its strength from top to bottom. He then added a caution.

"I'm still a firm believer that pitching and defense wins championships," said Ausmus, who has played on five playoff teams in Houston. "Offense can get you to the playoffs. But once you get to the playoffs, pitching and defense wins championships."

Free Press sports writer John Lowe then sat down with Ausmus, a former Tiger, to talk about Detroit's starting rotation.

"I think they have the pitching," Ausmus said. "Obviously, (Justin) Verlander is very good. Kenny Rogers is as savvy as they come. He's going to give you an opportunity to win a game. It may not be 1-0, but maybe 4-3.

"I'm a big fan of Nate Robertson. To me, he's the type of pitcher who, when he needs to make a big pitch, he can make a big pitch. With the bases loaded and one out, he can make a big pitch to get a double play or to get a strikeout so he can get to the third out.

"Then they have (Jeremy) Bonderman as well. They have the potential to pitch well. But their offense will give the pitchers a little bit of leeway.

"Dontrelle (Willis) is funky. As a hitter, he takes awhile to get used to. It takes you an at-bat or two just to figure out where the ball is being delivered from. Like Robertson, he has the ability that, when the game's energy ratchets up a notch, he ratchets up a notch.

"It's one of those things you can't teach. It's a form of guts, and you can't teach guts. They reach deep inside and say, 'I might be in a tough situation, but I've been here before, and I'm getting out of it.' "


"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson
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PostSubject: Re: Brad Ausmus Career Tracker   Brad Ausmus Career Tracker Icon_minitimeThu Jun 17, 2010 10:09 am

Ausmus, Dodgers finalize deal

LOS ANGELES -- Veteran catcher Brad Ausmus and the Los Angeles Dodgers finalized a one-year, $1 million contract Monday.

The parties agreed to terms last week, and the three-time Gold Glove winner needed to take a physical. He can earn an additional $350,000 in performance bonuses based on plate appearances.

Ausmus spent the past eight seasons with Houston and batted .218 with three homers and 24 RBIs in 81 games last year. He will back up All-Star catcher Russell Martin in Los Angeles.

Ausmus, who turns 40 in April, has a career batting average of .251 with 79 homers and 596 RBIs in 1,914 career games with San Diego, Detroit and Houston.

Ausmus makes his offseason home in Del Mar, about 100 miles south of Los Angeles.


"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson
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PostSubject: Re: Brad Ausmus Career Tracker   Brad Ausmus Career Tracker Icon_minitimeThu Jun 17, 2010 10:10 am

______Dodgers____ ______Updated__ _Status__ _Due Back_ ____Injury____ ___________Notes________
Brad Ausmus Career Tracker 110385 Ausmus, Brad (C) 05/03/10 60-day DL TBD Pinched nerve in lower back Underwent surgery April 28.


"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson
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PostSubject: Re: Brad Ausmus Career Tracker   Brad Ausmus Career Tracker Icon_minitimeMon Feb 07, 2011 3:28 am

Padres hire Ausmus as special assistant
By Corey Brock / MLB.com | 11/16/10 7:42 PM EST

SAN DIEGO -- A year ago, the Padres and general manager Jed Hoyer hired two former players -- Dave Roberts and Mark Loretta -- as special assistants to the baseball operations staff.

This year, Hoyer is again adding a former Padres player to his staff as Tuesday the team announced the hiring of former Major League catcher Brad Ausmus as special assistant to baseball operations.

"We are extremely excited to add Brad to our staff," Hoyer said in a release. "He brings a tremendous amount of experience from his long and successful playing career. We look forward to having him help with the development of catchers throughout our system."

Ausmus, who played last season with the Dodgers, played for the Padres from 1993-96, starting his 18-year Major League career with the team.

Ausmus hit .222 in 63 at-bats for the Dodgers last season. Now he'll be working in the front office, while also spending time with his family. Ausmus makes his home in San Diego.

"It allows me to stay involved in the game and gives me an opportunity to be involved with the organization that I first broke into the big leagues with," Ausmus said.

Ausmus played for the Tigers (1996, 1999-2000), Astros (1997-98, 2001-08) and Dodgers (2009-2010). Ausmus was a career .251 hitter, a three-time Gold Glove winner and an All-Star with the Tigers in 1999. He was hoping that at some point he would end up playing again in San Diego, but he instead signed with the Dodgers before the 2009 season.

"I thought there might be a chance a couple of years ago but it didn't work out. I don't regret it; we went to the playoffs in Los Angeles," Ausmus said.

Ausmus, lauded for his defensive skills and ability to handle a pitching staff throughout his career, threw out 30.2 percent of basestealers in his career.

Ausmus was acquired by San Diego from the Rockies on July 26, 1993, and made his Major League debut with the Padres that season.

Ausmus hit .255 over four seasons with the Padres and currently ranks among the club's all-time catchers in games played (fifth), hits (fourth) and stolen bases (second).

Now he returns to the franchise that allowed him to break into the Major Leagues, though there aren't many familiar faces around that were in San Diego during his stint as a player here.

"The funny part is people I knew with the Padres when I was playing here are either gone or have gone and come back," Ausmus said. "There's been wholesale changes, not just players but front office and ownership."

Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson
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