2014 American League Division Series

The 2014 American League Division Series were two best-of-five-game series to determine the participating teams in the 2014 American League Championship Series. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Baltimore Orioles, and Detroit Tigers (divisional winners, seeded 1–3 based on regular season record) as well as the Wild Card game winning Kansas City Royals played in the two series. TBS carried all the games.

These matchups were:

This was the first postseason played under the current divisional alignment, going back to 1995, in which neither the Boston Red Sox nor the New York Yankees competed in an ALDS. It was also the Royals' first appearance in the current version of the ALDS, as their last previous postseason appearance had come in 1985, prior to its conception (although the team had played in one of the 1981 ALDS necessitated by that year's player strike and the resulting split season). It was also the Orioles' first ALDS win since 1997.

Both the Angels and the Royals, and the Tigers and the Orioles, met for the first time in the postseason.

2014 American League Division Series
2014ALDSlogo
Teams
Team (Wins) Manager Season
Kansas City Royals (3) Ned Yost 89–73, .549, 1 GB
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (0) Mike Scioscia 98–64, .605, 10 GA
DatesOctober 2–5
TelevisionTBS
TV announcersErnie Johnson, Jr., Ron Darling, Cal Ripken, Jr. and Matt Winer
RadioESPN
Radio announcersJon Sciambi and Chris Singleton
UmpiresTed Barrett (crew chief), Lance Barksdale, Chris Guccione, Paul Nauert, Jeff Nelson, Jim Reynolds
Teams
Team (Wins) Manager Season
Baltimore Orioles (3) Buck Showalter 96–66, .593, 12 GA
Detroit Tigers (0) Brad Ausmus 90–72, .556, 1 GA
DatesOctober 2–5
TelevisionTBS
TV announcersBrian Anderson, Dennis Eckersley, Joe Simpson and Jaime Maggio
RadioESPN
Radio announcersChris Berman (Games 1–2), Dave Flemming (Game 3) and Rick Sutcliffe
UmpiresJeff Kellogg (crew chief), Scott Barry, Dan Bellino, Fieldin Culbreth, Paul Schrieber, Jim Wolf
AL Wild Card GameKansas City Royals over Oakland Athletics, 9-8 (12 inn.)

Matchups

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim vs. Kansas City Royals

Kansas City won the series, 3–0.

Game Date Score Location Time Attendance 
1 October 2 Kansas City Royals – 3, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim – 2 (11) Angel Stadium 4:05 45,321[1] 
2 October 3 Kansas City Royals – 4, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim – 1 (11) Angel Stadium 3:48 45,361[2] 
3 October 5 Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim – 3, Kansas City Royals – 8 Kauffman Stadium 3:38 40,657[3]

Baltimore Orioles vs. Detroit Tigers

Baltimore won the series, 3–0.

Game Date Score Location Time Attendance 
1 October 2 Detroit Tigers – 3, Baltimore Orioles – 12 Oriole Park at Camden Yards 3:42 47,842[4] 
2 October 3 Detroit Tigers – 6, Baltimore Orioles – 7 Oriole Park at Camden Yards 3:41 48,058[5] 
3 October 5 Baltimore Orioles – 2, Detroit Tigers – 1 Comerica Park 3:41 43,013[6]

Los Angeles vs. Kansas City

Game 1, October 2

October 2, 2014 9:07 p.m. (EDT) at Angel Stadium of Anaheim in Anaheim, California (F/11)[7]
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 R H E
Kansas City 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 3 4 0
Los Angeles 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 4 0
WP: Danny Duffy (1–0)   LP: Fernando Salas (0–1)   Sv: Greg Holland (1)
Home runs:
KC: Mike Moustakas (1)
LAA: Chris Iannetta (1), David Freese (1)
Attendance: 45,321

Mike Moustakas, who is a native of Los Angeles, hit a 374-foot home run deep into right field in the 11th inning to give the Royals a 3–2 victory in Game 1. Closer Greg Holland, who arrived during the 4th inning following a trip to North Carolina for the birth of his son, pitched a perfect bottom half of the 11th to seal the Royals victory. Alcides Escobar had an RBI double in the third inning, allowing Moustakas to score, and Omar Infante's sacrifice fly allowed Alex Gordon to score in the fifth. The Angels' only scores were home runs from Chris Iannetta in the third and David Freese in the fifth.

This game also started a string of postseason games in which the Royals defense would make a number of highlight reel defensive plays. Outfielders Lorenzo Cain and Nori Aoki each had a pair of great catches, which slowed down the Angels' high powered offense.

Game 2, October 3

October 3, 2014 9:37 p.m. (EDT) at Angel Stadium of Anaheim in Anaheim, California (F/11)[8]
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 R H E
Kansas City 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 4 8 1
Los Angeles 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 6 2
WP: Brandon Finnegan (1–0)   LP: Kevin Jepsen (0–1)   Sv: Greg Holland (2)
Home runs:
KC: Eric Hosmer (1)
LAA: None
Attendance: 45,361

Eric Hosmer hit a two-run homer and Salvador Pérez recorded an RBI infield single in the 11th inning, as the Royals won Game 2, 4–1. Kansas City scored first on Alex Gordon's RBI single in the second, but the Angels tied the game in the sixth with Albert Pujols' RBI single.

Kansas City again came up with a timely defensive gem. In the bottom of the 8th with no outs and pinch runner Collin Cowgill at second base, Jarrod Dyson caught a fly ball to left-center field off of Chris Iannetta, and then threw picture perfect strike to Mike Moustakas at third to double-up Cowgill, who tried to advance on the play.

Game 3, October 5

October 5, 2014 7:37 p.m. (EDT) at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri [9]
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Los Angeles 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 3 8 0
Kansas City 3 0 2 2 0 1 0 0 x 8 9 0
WP: James Shields (1–0)   LP: C. J. Wilson (0–1)
Home runs:
LAA: Mike Trout (1), Albert Pujols (1)
KC: Eric Hosmer (2), Mike Moustakas (2)
Attendance: 40,657

The Angels' took their only lead of this series with a one out home run by Mike Trout in the top of the first off of James Shields, but C. J. Wilson gave up a triple in the bottom half to Alex Gordon and was immediately knocked out of the game. Eric Hosmer would add his second home run of this series, a two-run home run in the third off of Hector Santiago, to make it 5–1 Royals. The Angels cut it to 5–2 in the fourth on Albert Pujols's home run, but in the bottom of the inning, Mike Morin allowed a one-out home run to Mike Moustakas, then two singles to put runners on first and third before Lorenzo Cain's sacrifice fly made it 7–2 Royals. They made it 8–2 in the sixth off of Kevin Jepsen on Nori Aoki's RBI single that scored Omar Infante from second. The Angels scored the last run of the series in the eighth off of Wade Davis on Josh Hamilton's groundout with runners on second and third as the Royals completed a three-game sweep to punch their ticket to the 2014 ALCS.

The defense again showed up for Kansas City. The highlights of the game included back-to-back diving catches in the 5th inning by Lorenzo Cain with runners on base.

Composite line score

2014 ALDS (3–0): Kansas City Royals over Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 R H E
Kansas City Royals 3 1 3 2 1 1 0 0 0 0 4 15 21 1
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 1 0 1 1 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 6 18 2
Total attendance: 131,339   Average attendance: 43,780

Baltimore vs. Detroit

Game 1, October 2

Hardy 2014 ALDS
JJ Hardy rounds third base after hitting a solo home run in Game 1 of the 2014 American League Division Series.
October 2, 2014 5:37 p.m. (EDT) at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore, Maryland [10]
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Detroit 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 3 8 2
Baltimore 2 1 0 0 0 0 1 8 x 12 12 0
WP: Chris Tillman (1–0)   LP: Max Scherzer (0–1)
Home runs:
DET: Víctor Martínez (1), J. D. Martinez (1), Miguel Cabrera (1)
BAL: Nelson Cruz (1), J. J. Hardy (1)
Attendance: 47,842

Nelson Cruz's two-run home run in the bottom of the first started the scoring for the Orioles. The Tigers tied the score in the top of the second on back-to-back home runs by Victor Martinez and J. D. Martinez, but Baltimore pulled ahead on an RBI single by Nick Markakis in the bottom half. The score remained unchanged until Baltimore scored in the seventh on a home run from J. J. Hardy to make the score 4-2. In the top of the eighth, Ian Kinsler singled off of Darren O'Day, but the next batter Torii Hunter lined sharply to Hardy, who doubled up Kinsler off of first. The play proved to be critical as the next batter, Miguel Cabrera, homered. In the bottom half, after a one out double by Alejandro De Aza, Joba Chamberlain relieved starter Max Scherzer and a crucial error by Andrew Romine allowed De Aza to score and Adam Jones to reach base. Jones stole second, then scored on Nelson Cruz's single. Joakim Soria relieved Chamberlain and a single and intentional walk loaded the bases before Ryan Flaherty's single and Nick Hundley's groundout scored a run each, then Jonathan Schoop's double scored two more. Phil Coke relieved Soria and threw a wild pitch that moved Schoop to third, then walked Nick Markakis before De Aza, in his second at-bat of the inning, doubled to score both men. Baltimore scored a team postseason record and LDS record eight runs in the inning. This record would be tied the next day in the Cardinals/Dodgers NLDS series. With the game out of reach, Tommy Hunter came on and pitched out of a bases loaded jam to seal the game.

Game 2, October 3

October 3, 2014 12:07 p.m. (EDT) at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore, Maryland [11]
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Detroit 0 0 0 5 0 0 0 1 0 6 10 0
Baltimore 0 0 2 1 0 0 0 4 x 7 9 0
WP: Brad Brach (1–0)   LP: Joakim Soria (0–1)   Sv: Zach Britton (1)
Home runs:
DET: J. D. Martinez (2), Nick Castellanos (1)
BAL: Nick Markakis (1)
Attendance: 48,058

Nick Markakis' two run home run off Tiger starter Justin Verlander in the third put the Orioles on the board. But in the top of the fourth, Torii Hunter singled, Cabrera doubled him to third, Victor Martinez singled to score Hunter, J. D. Martinez homered to put Detroit on top 4–2 and Nick Castellanos homered to push the lead to three runs before the first out was recorded. After the next two outs were recorded, Rajai Davis singled and chased Baltimore starter Wei-Yin Chen in the process. Kevin Gausman came on and got the final out of the inning without further damage to keep the score 5–2. A two out RBI single by J. J. Hardy cut the score to 5–3 but Verlander escaped without another run crossing the plate. The score stayed at 5–3 until the top of the eighth when Victor Martinez doubled home Hunter to push the lead back to three runs. But for the second straight day Baltimore would fight back against the Tiger bullpen in the bottom of the eighth. Joba Chamberlain came on and got De Aza to ground out, but Adam Jones was hit by a pitch, Nelson Cruz singled Jones to second, and Steve Pearce singled in Jones to make it a 6–4 game. Joakim Soria came on in relief of Chamberlain and walked Hardy to load the bases for former Tiger Delmon Young. Young unloaded the bases with a go-ahead three-run double to put the Orioles back on top 7–6. Zach Britton came on and pitched a perfect ninth to send Baltimore to Detroit up two games to none.

Game 3, October 5

October 5, 2014 3:45 p.m. (EDT) at Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan [12]
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Baltimore 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 2 5 1
Detroit 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 4 0
WP: Bud Norris (1–0)   LP: David Price (0–1)   Sv: Zach Britton (2)
Home runs:
BAL: Nelson Cruz (2)
DET: None
Attendance: 43,013

Adam Jones' single and Nelson Cruz's two-run home run that just stayed fair down the right field line off of David Price in the sixth broke a scoreless tie and the backs of the Tigers as Baltimore completed a three-game sweep. The Tigers got back-to-back leadoff doubles from Victor Martinez and J. D. Martinez in the ninth to pull within a run. After Bryan Holaday struck out, an intentional walk to Nick Castellanos put the winning run on base. Britton got Hernan Perez to ground into the game-ending, series-ending double play, sending the Orioles to their first ALCS appearance in 17 years. With the loss, the Tigers lost their first ever ALDS. In their previous four appearances they advanced to the ALCS every time.

Composite line score

2014 ALDS (3–0): Baltimore Orioles over Detroit Tigers

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Baltimore Orioles 2 1 2 1 0 2 1 12 0 21 26 1
Detroit Tigers 0 2 0 5 0 0 0 2 1 10 22 2
Total attendance: 138,913   Average attendance: 46,304

References

  1. ^ "Boxscore:Kansas City vs. Los Angeles - October 2, 2014". MLB.com. October 2, 2014. Retrieved October 2, 2014.
  2. ^ "Boxscore:Kansas City vs. Los Angeles - October 3, 2014". MLB.com. October 3, 2014. Retrieved October 3, 2014.
  3. ^ "Boxscore:Los Angeles vs. Kansas City - October 5, 2014". MLB.com. October 5, 2014. Retrieved October 5, 2014.
  4. ^ "Boxscore:Detroit vs. Baltimore - October 2, 2014". MLB.com. October 2, 2014. Retrieved October 2, 2014.
  5. ^ "Boxscore:Detroit vs. Baltimore - October 3, 2014". MLB.com. October 3, 2014. Retrieved October 3, 2014.
  6. ^ "Boxscore:Baltimore vs. Detroit - October 5, 2014". MLB.com. October 5, 2014. Retrieved October 5, 2014.
  7. ^ "Mike Moustakas' HR in 11th sends Royals past Angels in ALDS opener". espn.com. Associated Press. Retrieved October 3, 2014.
  8. ^ "Eric Hosmer's 2-run HR gives K.C. another extra-inning win, series lead". espn.com. Associated Press. Retrieved October 4, 2014.
  9. ^ "Royals claim ALCS berth with sweep of regular-season-best Angels". espn.com. Associated Press. Retrieved October 6, 2014.
  10. ^ "Orioles set postseason team record with 12 runs in Game 1 win". espn.com. Associated Press. Retrieved October 3, 2014.
  11. ^ "Delmon Young, Orioles pounce on shaky Tigers bullpen for another win". espn.com. Associated Press. Retrieved October 3, 2014.
  12. ^ "Nelson Cruz homer all Orioles need to sweep Tigers, advance to ALCS". espn.com. Associated Press. Retrieved October 6, 2014.

External links

2014 American League Wild Card Game

The 2014 American League Wild Card Game was a play-in game during Major League Baseball's (MLB) 2014 postseason played between the American League's (AL) two wild card teams, the Oakland Athletics and the Kansas City Royals. It was held on September 30, 2014. The Royals won by a score of 9–8 in 12 innings, and advanced to play the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the 2014 American League Division Series.This was the second postseason meeting between the Athletics and Royals, having first met in the 1981 ALDS (Athletics won 3–0).

The 12-inning contest tied the then record for the longest (by innings) "winner-take-all" game in postseason history, shared with Game 7 of the 1924 World Series. This record was subsequently broken by the 2018 National League Wild Card Game .

Alex Avila

Alexander Thomas Avila (born January 29, 1987) is an American professional baseball catcher for the Arizona Diamondbacks of Major League Baseball (MLB). He previously played for the Detroit Tigers, Chicago White Sox and Chicago Cubs. Avila is the son of Tigers general manager Al Avila.

Avila was the Tigers' starting catcher for the team's four straight American League Central Division titles, which included catching Cy Young Award seasons for starting pitchers Justin Verlander in 2011 and Max Scherzer in 2013.

Nicknamed "The Titanium Catcher" for the perception among many baseball fans that he was unusually likely to be hit by foul tips, Avila has a history of concussions and concussion-like symptoms. He spent time on the disabled list for a concussion in 2013 and missed games on at least two occasions in 2014 for concussion-like symptoms after taking blows to the head. His most recent reported concussion occurred in the clinching Game 3 of the 2014 American League Division Series when a tipped foul ball hit him in the mask, knocking him out of the game and ending his season three innings early.

Brandon Finnegan

Brandon Kyle Finnegan (born April 14, 1993) is an American professional baseball pitcher in the Cincinnati Reds organization. He has played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Kansas City Royals and the Cincinnati Reds.

Prior to his professional career, Finnegan attended Texas Christian University (TCU) and played college baseball for the TCU Horned Frogs baseball team. He was drafted by the Royals in the first round of the 2014 MLB Draft, and made his MLB debut that season. The Royals traded Finnegan to the Reds during the 2015 season.

Brian Anderson (sportscaster)

Brian Anderson (born June 7, 1971) is an American sportscaster. Since 2007, he has called play-by-play for the Milwaukee Brewers' telecasts on FSN Wisconsin. As a part of his work on the 2007 Brewers Preview Show, Anderson and the FSN team were awarded a regional Emmy Award.

Anderson also calls NFL games and NCAA Tournament basketball for CBS Sports, regular season NCAA basketball for FOX Sports and the Big Ten Network, MLB games for TBS and NBA games for TNT, TBS, NBC and CBS.

David Freese

David Richard Freese (born April 28, 1983) is an American professional baseball corner infielder for the Los Angeles Dodgers of Major League Baseball (MLB). He began his MLB career with the St. Louis Cardinals, where he was a key player during the 2011 postseason, batting .545 with 12 hits in the 2011 National League Championship Series (NLCS). He also set an MLB postseason record of 21 runs batted in (RBIs), earning the NLCS MVP Award and World Series MVP Award. In addition, Freese won the Babe Ruth Award, naming him the MVP of the 2011 MLB postseason. He also played for the Los Angeles Angels and Pittsburgh Pirates.

A star high school player, Freese declined a college baseball scholarship from the University of Missouri. Needing a break from baseball, he sat out his freshman year of college before feeling a renewed urge to play the game. He transferred to St. Louis Community College–Meramec, a junior college, where he played for one season before transferring to the University of South Alabama. The San Diego Padres selected Freese in the ninth round of the 2006 MLB draft.

The Cardinals acquired Freese before the 2008 season. He made his MLB debut on Opening Day 2009 due to an injury to starting third baseman Troy Glaus. Despite suffering his own injuries in the minor leagues and in his first two MLB seasons, Freese batted .297 with 10 home runs and 55 RBIs during the Cardinals' 2011 World Series championship over the Texas Rangers. The next season, he batted .293 with 20 home runs and was selected to his first MLB All-Star Game. Freese authored a 20-game hitting streak in 2013, but back injuries limited his effectiveness, and the Cardinals traded him to the Angels following the season. He played for the Angels for two seasons before signing with the Pirates in March 2016.

Delmon Young

Delmon Damarcus Young (born September 14, 1985) is an American former professional baseball outfielder and designated hitter. He played in Major League Baseball for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays/Rays, Minnesota Twins, Detroit Tigers, Philadelphia Phillies, and Baltimore Orioles. He is the younger brother of former major league outfielder and first baseman Dmitri Young.

Detroit Tigers

The Detroit Tigers are an American professional baseball team based in Detroit, Michigan. The Tigers compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member of the American League (AL) Central division. One of the AL's eight charter franchises, the club was founded in Detroit as a member of the minor league Western League in 1894 and is the only Western League team still in its original city. They are also the oldest continuous one name, one city franchise in the AL. The Tigers have won four World Series championships (1935, 1945, 1968, and 1984), 11 AL pennants (1907, 1908, 1909, 1934, 1935, 1940, 1945, 1968, 1984, 2006, 2012), and four AL Central division championships (2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014). The Tigers also won division titles in 1972, 1984, and 1987 as a member of the AL East. The team currently plays its home games at Comerica Park in Downtown Detroit.

The Tigers constructed Bennett Park at the corner of Michigan Avenue and Trumbull Avenue in Corktown (just west of Downtown Detroit) and began playing there in 1896. In 1912, the team moved into Navin Field, which was built on the same location. It was expanded in 1938 and renamed Briggs Stadium. It was renamed Tiger Stadium in 1961 and the Tigers played there until moving to Comerica Park in 2000.

From 1901 to 2018, the Tigers' overall win–loss record is 9,299–9,077 (a winning percentage of 0.506).

History of the Detroit Tigers

The history of the Detroit Tigers, a professional baseball franchise based in Detroit, Michigan, dates back to 1894 when they were a member of the minor league Western League. Becoming a charter member of the American League in 1901, they are the oldest continuous one name, one city franchise in the league.

J. J. Hardy

James Jerry Hardy (born August 19, 1982) is an American former professional baseball shortstop. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Milwaukee Brewers, Minnesota Twins, and Baltimore Orioles. Hardy attended Sabino High School in Tucson, Arizona where he was an All-State selection from 1999 to 2001 and an All-American selection in 2001. Hardy was originally drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the second round of the 2001 Amateur Draft.

Kansas City Royals

The Kansas City Royals are an American professional baseball team based in Kansas City, Missouri. The Royals compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member team of the American League (AL) Central division. The team was founded as an expansion franchise in 1969, and has participated in four World Series, winning in 1985 and 2015, and losing in 1980 and 2014.

The name Royals pays homage to the American Royal, a livestock show, horse show, rodeo, and championship barbeque competition held annually in Kansas City since 1899 as well as the identical names of two former negro league baseball teams that played in the first half of the 20th century (one a semi-pro team based in Kansas City in the 1910s and 1920s that toured the Midwest and a California Winter League team based in Los Angeles in the 1940s that was managed by Chet Brewer and included Satchel Paige and Jackie Robinson on its roster). The Los Angeles team had personnel connections to the Monarchs but could not use the Monarchs name. The name also fits into something of a theme for other professional sports franchises in the city, including the Kansas City Chiefs of the NFL, the former Kansas City Kings of the NBA, and the former Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro National League.

In 1968, the team held a name-the-team contest that received more than 17,000 entries. Sanford Porte, a bridge engineer from the suburb of Overland Park, Kansas was named the winner for his “Royals” entry. His reason had nothing to do with royalty. “Kansas City’s new baseball team should be called the Royals because of Missouri’s billion-dollar livestock income, Kansas City’s position as the nation’s leading stocker and feeder market and the nationally known American Royal parade and pageant,” Porte wrote. The team's board voted 6-1 on the name, with the only opposition coming from team owner Ewing Kauffman, who eventually changed his vote and said the name had grown on him.Entering the American League in 1969 along with the Seattle Pilots, the club was founded by Kansas City businessman Ewing Kauffman. The franchise was established following the actions of Stuart Symington, then-United States Senator from Missouri, who demanded a new franchise for the city after the Athletics (Kansas City's previous major league team that played from 1955 to 1967) moved to Oakland, California in 1968. Since April 10, 1973, the Royals have played at Kauffman Stadium, formerly known as Royals Stadium.

The new team quickly became a powerhouse, appearing in the playoffs seven times from 1976 to 1985, winning one World Series championship and another AL pennant, led by stars such as Amos Otis, Hal McRae, John Mayberry, George Brett, Frank White, Willie Wilson, and Bret Saberhagen. The team remained competitive throughout the early 1990s, but then had only one winning season from 1995 to 2012. For 28 consecutive seasons (1986–2013), the Royals did not qualify to play in the MLB postseason, one of the longest postseason droughts during baseball's current wild-card era. The team broke this streak in 2014 by securing the franchise's first wild card berth and advancing to the World Series. The Royals followed this up by winning the team's first Central Division title in 2015 and defeating the New York Mets for their first World Series title in 30 years.

Mike Trout

Michael Nelson Trout (born August 7, 1991) is an American professional baseball center fielder for the Los Angeles Angels of Major League Baseball (MLB). Trout is a eight-time MLB All-Star, received the American League (AL) Most Valuable Player (MVP) award in 2014 and 2016 (finishing second in the 2012, 2013, 2015, and 2018 votes), and is a six-time winner of the Silver Slugger Award. He is nicknamed "the Millville Meteor."

The Angels selected Trout in the first round of the 2009 MLB draft. He made a brief major league appearance in 2011 before becoming a regular player for the Angels the subsequent season, and won the 2012 AL Rookie of the Year Award unanimously.

Trout's athleticism on the field has received praise from both the mainstream media and sabermetricians. He is regarded as one of the most outstanding young players in the history of baseball, as well as one of the best current players in all of MLB. Trout led the American League in wins above replacement (WAR) in each of his first five full seasons (according to Fangraphs and Baseball-Reference.com).Trout has led the American League in runs (2012–14, 2016) and times on base (2013, 2015–16, 2018) four times. As of 2018, he led all active major league ballplayers in career slugging percentage (.573), on base plus slugging (.990), and stolen base percentage (84.75%), and was second in career on base percentage (.416). In 2019, he signed a 12-year, $426 million contract with the Angels, the richest contract in the history of North American sports.

Paul Nauert

Paul Edward Nauert (born July 7, 1963) is an American professional baseball umpire who has umpired in Major League Baseball (MLB) since becoming a part-time National League (NL) umpire in 1995.Nauert previously worked in the Appalachian League (1988), the Midwest League (1989–1990), the Florida Instructional League (1988–1990), the Southern League (1991–1992), and the International League (1993–1998). He was the base umpire during the 27-inning, eight-hour-and-15-minute, Bluefield at Burlington game of June 24, 1988, that ended at 3:27 am on June 25.

Nauert umpired his first National League game on May 19, 1995, and was one of 22 umpires whose resignations were accepted in 1999 (the resignations were part of a failed union negotiating strategy). On being rehired in 2002, he became part of the Major League Baseball umpire staff. Nauert has worked the 2004 American League Division Series, the 2008 National League Division Series, the 2010 National League Division Series, the 2013 National League Division Series, the 2014 American League Division Series, the 2016 National League Championship Series, and the 2017 National League Division Series. He was a part of the crew that worked both the 2008 MLB China Series (the first MLB games ever played in China) and the 2008 Japan Opening Series. Nauert also worked the 2009 Major League Baseball All-Star Game.

Yordano Ventura

Yordano Ventura Hernández (Spanish: [ɟʝoɾˈðano βenˈtuɾa]; June 3, 1991 – January 22, 2017) was a Dominican professional baseball pitcher for the Kansas City Royals of Major League Baseball (MLB). Ventura made his MLB debut on September 17, 2013. Known as a power pitcher, his fastball topped out at 102 mph in his career. He won the 2015 World Series with the Royals. On January 22, 2017, Ventura was killed in a car crash in the Dominican Republic.

Zack Britton

Zackary Grant Britton (born December 22, 1987), known professionally as Zach Britton until February 2019, is an American professional baseball pitcher for the New York Yankees of Major League Baseball (MLB). He previously played for the Baltimore Orioles.

Britton graduated from Weatherford High School in Texas and was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the third round of the 2006 MLB draft. Initially a starting pitcher, Britton converted to a closer and led the American League in saves in 2016 and was named to the AL All-Star team in 2015 and 2016. From September 20, 2015, to August 23, 2017, Britton converted 60 straight saves, an American League record. The Orioles traded Britton to New York during the 2018 season.

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