Vernon Christopher Carter (born December 18, 1986) is an American born professional baseball first baseman and designated hitter for the Acereros de Monclova of the Mexican League. He previously played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Oakland Athletics, Houston Astros, Milwaukee Brewers, and New York Yankees. In 2016, while playing for the Brewers, Carter led the National League in home runs, along with Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado, with 41.
Carter with the Houston Astros in 2014
|Acereros de Monclova – No. 33|
|First baseman / Designated hitter|
|Born: December 18, 1986|
Redwood City, California
|August 9, 2010, for the Oakland Athletics|
|MLB statistics |
(through 2017 season)
|Runs batted in||400|
|Career highlights and awards|
Carter was born in Redwood City, California. At approximately age 7 or 8, his family moved to Las Vegas. He attended Sierra Vista High School. In 2005, Sierra Vista's baseball team won the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association Class 4A state championship.
Carter was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the 15th round of the 2005 Major League Baseball Draft. Carter began his professional career with the Bristol White Sox of the Rookie-level Appalachian League in 2005. He hit 10 home runs and had 37 runs batted in (RBIs). He played for two teams in the 2006 season. The teams included the Great Falls White Sox of the Rookie-level Pioneer League and the Kannapolis Intimidators of the Class A South Atlantic League. He had a combined total of 16 home runs and 63 RBIs. He played for Kannapolis in the 2007 season where he hit 25 home runs and had 93 RBIs.
Two weeks after he was traded to Arizona, the Diamondbacks traded Carter, Carlos González, Brett Anderson, Aaron Cunningham, Greg Smith, and Dana Eveland to the Oakland Athletics for Dan Haren and Connor Robertson. He played for the Stockton Ports of the Class A-Advanced California League in the 2008 season where he hit 39 home runs and had 104 RBIs. Carter was named the California League Rookie of the Year for the 2008 season. In 2009, Carter split time between the Midland RockHounds of the Class AA Texas League and the Sacramento River Cats of the Class AAA Pacific Coast League (PCL), putting a .329 batting average (a 70-point increase from 2008), 28 homers and 115 RBIs combined. In 2008 and 2009, Baseball America ranked Carter as one of the top 10 prospects in the Athletics' organization. Also in 2008 and 2009, Carter was the Oakland Athletics' Minor League Player of Year.
Carter was placed on the A's 40-man roster on November 20, 2009. In 2009, he was named the This Year in Minor League Baseball Awards "Overall Hitter of The Year". On August 9, 2010, Carter was promoted to Oakland and went 0–for–3 in his first game. On August 16, Carter was demoted to Sacramento after starting his career 0–for–19 with 12 strikeouts. After the AAA season ended, Carter was recalled to Oakland. On September 20, he snapped his 0–for–33 streak with a single in the sixth inning. On September 22, 2010 Carter hit his first major league home run against the Chicago White Sox.
Carter finished the 2010 season with a .186 batting average across 78 plate appearances and 24 games. He played in the Venezuelan Winter League upon completion of the 2010 season. He hit .136 in 15 MLB games the next year, spending most of that season in the Athletics' minor league system. He also split the 2012 season between MLB and the minor leagues, hitting .239 with 16 home runs and 39 RBI in 67 games.
During the 2013 season, Carter played 148 games batting .223 with 29 home runs, 82 RBI, and struck out an MLB-leading 212 times. He became only the fourth player to strikeout 200 times in a season, and his number of strikeouts set a new American League record for a right-handed hitter.
The 2014 season started out even slower for Carter, as he batted only .153 throughout the entire month of April. Carter would turn his fortunes around after the All-Star break though, as finished with a .227 batting average and career highs of 37 home runs and 88 RBI. On January 14, 2015, Carter and the Astros agreed to a one-year contract worth $4.175 million, avoiding arbitration.
Carter had a disappointing 2015 season for the Astros. He was the team's starting first baseman, but hit only .199/.307/.427 in 129 games. For the season, he had the highest strikeout percentage among major leaguers against right-handed pitchers (35.6%). However, he still managed to hit 24 home runs, and then hit .294 with a home run against the Kansas City Royals during the 2015 American League Division Series. At the conclusion of the 2015 season Carter was non-tendered by the Astros, and became a free agent.
On January 6, 2016, Carter signed a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Milwaukee Brewers. He posted a .321 on-base percentage and hit 41 home runs, leading the National League in 2016, while also leading the NL in at bats per home run (13.4) and games played (160). However, he had a .222 batting average and led the league with 206 strikeouts, and had the lowest contact percentage on his swings in the major leagues (64.6%). On defense, he led the NL in errors at first base (11). The Brewers did not tender Carter a contract for the 2017, making him a free agent.
On February 16, 2017, the New York Yankees signed Carter to a one-year contract, worth $3.5 million. Carter batted .204 with eight home runs and 70 strikeouts before the Yankees designated him for assignment on June 24. He was called back up by the Yankees on June 29 when his replacement at first base, Tyler Austin, landed on the disabled list. On July 4, he was again designated for assignment, this time to make room for Ji-man Choi on the roster. He was released on July 10. In 2017, he batted .201/.284/.370.
The 2008 Chicago White Sox season was the organization's 109th season in Chicago and 108th in the American League. The White Sox won the American League Central division title for the first time since 2005. They finished the regular season tied with the Minnesota Twins (88–74) and won a one-game playoff for the division title. They subsequently lost the 2008 American League Division Series to Tampa Bay Rays.
Individual highlights for the White Sox included the breakout season of offseason acquisition Carlos Quentin and the strong rookie season of infielder Alexei Ramírez. Gavin Floyd nearly threw a no-hitter against the Minnesota Twins on May 6, broken up by Joe Mauer's double in the ninth inning.
The White Sox set a new home record at U.S. Cellular Field of 54–28 (.658 pct.) breaking the 2003 home record of 51–30 (.629 pct.). As of 2018, this was the last time the Chicago White Sox made the postseason.