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Ben Zobrist

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Benjamin Thomas Zobrist

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[edit] Biographical Information

Infielder Ben Zobrist was selected by the Houston Astros in the sixth round of the 2004 amateur draft. He was signed by scout Rusty Pendergrass for $55,000 and began his pro career in the New York-Penn League that summer, leading the circuit with a .339 average. He hit .333/.500/.500 for the USA in the 2005 Baseball World Cup. On July 12, 2006, he and pitcher Mitch Talbot were traded to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays for Aubrey Huff. Zobrist made his big league debut the following month.

He was the shortstop on the only 2-6-2 triple play in major league history. It came in the 1st inning of a September 2, 2006 game against the Seattle Mariners with runners on first and third. Raul Ibanez struck out (Out #1); Adrian Beltre tried to steal second, but was tagged by Zobrist (Out #2); and Jose Lopez tried to steal home, but was tagged by catcher Dioner Navarro (Out #3).

He was the starting shortstop for the Devil Rays at the beginning of the 2007 season, but hit only .155 in 31 games and quickly lost the job.

Zobrist is the ultimate utility man; in 2010, Zobrist played 5 positions and batted in 8 different slots in the order. On August 13, 2013, he hit a lead-off homer - the 100th home run of his career - off Erasmo Ramirez of the Seattle Mariners and added a two-run blast off Ramirez in the 5th inning. What made the occasion memorable was that the Mariners' lead-off hitter, Brad Miller, did the same thing. It was only the second time in major league history that both teams' lead-off hitters had homered to start the game and added another homer later in the contest. On June 5, 1994, Tony Phillips, for the Detroit Tigers, and Chuck Knoblauch, for the Minnesota Twins, had been the first to do so. Unfortunately, the Rays lost the game, 5-4, in spite of Zobrist's contribution.

On January 10, 2015 Zobrist and Yunel Escobar were traded to the Oakland A's for John Jaso, minor league shortstop Daniel Robertson and minor league outfielder Boog Powell. After only half a season with the A's, during which he hit .268 in 67 games, he was traded again, on July 28th, to the Kansas City Royals in return for prospects Aaron Brooks and Sean Manaea. He took over for Omar Infante as the Royals' second baseman and hit .284 in 59 games, to finish the year at .276 in 126 games. He added 36 doubles and 13 homers, scored 76 runs and drove in 56. He started all of the games the Royals played in that year's postseason, playing second base and hitting second behind Alcides Escobar, and was a key factor in the Royals capturing their first World Series crown since 1985. He hit .333 in the Division Series, .320 with a pair of homers in the ALCS, and .261 with 5 runs scored and 4 doubles in the World Series as Kansas City defeated the New York Mets in five games. He hit 8 doubles overall in the postseason and scored 15 runs in 16 games. He was a much sought-after free agent after the season and on December 8th signed a four-year deal with the Chicago Cubs for $56 million. The Cubs immediately traded Starlin Castro after the signing, opening up the starting job at second base for him.

Zobrist, a Dallas Baptist University alum, is the brother-in-law of DBU coach Dan Heefner. Their wives are sisters.

[edit] Notable Achievements

  • 2-time AL All-Star (2009 & 2013)
  • 20-Home Run Seasons: 2 (2009 & 2011)
  • Won a World Series with the Kansas City Royals in 2015

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