From BR Bullpen
James Christopher Demetral
- Bats Left, Throws Right
- Height 5' 11", Weight 175 lb.
- School Western Michigan University
Chris Demetral spent part or all of seven seasons in AAA but never reached the majors. He is the brother of Scott Demetral and Ted Demetral and a nephew of Jim Essian. Chris also has played for the Greek national team, including in the Olympics; his grandparents Chris and Louise Demetral were born in a suburb of Athens and came to the USA in the 1920s.
Demetral was picked by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 31st round of the 1991 amateur draft. He debuted as a pro with the Yakima Bears and hit .283/~.377/.254 as their starting second baseman. In 1992, Chris batted .275/~.345/.366 in 90 games and was caught stealing in 8 of 15 tries with the Bakersfield Dodgers. Demetral hit .325/~.417/.423 for the 1993 Vero Beach Dodgers; he led the team in average and OBP despite the presence of future major leaguers such as Miguel Cairo, Ken Huckaby and Paul Lo Duca. He led all Dodgers farmhands with 69 walks. He was second in the Florida State League in average behind Doug Radziewicz. He made the FSL All-Star team at second base.
In 1994, the 24-year-old produced at a .261/.323/.397 clip for the San Antonio Missions. Demetral made it to AAA in 1995 and batted .278/~.360/.374 in 87 games for the Albuquerque Dukes; he was part of a rotation of players at second and also saw time in the outfield. Demetral split 1996 between the San Bernardino Stampede (9 for 32, 6 BB, 3 2B, HR) and the Dukes (.263/~.422/.359 in 99 games, splitting time with Wilton Guerrero at second base.
The Western Michigan alumnus split 1997 between Albuquerque (6 for 24, 6 BB, 2 2B, HR) and Vero Beach (.277/~.383/.475 in 86 games). In 1998, he moved to the Texas Rangers system and hit .299/~.379/.414 in 57 games in a utility role for the Oklahoma RedHawks; he also played 45 games in AA (.272/.409/.456). Demetral batted .262/.358/.377 in 65 contests in a similar utility capacity for the 1999 RedHawks.
Demetral hit .239/.341/.361 in 106 games for Oklahoma as their primary second sacker in 2000. In 2001, Chris produced at a .236/.307/.295 in 92 games for Oklahoma as his production continued to decline. He again got their most starts at second base, edging out Michael Young (who spent most of the season in the majors).
Demetral retired from baseball and became an investment banker. He came out of retirement several times to appear for the Greek national team. His first appearance for them was in the 2003 European Championship and hit .269/.345/.269 while fielding perfectly at second. He went 0 for 4 in the Gold Medal game, which Greece lost to the Dutch national team. He made the tournament All-Star team as the second baseman.
Demetral hit .120/.214/.160 and fielded .972 as the Greek second baseman for the 2004 Olympics. He remained with Greece for the 2005 European Championship and was back with the team at age 38 for the 2008 European Championship Qualifiers. Demetral batted .364/.462/.727 in the latter event to help Greece advance to the 2010 European Championship; Demetral scored a team-high six runs in four games and even pitched two scoreless innings, allowing two hits and a walk and striking out two.