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Darrin Fletcher

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Darrin Glen Fletcher

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[edit] Biographical Information

Catcher Darrin Fletcher was signed by the Los Angeles Dodgers and scout Glen Van Proyen as a 6th round pick in the 1987 amateur draft. Fletcher played fourteen seasons in the big leagues, hitting 124 home runs and making the All-Star team in 1994.

The son of Tom Fletcher and grandson of minor leaguer Glen Fletcher, Fletcher became a broadcaster after retiring as a player. He has covered games for the Montreal Expos in 2004 and joined the Toronto Blue Jays in 2005.

Fletcher was a notoriously slow baserunner, never scoring even 50 runs in a season and stealing all of two bases in a career that lasted 14 seasons, 10 of which were spent as a regular catcher. He also had a weak throwing arm, but compensated for his weaknesses with excellent game-calling ability and a solid bat from the left side of the plate who contributed his share of doubles, home runs and RBIs. He was originally drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1987 and was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies for pitcher Dennis Cook in September 1990. He only played 46 games in his one season with the Phillies in 1991, but was behind the plate for Tommy Greene's no-hitter against the Montreal Expos on May 23. He was again the catcher when Greene blanked the Expos in his next start on May 28th. Fletcher hit a home run that second game, after contributing an RBI double in the first, and found himself the starting catcher when it was Terry Mulholland's turn to blank the Expos on September 18th. However, the Phillies were set behind the plate with Darren Daulton coming into his prime, so they agreed to trade Fletcher to the Expos for reliever Barry Jones after the season.

After a so-so season in 1992 (.243, 26 RBI), when he shared playing time with Gary Carter who was in his last year, Darrin Fletcher beat out Tim Laker for the starting job in 1993. He got better as the season went on, finishing with 60 RBI and a .255 average. He made the National League All-Star team in 1994 when he hit .260 and drove in 57 runs in a shortened season, then had a some more solid seasons until 1997, when he shared playing time with newly-acquired Chris Widger but still posted the highest OPS+ of his career (116). He signed as a free agent with the Toronto Blue Jays before the 1998 season, and was their starting catcher for fours years, reaching the 20 home run plateau for the only time in his career in 2000; he also posted a .320 batting average that season, but fell to .226 in 2001. He announced his retirement in July 2002, as he had lost his starting job, was unable to bring his average back up to his usual levels and his power was starting to go as well.

In 1245 games in the majors, he hit .265 with a .423 slugging percentage, 214 doubles and 124 home runs.

[edit] Notable Achievements

  • NL All-Star (1994)
  • 20-Home Run Seasons: 1 (2000)

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