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Dexter Fowler

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William Dexter Fowler

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[edit] Biographical Information

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Dexter Fowler has been a highly-rated prospect from 2004-2007. In 2008, he made his major league debut with the Colorado Rockies.

Fowler was a high school star, hitting .457 and slugging 1.028 with 23 steals and 14 home runs in 105 AB. Baseball America and USA Today named him a first-team high school All-American outfielder. Entering the 2004 amateur draft, Baseball America rated him as the #10 position player prospect. He fell to the 14th round, though, because he had made a commitment to the University of Miami and teams did not want to risk a lost pick if Fowler went to college. The Colorado Rockies picked him in the 14th round of the draft. He was signed by scout Damon Iannelli for a $925,000 bonus to set a new record for a signing bonus for that round as he took the money instead of heading on to Miami. His bonus was equivalent to a high second-round pick.

Fowler made his professional debut with the 2005 Casper Rockies, hitting .273/.357/.409 with 18 steals in 24 tries. He struck out in 73 of 220 AB. Baseball America still rated him as the #7 prospect in the Northwest League. In 2006, the 20-year-old switch-hitter batted .296/.373/.462 for the Asheville Tourists with 92 runs and 43 steals (caught stealing 23 times). He was 9th in the South Atlantic League in average. He didn't come close to leading his team in steals - Eric Young Jr. swiped over twice as many. He tied for third in the league in steals. Fowler was named the SAL's "Most Exciting Prospect" by Baseball America and the league's #10 prospect, between Brandon Erbe and Deolis Guerra.

Fowler hit .266/.380/.376 for the Waikiki Beach Boys that winter. He was named to the Hawaii Winter Baseball All-Star outfield, joining John Mayberry, Jr. and Nyjer Morgan, both considerably older players. In 2007, Dexter batted .273/.397/.367 in 65 games for the Modesto Nuts with 20 steals in 31 tries. A fractured right hand cut his season short. Baseball America named him the best defensive outfielder in the California League and the #10 prospect overall, right behind Chris Davis. They also named him the 3rd-best Rockies prospect.

In the 2007 Arizona Fall League, Fowler only hit .224 for the Peoria Javelinas. Baseball America rated him as the loop's #9 prospect, between Jordan Schafer and Taylor Teagarden.

Fowler was the USA's main center fielder in the 2008 Olympics and hit .250/.300/.429. His best game came in the 4-2 win over the Taiwan national team when Fowler tripled, doubled, scored and drove in runs. Despite hitting leadoff at times, Fowler did not try to steal in 9 games. The USA finished with a Bronze. He made his big league debut with the Rockies later that summer, going 4 for 26 in 13 games. He then became the team's starting center fielder in 2009, putting up a batting line of .266/.363/.406 in 135 games. He stole 27 bases, but his total fell to 13 in 2010 as he continued as Colorado's primary center fielder. The rest of his batting line was quite similar to his rookie season (.260/.347/.410), and he did not entirely lose his speed as he led the National League with 14 triples. He got a taste of postseason action in the 2009 NLDS against the Philadelphia Phillies, when he went 3 for 14 in 4 games.

In 2011, Fowler hit .260 with 35 doubles and 15 triples in 125 games for the Rockies, scoring a career-high 84 runs. He had another solid season in 2012, with an OPS+ of 119 as he hit an even .300 in 143 games with an excellent OBP of .389. he hit only 18 doubles, but had 11 triples and 13 homers, scoring 72 runs. He fell back to his usual batting average in 2013, with a line of .260/.369/.407. His power fell off again, as the 18 doubles were now coupled with only 3 triples and 12 homers. During all of those years, he was the Rockies' starting centerfielder, having played only a single game in another outfield spot, as his speed was very useful in covering the vast expanses of Coors Field.

On December 3, 2013, Fowler was traded with a player to be named later to the Houston Astros in return for two younger players, OF Brandon Barnes who was expected to replace him as the Rockies' centerfielder, and P Jordan Lyles. He got his Astros career off to a fast start on Opening Day on April 1, 2014 against the New York Yankees. He doubled off CC Sabathia to lead off the bottom of the 1st, then came in to score the first run of a four-run inning, and doubled and scored again in the 2nd as the Astros won, 6-2. He then homered and tripled in the team's second game, a 3-1 win over the Yankees on April 2nd. He was the first player in Astros history to collect two extra-base hits in his the first two games of the year.

[edit] Notable Achievements

  • NL Triples Leader (2010)

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