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Jakub Hajtmar

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Jakub Hajtmar

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 6' 2", Weight 173 lb.

BR Minors page

[edit] Biographical Information

Jakub Hajtmar was the second Czech-raised position player to sign a US pro contract (following Pavel Budský). He has led the Extraliga in batting average, hits (twice), runs (three times), walks and steals (twice). He was signed by scout Howard Norsetter.

Playing regularly for Draci Brno in Extraliga by age 17, Hajtmar hit .310/.355/.408 in 2004. In 2005, he batted a strong .467/.495/.522 for the champs. He was among the league leaders in hits (42, tied for 6th), average (1st), slugging (7th), OBP (7th) and steals (14, 3rd). He was not caught stealing all season. He hit .200/.294/.200 as a part-time Czech second baseman in the 2005 Baseball World Cup, the first Baseball World Cup the country ever played in. He fielded .870 and stole a base in his only attempt. In the 2006 Extraliga, Hajtmar produced at a .401/.437/.465 clip and stole 20 bases without being gunned down. He led the league with 57 hits, was 4th in average, third in total bases (66), 7th in slugging, 9th in OBP, tied for third in RBI (24), was third in runs (34) and led in steals.

Hajtmar spent 2007 with the Minnesota Twins, in extended spring training. He did not make it into a game for the GCL Twins that year. He played in the 2007 European Championship, hitting .235/.278/.284 while manning both second base and shortstop. He fielded .888 and was just 2-for-4 in attempts to steal. The Czech team was stripped of its wins in the competition because Hajtmar and fellow US pros Jakub Toufar and Petr Čech were deemed ineligible.

Hajtmar made his US debut in 2008, appearing on June 19 for the GCL Twins and against the GCL Pirates. He did not bat and scored one run. The next day, he was 0 for 4 with a strikeout. He hit .247/.297/.282 for the year while playing every infield position except third base. It was his lone season in the US minors.

Hajtmar returned to Draci Brno for 2009 and hit .328/.378/.440, fielding .944. He was 8th in the league in runs, 10th in total bases (59), tied Martin Veselý for 8th in RBI (22), was 4th in steals (16) and led in runs (41, 3 over Martin Střítecký). He was 3 for 12 with a walk in the 2009 European Cup and made two errors. In the Extraliga playoffs, he hit .315/.435/.368 and fielded .917 as Draci Brno won the title. He was 2 for 9 with a run and fielded .929 in the 2009 Baseball World Cup.

In 2010, he produced at a .467/.525/.533 clip with 30 steals in 31 tries and 39 runs. He led the Extraliga in hits (49, 10 ahead of Petr Síla), steals (8 more than Sila) and runs (8 more than Martin Drong), was second in average (.021 behind Jan Drábek), 3rd in total bases (56, behind Martin Schneider and Wayne Ough), 5th in OBP, 6th in slugging (between Ough and Michal Kremláček) and 6th in RBI (between Ough and Budský). He set a league record for steals, breaking Tomáš Ovesný's 13-year-old record by two; Hajtmar only held the record for a year before Schneider topped him iby one in 2011. He starred in the 2010 European Cup (.458/.500/.625, 7 R in 5 G, fielding .938), leading the Brno pool in triples (2) and assists (19), tying for third in total bases (15) and hits (11, even with Boris Marche), tying Lennart Koster and Mark Duursma for 4th in runs and placing 6th in average. He had 3 hits and 2 runs in an upset win over Italy's Fortitudo Bologna. He was named MVP of the pool as a hometown hero. He was 6 for 20 with 3 runs, a walk and a RBI in the 2010 European Championship but fielded .765 and was 1-for-3 in steals. He had the go-ahead hit off Stephen Spragg in a win over Great Britain. His four errors tied for the most in the first round. Playing mainly third in the 2010 Intercontinental Cup (and some short), he hit .286/.286/.381 with four runs in six games. He fielded only .800 and his four errors tied Somsak Sarnwit, Jittiphong Chong-on, Nattapong Sampahangsit and Raily Legito for the tournament lead.

Hajtmar hit .351/.431/.450 and fielded .938 in 2011. He tied Radek Němec for 9th in the Extraliga in total bases (59), was third in steals (21 for 23, behind Schneider and Tomáš Janíček) and ranked 5th in runs (37, between Michal Kočí and Drong). He hit .263/.333/.474 and fielded .864 in the 2011 European Cup. In the Extraliga postseason, he batted .321/.367/.464 and fielded .963 as Draci Brno's run of 16 straight titles came to an end.

In 2012, he hit .343/.411/.467 and was teammates of his brother Adam Hajtmar for the first time in the Extraliga. He was 10th in the Extraliga with 17 walks and tied for 7th in 13 steals (caught twice). He hit .409/.464/.455 in the postseason as Draci Brno won the title. In the 2012 European Cup, he was 1 for 12 with a run. He batted .333/.371/.333 with four runs and two RBI as the starting Czech second baseman. He fielded .971. He was 2 for 7 with a run in the 2013 World Baseball Classic Qualifiers.

Jakub's batting line was .270/.411/.325 in 2013. He tied Přemek Chroust and Jakub Sládek for the league lead in walks (29), was second in runs (39 in 32 games, 11 behind Drong), was 4th with 15 steals while only being caught once (between Schneider and Matěj Hejma) and led with 100 assists (while fielding .980). He hit .294/.359/.324 and fielded .975 in the postseason, which he led with six steals (and was not caught) as Draci Brno won it all again. He was just 3 for 18 in the 2013 European Cup with a double, hit-by-pitch, two runs and two RBI but handled 28 chances error-free.

In the 2014 season, he hit .311/.417/.432 and fielded .986 for Draci Brno. he scored 45 runs and stole 27 bases in 28 tries over 32 games. He led the league in runs for the third time, two ahead of Hejma, and was second in steals, one behind Hejma. That gave him two of the top five seasons for steals in league annals and he took over the Extraliga career steal record, ahead of Aleš Navrátil (he had 159 to Navrátil's 144). He hit .243/.282/.243 in the postseason, fielding .971, but Draci Brno won the championship. In the 2014 European Cup, he batted .211/.286/.263 and fielded .900 but stole four bases in four tries over five games; he was second in steals, two behind Dwayne Kemp. He batted .364/.382/.394 and fielded .944 in the 2014 European Championship, going 5-for-5 in steals and scoring 8 runs in 8 games. He scored three runs apiece versus Germany and Croatia. For the Euros, he tied Stefano De Simoni for 6th in hits (12) and tied Arthur Paturel and Pierre Turettes for 5th in steals.

He fell to .290/.368/.371 in the 2015 Extraliga and was a disappointing 7-for-12 in steals, then hit .300/.400/.333 with 8 RBI in 9 games in the postseason but Draci Brno failed to take the championship for just the second time in his career. He hit .263/.391/.316 in the 2015 European Cup and tied for 5th with 4 walks. He led with 17 assists and handled 28 chances without a miscue. In the 2017 World Baseball Classic Qualifiers in March 2016, he started at second for the Czechs and was 3 for 11 with a walk and two runs. For the first time, his brother joined him on the national team.

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