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John Bowker

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John Brite Bowker

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John Bowker is an outfielder who made his major league debut with the San Francisco Giants in 2008.

Originally drafted by the San Francisco Giants in the 3rd round of the 2004 amateur draft, Bowker was signed by scout Lee Carballo and made his professional debut that summer. Between time spent with the AZL Giants and Salem-Keizer Volcanoes, he played in 41 games, collecting 63 hits in 170 at-bats for a .371 batting average. With the AZL Giants alone, he hit .512 in 43 at-bats.

2005 was a fairly poor year for Bowker, compared to the previous season. In 121 games with the San Jose Giants, he hit 22 doubles, one triple and 13 home runs en route to a .267 batting average.

In 2006, he split time between the San Jose Giants and Fresno Grizzlies. Combined, he hit .285 in 114 games.

He spent all of 2007 with the Connecticut Defenders. He had perhaps the best season of his professional career that year, when in 139 games he hit .307 with 22 home runs, 90 RBI, 35 doubles and six triples. Overall, he has hit .296 with 48 home runs and 250 RBI in 415 minor league games.

Bowker was recalled to San Francisco on April 12, 2008 to replace Clay Timpner. He made his major league debut as the starting right fielder against the St. Louis Cardinals the next day. In his first two games after being called up, Bowker went 2 for 3 with a home run and a single for a combined 7 RBI. He ended up as the player playing the most games at first base for the Giants that year, and hit .255 with 10 homers and 43 RBI in 111 games. He slumped badly in 2009, however, hitting only .194 in 31 games and spending most of the year in the minor leagues. He again failed to hit much at the major league level in 2010, only managing a .207 average in 41 games, before being traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates at the trading deadline, along with P Joe Martinez in return for P Javier Lopez. He hit slightly better with the Bucs, .232 in 26 games. He spent part of 2011 with the Pirates, being used mostly as a pinch-hitter, then on August 30th was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies just in time to bolster the Phillies' bench before the final date to be eligible appear on postseason rosters.

He moved to the Yomiuri Giants in 2012. On Opening Day, he went 1 for 4, getting a 9th-inning hit off Masanori Ishikawa one at-bat after Hayato Sakamoto broke up Ishikawa's no-hit bid.

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