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Josh Willingham

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Joshua David Willingham

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[edit] Biographical Information

Josh Willingham was drafted by the Florida Marlins in the 17th round of the 2000 amateur draft. He was signed by scout Larry Keller and made his pro debut that summer. He played every position around the diamond - except for pitcher - while playing in the minor leagues, and was even considered as a future catcher when he first came up to the major leagues with the Marlins in 2004. However, by the time he became a regular in 2006, he was moved to left field full time and has played almost exclusively there since.

On July 27, 2009, Willingham hit two grand slams for the Washington Nationals in a 14-6 defeat of the Milwaukee Brewers. He became the 13th player to accomplish the feat, while also tying a franchise record with 8 RBI in the contest.

Joining the Minnesota Twins as a free agent prior to the 2012 season, he had his first 30-homer season for his new team, reaching the mark with a blast off the Detroit Tigers' Doug Fister on August 14th. That excellent performance in a difficult park for sluggers won him recognition as one of the American League's Silver Slugger Award winners. In addition to the 35 homers , he also banged out 30 doubles and drove in 110 runs while hitting .260 in 145 games. He struggled in 2013, however, as his batting average fell all the way to .208 in 111 games, with 20 doubles and 14 homers. In spite of the low BA, he still put up a respectable OBP of .342, as he kept drawing a lot of walks, and his OPS+ was at 97. In 2014, he bounced back a bit, even if his batting average in 68 games with the Twins remained low at .210. With an OBP of .345 and a slugging percentage of .402, his OPS+ was 110 and he did hit 12 homers. On August 11th, he was traded to the Kansas City Royals in return for minor league pitcher Jason Adam; the Royals were looking to install him as their DH and were specifically looking for a hitter who could punch the occasional long ball.

[edit] Notable Achievements

  • AL Silver Slugger Award Winner (2012)
  • 20-Home Run Seasons: 5 (2006, 2007, 2009, 2011 & 2012)
  • 30-Home Run Seasons: 1 (2012)
  • 100 RBI Seasons: 1 (2012)

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