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Kelly Shoppach

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Kelly Brian Shoppach

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[edit] Biographical Information

Catcher Kelly Shoppach became a starter in 2008, playing 110 games behind the plate for the Cleveland Indians.

Shoppach hit over .500 as a high school senior, and then went to Baylor University, where he received the Johnny Bench Award as the top college catcher in 2001. Shoppach was a second-round pick in the 2001 amateur draft by the Boston Red Sox. He was signed by scout Jim Robinson and made his pro debut the next summer.

He showed good power in his minor league career, with 74 home runs from 2002-2006. However, he was stuck behind Jason Varitek in Boston, and then behind Victor Martinez after being sent to the Indians in the trade that brought Coco Crisp to Boston following the 2005 season. He played in 41 games in 2006 and 59 in 2007, hitting well in his limited opportunities - he hit .261 with 13 doubles and 7 home runs in 161 at bats the second year. In 2008, injuries to Martinez gave him his first shot at regular major league playing time and he took advantage of this to hit 21 home runs and 27 doubles in 352 at bats, good for a line of .261/.348/.517, placing him among the better-hitting catchers in the major leagues.

Not known for his speed, Shoppach did not pick up his first career stolen base until April 13, 2012, when he was successful in his first career attempt against the Tampa Bay Rays; it was a delayed steal and was topped by one of the uggliest slides ever seen, coming in his eighth major league season and 464th game. He was given the bag in recognition of his heroic effort.

[edit] Notable Achievements

  • 20-Home Run Seasons: 1 (2008)

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