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Mark Loretta

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Mark David Loretta

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[edit] Biographical Information

Mark Loretta was a second baseman in Major League Baseball who played for the Milwaukee Brewers (1995-2002), Houston Astros (2002 and 2007-2008), San Diego Padres (2003-2005), Boston Red Sox (2006) and Los Angeles Dodgers (2009).

Drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the seventh round of the 1993 amateur draft, Loretta debuted with the Brewers in 1995. He was sent to the Houston Astros in the 2002 midseason and came to the San Diego Padres as a free agent in 2003.

Loretta is a patient contact hitter with an excellent eye for balls and strikes, being one of the better two-strike hitters around. He also can hit-and-run, lay down a bunt, and has average speed, but is a smart enough runner to take as many bases as the defense will allow. A solid second baseman, Loretta is fundamentally sound, positions himself well and turns the pivot as well as anyone. His most productive came in 2004 for the Padres, when he batted .335 with 47 doubles, 16 home runs, 76 RBI, 108 runs scored, and 208 hits – all career bests, and good enough to earn him a spot on the National League All-Star team. His .335 average ranked him third in the National League batting race behind Barry Bonds (.362) and Todd Helton (.347), and he also joined Tony Gwynn as the only San Diego players to have 200 hits in a regular season.

In 2005, Loretta hit .280 with three home runs and 38 RBI in just 105 games with the Padres, when he had surgery to repair a strained ligament in his left thumb. He was traded to the Boston Red Sox for catcher Doug Mirabelli before the 2006 season, where he batted .285/.345/.361 with 5 HR's and 59 RBI in 155 games and 635 AB's and was voted to his second All-Star team. Loretta was let go though by the Sox after the season to make room for youngster Dustin Pedroia.

On January 4, 2007, Loretta returned to Houston signing a one year contract worth $2.5 million. He retired in January of 2010 and was hired by the Padres as a special assistant to baseball operations, reuniting Loretta with Jed Hoyer.

Loretta is probably the top major leaguer ever to come out of Northwestern University, although alumni Joe Girardi and Gene Oliver also had substantial major league careers.

[edit] Notable Achievements

  • 2-time All-Star (2004 & 2006)
  • NL Silver Slugger Award Winner (2004)
  • 100 Runs Scored Seasons: 1 (2004)
  • 200 Hits Seasons: 1 (2004)

[edit] Related Sites

Astros, Loretta agree to one-year deal

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