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Mitch Maier

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Mitchell William Maier

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Mitch Maier

Mitch Maier hit .444/.477/.588 as a college freshman, was named as the All-Mid-American Conference catcher and won Freshman of the Year honors in the MAC. He won the conference batting title by four points over John VanBenschoten and was a first-team Baseball America Freshman All-American.

In 2002, Mitch hit .362/.425/.643, showing reduced contact but vastly improved power. He was the All-Conference catcher again. In '03, Maier put it all together with a .448/.525/.691 line. He was second to Rickie Weeks in NCAA Division I in batting average and was 4th in OBP. He also led the MAC with 29 steals and was All-Conference for the third straight year, though Brad Snyder was named Conference MVP. Maier was named by Baseball America as a first-team All-American at DH and was the utility man on the American Baseball Coaches Association All-American team.

He was selected by the Kansas City Royals in the first round of the 2003 amateur draft (30th overall) and signed by scout Jason Bryans for $900,000. Debuting with the AZL Royals, he hit .350/.403/.507. Baseball America rated him the #4 prospect in the Arizona League, where he was also honored as an All-Star after finishing fifth in average.

In 2004, Maier hit .300/.354/.432 with 34 SB in 44 tries while fielding .903 at third base for the Burlington Bees and then .264/.326/.391 with 10 SB in 12 tries with the Wilmington Blue Rocks, where he fielded .938 at third.

Maier took another two levels in '05, while changing to another position, the outfield. He hit .336/.370/.583 with the High Desert Mavericks and .255/.289/.416 with the Wichita Wranglers.

In the 2006 season, he returned to Wichita and improved to .306/.357/.473, earning him a late September call-up to the Royals, where he was 2 for 13 with two walks.

Primary sources: 2002-2006 Baseball Almanacs

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