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Simon Gühring

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Simon Gühring

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 6' 1", Weight 200 lb.

Simon Gühring was one of the first German minor league players after Germany reunited.

In the 2001 European Championship, Simon was 1 for 8 in his debut for the German national team.

Gühring was signed by the Milwaukee Brewers. With the 2002 AZL Brewers, he batted .238/.295/.288 with 15 RBI in 25 games. He played 19 games at catcher, the most on the team, but struggled defensively. He had 11 passed balls, leading the Arizona League. He hit .281/.359/.333 for the 2003 AZL Brewers but was let go by Milwaukee despite his fine average and OBP. He was not the only catcher on the team from a country not historically noted for baseball - one of the catchers was Gbenga Olayemi, probably the first Nigerian in the minors.

In the 2003 European Championship, he struggled badly, going 1 for 20 with a walk and two times hit by pitch as one of the two worst position players on the German national team. In 2004, Gühring signed with the Tornado's of ADO and spent the whole season with them. In his first start, he was teamed with a battery mate from another second-line European baseball country with Spaniard Manny Olivera as his pitcher. He did not finish among the top 10 in Hoofdklasse in category.

Gühring returned to his home country with Heidenheim Heideköpfe in 2005. He hit .437/.500/.612. He was second in Bundesliga's Southern division in average and hits (45) and sixth in OPS. He throw out 46.7% of attempted base-stealers, best in the league. In the 2005 European Championship, Simon hit .457/.487/.714 with 10 runs in 9 games to lead 4th-place Germany in almost every offensive department. He led the tournament in hits (16), was 5th in average, tied for third in home runs (2), tied Alexander Lauterbach for second in slugging (well behind Ivanon Coffie) and tied for third in runs (10). He failed to make the tourney All-Star team as Sidney de Jong was chosen as the top backstop. In 2006, Gühring batted .419/.466/.695 and led the Southern division in hits (44) while tying for the lead in triples (4). He was third in average and 4th in OPS.

Gühring batted .313/.389/.375 with six runs in eight games in the 2007 European Championship. He hit only .192/.185/.231 in the 2007 Baseball World Cup, Germany's first Baseball World Cup in three decades, as their left fielder. He had four assists in seven games, showing off a superb outfield arm. He had 3 of the team's 12 RBI, second on the team, with RBIs against both Silver Medalist Cuba and the 4th-place Netherlands, the top two teams Germany faced.

In the regular Bundesliga campaign, Gühring had his best year yet, hitting .538/.611/.837. He led the Southern division in runs (40), hits (56), doubles (15), RBI (37), average and OBP. He was second in slugging and OPS to former minor leaguer Ben Himes.

Gühring batted .167/.231/.167 for Germany in the 2008 Final Olympic Qualification Tournament as a LF/C. He had a squeeze bunt that drove in the tying run in a 4-3 win over the South African national team. He almost delivered a game-winning RBI against Team Canada, the tourney champions, singling with Jendrick Speer on second but Speer was thrown out trying to score; Germany lost 2-1 in extra innings.

Gühring became a player-coach for Heidenheim in 2009. He hit .449/.495/.708 in his first 21 games of the regular season. In July that year, he fractured a bone in his left heel, causing him to miss almost the entire playoffs. He came back on the final day of the season, with Heidenheim trailing the Mannheim Tornados 2 games to 1 in the best-of-5 finals. In game four, he homered twice and drove in 7, showing no rust, to power Heidenheim to a rout. In the finale, Simon's solo homer capped a 3-1 win for Peter Dankerl to give his team the title. Despite his injury, Simon finished among the regular-season leaders in average (1st, .038 over Marvin Appiah), homers (4th with 4), hits (1st with 40), doubles (tied for 1st with 9), runs (tied with Appiah for 7th with 22), slugging (1st), OBP (2nd, .009 behind Ray Stokes) and OPS (1st).

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