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Vince Rooi

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McVince Alleza Rooi

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 6' 1", Weight 215 lb.
Vince Rooi

Vince Rooi played seven years in the US minors before returning to his native Netherlands, where he was named MVP in 2011. He has been on the Dutch national team at times from 2001-2011. Rooi is the son of a father from the Dutch Antilles and a mother from Suriname.

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[edit] 1998-2000: Signing, Short-season minor league ball

He signed with the Montréal Expos in August of 1998. In 1999, he debuted in the US with the GCL Expos, hitting .189/~.323/.225 with a team-high 22 walks. Playing third base, Rooi was not the only Dutch player on the team, as Danny Rombley was also present. In 2000, Vince batted .231/.348/.355 for the Vermont Expos, leading the team in homers (6, four more than Jason Bay) and RBI (43, 13 more than the next player).

[edit] 2001-2003: Solid play in A ball, first international tourneys

Rooi moved up to the Clinton Lumber Kings in 2001 and hit .254/.349/.370 with 60 RBI, one behind team co-leaders Bay and Grady Sizemore. He led Midwest League third basemen in putouts (83) and assists (265). He debuted for the Dutch national squad in the 2001 Baseball World Cup, when the 19-year-old backed up Jurjan Koenen at the hot corner. He hit .125/.364/.125 in 22 plate appearances, showing a good batting eye but little else.

Rooi ran into problems in 2002 with the Brevard County Manatees, only managing a .193/.295/.262 batting line. He led the team with 52 walks but his OPS was the worst of the regular position players. One bright spot was that he led Florida State League third basemen in putouts (77) and assists (230). In 2003, Vince returned to the Manatees and hit .254/.334/.379 as the team's youngest regular position player; his 7 homers and 19 doubles ranked second on the team while he led in RBI (52). He played in the 2003 FSL All-Star game. In the 2003 European Championship, Rooi hit .160/~.222/.400; 2 of his 4 hits were home runs. He was the only player in the competition with multiple homers. He won honors as the tournament Home Run King and Outstanding Defensive Player. Despite his poor OBP, he was named to the All-Star team at third base. He helped the Netherlands clinch a spot in the 2004 Olympics as they won the event.

[edit] 2004-2006: Last years in the minors

In 2004, the 22-year-old Rooi played for the same two teams as Rombley - the AA Harrisburg Senators (.148/.214/.194 in 36 games, 33 K in 108 AB) and Brevard County (.200/.297/.305 in 65 games), struggling to make contact at both stops. He almost led Harrisburg in games played at third while leading the Manatees. He had spent spring training with the Expos and got a key hit in a win over the Detroit Tigers. Rooi was not on the Dutch roster for the Olympics, as fellow US pro Ivanon Coffie was chosen to man third base, backed up by Yurendell de Caster.

Rooi outlasted Rombley in the Expos system by a year, as he was still playing in 2005 and doing his best yet - .300/.375/.459 in 63 games for the Potomac Cannons and .316/.350/.379 in 5 games for Harrisburg. Had he qualified, he would have tied Nick Markakis for 7th in the Carolina League in average. Despite his fine year, he was let go by the Expos.

Signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates, Rooi batted .247/.343/.354 for the Lynchburg Hillcats in 2006 to conclude his US career; he had hit .233/.325/.340 in the minor leagues.

[edit] 2006-present: Hoofdklasse, Dutch national team

He joined Corendon Kinheim in time for the 2006 playoffs and hit .300. In the 2006 Holland Series, he batted .412/.500/.706 to help Kinheim won the title.

Rooi had his first full year in Hoofdklasse in 2007 and starred for Kinheim, hitting .368/.497/.521 with 43 runs and 36 walks in 40 games. He was third in the 2007 Hoofdklasse in average behind Kinheim teammates Rombley and Roel Koolen. He was 5th in slugging, second to Koolen in OBP, tied for 5th in home runs (3), third in runs (one behind teammates and co-leaders Rombley and Dirk van 't Klooster), 4th in RBI (34), tied for 4th in doubles (13), first in walks (3 ahead of Ralph Milliard) and 4th in hits (53). He also fielded .955 between third base, shortstop and second base. He was 6 for 19 with 4 walks in the playoffs, then was 3 for 13 with a double, walk and 3 RBI in the 2007 Holland Series as Kinheim won another title.

Rooi also had his first full year on the national team in 2007. He played in their historic trip to the USA (a first for the Dutch team outside of a tournament), the 2007 World Port Tournament (.308/~.357/.308, second to Sidney de Jong in average for the Dutch), the 2007 European Championship (0 for 7, 1 R, 3 K, 1 E as the worst Dutch position player; they still won the title to clinch a slot in the 2008 Olympics) and the 2007 Baseball World Cup. In the World Cup, he hit .324/.405/.514 with 8 runs and 8 RBI in 10 games at first base, while playing error-free ball; Raily Legito held down third, forcing Rooi to play an unusual position for him. Rooi led the 4th-place Dutch squad in runs and slugging and trailed van 't Klooster by one for the RBI lead. Rooi also had several clutch hits. Against Aystralia, he singled against Brad Thomas to bring home Legito in the 9th inning for a 3-2 lead which Dutch closer Michiel van Kampen later blew. He had his best hit in the quaterfinals against host Taiwan. Down 2-1 in the top of the 9th, with two outs, he homered to left against Toronto Blue Jays minor leaguer Po-Hsuan Keng to tie the game. In the 11th, he was intentionally walked and came around to score as the Netherlands won to advance to the final four. In the Bronze Medal game, he had one of just two Dutch hits as they failed to win a medal but matched their best finish in Baseball World Cup history.

Rooi batted .235/.381/.412 in the 2008 European Cup in Grosseto as Kinheim won its second straight European Cup. Rooi hit .297/.384/.439 in the 2008 Hoofdklasse with 32 RBI in 40 games as a corner infielder. He was 5th in the league in runs and tied Percy Isenia for 2nd in doubles (13, two behind Bas de Jong. He went 6 for 15 with 11 total bases in the playoffs and was 4 for 9 with two walks and a homer in the 2008 Holland Series but Kinheim fell to the Amsterdam Pirates.

Rooi was 2 for 14 with a RBI in the 2009 World Baseball Classic; his hits came off Damaso Marte and Carlos Silva. In the Nettuno phase of the 2009 European Cup, he hit .250/.429/.313. In the Final Four phase, he was 1 for 8 with a double.

In the 2009 World Port Tournament, Rooi batted just .125/.300/.250 as the Dutch third baseman. During the 2009 Hoofdklasse, he hit .262/.385/.385. He did tie Raily Legito for the league lead in doubles (16) and he tied Jason Rees for 7th in walks (26) in an otherwise unimpressive year. He alternated between first base and left field mostly. He put up a .286/.397/.338 line for Amsterdam in 2010 while moving to shortstop primarily and fielding .926. He led the league with 29 walks but didn't even make the top 10 in OBP. He was 2 for 19 with a double and a walk in the 2010 Haarlem Baseball Week. In the 2010 European Championship, he was 3 for 13 with 2 runs, 3 RBI and 2 errors as a backup corner infielder (subbing for Legito at 3B and Bas de Jong at 1B). He did not play in the Gold Medal game, which the Dutch lost to Italy. He hit .190/.261/.238 with no runs produced and two errors in six games in the 2010 Holland Series as Amsterdam fell to DOOR Neptunus.

Rooi had a huge season in 2011, hitting .381/.452/.604 while fielding .956. He was second in average (19 points behind van 't Klooster), slugging (79 points behind Bryan Engelhardt) and OBP (35 points behind Sidney de Jong). He also was among the leaders in runs (35, tied for 5th with Remco Draijer), hits (53, 6th between Jason Halman and Nik Gumeson), RBI (37, 3rd behind Gumeson and Engelhardt), home runs (4, tied for 4th behind Engelhardt, Percy Isenia and Sidney de Jong), total bases (84, tied for third with Engelhardt behind Dwayne Kemp and van 't Klooster) and sacrifice flies (5, tied for second with Bas de Jong). He was named one of the finalists for MVP along with Gumeson and van 't Klooster, then beat them out for that honor. In the 2011 Holland Series, he hit .300/.364/.400 with two steals in two tries as Amsterdam won the pennant.

Rooi also appeared in international competition in 2011. In the 2011 World Port Tournament, he hit .286/.355/.393 but fielded .954 with 3 errors as the main first baseman for the Netherlands. In the 2011 European Cup, he starred for Amsterdam, going 10 for 22 with a double, homer, 2 walks, 2 hit-by-pitch, 5 runs and 5 RBI in six games. In the third/fourth place game, he hit a 3-run homer off Fabio Betto but Amsterdam blew it late in a 10-9 loss to Unipol Bologna. During the 2011 Baseball World Cup, Rooi started red hot as the Dutch 3B. He was 4 for 7 with 3 walks, 4 runs, 5 RBI and 2 steals in 3 games before being sidelined by injury (while running the bases against Japan). He was replaced by Orioles prospect Jonathan Schoop as the Netherlands went on to win a historic Gold Medal, their first in a global baseball tournament.

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