Ezequiel Carrera

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Ezequiel Manuel Carrera Reyes

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Biographical Information[edit]

Ezequiel Carrera began 2010 in AAA and reached the majors the next year.

Carrera was signed by scouts Gregorio Machado, Junior Roman, and Roberto Alfonzo for the New York Mets in 2005. He hit .227/.308/.273 in his pro debut that year with the VSL Mets with only 7 steals in 15 tries. Returning to the club in 2006, he improved his batting line to .301/.365/.380 with 22 steals in 33 attempts and 41 runs in 57 games. Ezequiel came stateside with the 2007 GCL Mets and continued to improve, hitting .341/.430/.436 with 16 swipes in 21 attempts and 41 runs in 45 games. That earned him a promotion to the Brooklyn Cyclones, where he hit .300/.347/.329 with 6 steals in 7 attempts. He was fourth in the Gulf Coast League in batting average.

With the 2008 St. Lucie Mets, Carrera hit .263/.340/.393 with 28 stolen bases in 37 tries and 12 triples. He led both the Florida State League and the Mets chain in three-baggers. He also ranked 4th in the FSL in swipes. Baseball America rated him the top defensive outfielder in the league; he had 13 assists in 94 games, one shy of co-leaders Chris Heisey and Gus Milner.

On December 10, 2008, Carrera was traded with Endy Chavez, Aaron Heilman, Jason Vargas, Mike Carp and Maikel Cleto to the Seattle Mariners for J.J. Putz, Sean Green and Jeremy Reed. He put together a great summer with the West Tenn Diamond Jaxx, hitting .317/.441/.416 with 27 steals in 40 tries. He missed two months due to an ankle sprain and a thumb sprain. He still led Mariners farmhands in OBP and paced the Southern League in both average (.021 over Desmond Jennings) and OBP. He was named to the All-Star outfield. He was third in all of the affiliated minors in OBP behind John Bowker and Jaff Decker. That winter, he hit .269 with 14 steals for the Magallanes Navigators of the Venezuelan League.

Carrera began 2010 with the Tacoma Rainiers and hit .268/.339/.315 in his first 64 games at AAA. He was then traded with Juan Diaz to the Cleveland Indians for Russell Branyan. He made his major league debut with the Indians in May of 2011. He hit .243 in 68 games for the Indians, with no homer sand 14 RBIs but 27 runs scored. He followed that up in 2012 by hitting .272 in 48 games, with 2 homers and 11 RBIs. In 2013, he failed to make the Indians opening day roster and was placed on waivers at the end of spring training, at which point he was claimed by the Philadelphia Phillies. He spent the first month of the season with the Phils, going 1 for 14 (.077) before being placed on waivers again. The Indians claimed him back and he went 2 for 4 in 2 games in early May but was then sent down to the AAA Columbus Clippers, where he hit .248 in 105 games. Carrera moved to the Detroit Tigers for the 2014 season, hitting 261 in 45 games at the major league level and .307 in 97 games for the Toledo Mud Hens. He played in the postseason for the first time that year, going 0-for-1 with a walk and a stolen base in the Tigers' loss to the Baltimore Orioles in the ALDS.

He seemed to be settling into the life of a AAAA player, doing well in AAA but only making sporadic appearances at the major league level, and never in a front-line role, when he caught a big break in 2015. That year, he signed with the Toronto Blue Jays, and after spending the month of April with the Buffalo Bisons, he managed to stick with the Blue Jays for almost all of the remainder of the season, and most of the next two ones as well. This coincided with the Blue Jays breaking a 20-year postseason drought, and he was an important cog in the team that reached the ALCS in 2015 and 2016. That first year, he hit .273 in 91 games, with 3 homers and 26 RBIs, but had only 2 at-bats in the postseason. In 2016, he hit .248 in 110 games for the Blue Jays, with 47 runs, 6 homers and 23 RBIs. This time, he saw a lot more action in the postseason as he went 2-for-4 in the Wild Card Game against the Orioles, 4-for-14 with a homer against the Texas Rangers in the ALDS, and 4 for 17 against his former team the Indians in the ALCS. He followed that with his busiest season in 2017 when he played 131 games as the quasi-regular left fielder for the Jays. He hit .282 with 8 homers and 20 RBIs while scoring 38 runs. For the first time of his career, he managed to have an OPS+ of 100, making him a valuable back-up even if his offense was still on the light side for a starting outfielder.

He seemed to be headed to play a similar role for the Blue Jays in 2018 and went to spring training with the team, but on February 26th, he was designated for assignment when the Jays signed Korean reliever Seung-hwan Oh as a free agent. He was officially released on March 11th, but two days later managed to land a job with the Atlanta Braves, where he even had an opportunity to compete for a starting job in the outfield.

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