Jacob Nelson Gautreau
- Bats Left, Throws Right
- Height 6'0", Weight 185 lb.
- School Tulane University
- High School McAllen Memorial High School
- Born November 14, 1979 in McAllen, TX USA
Jake hit 14 home runs as a high school junior, leading Texas high schoolers. He moved on to Tulane University in 1999 and hit .292/?/.580 as a freshman with 21 homers. In 2000, the sophomore batted .388/?/.682 and led Conference USA in batting average, hits (95) and RBI (68). He won Player of the Year honors and made the All-Conference team. He also starred in Haarlem Baseball Week that year, leading the tournament in batting average and home runs. Teammate Bobby Crosby beat him out for MVP honors.
As a junior, Jake hit .355/?/.659 with 82 runs, 21 HR and 96 RBI. He was a first-team All-American pick by Baseball America (at DH) and by the American Baseball Coaches Association (at 3B). He was 4th in NCAA Division I in total bases (191), tied for 7th in hits (103), was 4th in runs, tied for 8th in homers and led in RBI (10 more than runner-up Dan Johnson). He led Conference USA in runs, RBI and homers and was second to Andy Cannizaro in hits. He again was Player of the Year and an All-Conference selection.
2001-2004: Padres system
He was selected by the San Diego Padres in the first round (14th overall) of the 2001 amateur draft and signed for $1,875,000. Jake made his professional debut batting .309/.389/.517 with the short-season Eugene Emeralds and also went 2 for 7 in two games with the AAA Portland Beavers. Baseball America rated him the #5 prospect in the Northwest League and #8 in the San Diego system. He was 8th in the NWL in average.
He made the move to second base in 2002 and was selected as the California League's all-star second baseman. He hit .286/.358/.426 that season for the Lake Elsinore Storm. Baseball America named him the #3 second base prospect in baseball. He missed the tail end of the 2002 season and struggled in 2003, batting only .242/.324/.393 in AA with a career-high 131 stikeouts, due in part to an intestinal problem which sapped his strength and bat speed. The Mobile BayBears infielder led the Padres chain in strikeouts. Worse for him, Josh Barfield had a huge year in high class A to emerge as the top 2B prospect in the organization.
Jake returned to third base to make room for Barfield at AA and split the 2004 season between AA Mobile and AAA Portland, batting a combined .262/.345/.482 with 19 homers. He was nearly traded to the Texas Rangers at the trade deadline for first baseman Brad Fullmer but the trade was nixed because of concerns about Fullmer's knee. He was traded in the offseason, however, to the Cleveland Indians for fellow former first round third baseman Corey Smith.
2005-2008: End of the line
Jake spent both the 2005 and 2006 seasons with the AAA Buffalo Bisons, splitting time at second and third base. His numbers have declined steadily from 2004 to 2006; he has often been blamed for being too pull-concious and putting too much pressure on himself. He hit .253/.322/.454 with 18 HR in 2005 and .198/.271/.331 in 76 games in his disappointing '06 campaign. He spent 2007 in his college hometown with the AAA New Orleans Zephyrs, but hit only .226/.250/.363 in 62 games.
He wrapped up his career with the independent Fort Worth Cats in 2008, batting .282/.370/.454 with 70 RBI in 90 games.
Post Playing Career
Gautreau returned to his alma mater in 2010 as assistant coach at Tulane.