Tuesday, January 29, 2008

"David Ortiz" to Big Papi"

David Ortiz, the Boston Red Sox 1B/DH has become one of the most clutch and dominant hitters in the game.Pitchers would rather pitch around him than to him.In 11 season, Ortiz known as Big Papi has increased his individual statistics each year.He spent 6 of his 11 years in Minnesota and those were the days he was known as David Ortiz.The ever popular "Big Papi" didn't come along until his Boston days.

David came into the league in 1997 with the Mariners organization, when the Mariners traded Minnesota for Dave Hollins.In his first three seasons, Ortiz only had 111 games played with 342 at bats.He had a total of 93 hits with 10 home runs and 52 runs batted in.In 200o he got his opportunity to start.That year he had mediocre, batting .282 with 10 home runs, 63 runs batted in, and 117 hits in 130 games.The following year his stats declined but he only played 89 games.His best year in Minnesota was 2002 when he was part of the team that lost the 2002 American League Championship to the Anaheim Angels.He hit 20 home runs and had 75 runs batted in.Although his average was down from 2000 (.272), his slugging percentage was a bit higher.

In 2002 the Minnesota Twins released David in December and then he was picked up by Boston in January of 2003. He wasn't placed in the starting right away but a poor performance from Jeremy Giambi opened up a spot for Ortiz.Once Ortiz got into his starting role, that's when he began to become the hitter he is now.
In only 128 games that year,David hit 31 home runs with 101 runs batted in and he hit .288.His slugging percentage went from .500 in 2002 to .592 in 2003.That year he finished 5th in the MVP voting.In 2004 David was hands down the MVP of the Red Sox when they went on to win their first World Series in 86 years.Yet again, his statistics increased from the previous year.He had 41 home runs with 139 runs batted in and hit .301.Ortiz hit the game winning home run in game 4 of the ALCS against the Yankees.The following night, Ortiz hit the game winning single to force a game 6.His performance earned him ALCS Most Valuable Player.Career highs were set yet again in 2005.David had 47 home runs with 148 runs batted in.He hit .300 which at that point was only .001from his high.Ortiz also had a career high in runs with 119.He finished second to Alex Rodriguez in AL MVP votes.In 2006 David Ortiz set a record for single season home runs by a Red Sox player.He surpassed Jimmie Foxx (51HR's) for the record with 54 home runs.His average dropped a bit but his slugging percentage was .636 and he had 137 runs batted in along with the 54 home runs.This past season, David's power numbers dropped a little, but he had his career high batting average at .332 and lead the Sox to their second World Series Championship in 4 years.

Some may argue that those numbers could come from the fact he plays in Boston and Fenway Park is known as a hitters park.Believe it or not, the home and away numbers are quite similar.Through 5 years in Boston, David has 277 runs, 92 home runs, 334 runs batted in and an average of .325.His away numbers are very close and he actually has more home runs on the road.The only real big difference is his average on
the road which is .276.Other than that, he has 246 runs which is a difference of 31 runs and has 308 runs batted in which is a difference of 26 runs batted in.David Ortiz has had 4 All-Star appearances and he continues to be a major contribute to Boston's deadly 1 -2 punch with Manny Ramirez.

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