Jul 17, 2014

Italian / American Outfielder: Chris Denorfia (2005-2014)

Christopher Anthony Denorfia was born on July 15, 1980 in Bristol, Connecticut. Bristol is now the home of ESPN studios. Denorfia was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds, out of Wheaton College in Massachusetts, in the 19th round of the 2002 draft.

The six foot right handed hitting outfielder, made it to AAA by 2005, hitting .330 for Chattanooga. He would debut for the Reds that season, hitting a HR in second at bat, a pinch hit shot in an 8-4 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates. In 18 games that September, he batted .263.

In 2006 he began the season at Cincinnati, was sent down again where he hit .349 in 82 games at Chattanooga. He was back up again for the latter part of the season, hitting .283 with one HR & seven RBIs. At the end of the season, he was traded to the Oakland Athletics for a player to be named later.

In 2007 he had Tommy John surgery & did not play. He didn’t see much playing time in Oakland, batting .290 in just 32 games over two seasons (2008-2009).

WBC: In the 2009 World Baseball Classic he was Team Italy’s starting centerfielder, and had a huge game against Canada. He went 4-4 with a pair of doubles & two RBIs. In the outfield he made a diving catch to rob Italian/Canadian, Joey Votto of a double. 

Italy went on to beat the heavily favored Canadian team 6-2. He represented Team, Italy again in 2013 going 8-21 scoring five runs.

In 2010 Denorfia signed with the San Diego Padres as a free agent. On August 5th at Dodger Stadium, he chopped a ball in front of the plate that was misplayed at third base. The ball rolled along the outfield tarp & Denorifia circled the bases with one of the shortest hit inside the park HRs in history.

He was consistent batting over .270 in two seasons as a fourth outfielder, seeing action in 130 games in 2012 after Carlos Quentin went down with injury. Denorfia impressed, batting .293 with 8 HRs 36 RBIs & a .345 on base %. On April 11th, his two run HR were the only runs needed in the Padres 2-1 win over the Arizona D-backs.

In 2013 he saw solid playing time replacing the injured Cameron Maybin. On May 14th he hit a game tying 9th inning HR off the Baltimore Orioles; Jim Johnson, the Padres went on to a 2-1 win.  

Denofria played a fine outfield, winning the Padres Wilson Defensive Player of the Year Award, making 13 assists (5th best in the majors). He also won the teams September Heart & Hustle Award, he got into 144 games while batting .279 with 10 HRs 21 doubles 47 RBIs & a .337 on base %. 

In 2014 he returned as the Padres fourth outfielder, playing all three outfield positions, posting a perfect 1.000 fielding % through mid June. In a nine year career he is hitting .279 with 495 hits 36 HRs 87 doubles & 171 RBIs through mid June 2014. In the outfield he posted a .988 fielding % making 35 assists in 565 games.

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