Daniel Vogelbach: Mets Designated Hitter (2022 - 2023)
Daniel Taylor Vogelbach was born December 17th, 1992, in Fort Meyers Florida. The big six-foot, 270 pounder looked more like a football player than a baseball player.
In his senior year at Bishop High School in Fort Meyers he batted .551 & was voted Player of the Year by the News-Press.
He passed up going to play at the University of Florida with the Gators baseball team, instead signing with the Chicago Cubs as a second round 2011 draft pick at age 19.
He played four years in the Cubs minors being labeled a designated hitter due to his weight.
In 2014 he shed thirty pounds to play more first base & lose the DH only tag placed upon him. In July of 2016 he was traded along with Paul Blackburn to the Mariners for Mike Montgomery.
In 2016 he made his MLB debut playing in eight games with the Mariners. He parts of five seasons in Seattle (2016 -2020).
Grand Slam HR: On September 17th, 2018, he hit his first career grand slam HR, it came off the Astros Hector Rendon. It was just his fourth career HR.
Vogelbach saw the most action in 2019, where he had his best season. That year Vogelbach made the All Star team hitting 30 HRs & driving in 76 runs with 17 doubles, although he hatted just .208 striking out 149 times. He played in a career high 144 games & was used mostly as a DH, then at first base for 57 games.2019 All Star: He represented the fifth place Mariners in the All-Star Game at Cleveland, going 0-1 in the 4-3 AL victory.
Things turned around quickly in the 2020 Covid season. Vogelbach was batting just .088 after twenty games & was designated for assignment. He was picked up by the Blue Jays then released there as well, then got picked up by the Milwaukee Brewers.
In 2021he played for Milwaukee as the teams DH but went down with a hamstring injury limiting him to just 93 games.
Walk Off Grand Slam HR: On September 5th, he came to bat with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 9th inning, with the Brewers down 5-1. Vogelbach had his biggest thrill with a walk off grand slam, game winning HR off the Cardinals Alex Reyes for the 6-5 win. It was his second career grand slam.
Overall, on the year Daniel hit .219 with 9 HRs & 24 RBIs striking out 57 times posting a .730 OPS. At the end of the season, he was let go to free agency & signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Mets Career: On July 22nd he was traded to the New York Mets for Colin Holderman. At the
trade deadline with fans hoping for a big acquisition, the Mets only acquired Darin Ruff believing he & Vogelbach would be enough to get them through the post season. It didn't turn out so good.
On July 24th, Vogelbach made his Mets debut batting sixth in the DH spot in an 8-5 win over the Padres. After striking out in his first Mets at bat he singled off Joe Musgrove to lead off the 5th inning.
Grand Slam HR: On August 3rd in a 9-5 win in Washington DC, Vogelbach hit his first Mets HR, it was a grand slam off Jordan Weems in the 5th inning. It was his third career grand slam HR. He became the 11th player in MLB history to have his first HR with a team be a grand slam.
The next game he homered off the Braves Kyle Wright in a 6-4 Mets win at Citi Field in a big series that New York took three of four games.
On August 10th he had a multi RBI game driving in three runs in a 10-2 win over the Reds. In his first nine games with the Mets he hit .327 with two HRs two doubles & 10 RBIs, making a good impression.
He would hit two more HRs that month, one at Philadelphia & the other in a subway series loss on August 22nd across town.
In September on a road trip to Pittsburgh, the fans greeted him warmly upon his return, but he went just 2-13 in the series with an RBI. When the Pirates came to Shea, the Mets swept the four-game set, with Daniel collecting five hits. On September 15th, he hit a 1st inning two run double off JT Brubaker then added an RBI single off him in the 3rd inning of the 7-1 win. The next day he homered off Mitch Keller in the 4-3 win.
On October 2nd as the Mets season fell apart in Atlanta, he hit his 18th & final HR in the 5-3 loss.
Since coming to the Mets he played in 55 games, batted ,255 with 54 hits 9 doubles six HRs 48 RBIs & 18 runs scored. He struck out 57 times with 33 walks a .393 on base % & .830 OPS.
2023: In the disappointing Mets 2023 season, Daniel was used solely as a designated hitter. Manager Buck Showalter wanted to use more of a rotation in the DH spot was told by GM Billy Epler to play Vogelbach more often.
In the second game of the season, he collected a pinch hit double off the Marlins Dylan Florio in a 2-1 win in South Florida. On April 5th he walked three rimes in the 7-6 loss at Milwaukee.
On April 7th, he drove in his first run, with an RBI single in the Mets 9-3 win over the Marlins at Citi Field.
On April 14th in a 17-6 win at Oakland, he dove in two runs, without getting a hit. He grounded out bringing in a run & then drew a bases loaded walk in the 9th inning. He got over the .200 mark three days later & raised his aver up near .280 by the start of May.
On May 7th, he hit his first HR of the year, coming off the Rockies Daniel Bard in a 13-6 loss at Citi Field. It would take another month until his next HR, it came in 6-1 win over the Cardinals.
On June 19th, he hit a solo HR off the Astros Hunter Brown, then added a 9th inning two run single off Shawn Dubin in a 11-1 Mets win. Two days later, in his next game at Houston he had another multi RBI game collecting three his & three RBIs in a 10-8 Mets loss.
Vogelbach was struggling at the plate, barely hitting above the .200 mark in early July. On July 7th in San Diego, Daniel singled home a runoff Yu Darvish in the 1st inning. In the 5th, he added an RBI double off Darvish to tie the game in what was to be a 7-5 Mets win.
On July 25th, he homered off Domingo German in the 9-3 Mets subway series win in the Bronx. In his next game on July 27th at Citi Field, he came to bat in the top of the 8th inning with the Mets down 1-0 facing the Nationals Mason Thompson with two men on, down 1-0. He delivered an RBI single tying up the game. Mark Canha followed with an RBI sac Fly leading to the 2-1 Mets win.
By the trade deadline, the Mets were out of the race & the team began to trade off some of their veteran players. The Mets gave more time to young Mark Vientos in the DH spot as well.
Grand Slam HR: On August 19th, in a 13-2 Mets win in St. Louis, Vogelbach hit a 5th inning grand slam HR off Miles Mikolas, giving the Mets a 7-1 lead. The HR was his tenth of the year, leading Kodai Senga to his tenth win of the year as well.
August proved to be his biggest month as he hit six HRs & drove in 13 runs although he batted just .237 & his average fell to .228 by September 1st. He only saw 21 at bats that month with the Mets trying out more younger players in his role.
In November he was let go to free agency.
Career Stats: In his eight-year career he played 571 games with 348 hits 58 doubles 80 HRs 238 RBIs & 208 runs scored. He struck out 475 times with 287 walks a .342 on base % & .753 OPS.
Family: Daniel met Kristina (Russi) when he was playing for the Mariners & she was working in a coffee shop in Seattle.
The two fell in love & they were wed in January 2022. Kristina grew up in Las Vegas & is a flight attendant for Alaska Airlines.