Blake Robert DeWitt (born August 20, 1985) is a former Major League Baseball second baseman and third baseman. He played for the Los Angeles Dodgers (2008–2010), Chicago Cubs (2010–2012), and Atlanta Braves (2013).
DeWitt with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2009
|Second baseman / Third baseman|
|Born: August 20, 1985|
|March 31, 2008, for the Los Angeles Dodgers|
|Last MLB appearance|
|April 19, 2013, for the Atlanta Braves|
|Runs batted in||135|
As a senior shortstop at Sikeston High School in Sikeston, Missouri, he batted .558 with 15 home runs, 11 doubles, and 48 RBIs and was named to Baseball America's High School All-America first team, the Associated Press Class 3 all-state first team, and the Missouri High School Baseball Coaches Association Class 3 all-state first team. DeWitt is one of the few players in Missouri baseball history to be named first team all-state four times. In addition to his hitting prowess, DeWitt was an effective pitcher, winning a Missouri high school record 27 consecutive games and losing only 1. DeWitt led the Sikeston Bulldogs to three state championship appearances in his four years. DeWitt broke eight Missouri high school records in batting and pitching according to the state's governing athletic association, the Missouri State High School Activities Association.
He was scheduled to attend Georgia Tech, but he was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the first round of the June 2004 MLB draft and chose to play professional ball. He was rated as the best high school pure hitter entering the draft.
Minor league careerEdit
He began his professional career as the starting third baseman for the Ogden Raptors in 2004 and was tabbed by Baseball America as the second-best prospect in the Pioneer League as well as the eighth-best prospect in the Dodgers organization.
In 2005, he hit for the cycle on June 5 while playing with the Columbus Catfish and went on to lead the Catfish in hits, doubles, and total bases. He was rated as the "Best Hitter for Average" in the Dodgers farm system while hitting .333 for Columbus.
In 2006 with the Vero Beach Dodgers, he was again ranked as the Dodgers' 8th best prospect by both Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus. He was named to the Florida State League All-Star team while hitting .339 with 18 homers and 61 RBIs for Vero Beach. He played for the North Shore Honu of the Hawaii Winter Baseball League following the season.
He began 2007 with the Class A-Advanced Inland Empire 66ers and hit .298 with 8 homers and 46 RBIs in 83 games, leading to a promotion to the Class AA Jacksonville Suns. He hit .281 in 45 games with the Suns the rest of the season.
Los Angeles DodgersEdit
During spring training in 2008, injuries to Nomar Garciaparra, Andy LaRoche, and Tony Abreu, the team's top three projected third basemen, led to DeWitt getting a chance to play with the big league club. He became the Dodgers opening day starting third baseman and in his first at bat he singled off San Francisco Giants pitcher Barry Zito and went 5 for 9 with 3 walks in the 3-game series. DeWitt hit his first career home run off of Óliver Pérez of the New York Mets on May 5, 2008. The following night, he hit his second, a rare inside-the-park home run off of the Mets' Nelson Figueroa. The inside-the-park home run was the first for the Dodgers in 5 years. A local radio station, 1520 KRHW-AM, in DeWitt's hometown of Sikeston, Missouri became part of the Dodgers Radio Network so that residents of that town could follow his Major League Baseball career. DeWitt was named the National League's Rookie of the Month for the month of May, when he hit .322 with 5 HR and 18 RBI in 26 games.
Immediately following the team's acquisition of third basemen Casey Blake from the Cleveland Indians, DeWitt was optioned to the Las Vegas 51s, Dodgers' AAA minor league team, on July 26, 2008 and began to learn the second base position to better increase the clubs' depth at the position. This move proved wise as Jeff Kent became sidelined late in the season and DeWitt was recalled to Los Angeles to start at second base prior to the September 1st expansion of the rosters. He went on to be the starting second baseman for the Dodgers through the National League Divisional Series and Championship series, batting .167, but driving in six runs in eight games.
With the Dodgers' 2009 acquisition of second baseman Orlando Hudson, DeWitt lost his chance to compete for a starting job in spring training and spent the season shuttling back and forth between the Dodgers and AAA Albuquerque Isotopes. He appeared in just 31 games with the Dodgers in 2009.
In 2010, DeWitt became the Dodgers starting second baseman to begin the season. He appeared in 82 games for the team, hitting .270.
On July 31, 2010, DeWitt was traded along with minor league pitchers Brett Wallach and Kyle Smit to the Chicago Cubs for Ted Lilly and Ryan Theriot. He played in 53 games for the Cubs after the trade and hit .250 along with 4 home runs.
DeWitt played in 121 games for Chicago in 2011 in a reserve role, batting .265/.305/.413 with 5 HR and 26 RBI. He displayed typically low strikeout and walk rates, at 12.8% and 4.9% respectively, while also receiving 17 starts in the outfield, playing there for the first time in his career.
On February 6, 2012, DeWitt was designated for assignment to make room for Adrian Cardenas on the 40-man roster. Despite this, DeWitt made his second consecutive Opening Day roster, once again in a utility role. Struggling offensively in a part-time role, DeWitt was designated for assignment again on May 6. In 18 games with Chicago in 2012, he hit .138 (4-29) with 1 RBI. DeWitt eventually cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A Iowa. DeWitt was limited to 30 games with the I-Cubs due to multiple injuries, and he hit .127 with 5 RBI. In October 2012, DeWitt elected minor league free agency.
In December 2012, DeWitt signed a minor league contract with the Atlanta Braves and was a non-roster invitee to spring training in 2013. At the end of Spring training, Dewitt was assigned to the Gwinnett Braves, the Triple-A affiliate of the Atlanta Braves. DeWitt was recalled on April 7, 2013, after the Braves placed first baseman Freddie Freeman on the 15-day D.L. with a right-oblique strain. DeWitt made 4 pinch-hit appearances, recording one hit, with Atlanta before he himself was placed on the disabled list on April 20. Amid speculation of retirement, DeWitt was released by the Braves on August 17, without making a rehab appearance.
April 2008 was declared "Blake DeWitt Month" in his hometown of Sikeston, Missouri by Mayor Mike Marshall. On November 25, 2008, DeWitt was presented with a key to the city and the Star of Sikeston award by Mayor Marshall. In the spring of 2009, his #6 was retired by his high school team at Sikeston.
- Pobst, Chris (May 21, 2013). "Retirement in the future for DeWitt?". Sikeston Standard Democrat.
- "Blake DeWitt of the Los Angeles Dodgers named winner of May's National League Rookie of the Month Award presented by Gillette". MLB.com. June 11, 2008. Retrieved June 15, 2016.
- Stark, Jayson (July 27, 2008). "Dodgers send pair of prospects to Indians for Blake". ESPN.com. Retrieved June 15, 2016.
- "Cubs trade Lilly, Theriot to Dodgers for DeWitt". ESPN.com. 31 July 2010.
- "Cubs designate DeWitt, claim INF Cardenas". ESPN.com. 6 February 2012.
- "DeWitt's determination leads to roster spot". MLB.com. March 30, 2012. Retrieved June 15, 2016.
- Links, Zach (May 6, 2012). "Cubs Designate Blake DeWitt For Assignment". MLB Trade Rumors. Retrieved June 15, 2016.
- "Cubs Place Beliveau, DeWitt on D.L." Iowa Cubs. May 26, 2012. Retrieved June 15, 2016.
- Muskat, Carrie (July 30, 2012). "7/30 Iowa Cubs moves". MLBlogs.com. Retrieved June 15, 2016.
- Axisa, Mike (October 6, 2012). "Minor Moves: 28 Players Elect Free Agency".
- "Braves Sign Utility Infielder Blake DeWitt".
- "Strained oblique forces Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman to DL". MLB.com.
- Harmon, John (April 20, 2013). "DeWitt Goes on DL Braves Call Up Pitcher". Atlanta Bullpen.
- Schafer, Jeff (August 17, 2013). "Atlanta Braves Release Blake DeWitt". Tomahawk Take. Retrieved June 15, 2016.
- Hernandez, Dylan (May 23, 2008). "DeWITT IN DeMAND". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 15, 2016.
- Felter, Michelle (November 29, 2008). "L.A. Dodger from Sikeston calls season spectacular". Southeast Missourian. Retrieved June 15, 2016.
- "First State Community Bank". www.facebook.com.
- "Lauren De Witt & Blake De Witt's Baby Registry on The Bump".