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Devin Douglas Mesoraco (born June 19, 1988) is an American professional baseball catcher who is a free agent. He has played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Cincinnati Reds and New York Mets. Mesoraco was an MLB All-Star in 2014, but has since seen his career derailed due to multiple injuries.

Devin Mesoraco
Noah Syndergaard and Devin Mesoraco on July 13, 2018 (cropped).jpg
Mesoraco (right) with the Mets in 2018
Free agent
Catcher
Born: (1988-06-19) June 19, 1988 (age 30)
Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania
Bats: Right Throws: Right
MLB debut
September 3, 2011, for the Cincinnati Reds
MLB statistics
(through 2018 season)
Batting average.232
Home runs58
Runs batted in192
Teams
Career highlights and awards
Mesoraco with the Reds in 2016

Contents

Early lifeEdit

Mesoraco was born on June 19, 1988, in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, the son of Laura and Doug Mesoraco.[1]

Mesoraco attended Punxsutawney Area High School in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, where he was a catcher for the Chucks baseball team. He set school records in walks, runs, hits, doubles, home runs and stolen bases.[2] Before his senior year, he committed to play college baseball at the University of Virginia.[3] He was named the 2007 Pennsylvania Gatorade Player of the Year. In that same year, he helped the Chucks win the PIAA Class AAA State Championship played at Peoples Natural Gas Field, home of the Altoona Curve.

Professional careerEdit

Minor leaguesEdit

 
Mesoraco playing for the Louisville Bats

Mesoraco was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds with the 15th overall pick of the 2007 Major League Baseball Draft. Mesoraco is widely known by Reds fans as "The Groundhog" from Punxsutawney.[4] He is only the third catcher taken by the Reds with their first pick.[5] He played 40 games for the rookie-class Gulf Coast League Reds, hitting .219 in 137 at-bats.

He spent 2008 with the single-A Dayton Dragons. Mesoraco hit .261 with nine homers and 42 RBI in 306 at-bats. He hit a grand slam on July 10 and had a two-homer game on July 21. He also had a four-hit game on August 15.

Mesoraco was invited to big league camp in 2009. However, 2009 was a low point in his career statistically. He hit .228 with eight homers and 37 RBI in 312 at-bats for the single-A advanced Sarasota Reds.

Mesoraco started 2010 with the single-A advanced Lynchburg Hillcats. He hit .355 in 43 games before being promoted to double-A Carolina. He hit .294 in 56 games for the Mudcats, and was again promoted, this time to the triple-A Louisville Bats. He was 12-for-52 in 14 games for the Bats. Mesoraco finished the season with a combined 25 doubles, 26 home runs, and 75 RBI. He earned a trip to the Arizona Fall League, where he hit .242 with two homers and 11 RBI.[citation needed]

Many thought Mesoraco would be added to the 40-man roster following the 2010 season, but the Reds re-signed Ramón Hernández, and Mesoraco was left off.[citation needed]

Prior to the 2012 season, Mesoraco was ranked as the top prospect in the Reds organization according to Baseball America.[6] That same year, he was also ranked by Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com as the 14th best prospect in baseball.[7]

He was added to the 40-man roster, played in the 2011 Futures Game, and called up as a September call-up for the Reds in 2011.[8]

Cincinnati RedsEdit

Mesoraco made his Major League debut on September 3, 2011. He appeared in 18 games for the rest of 2011 with a .180 batting average, 2 homers, and 6 RBI.

On July 30, 2012, Mesoraco was ejected from a game against the San Diego Padres for arguing with umpire Chad Fairchild. Mesoraco then proceeded to bump the umpire.[9] He would return to the lineup the next night but left during the game due to dizziness from being overheated. He was placed on the 7-day disabled list due to a concussion the next day.[10] Mesoraco also received a three-game suspension,[11] which was reduced to two games upon appeal.[12] He played in 54 games of 2012 batting .212 with 5 home runs and 14 RBI. In 2013, Mesoraco gained a little more playing time as he played in 103 games batting .238 with 9 home runs and 42 RBI.

 
Mesoraco fields a bunt in St. Louis in 2017

Landing on the disabled list twice in the early part of the 2014 season, as of June 4 Mesoraco was batting .294[13] but had yet to amass a sufficient number of at-bats to be listed among Major League Baseball's leaders in the category.[14] Mesoraco was named to play for the NL in the 2014 MLB All-Star Game. He finished the season with 25 home runs and 80 RBI in 114 games, leading all major league catchers in home runs and slugging percentage.

On January 26, 2015, the Cincinnati Reds and Mesoraco agreed to a four-year contract extension worth $28 million.[15] Later on June 20, Mesoraco announced that he would undergo left hip surgery, causing him to miss the rest of the 2015 season.[16] Limited to 23 games in 2015, Mesoraco batted .275 with 2 RBI.

Mesoraco again had a short-lived season in 2016 as he played only 16 games with 1 RBI and a .140 average. On May 6, 2016, Mesoraco opted to have surgery on his left shoulder that was diagnosed with a torn labrum, causing Mesoraco to miss the rest of the 2016 season.

In August 2017 against the Chicago Cubs, Mesoraco was hit by a pitch on his left foot from Cubs' starter Jose Quintana, causing him to miss the rest of the season. He played 56 games and batted .213.

New York MetsEdit

On May 8, 2018, the Reds traded Mesoraco with cash considerations to the New York Mets for Matt Harvey.[17]

Personal lifeEdit

Mesoraco married his longtime fiancée, Kira, on November 15, 2014, at St. Cosmas & Damian church in Punxsutawney. They welcomed their first child, a son named Luke, on August 6, 2017.[18]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Mesoraco's mother pivotal in his journey to bigs". MLB.com. May 11, 2012. Retrieved April 27, 2012.
  2. ^ "Devin Mesoraco Stats, Bio, Photos, Highlights". MiLB.com. Retrieved April 16, 2012.
  3. ^ "Cavalier Baseball Announces Signing Class". University of Virginia. December 14, 2006. Retrieved 10 May 2018.
  4. ^ Devin Mesoraco: The Reds' Groundhog | yourtvlink.com: News. yourtvlink.com. Retrieved on July 13, 2016.
  5. ^ "Cincinnati Reds 1st Round Picks in the MLB June Amateur Draft". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 10 May 2018.
  6. ^ "Prospects: Rankings: Organization Top 10 Prospects: 2012 Cincinnati Reds Top 10 Prospects". BaseballAmerica.com. November 16, 2011. Retrieved April 16, 2012.
  7. ^ Baseball Video Highlights & Clips | Top Prospects: Devin Mesoraco, C, Reds – Video | MLB.com: Multimedia. Mlb.mlb.com (January 19, 2012). Retrieved on 2012-04-16.
  8. ^ Mesoraco set for September callup by Reds | reds.com: News. Cincinnati.reds.mlb.com. Retrieved on April 16, 2012.
  9. ^ Devin Mesoraco bumps ump ESPN.com. Retrieved July 31, 2012
  10. ^ "Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco is appealing a three-game suspension for bumping an umpire". Cincinnati Reds. Retrieved December 2, 2015.
  11. ^ Snyder, Matt. Devin Mesoraco suspended three games for making contact with umpire; files appeal cbssports.com. Retrieved August 2, 2012
  12. ^ Sheldon, Mark (August 21, 2012). "Mesoraco's suspension reduced to two games". MLB.com. Retrieved July 25, 2013.
  13. ^ "Devin Mesoraco 39 C". MLB.com. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
  14. ^ "Sortable Player Stats". Major League Baseball. Retrieved December 2, 2015.
  15. ^ "Devin Mesoraco, Reds reach deal". ESPN. Retrieved January 26, 2015.
  16. ^ Rosecrans, C. Trent (June 20, 2015). "Reds' Devin Mesoraco to undergo hip surgery June 29". Retrieved June 23, 2015.
  17. ^ "Reds land Harvey, send Mesoraco, cash to Mets". ESPN.com. Retrieved May 8, 2018.
  18. ^ "Baby babble dominates talk of Reds' three catchers". Dayton Daily News. Retrieved December 22, 2017.

External linksEdit