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Eric Sidney Sogard (born May 22, 1986) is an American professional baseball second baseman and shortstop for the Tampa Bay Rays of Major League Baseball (MLB). He previously played for the Milwaukee Brewers, Oakland Athletics, and Toronto Blue Jays.

Eric Sogard
Eric Sogard (20400966579).jpg
Sogard with the Oakland Athletics
Tampa Bay Rays – No. 9
Second baseman / Shortstop
Born: (1986-05-22) May 22, 1986 (age 33)
Phoenix, Arizona
Bats: Left Throws: Right
MLB debut
September 14, 2010, for the Oakland Athletics
MLB statistics
(through 2019 season)
Batting average.248
Home runs24
Runs batted in165
Teams

Sogard attended Arizona State University and played college baseball for the Arizona State Sun Devils. His nickname "Nerd Power" was given to him by fans in the right field bleachers at O.co Coliseum who adored his hustle, grit and old-school glasses when he was with the Athletics.[1]

Early lifeEdit

Sogard's parents are Anna Vodicka Sogard and Bruce R. "Rudy" Sogard. Rudy was also a collegiate baseball player and set the home run record for DePauw University in 1975 playing third base. Eric is the brother of Alex Sogard.[2]

High schoolEdit

Sogard attended Thunderbird High School in Phoenix. He played for the Chicago Cubs and Philadelphia Phillies scout teams in 2002 and 2003.[2] He was the 2003 Arizona Republic's NW Valley H.S. Baseball Player of the Year, the Region Player of the Year, and 1st Team All-State shortstop. He repeated as All-State shortstop in 2004, and represented Arizona in the 2003 and 2004 Sunbelt Classic Baseball Series. Sogard broke numerous Thunderbird school batting records, including highest batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage. In addition, Sogard was a star midfielder on Thunderbird's 2002 state runner-up (21–2) soccer team.

CollegeEdit

Sogard received both academic and athletic scholarships from Arizona State University. He was ranked as the number 7 high school prospect in Arizona in 2004. He majored in kinesiology at ASU.

Sogard was a two-time All-American as a Sun Devil in 2006 and 2007, and was a 1st Team All-Pac-10 selection both years as well. He was also the 2007 Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year. He played many positions in 2006 but stayed at second base for ASU in 2007. In 2006, Sogard had a slugging percentage of .625, third-best in the Pac-10, and an OPS of 1.057, fourth-best in the Pac-10.[3] In 2007, he was second in the Pac-10 in average (.394) and runs (74), and third in walks (39) and on-base percentage (.488).[3] In 2007, Sogard became one of only a few ASU players ever to hit .400 for an entire season, with at least 100 hits.[4]

Sogard finished with the 15th-highest career batting average in ASU baseball history at .371. He is a member of the ASU All-Decade Team of 2000–09.

CareerEdit

San Diego Padres systemEdit

 
Sogard bunting for the Lake Elsinore Storm, High-A affiliate of the San Diego Padres, in 2008.

Sogard was the first Sun Devil to be selected in the 2007 Major League draft, going in the second round, 81st overall, to the San Diego Padres.[5] With Lake Elsinore in 2008, he led the California League in doubles (42) and on-base percentage (.394).[3] He was a Baseball America High Class A All-Star, and a California League mid-season and post-season All-Star.[6] He was also selected for the Topps' Class-A All-Star Team.[7] In 2009, playing for the San Antonio Missions in AA, Scout.com ranked Sogard as one of the top hitting prospects in the Padres organization.[8] He was named a Texas League mid-season All-Star at second base/designated hitter.[6]

Oakland AthleticsEdit

On January 16, 2010, Sogard was traded along with Kevin Kouzmanoff to the Oakland Athletics in exchange for Scott Hairston and Aaron Cunningham.[9] In 2010, he was an MiLB.com Organization All-Star with the Oakland organization.[6] Sogard ended the 2010 season as one of Sacramento's more consistent players, earning a promotion to Oakland in September. In 2011, he was a Pacific Coast League mid-season All-Star at shortstop with Sacramento.[6] He had the highest fielding percentage in the league. He spent the second half of the season with Oakland in the majors. On August 23, 2011, Sogard hit his first career home run off then-Yankees pitcher Bartolo Colón.

The A's entered spring training in the beginning of the 2013 season with a battle over the everyday second baseman job. Sogard was put into the competition along with Scott Sizemore, who was returning after missing the entire 2012 season, Jemile Weeks, Adam Rosales, Andy Parrino, and Jed Lowrie. Lowrie was first put into the competition and promised an everyday job but instead took over everyday shortstop due to the struggles and injury of Hiroyuki Nakajima. Sogard then won the second base battle as he was the opening day starting second baseman.

Sogard finished a close second in the contest, voted on by fans, to be named the "Face of MLB" in February 2014. Mets third baseman David Wright won.[10]

In April 2016, Sogard underwent surgery on his left knee.[11] He played in only two games for the Stockton Ports on rehab assignment.[12] He was sent outright to Triple-A after the 2016 season and elected to become a free agent.[13]

Milwaukee BrewersEdit

On December 15, 2016, Sogard signed a minor league contract with the Milwaukee Brewers that included an invitation to spring training. In Sogard's first game with the Brewers, he hit a three-run home run.[14] He finished the season playing in 94 games, establishing career highs in home runs (3), walks (45) and batting average (.273). The following season, Sogard played through injury, hitting a career worst .134 in 94 at bats. He was released by the team on July 10, 2018. He resigned a minor league deal on July 27, 2018. Sogard was released again by the Brewers on September 1, 2018.

Toronto Blue JaysEdit

On December 21, 2018, Sogard signed a minor league contract with the Toronto Blue Jays and was invited to spring training.[15] He battled against Richard Ureña for the utility infielder spot on the opening day roster, but was ultimately sent to Triple-A affiliate Buffalo following the conclusion of spring training.[16] Sogard had his contract selected on April 15, 2019.[17] He made his debut with the team the next day, collecting three hits in a 6–5 win over the Minnesota Twins.[18]

Tampa Bay RaysEdit

On July 28, 2019, the Blue Jays traded Sogard to the Rays for two players to be named later.[19]

Personal lifeEdit

Sogard's younger brother, Alex, is a former professional baseball player, who is now the head baseball coach at Wright State University.[20]

Sogard married his wife Kaycee in October 2011. They have four children together.[21]

Eric's cousin Nick Sogard plays in the MLB Tampa Bay farm system for the Hudson Valley Renegades.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Zwolinski, Mark. "Sogard gives Blue Jays jolt of Nerd Power," The Star (Toronto, ON), Monday, April 29, 2019. Retrieved July 23, 2019
  2. ^ a b thesundevils.cstv Archived June 2, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ a b c http://www.thebaseballcube.com/players/profile.asp?P=eric-sogard
  4. ^ "TheSunDevils.com | Arizona State University Athletics" (PDF). thesundevils.com. Retrieved June 23, 2018.
  5. ^ pac-10.org[dead link]
  6. ^ a b c d http://oakland.athletics.mlb.com/team/player.jsp?player_id=519299#gameType=%27R%27
  7. ^ "Three Storm players among Topps All-Stars". scout.com. November 27, 2008. Archived from the original on January 16, 2009. Retrieved April 28, 2009.
  8. ^ Savage, Denis (March 9, 2009). "Tool Time: Top Hitters for Average". scout.com. Archived from the original on May 15, 2011. Retrieved April 28, 2009.
  9. ^ "A's Acquire 3B Kevin Kouzmanoff from San Diego". Oakland.athletics.mlb.com. Retrieved April 14, 2014.
  10. ^ "A's Eric Sogard falls short in the Face of MLB". San Jose Mercury News. Bay Area News Group. February 28, 2014. Retrieved February 28, 2014.
  11. ^ "Eric Sogard of Oakland Athletics undergoes surgery to knee". ESPN.com. Associated Press. Retrieved August 2, 2016.
  12. ^ "Eric Sogard". Baseball Reference. Retrieved August 2, 2016.
  13. ^ Hall, Alex (October 7, 2016). "Oakland A's roster moves: Eric Sogard, Jarrod Parker, 4 others head to free agency". Retrieved October 7, 2016.
  14. ^ Adams, Steve (December 15, 2016). "Brewers Sign Eric Sogard, Andy Oliver, Hiram Burgos To Minors Deals". mlbtraderumors.com. Retrieved December 15, 2016.
  15. ^ "Report: Jays agree to deal with UTIL Sogard". TSN.ca. December 21, 2018. Retrieved December 21, 2018.
  16. ^ "Blue Jays news aplenty as spring training comes to a close". Jays Journal. March 27, 2019. Retrieved March 30, 2019.
  17. ^ "Jays demote Gurriel; Borucki on 60-day IL". TSN.ca. April 15, 2019. Retrieved April 17, 2019.
  18. ^ Nicholson-Smith, Ben (April 16, 2019). "Blue Jays have more lineup decisions to make after wild win". Sportsnet.ca. Retrieved April 17, 2019.
  19. ^ "Blue Jays bullpen ruins strong Aaron Sanchez start, Rays rally to win while also acquiring Eric Sogard". Retrieved July 28, 2019.
  20. ^ "College World Series notebook: Sogard siblings giving Mom a hard time". East Valley Tribune. June 19, 2007. Retrieved April 14, 2014.
  21. ^ "Eric and Kaycee Sogards' children are too cute for words". MLB.com. Retrieved November 4, 2018.

External linksEdit