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John Michael Gant (born August 6, 1992) is an American professional baseball pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals of Major League Baseball (MLB). He made his MLB debut with the Atlanta Braves in 2016.

John Gant
JohnGant in Detroit 2018.jpg
Gant with the Cardinals in 2018
St. Louis Cardinals – No. 53
Pitcher
Born: (1992-08-06) August 6, 1992 (age 26)
Savannah, Georgia
Bats: Right Throws: Right
MLB debut
April 6, 2016, for the Atlanta Braves
MLB statistics
(through May 15, 2019)
Win–loss record11-11
Earned run average3.68
Strikeouts182
Teams

Contents

Early lifeEdit

Gant was born and raised in Savannah, Georgia, before moving to Wesley Chapel, Florida at the age of 11.[1][2] He grew up an Atlanta Braves fan.[3] Gant attended Wiregrass Ranch High School in Wesley Chapel. As a senior, he was 6-0 with a 1.90 ERA with two no-hitters and 107 strikeouts.[4] He committed to play college baseball for Long Island University.[5]

Professional careerEdit

New York MetsEdit

Gant was drafted by the New York Mets in the 21st round of the 2011 Major League Baseball Draft out of Wiregrass Ranch High School.[6] He signed with the Mets for $185,000[7], forgoing his commitment to Long Island, and made his professional debut with the Gulf Coast Mets, with whom he was 0-1 with a 6.48 ERA.[8] Gant spent 2012 with the Kingsport Mets and pitched one game for the Savannah Sand Gnats, and with the two teams was a combined 3-4 with a 4.98 ERA.[8] He played 2013 with the Brooklyn Cyclones where he was 6-4 with a 2.89 ERA in 13 starts and 2014 back with Savannah where he compiled an 11-5 record and 2.56 ERA in 12 starts.[9][10] Gant began the 2015 season in the Binghamton Mets starting rotation, for whom he was 4-5 with a 4.70 ERA,[11][8] He also started six games for the St. Lucie Mets.

Atlanta BravesEdit

 
Gant with the Atlanta Braves in 2016.

On July 24, 2015, the Mets traded Gant and Rob Whalen to the Atlanta Braves for Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson.[12] He was assigned to the Mississippi Braves.[13] In 24 games started between Binghamton, St. Lucie and Mississippi, he was 10-5 with a 3.08 ERA and 1.23 WHIP. The Braves added him to their 40-man roster after the season.[14] Gant was invited to spring training to begin the 2016 season, and pitched well enough for the team to consider placing him in the major league bullpen, though Gant had worked primarily as a starter in the minor leagues.[15] He pitched ​15 13 innings and allowed four earned runs in spring training,[16] making the Opening Day roster as a reliever.[17] He made his Major League debut on April 6, 2016 pitching a scoreless ninth inning against the Washington Nationals, giving up one single and striking out one.[18] Four days later, Gant was sent to the minor leagues, and placed in the Gwinnett Braves starting rotation.[19] In subsequent callups to the major leagues, Gant pitched in relief.[20][21] He and Casey Kelly were the two pitchers who spent the most time between the major and minor league levels in the beginning of the season, as the Braves tried balancing the needs of their bullpen against the possibility of overusing pitchers.[22] Gant made his first major league start against the Chicago Cubs on June 12, yielding two earned runs and four hits in ​4 13 innings, while taking the loss.[23] Gant made his second start against the New York Mets on June 18, and earned a win.[24] On June 27, Gant started against the Cleveland Indians. He was taken out of the game after straining his oblique and placed on the disabled list.[25] Gant came off the DL on August 21, and was placed in the bullpen.[26] A week later, he was optioned to Gwinnett to clear a roster spot for Aaron Blair,[27] only to be recalled on August 30.[28] In the majors in 2016, he was 1-4 with a 4.86 ERA,[8] and in the minor leagues with the Rome Braves and Gwinnett Braves he was 3-3 with a 3.97 ERA in 13 games (ten starts).

St. Louis CardinalsEdit

On December 1, 2016, the Braves traded Gant, Chris Ellis, and Luke Dykstra to the St. Louis Cardinals for Jaime García.[29] He began the season with the Memphis Redbirds.

He was recalled to St. Louis before the game on May 31, after Jonathan Broxton was released.[30] He was called up to St. Louis and reassigned to Memphis multiple times during the year. With St. Louis in 2017, he was 0-1 with a 4.67 ERA in 17.1 innings pitched,[8] and with Memphis he was 6-5 with a 3.83 ERA in 18 starts.

Gant began 2018 with Memphis. He was recalled to St. Louis and optioned back to Memphis twice[31] during the season before securing a spot in St. Louis' starting rotation after an injury to Michael Wacha in mid-June.[32] Gant finished the 2018 season with a 7-6 record and a 3.47 ERA 26 games (19 starts).[33]

Gant began 2019 in St. Louis' bullpen.[34]

Gant's unconventional windup

Pitching styleEdit

Gant's pitching motion has repeatedly been characterized as "unique." He takes one step forward with his left foot, planting it on the right side of the mound, then moves backward, only to take the same step again before throwing the baseball. The extra movement, which Gant describes as a "false step," does not occur when he pitches from a set position.[35][36][37]

Gant is also known for his use of the vulcan changeup.[38][39]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Braves trade Savannah native Gant to Cardinals". Savannah Morning News. December 1, 2016. Retrieved July 22, 2018.
  2. ^ Dominitz, Nathan (April 1, 2014). "Gant the Gnat: Savannah native pitching for hometown team". Savannah Morning News. Retrieved July 22, 2018.
  3. ^ http://www.stlbaseballweekly.com/meet-john-gant/
  4. ^ Burns, Bryan (June 7, 2011). "MLB Draft: Wiregrass Ranch's John Michael Gant selected in 21st round by Mets". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved July 22, 2018.
  5. ^ Burns, Bryan (June 11, 2011). "Wiregrass Ranch P John Michael Gant signs with New York Mets". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved April 2, 2016.
  6. ^ Sharp, Derrick (July 13, 2016). "Wiregrass Ranch grad John Gant tastes MLB action". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved July 14, 2016.
  7. ^ https://www.minorleagueball.com/2015/7/25/9038021/mets-add-uribe-johnson-from-braves-in-exchange-for-gant-and-whalen
  8. ^ a b c d e John Gant Stats, Highlights, Bio | MiLB.com Stats | The Official Site of Minor League Baseball
  9. ^ Lojacono, Kyle (July 6, 2013). "Gant still enjoys game of baseball as a pro". Tampa Tribune. Retrieved March 26, 2016.
  10. ^ Dominitz, Nathan (April 1, 2014). "Gant the Gnat: Savannah native pitching for hometown team". Savannah Morning News. Retrieved March 26, 2016.
  11. ^ Worthy, Lynn (April 8, 2015). "Binghamton Mets a team full of talent". Press & Sun-Bulletin. Retrieved April 2, 2016.
  12. ^ Sherman, Joel (July 24, 2015). "Offense-needy Mets land Juan Uribe, Kelly Johnson from Braves". New York Post. Retrieved July 24, 2015.
  13. ^ Tait, Kyle (August 1, 2015). "Gant Shines in Debut, M-Braves Beat Barons". MILB.com. Retrieved August 14, 2016.
  14. ^ Bowman, Mark (November 19, 2015). "Braves add Smith, Gant to 40-man roster". MLB.com. Retrieved March 26, 2016.
  15. ^ Bowman, Mark (April 1, 2016). "Gant sparks several Braves roster discussions". MLB.com. Retrieved April 1, 2016.
  16. ^ Bowman, Mark (April 4, 2016). "Gant ecstatic to realize dream with Braves". MLB.com. Retrieved April 4, 2016.
  17. ^ Bowman, Mark (April 2, 2016). "Gant to bullpen as Braves set opener roster". MLB.com. Retrieved April 2, 2016.
  18. ^ Odum, Charles (April 6, 2016). "Savannah native Gant makes Braves debut against Nationals". Savannah Morning News. Associated Press. Retrieved April 7, 2016.
  19. ^ Bowman, Mark (April 10, 2016). "Braves summon reliever Withrow from Triple-A". MLB.com. Retrieved April 10, 2016.
  20. ^ Mullen, Maureen (April 27, 2016). "Braves call up Gant, option Weber to Triple-A". MLB.com. Retrieved April 27, 2016.
  21. ^ Bowman, Mark (June 5, 2016). "Braves call up Gant to work out of bullpen". MLB.com. Retrieved June 5, 2016.
  22. ^ Bowman, Mark (June 6, 2016). "Bullpen carousel continues with Kelly's arrival". MLB.com. Retrieved June 7, 2016.
  23. ^ James, Pat (June 12, 2016). "Given chance, Gant proves he can be a starter". MLB.com. Retrieved June 13, 2016.
  24. ^ Bowman, Mark (June 18, 2016). "Gant touch this: Rookie earns first MLB win". MLB.com. Retrieved June 19, 2016.
  25. ^ Bowman, Mark (June 28, 2016). "Gant (oblique) joins cluster of Braves on DL". MLB.com. Retrieved June 29, 2016.
  26. ^ James, Pat (August 21, 2016). "Braves activate Gant to bolster bullpen". MLB.com. Retrieved August 21, 2016.
  27. ^ Bowman, Mark (August 28, 2016). "Folty thrives while keeping emotions in check". MLB.com. Retrieved August 29, 2016.
  28. ^ Bowman, Mark (August 30, 2016). "Reliever Simmons makes it back to Majors". MLB.com. Retrieved August 30, 2016.
  29. ^ Bowman, Mark (December 2, 2016). "Braves trade for Cards lefty Garcia". MLB.com. Retrieved December 10, 2016.
  30. ^ "Cardinals release Broxton, call up John Gant". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. May 31, 2017.
  31. ^ https://www.bnd.com/sports/mlb/st-louis-cardinals/article209880069.html
  32. ^ https://www.foxsports.com/midwest/story/st-louis-cardinals-michael-wacha-goes-on-disabled-list-john-gant-arrives-from-memphis-redbirds-062118
  33. ^ https://www.kmov.com/sports/st-louis-cardinals-player-grades-starting-pitchers/article_6792cc3a-c694-11e8-b173-8faee838cf63.html
  34. ^ https://www.kmov.com/news/cardinals-announce--man-opening-day-roster/article_d3ac19d2-50c6-11e9-a215-3b736dc058e3.html
  35. ^ Bowman, Mark (March 25, 2016). "Gant becoming potential rotation candidate". Retrieved March 26, 2016.
  36. ^ O'Brien, David (March 25, 2016). "Gant getting consideration as Braves starting-rotation option". Atlanta Journal Constitution. Retrieved March 26, 2016.
  37. ^ O'Brien, David (March 19, 2016). "Braves pitcher Gant has funky motion, good results". Atlanta Journal Constitution. Retrieved March 26, 2016.
  38. ^ Bowman, Mark (December 9, 2016). "Starting-pitching surplus helps Atlanta upgrade". MLB.com. Retrieved December 10, 2016.
  39. ^ Sharp, Darek (July 13, 2016). "Wiregrass Ranch grad John Gant tastes MLB action". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved July 22, 2018.

External linksEdit