Ty Allen Wigginton (born October 11, 1977) is an American former professional baseball infielder. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the New York Mets, Pittsburgh Pirates, Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Houston Astros, Baltimore Orioles, Colorado Rockies, Philadelphia Phillies, and St. Louis Cardinals. He mainly played as a first and third baseman, but also platooned as an infielder and an outfielder during his career. He bats and throws right-handed. Wigginton resides in Chula Vista, California.
Wigginton with the Houston Astros
|Born: October 11, 1977|
San Diego, California
|May 16, 2002, for the New York Mets|
|Last MLB appearance|
|July 5, 2013, for the St. Louis Cardinals|
|Runs batted in||594|
|Career highlights and awards|
High school yearsEdit
Wigginton attended UNC-Asheville and played for three years from 1996 to 1998. Wigginton still holds the school's records for most home runs in a game, most runs in a season, and most doubles in a season. Wigginton is the only UNC-Asheville baseball player to have played in the major leagues consecutively.
New York MetsEdit
Wigginton was called up to the Mets major league roster for the first time in 2002 as a third baseman and had a promising partial rookie season with the Mets, batting .302 with a .354 on-base percentage (OBP) and .526 slugging percentage (SLG) in 116 at-bats. He slumped somewhat in his first full season in 2003 with a batting line of .255/.318/.396 in 573 at-bats but started the 2004 season hot. In his first 312 at-bats, Wigginton hit .285/.334/.487, hitting 12 home runs and 23 doubles with 42 runs batted in.
On July 30, 2004, the Mets traded Wigginton to the Pittsburgh Pirates in a six-player deal for pitcher Kris Benson. Wigginton slumped badly after he was traded before recovering somewhat in September. In 2004, for the second straight year he had the lowest zone rating of any NL third baseman (.731).
He started at third base for the Pirates in 2005 but again struggled and was demoted to the minor leagues on June 4, putting his future with Pittsburgh in doubt. After winning the International League Batter of the Week for the week of August 15–21, "Wiggy" was called up to the Pirates on August 22, 2005. The utility infielder caught fire, hitting .365 over his last 22 games for Pittsburgh. Despite this, the Pirates released him after the season.
Tampa Bay Devil RaysEdit
Wigginton signed a one-year contract with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays on January 10, 2006. He split his time between first base and second base in 2006 with a few starts at third base and in the outfield. He signed a three-year deal with the Tampa Bay Rays after the 2006 season.
On July 28, 2007, Wigginton was traded to the Houston Astros for pitcher Dan Wheeler. After his acquisition, Morgan Ensberg was designated for assignment, and Wigginton was announced as the Astros' starting third baseman. When Astros outfielder Carlos Lee had his finger broken by a pitch on August 9, 2008, Wigginton made the majority of the starts in left field in Lee's place. Wigginton ended up having a strong month of August, hitting .379 and posting a staggering 1.200 OPS. He was named the National League's co-Player of the Week along with Johan Santana for the period of August 11 to August 17; he had a .571 batting average with four home runs in that span. On December 12, 2008, the Astros failed to tender Wigginton a contract and he became a free agent, a controversial move that upset many Astros fans.
He hit very well during the early stages of the 2010 season, batting .272 through his first 60 games and ranking eighth in the American League with 13 home runs.
Wigginton was elected to his 1st All Star Game in 2010, being the lone Oriole representative. Wigginton had started the season without a starting position in Baltimore. However, hot streaks at the plate eventually prompted the saying "gettin' Wiggy with it," a spoof of the song "Gettin' Jiggy wit It."
He split games between third base and first base following the trade of Miguel Tejada.
On December 7, 2010, Wigginton signed a two-year deal with the Colorado Rockies with an option for a third year.
On June 28, 2011, Wigginton and Troy Tulowitzki helped the Rockies win 3-2 in 13 innings. Ty Wigginton was up at bat against Chicago White Sox reliever Will Ohman. Tulowitzki, at first, was off with the pitch. Wigginton flared a ball into center that dropped for a base hit. Brent Lillibridge picked it up as Tulowitzki tried to score the walk-off run. The throw to A. J. Pierzynski was off the line. Tulowitzki slid in to the plate just ahead of Pierzynski's tag to score the walk-off.
On November 20, 2011, the Rockies traded Wigginton to the Philadelphia Phillies for a player to be named later or cash. On October 29, 2012, the Phillies declined his 2013 club option worth $4 million; he was paid a $500,000 buyout and became a free agent. In his lone season with the Phillies, he hit .235/.314/.375 in 125 games with 11 HRs.
St. Louis CardinalsEdit
On December 14, 2012, the St. Louis Cardinals signed Wigginton to a two-year contract. According to Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com, the deal was worth $5 million over the two seasons. He was signed to serve as a utility infielder and outfielder. He performed poorly off the bench, hitting .158 in 47 games and 57 at-bats. On July 9, 2013 he was given his unconditional release.
Wigginton showed slightly below-average power for a major league third baseman in his early career but displayed increased power as his career went on, ultimately averaging 20 home runs per 162 games played. He cut down on his strikeouts in 2004 and increased his number of walks, but his plate discipline was still no better than average. He hit fastballs well but struggled a little bit with good breaking balls. Wigginton had about average speed; he stole 12 bases in 2003 but never duplicated that (even in the minor leagues). On the field, he was slightly below average at third base. He also played second base, primarily in the earlier part of his career, but was similarly limited defensively at that position. He also played first and the outfield corners and was decent at first but has struggled in very limited playing time in the outfield.
Through the end of his major league career in July 2013, Wigginton had played in 1,362 major league games and hit .261 (1,170-for-4,479) with a .323 OBP, .435 SLG, 169 home runs, 245 doubles, 594 RBI and 42 stolen bases.
On December 20, 2006, Wigginton was forced to handle the delivery of his son Cannon at home when his wife Angela went into labor unexpectedly. Following the instructions of an operator on 9-1-1, he delivered the baby in a bedroom closet of their North Carolina home and tied off the umbilical cord with one of his shoelaces.
- "12 alumni to be honored by Sweetwater district". San Diego Union-Tribune. 2004-12-04. Retrieved 2008-09-03.
- Gonzalez, Alden (August 18, 2008). "Johan, Wigginton split NL weekly honor". Major League Baseball. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
- "Orioles sign Ty Wigginton," Baltimore Orioles Press Release, Tuesday, February 10, 2009.
- "Wigginton's three-run blast," MLB.com video, Wednesday, April 20, 2011.
- Miller, Doug (20 November 2011). "Phillies strike deal with Rockies for Wigginton". MLB.com. Retrieved 21 November 2011.
- Salisbury, Jim (October 29, 2012). "Phillies pick up Ruiz's 2013 option, decline Polanco". CSN Philadelphia. Archived from the original on January 20, 2013.
- "Cardinals ink veteran Wigginton for two years". MLB.com. December 14, 2012. Retrieved December 14, 2012.
- "Cards sign Ty Wigginton to two-year deal". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. December 14, 2012.
- "Cards release Wigginton, call up Triple-A catcher". MLB.com. July 9, 2013.
- "Marlins sign veteran third baseman Ty Wigginton to minor league deal". SI.com. 24 January 2014. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
- "Devil Ray performs under pressure", Marc Topkin, The St. Petersburg Times, published February 17, 2007, accessed February 20, 2007.