Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Meet A Prospect : Mark Teixeira Edition

Mark Teixeira has always been one of my favorite baseball players so naturally I was ecstatic when I learned that the Yankees signed him to a lucrative contract in the shopping spree of 2009. As many of you know I moved to metro Atlanta , Georgia when I was 14 years old and early on in my southerner career I latched on to the local college baseball team, the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. Mark Teixeira, as I am sure you knew where I was going with this, is a GT Alumni and had a very successful career at GT before coming to the majors. Ladies and Gentlemen, let me introduce you to Yankees slugging first basemen and perennial gold glove defender Mark Teixeira!

Mark Teixeira was born on April 11th, 1980 in Annapolis, Maryland. Texeira is a Portugese American but also has roots in Guyana where he grandfather migrated from as a young man. Tex , a nickname that he has gained, grew up in Severna Park, Maryland and attended Mount Saint Joseph High School in Baltimore. Texeira was a stand out there when he played for the school's varsity baseball team. 

Tex was originally drafted in the ninth round of the 1998 MLB First Year Player Draft by the Boston Red Sox. Obviously Tex decided not to sign with Boston and opted to go to Georgia Tech to play college baseball. In 2000 , at GT, he batted .427 with an 1.319 OPS en route to winning the Dick Howser Trophy as the National collegiate baseball player of the year!

In 2001 Mark, represented by Scott Boras, re entered the draft and was drafted fifth overall by the Texas Rangers. There was speculation that the Philadelphia Phillies would take him with the fourth overall pick but Scott Boras's demands scared away Philly. Straight out of the draft Mark signed a Major League contract worth $9.5 million over 4 years. 

His first, and only, season in the minor leagues was in 2002 and it began in the Florida State League. Mark batted .320 with an 1.000 OPS in 38 games, unheard of stats for the league. He was quickly moved up to AA Tulsa where he continued the torrid pace, batting .316 with a .994 OPS and hit ten home runs in 48 games. After a breakout minor league season he was invited to Spring Training in 2003 and made the team out of camp.

After two good seasons in his rookie and sophmore campaign he earned a Silver Slugger and Gold Glove award in the 2005 season. He also was named to the All Star game after winning the fan vote and started at first base for the AL All Stars. What did he do during that first all star game you ask? Well he hit a home run! He had a great run in Texas before being traded to the Atlanta Braves in July of 2007.  The very next season he was traded to the Anaheim Angels and helped them get their first 100 win season in their team's history. He signed a lucrative free agent contract in the offseason of the 2009 season with the New York Yankees.

Texeira wasted no time while in the Bronx after signing an 8 year deal worth $180 million, turning down lucrative offers from the Baltimore Orioles and Washington Nationals to name a few. His very first season as a Yankee, 2009, he led the American League in home runs, 39, and rbi's, 122, on his way to his first World Series ring behind the arms of CC Sabathia, AJ Burnett, and Andy Pettitte. To add to an already impressive 2009 season he also won the Gold Glove and Silver Slugger Award while finishing second in the MVP balloting behind Twins catcher Joe Mauer. 

Mark is married to his wife, Leigh, and has three children, sons Jack and William and daughter Addison. Tex and his family reside in Greenwich, CT in the offseason. Mark , after signing his first major league contract, set up a scholarship at his high school in honor of a friend who was killed in a car accident. Tex enjoys hunting, golfing, reading, and fishing when he is not scooping errant throws out the dirt and hitting 30 home runs a season. He also enjoys Broadway theatre and is a devout Christian, which anyone can respect. Mark also made a special appearance on the HBO TV Original Series Entourage with teammate Alex Rodriguez and Eduardo Nunez in August of 2011. As always I encourage you to check out Mark and his wife's charity, the Mark Texeira Charitable Fund that supported six $5,000 scholarships at three high schools in the Dallas/Fort Worth Area. What a guy Mark is, he is on the Mark... Texeira. 

Make sure to tune in tomorrow when we continue with our special edition Meet A Prospect series and get introduced to Yankees reliever Joba Chamberlain.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)