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Brandon Belt

Brandon Belt
Belt with the San Francisco Giants
San Francisco Giants – No. 9
First baseman
Born: (1988-04-20) April 20, 1988
Nacogdoches, Texas
Bats: Left Throws: Left
MLB debut
March 31, 2011 for the San Francisco Giants
Career statistics
(through 2014 season)
Batting average .268
Hits 354
Home runs 45
Runs batted in 168
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Brandon Kyle Belt (born April 20, 1988) is an American professional baseball first baseman for the San Francisco Giants of Major League Baseball.

Contents

  • Early career 1
  • Professional career 2
  • Personal life 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5

Early career

Belt attended Hudson High School in Lufkin, Texas. The Boston Red Sox selected Belt in the 11th round of the 2006 MLB Draft as a pitcher, but chose not to give him the signing bonus that would make him forego his college commitment.[1]

Belt enrolled at San Jacinto College in order to preserve his ability to negotiate with Boston. He pitched for San Jacinto's baseball team, and transferred to the University of Texas, where he played college baseball for the Texas Longhorns for his sophomore year. As a junior, he transitioned to first base due to shoulder problems.[1]

Professional career

The San Francisco Giants selected Belt in the fifth round of the 2009 Major League Baseball Draft after his junior year. He started his professional career with the High-A Giants affiliate in San Jose. He worked with the Giants coaching staff and made an adjustment to his swing mechanics that have helped him move quickly through the Giants farm system, where he hit well at all three levels in 2010 finishing the year with a .352 batting average and gaining attention as one of the Giants top prospects.[2]

In 2010, he played for the San Francisco Giants Class-AAA-affiliate Fresno Grizzlies. He also played for the East Division Scottsdale Scorpions in the Arizona Fall League. Belt played in the Arizona Fall League Rising Stars Game for the East team.

He was ranked as the third best first baseman prospect on MLB.com prior to the 2011 season. He was ranked as the 26th best prospect by MLB Network.[3]

On March 30, 2011, it was announced that Belt had been named to the Giants' opening day Major League roster. He started in his first major league game the next day and singled off of Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw in his first major league at bat. He finished 1-3 with a walk.[4][5] Belt hit his first MLB home run on April 2, 2011. On April 20, 2011, Belt was optioned to Triple-A Fresno to make room on the roster for Cody Ross. He was hitting .192 in 17 games.[6]

In June, Belt was diagnosed with a hairline fracture, and was sent to the 15-day DL after being hit by a pitch in a game against the St. Louis Cardinals. On July 19, 2011, Belt was recalled to the Giants. At time, he had compiled a .444 AAA wOBA .[7] On August 14, 2011, one day after being called up to the majors for a fourth time, Belt hit two home runs in a 5–2 victory over the Florida Marlins in Miami. It was the first multi home run game of his career.

In August 2011, Belt was given the nickname "The Baby Giraffe" by Giants KNBR announcer Duane Kuiper, who commented that Belt looked like the animal when tracking down a fly ball in left field during a game against the Milwaukee Brewers.[8] The nickname stuck and Belt became a fan favorite in San Francisco, with "Baby Giraffe" hats rivaling the number of "Panda" hats in the stands at AT&T Park in September 2011. Six Flags Marine World even named a real baby giraffe after Belt.[9]

Belt made the Giants' Opening Day roster for 2012.[10] On October 28, 2012, Belt won his first World Series ring, when the Giants swept the Detroit Tigers. Belt played a key part of the Giants' clinching game in the World Series, starting the scoring by hitting a triple to right field in the second inning, scoring Hunter Pence from second.[11]

On February 1, 2014, Belt signed a one-year $2.9 million contract to avoid arbitration.[12] On May 9, 2014, while batting at Dodger Stadium, Belt was hit on his left thumb by Dodgers pitcher Paul Maholm, suffering a broken thumb.[13] Belt was activated from the disabled list on July 4,[14] only to return to the disabled list on July 21 after suffering a concussion while fielding during batting practice.[15] Belt was activated August 2, but was placed on the DL again August 8 when his concussion symptoms continued.[16] Belt was reactivated from the disabled list on September 15.[17] In Game 2 of the 2014 NLDS versus the Washington Nationals, Belt hit a solo home run in the top of the 18th inning to break a 1–1 tie, helping the Giants to an eventual 3–1 series win.[18] On October 29, 2014, Belt won his second World Series ring when the Giants defeated the Kansas City Royals in seven games. Belt, along with teammate Hunter Pence, hit safely in all seven games of the series, the only players on either team to do so.

Personal life

Belt married high school sweetheart Haylee Stephenson on December 3, 2010, in their hometown of Lufkin, Texas.[19] They have one son.[20]

References

  1. ^ a b Brian MacPherson. "How the Red Sox almost added SF's Brandon Belt to their pipeline of pitching | Red Sox - Complete analysis & insight". The Providence Journal. Retrieved August 22, 2013. 
  2. ^ Brandon Belt Scouting Report Crazy Crabbers.com, August 26, 2010
  3. ^ Prospect Watch: Top 10 first basemen MLB.com, January 18, 2011
  4. ^ The Brandon Belt decision: He's a San Francisco Giant mercurynews.com, March 30, 2011
  5. ^ http://www.csnbayarea.com/03/30/11/Belt-makes-Giants-25-man-roster-Ishikawa/landing_giants.html?blockID=494075&feedID=8349
  6. ^ Belt sent to Triple-A to make room for Ross MLB.com, April 21, 2011
  7. ^ "Brandon Belt in Giants lineup for Tuesday | Giants Extra". Blogs.mercurynews.com. July 19, 2011. Retrieved August 22, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Brandon Belt - the 'Baby Giraffe' - SFGate". Articles.sfgate.com. August 26, 2011. Retrieved April 3, 2013. 
  9. ^ Townsend, Mark. "Bay Area Six Flags names baby giraffe after Giants’ Brandon Belt - Big League Stew - MLB Blog - Yahoo! Sports". Ca.sports.yahoo.com. Retrieved April 3, 2013. 
  10. ^ April 4, 2012 - 2:35 PM ET (April 4, 2012). "Brandon Belt makes Giants' Opening Day roster - MLB- NBC Sports". Nbcsports.msnbc.com. Retrieved April 3, 2013. 
  11. ^ "San Francisco Giants vs. Detroit Tigers - Play By Play - October 28, 2012 - ESPN". Espn.go.com. October 28, 2012. Retrieved April 3, 2013. 
  12. ^ Haft, Chris. "Big contract a 'special moment' for Belt". 
  13. ^ "Giants put Brandon Belt on DL". ESPN.com. May 10, 2014. 
  14. ^ "Giants activate 1B Brandon Belt". ESPN.com. July 4, 2014. 
  15. ^ Torres, Maria (July 21, 2014). "Concussion sends Belt to disabled list". MLB.com. 
  16. ^ Alexander, Jackson (August 8, 2014). "Concussion symptoms land Belt on seven-day DL". MLB.com. 
  17. ^ Haft, Chris (September 15, 2014). "Feeling 'really good,' Belt comes off disabled list". MLB.com. 
  18. ^ Haft, Chris (October 5, 2014). "In 18th, a Belt wastes Nats' six-hour effort". MLB.com. 
  19. ^ "Brandon Belt". MLB Advanced Media, L.P. SF Giants Photos Blog. March 30, 2013. 
  20. ^ Schulman, Henry (August 28, 2014). "SF Giants’ Brandon Crawford reveals injury, plus lineup change". SFGate.com. 

External links

  • Career statistics and player information from MLB, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)
  • Minor League Baseball Bio
  • Brandon Belt on Twitter
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