He is known more for his defensive skills than for his abilities with the bat. He previously played for the Minnesota Twins (1998-2004), Boston Red Sox (2004), New York Mets (2005), Kansas City Royals (2006), and the New York Yankees (2007).
Minor league careerEdit
Mientkiewicz was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 12th round of the 1992 draft. He was then drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 5th round of the 1995 draft. In 1998, he was the Eastern League (Double-A) All-Star DH. He batted .323, with a .432 OBP and .508 slugging percentage, in 509 at bats for New Britain.
In 2000, he was the Triple-A All-Star 1B, and Pacific League All-Star DH. He batted .334, with a .446 OBP and .524 slugging percentage, in 485 at bats for the Salt Lake Buzz, while both scoring and driving in 96 runs.
Major League careerEdit
In 2001, he was 8th in the league with 39 doubles, as he batted .306.
In 2003, he was 9th in the AL with a .393 on base percentage, as he batted .300.
In July 2004, he was traded as part of a 4-team trade by the Twins to the Boston Red Sox for Justin Jones. One of Mientkiewicz's most memorable moments in his MLB career was recording the final out of the 2004 World Series.
In January 2005, he was traded by the Red Sox with cash to the New York Mets for Ian Bladergroen.
In December 2005, he signed as a free agent with the Kansas City Royals.
On June 2, 2007, Mientkiewicz collided with long time friend Mike Lowell of the Boston Red Sox while trying to field a throw from shortstop Derek Jeter. He suffered a mild concussion, cervical sprain, and a fractured scaphoid bone in his right wrist and was placed on the disabled list. Missing three months, Mientkiewicz returned on September 4 as a substitute at first base against the Seattle Mariners.
He made his first start since the injury on September 16, 2007. He went 2 for 3 with two clutch defensive plays.
On February 11, 2008, he signed a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training with the Pittsburgh Pirates. On March 26, he was added to the 40-man roster and it was announced he would be on the major league roster.
Hitting and defenseEdit
Mientkiewicz is a notorious line-drive hitter and hits well against both lefties and righties. He has a nice, short stroke with gap power (though not a home run hitter) and tremendous discipline at the plate, coupled with a good knowledge of the strike zone. For his career he has a good 0.951 walk-to-strikeout ratio (310-to-326). Although he batted .300 for two years with the Minnesota Twins, Mientkiewicz has not produced at the plate at that level in recent years.
He bats left-handed and throws right-handed. He is one of the few major leaguers to not wear batting gloves, along with former teammate Jorge Posada, Mets outfielder Moisés Alou, Blue Jays catcher Gregg Zaun and Los Angeles Angels outfielder Vladimir Guerrero.
Defense is the best part of Mientkiewicz's game. He has a great glove with soft hands, great mobility, good range, and a strong arm. Also, Mientkiewicz is excellent at scooping balls in the dirt, tagging down on a high throw, and extending himself to make the play. He won the Gold Glove Award in 2001 with the Minnesota Twins.
In a ten-year career, Mientkiewicz is a .271 hitter with 64 home runs, 201 doubles, 372 RBI, 385 runs scored, and a .358 On-Base Percentage in 942 games. Almost all of his home runs lifetime have been hit to right field or right center. He is a lifetime .317 hitter at Yankee Stadium.
The 2004 World Series ball controversyEdit
Mientkiewicz recorded the final out of the 2004 World Series, ending Boston's 86-year championship drought. In Game 4 in St.Louis, Mientkiewicz entered the game in the bottom of the 7th inning as a substitute at first base. Mientkiewicz didn't handle the ball until there were two outs in the 9th. St. Louis shortstop Edgar Rentería grounded back to pitcher Keith Foulke, who trotted toward first base and underhanded the ball to Mientkiewicz. As the ball that symbolically ended the so-called "Curse of the Bambino", the item was of considerable interest to memorabilia collectors. Controversy resulted when Mientkiewicz kept the ball, and the Red Sox asked for its return. A spokesperson for Major League Baseball indicated that the ball belonged to Mientkiewicz, but the Red Sox contended that it belonged to them, as they wanted to have it to archive for museum use. In an announcement made with the Red Sox in January 2005, Mientkiewicz said the ball would accompany the World Series trophy as it made its way through New England during its yearlong tour. On April 23, 2006, it was announced that he had reached an agreement with the Red Sox, and the ball would go to the Hall of Fame.
- ↑ ESPN.com
- ↑ The Official Site of Major League Baseball: News: Major League Baseball News
- ↑ http://www.baseball-reference.com/pi/event_hr.cgi?n1=mientdo01&type=b
- ↑ [http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/players/profile?statsId=6138 Doug Mientkiewicz]. ESPN.com (2007-02-24). Retrieved on 2007-02-24.
- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube
- Baseball Library (biography and achievements)