Ty Allen Wigginton (born October 11, 1977 in San Diego, California) is a Major League Baseball third baseman, for the Baltimore Orioles. He is also known as a utility player, having platooned as an infielder and an outfielder during his career. He bats and throws right-handed. Wiggington resides in Chula Vista, California
High school yearsEdit
Wigginton attended UNC Asheville and played for three years from 1996-1998. 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. Currently, Wigginton is the only UNC Asheville baseball player to have played in the major leagues.
New York MetsEdit
The Template:Convert/LoffAoffDbSonTemplate:Convert/track/abbr/Template:Convert/track/disp/Template:Convert/track/adj/on, 200 pound Wigginton was selected by the New York Mets in the 1998 Major League Baseball Draft.
Wigginton was brought up to the major league Mets 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, he had the lowest zone rating of any NL third baseman (.731) for the second straight year.
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, but the Pirates still released him after the season.
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.
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 to be 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 monster month of August, hitting .379 and posting a staggering 1.200 OPS. 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.
Wigginton showed slightly below-average power for a major league third baseman in his early career, but over his last two seasons has compiled 46 home runs. He also has good doubles power. He cut down on his strikeouts in 2004 and increased his number of walks, but his plate discipline is still no better than average. He hits fastballs well but struggles a little bit with good breaking balls. Wigginton has about average speed; he stole 12 bases in 2003, but has never duplicated that before (even in the minor leagues) or since. On the field, he is about average at third base. He has played second baseman in the past, but is limited defensively at that position. He also can play at first and the outfield corners and is decent at first but has struggled in very limited playing time in the outfield. He is considered to be an extremely aggressive player.
In 536 major league games, Wigginton has hit .267 (487-1826) with a .327 OBP, .461 SLG, 68 home runs, 112 doubles, 267 RBIs, and 25 stolen bases.
- ↑ 12 alumni to be honored by Sweetwater district. San Diego Union-Tribune (2004-12-04). Retrieved on 2008-09-03.
- ↑ "Devil Ray performs under pressure", Marc Topkin, The St. Petersburg Times, published February 17, 2007, accessed February 20, 2007.
- ↑ "Orioles sign Ty Wigginton," Baltimore Orioles Press Release, Tuesday, February 10, 2009.
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