Orioles trade Ryan Freel to Cubs for OF Gathright

May 08, 2009 | WNST Staff

The Orioles have traded utility man Ryan Freel to the Chicago Cubs for speedster outfielder Joey Gathright. Gathright is officially on a “minor league” deal and will not be in Baltimore, freeing up the organization from having to give Freel his release.

Early life

Gathright attended Bonnabel High School in Kenner, Louisiana, where he played baseball as a junior. He was drafted by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in the 32nd round of the 2001 Major League Baseball Draft, and signed in August after playing that summer in a Louisiana Sugar Cane League in Sorrento, Louisiana.

[edit] Major league career

[edit] Devil Rays (2004-06)

He made his major league debut with the Devil Rays on June 25, 2004.

Gathright was arguably one of the fastest players in major league baseball when he made his major league debut, and led all major league outfielders in range factor (3.06) in 2006; in 2008, however, his range factor was below average. He does not hit for power (with only one home run in his MLB career. He has a .263 lifetime batting average going into the 2009 season.

Gathright was clocked at 6.1 seconds in the 60-yard dash.[1] While in high school, he jumped over his coach’s car.[1] That jumping ability proved useful on the field, as in a 2008 spring training game Gathright jumped over Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Hiroki Kuroda, who was trying to tag him out en route to first base.

In 2005, he hit .276 in 76 games, and drew 10 walks.

[edit] Royals (2006-08)

On June 20, 2006, he was traded to the Kansas City Royals, along with infielder Fernando Cortez, for left-handed pitcher J. P. Howell.

In the 2006 season, he batted .238 with a .321 on base percentage, and a .292 slugging percentage.

In 2007, Gathright broke up Bobby Jenks‘s major league record-tying streak of 41 consecutive batters retired. Gathright, who would have been the record 42nd batter, was able to get a hit.

In 2008, Gathright saw his range factor fall to 2.53, below all but one center field starter in the league. He also hit .254 with a .311 on base percentage, and only a .272 slugging percentage — below that of all starting outfielders in the major leagues.

[edit] Cubs (2009-present)

On December 16, 2008, three days after being non-tendered by the Royals,[2] Gathright signed a one-year deal with the Chicago Cubs.[3] and made his debut April 6th against the Houston Astros.[4]

Gathright had been up with the Cubs in the majors and was 3-for-14 at the plate.

More on Gathright here…

Below is his wiki…