Ben Zobrist, Second Base, Chicago Cubs


Date of Birth: 5/26/1981
Birthplace: Eureka, Illinois
College: Dallas Baptist University
Current Salary: $16,500,000
Nickname: Zorilla

Ben Zobrist, second baseman for the Chicago Cubs, started out in college as a pitcher, shortstop, and second baseman. He was originally drafted by the Houston Astros in 2004 but he never played with them. He spent the 2004 and 2005 seasons in the minor leagues before being traded in July, 2006 to the Tampa Bay Rays. From 2006 through 2008, Zobrist was just a part-time player with the Rays, playing with them in just 52 games in 2006, 31 games in 2007, and 62 games in 2008. He was a shortstop for his first two seasons with the Rays.

Zobrist's first full season in the major leagues, 2009, was a strong one. That year, he batted a career high .297 with 149 hits, 28 doubles, a career high 27 home runs, 91 RBIs, and 17 stolen bases.

Zobrist and the Rays agreed to a three-year contract extension in April, 2010. The contract included club options for 2014 and 2015. In 2013, Zobrist batted .275 with a career high 168 hits, 36 doubles, 12 home runs, 71 RBIs, and 11 stolen bases in 157 games. He finished the 2014 season with 155 hits, 34 doubles, and a .272 batting average.

In January, 2014, Zobrist was traded to the Oakland Athletics. After just half a season with the Athletics, he was traded to the Kansas City Royals on July 28, 2015. He finished the 2015 season with 129 hits, 36 doubles, 56 RBIs, and a .276 batting average in 67 games with the Athletics and 59 games with the Royals. Defensively, he played 69 games at second base, 4 games at third base, 45 games in left field, and 5 games in right field. In postseason play, he batted .303 with 20 hits, including 8 doubles and 2 home runs, and 6 RBIs in 66 at-bats in 16 games.

Zobrist signed a four-year, $56 million contract with the Cubs on December 8, 2015. He had a good 2016 season, batting .272 with 142 hits, 31 doubles, 18 home runs, and 96 RBIs in 147 games. A difficult player to strike out, he had 96 walks and 82 strikeouts. Defensively, as the Cubs' second baseman in 119 games, he made 250 assists, 52 double plays, 177 putouts, and 7 errors. In the postseason, he batted .250 with 16 hits and 5 RBIs in 64 at-bats in 17 games.

Statistics for Zobrist in eight full seasons (2009-2016) in the major leagues include:

  • 4 seasons with over 150 hits, with a high of 168 in 2013
  • 6 seasons with over 30 doubles, with a high of 46 in 2011
  • 3 seasons with 20 or more home runs, with a high of 27 in 2009

Career batting statistics for Zobrist through 2016 include:

  • 1,337 games played
  • 1,287 hits
  • 296 doubles
  • 145 home runs
  • 111 stolen bases
  • 643 RBIs
  • 839 strikeouts to 643 walks
  • .266 batting average

Career fielding statistics for Zobrist as a second baseman through 2016 include:

  • 735 games played
  • 1,727 assists
  • 379 double plays
  • 1,131 putouts
  • 39 errors
  • .987 fielding percentage

Personal Life

Zobrist and his wife Julianna have one son and one daughter. He appears in a cameo role in the 2013 movie "Ring the Bell."

Sources for Information
Wikipedia - Ben Zobrist
ESPN - Ben Zobrist