Denard Span, Center Field, Tampa Bay Rays
Date of Birth: 2/27/1984
Birthplace: Washington, DC
Denard Span, center fielder for the Tampa Bay Rays, was first drafted out of high school by the Minnesota Twins in 2002. He played in the Twins' minor league system from 2003 through part of 2008. He joined the Twins for 93 games in 2008 and he batted .294 with 102 hits. That year, he played defensively in right field in 85 games and in center field for 9 games.
Span had a strong 2009 season, leading the American League in triples with 10. He played in 145 games and had career highs in hits (180), RBIs (68), and batting average (.311). That season, he split his time defensively with all three outfield positions.
In 2010, Span signed a five-year, $16.5 million contract with the Twins. That season, he batted .264 with 166 hits in 153 games. He became the center fielder for the Twins in 2010.
Span had another good season in 2012, batting .283 with 146 hits and a career high 38 doubles in 146 games. The Twins, however, traded him to the Washington Nationals after the season ended. In 2013, Span led the National League in triples with a career high of 11. He batted .279 with 170 hits, 28 doubles, and 20 stolen bases in 153 games. As a center fielder, he made 379 putouts and zero errors.
Span had a strong 2014 season, finishing with a career high 184 hits, 39 doubles, a career high 31 stolen bases, and a .302 batting average in 147 games. In the postseason, he batted just .105 with two hits in 19 at-bats in four games.
Span had surgery in March, 2015, and he remained on the DL until April 19th. He finished the season with 74 hits, 17 doubles, and a .301 batting average in 61 games. As a center fielder, he made 149 putouts and 1 error in 61 games.
Span signed a three-year, $31 million contract with the San Francisco Giants on January 7, 2016. The contract includes $5 million in performance bonuses and a fourth year mutual option. He had a good first season with the Giants, finishing the 2016 season with 152 hits, 23 doubles, 53 RBIs, and a .266 batting average in 143 games. Defensively, as the Giants' center fielder in 137 games, he made 286 putouts and 1 error. In the postseason, he batted .263, with 5 hits and 1 RBI in 19 at-bats in 4 games.
In 2017, Span batted .272 in 129 games with the Giants. He finished the season with 135 hits, 31 doubles, a career high 12 home runs, 43 RBIs, 12 stolen bases, and 69 strikeouts to 40 walks. Defensively, as the Giants' center fielder in 123 games, he made 276 putouts and 2 errors.
Span was traded to the Rays on December 20, 2017.
Statistics for Span in ten seasons (2008-2017) in the major leagues include:
- 5 seasons with over 150 hits, with a high of 184 in 2014
- 3 seasons with 10 or more triples, with a high of 11 in 2013
- 4 seasons with 20 or more stolen bases, with a high of 31 in 2014
Career batting statistics for Span through 2017 include:
- 1,222 games played
- 1,384 hits
- 243 doubles
- 432 RBIs
- 176 stolen bases
- 637 strikeouts to 464 walks
- .283 batting average
Career fielding statistics for Span as a center fielder through 2017 include:
- 1,069 games played
- 2,632 putouts
- 19 errors
- .993 fielding percentage