Kurt Suzuki, Catcher, Atlanta Braves
Date of Birth: 10/4/1983
Birthplace: Wailuku, Hawaii
College: California State University at Fullerton
Current Salary: $1,500,000
Kurt Suzuki, catcher for the Atlanta Braves, was first drafted by the Oakland Athletics in 2004. He played in the minor leagues until 2007, when he was called up to the Athletics for 68 games.
In 2008, his first full season in the major leagues, Suzuki batted a career high .279 with 148 hits and 25 doubles in 148 games. The next year was his best season. He batted .274 with career highs in hits (156), doubles (37), home runs (15), and RBIs (88) in 147 games in 2009.
Suzuki signed a four-year contract extension with the Athletics in July, 2010. That season, he batted .242 in 131 games. The following season, he batted .237 in 134 games. In August, 2012, after 75 games with the Athletics, they traded him to the Washington Nationals.
After 79 games and a batting average of just .222 with the Nationals in 2013, Washington traded Suzuki back to the Athletics. He finished the season with a .232 batting average in a total of 94 games . As a catcher in 2013, Suzuki played in 93 games and he made 35 assists, 621 putouts, and 6 errors with a fielding percentage of .991.
In December, 2013, Suzuki signed a contract with the Minnesota Twins. He signed a two-year, $12 million contract extension on July 31, 2014. He finished the 2014 season with 130 hits, 34 doubles, 61 RBIs, and a career high .288 batting average in 131 games.
Suzuki finished the 2015 season with 104 hits, 17 doubles, 50 RBIs, and a .240 batting average in 131 games. As a catcher in 130 games, he made 35 assists, 825 putouts, and 3 errors and he had a .997 fielding percentage. However, players found it easy to steal off him. He caught just 14 players trying to steal while 80 runners were successful at advancing a base.
In 2016, Suzuki batted .258 in 106 games. He had 89 hits, 24 doubles, and 49 RBIs. Defensively, as the Twins' catcher in 99 games, he made 28 assists, 679 putouts, and 5 errors. He had a .993 fielding percentage and he caught players trying to steal 18.8% of the time.
Suzuki became a free agent on November 3, 2016. He signed a one-year, $1.5 million contract with the Braves on January 30, 2017.
Career batting statistics for Suzuki through 2016 include:
- 1,208 games played
- 1,071 hits
- 227 doubles
- 519 RBIs
- 541 strikeouts to 290 walks
- .256 batting average
Career fielding statistics for Suzuki as a catcher through 2016 include:
- 1,152 games played
- 441 assists
- 7,697 putouts
- 51 errors
- .242 caught stealing percentage
- .994 fielding percentage