Fontenot with the Philadelphia Phillies
Born: June 9, 1980|
|April 13, 2005, for the Chicago Cubs|
|Last MLB appearance|
|July 29, 2012, for the Philadelphia Phillies|
|Runs batted in||163|
|Career highlights and awards|
Michael Eugene "Mike" Fontenot (born June 9, 1980) is an American former professional baseball infielder. He played in Major League Baseball for the Chicago Cubs, San Francisco Giants and Philadelphia Phillies.
High school career
Mike Fontenot was a standout for Salmen High School in Slidell, Louisiana. After his senior year, he was drafted in the 21st round (625th overall) of the 1999 MLB Amateur Entry Draft by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, but chose to attend Louisiana State University on a baseball scholarship instead of going professional.
At Louisiana State University, Fontenot received National Freshman of the Year recognition as LSU's starting second baseman, batting .353 (103-for-292) with 13 doubles, three triples, 17 home runs, 64 RBI, 93 runs, and eight steals. He became the third LSU player to win National Freshman of the Year award, following second baseman Todd Walker (1992) and pitcher Brett Laxton (1993). Fontenot's 17 home runs set an LSU freshman record, surpassing the previous mark of 15 established by Blair Barbier in 1997.
In 2000, he was named to the NCAA Baton Rouge Regional all-tournament team, hitting .400 (6-for-15) with two doubles, one home run, five RBI, and five runs scored. He was named to the College World Series all-tournament team as he hit a team-best .462 (6-for-13) with two doubles, one home run, two RBI, and six runs scored. He, along with future Chicago Cubs teammate Ryan Theriot, was a member of the LSU Tigers baseball team that won the 2000 College World Series. The second baseman was LSU's leading hitter in the NCAA Baseball Tournament, batting .432 (16-for-37) in nine games with four doubles, two home runs and nine RBI.
College awards and honors
- Summer League First-Team All-American 2B
- Freshman First Team All-America 2B
- NCAA Baton Rouge Regional All-Tournament Team
- College World Series All-Tournament Team 2B
- The Sporting News National Freshman of the Year
- Collegiate Baseball National Co-Freshman of the Year
- Baseball America First-Team Freshman All-American
- Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Year
After his time at LSU, Fontenot was chosen in the first round (19th overall) of the 2001 MLB Amateur Entry Draft by the Baltimore Orioles. Fontenot signed with the Orioles, garnering a $1,300,000.00 signing bonus as part of the deal.
Fontenot began his minor league career with the Frederick Keys of the Single-A advanced Carolina League in 2002. In 122 games, he batted .264 with 127 hits, eight home runs, and 53 RBI. In 2003, he played for the Bowie Baysox of the Double-A Eastern League. In 126 games, he batted .325 (second in the league to Alex Ríos's .352) with 146 hits (ninth), 12 home runs, and 66 RBI.
Fontenot played for the Ottawa Lynx of the Triple-A International League in 2004. In 136 games (tied with Earl Snyder for fourth in the league behind Bry Nelson's 142, Víctor Díaz's 141, and Jhonny Peralta's 138), he batted .279 with 146 hits, eight home runs, 49 RBI, and 10 triples (tied for second in the league with John Rodriguez and Pete Orr behind Mark Budzinski's 15). Entering the 2005 season, Baseball America ranked Fontenot the seventh-best prospect in the Orioles' organization.
On February 3, 2005, Fontenot was traded to the Chicago Cubs along with 2B/OF Jerry Hairston, Jr. and RHP Dave Crouthers for slugger Sammy Sosa. Until his trade to the San Francisco Giants on August 11, 2010, Fontenot was the only remaining player from that trade still with the Cubs. As part of the Cubs' farm system, Fontenot played for the Iowa Cubs of the AAA Pacific Coast League (2005–2007).
Fontenot made his Major League debut with the Cubs on April 13, 2005. In seven games with the team, he went 0-for-2 with 2 walks and 4 runs scored. In 2006, he spent the entire season with Iowa, batting .296 with 107 hits, eight home runs, and 36 RBI in 111 games. He did not return to the Cubs until May 15, 2007, when he was promoted from AAA to replace relief pitcher Rocky Cherry. He wore Mark Grace's old number, 17. After a fast start, including finishing second in the National League Rookie of the Month voting for June 2007, he became the Cubs' starting second baseman in 2009. After batting .231 into mid-August, Fontenot lost his position as the Cubs everyday second baseman, splitting time with Jeff Baker.
On May 7, 2010, Fontenot hit his first career grand slam against the Cincinnati Reds. It was Fontenot's first home run of the 2010 season, coming in the eighth inning off the first pitch from Carlos Fisher, with the Cubs up 10–4.
During his time with the Cubs Fontenot played himself in the TBS comedy My Boys in the third season finale "Spring Training."
San Francisco Giants
On August 11, 2010, Fontenot was traded to the San Francisco Giants for Evan Crawford. On October 23, the Giants beat the Philadelphia Phillies in six games to advance to the World Series. Fontenot got a hit in his only at-bat in the NLCS clinching game. He was part of the 25-man World Series roster and has the unusual distinction of being credited with appearing in the World Series with neither a plate appearance nor play in the field. In the eighth inning of Game 2, the left-handed-hitting Fontenot was announced as a pinch-hitter with the Giants leading the Rangers, 6–0. The Rangers replaced their right-handed pitcher with a left-hander, prompting the Giants to replace Fontenot with the right-handed Aaron Rowand. Rowand tripled. Fontenot did not appear in another game in the World Series which the Giants won in five games.
On April 13, 2011, Fontenot hit a go-ahead homer to help the Giants win 4-3 over the rival Los Angeles Dodgers.
On March 30, 2012, Fontenot was released by the Giants during Spring Training.
On April 13, 2012, the Philadelphia Phillies agreed to sign Fontenot to a minor league contract. He was initially assigned to the AAA Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs, but returned to Majors in May. On August 1, Fontenot was designated for assignment by the Phillies. Fontenot had a triple-slash of .289/.343/.340 in 45 games, but he was 1 for 15 against left-handed pitchers. Michael Martínez was recalled to take his place.
Tampa Bay Rays
Return To Tampa
Fontenot signed a minor league deal with the Tampa Bay Rays on March 28, 2014, and was assigned to Triple-A Durham. He became a free agent after the 2014 season.
Professional awards and honors
- Baltimore Orioles Minor League Player of the Year
- Eastern League All-Star 2B
- "Mike Fontenot Statistics (2002-2012)". The Baseball Cube. Retrieved 2012-12-05.
- "Orioles Warehouse: 2001 Draft". Oobleck.com. 2002-07-27. Retrieved 2012-12-05.
- "Mike Fontenot Minor League Statistics". Baseball-Reference.com (Minors). Retrieved March 16, 2013.
- "2003 Eastern League Batting Leaders". Baseball-Reference.com (Minors). Retrieved March 16, 2013.
- "2004 International League Batting Leaders". Baseball-Reference.com (Minors). Retrieved March 23, 2013.
- Lingo, Will (2004-11-12). "Top Ten Prospects: Baltimore Orioles". Baseball America. Retrieved 2012-07-21.
- "Trade Central". Baseball America. 2005-02-02. Retrieved 2012-12-05.
- "Giants announce 25-man roster for 2010 World Series". MLB Advanced Media, L.P. 2010-10-27. Retrieved 2010-11-05.
- Tyler Kepner (2011-02-25). "How to Appear in the World Series (Without Actually Playing)". New York Times. Retrieved 2011-02-27.
- "Phillies To Sign Mike Fontenot". MLB Trade Rumors. Retrieved 14 April 2012.
- "Fontenot signing shouldn't affect Galvis". Retrieved 14 April 2012.
- "Hometown Heroes: Fontenot Back In Majors; Coleman Dealing; Miley Shines". May 21, 2012. Archived from the original on October 18, 2012. Retrieved June 22, 2012.
- Drellich, Evan (August 1, 2012). "Phillies designate Fontenot, recall Martinez". MLB.com.
- "Mike Fontenot Durham Bulls player page".
- "Durham Bulls Announce 2014 Opening Day Roster". Durham Bulls. March 30, 2014. Retrieved April 3, 2014.
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