Moreland during the 2017 season
|Boston Red Sox – No. 18|
Born: September 6, 1985|
|July 29, 2010, for the Texas Rangers|
|MLB statistics |
(through August 30, 2018)
|Runs batted in||499|
|Career highlights and awards|
Mitchell Austin Moreland (born September 6, 1985) is an American professional baseball first baseman for the Boston Red Sox of Major League Baseball (MLB). He previously played for the Texas Rangers. Listed at 6 feet 2 inches (1.88 m) and 230 pounds (100 kg), Moreland both bats and throws left-handed.
Born and raised in Amory, Mississippi, Moreland attended Amory High School, where he competed in baseball, football, and soccer. At Amory, he was a 2004 Louisville Slugger All-American after posting a 7–1 win-loss record with a 0.53 earned run average (ERA) as a senior, while also batting .456 and striking out just three times during the season. While in high school, he played on the same team as Derek Norris. After high school, Moreland attended Mississippi State University to play college baseball for the Mississippi State Bulldogs. There, he hit .343 with ten home runs his junior season and went 2–0 on the mound with a 3.46 ERA.
The Texas Rangers selected Moreland in the 17th round of the 2007 Major League Baseball draft. After he signed, Moreland began his professional career with the short-season Spokane Indians of the Northwest League. He batted .259 with 28 hits, seven doubles, one triple, two home runs and 15 runs batted in (RBIs).
The following season, Moreland joined the Class-A Clinton LumberKings of the Midwest League and hit .324 with 37 doubles, four triples, 18 home runs, 99 RBIs and two stolen bases. He was named to the Mid-Season Midwest League All-Star Team on June 17 and the Post-Season Midwest League All-Star Team on August 26.
Moreland played in two different levels of the Rangers' organization in 2009. He started the season with the Class-A Advanced Bakersfield Blaze and hit .341 with 19 doubles, eight home runs and 26 RBIs. He was promoted to the Double-A Frisco RoughRiders where he batted .326 with 19 doubles, three triples, eight home runs and 59 RBIs. Moreland was assigned to the Arizona Fall League at the end of the season and played for the Surprise Rafters. He was named the "Tom Grieve Minor League Player of the Year" by the Texas Rangers after the season.
The Rangers invited Moreland to spring training in 2010. Moreland played with the Oklahoma City RedHawks (AAA) in the 2010 season until July 29. As of July 29, he had a season batting average of .289 with the RedHawks.
On July 29, 2010, Moreland was called up by the Rangers to take the roster spot of Ian Kinsler, who was put on the disabled list. Moreland had his first major league hit in his first at-bat, a single against Oakland Athletics pitcher Vin Mazzaro. Moreland finished the game 2-for-4, with two singles, as the Rangers won 7–4. On August 13, Moreland had the first home run of his major league career, off of Josh Beckett the Red Sox. On September 26, Moreland had his first multi-home run game of his major league career, hitting his sixth and seventh home runs of the year, in a 16–9 win over the Oakland Athletics. During the regular season, Moreland played in 47 games, batting .255 with nine home runs and 25 RBIs.
On October 30, Moreland hit a second inning, three-run home run off of Jonathan Sánchez to put the Rangers ahead 3–0 in Game 3 of the World Series. He was the first Rangers player in the Series to hit a home run. The Rangers eventually lost to the San Francisco Giants in five games.
On June 21, 2011, Moreland hit his first career walk-off home run off of Enerio Del Rosario of the Houston Astros. For the 2011 season, Moreland batted .259 with 16 home runs and 51 RBIs in 134 games played. The Rangers were in the World Series for the second season in a row; Moreland had one home run during the Series against the St. Louis Cardinals, which the Rangers lost in seven games.
On June 9, 2012, Moreland became only the second American League batter—David Ortiz being the first—to hit a home run ball into AT&T Park's McCovey Cove. Moreland's 428-foot, 8th-inning blast off Giants pitcher Ryan Vogelsong was also the first pinch hit home run hit into the Cove by any non-Giants player. During the 2012 season, Moreland batted .275 with 15 home runs and 50 RBIs in 114 games played.
Moreland batted a career-low .232 during the 2013 season, with 23 home runs and 60 RBIs in 147 games played.
On May 6, 2014, Moreland pitched an inning against the Colorado Rockies in a 12–1 Rangers loss; he retired the side in order. Moreland did not play after June 7, due to an ankle injury that required surgery. In 52 games played, he had two home runs, 23 RBIs, and a .246 average.
The 2015 season was a career year for Moreland. In 132 games played, he was second on the Rangers behind Prince Fielder with a .278 batting average and 85 RBIs; he was tied with Fielder for the team lead with 23 home runs.
In 2016, Moreland batted .233, had 22 home runs and 60 RBIs in 147 games played. He also won his first Gold Glove Award.
Overall, in seven seasons with the Rangers, Moreland batted .254 with 110 home runs and 354 RBIs in 773 games played.
Boston Red Sox
On December 8, 2016, Moreland signed a one-year contract with the Boston Red Sox.
On August 25, 2017, Moreland made the second pitching appearance of his career, tossing an inning against the Baltimore Orioles in a 16–3 Red Sox loss; he allowed two hits but no runs, striking out one batter, catcher Caleb Joseph. During the regular season, Moreland played in 149 games, primarily as Boston's first baseman, batting .246 with 22 home runs and 79 RBIs.
In the postseason, Moreland played in all four games of the ALDS, batting 5-for-13 (.385) as the Red Sox lost to the eventual 2017 World Series champions, the Houston Astros. On December 18, 2017, Moreland signed a two-year contract with the Red Sox.
Early in the 2018 season, Moreland split time with Hanley Ramírez as Boston's first baseman, until Ramírez was designated for assignment on May 25. On July 8, Moreland was named to the 2018 MLB All-Star Game as an American League reserve first baseman. At that point in the season, Moreland had a slash line of .288/.358/.525 with 11 home runs and 43 RBIs in 71 games played.
Moreland married Susannah Higgins on November 13, 2011. The couple have three children; two sons, Crue Howell (born 7/25/2012) and Ledger Bryce (born 1/29/18), and a daughter, Swayze Ann (born 10/17/14).
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- "Moreland, Gac Named Post-Season All-Stars". OurSports Central. oursportscentral.com. August 26, 2008. Retrieved January 18, 2010.
- Jacobs, Marcus (August 27, 2008). "LumberKings top Chiefs in home finale". The Clinton Herald. Archived from the original on July 22, 2012. Retrieved January 18, 2010.
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- Cole, Jason (September 24, 2009). "2009 Minor League Players of the Year". Scout.com. mississippistate.scout.com. Retrieved January 18, 2010.
- T. R. Sullivan (January 15, 2010). "Rangers working to avoid arbitration". Major League Baseball. mlb.mlb.com. Retrieved January 18, 2010.
- "Mitch Moreland Stats, Bio, Photos, Highlights | Oklahoma City RedHawks Stats". Minorleaguebaseball.com. Retrieved October 24, 2010.
- "Texas Rangers 7, Oakland Athletics 4". Retrosheet. July 29, 2010.
- "Texas Rangers 10, Boston Red Sox 9". Retrosheet. August 13, 2010.
- "Texas Rangers 16, Oakland Athletics 9". Retrosheet. September 26, 2010.
- "AT&T Park Information – Splash Hits". Retrieved December 8, 2016.
- "Colorado Rockies 12, Texas Rangers 1". Retrosheet. May 6, 2014. Retrieved June 19, 2018.
- "The 2014 TEX A Regular Season Batting Log for Mitch Moreland". Retrosheet. Retrieved June 19, 2018.
- Durrett, Richard (June 8, 2014). "Mitch Moreland likely out 3 months". ESPN. Retrieved June 19, 2018.
- Browne, Ian (December 8, 2016). "Moreland signs 1-year deal with Red Sox". MLB.com. Retrieved December 8, 2016.
- "Baltimore Orioles 16, Boston Red Sox 3". Retrosheet. August 25, 2017. Retrieved June 19, 2018.
- Lauber, Scott (December 18, 2017). "Red Sox re-sign Mitch Moreland to 2-year deal, out of Eris Hosmer sweepstakes". ESPN. Retrieved June 19, 2018.
- Castrovince, Anthony (July 8, 2018). "These are your 2018 All-Stars". MLB.com. Retrieved July 8, 2018.
- "Mom Next Door: Susannah Moreland". DFW Child. Retrieved December 21, 2017.
- "Mitch Moreland Stats, Fantasy & News". Boston Red Sox. Retrieved 2018-08-06.
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