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Jason Giambi

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Full Name: Jason Gilbert Giambi Primary Position: 1B,DH
Height/Weight: 6'3"/235 First Game: May 8, 1995
Birthdate: January 8, 1971 MLB Experience: 13 years
Birthplace: West Covina, California
Bat/Throw: Left/Right


Biography

Jason Gilbert Giambi (born January 8, 1971), is a Major League Baseball first baseman and designated hitter for the New York Yankees.

He was the American League MVP in 2000 with the Oakland Athletics, and is a 5-time All-Star who has led the American League in walks 4 times, in on base percentage 3 times, in doubles and in slugging percentage once each, and won the Silver Slugger award twice.

Early years

Born in West Covina, California, Giambi attended Sierra Vista Middle School in West Covina, California.

He then attended South Hills High School, where he was a 3-sport standout. Jason was on the baseball team, whose roster also included his brother Jeremy Giambi, along with pitchers Cory Lidle and Aaron Small. He batted .386 during his 3 years of varsity baseball, leading his team to the state finals as a senior. He was voted MVP in both and baseball and basketball. In football, he was an All-League quarterback.

Giambi went on to play collegiately at Long Beach State University. Giambi also was a stand-out player on the USA baseball team.

Giambi was drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the 2nd round in 1992.

He was a member of the 4th-place United States Baseball Team at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona.

Before making it into MLB, Jason played a season for the Alaska Goldpanners of Fairbanks, Alaska in the Alaska Baseball League.

Oakland Athletics (1995-2001)

Giambi made his major league debut in 1995 with the Oakland Athletics. The team called him up as he was hitting .342 with a .444 obp in Triple-A. Originally used occasionally as an outfielder, third baseman, and first baseman, he assumed the full-time first base job upon the trade of Mark McGwire to the St. Louis Cardinals in 1997.

Giambi led the team in 1998 with 27 home runs, 110 RBI, and a .295 batting average.

Giambi was even better in 1999, when he hit .315 with 33 homers, 105 walks (2nd in the league), and 123 RBI (6th). He came in 8th in MVP voting.

He had a sensational 2000 season. He led the league in on base percentage (.476; leading the majors) and walks (137; a personal high, and still the highest most walks in the AL since 1991). He hit .333 (7th in the league) with 43 homers (2nd; a career high), 137 RBI (4th; a career high), 108 runs (10th), and a 647 slugging percentage (3rd). Giambi narrowly won the American League MVP award over Frank Thomas.

His 2001 season was nearly identical. He led the league for the second year in a row in both on base percentage (.477; a career best, and still the highest OBP in the AL since 1995) and walks (129). He also led the league in slugging percentage (.660; a career best), doubles (47; a career high), times on base (320), and extra base hits (87). He batted .342 (2nd in the American League; a career high) with 38 homers (7th), 109 runs (6th), and 120 RBI (8th). He was second in the league in intentional walks (24), the only time in his career that he was in the top 10 in this category. He finished a close second in MVP voting to rookie Ichiro Suzuki, and won the Silver Slugger award.

Both years, he led the Athletics to the post-season, both times losing in the American League Division Series to the New York Yankees.

In the off-season after the 2001 season, Giambi became a free agent for the first time.

New York Yankees (2001-current)

Giambi signed a 7-year $120-million deal with the perennially contending New York Yankees. This upset many Athletics fans, who felt betrayed by the departure of their team leader. Giambi remains an object of the A's fans' wrath whenever New York visits Oakland. During a game on May 14, 2005, he was hit with a beer thrown by an unruly fan on his way back to the dugout [1]. New York fans, however, having seen their team pass on Manny Ramírez the previous off-season, were excited to add a top hitter to their offense, which was anemic throughout the 2001 post-season.

Giambi continued his slugging ways with New York in 2002. He led the league for the second consecutive year in times on base (300), had 109 walks (2nd), was third in the league with both a .435 obp (3rd in the league) and 15 HBP, had 41 home runs )4th), 120 runs (4th; a career high), and a .598 slugging percentage (4th), knocking in 122 runs (5th), and batted .314 (6th). He came in 5th in AL MVP voting, and again won the Silver Slugger award. He also hit an "ultimate grand slam" -- a walk off grand slam against the Twins, that won that game 9-8.

Although his average dipped to .250 in 2003, he led the league in walks for the 3rd time in his career (129) and in HBP (21), maintained an extremely high on-base percentage (.412; 3rd in the league), and remained one of the most patient hitters in the majors. He hit 41 home runs (4th), and had 107 RBI (8th). At the same time, he also led the league in strikeouts, with 140, the only season that he has even been in the top 10 in the league in that category.

Towards the middle of the 2005 season, Giambi saw a resurgence in his career. On July 31 he hit his 300th career home run off of Esteban Yan of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. This was his 14th home run of the month, tying Mickey Mantle for the Yankee record for home runs in July (Mantle hit 14 in 1961). Giambi ended the 2005 season leading the American league in walks for the fourth time in his career (109), and in OBP for the third time in his career (.440; second in MLB to Todd Helton), and had an OPS of .975, placing him fifth in the AL. He hit 32 homers (10th in the league), the 7th time in his career in which he has hit 30 or more, and was 4th in HBP (19) and at-bats per home run (13.0). Giambi was named the AL Comeback Player of the Year.

Giambi started the 2006 season very strong, and was named the American League Player of the Month for April, hitting .344 with 9 home runs and driving in 27 runs (RBI). However, Giambi was left off the 2006 American League All-Star roster.

BALCO Scandal

Late in 2003 he was named by FBI officers investigating the Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative (BALCO) as being one of the baseball players believed to have received anabolic steroids from trainer Greg Anderson [2].

On December 1, 2004, the San Francisco Chronicle claimed that it had seen Giambi's 2003 grand jury testimony in the BALCO investigation. They allege that in his testimony, he admitted to using steroids from 2001 to 2003, and had injected himself with growth hormone|human growth hormone during the 2003 season. On December 2, 2004, the paper ran a front page story alleging that Giambi had injected human growth hormone. Giambi publicly apologized to the media and his fans although he did not specifically state what for. Most likely because he feared that if he had outright admitted to using steroids, he would have been released from the Yankees and banished from baseball.

Giambi is the older brother of former major leaguer Jeremy Giambi, who has admitted to using steroids during his career.

While it is unlikely given his connection to the BALCO scandal, due to Giambi's recent resurgence and increased power numbers, media speculation continues regarding his possible continued use of performance enhancing substances; however, the speculation is not nearly as severe as players such as Bonds or McGwire.

Giambi was also mentioned in the Mitchell Report. It was said that he was implicated in the BALCO scandal. In 2002, Greg Anderson, Jason Giambi's personal trainer, arranged a blood test for Giambi in which the player tested positive for Deca-Durabolin. Anderson warned Giambi to stop using that substance because it remains detectable long after use. He suggested an alternative regimen of performance-enhancing drugs that, if followed, would never be detected by the MLB's tests, which were to begin in 2003.

Scouting Report

Statistics

Batting Stats

Year Team G AB R H HR RBI AVG OBP SLG 2B 3B BB SO HBP SH SB IBB GDP
1995 OAK A 54 176 27 45 6 25 .256 .364 .398 7 0 28 31 3 1 2 0 4
1996 OAK A 140 536 84 156 20 79 .291 .355 .481 40 1 51 95 5 1 0 3 15
1997 OAK A 142 519 66 152 20 81 .293 .362 .495 41 2 55 89 6 0 0 3 11
1998 OAK A 153 562 92 166 27 110 .295 .384 .489 28 0 81 102 5 0 2 7 16
1999 OAK A 158 575 115 181 33 123 .315 .422 .553 36 1 105 106 7 0 1 6 11
2000 OAK A 152 510 108 170 43 137 .333 .476 .647 29 1 137 96 9 0 2 6 9
2001 OAK A 154 520 109 178 38 120 .342 .477 .660 47 2 129 83 13 0 2 24 17
2002 NYY A 155 560 120 176 41 122 .314 .435 .598 34 1 109 112 15 0 2 4 18
2003 NYY A 156 535 97 134 41 107 .250 .412 .527 25 0 129 140 21 0 2 9 9
2004 NYY A 80 264 33 55 12 40 .208 .342 .379 9 0 47 62 8 0 0 1 5
2005 NYY A 139 417 74 113 32 87 .271 .440 .535 14 0 108 109 19 0 0 5 7
2006 NYY A 139 446 92 113 37 113 .253 .413 .558 25 0 110 106 16 0 2 12 10
2007 NYY A 83 254 31 60 14 39 .236 .356 .433 8 0 40 66 8 0 1 2 1
Total 1705 5874 1048 1699 364 1183 .289 .411 .536 343 8 1129 1197 135 2 16 82 133

Fielding Stats

Year Team POS G GS INN PO A ERR DP TP PB SB CS PkO AVG
1995 OAK A 3B 30 26 225 27 45 3 4 0 0 0 0 0 .960
1995 OAK A 1B 26 20 175.1 167 10 1 20 0 0 0 0 0 .994
1995 OAK A DH 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
1996 OAK A OF 45 44 336 68 6 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1.000
1996 OAK A 3B 39 38 332.1 31 79 8 10 0 0 0 0 0 .932
1996 OAK A 1B 45 42 378.2 379 32 3 38 1 0 0 0 0 .993
1996 OAK A DH 12 12 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
1996 OAK A LF 44 43 328 66 7 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1.000
1996 OAK A RF 1 1 8 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.000
1997 OAK A OF 68 67 541.1 102 5 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 .982
1997 OAK A DH 25 22 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
1997 OAK A LF 68 67 541.1 104 5 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 .982
1997 OAK A 1B 51 48 433.1 399 39 5 49 0 0 0 0 0 .989
1998 OAK A DH 7 7 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
1998 OAK A 1B 146 146 1237 1255 73 14 120 0 0 0 0 0 .990
1999 OAK A 3B 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
1999 OAK A 1B 142 140 1208.2 1251 45 7 128 0 0 0 0 0 .995
1999 OAK A DH 15 15 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
2000 OAK A 1B 124 124 1064.1 1161 59 6 114 0 0 0 0 0 .995
2000 OAK A DH 24 24 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
2001 OAK A 1B 136 136 1176.1 1224 75 11 107 0 0 0 0 0 .992
2001 OAK A DH 17 17 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
2002 NY A DH 63 63 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
2002 NY A 1B 92 92 781.2 761 35 4 53 0 0 0 0 0 .995
2003 NY A 1B 85 85 742.2 748 19 4 63 0 0 0 0 0 .995
2003 NY A DH 69 69 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
2004 NY A 1B 47 47 375 372 14 4 30 0 0 0 0 0 .990
2004 NY A DH 28 28 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
2005 NY A DH 60 58 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
2005 NY A 1B 78 77 560 581 19 7 50 0 0 0 0 0 .988
2006 NY A DH 70 70 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
2006 NY A 1B 68 64 480 459 11 7 43 0 0 0 0 0 .985
2007 NY A 1B 18 16 121 108 6 1 10 0 0 0 0 0 .991
2007 NY A DH 57 53 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Total 1B 1058 1037 8734 8865 437 74 825 1 0 0 0 0 .992
Total LF 112 110 869.1 170 12 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 .989
Total 3B 70 64 557.1 58 124 11 14 0 0 0 0 0 .943
Total OF 113 111 877.1 170 11 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 .989
Total DH 449 440 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Total RF 1 1 8 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.000

Transactions

  • Selected by Milwaukee Brewers in the 43rd round of the free-agent draft - did not sign (June 5, 1989).
  • Selected by Oakland Athletics in the 2nd round of the free-agent draft (June 1, 1992 - signed July 3, 1992).
  • Granted free agency (November 5, 2001).
  • Signed by New York Yankees (December 13, 2001).

Trivia

  • Yankees broadcaster John Sterling nicknamed Giambi "The Giambino," a reference to the Bambino, Babe Ruth.
  • When Giambi entered the league he came under the wing of Mark McGwire, whom he credits for greatly improving his career.
  • Upon signing as a free agent with the New York Yankees Giambi had to choose a number. Since Whitey Ford's 16 was retired, he took McGwire's number 25.
  • Giambi's father was also a big Mickey Mantle fan, and all of Giambi's numbers are 7 or add up to 7 (e.g., 16, 25, etc.). His brother Jeremy, who follows the same patterns with his numbers, wore number 7 as a member of the A's, so Jason had to settle for 16.
  • WFAN personality Steve Somers has nicknamed him "The Sultan of Shot," due to the steroids controversy.
  • He is the brother of Jeremy Giambi.
  • Giambi comes out to the nWo Wolfpac theme song for his first at bat at Yankee Stadium.
  • He also appeared in the Backyard Sports series Backyard Baseball 2003.
  • Giambi appears in the ESPN television series The Bronx is Burning in a cameo appearance as a cab driver.


See also

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