Jeff Mathis (Jeffrey Stephen Mathis) was born on March 31, 1983 in Marianna, Florida. He made his Major League debut on August 12, 2005 for the Anaheim Angels. Mathis played for the Anaheim Angels for his entire 3 year career.
After playing both football and baseball for Marianna High School (winning four district titles, a regional title and appearing in the state championship game in football in 2000, as well as a 1999 state title in baseball, on a team that featured fellow first-round pick Alan Horne), he became a first round draft selection by the Angels in 2001, Mathis moved up the ranks to Triple-A Salt Lake by 2005. He earned the Angels' minor league Defensive Player of the Year award. Noted for his defensive skills at the catcher spot, he also had a prolific year with the bat, hitting .276 with 21 home runs.
Following the 2005 season, the Angels declined to pursue the return of their free agent starting catcher, Bengie Molina, ensuring Mathis would make the roster for the 2006 season. After a solid 2006 spring training, Mathis was expected to see substantial playing time this season at catcher, sharing the position with José Molina. However, once the regular season began, he struggled greatly on both defense and offense. With Mathis batting only .108 and the team compiling just a 2-9 record in games that he started, the Angels demoted him back to the minor leagues one month into the season. Mathis was replaced on the Angel roster by catcher Mike Napoli.
- Selected by the Anaheim Angels in the 1st round (33rd pick overall) of the free-agent draft (June 5, 2001 - signed June 5, 2001).