Hank Conger
Hank Conger on March 22, 2016.jpg
Conger with the Tampa Bay Rays
Minnesota Twins
Catcher/Coach
Born: (1988-01-29) January 29, 1988 (age 34)
Federal Way, Washington
Batted: Switch
Threw: Right
MLB debut
September 11, 2010, for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Last MLB appearance
July 8, 2016, for the Tampa Bay Rays
MLB statistics
Batting average.221
Home runs31
Runs batted in114
Teams
As player

As coach

Korean name
Hangul
최현
Revised RomanizationChoe Hyeon
McCune–ReischauerCh'oe Hyŏn

Hyun "Hank" Conger (born January 29, 1988) is a Korean former professional baseball catcher and current 1st base and catching coach for the Minnesota Twins. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Houston Astros, and the Tampa Bay Rays. Conger was selected in the first round, with the 25th overall selection, of the 2006 Major League Baseball draft. Conger is currently the catching and first base coach for the Minnesota Twins.

Early life

Conger was born in Federal Way, Washington, but was raised in Huntington Beach, California. Conger's mother, Eun, immigrated from South Korea in 1986 and his father, Yun, was adopted from Korea by a United States Navy petty officer and raised in the United States.[1][2]

Conger originally played basketball due to his size, but began playing baseball at the age of eight and turned his focus there instead. Conger graduated from Huntington Beach High School in 2006, where he was a second team All-American and Gatorade Player of the Year.[3] Conger had planned to attend the University of Southern California if he had not been drafted in the first round.[1]

Professional career

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

Conger with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in 2011

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim selected Conger in the first round, with the 25th overall selection, of the 2006 Major League Baseball draft. He was selected to represent the United States in the 2010 All-Star Futures Game. He hit a three-run home run, earning him MVP honors.[4]

He was promoted to the major leagues as part of September call-ups on September 7, 2010.[5] He made his major league debut on September 11, 2010, as a pinch hitter for Hideki Matsui. His first hit in the major leagues came off of Cleveland Indians pitcher Jeanmar Gómez on September 15, 2010.[6] His first home run came off of Jeff Niemann on April 5, 2011.

On July 19, 2011, Conger was optioned to the Salt Lake Bees of the Class AAA Pacific Coast League (PCL) to make room on the Angels' active roster for Tyler Chatwood. At the time, Conger was hitting .194 and opponents had been successful at stealing bases 48 out of 56 attempts against him. On August 18, 2011, the Angels recalled Conger.[7]

Houston Astros

On November 5, 2014, the Angels traded Conger to the Houston Astros in exchange for Nick Tropeano and Carlos Perez.[8] Despite hitting 11 homers in a part time role for the Astros, Conger did not control the running game.

Tampa Bay Rays

On December 2, 2015, the Tampa Bay Rays acquired Conger for cash considerations.[9] Conger opened the 2016 season in a platoon with Curt Casali.[10] Conger hit .194 before being optioned to the Durham Bulls on July 11, 2016.[11]

Arizona Diamondbacks

Conger signed a minor league contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks in February 2017.[12] He played in 58 games for the Reno Aces of the PCL, and batted .238. The Diamondbacks released Conger in July 2017.[13]

Pericos de Puebla

On May 4, 2018, Conger signed with the Pericos de Puebla of the Mexican Baseball League. He was released on July 11, 2018.

Post-playing career

Lotte Giants

On December 24, 2019, Conger joined the coaching staff of the Lotte Giants of the Korea Baseball Organization as the new catching coach.[14]

Minnesota Twins

On December 10, 2021, the Minnesota Twins hired Conger as the first base and catching coach.[15]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Gonzalez, Alden (May 10, 2013). "Angels catcher Hank Conger's mother marvels at son's MLB dream". Los Angeles Angels. Retrieved August 22, 2017.
  2. ^ Whicker, Mark (December 25, 2006). "An Angel's life told as an American story". Orange County Register. Retrieved August 22, 2017.
  3. ^ "Where are they now — featured people". Cooperstown Dreams Park, Inc. 2010. Archived from the original on July 24, 2014. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
  4. ^ "Hank Conger's 3-run homer lifts U.S. team to Futures win - ESPN". Sports.espn.go.com. July 12, 2010. Retrieved September 7, 2010.
  5. ^ Drellich, Evan (September 6, 2010). "Trumbo, Conger among Angels' callups | angelsbaseball.com: News". Mlb.mlb.com. Retrieved September 7, 2010.
  6. ^ Spencer, Lyle (September 15, 2010). "Conger, Weaver team up to top Indians". MLB. MLB.com. Retrieved September 15, 2010.
  7. ^ Ely, David (August 20, 2011). "Conger competing in Halos' catching logjam". MLB. MLB.com. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
  8. ^ "Rays trade LHP Ramos to Angels for minor leaguer". ESPN. Associated Press. November 5, 2014. Retrieved November 5, 2014. Earlier in the day, the Angels traded catcher Hank Conger to Houston for righty Nick Tropeano and minor league catcher Carlos Perez.
  9. ^ Rays trade for Astros catcher Hank Conger. Tampa Bay Times.
  10. ^ "Fantasy Sports: Football, Baseball, Basketball, Hockey & More - USATODAY.com". USA TODAY.
  11. ^ "Rays option Conger to Durham". MLB.com.
  12. ^ McManaman, Bob. "Arizona Diamondbacks catcher Hank Conger out with oblique strain". The Arizona Republic.
  13. ^ "Minor league update: Former Edison High standout contributing for Jupiter". Daily Pilot. August 5, 2017.
  14. ^ KIM HYO-KYUNG, KANG YOO-RIM. "Conger emphasizes focus to Giants’ catchers," Korea JoongAng Daily (April 12, 2020).
  15. ^ "Press release: Twins add Hank Conger to Major League coaching staff".