Mike Minor
Minor with the Atlanta Braves in 2014
Kansas City Royals – No. 23
Pitcher
Born: (1987-12-26) December 26, 1987 (age 33)
Chapel Hill, Tennessee
Bats: Right Throws: Left
MLB debut
August 9, 2010, for the Atlanta Braves
MLB statistics
(through June 25, 2021)
Win–loss record77-71
Earned run average4.07
Strikeouts1,142
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Michael David Minor (born December 26, 1987) is an American professional baseball pitcher for the Kansas City Royals of Major League Baseball (MLB). He was drafted by the Atlanta Braves with the seventh overall pick in the 2009 MLB draft. Minor has also played in MLB for the Texas Rangers and Oakland Athletics.

Early life

Minor had an outstanding high school career at Forrest School in Chapel Hill, Tennessee and was drafted in the 13th round of the 2006 Major League Baseball Draft by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays after his senior season. However, he did not sign, choosing to attend Vanderbilt University.[1]

College career

Minor played at Vanderbilt University with fellow future first round draft picks Pedro Alvarez and David Price.

Awards/Honors

This section is in list format, but may read better as prose. You can help by converting this section, if appropriate. Editing help is available. (September 2019)

United States National Team

Minor pitched for the United States National Team (Collegiate) in 2007 and 2008.

One highlight of the 2008 season was his earning the 4–1 win over Cuba in the championship game of the Haarlem Baseball Week tournament in The Netherlands. This victory marked the first time in recorded history that a United States Collegiate National Team has defeated the Cuba Olympic Team in a tournament title game. In the 2008 World University Baseball Championship held in Brno, Czech Republic, Minor led Team USA to its third gold medal alongside Stephen Strasburg. In the tournament, he was 1–0 with a 1.15 ERA and 16 strikeouts, allowing eight hits in 1523 innings for Team USA. In 2008, he was named Baseball America's Summer Player of the Year.[citation needed]

Professional career

Atlanta Braves

Minor was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the first round (seventh overall) in the 2009 Major League Baseball draft[5] and represented the United States in the 2010 All-Star Futures Game.

Minor made his major-league debut on August 9, 2010 against the Houston Astros. He recorded his first strikeout against Chris Johnson. On the night, he went six innings giving up five hits and four runs (three earned) while walking one and striking out five batters; he got a no-decision. In his next start on August 17, 2010, Minor went six innings giving up five hits and two earned runs and got his first major league victory. Then, in his third career start against the Chicago Cubs, Minor went six innings giving up three earned runs while striking out 12 and earning his second career victory. Those 12 strikeouts set an Atlanta Braves rookie strikeout record in a single game; surpassing Tommy Hanson's 11 strikeouts in 2009. On August 18, 2011, in a game against the San Francisco Giants, Minor pitched six scoreless innings including facing the minimum number of batters over the last four innings. This victory was the first time in 17 major league starts that Minor did not give up a run.[6]

On May 25, 2013, Minor hit his first career home run off Dillon Gee of the New York Mets in a 6–0 win.[7]

On August 22, 2014, Minor pitched 7+23 no-hit innings, before giving up an RBI single to the Reds' Billy Hamilton. The Braves eventually won the game in the 12th inning on Justin Upton's two-run home run.[8] Minor finished the 2014 season with a 6–12 record and 4.77 ERA, pitching most of the year with a sore shoulder.[9][10]

In 2015, Minor became the first Brave since John Rocker in 2001 to challenge the team in an arbitration hearing. He won and was awarded $5.6 million.[11] On March 3, 2015, Minor again began feeling tightness in his shoulder[12] and was diagnosed with rotator cuff inflammation.[13] As a result, he was placed on the disabled list on March 10.[14] Minor attempted to start throwing programs in mid-March[15] and early April,[16] but felt discomfort both times. He was moved to the 60-day disabled list on May 2.[17] Eleven days later, Minor underwent surgery for a torn labrum, and missed the rest of the season.[18]

Minor became a free agent on December 2, 2015, when the Braves opted not to tender him a contract.[19]

Kansas City Royals

Minor signed a two-year contract with the Kansas City Royals worth $7.25 million with a club option worth $10 million for the 2018 season on February 19, 2016.[20] Minor started the 2016 season on the disabled list.[21] The Royals planned for Minor to return in the second half of the season, but persistent fatigue and discomfort in his shoulder forced Minor to stay on the disabled list for the rest of the season.[22]

Because of his troubles staying healthy, the Royals announced that Minor would pitch out of the bullpen in 2017.[23] A move to relief brought tremendous results for Minor, who saw his average fastball velocity climb to nearly 95 miles per hour, compared to 91 miles per hour as a starter. Minor would emerge as one of the Royals best relievers, finishing with a 2.55 ERA and six saves, with 88 strikeouts in 7723 innings. Despite his success out of the bullpen, Minor returned to starting in 2018.[24]

Texas Rangers

On December 4, 2017, Minor signed with the Texas Rangers to a three-year, $28 million deal.[25] In 2018, Minor went 12–8 with a 4.18 ERA and 110 strikeouts in 157 innings.

In 2019, after posting an MLB-leading 2.40 ERA in his first 17 starts, Minor was selected as an American League pitcher for the 2019 Major League Baseball All-Star Game.[26] However, because he was scheduled to start the Sunday before the All-Star Game, he did not play.[27] Minor finished the 2019 season after going 14–10 with a 3.59 ERA and 200 strikeouts over 208+23 innings.[28] Minor finished 8th in the 2019 AL Cy Young Award voting.[29]

Oakland Athletics

On August 31, 2020, Minor was traded to the Oakland Athletics in exchange for Dustin Harris and Marcus Smith.[30]

Return to Kansas City

On December 1, 2020, Minor signed a two-year, $18 million contract to return to the Kansas City Royals, with a $13 million club option for the 2023 season and a $1 million buyout.[31]

Pitch repertoire

Minor leads with a four-seam fastball at 89–93 mph, a pitch he throws more than half the time. In relatively equal amounts he throws a slider (83–86), a circle change (82–84), and a knuckle curve (77–80).[32] Left-handed hitters rarely see the changeup, especially with two strikes. The curve has a whiff rate of 39% over Minor's career.[33] He has produced one of the league's lowest ground ball/fly ball ratios since he debuted.[34][35]

References

  1. ^ LeBlanc, Jay (August 11, 2009). "Prospect Q&A - Mike Minor, Braves". Washington Times. Retrieved October 1, 2016.
  2. ^ "Standout Returness Head 2008 NCBWA Preseason All-America Team". National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. December 12, 2007.
  3. ^ "Baseball's Woodward, Anderson Named Louisville Slugger Third Team Preseason All-Americans by Collegiate Baseball". Coastal Carolina Chanticleers.
  4. ^ "Collegiate Baseball Names Six Players Preseason All-America". Southern Conference. December 31, 2008.
  5. ^ Bowman, Mark (June 9, 2009). "Braves go with college arm with first pick; Vanderbilt southpaw Minor is seventh overall Draft selection". Atlanta Braves. Retrieved November 29, 2011.
  6. ^ O'Brien, David (August 19, 2011). "Chipper home run lifts Braves, Minor past Giants' Lincecum". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved November 29, 2011.
  7. ^ "Minor's first career home run". MLB.com. May 25, 2013.
  8. ^ "Justin Upton HR in 12th caps Braves' rally after Mike Minor no-hit bid". ESPN.com. Associated Press. August 22, 2014. Retrieved August 23, 2014.
  9. ^ Bowman, Mark (March 5, 2015). "Minor's absence opens opportunities for Stults". MLB.com. Retrieved May 3, 2015.
  10. ^ Bowman, Mark (March 23, 2015). "Minor's lingering injury opens door in rotation". MLB.com. Retrieved May 3, 2015.
  11. ^ Bowman, Mark (February 20, 2015). "Minor wins case, but more pleased with shoulder". MLB.com. Retrieved February 22, 2015.
  12. ^ Bowman, Mark (March 6, 2015). "Minor confident that shoulder injury isn't major". MLB.com. Retrieved May 3, 2015.
  13. ^ Bowman, Mark (March 10, 2015). "Minor has shoulder inflammation, no structural damage". MLB.com. Retrieved May 3, 2015.
  14. ^ "Mike Minor to start season on DL". ESPN.com. Associated Press. March 10, 2015. Retrieved May 3, 2015.
  15. ^ Bowman, Mark (March 24, 2015). "With improved range of motion, Minor resumes throwing". MLB.com. Retrieved May 3, 2015.
  16. ^ Bowman, Mark (April 12, 2015). "Minor visits doctor after shoulder discomfort". MLB.com. Retrieved May 3, 2015.
  17. ^ Sachs, Aimee (May 2, 2015). "One month later, Ciriaco gets callup". MLB.com. Retrieved May 3, 2015.
  18. ^ Fordin, Spencer (May 14, 2015). "Minor has season-ending shoulder surgery". MLB.com. Retrieved May 14, 2015.
  19. ^ Bowman, Mark (December 3, 2015). "Minor headed to free agency". MLB.com. Retrieved December 4, 2015.
  20. ^ Dodd, Rustin (February 19, 2016). "Royals sign left-hander Mike Minor to two-year, $7.25 million contract". The Kansas City Star. Archived from the original on May 5, 2021. Retrieved May 6, 2021.
  21. ^ Johnson, Tom (March 15, 2016). "Royals select contract of Dillon Gee, place Mike Minor on 60-day disabled list". KTTN.com. Archived from the original on May 5, 2021. Retrieved May 6, 2021.
  22. ^ Dodd, Rustin (February 19, 2017). "Royals' Mike Minor seeks to reinvent himself as reliever after shoulder issues". The Kansas City Star. Archived from the original on September 10, 2017. Retrieved May 6, 2021.
  23. ^ Flanagan, Jeffrey (February 21, 2017). "Minor will make transition to Royals bullpen". MLB.com. Archived from the original on May 6, 2021. Retrieved October 2, 2017.
  24. ^ "Royals' Mike Minor: Hoping to start in 2018". CBS Sports. September 28, 2017. Archived from the original on October 5, 2018. Retrieved May 6, 2021.
  25. ^ "Rangers make three-year deal with lefty Mike Minor official, contract worth $28 million". 2017-12-05.
  26. ^ Dawn Klemish (June 30, 2019). "Career years earn Gallo, Minor 1st All-Star nods". MLB.com. Retrieved June 30, 2019.
  27. ^ Evan Grant (July 2, 2019). "Schedule change makes Mike Minor unavailable for All-Star Game. Could another Rangers starter replace him?". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved July 29, 2019.
  28. ^ T.R. Sullivan (September 26, 2019). "Minor sets career bests in wins, IP, K's". MLB.com. Retrieved September 26, 2019.
  29. ^ "Justin Verlander edges Astros teammate to win 2nd Cy Young Award". Baseball Writers' Association of America. November 13, 2019. Retrieved November 13, 2019.
  30. ^ Axisa, Mike (August 31, 2020). "Athletics get lefty Mike Minor in deal with Rangers at MLB trade deadline". CBS Sports. Retrieved September 2, 2020.
  31. ^ "Minor back in KC on 2-year deal". December 1, 2020. Retrieved December 1, 2020.
  32. ^ Fast, Mike (August 10, 2010). "A Minor report". The Hardball Times. Retrieved February 22, 2015.
  33. ^ "Brooks Baseball · Home of the PitchFX Tool – Player Card: Mike Minor". Brooks Baseball. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
  34. ^ "Major League Leaderboards » 2012 » Pitchers » Batted Ball Statistics". Fangraphs. Retrieved September 17, 2012. Minimum 200 innings pitched.CS1 maint: postscript (link)
  35. ^ "PitchFX Pitcher Profile: Mike Minor". Baseball Prospectus. Retrieved September 17, 2012.