Jake Fox

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Jacob Quirin Fox

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Biographical Information[edit]

Jake Fox was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 3rd round of the 2003 amateur draft. He was signed by scout Stan Zielinski and made his pro debut that summer.

He reached the majors with the Cubs in 2007, but played just 7 games, going 2 for 14. He spent all of 2008 in the minors, then spent most of 2009 with the Cubs after bludgeoning the ball in AAA with the Iowa Cubs. He hit an incredible .409 with 14 doubles and 17 homers in 45 games with Iowa, forcing the Cubs to give him an extended look. In 82 games in the majors, he hit .259 with 12 doubles and 11 homers while seeing playing time in left field, at third and first base and as a catcher. Following the season, he was traded to the Oakland Athletics with Aaron Miles in return for three players, of which only Jeff Gray ever played in the majors. Playing all over the diamond once again for the A's in 2010, he hit .214 in 29 games and at the end of June, he was dealt to the Baltimore Orioles for P Ross Wolf. He played another 38 games for the Birds, hitting .220, for a combined line of .217 with 7 homers and 22 RBIs in 77 game. This time, his most common position was catcher, and he also saw a lot of time as a DH in addition to his other positional assignments. It was the only season of his career during which he spent no time in the minors.

Heading into spring training in 2011, he did not by any means have a guaranteed job waiting for him. As he later put it: "A player like me, how do I say this politely? I'm not very appealing. I can't run well, I don't field a position well. ... I don't have a position." But he earned a spot with an absolutely torrid spring, similar to his first few months at Iowa in 2009: in 27 Grapefruit League games, he hit .297 and slugged 10 homers and 7 doubles. There was no way the O's could send him down, but of course he couldn't maintain his pace once the real season started. He hit just .120 in April, having seemingly forgotten his bat in Florida, and while he bumped that up to .261 in May, he was soon headed back to AAA and the Norfolk Tides. He found his stroke playing regularly in the International League, where he hit .275 with 19 doubles and 12 homers in 68 games, and the Orioles brought him back in late August. There was little playing time to be had, and while he made the most of the few at-bats given him the rest of the year, going 6 for 13, he was obviously no longer in the team's plans. He finished the season, his last one in the majors, at .246 with 2 homers and 6 RBIs in 27 games.

He wasn't done with baseball, however, as he played in the minors until 2016, with four different major league organizations as well as in the independent leagues for a spell. He was largely in AA and AAA but was not a regular any more, his ability to play multiple positions including catcher making him a valuable bench player for minor league teams with limited rosters. When given playing time, he could still hit however: he slugged 23 doubles and 25 homers in just 96 games while maintaining a .310 average for the Somerset Patriots of the Atlantic League in 2013. For part of 2015, he played for the Hanwha Eagles of the Korea Baseball Organization and did well, with 7 homers and a .278 average in 38 games, but couldn.t stick long term. In 2016, the Philadelphia Phillies gave him regular playing time with the AA Reading Fightin Phils, even though at 33 he was almost 9 years older than the average player in the league! He responded by batting .264 with 29 doubles, 23 homers and 71 RBIs in 123 games. He played one more winter ball season in the Mexican Pacific League before calling it a career.

Fox became a coach for the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes in 2018 and Augusta GreenJackets in 2019.

Further Reading[edit]

  • Matt Monagan: "10 years ago, an unknown reigned at camp: Jake Fox owned Grapefruit League in 2011", mlb.com, March 15, 2021. [1]

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