Top 50 All-Time Greatest Jays: #48 Frank Catalanotto

 

Frank John Catalanotto|LF,RF,DH|2003-2006

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Runs Created as a Jay: 257

Frank Catalanotto was born on April 27, 1974 in Smithtown, NY. He is just the second best Italian-American second baseman/outfielder to come from Smithtown. Craig Biggio was also born in Smithtown. He was drafted by the Tigers in the 10th round of the 1992 amateur draft. He made it to the majors as a Tiger in 1997, played in 13 games and in ’98 and ’99 he was a utility infielder.

In November of 1999 he was part of a nine player trade joining Alan Webb, Francisco Cordero, Bill Haselman, Gabe Kapler and Justin Thompson going to Texas for Juan Gonzalez, Danny Patterson and Gregg Zaun. Frank played 3 seasons in Texas as a utility guy, playing 2B, 3B, LF, RF and 1B. He had his best season in 2001 batting .330/.391/.490.

After the 2002 season he signed with the Jays as a free agent, ending his days as a second baseman/utility infielder. With the Jays he played mostly LF, with some RF and DH. He was a left handed platoon outfielder for the Jays.

His first season with the Jays was best with us, played in 133 games, hit .299/.351/.472. Set a career high in runs scored, as he generally would bat near the top of the order. He shared time in LF with Shannon Stewart or more played when Stewart was injured.

2004 was an off year for Frank, he only appeared in 75 games, he still had a good BA (.293) and on base (.344) but his slugging dropped to .390. He spent a lot of the season on the DL. The Jays had an off year too, finishing 67-94 and dropping to 5th in the ALE.

In ’05 and ’06 he had two very similar seasons batting .301 and .300, on base of .367 and .376 and slugging averages of .451 and .439.

After the 2006 season Cat signed with the Rangers as a free agent. This season he hasn’t played much but is signed thru next year with an option 2010. For the Jays he was a decent corner outfielder. Good batting average, good on base, if he had a little more power, he’d be great. Not a bad fielder and quite a reasonable number 2 hole hitter, a guy that isn’t going to hurt you but won’t carry your team. He didn’t hit lefties at all so he was always used in a platoon.

He played for the Italian team in the World Baseball Classic, having a name that ends in ‘o’ seems to be all that was needed to qualify for the team. Frank and his wife run the Frank Catalanotto Foundation to bring attention to Vascular Birthmarks. One or their daughters had a vascular birthmark on her nose. They have three girls.

On the all-time Jay’s leader board Frank Catalanotto Ranks:

37 in Games Played
38 in At Bats
32 in Runs
35 in Hits
33 in Total Bases
26 in Doubles
26 in Triples
38 in RBI
34 in Walks
30 in Runs Created
27 in Extra-Base Hits
19 in Hit By Pitch

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