Corner infielder Kevin Youkilis will hang up his spikes after a 14-year professional career, according to a tweet from his representatives at Pro Star Management. The 35-year-old will be remembered most fondly for his time in Boston.
With the Red Sox, Youkilis emerged as one of the game’s most consistent on-base threats. His ability to work counts and draw walks was so legendary that it drew him the appellation “the Greek God of Walks,” a name referenced in the famous Moneyball book and film.
Of course, he could do much more than that. Over his six full-time seasons with the Red Sox, Youkilis slashed an outstanding .292/.392/.500 with 121 home runs. With solid defensive marks at third, he was worth 29.5 rWAR and 25.9 fWAR over that stretch, making him one of the very best position players in the game.
That outstanding performance made Youkilis a key figure in the Boston baseball revival. He did not see World Series action in 2004, his rookie year — though he was on the roster — but was a major contributor during the regular and post seasons in 2007. Over 125 career postseason plate appearances, Youkilis slashed a healthy .306/.376/.568 with six long balls.
Youkilis was ultimately dealt from Boston to the White Sox in the summer of 2012 after struggling in the early going. (That led to one of the more memorable mid-game trade acknowledgments; see photo.) He rebounded in Chicago, putting up a strong second half (.236/.346/.425 with 15 home runs in 344 plate appearances) and earning a $12MM free agent contract with the Yankees.
Issues with his back and plantar fasciitis ultimate marred the tail end of Youkilis’s career. He was ineffective when on the field in New York, and did not even make 100 trips to the plate this year after joining Rakuten of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball.
Nevertheless, Youkilis’s excellence at his peak cannot be ignored. He finished third in the AL MVP vote in 2008, and might have won were it not for teammate Dustin Pedroia. He was named to three All-Star teams over his ten MLB seasons.
What happened to Kevin Youkilis? He used to be scary good?
Old age? He’s only 35!!
His body became physically unable to handle third base like 7 years ago but teams kept insisting on playing him there.
His back is 70 years old though
The steroid era has ended, people should be breaking down before they hit their mid 30’s. The one’s that don’t are usually the PED suspected users.
Rick Porcello beatdown
And getting plunked by Joba everytime Boston faced the Yankees. For a couple seasons he got hit by the most pitches.
I was at that game, it was awesome!!!
His old school “baseball body” isn’t something that necessary holds up well in position players beyond their early-mid thirties
He shall return to the top of Mount Olympus to feast on ambrosia.
The Greek god of walks off into the sunset
Let’s all collectively do one last…..
“The 35-year-old will be remembered most fondly for his time in Boston.”
Well.. That’s a matter of opinion. What about his time in NY?
I’m sure Yankee fans still have a warm feeling in their hearts over the 28 games he played there where he triple slashed .219/.305/.343
All Star numbers compared to Middlebrooks. I think the Sox are going to release him sooner or later
I have been to more Yankees game than he played in NY. He will always be remembered for his time in Boston.
953 games in Boston over 7 seasons (one of which ended in a World Series victory) vs. 28 games in New York in a season they didn’t even make the playoffs. I don’t think there’s much to debate.
I think it’s clearly obvious here he’s being sarcastic.
at least someone gets it.
To echo the crowd: Yoooooooooouuuuuuuuuuuuk!
That 2008 season – 146 wRC+, 621 PA, positive defensive value – was much nastier than I’d remembered. He really had a very good peak. Hopefully he enjoys retirement.
Randy Jay Pena
15 year professional career? So he started playing in the Majors in 1999? That doesn’t seem right since he started playing in 2004 and his last MLB appearance was in 2013.
Maybe their including his minor career as well??????
“Professional career”, not “major league career.” Minor leaguers get paid, y’know.
Randy Jay Pena
Well I never considered Minor leagues professional but oh well guess Minor leagues is professional too.
Isn’t the majors, but someone is a professional when they get paid to do it.
He signed his first minor league contract in 2001 and played
in Japan this year. So technically it is a 14-year career. The minor leagues,
independent leagues, the Asian leagues, the Mexican leagues and even some
European leagues are considered professional baseball. Basically anything that
pays you money is professional baseball.
Yeah, I mis-read the tweet from his agency and called it 15. Should’ve been 14. Editing now.
2014 in Japan probably counts as a professional season as well. MLB isn’t the only professional league.
I will miss his batting stance!
Quality career, quality beard.
Know its said about many former players, but could see him as a future hitting coach
Great player and great heart. We failed to mention he was a Gold Glove first baseman with a perfect defensive season, over nearly 1,100 innings, in 2007. He will be enthusiastically welcomed home at Fenway on many special occasions, heretofore.
And so the breakup of the Rakuten Golden Eagle dynasty begins…
Happy retirement to a great competitor.
I remember his defense at 1B to be excellent, much better than his D at 3B. Then again, he replaced Adrian Beltre at third after Boston traded for Gonzalez
He had some real good numbers while playing with the Red Sox with one of the most unique batting stance in baseball.
Unassisted Triple Play
The greek god of walks is calling it a career, tip of the cap to you youk!
Next Yankees hitting coach? Yes, he didn’t do much of anything when he was with us, but prior to his injuries, he was a terrific hitter with an excellent eye. Now with Davis and Magadan no longer options, perhaps we could give Youkilis a shot.