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Buck Coats

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Buck Coats

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Biographical Information[edit]

Outfielder Buck Coats played 46 games with three teams between 2006 and 2008. He is one of more than 30 players called primarily "Buck," not counting those called "Bucky" or those with other first names who have/had "Buck" as an alternative nickname (such as, for example, Zack Wheat, whose nickname was Buck). Coats was a line drive hitter whose strength was hitting for average, but he lacked the power that most teams look for in an outfielder, as he never hit more than 11 homers in any season. He had pretty good speed, four times stealing 20 or more bases in the minors. If he had come up 20 years earlier, he probably could have forged a nice major league career as a pinch-hitter and fifth outfielder, but that type of job was no longer available, as pitching staffs have bulged up to 13 hurlers.

Buck was drafted in the 18th round in the 2000 amateur draft by the Chicago Cubs. He was signed by scout Sam Hughes and spent 2000-2006 and much of 2007 in the Cubs' chain. He made his major league debut with the Cubs in 2006, hitting .167 in 18 games, hitting his only major league homer off Aaron Harang of the Cincinnati Reds. Traded in 2007 to the Reds, he briefly appeared for their minor league Louisville affiliate (hitting .438 in four games) and hit .206 in 20 games with the big club. In 2008, he went 1-for-5 in 8 games, starting the season with the Blue Jays, but he was sent to AAA and played 114 games with the Syracuse Chiefs, hitting .286

In his first eight minor league seasons (2000-2007), Coats stole 138 bases and hit .282, with his batting average higher as he developed. In 2009, he spent the entire season with the Las Vegas 51s of the Pacific Coast League and hit .302 with 33 doubles. He played for Team USA in the 2009 Baseball World Cup, hitting .288/.397/.615 with four homers, four steals, 12 runs and 10 walks. He was the starting center fielder for the US and hit a solo home run off Efrain Nieves in a 3-0 win over Puerto Rico that sent the US to the Gold Medal Game. In the finale, he was 1-for-5 with a double and run. Batting in the 7th of a 4-4 tie against Cuba, he doubled off Norge Vera and scored on a hit by Justin Smoak as the US won, 10-5. Excluding the final day's action, he was 10th in the event in OBP, tied for 6th with 33 total bases (even with Luke Hughes, Jimy Gonzalez, Brett Lawrie and Stefan Welch), tied for 5th in walks (10, even with Lino Connell, Gene Kingsale and Chris Snelling) and tied for first in steals (with Billy Rojo, Luis Matos, Paco Figueroa and Irving Falu). He moved to the Kansas City Royals in 2010, and spent the first month of the season hitting .315 for the Omaha Royals. He was purchased by the Chicago White Sox on May 4th, and spent the rest of the year with two of their farm teams, hitting .338 in 18 games with the AA Birmingham Barons and .284 in 80 games for the AAA Charlotte Hornets. In 2011, he played only 9 games with the Harrisburg Senators, an affiliate of the Washington Nationals, hitting .261.

Coats became a coach for the Orem Owlz in 2014-2015 and the Burlington (IA) Bees in 2016.

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