Frank Jäger

From BR Bullpen

Frank Jäger

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 6' 1", Weight 172 lb.

Biographical Information[edit]

Frank Jäger was a top German infielder and pitcher of the late 20th Century. He was from a strong baseball family - his father was Hans-Norbert Jäger and his brothers are Stephan Jäger and Hans-Peter Jäger.

Frank was 1-0 with a 3.17 ERA in the 1979 European Junior Championship and 0-1 with a save and a 1.74 ERA in the 1981 European Junior Championship (Germany's other pitchers had a cumulative ERA was over 11). In the 1984 European Championship B-Pool, he went 5 for 10 with two homers. In the B Pool two years later, he was 6 for 16 with two walks, a home run and nine runs in four games to help Germany win a spot in the European Championship. He got Germany's only win in the 1987 European Championship, holding France to three runs in a complete game; he was just 1 for 10 with a walk and six runs at the plate.

Jäger was MVP of the 1988 Bundesliga finals. During the 1989 European Championship, his 6.00 ERA led Germany (team ERA of 13.09) and he saved their only win (9-7 over France; he was 5 for 30 with 3 walks and a steal while fielding only .847 with 7 errors in 8 games. Germany finished last. With Germany back in the B-Pool in 1990, Frank was 6 for 16 with a double, homer, 3 walks, 10 runs and 7 RBI in four games.

The Mannheim native helped Germany win the 1992 B-Pool by batting .324/.383/.808 with 12 runs and 10 RBI in six games. During the 1993 European Championship, he had a 1.86 ERA to lead Germany and hit .217/.261/.280. He was 6th in the event in ERA (between Mariano Marchini and Joeri Loykens), second in opponent average (.147, .014 behind Mikael Aho), 7th in WHIP (1.27, between Aho and Magnus Höglund) and 6th in opponent OBP (between Rubén Garcia and Michael Wäller. His .923 fielding percentage at short was 4th among the 8 qualifiers.

In 1994, he was 2-0 with five saves and a 1.08 ERA for the Mannheim Tornadoes (the first season for which Bundesliga stats are available online) while hitting .360/.462/.600 with 32 runs and 28 RBI in 27 games. The next year, Frank was 1-0 with two saves for the Trier Cardinals and put up a .263/.414/.316 line. He made his last appearance for the national team in the 1995 European Championship, going just 2 for 16 with 3 walks, a triple and 6 errors (.806 FLD) in 7 games.

In 1996, the veteran hit .254/.384/.310 back with Mannheim and was 6-0 with a 2.43 ERA. He tied for fourth in the league in wins. He had a 3-0, 2.08 record in '97 and hit .413/.542/.556. He was 9th in average, tied for 5th in walks drawn (19) and 9th in OBP. He won four more games in the postseason and was named MVP of the finals for the second time. He fell to 4-2, 4.04 in 1998 but still batted .379/.520/.505 with 31 runs, 29 RBI and 11 steals in 32 games.

At age 33, he had a 3-1, 4.66 record and hit .289/.439/.356. He ended his career in 2000, not pitching and going 3 for 15 with five walks at the plate.

Through 2010, Jäger is among the all-time German national team leaders in games played (45, tied for 8th with his father), European Championships (8, tied for 4th), home runs (7, second to Dominik Wulf), RBI (31, 5th), hits (41, tied for 7th with Claus Helmig), runs (43, tied for third with Simon Gühring behind Wulf and brother Stephan), walks (17, tied for 8th), slugging (.463, 9th), assists (93, 5th), errors (21, 4th), ERA (3.16, 6th) and WHIP (1.29, 7th between Peter Budny and Enorbel Marquez.