Mark Saccomanno

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Mark Edison Saccomanno

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Biographical Information[edit]

On September 8, 2008, Mark Saccomanno became the 20th player in MLB history to hit a home run on the first pitch thrown to him. It was his only big league homer.

Saccomanno hit .394 in limited action as a Baylor University freshman in 1999. In 2000, he batted .235/.270/.353 in 45 games at shortstop. The next year, he hit .203/.266/.292 as a starter. He had a torn labrum in his right shoulder that forced him to move from short to the corner infield spots. He batted .381/.417/.634 as one of the top threats on the #11 team in the nation; only David Murphy delivered a bigger offensive impact for Baylor. Saccomanno made the All-Tournament Team at 1B for the 2003 Big 12 Conference Tournament as Baylor finished 2nd.

He was selected by the Houston Astros in the 23rd round of the 2003 amateur draft and made his pro debut that summer with the Martinsville Astros, hitting .324/.367/.441 with three home runs and 21 RBIs in 34 games.

The next year, he hit .261/.330/.446 with 22 homers, 80 RBIs and 134 strikeouts and was a Carolina League mid-season All-Star with the Salem Avalanche. He led the league with 229 total bases and tied Casey Rogowski for the most games played (136). He was three home runs behind league leader Darren Blakely, finishing second and he was also second in RBI, trailing only Rogowski (by 10). He was not named to the Baseball America list of the top 20 prospects in the league; at age 24, he was relatively old for a high-A circuit.

With the Corpus Christi Hooks in 2005, he hit .278/.319/.422 with 12 home runs, 51 RBI, and 66 runs scored and tied Brian Stavisky for the Texas League lead with 36 doubles. He led Astros farmhands in doubles. His walk/strikeout ratio was very poor with 27 BB to 108 strikeouts. He fielded .996 in 48 games at first, but only .901 in 79 at third base.

Saccamanno played for Italy in the 2006 World Baseball Classic, leading the team with a .727 slugging percentage as all three of hits went for extra bases - a two-run homer off Adam Bright and double versus John Stephens in a win over Australia, a double against Venezuela's Carlos Silva in a loss. He hit .273 with no walks in the three games and made one error as Italy's third sacker.

Saccomanno was back with Corpus Christi for the regular season in 2006 and hit .245/.302/.517 with 20 homers and 63 RBIs in 83 games there. He fanned in 84 of 298 AB and fielded .895 at third base. Despite his limited action, he was only two errors shy of leading Texas League players at the hot corner. He was second on his team in home runs behind Hunter Pence.

In 2007, he was with the AAA Round Rock Express, hitting .277/.323/.487 with 22 home runs and 85 RBIs, second on the team in both departments behind Cody Ransom. He played primarily first base. He began the next season back with the Express. He produced his best year to that point with a .297/.339/.521 batting line, 33 doubles, 27 home runs, 83 runs and 84 RBI.

That performance earned him a trip to the majors. He debuted in fine form. He entered as a pinch-hitter in his first game, batting for fellow September call-up Alberto Arias in the 5th inning of a 0-0 game. On the first pitch he saw from Ian Snell, he homered to right. He was the 20th player to homer on their first MLB pitch. He had one hit (a double) in nine more at-bats that year, the only experience he would have in the majors.

Back with Round Rock in 2009, Mark's production fell somewhat (.278/.329/.436, 15 HR). He moved to the Florida Marlins chain for 2010 but played poorly for the Jacksonville Suns (.244/.280/.371, 6 HR in 70 G) and New Orleans Zephyrs (.261/.325/.438, 6 HR in 56 G) to wind down his career. He had hit .274/.323/.458 with 133 home runs, 472 runs and 511 RBI in 918 minor league games, over half of them in AAA.


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