Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Youkilis was a two-time All-American in four seasons for the University of Cincinnati. The Red Sox drafted him in the eighth round in 2001 and he made his debut with the Class A Lowell Spinners, hitting .317 in 59 games while earning Player of the Year in the New York - Penn League. He climbed through three levels of the organization in 2002, going from Augusta to Sarasota to Trenton, where he hit .344 in 44 games. Along the way, Youkilis impressed by demonstrating a good knowledge of the strike zone. He collected 270 base on balls in his first 325 games, walking almost two times for every time he struck out. In 2003, he tied Kevin Millar's minor-league record by reaching base in 71 consecutive games.
In 2004, Youkilis was batting .258 with three home runs and a .347 on base percentage in 32 games with Triple-A Pawtucket when he got the call to the Red Sox. He went 2-for-4 in his big league debut, a 4-0 Red Sox win over the Toronto Blue Jays at SkyDome. In his second at-bat, he homered off of former Cy Young Award winner Pat Hentgen.
Nicknamed the "Greek God of Walks" in the stathead community after his prominent appearance in the book Moneyball, Youkilis doesn't have good physical tools. He has below average speed and will never be a basestealing threat. While he isn't a slugger, he has a quick swing, making consistent hard contact, hitting line drives to the opposite field. Although he has an average arm and his defense at third base is only average, he is solid enough in his position. But Youkilis has proven that he should not be underestimated. His has good instincts, and he is a student of the game. In brief time he should be able to provide a decent batting average and excellent OBP. The Red Sox remain optimistic about his future.
In his first major league campaign, Youkilis hit .260 with seven home runs and 35 runs batted in in 72 games.
- While it may sound like he is being booed when Youkilis takes the plate, or makes a big hit at Fenway Park, Boston fans are actually cheering "Yoooooouk!"
- Youkilis played his first major league game on May 15, 2004. After he hit a home run on his debut, as a prank, his teammates in the dugout stayed on their benches and ignored this feat. Youkilis proceeded to the dugout and hit imaginary high-fives until his teammates gave in and congratulated him.
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