A year after recording a.285/.392/.415 line with the Midland Rockhounds in 2006, Kurt was named to the Texas League All-Star team for his efforts. In OBP, he finished sixth overall in the TL.
He also served as the backup catcher for Neil Walker in the 2006 Futures Game, going 0-1 for the United States. As of this writing, he is listed as the league’s 14th-best prospect by Baseball America.
Also, the best defensive catcher in the loop, according to his peers. Suzuki slugged .455/.478/.909 in the Olympic qualification competition, including a two-for-five performance against Cuba.
This year’s tournament saw him play catcher over Jarrod Saltalamacchia, yet he still managed to hit well.
Suzuki played 55 games for the Sacramento River Cats in 2007, batting .280/.351/.365. After Adam Melhuse was moved, Oakland recalled him to replace him as Jason Kendall’s backup.
He made his major league debut in the 10th inning, pinch-hitting for Santiago Casilla and grounding out to Morgan Ensberg against Dave Borkowski.
To catch Kendall, Suzuki remained in the game. On June 14, he pinch-hit for Brian Moehler and singled in the 11th inning, his first at-bat.
He smashed his first home run five days later, smacking Todd Coffey in the face. He made such an impression on the A’s hierarchy that they traded Kendall in the middle of the season and gave Suzuki the starting job.
In 68 games, he batted .249/.327/.408, good for a 98 OPS+ and 13 doubles and seven home runs. He had a fielding percentage of .996, but only threw out 19% of base-stealers.
What Is Kurt Suzuki Nationality?
Kurt Suzuki is American.Suzuki is from a fourth-generation Japanese family in the United States. He was born in the Hawaiian town of Wailuku.