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Nicholas Paul Punto

8 Nick Punto; 2nd Base

Name: Nicholas Paul Punto
Birth date: 11/08/1977
Birthplace: San Diego, CA
Height: 5-9
Weight: 190
School: Saddleback CC, CA
Draft: 1998 21st Round- Phillies
Nickname: Bats: Switch
Throws: Right
Position: 2nd Base
Experience: 4 years
2005 Salary: 325,000
Contract Status: 1 year deal for 2005 was renewed on 3/4/2005
Service Time: 2.051

Minnesota Twins Infielder, Nick Punto, was born November 8, 1977 in San Diego, California. Nick grew up with strong baseball roots as his father, Lou Punto, was drafted by the Boston Red Sox. Nick graduated from Trabuco Hills (CA) high school in 1996 and then went on to Saddleback Community College in Mission Viejo, CA.

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After spending 3 years in the minors, Nick made his major league debut with the Philadelphia Phillies on September 9, 2001. After playing in a career-high 64 major-league games in 2003, he was picked up by the Twins in 2004. He spent most of 2004 in the Twins minor league system plagued by injuries. He did play a few strong games including getting his first career grand slam vs. Tampa Bay.

In 2005, Nick was called up to compete for the starting job at second base, which he eventually won. Nick showed excellent speed and aggressiveness, the ability to handle the bat and bunt, and keen skill for putting the ball in play. He has good range in the field and a strong throwing arm. However, a broken collarbone late in the season, forced the Twins to leave him off their postseason roster. Despite being troubled by various injuries, he did tie for second in the Twins club for stolen bases and established career-highs in virtually every offensive category including a career high 4-hit game vs. Milwaukee.

Due to taxing injuries, the Twins aren't likely to count on Nick to be a starting 2nd baseman in 2005. He can play virtually anywhere on the field except catcher and will probably be used as a fill-in. If Nick can stay healthy and prove he’s durable, he could develop into a starter at shortstop or second base.


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