NICK NICHOLAS WILLIA MARKAKIS
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Nickname:   N/A Position:   RF
Home: N/A Team:   BRAVES
Height: 6' 2" Bats:   L
Weight: 200 Throws:   L
DOB: 11/17/1983 Agent: Jamie Murphy, TWC Sports
Uniform #: 22  
Birth City: Glen Cove, NY
Draft: Orioles #1 - 2003 - Out of Young Harris J.C. (GA)
YR LEA TEAM SAL(K) G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO OBP SLG AVG
2003 NYP ABERDEEN   59 205 22 58 14 3 1 28 13   30 33     .283
2004 SAL DELMARVA   96 355 57 106 22 3 11 64 12   42 66     .299
2005 CAR FREDERICK   91 350 59 105 2 1 12 62 2   43 65     .300
2005 EL BOWIE   33 124 19 42 16 2 3 30 0   18 30     .339
2006 AL ORIOLES $327.00 147 491 72 143 25 2 16 62 2 0 43 72 .351 .448 .291
2007 AL ORIOLES $400.00 161 637 97 191 43 3 23 112 18 6 61 112 .362 .485 .300
2008 AL ORIOLES $455.00 157 595 106 182 48 1 20 87 10 7 99 113 .406 .491 .306
2009 AL ORIOLES $3,350.00 161 642 94 188 45 2 18 101 6 2 56 98 .347 .453 .293
2010 AL ORIOLES $7,100.00 160 629 79 187 45 3 12 60 7 2 73 93 .370 .436 .297
2011 AL ORIOLES $10,600.00 160 641 72 182 31 1 15 73 12 3 62 75 .351 .406 .284
2012 AL ORIOLES $12,350.00 104 420 59 125 28 3 13 54 1 1 42 51 .363 .471 .298
2012 EL BOWIE   3 10 4 3 1 0 2 4 0 0 2 2 .417 1.000 .300
2013 AL ORIOLES $15,350.00 160 634 89 172 24 0 10 59 1 2 55 76 .329 .356 .271
2014 AL ORIOLES $15,350.00 155 642 81 177 27 1 14 50 4 2 62 84 .342 .386 .276
2015 NL BRAVES $11,000.00 156 612 73 181 38 1 3 53 2 1 70 83 .370 .376 .296
2016 NL BRAVES $11,000.00 158 599 67 161 38 0 13 89 0 2 71 101 .346 .397 .269
2017 NL BRAVES $11,000.00 160 593 76 163 39 1 8 76 0 2 68 110 .354 .384 .275
Personal
  • Markakis was a big fan of pitching great Roger Clemens. He began wearing the Rocket's uniform number (21) on his back when he played for Young Harris Junior College in 2002 and 2003. And Nick was able to keep that number when he joined the Baltimore Orioles.

    At Young Harris, Nick was a star pitcher as well as outfielder and best hitter.

  • Nick's Mom, Mary Lou Markakis, a banker, says she knew Nick had a special talent for baseball before he was even two years old. She would bring him, then in diapers, out in the backyard with his older brother, Dennis, give them both a bat and pitch beach balls to them.

    "Dennis would swing and miss, and Nick would swing and hit," she recalled.

    Within a very few years, Nick would sit and watch baseball on TV for hours.

  • Nick's mom is a banker, and his father is a car salesman.

  • Nick was drafted twice by the Cincinnati Reds.

    In 2001, they drafted him out of high school in the 35th round, but he did not sign. Then in 2002, he was their 23rd round pick. The Reds offered a $1.5 million signing bonus, but Markakis again didn't sign.

    He waited until 2003 when the Orioles drafted and signed him (signed by scout Dave Jennings) to a $1.85 million contract. Markakis had 18 family members around when he signed on June 11, 2003. It looked like a Big Fat Greek Signing.

  • In 2002, Markakis was Baseball America's Junior College Player of the Year after batting .455-17-74 and going 11-3, 4.53 on the mound. In 2003, he went 12-0 with a 1.41 ERA, 148 strikeouts and 27 walks in 90 innings. Baseball America listed him as the 16th best prospect overall and seventh-best pitcher in the 2003 draft.

    In 2003, Baseball America again named Nick as their Junior College Player of the Year.

  • In July 2003, Nick got a leave of absence from the Orioles organization in so he could play for the Greek National Team in the European Championships.

    Triple-A Ottawa outfielder Chris Lemonis joined Markakis on the Greek National Team that won a spot in the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece. Markakis hit .323-0-7 with four stolen bases in eight games as Greece finished second in that 2003 tourney.

  • In 2003, for Aberdeen (NYP-Orioles), Nick hit .283-1-28 in 205 at-bats.

  • In 2003, Baseball America rated Markakis as the third best prospect in the Orioles' organization before 2004 spring training. And the magazine ranked him the #1 prospect in the Orioles system before both 2005 spring camp and 2006 spring training.

  • In August 2004, he played for the Greek Olympic team, which was assembled with a great deal of assistance from Baltimore owner Peter Angelos. Most Orioles officials regarded the trip as a great opportunity, though they were chagrined when Markakis was also asked to pitch when the Greek staff was hit by injuries. He made two relief appearances in the Olympics (touching 94 mph, it should be noted) and he was one of the event's best hitters, going 9-for-26 (.346) with a home run. 
  • During the offseason before 2004 spring training, Markakis gained almost 20 pounds of muscle as part of an effort to increase his power numbers.
  • Markakis has a lively left arm. Many Major League teams had him on their draft lists as a pitcher. His FASTBALL is in the 90-94 mph range. And he has a slurvy-CURVE that is 78-81 mph, and a CHANGEUP that has good sink. But the Orioles put him in the outfield for his fine bat.
  • Markakis has an impressive aptitude for the game. He has instincts and intangibles that are about as good as there are around.

    He works hard, and goes about his business without trying to stand out in the clubhouse. He is a good teammate and more of a leader by example.

  • Nick is quiet, keeping to himself a lot. While other players are joking around, Markakis is usually glued to the clubhouse TV monitors, watching video of the pitcher the team will face later that day. He doesn't warm up to people, even teammates, very quickly. He has always been shy and taken longer than other kids to adapt to his surroundings. 

    "It takes me a little bit to get comfortable around guys," Markakis acknowledged. "It's kind of like switching schools in the 2nd or 3rd grade. You kind of keep to yourself until you get to know the guys."

  • In 2007, Markakis's best friends on the Orioles were pitchers Erik Bedard and Adam Loewen. In 2006, Chris Britton and Nick hung out a lot.
  • Off the field, Nick said, "I'm a big outdoor person—hunting, fishing, being outdoors with my dog. I like doing anything outside. In the offseason, it's time to relax and get out there in peace and quiet. I hunt a variety of stuff—coyotes, deer, duck."
  • Out of uniform, Nick is almost always in sneakers, jeans and a T-shirt that is usually advertising some baseball equipment company.

  • After the 2005 season, in 26 games in the Arizona Fall League, Markakis finished with a .326 average, one homer, and 12 RBIs. With the help of 11 walks, he ranked seventh in the league with a .421 on-base percentage.

  • Nick's best friend growing up, Taylor Scott Randahl, died on April 14, 2000. An avid mountain biker, Randahl was riding home when a car going in the opposite direction hit a deer. The deer went across the road and knocked the 16-year-old off his bike. He died about two hours after the accident.

    "I never did get to see him again," Markakis said, his quiet voice filled with regret. "I was with him earlier that day, but he was cremated."

    He and Randahl first met in 1993, when they were in elementary school. That year, Markakis's family moved from Long Island, New York to Woodstock, Georgia.

    "They were best friends since about the day they met," Doug Randahl said. "They were Frick and Frack. They were running in the neighborhood, making forst in the woods. They did what boys do."

    Tattooed on his right arm is a cross over the name, Taylor Scott Randahl.

    On the day of his best friend's wake, Nick was scheduled to pitch for Woodstock High in the second game of the state playoffs. After attending the wake, Markakis arrived in the second inning with his team down 3-0 to state power Walton High. Markakis entered the game and didn't allow a run. Woodstock lost, but the tribute was complete.

    "That is when I knew he had it," his brother Dennis said. "To have something like that happen and to be able to put that out of his mind, I knew there was something there."  (Jeff Zrebiec-Baltimore Sun-June, 2007)

  • Nick and his wife, Christina, were married after the 2008 season. And they celebrated the birth of their first child on March 11, 2009. It was a baby boy, Taylor Jason Markakis. He was named after Markakis's late friend, Taylor Scott Randahl, who died in 2000 in a biking accident.

    They live in Monkton, in the Baltimore area.

  • On May 27, 2010, Nick's wife, Christina, delivered their second son, Tucker Edward. Christina delivered the couple's third child, a son named Toby, on September 11, 2013.

  • Nick's wife Christina is a graduate of Florida Atlantic University with a degree in education. She has worked as an elementary school teacher. An excellent athlete, she was a member of the Florida Atlantic cross-country and track and field teams, earning All-Atlantic Sun Conference honors for indoor track. Nick and Christina met before the start of the 2006 season at a Super Bowl party hosted by Orioles' outfielder Jeff Fiorentino, a mutual friend.

    Christina also went to high school in Florida with the wife of Nick’s good friend and teammate, Brian Roberts.

  • In 2007, Nick was named Most Valuable Oriole by the local press corps.
  • Markakis's most impressive non-baseball skill is his ability to balance common household objects on his chin. He can do it with a vacuum cleaner and a shopping cart. Midway through the 2009 season, he was photographed balancing a folding chair.

  • In 2009, Nick and his wife, Christina, established the nonprofit Right Side Foundation, which aims to improve the lives of distressed children in Maryland. The Markakises have hosted several charitable events.
  • April 15, 2013: He is not the star of the game and Markakis rarely is sitting in front of his locker even if he is. There are postgame workouts to get in and treatment to receive, the latter of which Markakis finally appears from in Boston and unassumingly sits on the couch, more than happy to fade into the background of reporters' game stories and be overshadowed by the flashier players and more quotable personalities like Adam Jones.

    It is the same thing at home, when Markakis—the Orioles' longest-tenured active player—has two hits and two runs scored in the home opening-win. He follows that with a 4-for-5 night that includes two doubles. It isn't that he's purposely avoiding interviews as much as Markakis simply doesn't want the credit, a fact that extends beyond the baseball field and into the clubhouse, where the players frequent the pool and ping-pong table, both quietly purchased by Markakis.

    "He's one of the most giving guys around, but it's not broadcasted," manager Buck Showalter said. "He just doesn't want anyone to know about it. Probably about half the stuff [he does], I don't know about."

    "He's just one of those really good ballplayers that not a lot of people know," Orioles closer Jim Johnson said of Markakis. "Other pitchers know who he is, I'll tell you that. They hate facing him. And when you have respect from your peers, I think that's all you can really ask for in this game."

  • June 5-6, 2013: Nick missed two games to attend his grandmother's funeral. He said he was able to be with her for about an hour before she passed away.

  • Twice a week, hours before the Orioles have to be at their spring training for team stretch, a bulked up Nick is at Pilates. He started the regimen in 2013 during the baseball season, but he got really intense about it, among other things, over the winter. His focus is on core strength and balance, two key components of an offseason like Markakis has never had before, one that had him pounding the pavement of his driveway for workouts just two weeks after the Orioles' season had ended and weighing in 16 pounds heavier this spring.  

    Markakis is confident he has never been this strong, not even close. "I'm at the point in my career where a lot of things don't matter to me right now besides winning," said Markakis. In the 2013 off season, the emphasis was on adding strength and speed, with Olympic lifts and a lot of the same programming Markakis adopted under vice president of baseball operations Brady Anderson's fitness overhaul. Athletic trainers Joe Hogarty and Ryan Crotin would come for the workout sessions at Markakis' Monkton, Md., home, with the group switching to Camden Yards later in the winter as more of the players started to filter in.  There were no breaks, even for the holidays. When teammate Ryan Flaherty, who is dating Markakis' sister-in-law came to North Carolina for the family Thanksgiving, the pair were in the gym for "hours," said Christina Markakis. "And they didn't miss a day."

    Markakis enlisted the team's chef, Jenny Spiliadis, to help him eat clean, and she dropped off food twice a week. It wasn't about hitting a specific number on the scale but adding "good weight" to put him back where he needed to be strength-wise. "Obviously he's put on some muscle," said Flaherty.   

    Manager Buck Showalter said, "This is the first time he's really been able to do these things physically. Nick's a guy that's so easy to trust. He's a good father, a good husband, a good teammate. He's a guy who is not going to embarrass you off the field, but he doesn't take himself too seriously. He's a guy that's real easy to pull for."  (Ghiroli - mlb.com 2/03/14)

  • This year, 2014, like every other year, Markakis will collect his pink bats and send them home ticketed for his mother, Mary Lou.  Mary Lou is a breast cancer survivor, having beat the disease while Nick was in college, and MLB's awareness—which always coincides with Mother's Day—provides an opportunity for the prevention and treatment to take center stage.

    "I try to do as much as I can for her, because I know how much it means to her," Markakis said. "It's completely different; I can sit here and say it's a good cause and not know anything about it. But when you see somebody go through it. I used to drive my mom to her chemo treatments. And on the way home, you see what it takes out of them. You get a whole different perspective on it."

    Last year, Markakis decided not to use his specially made MaxBat black bat with a pink label on Mother's Day, donning pink cleats, wristbands, and batting gloves instead. He used his regular MaxBat, with an orange label, to avoid what likely would have been a fine in a mini-controversy in which Minnesota's Trevor Plouffe—whose mother is also a breast cancer survivor—went ahead and used his pink labeled bat.

    The issue was that Louisville Slugger produces the special pink bats for MLB so other companies' pink bats can only be used if there's no visible logos or other markings. Markakis is hoping this year to be able to use the bat he gives to Mary Lou after Mother's Day, although his efforts in raising cancer funds far exceed the holiday.

    Major League Baseball, which supports the Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) initiative in the winter, started the tradition in 2006 of using pink gear on Mother's Day, and some of the bats will be auctioned off afterwards to raise even more money for the cause.

    "These types of things in general are good, but in my case, a little more meaningful to me because of what I've seen my mom go through. And what it does to a person, what it takes out of them." (Ghiroli - mlb.com 5/9/14)

  • As he was progressing through his high school years in suburban Atlanta, Nick passed on the regular playing time he would have received with one travel team in order to take advantage of the chance to serve as a young backup for a more experienced team filled with players who would help him learn how to play the game the right way.

    Though he has never been an All-Star or MVP Award candidate, Markakis has stood as a highly respected and disciplined leader who has overcome the inevitable adversity experienced within a long baseball career. The reward for the Braves right fielder's perseverance comes in the form of the satisfaction he, his teammates, and family members felt when he notched his 2,000th career hit during a 7-4 loss to the Dodgers at SunTrust Park.

    "You're just happy to get it out of the way," Markakis said. "Sometimes those things can linger around. It was nice to get it here in front of my family and at the home field. It was definitely nice to get it out of the way."

    With the opposite-field, fourth-inning single he slapped to left field against Alex Wood, Markakis became just the 10th active player to reach the 2,000-hit milestone. He was able to share the moment with his parents, who attend nearly every home game, his wife, Christina, and their three sons -- Taylor, Tucker and Toby.

    Christina surprised her husband when she and her sons traveled from their Baltimore home to be present for this week's games. As the three boys sat in the stands, they created a sign to count down to the milestone hit.

    "I didn't know they were doing it, so when I looked up there it was pretty cool," Markakis said. "That's ultimately why I'm here. I'm here for them. I'm just happy to do it and for them to be here to watch it."  (Bowman - mlb.com - 8/3/17)

    TRANSACTIONS 

  • June 2003: The Orioles chose Nick in the first round, out of Young Harris Jr. College in Young Harris, Georgia. 
  • March 4, 2008: The Orioles renewed Markakis for $455,000 for the 2008 season.
  • January 19, 2009: Markakis and the Orioles agreed to a six-year, $66 million contract. It includes standard incentive clauses, a limited no-trade clause—in which he can block a deal to at least eight teams each year—a slew of incentives, and a mutual option of $17.5 million for 2015, plus an unspecified team buyout for the 2015 season.
  • October 31, 2014: Markakis became a free agent when the Orioles declined to pick up their $17.5 million option for 2015, paying the $2 million buyout, instead.
  • December 3, 2015: Nick signed a four-year deal for $44 million with the Braves. He also received $2 million as part of the contract.

    Markakis has annual salaries of $10.5 million. And he can earn $50,000 for making the All-Star team, winning an MVP award, earning the World Series MVP, or getting selected the comeback player of the year. Nick can earn $25,000 apiece for winning a Gold Glove and the League Championship Series MVP.

Batting
  • Markakis starts from a slightly open stance with his hands high. He has a smooth, short, quick lefthanded stroke—a great swing. He gets good leverage at the plate and will hit with above average power as he fills out his lanky, athletic frame. Nick has that good baseball body—lean, lanky, and strong.

  • The strong hands he has and quick wrists make him a pure hitter, and the natural snap in his bat gives him good power that is increasing as he matures. He is adept at hitting the ball the other way.

  • Nick has exceptional strike zone knowledge. He has the best sense of the strike zone on the Orioles. He is good at working into hitters' counts, showing very good selectivity. And he is learning to keep his body back so it stays out of the way of his beautiful swing. He is quiet at the plate with that superb, smooth swing. He stays back to see the ball a long time, waiting and reading the pitch, and making adjustments.

  • At least one American League scout has compared Nick to former all-star Andy Van Slyke.

  • The ball makes a different sound off Nick's bat. And the ball jumps off his bat and goes all over the yard. He is not pull-conscious. And, he doesn't slap the ball the other way just to get a hit. He just takes what the pitcher give him and nails it. He centers the ball on the bat.

  • Markakis has learned to turn on his backside instead of sliding his lower half as he swings, improving his balance. He has outstanding bat control within the strike zone.

  • During the 2009 season, Hall of Famer and Orioles broadcaster Jim Palmer said, "I was talking to one of the scouts and he said, 'Markakis reminds me of a lefthanded Al Kaline, because he does everything well, but he doesn't do it very flashy. That's a pretty good comparison. But he reminds me more of George Brett because he's so good at hitting the ball to left, center, and right. He really can hit the ball where it's pitched."

  • In 2010, Markakis joined Hall of Famers Joe Medwick (1935-39) and Tris Speaker (1920-23) in posting four consecutive 43-plus-double seasons.

  • Nick's swing is so flat, and it's just a simple flat through the zone, he doesn't have to do a lot to get to the ball. The thing that he really does well is a ball that's away, he's going to shoot that ball past the third baseman, and you just can't teach that. But he is a rare natural hitter.

  • Nick drops the bat on his shoe after every pitch.

  • May 5, 2017:  Markakis joined a rather exclusive club when the Braves right fielder collected his 400th career double, becoming the eighth active player to reach that standard. (David O'Brien -The Atlanta Journal-Constitution) 

  • August 3, 2017: Markakis  reached 2,000 career hits with a 4th inning single off of Dodgers LHP Alex Wood. 


  • As of the start of the 2017 season, Markakis's career Major League stats were: .289 batting average, 157 home runs and 1,889 hits with 800 RBI's in 6,542 at-bats.
Fielding
  • While Nick's arm strength is undeniable, his hands and athletic body give him a higher ceiling as an outfielder, rather than a pitcher. His athleticism and instincts allow him to play center field, but his arm also makes him perfectly suited for right field—his best position.

    In 2006, the Orioles played him in all three outfield positions—putting him in left for one of the first times in his career.

  • Markakis displays good instincts in the outfield. He gets a real good jump on the ball.
  • In 2008, Nick led American League outfielders with 17 assists. Many think he should've won a Gold Glove, but he didn't.

    GOLD GLOVER
  • In 2011, Markakis won his first Rawlings Gold Glove.
  • In 2014, Nick won his second Gold Glove award as the best right fielder in the AL.

  • June 18, 2015: Markakis set the Major League Baseball all-time record for consecutive errorless games by an outfielder. In Atlanta's 5-2 loss to the Red Sox, the right fielder completed his 393rd game without being charged with an error, breaking Darren Lewis' record, set from 1990 to 1994.

    Markakis' last error came on Aug. 10, 2012, when he was with the Orioles. A seemingly inconsequential error at the time (Baltimore beat Kansas City 7-1 that day), Markakis has now seen 1,042 days (and counting) without causing a miscue.

    Markakis was an American League Gold Glove winner in 2011 and 2014. And from 2012 until now, he is tied for first with Michael Brantley for the best fielding percentage among qualified outfielders.

    While in his 10th year in the bigs, Markakis set the record a bit differently than Lewis, who went the first 392 games of his Major League career with the Athletics and Giants before being charged with an error on July 9, 1994. Lewis won the National League Gold Glove award in 1994 and finished his career with a .994 fielding percentage. Markakis' career fielding percentage up to this point in his career? Yep, .994. (Collazo – mlb.com – 6/18/15)

    On June 25, 2015: Marakis finally committed an error in a game vs. the Nats. He his record streak ended after 398 consecutive errorless games. Denard Span singled to right leading off and Nick bobbled the ball, allowing Span to take second base.

Running
  • Nick used to steal a few bases every year but not anymore. (2016)
Career Injury Report
    • January 5, 2012: Markakis underwent surgery to repair the rectum abdominis (abdominal muscles). He was sidelined from regular workouts early in spring training. Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman underwent a similar operation in 2011, with the same surgeon, Dr. William Meyers in Philadelphia, and sat out six weeks as a result.

      Orioles manager Buck Showalter knew something was wrong when Markakis took himself out of the last game of the 2011 season, against the Red Sox. "When he had to come out the last game of the season ... Everybody knows Nick Markakis, you know something is really bothering him," Showalter said. "It's something that we thought would heal with rehab from the physical therapy that he was doing. He got to about 80 percent and couldn't get to that last 20 percent. He went to one of the specialists in Philadelphia."

  • June 1-July 9, 2012: Markakis underwent surgery to repair a fractured hamate bone in his right wrist,  by Dr. Brian Schofield, a hand specialist. The injury was believed over a week before when Nick slid into a base. He then aggravated it during his final at-bat on May 29.

    It was the first trip to the D.L. for Markakis in his career.

  • September 8, 2012: Nick suffered a broken left thumb that sidelined him for four to six weeks. He got nailed by an inside pitch from C.C. Sabathia.

    "I knew it was broken," said Markakis. "I knew it as soon as he hit me. I knew how it hit me, and I couldn't bend my thumb."

    Trainer Richie Bancells and Showalter came out to check on Markakis right away, but the right fielder left the game. He had surgery September 11. It was  performed by Dr. Brian Schofield, the same person who handled the operation on his wrist back in June. It involved putting a T-plate on top of the thumb, screwing it down and waiting for everything to heal.

    Nick had the pins removed on October 9, and had his thumb put in a splint for another two weeks.

  • March 6, 2013: Markakis was sidelined for about three weeks with a small herniated disk, according to an MRI. In order to let the inflammation and pain subside, rest and medication were prescribed.

  • September 2014: Nick missed six games after his right shoulder was bruised when he was hit by a pitch from Aaron Loup of the Blue Jays.

  • December 17, 2014: Markakis underwent fusion surgery to repair a herniated disk in his neck. The Braves expect Nick to begin baseball-related activities before the start of Spring Training.