FONTENOT, MIKE  
 
Image of    Nickname:   N/A Position:   2B
Home: Slidell, Louisiana Team:   DURHAM
Height: 5' 8" Bats:   L
Weight: 170 Throws:   R
DOB: 6/9/1980 Agent: N/A
Birth City: Slidell, Louisiana Draft: Orioles #1 - 2001 - Out of LSU
Uniform #: N/A  
 
YR LEA TEAM SAL(K) G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO OBP SLG AVG
2002 CAR FREDERICK   122 481 61 127 16 4 8 53 13   42 117     .264
2003 EL BOWIE   126 449 63 146 24 5 12 66 16   50 89     .325
2004 IL OTTAWA   136 524 73 146 30 10 8 49 14   48 111     .279
2005 PCL IOWA   111 379 60 103 22 10 6 39 3   59 77     .272
2005 NL CUBS $316.00 7 2 4 0 0 0 0 0 0   2 0     .000
2006 PCL IOWA   111 362 54 107 28 2 8 36 5 4 47 64   .450 .296
2007 NL CUBS $380.00 86 234 32 65 12 4 3 29 5 4 22 43 .336 .402 .278
2007 PCL IOWA CUBS   55 211 46 71 17 4 6 34 3 1 16 32 .384 .540 .336
2008 NL CUBS $405.00 119 243 42 74 22 1 9 40 2 0 34 51 .395 .514 .305
2009 NL CUBS $430.00 135 377 38 89 22 2 9 43 4 1 35 83 .301 .377 .236
2010 NL CUBS $1,000.00 75 169 14 48 11 3 1 20 1 2 10 28 .332 .402 .284
2010 NL GIANTS   28 71 10 20 2 0 0 5 0 2 5 13 .329 .310 .282
2011 PCL FRESNO   10 32 5 7 0 0 1 3 0 0 5 4 .324 .313 .219
2011 NL GIANTS $1,050.00 85 220 22 50 15 3 4 21 5 1 25 48 .304 .377 .227
2012 NL PHILLIES   47 97 13 28 2 0 1 5 0 1 7 23 .343 .340 .289
2012 IL LEHIGH VALLEY   16 52 5 16 6 0 1 7 0 0 5 11 .368 .481 .308
2013 IL DURHAM   120 417 53 110 32 2 4 42 6 1 37 87 .335 .379 .264
2014 IL DURHAM   17 57 5 16 6 0 1 6 2 0 9 15 .379 .439 .281
PERSONAL:

  • Fontenot grew up in Slidell, Louisiana, just an hour from Baton Rouge and the hallowed halls of Louisiana State University. Almost from birth, Mike was taught to bleed purple and gold.
  • Growing up, Fontenot and his brother, Chris, tried to create a realistic setting when they played in the backyard by mowing the lawn in the pattern of a baseball diamond.

    "We'd start off by cutting the line. Then eventually we'd cut out the whole infield," Fontenot recalled Saturday. Their parents welcomed this creative approach to doing chores. "They'd get half the yard cut," Fontenot said, adding that he and his brother would complete the job once they finished playing.

  • Mike was a fan of the Denver Broncos and John Elway while he was growing up.

    And the Chicago Bulls' Chris Duhon attended Salmen High School in Louisiana at the same time as Fontenot
    .

  • In 1999, Fontenot turned down the Devil Rays' six-figure bonus offer after they took him in the 21st round of the draft. Instead, he attended LSU on a baseball scholarship and played for legendary baseball coach Skip Bertman.

  • Mike was a Freshman All American in 2000, when the Tigers won the College World Series. In 2001, he hit .339-14-50 for LSU as a draft-eligible sophomore. At LSU, Ryan Theriot was his double-play partner. And Fontenot and Theriot were teammates again in 2007 with the Chicago Cubs.

    "Our friendship actually started before LSU," Mike said
    . "We played against each other in high school all-star games and were in showcases together."

  • Fontenot saw an eye doctor during the 2003 season, was fitted with contact lenses and his ability to see the ball better really helped him at the plate, especially at night.

  • Mike hit for the cycle August 22, 2003 while with the Bowie Baysox (EL-Orioles).

  • The Orioles gave a lot of credit to Bowie manager Dave Trembley for getting the best out of Fontenot, challenging him every day while helping him improve. (BA-01/04)

  • During the fall before the 2004 season, Fontenot stayed very busy. "I took four classes at LSU in the fall," Mike said. Then he spent January and February running every morning, working with weights, doing some hitting, and even yoga twice a week to stretch muscles. (Orioles Outstide Pitch-2/04)

  • Before the 2004 season, Baseball America rated Fontenot as the 9th-best prospect in the Orioles' organization. Before 2005 spring training, the magazine ranked Mike as 7th-best in the Baltimore system, and then only #21 in the Cubs organization when he was dealt there, because the Cubs had far more good prospects.

    But before 2006 spring camp opened, Baseball America's Prospect Handbook had Fontenot ranked as just the 29th-best prospect in the Cubs' organization
    . And they dropped him to #30 in the spring of 2007.

  • Fontenot is nicknamed "Chicken." He says it all started in Albuquerque,  when the Iowa Cubs were in town.

    "I had my hands in my back pockets and I started doing a little dance," Fontenot said
    . "They started calling me 'Chicken,' and it kind of stuck."

  • Once the offseason rolls around, Mike turns off his cell phone and goes duck hunting with his family. In addition to his passion for all things outdoors, Fontenot like to just lay around on the couch and watch TV, especially sitcoms.

  • Mike is a scrappy infielder.

  • Some players exchange complicated handshakes prior to a game that involve lots of arm waving and gyrations. Some say a prayer. Some follow a more simple routine and make sure they have barbecue-flavored sunflower seeds in their pockets.

    Carlos Zambrano and Mike Fontenot are a little different. Before each game in 2009 and 2010, the 6-foot-5-inch, 255-pound Zambrano pounded his hand on top of Fontenot's head.

    Then Big Z lifted the 5-foot-8, 170-pound Fontenot onto his back and gives him a piggyback ride.

    "I really can't remember where we got it from," Fontenot said. "It's just driving a nail into the ground, and then we implemented a thing where I jump on his back and he carries me to the promised land."


    TRANSACTION REPORT

  • June 2001: The Orioles chose Fontenot in the first round, out of LSU. He was a compensation pick for losing P Mike Mussina to the Yankees. Scout Mike Tullier signed him for $1.3 million. 

  • January 29, 2005: The Cubs sent Sammy Sosa to the Orioles, acquiring Fontenot, INF Jerry Hairston, and P David Crouthers.

  • January 19, 2010: Mike and the Cubs avoided salary arbitration, agreeing to a $1 million contract for 2010.

  • August 11, 2010: The Giants sent OF Evan Crawford to the Cubs, acquiring Fontenot.

  • March 30, 2012: The Giants released Fontenot.

  • April 13, 2012: Mike signed with the Phillies organization.

    August 5, 2012: The Phillies released Fontenot
    .

  • November 21, 2012: Mike signed with the Rays organization.

  • January 9, 2014: Fontenot signed with the Nationals organization.

    March 27, 2014: The Nats released Mike
    .
  • April 1, 2014: Fontenot signed with the Rays organization.
 
 
BATTING:

  • Fontenot has enough hitting ability to be an offensive catalyst as a utilityman in the majors. He has the ability to get on base via a walk or a bunt and will even allow himself to be hit-by-a-pitch to get on base. However, he needs much better strike zone knowledge to bat leadoff.

    He works the count in his favor, working his way on base via a hit or a walk.
  • You have to play Mike straightaway, because he will spray the ball all over the yard. And he has surprising power for a 5-foot-8 middle infielder.

    In high school and college I always hit a decent number of home runs, he said. Im not trying to hit home runs, though. I dont think thats my game. But I try to use every bit of my ability.

  • Fontenot is a tough out. He has a small strike zone and very good selctivity at the plate. He has good power for a smaller guy. He should hit 1015 home runs a year when he matures as a hitter. But Mike also now realizes that power is not his game. He better understands his swing and how pitchers attack him, and he has become more aggressive with bunting and stealing a base to take advantage of his plus speed. He has closed some holes in his swing.

     

  • As of the start of the 2013 season, Fontenot had a career batting average of .265 with 27 home runs in 1413 at-bats in the Major Leagues.
  •  
     
    FIELDING:

    • Mike's arm is not good enough for shortstop or 3rd base -- at least on a regular basis. But he has above-average tools at 2nd base where he has worked himself into being a fairly good defensive player.
    • Fontenot has decent footwork. His range is about average. Overally, his glove is not anything spectacular.

    • You can compare Mike to Todd Walker. But while Fontenot won't hit as many home runs as Walker, he will provide a little better defense at 2nd base.
     
    RUNNING:

    • Fontenot has good speed. He has enough speed to steal bases, but doesn't.
     
    CAREER INJURY REPORT:

    • December 2000: Mike had hamate surgery on his wrist.
    • June 11, 2002: Fontenot broke a finger on his throwing hand while fielding a ball. So he couldn't appear in the Carolina League All-Star Game.

    • May 27-July 8, 2011: Mike was on the D.L. with a left groin strain. But when playing the 2nd game of his rehab assignment, Fontenot tweaked his groin.
     
     
    Last Updated 4/24/2014. All contents © 2000 by Player Profiles. All rights reserved.