Nicholas Markakis (mar-KAY-kis)(born November 17, 1983 in Glen Cove, New York) is an outfielder who went to Young Harris College and currently plays for the Baltimore Orioles.

Early life Edit

Markakis was born on Long Island, N.Y., on the same day as Milwaukee Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun and teammate Scott Moore, but he later moved to Woodstock, Georgia with his family. The Markakis family was one of the first to move into Deer Run, a subdivision in Towne Lake. Nick's parents are Dennis and Mary Lou Markakis. He has an older brother Dennis, who was recently married to Laura, and two younger brothers, Michael, also an alumnus of Young Harris College and Greg. Markakis is half-Greek and half-German.[1]

Draft Edit

He was the Orioles' first-round draft pick, seventh player picked overall, in 2003 and was named to the Second Team in the 2005 Minor League All-Star Roster.[1] Markakis was originally drafted in 2001 by the Cincinnati Reds, from Woodstock High School in Woodstock, but decided to attend Young Harris College instead. The Reds drafted him again in 2002, but he did not sign then either.

College/Olympic Career Edit

At Young Harris College, Markakis played as both an outfielder and a pitcher, hitting .439 with 21 home runs and 92 RBIs, while also gathering a 12-0 win-loss record as a pitcher with 1 save and a 1.68 earned run average in 15 games. Most Major League teams viewed Markakis as a pitching prospect, but the Orioles coveted his power. He spent his first year with the Aberdeen IronBirds, producing a strong batting average but little power in his swing. In August 2003, he played in the European National Championships, winning a silver medal with Team Greece. In 2004, Markakis played for the Greek Olympic baseball team in the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece

Minor League Career Edit

He also spent the year 2004 with the Delmarva Shorebirds, where he raised his average and produced more power hitting. In 2005, Markakis started the year with the Frederick Keys and put together a solid first half of the season. He won the Carolina/California League All-Star Game home run derby, and followed that up by being named MVP of the All-Star game after hitting two home runs in the game. Markakis was promoted a short time later to the Bowie Baysox, where he continued to hit well.

During the 2006 offseason, Markakis was widely regarded as the top hitting prospect in the Orioles' farm system. Several teams inquired about him in trades, but the Orioles rebuffed any proposal that included trading Markakis. With the team failing to sign a star outfielder, the Orioles decided instead to sign Jeff Conine for one year, hoping that Markakis was only a year away from playing the major leagues. Markakis began his first spring training with the Orioles in 2006, and immediately established himself by reaching base 9 out of his first 10 plate appearances. Because of his performance during spring training, Markakis was able to earn a roster spot on the Orioles opening day roster.

Major league career Edit

2006 seasonEdit

Markakis made his major league debut on April 3, 2006, when he was used as a late inning defensive replacement against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. He received his first start and plate appearances on April 5, 2006, also against the Devil Rays. Hitting second and playing left field, Markakis drew three walks in his first three plate appearances and hit a 400 foot home run for his first major league hit in the Orioles 16-6 win.

On August 22, 2006, Markakis went 3 for 4 with 3 home runs in an Orioles 6-3 win at Camden Yards. The game marked his first career three-home-run game, the 18th Oriole to do so and the first since 1999. The feat prompted a curtain call from the dugout, earning him a feat that The Washington Post called "an ovation that is rarely seen in these parts anymore. Curtain calls are for Yankee Stadium and Fenway Park, not Camden Yards."

Markakis batted .291 with 16 homers, 62 RBI, 72 runs, and 2 stolen bases. On defense, he put up impressive stats in defensive ratings such as Range Factor and Fielding Percentage, ranking number two compared with other Major League Right Fielders.

Markakis has been described as being a strong mix of athleticism, power, and speed, by Yahoo Major League Baseball. He is also described as an awesome defender.[2]

Markakis is said to be "extremely lethal, even in small doses" to opposing pitching. [citation needed]

2007 seasonEdit

He was the Orioles starting right fielder in 2007. He was 3rd in the AL in games (161) and grounded into double plays (22), 6th in doubles (43), 7th in at bats (637) and hits (191), and 8th in RBIs (112). He also led the team in home runs (23), RBIs (112), batting average (.300), and hits (191) in the 2007 season.

See alsoEdit


External linksEdit

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