First baseman Travis Ishikawa will be with a new organization for the first time in his professional baseball career next season.
After spending nine seasons with the San Francisco Giants, the first baseman signed a minor league deal with the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday. Ishikawa was a Giants’ draft pick out of Federal Way in 2002 and was a key reserve on San Francisco’s World Series team back in 2010. The 6-foot-3, 220-pound left hander will attend the Major League spring training camp with the Brewers, but is not guaranteed a spot on Milwaukee’s 25-man roster.
Ishikawa is coming off shoulder surgery in June on his non-throwing arm. He suffered the injury while playing right field for the Fresno Grizzlies, the Giants’ AAA affiliate. Ishikawa was hitting .251 with three home runs, 18 RBIs and 14 doubles in 56 games for the Grizzlies before the shoulder injury. Ishikawa’s last game was June 12. He was designated for assignment by San Francisco following spring training last year after spending the previous two seasons and parts of two others, on the Giants’ Major League roster. After clearing waivers, Ishikawa was outrighted to Fresno. Ishikawa was hoping to sign with another Major League team after being cut from the Giants’ 40-man roster. But there wasn’t a lot of interest in the veteran first baseman before the 2011 season.
During San Francisco’s World Series season, Ishikawa hit .319 (15-for-47) as a pinch-hitter and was regarded highly enough to start Game 4 against the Texas Rangers. Ishikawa also drew a key walk in Game 3 of the National League Division Series against Atlanta that fueled a ninth-inning rally. During the entire 2010 postseason, he played in a total of 10 games and finished 2 for 10 at the plate with two runs, a double and an RBI during the playoffs.
The 28-year-old Ishikawa appeared in 116 games in 2010 for the Giants during the regular season when he hit .266 in 128 at-bats with 42 hits, 11 doubles, three home runs and 22 RBIs. Ishikawa spent a bulk of the 2009 season as San Francisco’s everyday first baseman after an impressive spring training. In 2009, Ishikawa hit .261 with nine home runs and 39 RBIs in 120 regular season games. He also spent time with the Giants during the 2006 and ’08 seasons. Travis Ishikawa has a lifetime batting average of .265 with 15 home runs, 80 RBIs, 30 doubles in 603 at-bats during his four-year Major League career. Ishikawa was a 21st round draft choice by the Giants out of Federal Way in 2002. But he wasn’t the normal 21st rounder. The Giants dished out $955,000 to sign the first baseman. It was the highest bonus awarded for a player drafted after the first round at the time.