Thursday, April 05, 2012

Where are they now ... John Bowker (SF Giants: 2008-2010)

It seems like yesterday when John Bowker bursted onto the scene at AT&T Park as a home grown power hitter, but his tenure with the Giants was short lived.

Bowker played college ball at Long Beach State, and was a 3rd round pick for the Giants in the 2004 Amateur Draft. He spent a better part of four years in the Giants farm system slowly climbing the ladder, when he was called up to the Bigs on April 12, 2004. This is where Bowker etched his name in the record books. He became the first player in San Francisco Giants history to club a home run in his first two games (April 12-13). The future looked promising for Bowker, but like so many others before him, he simply could not find the consistency that is needed at the big league level.

In 2010, after starting as the opening day right fielder, Bowker failed to hit and flirted with a .200 batting average for most of the season, he was eventually sent down to AAA Fresno on June 1, and left the team with a .207 batting average. Approximately two months later, Bowker and Joe Martinez (RHP) were traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Javier Lopez (LHP) ... and we all know how this trade worked out for the Giants.

Bowker spent the 2011 season between the Pirates and Philadelphia Phillies, but rarely saw any action. On January 10, 2012, he was released by the Phillies and soon thereafter signed with the Yomiuri Giants of the Nippon Professional Baseball League in Japan. As of today (April 5, 2012), Bowker has appeared in six games for the Giants and has one hit in 25 plate appearances (.042 batting average). The season is still young, but the Japanese teams are notorious on having a short leash with foreign players (gaishin), so he'll need to pick it up if he hopes to make his mark in Japan.

All told, Bowker played four years in the Bigs, and during his time with the Giants he compiled a .238 batting average, .285 OBP, 15 home runs, and 58 RBI.

John Bowker in 2008

John Bowker with the Yomiuri Giants

John Bowker with the Yomiuri Giants

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