Topic: Jody Gerut

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Joseph Diego "Jody" Gerut (born September 18, 1977 in Elmhurst, Illinois) is a Major League Baseball outfielder for the Milwaukee Brewers. He attended Jackson Middle School, Willowbrook High School, and later Stanford University. He made his major league debut in April 26, 2003, with the Cleveland Indians.

Drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the 2nd round of the 1998 Major League Baseball Draft, he was traded to the Cleveland Indians with Josh Bard for Jacob Cruz on June 2, 2001. He had a spectacular rookie year in 2003, finishing in the top five in Rookie of the Year voting and winning the also-prestigious Sporting News Rookie of the Year Award. 2004 was a disappointing year for him, and his season ended when he tore the ACL in his right knee. Gerut was acquired by the Chicago Cubs from the Indians on July 18, 2005, in exchange for Jason Dubois. On July 31, 2005, Gerut was acquired by the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for fellow outfielder Matt Lawton, just minutes before the trade deadline. He played briefly for the Pirates in 2005, then did not play for them at all in 2006; on March 8, 2007, the Pirates released Gerut and he did not play during that year.

On January 21, 2008, Gerut signed a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training with the San Diego Padres. Gerut played very well in a starting role for the Padres during the 2008 season. He finished the year with a line of .296 batting average, .351 OBP, and .494 slugging percentage with 14 HR and 48 RBI mostly in center field. On April 13, 2009, he hit the first base hit and home run at Citi Field against the New York Mets on the 3rd pitch off Mets starting pitcher Mike Pelfrey. Gerut became the first player in major league history to open a new ballpark with a leadoff homer.

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