Born: June 30, 1983
Height: 6’3″
Weight: 200
Bats: Both
Throws: Right
Drafted: 15th Round, 454th Overall, 2004 (Astros)
How Acquired: Waiver Claim (from Rays)
College: Baylor University
Agent: Select Sports Group


Sutton is a veteran utility player who mainly plays second and third, and has also seen time at first and in the outfield corners.  He’s played a little at short, but isn’t generally seen as a shortstop.  He’s a passable hitter for a 25th man, with a career OBP of .320 and SLG of .391 in 229 plate appearances in the majors.  Those figures, though, are probably inflated by some unrealistic 2011 numbers with Boston.  Unlike most switch hitters, Sutton has hit better against LHPs in the majors, but the sample size is very small.  Throughout his career he’s shown some gap power and a good willingness to take a walk, but he also strikes out a lot for a hitter with very modest power.

A-:  280/379/332, 250 AB, 10 2B, 1 HR, 39 BB, 50 K, 2-6 SB

Sutton had a solid debut in short season ball, drawing a lot of walks but not hitting for much power.  He played second most of the time.

A:  286/394/554, 231 AB, 19 2B, 2 3B, 13 HR, 36 BB, 51 K, 4-6 SB
A+:  257/382/365, 148 AB, 5 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR, 29 BB, 34 K, 4-7 SB

Sutton dominated low A, hitting for a lot of power and continuing to draw a lot of walks.  He moved up to high A for about the last six weeks of the season and the power dropped off a lot, although his walk rate increased.  He was still playing second almost all the time.

A+:  263/360/430, 456 AB, 27 2B, 2 3B, 15 HR, 69 BB, 84 K, 20-35 SB

Sutton returned to high A and had a good year, but the Astros left him there all year.


AA: 267/390/515, 454 AB, 25 2B, 2 3B, 28 HR, 87 BB, 108 K, 6-8 SB

The Astros moved Sutton to third most of the time.  He spent the year in AA and had a solid season.

AA:  317/408/523, 520 AB, 39 2B, 4 3B, 20 HR, 76 BB, 98 K, 20-27 SB

Sutton continued to make slow progress through the minors, spending another entire season in AA despite putting up big numbers.  He moved back to second most of the time.

AAA (Hou):  267/389/267, 15 AB, 2 BB, 2 K
AAA (Cinn):  261/381/471, 157 AB, 14 2B, 2 3B, 5 HR, 26 BB, 39 K, 1-3 SB
MLB (Cinn):  212/297/348, 66 AB, 4 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 7 BB, 20 K, 0-2 SB

The Astros traded Sutton to Cincinnati early in the season.  The Reds called him up at the beginning of July and he stayed through the end of the season.  Cincinnati used him mostly as a pinch-hitter, but he saw brief action at second, third, and short, and in the outfield corners.  He didn’t hit much, but at least drew walks at a decent rate.

AAA (Cinn):  262/366/365, 263 AB, 16 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR, 43 BB, 71 K, 5-8 SB
AAA (Cleve):  302/414/448, 96 AB, 8 2B, 2 HR, 18 BB, 21 K, 4-4 SB
MLB (Cinn):  667/667/1.667, 3 AB, 1 HR, 1 K
MLB (Cleve):  222/282/333, 36 AB, 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 BB, 12 K

Sutton spent most of 2010 through August in AAA, getting just a very brief callup.  In early August, the Reds put him on waivers and the Indians claimed him.  They called him up in September and he saw some time at second and short.  The Reds outrighted him after the season and he elected free agency.

AAA:  295/382/476, 166 AB, 13 2B, 1 3B, 5 HR, 21 BB, 38 K, 0-2 SB
MLB:  315/362/444, 54 AB, 7 2B, 3 BB, 13 K

Sutton signed a minor league deal with Boston and opened in AAA, but the Sox called him up in May when they began to be deluged with injuries.  He stayed in the majors most of the time through early August, primarily coming off the bench.  He played all the infield positions and left, and hit very well.  Boston outrighted Sutton to AAA in early September and he became a free agent.

AAA (Atl):  270/374/372, 137 AB, 10 2B, 2 3B, 20 BB, 24 K, 2-5 SB
AAA (Pgh):  048/231/095, 21 AB, 1 2B, 4 BB, 7 K, 1-1 SB
MLB (TB):  271/314/354, 48 AB, 4 2B, 2 BB, 16 K
MLB (Pgh):  243/278/419, 74 AB, 8 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 4 BB, 26 K, 0-1 SB

Sutton signed a minor league deal with the Braves for 2012 and opened the season in AAA, playing primarily second.  In late May, the Pirates purchased his contract, but Tampa Bay found itself short of players at the major league level and obtained him from the Pirates the next day.  With Evan Longoria and Jeff Keppinger both hurt, the Rays gave Sutton some starts at second and third.  He went 6-for-11 in his first three games, leading to silly wailing in certain hysterical quarters of the Pirates’ online fandom.  Sutton stopped hitting after that, though, and the Rays designated him for assignment after a month.

Sutton replaced Jordy Mercer on the active roster when the Pirates acquired him.  He once again got off to a fast start, including one memorable game against Houston in which he hit a walkoff HR.  He started semi-regularly in the outfield corners for about half of July, a ludicrous situation for a team that was in contention at the time.  Sutton eventually stopped hitting and the Pirates designated him for assignment in the midst of several trade deadline deals.  He cleared waivers and was outrighted to AAA, where he played only sparingly the rest of the year and didn’t hit at all.

Sutton is probably a better player than Josh Harrison, but he has no options left, limiting his team’s flexibility.  He’ll become a free agent in the fall and probably sign somewhere else.

Baseball Reference–Majors
Baseball Reference–Minors
2009: $404,000
2012: Major league minimum
Signing Bonus: N/A
MiLB Debut: 2004
MLB Debut: 7/2/2009
MiLB FA Eligible: 2012
MLB FA Eligible: 2017
Rule 5 Eligible: Eligible
Added to 40-Man: November 19, 2008
Options Remaining: 0 (USED: 2009, 2010, 2011)
MLB Service Time: 1.000
June 5, 2002: Drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the 38th round, 1131st overall pick.
June 8, 2004:
Drafted by the Houston Astros in the 15th round, 454th overall pick; signed on June 16.
November 19, 2008: Contract purchased by the Houston Astros.
April 16, 2009: Traded by the Houston Astros to the Cincinnati Reds as a player to be named later in an earlier deal for Jeff Keppinger.
August 6, 2010: Selected off waivers from the Cincinnati Reds by the Cleveland Indians.
November 3, 2010: Outrighted to AAA by the Cleveland Indians.
November 6, 2010: Became a free agent.
December 3, 2010: Signed as a minor league free agent by the Boston Red Sox.
May 20, 2011: Called up by the Boston Red Sox.
September 9, 2011: Outrighted to AAA by the Boston Red Sox.
September 29, 2011: Became a free agent.
November 22, 2011: Signed as a minor league free agent with the Atlanta Braves.
May 20, 2012: Purchased by the Pittsburgh Pirates from the Atlanta Braves.
May 21, 2012: Purchased by the Tampa Bay Rays from the Pittsburgh Pirates and added to major league roster.
June 22, 2012: Designated for assignment by the Tampa Bay Rays.
June 24, 2012: Claimed off waivers by the Pittsburgh Pirates from the Tampa Bay Rays.
July 31, 2012: Designated for assignment by the Pittsburgh Pirates; outrighted to AAA on August 3.