Born: April 11, 1986
Height: 6’2″
Weight: 220
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Drafted: 30th Round, 906th Overall, 2004 (Cubs)
How Acquired: Trade from Orioles (for Tim Alderson)
High School: Hazleton (PA) HS
Agent: Appleton Sports Management


Canzler was a shortstop in high school, but has been strictly a corner player as a pro.  Most of his time has come at first, but he’s seen significant action at third and in the outfield corners.  He has below average speed.  He advanced slowly through the Cubs’ system and has seen his hitting profile shift throughout his career.  He’s generally, but not always, hit for good power, but his walk and K rates have fluctuated often.  He’s tended to be a little old for his levels, so his numbers have to be viewed with that in mind.  He hasn’t generally played in good hitting environments.  What he has done consistently is hammer left-handed pitching.  The Pirates acquired him in mid-July, 2013, for Tim Alderson.

R:  248/310/352, 105 AB, 2 2B, 3 3B, 1 HR, 9 BB, 35 K, 0-1 SB

Canzler didn’t hit a great deal in his debut, and struggled a lot with the strike zone.

R:  299/387/427, 157 AB, 11 2B, 3 3B, 1 HR, 24 BB, 41 K, 1-6 SB

The Cubs sent Canzler back to rookie ball for a second season and he made significant progress, hitting for gap power and greatly improving his walk and K rates.

A-:  264/319/543, 280 AB, 22 2B, 4 3B, 16 HR, 20 BB, 70 K, 7-11 SB

Canzler had a big power spike in short season A-ball, but it came with a large drop in his walk rate.

A:  270/321/376, 460 AB, 24 2B, 2 HR, 35 BB, 88 K, 12-20 SB

Still moving up one level per year, Canzler’s power spike disappeared in low A.  He did at least get his K rate down from one in four ABs to one in five.

A+:  273/327/463, 326 AB, 22 2B, 2 3B, 12 HR, 27 BB, 70 K, 7-11 SB

Canzler started picking up the power again in high A, and did it in the pitching-dominated Florida State League.  He dominated LHPs, with a .925 OPS against them, compared to .720 against RHPs.

A+:  270/315/430, 100 AB, 8 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 7 BB, 24 K, 2-2 SB
AA:  258/346/399, 267 AB, 15 2B, 6 HR, 31 BB, 41 K, 2-7 SB

The Cubs sent Canzler back to high A, but he eventually moved up and spent most of the season in AA.  He didn’t hit particularly well at either level, but improved his plate discipline a lot in AA.  He had a severe reverse platoon split, which given the rest of his career was clearly a fluke.

AA:  287/372/566, 355 AB, 28 2B, 4 3B, 21 HR, 46 BB, 95 K, 5-9 SB

Canzler spent the year in AA and had his best season up to that point, hitting for exceptional power.  His walk and strikeout rates also both increased significantly.  He hammered LHPs for a 1.013 OPS, but also posted an .899 figure against RHPs.  Canzler nevertheless became a minor league free agent in the off-season and signed with Tampa Bay.

AAA:  314/401/530, 474 AB, 40 2B, 4 3B, 18 HR, 67 BB, 129 K, 5-7 SB
MLB:  333/400/333, 3 AB, 1 BB, 1 K

In his first year in AAA, Canzler continued to improve, with continued very high walk and K rates.  He posted an OPS over .900 against both LHPs and RHPs.  At 25, he was a little old for the level, but not drastically so.  The Rays called him up in mid-September and he got five plate appearances.  After the season, the Rays dfa’d Canzler and the Indians acquired him for cash.

AAA:  265/328/487, 487 AB, 36 2B, 3 3B, 22 HR, 46 BB, 128 K, 2-6 SB
MLB:  269/299/398, 93 AB, 3 2B, 3 HR, 4 BB, 22 K

Canzler continued to hit for very good power in AAA, but his plate patience dropped off a lot.  The Indians had been getting little production from first base and left field, and called Canzler up at the beginning of September.  He played regularly most of the month, alternating between first, left and DH.  He mainly just held his own.  After the season, he was a victim of the increasing practice of teams (particularly Toronto) making waiver claims just to add minor league depth, with the hope of getting the player through waivers later.  Canzler was claimed four separate times in the course of about six weeks.  He eventually came to rest with the Orioles.

AAA (Balt):  276/369/430, 323 AB, 15 2B, 1 3B, 11 HR, 47 BB, 76 K, 1-2 SB
AAA (Pgh):  194/277/240, 129 AB, 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 15 BB, 25 K

Canzler was having just a so-so season in AAA when the Pirates acquired him, mainly due to serious struggles against RHPs.  At the time of the trade, he had .658 OPS against RHPs, compared to 1.346 against LHPs.  His power overall dropped off significantly, but his walk rate at least rebounded.  The Pirates appear to have added Canzler to add a corner bat as a depth option.  They may have done so in light of Jerry Sands’ severe struggles.  Canzler divided his time at Indianapolis between DH, first, third and the outfield corners, but he didn’t hit at all.  The Pirates designated him for assignment during their late-August roster maneuvers.  He cleared waivers and accepted assignment to AAA, making him available for the International League playoffs.

Canzler will be a free agent after the season.  The Pirates’ decision to DFA him is a good indication that they won’t be overly interested in bringing him back.

Baseball Reference–Majors
Baseball Reference–Minors
2013: Minor league contract
Signing Bonus: N/A
MiLB Debut: 2004
MLB Debut: 9/15/2011
MiLB FA Eligible: 2013
MLB FA Eligible: 2019
Rule 5 Eligible: Eligible
Added to 40-Man: June 17, 2007
Options Remaining: 1 (USED:  2012, 2013)
MLB Service Time: 0.051
June 7, 2004: Drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 30th round, 906th overall pick; signed on July 12.
November 6, 2010: Became a free agent.
November 19, 2010: Signed as a minor league free agent by the Tampa Bay Rays.
September 11, 2011: Called up by the Tampa Bay Rays.
January 27, 2012: Designated for assignment by the Tampa Bay Rays.
January 31, 2012: Traded by the Tampa Bay Rays to the Cleveland Indians for cash considerations.
December 18, 2012: Designated for assignment by the Cleveland Indians.
December 21, 2012: Claimed off waivers from the Cleveland Indians by the Toronto Blue Jays.
January 2, 2013: Claimed off waivers from the Toronto Blue Jays by the Cleveland Indians.
January 4, 2013: Claimed off waivers from the Cleveland Indians by the New York Yankees.
February 1, 2013: Designated for assignment by the New York Yankees.
February 5, 2013: Claimed off waivers from the New York Yankees by the Baltimore Orioles.
July 12, 2013: Traded by the Baltimore Orioles to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Tim Alderson.
August 27, 2013: Designated for assignment by the Pittsburgh Pirates; outrighted to AAA on August 30.