Eric Scott Hinske was born on August 5, 1977, in Menasha, Wisconsin. He is a utilty fielder for the Tampa Bay Rays.
Eric is 6’ 2”, weighs 235 pounds, bats left and throws right.
High SchoolEric was raised in Menasha, Wisconsin. He attended Menasha High School and played baseball for the Menasha Blue Jays.
CollegeEric played baseball for the University of Arkansas.
Minor LeaguesEric was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 17th round of the 1998 amateur draft. He then went through their farm system.
On December 7, 2001, the Blue Jays acquired Eric and reliever Justin Miller from the Athletics for Billy Koch.
*Major Leagues‘*Toronto Blue Jays’Eric became an everyday player in his rookie season, 2002, playing third base. Although he led all AL third basemen in errors, with 24, his batting more than made up for those miscues.
He won both the MLB Rookie of the Year and The Sporting News Rookie of the Year awards.
In 2003, Eric signed a huge contract with the Blue Jays, but was unable to repeat his batting success of his rookie season, and his defense continued to cause problems. The 2004 season was no better. In 2005, Shea Hillenbrand and Corey Koskie were acquired to play third, and Eric was moved to first base.
In 2006, he was shifted to right field, where he platooned with Alex Rios. Eventually, Rios won the starting job, and Eric became a utility player.
Boston Red SoxOn August 17, 2006, Eric was traded to the Boston Red Sox for a minor league player to be named later, and cash. The Sox had been decimated by injuries and needed his versatity on the field.
However, the Red Sox released Eric after the season.
Tampa Bay RaysOn February 6, 2008, Hinske signed a minor league contract with an invite to spring training with the Tampa Bay Rays. He was added to the 40-man major league roster on March 29, and became the Rays right-fielder when the season started. In his Rays debut, Hinske homered to right field off of Baltimore starter Jeremy Guthrie.
On July 29, 2008, Eric hit his 100th career home run off of former Blue Jays teammate Roy Halladay.
PersonalEric and his wife, Kathryn, have a daughter Ava, who was born on August 2007.