Earlier this week, Oakland Athletics catcher and first baseman Stephen Vogt announced his plans to retire at the end of this season. Vogt's career has spanned 10 major-league seasons and includes several notable highlights. Vogt played for the SF Giants in 2019 and was one of the team's most productive hitters that season.
The Tampa Bay Rays selected Vogt in the 12th round of the 2007 MLB draft out of Azusa Pacific University. Vogt already had an excellent approach at the plate, which helped him work walks and limit his strikeouts throughout his career, alongside impressive defensive ability behind the plate.
However, Vogt suffered a catastrophic shoulder injury during the 2009 season diving headfirst into first base. He was unable to throw for nearly a year after the injury and faced questions about whether his career could continue. Eventually, Vogt worked his way back to the field but would never recover his full arm strength.
Vogt slowly worked his way up Tampa Bay's minor-league ranks, reaching the majors in 2007. His first big-league season was far from spectacular, though. In fact, Vogt recorded zero hits in 25 MLB at-bats across multiple stints that year.
The Rays designated Vogt for assignment the following March, and he was traded to the A's for cash considerations. This time, Vogt posted a more acceptable .252/.295/.400 triple-slash in his brief big-league playing time, carving out a role for himself in Oakland going forward.
Vogt emerged as the A's starting catcher for the next three years. From 2014-2016, Vogt hit .261/.322/.425 with 41 home runs in 357 games with the Athletics and earned two All-Star game selections.
The A's traded Vogt to the Brewers at the 2017 trade deadline. He finished the season with Milwaukee but was unable to help their cause in 2018 after suffering another serious injury to his throwing shoulder. The Brewers designated him for assignment the subsequent offseason and Vogt became a free agent and inked a deal with the Giants.
One of the first position players signed to a contract by Farhan Zaidi, Vogt arguably had the best offensive season of his career in San Francisco. Giants manager Bruce Bochy utilized Vogt as a backup catcher to Buster Posey and a late-game pinch hitter. Vogt appeared in 99 games that season and hit .263/.314/.490 with 24 doubles and 10 home runs. He recorded the best single-season slugging percentage of his career that year.
Coming off one of the better offensive seasons of his career, Vogt inked a deal with the Diamondbacks that offseason. Vogt spent most of the next three seasons in Arizona before he was traded to Atlanta at the 2021 deadline, where he helped Atlanta go on to win the 2022 World Series victory.
Having turned 37 last November, Vogt was likely aware that 2022 would be his final season as a player. A Visalia native, Vogt decided to return to Oakland for one last season with the A's before hanging up his cleats.
In his 10-year MLB career, Stephen Vogt amassed 559 hits, 121 doubles, and 81 home runs alongside a .239/.302/.406 triple-slash. Now, as the 2022 season nears a conclusion, the former SF Giants catcher is on the cusp of entering the next phase of his life.