Long Beach State

LB In MLB: Garrett Hampson 50th Dirtbag In MLB

From statistical anomalies to streaks ending, this month has been historic for Long Beach representatives in Major League Baseball.

Last week, Long Beach Poly’s Chase Utley and Long Beach State’s Mike Marjama announced their retirements. This week, Garrett Hampson became the 50th former Dirtbag to be called up to The Show.

Hampson, 23, made his MLB debut on Saturday at second base for the Colorado Rockies. He got his first hit and RBI with a double off of the wall in a 6-5 win at Arizona. Hampson also had a few nice defensive plays in his first two games.

“I had a feeling I was close to being ready,” Hampson told the Denver Post. “My approach at the plate has been more consistent, and I have a better feeling about what I’m trying to accomplish. I’m not just swinging or going up there without a plan. I think I’ve evolved into more of a student of the game and I think that has helped me a lot.”

Hampson started 2018 at Double-A , and then moved up to hit .306 in 53 games with the Triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes. He had 18 doubles, six triples, eight home runs, 68 runs scored and 33 stolen bases in 91 games with the Rockies organization this year.

“We are so excited for Garrett and his family and friends,” Dirtbags head coach Troy Buckley said in an official release. “He epitomizes a Dirtbag and has so many people that respect and root for him because of how he’s always done things. This is special because of the man that Garrett is.”

Hampson was picked by the Rockies in the third round of the 2016 MLB Draft with the 81st overall selection. He has played shortstop, center field, and second base for the Rockies organization, and is filling in for injured All-Star second baseman DJ LeMehieu, who could miss a month with an oblique strain.

“You are going to see his speed element and a high-energy player,” Colorado Rockies manager Bud Black told the Denver Post of Hampson during spring training. “He’s going to give us some good, quality at-bats and he’s confident in his approach at the plate. He’s a solid defender and has good range. He has (the) stolen base in his game and he can hit the ball into the gap, and he’s got a little bit of pop in his bat.”

Hampson was drafted in the 26th Round of the 2013 MLB Draft by the Washington Nationals out of Reno High, but decided to attend LBSU. The Dirtbags made the NCAA Regional is two of Hampson’s three seasons at shortstop, and he was the 2014 Big West Freshman of the Year and the 2016 Big West Defensive Player of the Year. Hampson ranks seventh in LBSU program history with 213 career hits, and is one of 12 players with over 200 hits. He is also third all-time with 50 stolen bases, and a .303 career hitter at LBSU.

The Dirtbags now have 12 former players on MLB rosters, including those on the disabled list. LBSU has had more former players in the league than any other college or university since 2010.

JJ Fiddler
JJ Fiddler
JJ Fiddler is an award-winning sportswriter and videographer who has been covering Southern California sports for multiple newspapers and websites since 2004. After attending Long Beach State and creating the first full sports page at the Union Weekly Newspaper, he has been exclusively covering Long Beach prep sports since 2007.
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