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Ryan Neil Raburn (born April 17, 1981 in Tampa, Florida) is a Major League Baseball player for the Detroit Tigers. Primarily an outfielder, Raburn can also play third base, second base, first base, and catcher.

Raburn attended Durant High School in Plant City, Florida.Template:Citation needed Following his prep career, he was selected in the 18th round of the 1999 Major League Baseball Draft by his hometown Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Raburn, however, chose not to sign, opting instead to play at South Florida Community College. He is also the brother of Milwaukee Brewers utility player Johnny Raburn.

Professional careerEdit

After two seasons of college baseball, the Detroit Tigers selected Raburn in the 5th round of the 2001 Major League Baseball Draft. Raburn signed and began playing in the minor leagues at third base, his natural position. In 2004, the Tigers, lacking depth in the middle infield, moved Raburn to second base.

Following the 2006 season, the Tigers chose to not add Raburn to the 40-man roster. This left him unprotected in the Rule 5 draft, allowing any team to add him for a cost of $50,000; provided he spent the entire season on a major league roster. Raburn was not selected and returned to the Tigers and their Triple-A affiliate Toledo Mud Hens.

2007 season

Raburn was a September call up during the 2004 season for the Tigers, playing in 12 games. He would not have a chance to play in the major leagues again until 2007, when Tigers utility infielder Neifi Pérez was suspended 25 games after testing positive for amphetamine usage. Raburn had a 2-out RBI single in his first at bat of that season.[1] On July 25 against the Chicago White Sox, Raburn went 4–5 with 2 home runs, a double and a single and had a total of 7 RBI.[2]

Raburn earned the 2007 Tigers Rookie of the Year award from the Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association.

2008 season

Raburn entered the 2008 season at Toledo, but was called up for a reserve role with the Tigers. During the 2008 season, Raburn has made sporadic starts at third base, second base, and all three outfield positions. Manager Jim Leyland has often employed Raburn as a late-innings defensive replacement in the outfield or as a pinch runner.

Raburn hit his first career grand slam on June 28, 2008 against Colorado Rockies pitcher Jeff Francis.

2009 season

During spring training, Raburn spent time learning the catcher position, as well as first base, in an effort to provide more versatility to his resume. He did not make the Tigers 25-man roster and began the 2009 season playing for the Toledo Mud Hens. He was called up to Detroit in April when Marcus Thames was placed on the disabled list.

On June 8, 2009, Raburn made his first career start at first base. It was the sixth different position he had started at in the major leagues.

On June 23, 2009, Raburn hit his first career walk-off home run to lift the Tigers over the Chicago Cubs 5-4. According to Raburn, it was the first walk-off home run he had ever hit, including the minors leagues, college, high school, and Little League.

2010 season

Raburn made the Tigers opening Day roster for the first time in his career. He enters the 2010 season as a key bench player expecting to see time at every defensive position except catcher and shortstop. As of mid-June, Raburn has been filling in for injured right fielder Magglio Ordonez. As of the second half of the season, he has become an everyday starter, primarily playing in the outfield, but playing second base on occasion. In 103 games played, he sports a .273 batting average, with 14 home runs and 57 RBIs, with an OPS of .819, following a surge he has had in the second half.

HonorsEdit

  • 2001 Single-A All Star, New York-Penn League
  • 2006 Triple-A All Star, International League
  • 2007 Triple-A All Star, International League
  • 2007 Detroit Tigers Rookie of the Year
  • International League Player of the Month, June, 2007.

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