|Tampa Bay Devil Rays — No. 44|
|Born: October 21, 1975
|Batted: Right||Threw: Right|
|1997 for the Hudson Valley Renegades|
|Last organizational appearance|
|June 25, 2006 for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays|
Toby Jason Hall (born October 21, 1975, in Tacoma, WA) was a catcher for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. He was drafted by the Devil Rays out of UNLV in the 9th round of the 1997 draft and was signed on June 9, 1997, by Tim Corcoran.
Before the Devil Rays
Hall was an All-State selection out of El Dorado High School in Placienta, CA and initially attended American River College, playing third base where he was an All-American after hitting .376 as a freshman. He was first drafted by San Francisco in the 24th round of the 1995 draft. In lieu of signing, he chose to continue playing in college at University of Nevada-Las Vegas in order to learn how to catch before beginning his pro career.
Hall began at Short-Season Hudson Valley in the New York-Penn League, starting 31 games behind the plate (and appearing in 55 of the team's 75 games). He hit .250, but showed little power (.280 SLG, 1 HR).
To start the 1998 season, Hall was promoted to Class-A Charleston. Despite a vast increase in at-bats (200 in 1997 to 377 in 1998), he managed to increase his average and reduce his strikeouts (to only 32) as well as walking far more often, pushing his on-base percentage to .386, and earning his first All-Star appointment in the South Atlantic League.
Another year saw another promotion, this time to Advanced-A St. Petersburg in the Florida State League for 1999. He was further promoted to Double-A Orlando that season, and helped the O-Rays to a Southern League championship by hitting .536 with 7 RBI in the playoffs.
After hitting over .340 in 68 games at Orlando, where Hall started the 2000 season, he received a promotion to Triple-A Durham on June 30, 2000 again hitting well in the post-season (11/22 with 2 HR). On September 11, he got his first cup of coffee with the Major League club, appearing in 4 games including his first Major League start, on September 22, when he recorded his first hit (an infield single) and home run, both off of Toronto pitcher Frank Castillo.
Back in Durham for 2001, Hall's career-best production (19 HR, 72 RBI in 94 games) earned him several high-profile honors:
- Devil Rays Minor League Player of the Year
- International League MVP
- Topps/Minor League Baseball AAA All-Star
- Baseball America Minor League All-Star
- MVP of the Futures All-Star Game
He was called up on July 26, and started the majority of Tampa Bay's games the rest of the season. From then until his departure from Tampa Bay, Hall was the regular starter at his position.
Departure and afterward
On June 27, Hall was traded, along with pitcher Mark Hendrickson and cash, to the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for catcher Dioner Navarro, pitcher Jae Seo, and a player to be named later (announced on July 19 to be minor league outfielder Justin Ruggiano). Although he hit well for the Dodgers (.822 OPS), he saw limited playing time (only 22 games) and was granted free agency at the end of the season.
In January, 2009, Hall signed a minor league deal with the Houston Astros. During Spring Training, he suffered a torn labrum (believed to be related to a shoulder dislocation suffered while with the White Sox) and his contract was voided. He did not sign with another team in 2009, spending the season recovering from surgery.
By the time spring training in 2011 came around, Hall was working out (along with other former Devil Rays Bobby Seay, Dewon Brazelton and Jason Johnson) at a camp being run on the grounds of the Devil Rays' former Raymond A. Naimoli Complex. In March, he signed with the Camden Riversharks of the independent Atlantic League.
In December, 2011, Hall officially announced his retirement. He indicated a desire to continue his baseball career as a coach. At the time of his retirement, Hall ranked fifth all-time among Tampa Bay's Major League leaders in games played and first among catchers with 586 total appearances.
- Vaughn, Rick; Costello, Chris; Molina, Jason et al., eds (2006). 2006 Tampa Bay Devil Rays Media Guide. St. Petersburg, FL: Tampa Bay Devil Rays Public Relations Department. p. 99-103.
- Cannella, Stephen (March 19, 2002). "SI's 2002 MLB Scouting Reports: Devil Rays". si.com. CNN/Sports Illustrated. http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/baseball/mlb/features/2002/scouting_reports/devil_rays/. Retrieved May 31, 2011.
- Romano, John; Topkin, Marc; Martin, John (June 5, 1997). "Devil Rays Update: DEVIL RAYS CAPSULES". sptimes.com. St. Petersburg Times. Archived from the original on June 16, 1997. http://web.archive.org/web/19970616142417/http://www.sptimes.com/baseball/BB.60597.DraftPicks.html. Retrieved June 13, 2011.
- "Toby Hall Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference. http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/h/hallto02.shtml#trans. Retrieved May 25, 2011.
- "Q & A with Rays catcher Toby Hall". cnnsi.com. CNN/Sports Illustrated. July 26, 2001. http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/baseball/minors/news/2001/07/26/toby_hall/. Retrieved May 31, 2011.
- "Catching on: Rays prospect leads U.S. to victory in Futures Game". CNN/Sports Illustrated. Associated Press. July 8, 2001. http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/baseball/mlb/2001/allstar/news/2001/07/08/futures_game_ap/. Retrieved May 31, 2011.
- Footer, Alyson (February 22, 2009). "Astros void contract of Hall". MLB.com. MLB Advanced Media. http://houston.astros.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090222&content_id=3863234. Retrieved May 25, 2011.
- "Rangers sign C Toby Hall to minor league contract with invitation to major league spring training". Texas Rangers. January 22, 2010.
- Durrett, Richard (June 24, 2010). "Rangers release catcher Toby Hall". Texas Rangers Report. ESPN. http://espn.go.com/blog/dallas/texas-rangers/post/_/id/4849492/rangers-release-catcher-toby-hall. Retrieved May 25, 2011.
- Topkin, Marc (February 10, 2011). "Several former Tampa Bay Rays working out in St. Petersburg hoping to find major-league jobs". tampabay.com. St. Petersburg Times. http://www.tampabay.com/sports/baseball/rays/article1150703.ece. Retrieved May 25, 2011.
- Topkin, Marc (March 10, 2011). "Ex-Ray Toby Hall signs with independent league team". tampabay.com. St. Petersburg Times. http://www.tampabay.com/blogs/rays/content/ex-ray-toby-hall-signs-independent-league-team. Retrieved May 25, 2011.
- Topkin, Marc (December 21, 2011). "Tampa Bay Rays re-sign reliever Joel Peralta for $2.175 million". tampabay.com. St. Petersburg Times. http://www.tampabay.com/sports/baseball/rays/tampa-bay-rays-re-sign-joel-peralta/1207069. Retrieved December 27, 2011.