Christopher Domenic Iannetta (/ˌaɪ.əˈnɛtə/, Italian pronunciation: [janˈnetta]; born April 8, 1983) is an American professional baseball catcher who the Colorado Rockies of Major League Baseball (MLB). He has played for the Seattle Mariners, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, and Arizona Diamondbacks. He played in college for the North Carolina Tar Heels of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Christopher Domenic Iannetta is the son of Maria (née DiLorenzo) and Domenic Iannetta. He is of Italian descent. His mother Maria was born in Casa Nova, Italy and his father Domenic was born in Scapoli, Italy. He has a younger brother Matt (born 1986). Chris and his wife Lisa (married 2009) have a daughter Ashlyn Brooke Iannetta.
He went to St. Ann School in Providence, Rhode Island, and attended St. Raphael Academy, a Roman Catholic high school in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. His jersey was retired there, and is hung there for all to see. He was awarded All-State honors on three consecutive occasions. He was awarded the C. Dona Manyard Award which is given to a male athlete who excels in the classroom and on the field. He graduated from St. Raphael Academy in 2001.
Iannetta attended the University of North Carolina, where he played catcher and first base while majoring in mathematics. As a sophomore in 2003, he finished fourth on the squad with a .319 batting average and ranked third with 55 RBI. Iannetta was named to the 2003 NCAA Starkville Regional All-Tournament Team after tallying five hits and four RBI in the Tar Heels' NCAA Tournament run. As a junior in 2004, he was selected as one of three finalists for the Johnny Bench Award, presented annually to the nation's top collegiate catcher. Iannetta was also named a third-team All-American by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper.
During his college career, Iannetta played summer baseball in the Cape Cod League and the New England Collegiate Baseball League. His 2002 season with the Chatham A's of the Cape Cod League, led to him being featured in the book "The Last Best League: One Summer, One Season, One Dream" by Jim Collins. In his 2003 season with the Newport Gulls of the New England Collegiate Baseball League, Iannetta batted .302 with 20 RBIs, and was selected to play in the NECBL All-Star Game. He was also named the league's Defensive Player of the Year.
Draft and Minors
The Colorado Rockies selected Iannetta in the fourth round of the 2004 Major League Baseball draft. He began his minor league career with the Asheville Tourists, and spent the 2005 season with the Modesto Nuts. He played the majority of the 2006 season with Double-A Tulsa Drillers before being promoted to the Triple-A Colorado Springs Sky Sox.
Iannetta made his Major League Debut with the Rockies on August 27, 2006. Iannetta got his first career hit on August 27, 2006 off Jake Peavy of the San Diego Padres. He hit his first career home run off of Jonathan Sánchez of the San Francisco Giants. Iannetta played 21 games during 2006 with 2 home runs and 10 RBI.
In 2007, he was named the starting catcher coming out of spring training over Yorvit Torrealba, but struggled at the plate and was demoted to backing up Torrealba. During 2007, Iannetta played in 67 games with a .218 average, 4 home runs, and 27 RBI. Iannetta was part of the backup catcher's role as the Rockies went to the World Series for the first time ever but ended up losing the series to the Boston Red Sox in a 4-game sweep.
The 2008 year was a break-out season for Iannetta, in which he played 104 games batting .264 with 18 home runs and 65 RBI. In 2009, Iannetta played in 93 games batting .228 with 16 home runs and 52 RBI. In 2010, he played in 61 games batting .197 with 9 home runs and 27 RBI. In 2011, he played in 112 games batting .238 with 14 home runs and 55 RBI.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
On November 30, 2011, Iannetta was traded to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim for pitcher Tyler Chatwood. On May 2, 2012, he caught Jered Weaver's first no-hitter. He finished the 2012 season playing 79 games with a .240 batting average, 9 home runs, and 26 RBI.
On October 5, 2012, the Angels and Iannetta agreed to terms on a three-year, $15.55 million deal.