Resides in Scottsdale, AZ with his wife, Kelly, daughter, Berlin Elizabeth, and son, Boston ... Tabbed a First-Team High School All-American by Baseball America following his senior season at La Quinta High School in Westminster, CA in 1998 as he hit .630 (68-for-108) with eight home runs, 46 RBI and 42 stolen bases...Played for Cypress Junior College in Cypress, CA in 1999...His brother Brandon (third baseman) currently plays in the Kansas City Royals organization and has played in the New York Yankees and Houston Astros organizations.
Appeared in 47 games, including 33 starts at catcher, in his first season with the Braves organization and his 11th Major League season. Made his third consecutive appearance on a postseason roster, after being a part of the 2012 Detroit Tigers club and the 2011 World Series Champion St. Louis Cardinals. Entered Division Series Game 2 at catcher (0-for-1) in the eighth inning. In the ninth inning, caught LAD's D. Gordon stealing at 2B for the second out of the inning. Threw out 30.4% (7-for-23) of attempted base stealers. Pitching staff worked at a 3.94 ERA in games in which he caught. Posted a 1.000 fielding percentage (257 total chances) for the first time in his career. In 33 starts at catcher, batted .274 (29-for-106) with seven doubles, one home run and nine RBI. Had a .303 (23-for-76) batting average vs. right-handed pitchers, compared to a .244 (11-for-45) vs. lefthanded pitchers. Hit .348 (8-for-23) with runners in scoring position. His batting average with runners in scoring position and two outs was .308 (4-for-13). Went 3-for-8 (.375) with two RBI as a pinch-hitter. Hit .351 (20-for-57) at home, compared to a .219 mark (14-for-64) on the road. His four-hit performance on 9/29 matched his career high for the third time. From 4/1 through 7/21, owned a .306 (22-for-72) batting average with one home run and 11 RBI. His onbase percentage was .390 and his OPS was .807. Was placed on the disabled list on 8/3 (retroactive to July 26) to 8/11 with kidney stones. Had a medical procedure to remove kidney stones on 7/31. Appeared in two rehabilitation games with Triple-A Gwinnett. Signed by the Braves as a free agent to a two-year contract on November 16, 2012.
Led the Majors with a .382 (29-for-76) average against right-handed pitchers (minimum 50 AB). Batted .342 (25-for-73) with runners on base, third-best in the American League (minimum 50 AB). Drove in a season-high three runs in 10/1's win at KC. With the win, DET clinched the AL Central title. Appeared in six postseason games, including Games 2 and 4 of the World Series.
Served as the back-up catcher for the St. Louis Cardinals during the 2011 season after signing with the club as a free
agent during the off-season...Collected a season-high three hits on April 13 at Arizona...Sidelined May 23-July 7 with a right finger fracture -- assigned to Triple A Memphis for an injury rehabilitation
assignment on July 5, seeing action in two games with the club...Hit .357 (5x14) in six games during July.
Completed his second season with the Tigers, splitting the club's catching duties with Alex Avila. Made 76 starts behind the plate and appeared in 87 games total...Threw out 29.2 percent of runners attempting to steal (24 of 82), third-best among American League catchers...Ranked 3rd among A.L. catchers with 52 assists...Collected a season-high three hits on 6/15 vs. WSH. Equaled the high with three hits on 6/27 at ATL...Batted .333 (8-24) with a double, home run and five RBI over a season-best seven-game hitting streak 8/13-26...Entered the game on 9/2 at MIN as a pinch-hitter in the 11th inning and successfully recorded a sacrifice bunt before he belted a game-winning home run in the 13th inning. According to Elias, it marked the first time a player entered the game in extra innings to put down a sacrifice bunt in his first trip to the plate and hit a home run later in the game since 8/14/92 when Milwaukee's Jim Gantner did so vs. Boston.
Acquired by the Tigers in a three-player deal with the Texas Rangers during the off-season, he served as Detroit's primary catcher in 2009 and saw action in a career-high 135 games...Threw out 40.4 percent of runners attempting to steal (40x99), tops among American League catchers...Topped all American League catchers with a .997 fielding percentage and 78 assists...Hit by a pitch 10 times during the season, tied for seventh-most in the American League...tied for eighth in the league
with 10 sacrifice hits...Tabbed the second-best defensive catcher in the American League by Baseball America...Did not commit an error in his first 56 games of the season behind the plate April 6-June 17...Hit .340 (16x47) with two doubles, a triple, home run and five RBI over his first 14 games of the season April 6-25...Collected a season-high three hits on April 11 versus Texas -- matched the high with three hits on April 25 at Kansas
City, May 16 versus Oakland, May 23 versus Colorado and September 26 at Chicago's U.S. Cellular Field against the
White Sox...Batted .341 (15x44) with four doubles, a triple, two home runs and eight RBI over a 13-game stretch June 18-July 6..Hit .357 (15x42) with three doubles and four RBI over a 13-game stretch September 10-26...Hit .260 (53x204) in 68 games at home...batted .191 (40x209) in 67 games on the road...Batted .241 (55x228) in 74 games prior to the all-star break...hit .205 (38x185) in 61 games following the all-star break.
Served as the primary catcher for the Texas Rangers for the majority of the 2008 season, seeing action in 95 games...Equaled career highs with four hits and two home runs on April 6 at the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, while he
established a career best with six RBI -- belted two home runs on August 3 versus Toronto to match the career high...Posted a career-high 10-game hitting streak April 21-May 8, batting .359 (14x39) with three doubles, a home run and
four RBI...Started at third base on June 6 versus Tampa Bay -- first appearance at the position during his major league career...Sidelined June 21-July 26 with a left hamstring strain -- saw action in four games during an injury rehabilitation assignment with Triple A Oklahoma July 22-26...Ejected by home plate umpire Bill Hohn on August 31 at the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim for arguing a called third strike in the eighth inning -- marked his first career ejection...Fared better against righthanded pitchers, batting .288 (72x250)...hit .245 (23x94) versus lefties...Batted .306 (56x183) in 51 games prior to the all-star break...hit .242 (39x161) in 44 games following the all-star break.
Saw action in a career-high 120 games for Texas,
establishing career bests with nine home runs and 47 RBI....led all American League catchers with 75 assists...threw out 39.8 percent of runners attempting to steal (39/98), second-best among league catchers...belted his first career grand slam 5/21 vs. MIN, collecting a season-high five RBI...had a nine-game hitting streak 7/16-29, batting .333 (12-for-36).
He finished the season with one hit in his last 18 at-bats and 14 in his last 72 at-bats (.194) with 4 doubles and 9 runs scored. Since July 1, he ranked 6th among AL catchers with 130-or-more at-bats in batting .275 (42-153) with 11 doubles, one triple, three home runs and 10 RBI. He led all Major League catchers with seven bunt hits, most by a Texas catcher in a single season in club history. He batted .405 (34-84) vs. lefties, first in the AL among players with at least 75 at-bats, highest in club history. He threw out 19 of 44 attempted base stealers (43%) and ranked tied for seventh in the AL in catcher caught stealing in only 71 games at the position. He established single-game highs with 2 doubles, 2 home runs, 4 runs and 4 RBI 6/4 at Chicago White Sox and is only the 6th player in club history to record 4 extra-base hits in one game.
Batted .225 (9-40) with one home run and 4 RBI in 13 games/11 starts over 2 stints with Texas...recalled from Oklahoma on
June 27...went 0-4 in a start at catcher that night and was optioned to Oklahoma the following day...was also with the Rangers from
September 1-end of season...batted .250 (9-36) in 12 games in his 2nd stint with the club...hit safely in season-high 5 straight from
September 4-12...went 2-4 with double, homer and 2 RBI on September 4 at Kansas City...played 8th inning on September 4 in right
field, his first major league appearance at a position other than catcher.
Oklahoma: Batted .310 (87-281) with 17 home runs, 55 RBI and 12 stolen bases in 75 games with the RedHawks...17 homers
ranked 4th among Oklahoma batters and was a career-high for a single professional season...started at catcher for the Pacific Coast
League in the Triple-A All-Star Game and went 2-3 with a grand slam to earn PCL Star of Stars honors...was named Rangers Minor
League Player of the Month in April, batting .381 (24-63) with 4 home runs and 11 RBI in 15 April contests...recorded season-high 9-
game hit streak twice, from April 14-25 and August 20-30...homered in consecutive games on April 18-20 and June 10-12...went 4-
5 with a grand slam and season-high 6 RBI on July 6 at Albuquerque...also recorded a 4-hit game on May 31 at Iowa...batted .295
(38-129) in 35 games at home and .322 (49-152) in 40 road contests...hit .271 (19-70) against left-handers and .322 (68-211) against
right-handers...on the Oklahoma disabled list from July 20-August 19 with a strained left hamstring...rehabbed with the Arizona
League Rangers from August 5-18, batting .192 (5-26) in 8 games.
Started 46 games at catcher for Texas in his 2nd major league season...spent 2 months on the disabled list after injuring thumb during
play at the plate on May 20 vs. Kansas City.
Summary: Made Opening Day roster for first time in his career after trade of catcher Einar Diaz on April 3...batted .414 (12-29) in
first 8 games and hit .346 in April...was named AL Rookie of the Month for April, the first Texas rookie to win the award, which began
in 2001...for April, Laird led all AL rookies with 18 hits...was batting .307 (27-88) at the time of the injury...assigned on rehab to
Oklahoma on July 17 and went 4-22 (.182) in 6 games...activated from disabled list on July 23...batted .102 (6-59) in final 20 games
after returning from the disabled list, dropping season figure from .307 to .224...did not play in a game from Sept. 4-26...last multihit
game was May 15 at Detroit...hit 2nd career homer on Sept. 28 vs. Anaheim, same opponent and nearly a year to the day of first
career HR on Sept. 27, 2003 at Anaheim...had pair of 3-hit games in April, matching career high.
Injury: Sustained a torn left thumb ligament in play at the plate on May 20 vs. Kansas City...on the play, Royals' Ken Harvey was cut
down at the plate by leftfielder Eric Young to end the top of the first...Rod Barajas came out to catch top of the 2nd inning that
day...resulting injury for Laird led to a 63-day disabled list stint from May 21-July 22...played 6 games on rehab assignment with
Miscellaneous: Was 12-29 (.414) throwing out attempted base stealers...became first rookie catcher to start on Opening Day for
Rangers...threw out 3 runners attempting to steal on April 21 at Anaheim, first Rangers catcher to accomplish that feat since Doug
Mirabelli in 2001.
Split season between Oklahoma (AAA) and Texas...started 12 games behind the plate in 2 stints with Rangers in his major league debut....recalled from Oklahoma on April 30 and made big league debut that night defensively at Toronto...doubled in first major league at-bat, May 6 vs. Toronto, and was 2-2 in first 4 big league contests...went 3-6 in 6 games (one start) before option to Oklahoma on May 15...recalled on September 2 and hit safely in first 5 games with an at-bat in second stint at 6-17...overall, had a hit in first 8 major league contests with an at-bat, May 6-September 13, at .391 (9-23), the longest hitting streak ever by a Ranger to begin a major league career...0-16 in next 5 games before going 3-4 with first major league home run off Ramon Ortiz, September 27 at Anaheim...homer snapped an 0-20 span at the plate...hit .389 (7-18) on the road...beginning September 5, started 11 of Texas' final 22 games at catcher...3-5 in throwing out baserunners...fielded .986 (1 E/74 TC) in 16 games behind the plate...appeared in 99 games for Oklahoma and hit .260 with 20 doubles, 9 home runs and 42 RBI...started 89 games at catcher, 9 at DH and appeared once as a pinch hitter...finished his Oklahoma season by hitting safely in 18 of his last 22 games which raised his average from .244 to .260...that stretch included a season best 8-game hitting streak...in August hit .288 (23-80) with 4 home runs and 14 RBI...3-4 with 2 home runs and 6 RBI and 4 runs on August 19 at Nashville...season-high 4 hits (4-4) vs. Las Vegas on April 29...batted .305 vs. left-handers and .246 vs. right-handers...fielded .983 (11 E/634 TC)...member of the 2003 USA Baseball squad, which played at the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Panama in November...as a member of Team USA played in 10 games in the Arizona Fall league and hit .444 (8-18).
Spent entire season at Tulsa (AA), leading team in sacrifice flies (10), tying for first in triples (4) and ranking third in games (123), at-bats (442), runs (70), hits (122), homers (11), RBI (67) and doubles (21-tied)...started 98 games at catcher, 12 at DH, 9 in left field, and once in center...played in Texas League All-Star game...hit .327 (17-52) in season's first 15 games and had a .329 (74-225) average in 59-game stretch, May 23-July 29, improving from .215 to .289...batted .356 (36-101) in 27 games in July...had a .311 (66-212) road average and batted .355 (33-93) vs. left-handed pitchers...fielded .988 (8 E/645 TC) in 101 games behind the plate...sidelined from May 1-9 with a hyperextended left knee...batted .310 (13-42) with a homer and 8 RBI in 10 Texas League playoff games...played for Peoria in Arizona Fall League, hitting .214 with 5 RBI in 21 games...a non-roster invitee to Rangers major league spring training camp.
Third on Oakland's Modesto (A) club in at-bats (443), runs (71), and triples (5) and finished fourth in walks (48)...started 85 games at catcher to earn honorable mention on California League postseason all-star team...also made starts at DH (22) and in left (4), center (3), first base (3) and right (1)...played every defensive position except pitcher, May 28 vs. Visalia...was hitting .270 through August 4 before batting .195 (17-87) in final 25 games...had a .293 (34-116) average versus left-handers...fielded .977 (16 E/681 TC) behind the plate...6-18 with 3 RBI in 8 games for Phoenix in Arizona Fall League before missing rest of season with fractured right hand.
Combined to bat .261 (40-153) with 22 RBI in 47 games at Visalia (A) and Arizona League A's...played in 33 games at Visalia, then finished season in Arizona League, batting .300 in 14 games as catcher and DH...missed part of season with a broken right wrist...handed 55 chances without an error in 9 games behind the plate for the A's.
Northwest League all-star catcher at Southern Oregon (A)...tied for third on team in stolen bases (10) and was fourth in RBI (39)...saw action in 51 games behind the plate with .972 (11 E/386 TC) fielding percentage.