Born: March 15, 1979|
Ntema Ndungidi (born March 15, 1979) is a former Zaire-born Canadian Minor League Baseball outfielder. He played in the minor leagues in the Baltimore Orioles, Seattle Mariners, and Montreal Expos organizations. He appeared in the All-Star Futures Game.
Ndungidi was born in Kisangani, in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo). His father moved to Montreal, Quebec, in 1981. The rest of the family, including him, followed the next year. He attended Cégep Édouard-Montpetit.
The Baltimore Orioles drafted Ndungidi in the first round, with the 36th overall selection, of the 1997 Major League Baseball Draft, making him the highest-ranked MLB draftee from Quebec of all time. He was selected with a compensation pick received for the loss of David Wells as a free agent. The Orioles signed him with a $500,000 signing bonus. Ndungidi is the second baseball player of African descent to play for a Major League Baseball organization, the first being Mark Miller of South Africa, who played Minor League Baseball in the 1970s. Ndungidi had a .295 batting average with the Bluefield Orioles of the Rookie-level Appalachian League in 1998. However, he struggled with the Delmarva Shorebirds of the Class A South Atlantic League and the Frederick Keys of the Class A-Advanced Carolina League in 1999.
In 2000, while playing for Frederick, Ndungidi was selected to appear in the All-Star Futures Game. He received a promotion to the Bowie Baysox of the Class AA Eastern League during the season. Participating in the Arizona Fall League after the 2000 season, Ndungidi left the team without permission, and was suspended. Baseball America named Ndungidi the fourth-best prospect in the Orioles organization prior to the 2001 season. After 2001, he was released and claimed by the Seattle Mariners. After the 2002 season, he signed a minor league contract with the Montreal Expos. In 2003, he played for the Quebec Capitales of the Northeast League, an independent baseball league.
- Brockmann, John (August 25, 1997). "Ndungidi Not Typical Draft Pick". Sarasota Herald Tribune. Retrieved August 28, 2012.
- Rosenthal, Ken (June 21, 1997). "O's get world-class draft pick in 'Pappy'". Baltimore Sun. Retrieved August 28, 2012.
- "ANAHEIM ANGELS". Orlando Sentinel. June 13, 1997. p. C.8. Retrieved August 28, 2012. (subscription required)
- "Orioles Sign Africa Native". The New York Times. July 1, 1997. Retrieved August 28, 2012.
- Sickels, John (September 1, 2000). "ESPN.com – Major League Baseball – Down on the Farm: Ntema Ndungidi". ESPN.com. Retrieved August 28, 2012.
- "FUTURES GAME LIST RELEASED". Miami Herald. June 16, 2000. p. 6D. Retrieved August 28, 2012. (subscription required)
- "Orioles prospect goes AWOL". USA Today. November 22, 2000. Retrieved August 28, 2012.
- "Ntema Ndungidi suspendu par les Orioles" (in French). RDS.ca. Retrieved August 28, 2012.
- nurun.com. "Ntema Ndungidi veut renaître avec les Caps | Autres sports | Sports | Le Journal de Québec" (in French). Journaldequebec.com. Retrieved August 28, 2012.
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference (Minors)