|Free agent – No. 9|
February 7, 1978 |
Valencia, Carabobo State, Venezuela
|Bats: Left||Throws: Left|
|May 29, 2001 for the Kansas City Royals|
(through 2013 season)
|Runs batted in||243|
Endy de Jesus Chávez (//; born February 7, 1978) is a Venezuelan professional baseball outfielder who is a free agent. Chávez bats and throws left-handed and is considered to have good fielding skills, speed, and the ability to hit to all parts of the field. He is well known for an outstanding catch in Game 7 of the 2006 NLCS.
- 1 Minor league career
- 2 Major league career
- 3 Personal
- 4 References
- 5 External links
Minor league career
Chávez made his Minor League Baseball debut in 1996 with the Mets, a rookie-level affiliate of the New York Mets. In his first season with the team, he hit .354 in 48 games. He played the next four years in the Mets organization with the Kingsport Mets, Gulf Coast Mets, Capital City Bombers, and St. Lucie Mets. On March 30, 2001, Chávez was traded from the Mets to the Kansas City Royals organization. In 2001, Chávez played with Wichita Wranglers and the Omaha Royals before making his MLB debut with the Royals.
In 2002, Chávez joined the Montreal Expos organization, playing for the Ottawa Lynx. With Ottawa, Chávez was an International League all-star in 2002. Chávez finished out the 2004 season with the Expos affiliate Edmonton Trappers. In 2005, Chávez moved to the New Orleans Zephyrs, the triple-A affiliate of the relocated Montreal Expos, now known as the Washington Nationals.
Major league career
Kansas City Royals
In 2001 Chávez played his rookie season with the Kansas City Royals after being claimed in the 2000 Rule Five draft from the New York Mets. He appeared in 29 games and compiled a career low batting average of .208.
Montreal Expos / Washington Nationals
In the winter of 2001 Chávez was traded to the Montreal Expos, playing 309 games over three years (2002–05). In 2002 and 2003 he helped the Expos compile competitive records of 83–79 in each season, contending for postseason play, but falling short of the wild-card slot each time. Playing full-time in 2003 and 2004, Chávez batted first in the lineup and started in center field. Stealing 18 bases in 2003 and 32 in 2004, Chávez proved himself a serious running threat. On October 3, 2004 Chávez recorded the final out in Montreal Expos history in their 8–1 loss to the New York Mets at Shea Stadium.
In 2005 Chávez played in only seven games for the team, now re-located to Washington, D. C. and renamed the Washington Nationals, before being traded to the Philadelphia Phillies. During his tenure in Washington, Chávez was given the mocking nickname of "Inning Endy" by Nationals fansites due to his tendency to swing at most pitches rather than "playing the count", often resulting in groundouts and popups.
Philadelphia Phillies (2005)
Chávez played in 91 games with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2005, usually joining the game in later innings. He batted .215 and stole only two bases.
New York Mets (2006–08)
On December 23, 2005, the New York Mets signed Chávez to a one-year, $500,000, major league deal.
2006 and "The Catch"
During spring training, Mets manager Willie Randolph convinced Chávez to alter his batting style to favor contact hitting over power. Chávez's speed and his modified batting style sparked a 50-point jump in his batting average with 12 stolen bases during a season in which he saw limited playing time (often as an injury replacement for regular left fielder Cliff Floyd). This, in addition to his excellent defensive skills, helped the Mets win the National League East and qualify for the 2006 baseball postseason.
Chávez's catch at Shea Stadium in Game 7 of the 2006 National League Championship Series is seen by many as one of the most remarkable plays in baseball history. In the top of the sixth inning, with the game tied 1–1, pitcher Óliver Pérez delivered a pitch that was hammered, yet Chávez leaped over the 8-foot (2.4 m)-high left field wall and caught the ball with the tip of his glove to rob Cardinals third baseman Scott Rolen of a two-run home run. Chávez reeled the ball in and threw to the cutoff man second baseman José Valentín, who threw to Carlos Delgado at first base, doubling off center fielder Jim Edmonds for an inning-ending double play. The catch was named the top post-season moment in the 5th annual This Year in Baseball Awards.
Gary Cohen, the current play by play man for the New York Mets, was calling the game on the 660 WFAN New York when Chávez made the spectacular catch.
Edmonds at first and one out, and Pérez deals. Fastball hit in the air to left field, that's deep, back goes Chávez, back near the wall, leaping, and.... he made the catch! He took a home run away from Rolen! Trying to get back to first, Edmonds... he's doubled off! And the inning is over! Endy Chávez saved the day! He reached high over the left field wall, right in front of the visitors bullpen, and pulled back a two run homer! He went to the apex of his leap, and caught it in the webbing of his glove, with his elbow up above the fence. A miraculous play by Endy Chávez, and then Edmonds is doubled off first, and Óliver Pérez escapes the 6th inning. The play of the year, the play maybe of the franchise history, for Endy Chávez, and the inning is over.
On July 13, 2007, American International Group (the company whose advertisement happened to be on the spot on the left field wall at Shea Stadium where Chávez made the catch) sponsored a special Bobblehead Doll day to commemorate the catch. Their advertising slogan, "The Strength To Be There", was an ironic coincidence in both a positive and negative manner (positive because of Chávez having the strength to be there and make the catch, and negative due to AIG's later financial problems). AIG continued to have an advertisement in that spot on the fence during Shea Stadium's final season, but by the time of the final game in September 2008 and the stadium's demolition in the winter of that year, the "strength to be there" slogan had been replaced with two AIG logos and no additional text.
The Left Field entrance gate of the Mets' current ballpark, Citi Field, features a metal silhouette of a baseball player making a leaping catch similar to the one Chávez made in the 2006 NLCS.
2007 and "The Bunt"
Chávez continued to contribute big hits in 2007. On April 24, 2007, in the 12th inning, Chávez made a drag bunt to drive in Shawn Green for the winning run, giving the Mets a walk-off win against the Colorado Rockies, 2–1. The play is known as "The Bunt", and many newspapers coined the slogan "Endy Ends It" mainly because of the excitement of the game and the perfection of the drag bunt.
When regular left fielder Moisés Alou was placed on the DL, Chávez, in a reprise of the previous season, moved up to fill his spot. Sporting a .292 BA, and maintaining his slick fielding, Chávez was a more than adequate replacement. However, on June 6, 2007 Chávez suffered a strained left hamstring while sprinting to first base on a double play ball. Two days later, he was placed on the 15-day DL. He returned from the DL on August 28.
On September 28, the final day of the 2008 regular season and the final game at Shea Stadium, the Mets played the Florida Marlins. With an NL wildcard spot at stake for the Mets, Chávez made another terrific catch in the outfield during the top of the seventh inning, the same inning in which he entered the game as a defensive replacement. After a ball was hit hard and deep to left field by Jorge Cantú, Chávez fully extended to make the catch for the final out of the inning. A hit by Cantù would have scored one run to give the Marlins the lead and surely would have resulted in extra bases and kept the inning alive.
Seattle Mariners (2009)
On November 6, 2009, he declared free agency.
Texas Rangers (2010–2011)
On February 15, 2010, Chavez agreed to a minor league contract with the Texas Rangers.
When Chavez fully recovered from his 2009 ACL injury, he was sent down to Double-A Frisco. Chavez was promoted quickly, posting a .545 batting average in 3 games. Chavez was promoted to Triple-A Oklahoma City soon after that, but he was on the DL yet again.
In 2011, he batted .301 with 5 home runs in 256 at bats. In Game 7 of the 2011 World Series, Chavez was brought in as a pinch hitter but never saw a pitch. He was promptly replaced by another pinch hitter when Arthur Rhodes entered the game.
On December 18, 2011, Chavez signed a one-year contract with the Baltimore Orioles, earning $1.5 million, with $.5 million in incentives. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list after May 8, 2012 due to a sore intercostal muscle. He was reinstated on May 29, only to be placed back on the disabled list on June 14 due to a strained right hamstring. He was reactivated from the disabled list and returned to the Orioles on July 13. He was designated for assignment on August 4, to make room for Nate McLouth. Overall Chavez appeared in 64 games for the Orioles in 2012, batting .203 with 12 RBIs and two home runs.
Kansas City Royals
- "Chavez leaps into highlight reel". MLB.com. October 20, 2006. Retrieved August 18, 2011.
- Cassavell, AJ (31 December 2012). "Royals sign Tejada, Endy to Minor League deals". MLB.com via KC Royals official team website. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
- "Inning-Endy?". DC Hardball. March 1, 2005. Retrieved April 1, 2008.
- Svrluga, Barry (March 1, 2005). "Up First for the Nats: Chavez". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 1, 2008.
- "Chavez injures ankle, hamstring in winter ball in Venezuela". ESPN. January 13, 2008. Retrieved January 14, 2008.
- By Anthony Castrovince / MLB.com (April 23, 2008). "Three-team blockbuster gets Mets Putz". Mlb.mlb.com. Retrieved October 4, 2011.
- "Chavez suffers 'devastating injury'". Sports.espn.go.com. June 21, 2009. Retrieved October 4, 2011.
- By Jim Street / MLB.com. "Bedard, Batista, Chavez opt for free agency". Seattle.mariners.mlb.com. Retrieved October 4, 2011.
- "Endy Chavez Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved October 4, 2011.
- Kubatko, Roch. "Orioles reach agreement with Endy Chavez". masnsports. Retrieved 2011-12-18.
- Royals Agree To Sign Endy Chavez
- "Ender Chavez Minor League Statistics & History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved October 18, 2011.
- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)
- Article on the catch
- Video of the catch
- Another video of the catch MLB.com