Chávez with the Seattle Mariners
|Bridgeport Bluefish – No. 10|
February 7, 1978 |
Valencia, Carabobo State, Venezuela
|May 29, 2001, for the Kansas City Royals|
(through 2014 season)
|Runs batted in||266|
Endy de Jesus Chávez (//; born February 7, 1978) is a Venezuelan professional baseball outfielder who is currently a member of the Bridgeport Bluefish of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball; an independent Minor League. He has played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Kansas City Royals, Montreal Expos, Washington Nationals, Philadelphia Phillies, New York Mets, Seattle Mariners, Texas Rangers and Baltimore Orioles. Chávez who bats and throws left-handed is arguably best known for a catch in Game 7 of the 2006 NLCS.
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 December 11, 2000, Chávez was claimed by the Kansas City Royals in the 2000 Rule 5 draft. On March 30, 2001, Chávez was returned to the Mets and then traded to the Royals for minor league outfielder Michael Curry. He played for the AA Wichita Wranglers and the AAA Omaha Royals before making his major league debut with the Royals on May 29, 2001.
Major league career
Montreal Expos / Washington Nationals
In the winter of 2001, Chávez was waived by the Royals and then claimed and waived by both the Mets and Detroit Tigers before being claimed by the Montreal Expos where he played in 309 games over three years (2002–05) while splitting time at AAA Ottawa and Edmonton. Playing full-time for the Expos in 2003 and 2004, Chávez batted first in the lineup and started in center field, stealing 18 bases in 2003 and 32 in 2004. On October 3, 2004 Chávez recorded the final out in Montreal Expos history in their 8–1 loss to the Mets at Shea Stadium. In 2005 Chávez played in only seven games in the majors for the now re-located Washington Nationals before being traded to the Philadelphia Phillies for fellow outfielder Marlon Byrd. During his tenure in Washington, Chávez was given the mocking nickname of "Inning Endy" by Nationals fansites due to his tendency to swing away rather than work the count to his favor which often resulted in groundouts and popups to end the Nationals innings.
Chávez spent the rest of the 2005 season with the Philadelphia Phillies and appeared in 91 games with 107 at bats and hit only .215. At the end of the season, Chávez became a free agent for the first time and signed one year, $500,000 contract with the Mets signed on December 23, 2005.
New York Mets
During spring training, Mets manager Willie Randolph worked with Chávez to improve his hitting. Chávez's speed and his modified batting style sparked a 90-point jump in his batting average over the previous season (hitting .306 in 353 at bats) as the Mets fourth outfielder (often as an injury replacement for regular left fielder Cliff Floyd). His improved hitting and excellent defensive skills contributed to the Mets winning the National League East.
Chávez's signature moment came at Shea Stadium in Game 7 of the 2006 National League Championship Series. In the top of the sixth inning, with the game tied 1–1, Cardinals third baseman Scott Rolen hit a pitch off Mets starter Óliver Pérez. Leaping over the 8-foot (2.4 m)-high left field wall, Chávez caught the ball with the tip of his glove to rob Rolen of a two-run home run. Chávez then threw to cutoff man second baseman José Valentín, who threw to Carlos Delgado at first base to double off Cardinals 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. On July 13, 2007, American International Group (the company whose left field advertisement was where Chávez made the catch) sponsored a special Bobblehead Doll day to commemorate the catch. 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.
Chávez's playing time decreased dramatically in 2007 when he only saw time in 71 games, primarily splitting time with regular left fielder Moisés Alou, due to left hamstring issues which landed him on the disabled list twice. That winter, he reinjured the hamstring and injured his right ankle while playing winter ball in Venezuela for Navegantes del Magallanes.
In 2008, Chávez again saw time as the Mets' fourth outfielder and hit .267 in 270 at-bats. 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. After a ball was hit to left field by Jorge Cantú, Chávez made the catch for the final out of the inning. Despite his defensive play, the Mets lost to the Marlins 4-2 and failed to qualify for post-season play.
On February 15, 2010, Chávez agreed to a minor league free agent contract with the Texas Rangers and spent time with the Rangers' Rookie League team, the AA Frisco and AAA Oklahoma City while coming back from his ACL injury. In 2011, he batted .301 with 5 home runs in 256 at-bats and helped the Rangers to the 2011 post season. Chávez did not get an at-bat in either the playoffs or the Rangers' World Series defeat.
On December 18, 2011, Chavez signed a one-year, $1.5 million contract with the Baltimore Orioles. Chávez again saw major time on the disabled list (suffering intercostal muscle hamstring injuries) appeared in only 64 games, batting .203 with 12 RBIs and two home runs. On August 4, he was designated for assignment to make room for Nate McLouth and spent the rest of the season with AAA Norfolk.
On December 31, 2012 Chavez signed a minor league contract with the Kansas City Royals, but was released on March 22, 2013. On March 24, Chavez signed a minor league contract with the Seattle Mariners and appeared in 97 games for the Mariners hitting .267.
- "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.
- 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.
- "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
- "Seattle Mariners - TeamReport". Chicago Tibune. Reuters. March 30, 2013. Retrieved July 31, 2014.
- "Ender Chavez Minor League Statistics & History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved October 18, 2011.