Apr 23, 2013

Former Mets Number One Draft Pick: Jason Tyner (2000)

Jason Renyt Tyner was born on April 23, 1977 in Bedford, Texas. The six foot one, left hand hitting outfielder was named Beaumont Texas’ Student Athlete of the Year.

Tyner was not only a jock but was a member of the National Honor Society in both his junior & senior years.

He then attended Texas A&M where he set all time school records in hits &stolen bases. He finished second all time in the schools history, in batting average & at bats. Tyner set those marks in only three years of play.

In 1998 he was the New York Mets number one draft choice, the twenty first pick overall. Tyner rose quickly through the Mets minors, arriving at A ball St. Lucie in 1998 where he hit .303 in just 50 games.

In 1999 at AA Binghamton he hit .313 and stole 49 bases getting pushed up to AAA Norfolk by the end of the season. In 2000 playing in 84 games with the Tides, he batted .321 & stole 33 bases. Although he showed no power not hitting any HRs all year.

He was called up to the Mets big league team in June of 2000 & debuted in an interleague game against the Baltimore Orioles on June 5th. That day Tyner got two hits & drove in a run playing, while left field in the 4-2 Mets loss at Shea Stadium.

Tyner would drive in runs in his first three games, and had six hits in his first five MLB games. He quickly cooled off & was batting under .200 (.195) at the end of the month, getting demoted back to AAA Norfolk.

On that years trade deadline he was sent to the Tampa Devil Rays, along with Paul Wilson for Bubba Trammell & Rick White. It was a deal that turned out pretty good for New York.

In 2001 in Tampa, Tyner would steal 31 bases (8th in the league) & bat .280 with a career high 111 hits. But Tyner had absolutely no power, hitting no HRs, while gathering up just eight doubles.

He was popular in Tampa, as the team even held a Jason Tyner bobble head night, but he was sent down to the minors by the night of the event. He shuffled between the Rays & their AAA team over the next three season playing as a reserve outfielder.

In 2005 he signed with the Minnesota Twins getting to his only post season in 2006, going 0-6 against the Oakland Athletics. He got a chance to play regularly that season when Tori Hunter went down with an injury. He worked hard to fight for a job the next year & in 2007 had career highs in games (114) doubles (14) walks (16) & RBIs (22) while batting .286.

His scrappy style of small ball play fit in well in Minnesota & he became part of the Twins “Piranhas”, a term given to Tyner, Nick Punto, Jason Bartlett & Luis Castillo by rival White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen.

On July 28th 2007 he ended the longest HR drought in the majors when he finally homered after 1220 at bats. The HR came off the Indians Jake Westbrook in Cleveland, the longest HR drought streak after that belonged to future Met Luis Castillo.

In 2008 he signed with the Cleveland Indians & appeared in just one MLB game that season. He spent 2009 in the minor leagues, with the Houston Astros, Milwaukee Brewers & Detroit Tigers organizations buy was released by everyone.

In his eight year career he batted .275 with 373 hits 41 doubles 61 stolen bases 94 RBIs & just one HR.

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