Nov 12, 2014

Short Time 2006 N.L. Eastern Champion Mets Outfielder: Xavier Nady (2006)

Xavier Clifford Nady was born on November 14, 1978 in Salinas, California. The six foot two right handed hitter was the Northern California, High School Player of the Year in his senior year. He was offered a deal with the St. Louis Cardinals but did not sign.

He attended the University of California at Berkley, setting a school slugging record there. He got chosen by the San Diego Padres in the second round of the 2000 draft. He became just the 18th player in history to go directly to the major leagues in 2001, but after one game was sent to the minors anyway. There he hit .302 with 26 HRs & 100 RBIs at A Ball Lake Elsinore, getting named the California League MVP. He went to AAA Portland in 2002 & hit 23 HRs with 80 RBIs. He suffered an injury & needed Tommy John surgery.

He returned to the big leagues in 2004 batting .267 but was sent back down again, then hit .330 with 22 HRs at the AAA level in Portland. In the outfield Nady is a fine defensive outfielder with a strong arm. His twelve outfield assists in 2003 were third best in the league.

In 2005 he made just two errors in 85 chances (.976%) in the outfield & also played 44 games at first base, posting a .986 fielding %. Nady hit .260 with 13 HRs 15 doubles & 43 RBIs in 124 games that season. In the NLDS he went 1-3 as a pinch hitter with two walks against the Cardinals.

With the arrival of Carlos Beltran in 2005, Mike Cameron had lost his Mets centerfield job & was not happy. For 2006 the Mets made the deal to exchange Cameron for Nady. He was a pleasant surprise for the 2006 Mets & quickly became a Shea Stadium favorite. The fans would cross their arms in an “X” in his honor as “X” marked the spot.

He debuted on Opening Day hitting two doubles & driving in a run in the Mets 3-2 win over the Washington Nationals. He delivered hitting a HR in his second Mets game the next day. He started off real hot & was batting .400 by mid April. On April 16th & 17th he hit HRs in consecutive games against the Milwaukee Brewers. At the end of the month he was batting .311 with six HRs & 11 RBIs as the Mets everyday right fielder.

On May 4th he drove in four runs in the first game of a double header against the Pittsburgh Pirates hitting his seventh HR. On May 30th he needed an emergency appendectomy & was placed on the 15-day disabled list, returning to the lineup by mid June. In his second game from returning he hit two HRs in a Shea home game against the Cincinnati Reds. His hitting dropped off after the hot start, but he was a solid all around player.

In June he had a nine game hit streak & hit safely in 15 of 17 games. In the outfield he had six assists in 70 outfield games as a Met posting a .980 fielding %.

In late July the Mets were in trouble, when Duaner Sanchez got into a car accident in Miami & was lost for the season. Mets GM Omar Minaya panicked & made a trade may have been the start of the downfall of that era’s team.

On July 31st 2006, Nady was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Oliver Perez & Roberto Hernandez, who was to fill Sanchez’s role. Nady finished his Mets career with 14 HRs 15 doubles 40 RBIs & a .264 batting average in 75 games. In 2007 he hit .279 with 20 HRs 23 doubles 72 RBIs & a .330 on base %. In the outfield he posted a perfect .1000 fielding %, of course the best in the league.

In 2008 he was traded to the AL New York club at the end of July, for the final stretch. Overall with two teams he finished his season batting .305, with career bests in HRs (25) & RBIs (97).

He signed a one year deal but elbow problems led to yet another Tommy John surgery, ending his season after just seven games. In 2010 he signed with the Chicago Cubs hitting .256 with 6 HRs & 33 RBIs in119 games (317) at bats.

In 2011 he signed a one year deal with the Arizona Diamond Backs hitting .248 by mid August when an injury ended his season as well as any chance to play in the post season with the NL Western Champion Diamondbacks.

In 2012 Nady began the season with the NL Eastern champion Washington Nationals playing in 40 games but hit just .159. He was released at the end of July & then got picked up by the San Francisco Giants. In just 19 games he hit .240 and got to the post season.

Post Season: He went 0-5 in the NLDS against his former Nationals team mates. He did not appear in the NLCS or World Series.

In 2013 he played 53 games at AAA Colorado Springs batting .278. In his 11 year career, Nady batted .270 with 792 hits 101 HRs 158 doubles 406 RBIs & a .324 on base %.

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