Former Early Nineties Met: Chris Donnels (1991-1992)

Chris Barton Donnels was born April 21st 1966 in Los Angeles California. The six foot left handed batter, threw right handed, played at first & third base. After graduating at Loyola Marymount in Los Angeles he was the New York Mets number one draft pick (the  24th pick overall) in the 1987 amateur draft.

Donnels went through the minor leagues winning the Florida State League MVP in 1989. He reached AAA Tidewater in 1991 where he batted .303 in 81 games getting called up to the Mets big league team.

Donnels debuted with the Mets at Shea Stadium on May 7th in a 6-5 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers. A Dodger team that featured Darryl Strawberry, Gary Carter & Juan Samuel, all former Mets. In the bottom of the 1st Donnels singled bringing in Howard Johnson with his first career hit & RBI. The Shea crowd welcomed him.

The Mets went west to San Francisco, Donnels was inserted in the line up in the second night, collecting a double & RBI in the Mets 6-2 win. On May 12th, he came into the game in the 8th inning as a pinch hitter, drawing an intentional walk. The game went to extra innings, Donnels drew another walk in the 10th inning.

In the 11th He followed Dave Magadan's RBI single with an RBI single of his own, scoring Kevin McReynolds. The Mets went on to a 4-2 win. His hitting stopped & Donnels went back & forth to AAA Tidewater the rest of the year, remaining as a September roster addition. He hit .225 on the year with 5 RBIs.

In 1992 he played 45 games for the Mets hitting a weak .174 with six RBIs.

In December he was drafted by the Florida Marlins as the 67th pick in the expansion draft. A year later he was put on waivers & was selected by the Houston Astros. He would spend 2 1/2 seasons with the Astros playing as a reserve player at first, second & third bases. In 1995 after batting .300 in 19 games with Houston,  he was traded to the Boston Redsox hitting .253 in 40 games.

He spent the next four seasons playing in Japan with the Kintetsu Buffaloes & Orix Blue Wave.

In 2000 he signed on with the Los Angeles Dodgers, he hit .294 in 41 games that year but fell to .174 the next season. His last season was in 2002 with the Arizona Diamondbacks. He played at the minor league level for the Chicago Cubs, Florida Marlins & Colorado Rockies before he officially retired.

In an eight year career he hit .233 with 186 hits 17 HRs 36 doubles 86 RBIs & a .312 on base %.


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