Short Time Late Nineties Met: Craig Paquette (1998)

Craig Harold Paquette was born on March 28th 1969 in Long Beach, California. The six foot right hand hitter attended Golden West College at Huntington Beach, California. He was signed by the Oakland Athletics in the 8th round of the 1989 draft. Paquette spent five years in the minors, hitting over 15 HRs four times.

He came up to the A's in June of 1993, making some noise, hitting 12 HRs & driving in 46 runs although he only hit .219. In 1994 he was back at AAA Tacoma where he hit .287 with 17 HRs, getting a June call up for 14 games. After the baseball strike he returned for his last season at Oakland in 1995. In Spring Training 1996 he was released but was soon signed by the Kansas City Royals.

He had his best season in Kansas City in 1996, hitting a team leading 22 HRs, with 15 doubles & 67 RBIs while batting .259. The following season injuries shut him down, for just 77 games, he hit 8 HRs batting .236. He was granted free agency & signed with the New York Mets.

Paquette debuted with the Mets on April 28th, 1998 in Houston getting a start in left field. He doubled off John Halama in his first at bat in the Mets 4-3 loss to the Astros. In early May, he got hits in three straight games for New York, starting with a pinch hit single in a 5-2 win over the Rockies at Shea. He then suffered an ankle strain which ended his season, in seven Mets games he was hitting .263 with five hits, two doubles & a stolen base.

He spent most of 1999 at AAA Norfolk where he hit .272 with 15 HRs, then on July 31st he was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals for Shawon Dunston.

He spent the next three years in St. Louis, seeing regular playing time in both 2000 & 2001. Both seasons he hit 15 HRs while driving in better than 60 runs. He would hit over .280 in two of his three years in St. Louis. He got into four games of the 2000 NLCS against the New York Mets, going 1-6 in that series, coming into the game late each time.

For the 2002 season he signed on with the Detroit Tigers & saw action in 72 games but hit just .194. In 2003 he was back in the minors making one last appearance in the majors for eleven games.

In his eleven year career he hit .239 with 620 hits 128 doubles ten triples 377 RBIs & a .274 on base % in 814 games. In his career the versatile Paquette played 498 games at third base, 200 games in the outfield, 100 games at first, 24 games at second & 19 games at short.


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