Apr 13, 2016

2000 NL Champion Mets Outfielder: Timo Perez (2000-2003)

Timoniel M. Pérez was born April 8, 1975 in the Dominican Republic. The five foot nine left handed outfielder, began his pro baseball career in Japan with the Hiroshima Carp, from 1996 through 1999.

He was never a power hitter even with the short fences in Japan, he hit his best .296 for Hiroshima in the 1998 season.

He was brought into the New York Mets organization in 2000, thanks to Bobby Valentine who had known Perez from his own Japan days. Timo played just eight games with the A ball St. Lucie Mets, batting .355 before getting pushed up to AAA Norfolk. At Norfolk he hit .357 with six HRs 17 doubles seven stolen bases & 37 RBIs playing in 72 games. That September he got the call up to the Mets big league team.

He debuted on September 1st getting a hit in his first MLB at bat as a pinch hitter in St. Louis. On September 24th he hit an inside the park two run HR off the Phillies Bruce Chen leading the Mets to a 3-2 victory in Philadelphia.

Timo hit .286 in 24 games that September with four doubles, a triple, three RBIs & 11 runs scored. He found himself in the top of the Mets line up playing the outfield for the 2000 post season, when Derek Bell went down with a season ending injury.

Post Season: In the NLDS against the San Francisco Giants, Perez hit .294 (5- 17) scoring two runs and driving in three runs. In Game #2 he had three hits, including a second inning bases loaded single, scoring Jay Payton & Mike Bordick.

In Game #3 at Shea Stadium with the Mets down 2-0, his sixth inning base hit off Russ Ortiz scored Mike Bordick putting the Mets on the board with their first run. They would later win the game, on Benny Agbayani’s 13th inning walk off game winning HR.

Timo became an instant hero at Shea Stadium and a fan favorite. He was another example of Bobby Valentine catching lightning in a bottle and playing the right hand at the right time. In the 2000 NLCSagainst the St. Louis Cardinals, Perez led off the Series with a double and scored the first run on a Mike Piazza double at Busch Stadium.

In Game #4 at Shea Stadium he had two hits, with a walk & three runs scored in the Mets 10-6 win. Overall, Timo batted .304 with seven hits (7-23) with two doubles, two stolen bases and eight runs scored, as the Mets advanced to the World Series.

In the 2000 Subway World Series, Timo was exposed that he had trouble hitting curveballs. He struck out four times and only hit a dismal .125. His downfall started on a horrible base running mistake in Game # 1 that cost the Mets the game.

While on first base, Todd Zeile hit a long fly ball that Perez & everyone else thought to be a HR. He slowed down to watch the ball in flight but the it hit off the outfield wall and ended up staying in the park. Perez’s was then thrown out at home plate trying to score. The run would have avoided the game going into extra innings & had the Mets won, could have changed the tone & outcome of the Series.

In 2001 he began the season with the club, but struggled batting .247 in July & was sent to AAA Norfolk. There he hit well, batting .359 in 48 games.

He returned to the Mets in September to finish the year batting .247 with five HRs nine doubles a weak .287 on base % & 22 RBIs in 85 games.

He rebounded in 2002 keeping his batting average up over .300 until late August. In May he got hot hitting safely in ten of twelve games. In June Perez drove in runs in five straight games & had 11 RBIs in the first eleven games of that month, raising his average to .343. He would have three games in July where he drove in three runs, continuing to hit well all season.

In September he slumped a bit but an eight game hit streak helped him keep his average near .300. In 2002 as the Mets everyday outfielder, he hit .295 which was second best on the team to Edgardo Alfonzo.

In 122 games, Perez also had career highs in hits (131) doubles (27) triples (6) RBIs (47) and stolen bases (10). In the outfield he had nine assists posting a .979 fielding %, making six errors turning three double plays.

The next season he dropped off to a .269 batting average & was second in the league in sac flies (9). In 127 games he hit four HRs with 21 doubles 42 RBIs a .301 on base % & 32 runs scored.

On July 6th his three run HR in the top of the 8th inning off Cincinnati's Todd Van Poppel tied the game against the Reds. The Mets went on to win it 7-5 in the ninth. At the end of that month he drove in runs in four straight games, against the Reds then three against Milwaukee.

On August 16th he had a career high four RBI day in a game at Shea against the Colorado Rockies in which the Mets won 13-4. On September 1st he broke a 2-2 tie in the bottom of the 7th inning, in a game against the Atlanta Braves, driving in Roger Cedeno with what would be the games winning run.

After the season ended he was traded to the Chicago White Sox for pitcher Matt Ginter. Ginter would pitch 15 games in his Met career going 1-3 with a 4.54 ERA.

Perez batted .246 with 5 HRs 40 RBIs, playing in 103 games for the Chicago White Sox in 2004. He was a reserve outfielder on the White Sox 2005 World Championship team, although he hit just .218 in 76 games. He saw action in two post season games, going 0-2.

In 2006 he signed with the Cincinnati Reds but had his contract soon purchased by the St. Louis Cardinals. Timo played a small role on the 2006 Cardinals Championship team, batting .198 in 23 games, seeing no post season action.

He then moved on to play in the Detroit Tigers organization appearing in 29 games in 2007. He then went to the Mexican league & the Los Angeles Dodgers organization through 2010.

In January of 2011 he once again signed with the Detroit Tigers & was released in October.

In his eight year career he batted .269 with 449 hits 26 HRs, 10 triples, 91 doubles 126 RBIs, 23 stolen bases, 187 runs scored & a .308 on base %.

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