Endy Chávez

Endy DeJesus Chávez (born February 7, 1978 in Valencia, Carabobo State, Venezuela) is an outfielder in Major League Baseball for the New York Mets.

Chávez made his Minor League Baseball debut in 1996 with the Dominican Mets, a rookie-level affiliate of the New York Mets. In his first season with the team, he hit .354 in 48 games. He played the next four years in the Mets organization with the Kingsport Mets, Gulf Coast Mets, Capital City Bombers (Columbia), and St. Lucie Mets. On March 30, 2001, Chávez was traded from the Mets to the Kansas City Royals organization. In 2001, Chávez played with Wichita Wranglers and the Omaha Royals before making his MLB debut with the Royals.

In 2002, Chávez found himself in the Montreal Expos organization and playing for the Ottawa Lynx. With Ottawa, Chávez was an International League all-star in 2002. In 2004, Chávez was back with the triple-A affiliate of the Expos, but this time the team was the now defunct Edmonton Trappers and Chávez only appeared in 14 games. Finally, in 2005, Chávez played for the Washington Nationals triple-A affilate New Orleans Zephyrs.

He played his rookie season (2001) with the Kansas City Royals. That winter he was traded to the Montreal Expos for whom he played for three and a half years (2002-05), continuing with the team after its sale and reincarnation as the Washington Nationals in 2005. (Chávez, in fact, made the final out in Montreal Expos' history on October 3, 2004, in the Expos' 8-1 loss to the New York Mets at Shea Stadium.) In mid-season he was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies and concluded the 2005 season with them.

Chávez bats and throws left-handed. Chávez does not have power, but is a good contact hitter. He is a groundball hitter who uses the whole field. He also has speed, which allows him to be a mildly successful base stealer. His speed helps him in fielding as well, but he also has higher gifts which allow him to take off with the crack of the bat, and time his leap so that his glove and ball arrive in the same spot at the exact time. His range is good and his arm is above-average. In 2004, Chávez led the Expos in stolen bases (32, sixth in the league) and triples (6), but had a miserable on-base percentage (.318), especially for a lead-off hitter.

In his first five seasons Chávez had a .259 batting average with 11 home runs and 106 RBI in 436 games played.

Chávez was obtained by the New York Mets for the 2006 campaign. His excellent fielding abilities and speed recommended him for the role of pinch hitter/runner and late-inning defensive replacement.

On December 23, 2005, Chávez inked a one-year, $500,000, major league deal with the Mets. This came three days after he had been non-tendered by the Phillies.

2006 Season

Batting Average .306
Home Runs 4
Runs Batted In 42
Hits 108
Runs Scored 48
Stolen Bases 12
On Base Percentage .348
Slugging Percentage .431

During Spring Training, Mets' manager Willie Randolph convinced Chávez to alter his batting style. Chávez had been swinging as if he were a power hitter, for which he was not equipped (and not needed on a team that already had Carlos Beltran, Carlos Delgado, David Wright, and Cliff Floyd). What was needed was a speedy runner with a decent on-base percentage to act in tandem with the Mets' primary base-stealing threat, Jose Reyes.

Endy Chávez took the advice and his 2006 season batting average jumped 50 points above his career average. Seeing limited action (353 At Bats), he still managed to pick up a dozen stolen bases. And his fielding remained top-rate.

When Floyd was sidelined due to injury for stretches of the year, Chávez became the most usual replacement. With increasing playing time, his Batting Average rose over the course of the season. His enthusiastic play has made him a fan-favorite at Shea Stadium.

During game 1 of the 2006 NLCS (on October 12, 2006) Chavez came in for injuried Cliff Floyd in left field after the 2nd innings and made a Ron Swoboda-like catch. After which Mets fans started chanting "En-dy Cha-vez... En-dy Cha-vez." In Game Seven of the series, Endy made one of the most spectacular catches in post-season baseball history, leaping to rob Scott Rolen of a tie-breaking two run home run with a snow-cone grab and pulling the ball back into the park, then doubling off Cardinals runner Jim Edmonds to end the inning. Commentators have compared it to such memorable catches as those of Tommie Agee in the 1969 World Series, Sandy Amorós of the 1955 World Series, Dwight Evans in the 1975 World Series and Kirby Puckett during the 1991 World Series The chants of En-dy Cha-vez ensued and he received two curtain calls.

* Attended high school at Liceo Bataila Carabobo in Venezuela
* Like Endy, brother Ender Chávez (who reached AA-level baseball with the Harrisburg Senators in 2006) also played minor league baseball with an affiliate of the New York Mets, Montreal Expos, and Washington Nationals.Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, with no Front-Cover Texts, and with no Back-Cover Texts.
Virtual Magic is a human knowledge database blog. Text Based On Information From Wikipedia, Under The GNU Free Documentation License. Copyright (c) 2007 Virtual Magic. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.1 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".

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