Jason Renyt Tyner (born April 23, 1977) is a former Major League Baseball outfielder. His MLB career spanned 9 seasons from 2000 through 2008 for the New York Mets (2000), Tampa Bay Devil Rays (2000-2003), Minnesota Twins (2005-2007), and Cleveland Indians (2008). He bats and throws left-handed and played all three outfield spots, with the majority of his playing time coming in left field.
Tyner with the Minnesota Twins
|Born: April 23, 1977|
|June 5, 2000, for the New York Mets|
|Last MLB appearance|
|May 12, 2008, for the Cleveland Indians|
|Runs batted in||94|
College and high schoolEdit
Tyner attended West Brook Senior High School in Beaumont, where he was named Beaumont Student Athlete of the Year and was a member of the National Honor Society as a junior and senior. Following high school, he attended Texas A&M University, graduating in 1998. At A&M, he was named All-Big 12 (along with Jason Jennings) and second team All-American in 1998. He finished his collegiate career first on A&M's all-time list for hits and stolen bases, was second in batting average, and third in at-bats. Making the feat even more remarkable was that he set the records in only three seasons. He also made the United States National Team in 1997.
New York MetsEdit
After three years at Texas A&M, Tyner was the New York Mets' first round draft pick, and twenty-first overall pick in the 1998 Major League Baseball Draft. The outfielder rose quickly through the Mets' minor league system, making his major league debut on June 5, 2000.
Tampa Bay Devil RaysEdit
In 2001, he established himself as a good baserunner, collecting a then club record and personal career best 31 stolen bases. His bat, however, was not nearly as quick as his feet. He hit .280 with 111 hits, only 13 of which went for extra bases. These numbers along with 105 games, 396 at-bats, and 21 RBI are all career highs.
In a crowded Tampa Bay outfield, his lack of power and plate discipline cost him playing time in 2002 and cost him a job in the majors for 2003. He was the final out of Derek Lowe's no-hitter in April 2002.
Tyner was noted for a failed promotional giveaway by the Devil Rays. The ballclub had arranged to honor him by presenting his bobblehead to the first 10,000 fans attending a game versus the Oakland Athletics at Tropicana Field on June 2, 2002. The bobbleheads were never distributed because he had been demoted to the Durham Bulls five days prior on May 28. After sitting in storage for a while, they were given to the Pinellas County Education Foundation, who distributed them students in their business and commerce program.
Tyner again found a home, this time with the Cleveland Indians. Tyner failed to make the majors with either Texas, Atlanta, or Cleveland.
He resurfaced with the Minnesota Twins in late 2004. After a solid 2005 season with the Twins' Triple-A affiliate, the Rochester Red Wings, Tyner made it back to the big leagues as a September call-up collecting 18 hits in 56 at-bats. He signed another minor league deal with Minnesota on October 14. Tyner returned to the Twins during the summer of 2006, as a replacement for injured All-Star center fielder Torii Hunter. His scrappy play, swift speed, and small ball mentality fit well with much of the Twins' mantra.
Nicknamed "The Piranhas" by Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillén, the Twins came to embrace the term as affirmation of their selfless, aggressive play. None of the original "piranhas" are still with the Twins. Formerly, Luis Castillo, who was traded to the New York Mets on July 30, 2007, Jason Bartlett, who was traded to the Tampa Bay Rays in late November 2007, and Nick Punto who left for the St. Louis Cardinals via free agency in 2011, were also known by that nickname.
Cleveland Indians AgainEdit
On February 21, 2008, Tyner signed a minor league deal with the Cleveland Indians. On May 11, Tyner's contract was bought from the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons by the Indians. Five days later, on May 16, Cleveland designated Tyner for assignment. The Indians released him on July 25.
Chicago White SoxEdit
Tyner signed with the Chicago White Sox. He became a free agent at the end of the season
Tyner signed a minor league contract with the Milwaukee Brewers in March.
On April 22, 2009 Tyner was traded to the Detroit Tigers. The Tigers released Tyner on June 17, 2009.
The home run droughtEdit
Tyner finally hit his first major league home run against the Cleveland Indians on July 28, 2007, against Jake Westbrook. This home run came after 1,220 major league at bats in 390 career games and traveled 352 feet. At the time, Tyner had the longest home run drought in the major leagues. When he hit the home run, ex-teammate Luis Castillo took over the major league lead for a home run drought, not having hit one in 612 at-bats.
Tyner is married to his high school sweetheart, Annie. The couple have three daughters; Payton, Presley and Parker. They also have a son, Reid.
He awards $1,500 scholarships to southeast Texas scholar-athletes under the Juliet Tyner Memorial Scholarship Foundation. The foundation was created in honor of his mother who died from breast cancer in 1998.
Along with former Pittsburgh Pirates minor leaguer Morgan Walker, Tyner operates the Southeast Texas Baseball Academy, which runs baseball programs for 8–12-year-olds.
- Keri, Jonah (2011). The Extra 2%: How Wall Street Strategies Took a Major League Baseball Team from Worst to First. New York: ESPN Books. ISBN 9780345517739.
- "Recap: Twins 3, Cleveland 2." Archived 2007-10-16 at the Wayback Machine Star Tribune. 29 July 2007. Retrieved on 3 April 2009.
- "Jason Tyner: Biography and Career Highlights." Major League Baseball. Retrieved on 3 April 2009.