In honor of #MetsYouveForgottenAbout trending worldwide on Twitter recently, I’ve decided to begin a series honoring those Mets we may have forgotten about, making sure their legend will live on forever. Today’s subject: Timo Perez.
Close your eyes for a moment and think back to September 2000. Edgardo Alfonzo, Mike Piazza, and Robin Ventura made up the heart of the order, Glendon Rusch was putting the finishing touches on a career year, and Bubba Trammell sat on the end of the bench next to the Gatorade cooler, thanking God every minute that he was no longer on the Devil Rays.
Oh, also a speedy, 25-year-old outfielder was called up from the Norfolk Tides. His name was Timoniel Perez, Timo for short.
After playing for the Hiroshima Toyo Carp of the Japan Central League from 1996-1999, his contract was purchased by the Mets during spring training in 2000.
Most Met fans’ first memory of Perez is his September 24th inside-the-park homerun off of Bruce Chen in Philadelphia (with the help of Doug Glanville’s misplay), which made him the fourth Met in history to have his 1st career HR be of the inside-the-park variety (Alfonzo, Don Hahn, and Bud Harrelson were the others).
Others may remember Perez for not running home during Game 1 of the World Series when Todd Zeile appeared to have hit a homerun which was ruled a double. Perez was thrown out at the plate on the play and the Mets would go on to lose in 12 innings. He also had a habit of standing and admiring his own homeruns, which didn’t necessarily make him popular amongst opponents.
Overall, Perez hit .276/.312/.397 in four years for the Mets, not exactly a line that struck fear into opposing pitcher’s hearts.
His best year came in the fateful 2002 campaign which most of us have tried to purge form our memories, which is perhaps why it is lost in the shuffle. In that season, Perez hit .295/.331/.437, clobbered a career-high eight home runs, stole ten bases and stuck out a miniscule 36 times in 481 plate appearances.
If nothing else, Perez’s ability to make contact was his greatest asset, evidenced by his stellar 8.7% career K rate. Why then, did he only have a dismal career batting average of .269? Well the answer lies in the kind of contact he produced.
His 43.6% career groundball rate and 36% career fly ball rate show that his .282 career BABIP is just about where it should be. Since he didn’t produce enough homeruns to make his batting average higher than his BABIP, as you see with some power hitters, Perez was doomed to have a low but still respectable batting average. If he could have developed some patience and drawn a few more walks, he could have been a productive player.
Perez’s tenure in Flushing ended on March 27, 2004, when he was traded to the Chicago White Sox for Matt Ginter, who would be the 5th starter for the Mets in a rotation that featured future Mets You’ve Forgotten About subject Jae Weong Seo.
After two years with the White Sox, Perez spent 2006 with the St. Louis Cardinals, won a world series there, moved on to Detroit in 2007 and was never seen again in the Majors.
Perez’s tenure with the Mets may not have been long or memorable for any positive reasons, but he is certainly a ballplayer who is worth remembering, if for no other reason than his awesome name.
Follow Joe Vasile on Twitter at @JoeVasilePBP.
 He has since signed contracts with the 2010 Los Angeles Dodgers, 2011 Philadelphia Phillies and most recently with the Tigers in 2011.