Jason Renyt Tyner (born April 23, 1977 in Bedford, Texas) is a Major League Baseball outfielder for the Chicago White Sox organization. Tyner stands at 6'1" tall and weighs 175 pounds. He bats and throws left-handed.
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 he set the records in only three seasons. He also made the United States National Team in 1997.
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 June 5, 2000. His stint in New York ended quickly though, as he was dealt to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays along with pitcher Paul Wilson for pitcher Rick White and outfielder Bubba Trammell on July 28, 2000.
2001 saw the light hitting Devil Rays outfielder establish himself as a menace on the basepaths, collecting a then club record and personal career best, 31 stolen bases. His bat, however, was not nearly as quick as his feet. Tyner 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, Tyner's lack of power and lack of plate discipline cost him playing time in 2002 and cost him a job in the majors for 2003. On December 8, 2003, he was claimed off waivers by the Texas Rangers. The Rangers released him in April 2004 and he signed with the Atlanta Braves as a free agent. The Braves too released him in July 2004, but he 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 Minnesota 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 to injured All-Star center fielder Torii Hunter. His scrappy play, swift speed, and small ball mentality fit well with much of Twins mantra.
Nicknamed "The Piranhas" by Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillén, the Twins have come to embrace the term. The only "Piranha" left on the team is Nick Punto. Formerly, Luis Castillo, who was traded to the New York Mets on July 30, 2007, and Jason Bartlett, who was traded to the Tampa Bay Rays in late November 2007, were also known by that nickname.
On February 21, 2008, Tyner signed a minor league deal with the Cleveland Indians. On May 11, 2008, Tyner's contract was bought from Triple-A Buffalo by the Indians. Five days later, on May 16, Cleveland designated Tyner for assignment. The Indians released Tyner on July 25, 2008, and he signed with the Chicago White Sox.
The home run droughtEdit
Prior to 2004, Tyner had a severe home run drought that dated back to Little League. Throughout 2,631 high school, college, minor, and major league at bats, Tyner went without a home run until he hit one in a minor league game in Richmond in 2004.
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 and piranha Luis Castillo took over the major league lead for a home run drought, not having hit one in 612 at bats.
The Tyner ShiftEdit
Because of his lack of ability to hit for power while with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, opposing teams would often stack the right side of the field with position players to make sure that Tyner was a sure out. This defensive maneuver was first called the "Tyner Shift" by ESPN.com columnist Bill Simmons. As he wrote during a game in 2002, "The Sox had the Tyner Shift going there -- all nine defensive players were standing between the first base side and the on-deck circle."
- His middle name, Renyt, is "Tyner" spelled backwards.
- In 1997, tied the National Team record for hits in a game with five.
- He hit a single in his first major league at-bat, off then-Baltimore Orioles starter Mike Mussina.
- For a short time, Major League Baseball's website had Tyner's official position listed as pinch runner--a rare distinction.
- He operates the Southeast Texas Baseball Academy with former Pittsburgh Pirates minor leaguer Morgan Walker. The academy runs baseball programs for 8-12 year olds.
- Tyner 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.
- Tyner attended West Brook Senior High School.
- Tyner is married to his high school sweetheart, Annie. The couple has two daughters, Payton and Presley.
- Southeast Texas Baseball Academy
- Baseball Reference
- Jason Tyner Profile
- He thought about quitting in '04, but Tyner's found his niche with the Twins (Minnesota Public Radio)
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