Originally written on Taking Bad Schotz  |  Last updated 12/21/11

16 Mar 1999: Outfielder Ruben Mateo #38 of the Texas Rangers swings at the ball during the Spring Training game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at the McKechnie Field in Bradenton, Florida. The Rangers defeated the Pirates 10-5.

Ruben Mateo is your favorite backup outfielder from San Cristobal, Dominican Republic. Ruben was signed in 1994 by the Texas Rangers as an undrafted free agent. Mateo worked his way through the minors, racking up hits and consistently hitting over .300. He finally got the call in 1999. In Mateo’s rookie year he was the backup Center Fielder for Tom Goodwin. In his 122 at bats Mateo put up a .238 batting average, knocked out 5 homeruns, and drove in 18 RBI’s. He wasn’t nominated Rookie of the Year.  Come 2000 Mateo was now the backup for Gabe Kapler (it’s almost a writes of passage to be Gabe’s backup). Mateo hit 7 homeruns, 19 RBI’s, and hit .291, all career highs.

The next year Mateo’s numbers dropped, and he was traded to the Cincinnati Reds along with Edwin Encarnacion for Rob Bell. With injured Griffey Jr. in Center, Mateo made the move to Right to back Austin Kearns. Out of Mateo’s 22 hits, 2 of them went yard. The next season Ruben hit 3 homeruns, and drove in 18, but still couldn’t hit above .250.

In 2004 he joined the Pittsburgh Pirates to backup the promising (

Mateo ended up playing in Korea, and most recently the Mexican League for the Broncos de Reynosa where he was hit by a pitch thrown by Kenny Powers.


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