Richard Hidalgo Richard JosÃ© Hidalgo (born June 28, 1975 in Caracas, Venezuela) is a Major League Baseball right fielder. Previously, he played with the Houston Astros (1997-2004), New York Mets (2004), and the Texas Rangers (2005). Hidalgo signed with the Baltimore Orioles on February 26, 2006, but was released on March 7, 2006 without playing a single game. He bats and throws right-handed.
Hidalgo is a powerful hitter, with good instincts in the outfield and a strong throwing arm. He was supposed to be an all around player in all areas, but a congenital knee defect changed those plans. After hit .306 and .303 in his first two seasons, Hidalgo had a disappointing 1999 campaign with a .227 average, although he showed some power with 15 home runs in 383 at-bats. He required season-ending kneecap surgery.
Hidalgo blossomed in 2000, when he hit .314 with 44 home runs and 122 RBI, but his numbers slowed in 2001 (.275, 19, 80) and 2002 (.235, 15, 48). In 2003, he returned to good form both at the plate and in the field. He posted numbers of .309, 28, 88, collected three homers in a game, and led the majors outfielders in assists with 22, while committing only four errors. Hidalgo split last season between the Astros and the Mets, hitting .239 with 25 homers and 82 RBI. In 2005 he signed a minor league contract with the Baltimore Orioles but left the team when his wife became ill. Hidalgo requested to be released from his contract, allowing to him to go to Japan where he would have a starting role.
Hidalgo is a .273 hitter with 155 home runs and 517 RBI in 899 games.