Rafael Mota Matos
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 0", Weight 195 lb.
- School Fullerton Junior College
- Born October 6, 1970 in Santo Domingo, D.R.
The brother of Andy Mota, Jose Mota and Tony Mota, cousin of Jose Baez and the son of Manny Mota, Gary Mota did not follow in the footsteps of Andy, Jose and Manny to the major leagues. He was the 2nd-round draft pick of the Houston Astros in the 1990 amateur draft out of junior college and was assigned to the Auburn Astros. He hit .258/.331/.375 that year and stole 12 bases in 13 tries in the New York-Penn League. The outfielder had a wasted season with the Osceola Astros in 1991, hitting .197/.278/.282 in just 22 games. Demoted to the Asheville Tourists of the South Atlantic League in 1992, Gary hit .291/.367/.498. He stole 22 bases in 32 tries, scored 92 runs, drove in 89 and hit 23 homers, but also fanned 131 times. Mota finished 2 homers behind Shane Andrews for the SAL lead, was named MVP and an All-Star outfielder and was picked as the 6th-best prospect by league managers. At age 21, he was not old for the level despite it being his third year at class A.
With the Jackson Generals in 1993 Gary again saw limited playing time and performed poorly (injuries perhaps?), contributing just a .144/.161/.267 line and striking out 25 times in 90 AB. Playing regularly for Jackson in 1994, Mota hit .239/.357/.401.
Mota went to the Philadelphia Phillies organization in 1995 and hit .227/.280/.327 for the Reading Phillies. In 1996 he returned to the Houston system and hit .240/.345/.240 in 12 games with Jackson. He spent most of the year back in class A with the Kissimmee Cobras, contributing a .329/.354/.461 line.
Gary split the 1997 season between the High Desert Mavericks (.252/~.344/.421 in 31 games), the Saltillo Saraperos (.289/~.325/.316 in 22 games) and the Bend Bandits (.389, .542 slugging) before retiring.
Sources include 1991-1998 Baseball Almanacs, 1991 and 1995 Baseball Guides, "The Mexican League: Comprehensive Player Statistics" by Pedro Treto Cisneros and Pat Doyle's old-time professional baseball player database