|Born: March 4, 1969|
|April 6, 1993, for the Seattle Mariners|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 28, 1997, for the Seattle Mariners|
|Runs batted in||79|
Lee Owen Tinsley (born March 4, 1969) is a former professional baseball outfielder, who played in 1993–97 with the Seattle Mariners, Boston Red Sox and Philadelphia Phillies of Major League Baseball (MLB). He was most recently the assistant hitting coach of the Cincinnati Reds of Major League Baseball.
Tinsley was drafted in the 1st round of the 1987 MLB draft out of Shelby County High School in Shelbyville, Kentucky. He began his professional career that year with the Medford A's of the Northwest League. In 1989 and 1990 he played with the Madison Muskies of the Midwest League. In 1991, he was promoted to the AA Huntsville Stars of the Southern League, where he hit .224 in 92 games.
On July 26, 1991 he was traded by the Athletics (along with another minor leaguer) to the Cleveland Indians for Brook Jacoby. He played with the Canton–Akron Indians of the Eastern League through 1992. He was then promoted to the AAA Colorado Springs Sky Sox to finish the 1992 season.
Tinsley was selected off waivers by the Seattle Mariners on September 21, 1992. He spent most of 1993 with the Calgary Cannons in the Pacific Coast League, where he hit .302 in 111 games. He made his Major League debut on April 6, 1993 against the Toronto Blue Jays, pinch hitting in the fifth inning and remaining in the game to play left field. He walked once and struck out once in two plate appearances.
He collected his first Major League hit on April 11, 1993, with a ninth inning pinch-hit single off of Baltimore's Gregg Olson, eventually scoring the tying run to send the game into extra-innings. He hit his first home run on July 21, 1993 off of Steve Farr of the New York Yankees. In 11 games with the Mariners, he had three hits in 19 at-bats for a .158 batting average.
Tinsley was traded to the Boston Red Sox on March 22, 1994 for a player to be named later. He hit .222 in 78 games for them in 1994, while tying a club record by going 13-for-13 in stolen base attempts in his first full year in the majors. He opened the 1995 campaign with a 14-game hitting streak, while also making good on his first 2 stolen base attempts of the year to run his streak to a team record 15 in a row dating back to 1994. Lee later had a career-best 15-game hitting streak from June 10–25, finishing the campaign with a .284 average in 100 games for Boston.
On January 29, 1996, the Red Sox traded Tinsley (along with Glenn Murray and Ken Ryan) to the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for Heathcliff Slocumb and two minor leaguers. He appeared in 31 games for the Phillies before being dealt back to Boston on June 9. He appeared in 92 of the Red Sox's final 102 games and hit .245.
Lee was dealt back to Seattle prior to the 1997 season, which was an injury-riddled campaign for Tinsley, who started 19 of Seattle's first 24 games, but was eventually sidelined in May with an injured right elbow. He was then activated on August 1, returning to the lineup two days later, but was placed back on the D.L. on August 21. He hit only .197 that season in 49 games.
He never returned to the Majors but he spent 1998–99 in AAA with the affiliates of the Anaheim Angels, Montreal Expos and Cincinnati Reds. In 2000, he played in the independent Western Baseball League with the Valley Vipers and then moved to the Mexican League where he finished off the season.
Tinsley made his coaching debut as the hitting coach for the El Paso Diablos, Arizona's AA affiliate, in 2001. He left the organization for a year to serve as the roving outfield instructor for the Angels' minor league system, then returned to the Diamondbacks' chain in 2003, serving as the minor league outfield co-ordinator. He was the first-base coach for the Diamondbacks in 2006–08.
On December 1, 2008, Tinsley was named first base coach of the Seattle Mariners, a position he held through 2010.
Tinsley was the minor league outfield/baserunning coordinator for the Chicago Cubs in 2011–13. He was named the manager of the Ogden Raptors for 2014, but chose to join the Cincinnati Reds as assistant hitting coach instead. On October 22, 2015, Tinsley did not have his contract renewed by the Reds.