ANDY VASQUEZ, CORNER OUTFIELDER
|Born: October 8, 1987
Height: 6′ 1″
Signed: Int. FA, Pittsburgh Pirates, 2006
How Acquired: Int. FA
Country: Dominican Republic
WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES
|Vasquez signed at nearly age 20 in the Dominican, which is unusually late. He’s impressive-looking physically, but hasn’t gotten it together as a player. He has the ability to be a good defensive player, with good range and a strong arm, but he’s error-prone. The Pirates have used him at second, third and short, and in the outfield, depending on need. He’s also played a few games at first. He has fairly good power for an infielder but poor strike zone judgment. He runs fairly well and attempts to steal a lot, but with a low success rate. I’ve given up trying to figure out whether he’s a left-handed hitter or a switch-hitter. He’s been listed as one or the other at different times and I’ve seen him hit right-handed. According to Baseball Reference, he batted right-handed 11 times against RHPs in 2014. Vasquez has a good arm and had taken the mound eleven times through the end of 2015.
Vasquez got 57 ABs in his DSL debut, drawing a lot of walks and striking out nearly a third of the time.
As is generally the case with Latin players who are older than the norm for the GCL, the Pirates sent Vasquez straight to the New York-Penn League. He first appeared with State College in July. Considering his very limited experience, Vasquez held his own, with fairly good power but not good strike zone judgment. He split time between second and short, committing one error in 18 games at second and five in 28 games at short. With the error-prone Spikes that year, those totals were miniscule.
Returned to State College and struggled badly at bat. He played mainly short, with some games at third and a few at second.
Played in only 29 games all year. He opened the season back at State College and saw action only sparingly as a backup at second and third. Vasquez moved up to West Virginia at the end of the season to fill in due to injuries. He hit much better at the higher level. Between the two levels he had two walks and 31 Ks.
Vasquez opened the year as a utility player at West Virginia. There were stretches early in the season, though, when Vasquez was about the team’s best hitter apart from Matt Curry, especially when Gift Ngoepe went out for the year in late April. Probably as a result, Vasquez ended up as an everyday player. He mainly split his time between second and left, but also played short, third, right and center. He hit fairly well and led the SAL in triples, but still showed very poor plate discipline. He stole a lot for the first time, although his success rate was mediocre.
Vasquez spent the season as a utility player at Bradenton, appearing at every position except catcher, first and short. He even pitched three times, allowing no runs or hits in two and a third innings. He hit about like he has in the past, with a decent average and power, and poor plate discipline. At times he was one of the better offensive threats on a team that had a lot of players struggling through disappointing seasons. He moved up to Altoona at the very end of the season when the Curve needed a player.
Vasquez moved up to Altoona and continued in his utility role. He played every position but first and catcher. He even got another inning on the mound and still has a career ERA of 0.00. Vasquez spent most of his time in the outfield, but did play 17 games at third. At the plate, his low walk rate continued and his K rate increased to more than once every four ABs. He did not show the decent power he’d shown in the past. He had a .789 OPS against LHPs and only .599 against RHPs.
Vasquez was a free agent after 2013, but re-signed with the Pirates and returned to Altoona as a utility player. He played every outfield position, as well as a few games at third and second. He even pitched four times. At the plate Vasquez had a much better season, hitting for very good power. He still didn’t walk much, but he cut down on the Ks a little. He also did a much better job of stealing bases. He had only a .501 OPS against LHPs, but .863 against RHPs.
Vasquez became a free agent after 2014 but re-signed again with the Pirates. He continued to serve as a backup outfielder (and emergency pitcher), but he got less playing time as the system is producing more upper level hitting prospects. He also reached AAA for the first time.
Vasquez will be eligible for free agency again in the off-season.
|2015: Minor League Contract|
|Signing Bonus: N/A
MiLB Debut: 2007
MLB Debut: N/A
MiLB FA Eligible: 2013
MLB FA Eligible: N/A
Rule 5 Eligible: Eligible
Added to 40-Man: N/A
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
|September 4, 2006: Signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates as an international free agent.
November 1, 2013: Signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates as a minor league free agent.
November 4, 2014: Became a free agent.
December 22, 2014: Signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates as a minor league free agent.