Tuesday, November 20, 2012

#252 Luis Aguayo - Philadelphia Phillies

I really like the powder blue batting glove on Luis Aguayo's 2nd Topps card.  Seems like Topps could have made the bottom red border darker to match the Phillies' colors.
Player: Luis Aguayo was a utility infielder for 10 years in the major leagues mostly with the Phillies.  Aguayo signed with Philadelphia out of Puerto Rico in 1975 when he was just 16 years old.  He debuted in the majors in 1980 and was used sparingly over the next three seasons with just 207 plate appearances.  He batted .277, .214, and .268 over that time and spent all but two games back in the minors in 1983.

Aguayo was in the majors for most of '84 and was productive despite just 72 at bats.  He sported a .278/.350/.458 line and played second, third and shortstop.  His '85 campaign was his best as a pro as he batted .278/.378/.467 with an OPS+ of 134 in 200 plate appearances.

Aguayo's performance slipped the next two years as he batted .211 and .206, although he did manage to hit 12 homers in 239 in the '87 season.  His dozen dingers came in 230 plate appearances and doubled his previous career high.

The '88 season would be his last in Philly as he was sent to the Yankees in a July trade.  By this point in his career he was primarily playing third base as his range was slipping.  Between the two teams he played in a career high 99 games and batted .249. 

1989 would be Aguayo's last in the major leagues.  He signed as a free-agent with the Indians and batted just .175.  He hung around the minors for three more years before calling it quits after the 1992 season. 

Flipside/Oddball:  Aguayo's highlights list him scoring from 2nd base on a ground ball which indicates the good speed he had early in his career.  By the end of his time in Philly he was no longer fleet of foot.  Phillies great and broadcaster Richie Ashburn quote on Aguayo-

"Aguayo's running at first base. He doesn't have great speed ... what am I saying? he doesn't have good speed, he doesn't even have average speed. The man is slow."

History:  Aguayo was a typical utility infielder who played on some very good teams early in his career.  He didn't play in the postseason in 1980 or 1983 when the Phillies were in the World Series.  He pinch ran twice in the '81 NLDS and that was the extent of his postseason experience. 

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