From BR Bullpen
Earl Rene Agnoly Thompson
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 0", Weight 170-199 lb.
Earl Agnoly played five years in the minor leagues, after which he became a star for the Panamanian national team. He was suspended from international play for two years due to a doping scandal.
Agnoly debuted in 1993 with the DSL Marlins, hitting .321/?/.390 with 20 steals. In 1994, Earl batted .336/.397/.498 for the DSL Marlins and stole 25 bases in 27 tries. He scored 58 runs in 68 games. He made the Dominican Summer League All-Star team at first base. In 1995, Agnoly produced at a .272/~.323/.305 clip for the GCL Marlins with 19 stolen bases in 24 tries; his offensive production clearly was not great for a 1B/OF.
Moving to full-season play, Agnoly hit .246/~.295/.325 in 1996 as an outfielder for the Kane County Cougars. The following year, he only managed a .210/~.255/.280 line for Kane County.
In the 1998 Baseball World Cup qualifier, he hit .500 for the Panamanians, the best mark in the Americas Qualifying Tournament, beating out several future major leaguers. In the actual World Cup, he batted .448/.484/.759 and was 9th in the tourney in average. He was error-free in left field and at first base. He had 12 RBI in the 1998 Central American and Caribbean Games to tie Juan Manrique for the lead.
In the 2001 Baseball World Cup, Agnoly batted .206/.300/.235 and stole two bases in two tries. He hit .370/.452/.556 in the 2002 Intercontinental Cup, in which Panama won the bronze - only to have it revoked in April of 2003 after drug tests showed that Agnoly and some teammates, including Roberto Kelly, came up with positives for banned substances. All were suspended from international competition for two years.
Earl returned to the World Cup with the 2005 edition, hitting .324/.351/.500 as the DH for the Bronze Medalists. He scored 8 runs and drove in 7 in 10 games. In the 2006 World Baseball Classic, Agnoly went 1 for 3 with a strikeout and one RBI, coming off the bench in all three of Panama's games. With the bases loaded in the 9th inning of a game against the powerhouse Cuban national team, he was hit by a pitch by Yunieski Maya to bring in the tying run and force extra innings. That game was the only one in which Agnoly got a hit as he came through in the clutch.
In the 2006 qualifying tournament for the 2008 Olympics, Agnoly hit .471/.550/.618 with 11 runs in 9 games for Panama, but the team failed to make the cut. He was error-free in the outfield but was caught stealing in both attempts. He finished second in average behind Bobby Hill, beating out the likes of Michel Enriquez and Kurt Suzuki. During the 2006 Central American and Caribbean Games, Agnoly hit .261/.280/.304.
Agnoly hit .231/.231/.385 in the 2007 Pan-American Games for a Panamanian team that beat Cuba but failed to make the semifinals. He batted .150/.190/.150 in the 2007 Baseball World Cup and struck out in 6 of 20 at-bats. Earl hit .273/.448/.455 in the 2008 Americas Baseball Cup and tied for the tourney lead with 4 doubles but Panama failed to earn a slot in the 2009 Baseball World Cup.
Sources: 1994-2007 Baseball Almanacs, 1995 Baseball Guide, The Baseball Cube for nickname, birthplace and 2003 stats, IBAF website, Associated Press report of April 2003 on Panama being stripped of their medal, Marco Stoovelaar's recaps of the 2006 WBC games, Worldbaseballclassic.com, 2005 World Baseball Cup website, Central American and Caribbean Games