Erick Johan Aybar
Brother of Willy Aybar and uncle of Wander Franco, Erick Aybar was signed as an undrafted free agent in 2002 by scouts Leo Perez and Clay Daniel for the Anaheim Angels. He made his pro debut that summer for the Provo Angels. Aybar hit over .300 in each of his first four minor league seasons, hitting lots of triples and getting lots of stolen bases.
A peak year was 2004 with Rancho Cucamonga, when he hit .330 with 14 home runs and 11 triples. He stole 51 bases and was caught 36 times. 2006 found him in Triple A ball with Salt Lake, where he hit .283 in a partial season. The rest of the year he was with the Angels in 34 games, hitting .250. Aybar made his major league debut with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in 2006.
On November 12, 2015 Aybar was traded along with $2.5 million and top pitching prospects Sean Newcomb and Chris Ellis to the Atlanta Braves for Andrelton Simmons and minor league catcher Jose Briceno. On May 19, 2016, he missed a game for an unusual reason: he had to be rushed to hospital after getting a chicken bone lodged in his throat while eating lunch. The Braves were off to a dreadful start, and so was he, as he was hitting a mere .174 at the time. On August 16th, he was traded to the Detroit Tigers in return for Mike Aviles and Kade Scivicque in a move designed to make space for the Braves to call up their top prospect, Dansby Swanson. Aybar had recovered from his dreadful start, but was still hitting only .242 in 97 games with 2 homers and 26 RBIs. He was joining a team in the hunt for a postseason slot that had recently been hit by a string of injuries, including to starting SS Jose Iglesias.
- AL All-Star (2014)
- AL Gold Glove Winner (2011)