From BR Bullpen
Juan Fernando Villaescusa Elias
- Bats Left, Throws Right
- Height 6' 0", Weight 176 lb.
Fernando Villaescusa was a Mexican League infielder for 17 years. He is the brother of Antonio Villaescusa, the father of Fernando Villaescusa Jr. and the uncle of Ivan Villaescusa. He was a good contact hitter and defensive second baseman during his career.
Fernando Villaescusa debuted in 1978, split between the Plataneros de Tabasco (0 for 5) and the Lethbridge Dodgers (.280/.351/.380). In 1979, he played briefly for the Lodi Dodgers (11 for 30) and Clinton Dodgers (0 for 6). The next year, the 21-year-old hit .255 in 35 games between Lodi and the Vero Beach Dodgers. In '81, he bounced between Vero Beach (.235/.294/.250 in 48 G), the Orlando Twins (1 for 11) and the Leones de Yucatan (.278/.307/.347 in 27 G).
Villaescusa hit .309/.376/.394 for the 1982 Leones, then .322/.368/.369 in '83, with 20 steals in 31 tries. For Yucatan in 1984, he batted .301/.368/.369, duplicating both his OBP and slugging percentage from the prior season, a rare feat. He stole 22 bases in 32 tries. He hit .340/.395/.396 with 20 stolen bases and 12 times caught in 1985. He spent part of the year with the Midland Angels as well, going 8 for 39.
Fernando put up a .351/.404/.414 line in 59 games for the 1986 Leones and .295/.320/.366 with 15 stolen bases (in 20 attempts) in 1987. In '88, he hit .304/.351/.350 to end his 8-year run with Yucatan. He moved to the Campeche Pirates in 1989 and batted .333/.357/.389 with 20 steals in 26 tries, his 4th and last 20-steal season. He scored a career-high 79 that year. During 1990, the veteran infielder hit .325/.365/.410 for the Rieleros de Aguascalientes.
Villaescusa became player-manager for Yucatan starting in 1991. He still could put up a good average, hitting .304/.367/.353 while guiding his team to a 70-52 finish. They were 70-61 in '92 when he batted .316/.370/.372 and stole 13 bases in 16 tries, showing good speed for a manager. He hit .317/.365/.356 in 1993 but the club fell to 51-72 and he lost his job at the helm.
Moving to the Saraperos de Saltillo for 1994, Fernando batted .313/.360/.336. In '95, he hit .352/.407/.402 for the Charros de Jalisco and spent part of the year as manager. He was 2 for 11 for Campeche in '96 and managed them for part of the season. A full-time manager in 1997, he was 65-56 for the Monclova Steelers.
Primary Source: The Mexican League: Comprehensive Player Statistics by Pedro Treto Cisneros