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Hernán Iribarren

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Hernán Alcides Iribarren

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Hernán Iribarren made his major league debut in his 7th professional season in 2008. His minor league career has been notable for good batting averages at every level and a horrendous stolen base success rate.

Iribarren was signed by Milwaukee Brewers scout Epy Guerrero when he was 17. Iribarren hit .314/.383/.417 for the 2002 DSL Brewers and was thrown out in 9 of 16 steal attempts. In 2003, Hernán batted .344/.403/.515 for the same team and was much better on the bases, being successful in 17 of 20 tries. He led the Dominican Summer League with 7 triples and finished third in batting average. He made the DSL All-Star team at second base.

Iribarren moved to the AZL Brewers in 2004 and put up an amazing .439/.490/.630 and led the Arizona League in average, hits (83), triples (9), total bases, slugging and OBP. He led AZL second basemen in putouts (113), assists (142) and double plays (31). He was 88 points ahead of the runner-up in the batting race, Lisandro Disla. He also recorded the second-highest average in league history, behind Tim McWilliam. He was named the league MVP and All-Star second baseman. Baseball America rated him as the league's #2 prospect after Matt Tuiasosopo. He also played for the Beloit Snappers, hitting .373/.410/.657.

In 2005, Hernán hit .290/.360/.379 with 38 stolen bases and 15 times caught stealing for the West Virginia Power. Baseball America rated him as the South Atlantic League's best defensive second baseman. He had led SAL second basemen in putouts (255), assists (367) and errors (31). He played in the 2005 Futures Game, going 1 for 4 with a run as the World Team's DH and #8 batter in a 4-0 win.

The Venezuelan infielder batted .319/.376/.384 for the 2006 Brevard County Manatees. He was third in the Florida State League in average behind Corey Coles and Branden Florence. He was thrown out stealing 15 times, tying Xavier Paul for the FSL lead; he was only successful running 19 times. He was named to the FSL All-Star team at second base. In winter ball, he hit just .185/.233/.222 for the Cardenales de Lara of the Venezuelan League.

He produced at a .307/.363/.430 for the 2007 Huntsville Stars and was thrown out in 16 of 34 steal attempts. He led the Southern League with 12 triples and was second with 147 hits, trailing only Emilio Bonifacio. Iribarren led SL second basemen with 14 errors. He was 7th in the league in average, right behind Evan Longoria. He led Brewers farmhands in triples. He was left off the SL All-Star team in favor of Bonifacio. In the winter of 2007-2008, he hit .305/.387/.362 for Lara.

Iribarren's minor league batting line after 7 seasons is .324/.384/.439 and he has stolen 115 bases but has been thrown out stealing 65 times.

When Tony Gwynn Jr. went on the Disabled List in early 2008, Iribarren was called up to the majors. He made his debut on April 12, hitting a single as a pinch hitter for Brian Shouse against the New York Mets' Carlos Muniz. Muniz promptly picked him off of first base.

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