Pedro Jose Figueroa Vizcaino
- Bats Left, Throws Left
- Height 6' 0", Weight 215 lb.
Pitcher Pedro Figueroa made his major league debut in 2012.
He was signed by scout Juan Carlos de la Cruz for the Oakland Athletics in late 2003 and made his pro debut the following year in the Dominican Summer League. With the 2004 DSL Athletics 2, he was 2-2 with a save and a 2.90 ERA. In 2005, he improved to 3-0, 2.27 with a save for the same club, allowing a .215 average. He started 2006 with the DSL Athletics 1 and was 1-0 with a 1.50 ERA when he joined the AZL Athletics in mid-June, going 1-6 with a 6.07 ERA in 13 appearances with the club. He allowed a .311 average for the year. He tied for third in the Arizona League in defeats.
With the 2007 Vancouver Canadians, he improved to 2-2, 4.30 with a save but walked 31 in 44 innings. Back with Vancouver in '08, he had a 2-5, 3.93 record. He tied Ronny Morla for the Northwest League lead with 77 strikeouts, had the league's best K rate (10.09 per 9 IP). His four balks tied Neil Ramirez for the league lead. With the Licey Tigers in the winter, he was rocked to the tune of a 16.87 ERA.
Pedro continued to progress in 2009, going 10-2 with a 3.23 ERA for the Kane County Cougars and 3-4, 3.56 for the Stockton Ports. He was named the A's Organizational Pitcher of the Year, finishing among their leaders in wins (2nd), strikeouts (145, 3rd) and ERA (4th). Baseball America rated him as the 7th-best California League prospect (between Alex Liddi and Wynn Pelzer) and 5th-best Oakland prospect. With things looking up, Figueroa ran into injury problems that led to ineffectiveness in 2010. He was 1-6 with a 5.30 ERA and .295 opponent average for the Midland Rockhounds and lost his last five games with a 7.82 ERA. He was shelved in June with a left elbow strain and had Tommy John surgery. He returned for only two games in 2011 with the AZL A's, allowing one run in two innings.
Figueroa began 2012 in excellent shape with the Sacramento River Cats (2 H, 0 R, 8 K, 4 BB in 7 IP) and was called up to the majors when Graham Godfrey was sent down early in the season. He debuted for the A's on April 21st, working the 9th inning of a 5-1 loss to the Cleveland Indians. Replacing Brian Fuentes, he got Travis Hafner on a grounder, walked Aaron Cunningham then got Casey Kotchman to ground into an inning-ending twin killing.
Sources: 2009-2010 Baseball Almanacs, 2011 A's Media Guide