From BR Bullpen
Roberto Vizcarra Acosta (Chapo)
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 9", Weight 195 lb.
Roberto Vizcarra had over 2,600 hits in his minor league career. He played for 23 years. His brother Marco Vizcarra also played professionally.
Vizcarra debuted in 1986 and went 2 for 27 with a double and two walks for the Leon Braves in an otherwise explosive offensive season in the Mexican League. Clearly needing more seasoning, he was little better in 1987 (3 for 23, BB). In 1988, though, he came alive and hit .310/.375/.393, scored 85 runs and stole 29 bases in 40 tries. He made 33 errors as a 2B-SS-3B. During the '89 season, Roberto batted .321/.383/.418 with 93 runs and a career-high 30 steals (though he was caught 18 times). In 1990, the 23-year-old put up a .305/.355/.442 line for Leon, scored 89 runs and stole 16 bases in 34 attempts. In winter ball, he hit .272/~.359/.390 for the Yaquis de Obregón, stealing 16 bases. He ended his six-year run with the Braves in 1991, hitting .322/.389/.578 and setting career highs in runs (108), doubles (49), home runs (24) and RBI (87). He stole 18 bases while being gunned down 10 times. He ranked fourth in the LMB in runs, behind James Steels, Darryl Motley and Roy Johnson. He also tied Vinicio García's 30-year-old Mexican League record for two-baggers. In 1991-1992, he hit .299 with 25 steals and a Mexican Pacific League-leading 27 doubles for Obregón. He had delivered 66 doubles in a year's span, not counting postseason or exhibition play. The 27 doubles in the LMP tied Miguel Fernández's 25-year-old record; Agustín Murillo would pass them both 17 years later.
In 1992, Roberto moved to the Monterrey Industriales and fell under .300 at .270/.319/.419. He still scored 86 runs, stole 19 bases (caught 16 times, though) and rapped 36 doubles. He was third in doubles behind Alejandro Sanchez and Steels. For the Yaquis, he was at .256 with a .364 slugging. In 1993, he improved to .299/.367/.455 for Monterrey with 16 dingers and 15 steals in 27 tries. He split 1994 between Monterrey and the Rieleros de Aguascalientes, with a combined line of .302/.388/.452. He led second basemen with 21 errors and 361 assists. His 32 doubles were third in the league behind Larry See and Johnny Monell Sr.. He remained with the Rieleros for all of '95 and batted .290/.361/.481 with 20 home runs and 87 RBI (tying his highwater mark in the latter category). In the winter, he hit .263/?/.364 for the Yaquis.
At age 29, Vizcarra remained steady at .299/.362/.451 for Aguascalientes, with only 20 strikeouts in 435 at-bats. He did score 70 runs, his first time under 80 in nine years. For 1997, he hit .294/.393/.394 for the Rieleros, followed by a winter average of .268 with a .385 slugging percentage. In the summer of '98, the veteran infielder put up a .297/.379/.438 line and stole 19 bases in 27 attempts. He split 1999 between Aguascalientes and the Mexico City Tigers, batting a combined .334/.416/.473 in 92 games. With the 2000 Tigers, he hit .294/.378/.461. He stole just one base in six tries, his first time under 10 steals since 1987. He did have 32 doubles, 16 home runs and 99 (his second-highest total).
Through 2000, Vizcarra had batted .301/.370/.447 in 1,615 Mexican League games, with 1,090 runs, 1,847 hits, 2,745 total bases, 810 RBI, 355 doubles, 165 home runs, 622 walks, only 439 strikeouts in 6,143 at-bats and 207 steals (though caught 139 times). He ranked among the league's all-time leaders in steals (15th), caught stealing (5th), runs (13th, between Matias Carrillo and Ray Torres) and doubles (tied for 6th with Angel Castro, Arnoldo Castro and Benjamin Cerda). He was also in the top 50 in categories such as home runs, total bases and average. He would still play for eight more years, though, to pad those numbers.
By now, Vizcarra was a corner infielder rather than a middle infielder as in his heyday. He hit .310/.376/.467 with 26 doubles and 79 runs for Mexico City in 2001. In the winter, he batted .237 and slugged .366 for the Culiacan Tomato Growers. With the Tigers in 2002, his batting line read .301/.363/.395 and he showed some speed at age 35 (10 SB, 3 CS). He was still productive in 2003, hitting .302/.354/.401 for his 9th .300 summer (and his 15th at .290 or higher). Moving to the Piratas de Campeche the next summer, he split first base with Willis Otáñez and hit .253/.349/.337, starting to show his age more significantly.
Vizcarra wasn't all washed-up, though. He hit .347/.417/.509 with 26 doubles and 73 runs for Campeche in 2005, striking out only 21 times in 401 at-bats. He batted .334/.391/.492 in 2006, still capable of cracking 14 circuit clouts. Roberto's batting line at age 40 in 2007 was .298/.357/.434. The end came fast as he was just 1 for 35 with walks for the 2008 Piratas and he called it a career.
Overall, Vizcarra had played 2,217 games, collected 2,644 hits, scored 1,477 runs, had 482 doubles, homered 229 times, drove in over 1,100 runs, drawn over 800 walks and stole over 230 bases in the Mexican League. He had hit .304/.370/.446 for his career.
 Primary Sources
- 1989, 1991, 1995 and 2005 Baseball Guides
- 1992-2000 Baseball Almanacs
- The Mexican League: Comprehensive Player Statistics by Pedro Treto Cisneros