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Willie Vasquez

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Williams Martin A. Vasquez Colmenares

  • Bats Both, Throws Right
  • Height 6' 0", Weight 152 lb.

BR Minors

[edit] Biographical Information

Willie Vasquez played in the minors, Italy and Venezuela as well as for the Venezuelan national team. He led the 2011 Baseball World Cup in home runs and was named the 2011 Italian Baseball League MVP.

Vasquez debuted in 2000 with La Pradera in the Venezuelan Summer League, hitting .250. In 2001, he hit .221/.321/.286 for the GCL Yankees, splitting second base duties with Robinson Cano. In 2002, the teenager spent time with the GCL Yanks (0 for 10, 6 BB), Staten Island Yankees (.234/.299/.343 in 50 games) and the Tampa Yankees (0 for 8, 1 BB). He was used as a utility infielder.

In 2003, Vasquez played for Tampa (.233/.318/.288 in 21 games) and the Battle Creek Yankees (.223/.313/.367 in 66 games). The next year, he batted .243/.332/.376 for Battle Creek to show some strides at the plate; he played all four infield positions as well as the outfield, appearing in 108 games, 4th on the club.

Vasquez came to Italy as a pitcher and went 3-4 with a 4.65 ERA in 2005. In the 2006 COPABE qualifiers for the Olympics, he hit .257/.381/.543 for Venezuela, with 3 homers in 9 games. He also had 3 outfield assists. He hit .269 in the 2006 Central American and Caribbean Games and tied for the event lead with 3 doubles.

In 2007, he played for Avigliana and hit .338/.445/.531 as the club's clear top star. He was 4th in Serie A1 in batting average, tied Shaun Skrehot for second in homers (7, one behind Juan Camilo), 4th in OBP and 4th in slugging. He hit .261/.414/.261 in the 2007 Baseball World Cup.

In 2008, Willie hit .380/.480/.540 for T&A San Marino with 30 runs and 30 RBI. He was second in average to Giuseppe Mazzanti and tied Rayner Bautista for the most hits (62). He was third in OBP behind Mazzanti and Claudio Liverziani and tied for 4th with 32 walks. He helped lead San Marino to its first Serie A1 title. He was named the league's All-Star left fielder.

During the 2008 European Cup in Grosseto, Willie hit .474/.522/.842 with 5 runs and 3 triples in 5 games. He led the Cup in triples, was second to Richard Montiel in average, tied Daniel Sanchez and Bryon Bell for third in hits (9) and was third with 16 total bases. He broke up a no-hitter by Pat Ahearne in the 7thi nning one game.

In the 2008 Americas Baseball Cup, Vasquez was the top contact hitter for the host Venezuelans, hitting .414/.469/.483 and making the tourney All-Star outfield alongside Ardley Jansen and Danilo Sotelo. Vasquez played a key role in helping Venezuela win a spot in the 2009 Baseball World Cup. He went 3 for 5 in a key win over the Puerto Rican national team, which otherwise was unbeaten in the tourney. Vasquez was 7 for 12 with two doubles, a homer, 3 runs and 6 RBI in the Matino phase of the 2009 European Cup but San Marino failed to advance to the Final Four. He tied teammate Max De Biase for the lead in both average and RBI and led in total bases.

In the 2009 regular season, Vasquez hit .284/.407/.484. He tied Mario Chiarini for 8th in the league in walks (29) and just missed the top 10 in slugging, .001 behind Jhonny Carvajal. He helped Venezuela win Gold at the 2010 South American Games. That summer, he played for HCAW in the Hoofdklasse. He batted .376/.472/.479 with 28 RBI and 23 walks in 32 games. He made the league leaders in average (2nd, .024 behind leader Dirk van 't Klooster), slugging (5th, between van 't Klooster and Rafaël Jozefa), OBP (first, .009 ahead of Mervin Gario), RBI (7th, between Jozefa and Dwayne Kemp), doubles (tied for 8th with 9), total bases (10th, 56) and walks (tied for 8th with Raily Legito and Bart Gabriëls). He played center field for the North in the 2010 Hoofdklasse All-Star Game, flanked by Bryan Engelhardt and van 't Klooster. In the 2010 Pan American Games Qualification Tournament, he hit .324/.439/.559 with 6 walks, 2 homers and 7 RBI in 9 games for Venezuela, which won spots in the 2011 Baseball World Cup and 2011 Pan American Games. He tied for fifth in the event in home runs, trailing Jamie Romak, Gabriel Martinez, Mike Trout and Alfredo Despaigne.

He returned to Italy in 2011. He hit .344/.447/.563 for San Marino with 37 runs, 26 RBI, 8 homers and 30 walks in 42 games. He finished 6th in average (between Lorenzo Avagnina and Josh Phelps), 5th in slugging (between Rodney Medina and Avagnina), 3rd in OBP (behind Brandon Chaves and Davide Dallospedale), tied for second in runs (with Juan Carlos Infante), second in hits (58, 2 behind Medina), tied for 5th in doubles (even with Carvajal), tied Carlos Duran for the home run lead, led in total bases (90, 2 ahead of Medina) and tied Giuseppe Mazzanti for third in walks. He was named the All-Star first baseman and league MVP. He put up a .353/.405/.412 line in the 2011 Italian Series as San Marino battered Nettuno for the title.

In the 2011 European Cup, he hit .259/.364/.407 as San Marino won it all. In the semifinal, he hit a 10th-inning sacrifice fly off Al Morales Gomes to score Mattia Reginato with the game's only run to beat the Amsterdam Pirates. He was a dominant force in the 2011 Baseball World Cup, hitting .341/.396/.682 with 5 homers and 11 RBI in 12 games. He had 3 hits against South Korea, went deep off Nicaragua's Julio Raudez, drilled a 2-run homer off Germany's Philipp Hoffschild, cracked a solo shot against Italy's Alessandro Maestri and launched two solo homers in a loss to Todd Redmond and Team USA. He was two RBI of the event co-leaders (Curt Smith and Fernando Seguignol), was 9th in slugging entering the final day's games (between Smith and Jordy Mercer) and led in home runs (two more than runner-ups Matt Clark, Tommy Mendonca, Donald Lutz, Seguignol, Smith and José Dariel Abreu). He did not win All-Star honors at 1B as those went to Abreu, with Smith another strong contender. Back as Venezuela's first baseman in the 2011 Pan American Games, he was not as good at .235/.222/.353.

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