Angel Vidal Espada
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 9", Weight 155 lb.
Espada was picked by the Atlanta Braves in the 42nd round of the 1994 amateur draft out of Puerto Rico and hit .219/.296/.247 that year for the GCL Braves. In '95, he batted .301/.368/.345 with 16 steals in 20 tries for the Danville Braves. He fell to .245/.272/.286 with the 1996 Eugene Emeralds as a backup 2B. He moved to the New York Mets chain in 1997, splitting action between the Pittsfield Mets (.305/.348/.317) and Capital City Bombers (.324/.378/.382), doing well in his 50 games. He wrapped up his Organized Baseball career with the '98 Bombers, hitting .261/.304/.306.
Angel then joined the new Atlantic League and became one of its brightest stars over the next decade. He hit .350 in 33 games between the 1998 Newark Bears and Atlantic City Surf. In 1999, Espada signed up with the Bridgeport Bluefish, where he would spend the remainder of his playing career. He hit .356 his first season there, beating out Sharnol Adriana for the Atlantic League batting title by 22 points. He also swiped 40 bases and scored 82 runs. He failed to make the league All-Star team as Ken Arnold was chosen at short with much lower offensive numbers.
Espada repeated as Atlantic League batting champion in 2000 by hitting .337/.388/.403. He stole 23 bases but was thrown out 15 times, and scored 84 runs. He edged Gil Martinez by .005 for the batting title. He again lost All-Star honors at short, this time to Bobby Hill. In 2001, Angel hit .296/.342/.361 followed by .262/.307/.285 in 2002 (when he stole 28 bases in 34 tries).
Back in form in 2003, Espada produced at a .323/.370/.393 rate; had he qualified, he would have ranked 5th in average. Elvis Pena took All-Star honors at short. In a backup role for the 2004 Bluefish, Espada hit .313/.374/.384. He hit .309/.345/.386 in 2005 and stole 18 bases in 19 tries. Carlos Hernandez was named the All-Star 2B.
In 2006, the 30-year-old batted .266/.312/.299 with 18 steals in 20 tries for Bridgeport, then .309/.345/.365 as a part-timer in 2007. He and Tim Cain wound up as the only players to appear in the Atlantic League's first ten seasons; both retired at year's end.
Espada was hitting coach for the GCL Marlins in 2009 and 2010. He was promoted to the AAA New Orleans Zephyrs as hitting coach when Greg Norton took over Edwin Rodriguez's managerial role and Rodriguez became manager of the 2010 Marlins. He moved to the Jamestown Jammers as coach in 2011 and manager in 2012. He was manager of the Batavia Muckdogs in 2013-2016 and coach of the Greensboro Grasshoppers in 2017-2018. He returned to the manager's role with the DSL Marlins in 2019.
Year-By-Year Minor League Managerial Record
|2012||Jamestown Jammers||New York-Penn League||35-40||7th (t)||Miami Marlins|
|2013||Batavia Muckdogs||New York-Penn League||39-36||6th||Miami Marlins|
|2014||Batavia Muckdogs||New York-Penn League||34-42||10th||Miami Marlins|
|2015||Batavia Muckdogs||New York-Penn League||31-44||13th(t)||Miami Marlins|
|2016||Batavia Muckdogs||New York-Penn League||22-53||14th||Miami Marlins|
|2019||DSL Marlins||Dominican Summer League||Miami Marlins|