Manny Estrada (minors)

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Manuel Eugenio Estrada

BR register page

Biographical Information[edit]

Manny Estrada was an All-Star in AAA yet never made the majors.

Estrada was taken by the Minnesota Twins in the 13th round of the 1970 amateur draft, one round before Steve Staggs, but opted for college. He helped Team USA win Silver in the 1972 Amateur World Series, losing out to his birthplace of Cuba; his three triples tied Cubans Wilfredo Sánchez and Armando Capiró for the tournament lead. [1] The Chicago White Sox picked him in the 8th round of the 1973 amateur draft, one pick after Ken Landreaux.

He made his pro debut that summer with the Appleton Foxes, hitting .305/.404/.439 with 49 runs and 49 walks in 80 games. He did not play enough to finish among the Midwest League leaders (due to his starting the summer in college); had he qualified, his average would have matched Mike Coronado's .305 for 5th. [2] He moved up to the AA Knoxville Sox; turning 22, he fielded .956 at 2B and batted .297/.381/.407 with 61 walks to 49 whiffs. He was 4th in the Southern League in average (behind Nyls Nyman, Kim Andrew and Jack Maloof) and was 5th in OBP (between Morman and Mike Squires). [3]

Making it to AAA his third season, he seemingly had a good shot at the majors - but he would remain at that level for nine years, never making it to The Show. In his AAA debut, he hit .300/.367/.431 with 30 doubles and 89 runs for the Denver Bears. He missed the 1975 American Association top-10 in average by .002 behind Tommy Smith, he was 3rd in runs (behind Mike Adams and Dave Rosello) and he tied Héctor Cruz for 2nd in doubles (behind Lamar Johnson's 35), though he led the league's second basemen with 28 errors. He led White Sox farmhands in runs (two ahead of Tony La Russa), was 2nd to Johnson in hits, tied Cleo Kirkpatrick for 3rd in doubles and was 9th in walks. He was named the AA's All-Star second baseman, joining Johnson, Rosello and Cruz on the infield. [4] Jorge Orta was having a fine season for the 1975 White Sox, though, so Estrada did not get the call-up.

Things slipped in 1976. As a middle infielder for the Iowa Oaks, he produced at a .247/.326/.348 clip. He opened 1977 back with Iowa (6 for 26, 5 BB) then went to the San Diego Padres chain, hitting .273/.377/.332 for the Hawaii Islanders. He went to Mexico in 1977, posting a batting line of .261/.360/.309 for the Plataneros de Tabasco. [5] In 1978, he was picked up by the Seattle Mariners and hit .280/.346/.385 for the San Jose Missions; the Mariners did not call him up, keeping the speedy Julio Cruz at 2B. Estrada led the 1978 PCL second basemen with 25 errors. [6]

In '79, the veteran was a utility man for Spokane, hitting .269/.344/.347 and going 13-for-17 in steal attempts. He split 1980 between Spokane (.329/.393/.391 in 76 G) and the Lynn Sailors (.244/.380/.382 in 41 G). He hit .250/.342/.352 for Spokane in 1981. He was a coach for 2 seasons, appearing in a few games with the Salt Lake City Gulls in 1982 (11 for 24, 3 2B, BB) and 1983 (7 for 16) to finish his US minor league career at .283/.364/.385.

He managed the Butte Copper Kings to a 38-32 record in 1984 then went into scouting. Among his signees have been Josh Bell, Noel Cuevas, Iván DeJesús Jr., Jon García and Andrés Santiago. His son Justin Estrada was drafted but opted for soccer in college. [7]

Sources[edit]

  1. A History of Cuban Baseball by Peter Bjarkman
  2. 1974 Baseball Guide, pg. 497
  3. 1975 Baseball Guide, pg. 438
  4. 1976 Baseball Guide, pg. 361-364
  5. 1978 Baseball Guide, pg. 433
  6. 1979 Baseball Guide, pg. 441
  7. Daily Pennsylvanian