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Thursday, March 18, 2021

Hector Vargas worked to make double plays at AA; Played more than decade, made AAA

Hector Vargas got in some offseason work ahead of the 1992 campaign and he felt it paid off at AA Albany-Colonie, he told The Schenectady Daily Gazette.

He spoke that May after a bottom-of-the-ninth, game-winning single.

"This year I feel more comfortable because I know what my job is before I get to the field," Vargas told The Daily Gazette. "I have to make double plays at second base. I played winter ball in Puerto Rico and it helped me a lot."

Vargas played that year at AA, his second year at that level. He took his newfound confidence the next year to AAA. In a career that spanned more than a decade, however, he couldn't take it to the majors.

Vargas' career began in 1986, signed by the Yankees as a free agent out of his native Puerto Rico.

He started with the Yankees in the rookie Gulf Coast League. He hit .236 over 61 games.

Vargas then played 1987 over three levels, including AA Albany-Colonie. He saw 44 games at AA that year and hit .223.

After a 1988 season limited to 49 total games, he played 1989 largely at single-A Peninsula. In 84 games there, he hit .260.

That June, he hit a bases-clearing triple in the ninth inning for a one-run win, The Newport News Daily Press.

"The two previous pitches were off-speed," Vargas told The Daily Press of the triple. "They made me look pretty bad so I moved back a bit. I just tried to make hard contact."

Vargas moved to high-A Fort Lauderdale for 1990. He hit .308 over 117 games. He then made Albany-Colonie for 1991 and he returned there in 1992. He hit .278 his first year there and .300 his second.

Vargas moved to the Expos system and Indians system for 1993. He saw 36 games at AAA Ottawa for 1993. He returned to AAA in 1995, with 98 games at Oklahoma City with the Rangers. He then played two final seasons in Mexico to end his career.

1990 Minor League Tally
Players/Coaches Featured:3,601
Made the Majors:1,246-34.6%
Never Made Majors:2,355-65.4%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:519
10+ Seasons in the Minors:306-X

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