ERIC AVILA
THIRD BASEMAN
Born: June 9, 1990
Height: 6′ 1″
Weight: 165
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Signed: Int. FA, Pittsburgh Pirates, 2006
How Acquired: Int. FA
Country: Dominican Republic
Agent: N/A

WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES

Avila started playing for the Pirates’ DSL affiliate just after he turned 17. He was initially a secondbaseman, but he moved to third in his third season.  He’s not very athletic, though, and has struggled defensively at times.  He started showing some power in his third year in the DSL and the following year in the GCL.

2007
DSL:  238/304/310, 42 AB, 1 HR, 3 BB, 6 K, 1-2 SB

Played briefly in first DSL season.  He played mostly second in 2007-08.

2008
DSL:  262/312/324, 256 AB, 10 2B, 2 HR, 14 BB, 19 K, 5-5 SB

Didn’t hit a lot in first full season, but made good contact, striking out less than once every 13 ABs.

2009
DSL:  315/358/494, 267 AB, 21 2B, 9 HR, 17 BB, 20 K, 8-14 SB

Avila stayed in the DSL and saw a power spike, ending up as one of the league’s best hitters.  He struck out only slightly more than he walked.  He moved to third and had some defensive problems, with 22 errors in 56 games.

2010
R:  277/327/472, 195 AB, 15 2B, 1 3B, 7 HR, 12 BB, 33 K, 9-12 SB

Was one of GCL’s best power hitters, finishing tied for first in HRs and tied for second in doubles.  He was, however, a little old for the level at age 20.  His plate discipline was marginal and his K rate roughly doubled from 2009.

2011
A:  216/275/289, 380 AB, 14 2B, 1 3B, 4 HR, 27 BB, 57 K, 9-16 SB

The Pirates moved Avila up to West Virginia and the move didn’t go well.  He got off to a terrible start, hitting .149 in April with just one extra base hit in 74 ABs.  He improved a little after that, but never really got going.  Avila didn’t strike out a lot, just a little more than once every seven ABs, but he never hit the ball with any authority.  He had an especially bad time with RHPs, hitting just 201/259/261 against them, suggesting that he was easily victimized by sliders.  He also had problems defensively, with 27 errors, although his error rate slowed rapidly as the season went along.  His range seems decent at worst.

2012
A:  281/315/546, 185 AB, 14 2B, 1 3B, 11 HR, 8 BB, 40 K, 1-1 SB

Avila returned to West Virginia as a utility player at the start of 2012, but got hurt after four games.  He was out until mid-season, then played part-time in June and July.  His hitting improved during that time and he returned to everyday play in August.  After hitting .315 in June and July, he hit just .247 in August, but he went deep eight times in his last 26 games.  The power is encouraging, but his walk rate and K rates cast doubt on how well he’ll do higher up.  Defensively, he cut his error rate a little but he doesn’t have good range.

It’s hard to say whether Avila has resurrected his prospect status, but he’ll be the starting thirdbaseman for Bradenton in 2013.  He’ll turn 23 at mid-season, making him just a little old for the level.  He was eligible for the Rule 5 draft, but wasn’t selected.

STATS
Baseball Reference–Minors
Fangraphs
MiLB.com
CONTRACT INFORMATION
2013: Minor League Contract
PLAYER INFORMATION
Signing Bonus: N/A
MiLB Debut: 2007
MLB Debut: N/A
MiLB FA Eligible: 2013
MLB FA Eligible: N/A
Rule 5 Eligible: Eligible
Added to 40-Man: N/A
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
TRANSACTIONS
2006: Signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates as an international free agent.