Ildemaro Vargas has gone up and down between the Arizona Diamondbacks and Reno Aces four times this season. With his recent call up last week he is hoping to stay on the big league team until the end of the season.
He has Been Productive
Though Vargas has bounced back forth between the Diamondbacks and the AAA Reno Aces this year, he has been a steady fixture in the Diamondbacks’ lineup, playing in 70 games (to date). And, he has been productive. As of this writing, he is batting .265 with seven doubles, five home runs, and 20 RBI in 180 plate appearances. He has played both left and right fields, and with early injuries to Wilmer Flores and Jake Lamb, he found playing time at second and third base. He’s only made one error.
Third Season with Arizona
This is Vargas’ third season in which he’s seen some playing time with the big-league club. However, this 2019 season he has seen the most at-bats in his career. Previously, he got a few looks in 2017 and 2018, totally only 32 at-bats.
Arrival to the Diamondbacks Farm System
Vargas signed with the St. Louis Cardinals as an international free agent in June 2008. He had over 1500 at bats in their organization but was never able to get past AA baseball. He was released in March 2015. After his release, he signed with Bridgeport Bluefish of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball. Then on May 26, 2015 he signed a minor league deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
A True Utility-Man in the Minors
When he signed his minor league deal it was as a second baseman but figured the way to get to a big-league club was to be a utility player. He has played everywhere except catcher but most of his playing time has been at second and third base with some time spent at shortstop. He even pitched in a game back in 2014.
Special Time with Reno
He was a Triple-A All-Star at Reno in both 2017 and 2018. He had a 35-game hitting streak last year, the fifth longest in the Pacific Coast League’s 116-year history. Then on May 14, of this year he passed Cole Gillespie, as the all-time hits leader in Aces history with a solo home run being hit number 400.
Put in Hard Work
Vargas has certainly put in hard work at the minor league level. When he is with the Diamondbacks his teammates call him a ball of energy in the clubhouse. He offers upbeat handshakes for his teammates and keeps the mood light during downtime—and as we all know you must have guys like that on the team. Though technically a rookie, he doesn’t act or play like one.
Proof Positive for Vargas
After ten plus years in the minors, Ildemaro Vargas is proof positive that talent can come from just about anywhere. He’s gone from affiliated baseball to independent baseball back to affiliated baseball with the Diamondbacks farm system, to finally getting to the Major Leagues. That comes from staying confident and taking every opportunity given to him to demonstrate that he can play the game and can be an asset to the team.
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