Staten Island FerryHawks infielder Angel Aguilar is only 26-years-old, but it’s been 10 years since he signed his first professional contract with the New York Yankees. His Minor League came to an unceremonious end two years ago, but the Venezuelan-born infielder has swiftly emerged career as one of the Atlantic League’s top players in his first season on the Independent circuit.
Aguilar spent eight Minor League seasons within the Yankees organization, including one in 2016 with the Staten Island Yankees. He compiled a .238 batting average, clubbing 48 home runs and driving in 290 runs over 650 games — primarily as a shortstop and third baseman. He reached levels as high as AA.
“I had some pretty good memories with the Staten Island Yankees. It was a really good experience with the Yankees, I learned a lot. That was my first team and I enjoyed it,” said Aguilar.
Nevertheless, the slick-fielding, smooth-swinging Aguilar found himself out of a job after the Minor League season was canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic, and dozens of Minor League teams were contracted by Major League Baseball the following year — prematurely forcing him away from the game he loves.
When the FerryHawks came calling earlier this spring, Aguilar answered. He’s since hit .333 in 28 games and his 36 hits thus far have him among the league’s top 5 in the category. He’s added 3 home runs, 13 RBI, and 9 runs scored for a FerryHawks team that has otherwise struggled to generate offense.
“When they contacted me, they gave me an opportunity to start playing again,” Aguilar said. “They called me and told me about the new team and I said yes to come here and play baseball again.”
“It’s a really good place, I love the city…the only thing I don’t like is the weather,” he joked. “We have a good team and good people and that’s made me happy.”
Aguilar was named the Atlantic League Player of the First Half-Week last week, in which he hit .571 in four contests with three multiple hit games against Long Island. He went 8-for-14 with a double, triple and two RBI in the series.
“I’ve been working a lot. Five months ago I started working with my hitting coach in Tampa,” acknowledged Aguilar. “I try to be simple, try to take a good pitch to hit and do my best every at-bat.”
“I am an aggressive hitter. I like to hit fastballs and when they throw me one I take advantage,” he added. “I try to put a good swing on that ball.”
Despite Aguilar’s success, the club has struggled to a 6-23 record out of the gate.
“I try to stay focused, that’s the only way I can help the other guys. I know we’re struggling right now, but that’s baseball. It happens. You have really good days, and you got bad days,” he said. “The important thing is to keep playing baseball, come to the stadium and give our best every at-bat, every game.”
If he keeps playing at the level he’s at, there’s a very realistic possibility that a Major League team could request his services, but that’s not on Aguilar’s mind right now. He’s just here to play ball.
“I don’t think too much of the future. I just try to take it step by step every at-bat and try to do my best on every swing,” he said. “It’s really hard to hit, but when you have that confidence you can do it and that’s what I’m doing right now.”
“My goal is to play hard every day and if something happens outside, I’d be happy to…if not, I’m happy to stay here and play baseball because thats what I like, playing baseball,” concluded Aguilar.