Aarom Baldiris

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Aarom German Baldiris (Baldy)

BR Minors page

Biographical Information[edit]

Aarom Baldiris is one of the few foreigners to go to Nippon Pro Baseball without appearing in the majors first; even rarer, he didn't even have one full AAA season before he came to Japan.

Baldiris was signed by scout Gregorio Machado for the New York Mets in July 1999. He made his pro debut the next summer with the Universidad (.353) and Kingsport Mets (.219/.265/.324) clubs. He tied for third in the Venezuelan Summer League with seven home runs and was 6th in average. He missed 2001 with injury. In 2002, the teenager did very well with Kingsport (.327/.390/.419) and the Brooklyn Cyclones (10 for 33, 2B, BB). He was 8th in the Appalachian League in average. He also led Appy League third basemen with 11 double plays. He was named the loop's All-Star third baseman.

Aarom had a big year in 2003, with the Cyclones (.364/.451/.466 in 26 G) and Capital City Bombers (.313/.396/.427 in 107 G). He led all Mets farmhands in hits (155), RBI (86) and OBP (.406). He was 5th in the South Atlantic League in average, second in OBP (behind Jorge Cortes) and was named the All-Star third baseman.

Baldiris split 2004 between the St. Lucie Mets (.305/.384/.397) and Binghamton Mets (.222/.273/.284 in 21 G). He lost the Florida State League batting title, .30549 to .30541, to Danny Matienzo. He was 4th in the FSL in OBP. He also led FSL third basemen in assists (219) and double plays (17). He made his third straight postseason All-Star team at the hot corner. He fell to .206 in winter play, with the Magallanes Navigators.

With Binghamton in 2005, Baldiris batted .275/.341/.416 with 35 doubles while transitioning to second base. He was third in the Eastern League in two-baggers (2 behind leader Mike Jacobs. He did lead EL second basemen with 19 errors, though, in adjusting to his new position.

Placed on waivers, Aarom was claimed by the Texas Rangers. He struggled in 2006 with the Oklahoma RedHawks (.216/.253/.280 in 78 G in his AAA debut) though he topped .300 in brief stays with the AA Frisco Rough Riders and AZL Rangers. In 2007, Baldiris hit .240/.319/.359 for the New York Yankees' Trenton Thunder affiliate.

Baldiris signed with the Hanshin Tigers' taxi squad in 2008. He was called up to the big club on May 3 but got plunked by Akifumi Takahashi in his first NPB appearance. His first hit came 8 days later off Yuji Yoshimi. In July, he took Yoshimi deep for his first NPB homer. For the season, though, he hit only .227/.331/.364 in 71 games. He was even worse in 2009 (3 for 29, 2 BB, HR), though he won the Western League batting crown while in ni-gun that year.

Let go by Hanshin, Aarom signed with the Orix Buffaloes. The 27-year-old hit .301/.363/.462 with 14 homers in 2010 in his best campaign in at least five years.