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Andy Miguel Paz Garriga
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 0", Weight 170 lb.
Andy Paz was the third French player to sign with a MLB team.
Paz was born in Cuba and came to France at age 14.
He played for Toulouse in Division Elite and has played for the French junior national team. He also attended the 2009 MLB Baseball Camp in Tirrenia, Italy. In the 2009 European Junior Championship, he was only 3 for 19 with 3 walks and 4 runs, but threw out 5 of 8 attempted base-stealers. With Toulouse in 2010, he hit .302/.390/.337 with 17 RBI in 24 games at age 17, throwing out 13 of 24 attempted base-runners. He was second on his team in average, tied for second in the league in passed balls (12, one behind Jean-Michel Mayeur) and tied for the most runners thrown out stealing. He was 4 for 21 in the 2010 World Junior Championship but gunned down 4 runners in 5 tries.
Rumors in early July 2010 indicated that Paz would sign with the Oakland Athletics. The scout was Tom Gillespie. The signing was finally concluded in January 2011. He was the first player signed out of Europe by the A's and the third player from France signed by a MLB team, after Joris Bert and Frederic Hanvi. He had a fine pro debut with the DSL Athletics, hitting .315/.451/.356 in 24 games. He threw out 48% of attempted base-stealers. He also batted .346/.433/.548 for Toulouse that summer, while cutting his passed ball total to four. He was 8th in France in slugging, tied for 9th in RBI (23) and tied for first with 5 triples. In the 2011 European Junior Championship, he batted a relatively unimpressive .278/.333/.318 but led the event with 10 RBI in six games.
He returned to the DZL A's the next year despite his fine turn. He hit well again - .317/.417/.415, fielding .989 and throwing out 43% of those who tried to steal. In the 2012 European Championship, he made his debut with the French national team but hit only .105/.143/.105 as the DH, with two runs and one RBI in six games; Boris Marche was the catcher. Splitting catching with Marche in the 2013 World Baseball Classic Qualifiers, he was 1 for 5 with a double. In 2013, he moved up to the AZL Athletics but struggled with the bat (.228/.304/.337). He had no errors in 203 chances and threw out 31% of attempted base-thieves.
Paz bounced around the A's chain in 2014, hitting poorly at each stop - .159/.224/.273 in 14 games for the AZL A's, .120/.167/.180 in 14 games for the Vermont Lake Monsters and .158/.279/.183 in 18 games for the Beloit Snappers. He did field well, .984 with a 39% caught-stealing rate. In the 2014 European Championship, he took over the starting catching role from Marche. He hit .208/.367/.292 with six walks in 8 games, handling 50 chances without an error and allowing three steals in four tries. He tied for 9th in the event in walks. In 2015, he saw limited time with the AZL A's (6 for 23, 5 BB) and Beloit (6 for 30, 2B, 3 BB).
In March 2016, he had several big plays for France in the 2017 World Baseball Classic Qualifiers. He hit only .182/.231/.182 but had three runs and two RBI in three games, tying Hanvi for the team lead in runs and tying Hanvi for second in RBI (behind fellow Cuban native Ernesto Martínez). He scored their first run in their opening loss to host Panama, singling off Alberto Acosta and coming home on a Hanvi double. In their win over Spain, France's first win in a World Baseball Classic Qualifier, he drove in the first run, singling off Richard Salazar in the first to score Felix Brown. In the semifinals against Panama, he again drove in a run early, with a sacrifice fly off Dario Agrazal in the first to score Hanvi to make it 2-0, but France fell, 7-4.