Wil Aaron

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Wilmer Calvert Aaron

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Biographical Information[edit]

Wilmer Aaron twice hit over .300 in AA but never played at a higher level. He was the cousin of Hall of Famer Hank Aaron and Tommie Aaron, uncle of Ging Aaron and brother of Melvin Aaron. He is also related to Lary Aaron.

Aaron was originally picked by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 32nd round of the 1970 amateur draft, one pick after future pitcher Mike Krukow. He went on to junior college and was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the first round of the January 1971 draft, one selection before Pete Varney and ahead of outfielder Johnny Grubb. Wilmer played three seasons in their organization, followed by three summers in the Cleveland Indians chain.

Aaron began his professional career with the 1971 Bluefield Orioles. The switch-hitter batted .315/.408/.388 and scored 34 runs in 52 games; not a slugger like his cousin Hank, he did not homer and only drove in 11. Had he qualified (he was 11 plate appearances shy of the requisite 217), he would have been 4th in the Appalachian League in batting average. His .929 fielding percentage led the league at the position. He did not win out All-Star honors at 3B in the Appalachian League, though - those went to future major leaguer Junior Moore, who had similar numbers (.310/.366/.438).

In 1972, the Los Angeles native played for the Lodi Orions and batted .274/.339/.381 with 7 triples and 16 steals (in 24 tries); he was used mostly in the outfield. With the '73 Lodi Lions, he was 2 for 7. He spent most of that summer with the Asheville Orioles (.256/.314/.352, 12 SB, 2 CS). He wasn't the only member of his family playing in the Southern League that year. Cousin Tommie was the first baseman for the Savannah Braves.

After being traded to Cleveland, he performed very well for the 1974 San Antonio Brewers. He put up a .324/.369/.439 line, placing him 6th in the Texas League in average between William Huisman and John Balaz. He legged out 9 triples, one shy of league co-leaders Larry Herndon and Joe Lindsey. Despite a productive season, he never got a chance above the AA level. He did not make the TL All-Star outfield, as Balaz, Jerry Mumphrey and Jerry Turner were selected.

In '75, Aaron fell to .268/.322/.340 for San Antonio, playing mostly second base (49 games) and DH. In his final season (1976), he played for the San Jose Bees (16 for 42, 4 BB, 2B) and the AA Williamsport Tomahawks. With the Tomahawks, he hit .308/.362/.367, with 34 stolen bases in 44 tries. He was 4th in the Eastern League in average, between Steve Henderson and Pedro Guerrero and also was 4th in steals, behind Larry Murray, Henderson and Wayne Cage. He again failed to make the All-Star team as Murray, Henderson, Danny Thomas and Richard Berg were the outfielders selected.

Overall, he hit 292/.349/.377 with 97 steals and 666 hits in 641 minor league games. Limited in the power department, he averaged one home run every 254 at-bats.

Since 2009, Aaron has been head baseball coach at Junipero Serra High School in Gardena, California.

Sources include 1972-1977 Baseball Guides, Examiner.com