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Willy Aybar

Tampa Bay Rays — No. 16
Infielder
Born: March 9, 1983 (1983-03-09) (age 26)
Bats: Switch Throws: Right 
MLB debut
August 31, 2005 for the Los Angeles Dodgers
Career statistics
(through 2009 season)
Batting average     .267
Home runs     27
Runs batted in     114
Teams

Willy Del Jesus Aybar (born March 9, 1983 in Baní, Dominican Republic) is an infielder in Major League Baseball who is with the Tampa Bay Rays. He is the older brother of Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim shortstop, Erick Aybar. Willy's at-bat songs are "Low" by rapper Flo Rida and "Boom Boom Pow" by the Black Eyed Peas. He is also the cousin of Wil Aybar, who coaches Central Mass Diving and the diving team at The College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA.

Contents

2005 Season

On August 31, 2005, Aybar made his Major League Baseball debut with the Los Angeles Dodgers. In his short time on the big league roster, Aybar made strides in impressing then-manager Jim Tracy. In 86 at-bats, Aybar compiled a .326 batting average with 10 runs batted in and 3 stolen bases.

2006 season

After the 2005 season, Aybar was a candidate to start at third base for the Dodgers in 2006. However, in the offseason, the Dodgers signed free agent and former batting champion Bill Mueller as their starting third baseman. After they also signed Ramon Martinez to join Oscar Robles in being the primary backups, Aybar found himself out of a job. His .216 batting average during Spring Training did not help his cause either.

On May 12, 2006, Aybar received another opportunity to be the starting third baseman when Mueller was placed on the 15-day disabled list for arthroscopic knee surgery, Aybar was recalled from the Dodgers Triple-A affiliate, the Las Vegas 51s. On July 28, he was traded to the Braves along with relief pitcher Danys Baez for infielder Wilson Betemit.

2007 season

On April 18, Aybar was suspended indefinitely for unknown reasons. He was first suspended on April 15 for three games for failing to show up for treatments for an injured hand. This was a rare move by the Braves organization, and Aybar's lack of participation caused third baseman Chipper Jones to remark "I didn't even know he was still on the team." It was revealed on April 19 that Aybar, according to his agent, had been struggling with "drinking and drugs." He had not been heard from for some time and failed to report to New York for a meeting with major league officials Friday, April 20, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. It was later revealed that Aybar was seeking help at a drug treatment facility. [1] Aybar was removed from the suspended list on August 4 and was sent to the minor leagues to get in shape for being called up. However, on August 14, Aybar underwent season-ending surgery for a stress fracture in his right hand.

2008 season

On January 17, 2008, Aybar was traded along with Chase Fontaine to the Tampa Bay Rays for Jeff Ridgway. On March 24, 2008, it was announced that Aybar would be the starting third baseman for the 2008 Tampa Bay Rays. He held this position until Evan Longoria was called up early in the season. Aybar then took the role of utility player.

He hit a home run in the seventh and deciding game of the ALCS, a 3-1 Rays victory that sent the franchise to the World Series for the first time.

2009 World Baseball Classic

In the 2009 WBC (World Baseball Classic), the Dominican Republic team faced the Netherlands in the first round. After the game went into extra innings, the Dutch team scored on an error made by Aybar, eliminating the heavily favored Dominican team.

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