Even though he has yet to play one game at the Triple-A level, Paco Figueroa has been through a lot in the Orioles farm system.
A ninth-round pick out of the University of Miami in 2005, he has played for five different O’s affiliates and has always shown a solid bat.
Yet injuries have slowed his career and he can’t seem to get past Bowie to the top rung of the O’s minors.
But he’s often shown he can hit.
Figueroa, a second baseman last year, now playing mostly in right field, he is batting .348 right now, 4th best in the Eastern League.
In Thursday’s afternoon game at Bowie, a 4-3 loss to Erie, he went 3 for 5 with two triples and is batting .472 (17 for 36) over his last nine games.
“I’m just trying to take every at bat at a time and I’m seeing the ball well,” Paco said. “Just got to continue playing the way I’m playing. My job in the leadoff spot is get on and steal some bags, move runners over.”
Figueroa may have made Triple-A in 2008, but he was limited to 32 games that year by injuries and played in just 68 games last season.
“The question is health. I’ve been here (the Double-A level) since 07. I guess they have who they have up there and I’m not supposed to focus on that. If I do, I’ll drive myself crazy. Just keep playing and whatever happens, happens.”
At 27, Figueroa, whose twin brother Danny is also on the Baysox team, knows his days known as a prospect are over. But he has talent and tools and is not nearly ready to give up on the dream of moving up the baseball ladder.
Playing in the outfield this year, he is showing versatility and perhaps helping his career. Maybe one day he could be a Major League utility guy that can play every position except pitcher or catcher.
“Yeah, why not. I played two years out there (outfield) at Miami. I love the infield but I can play anywhere to be honest with you. As long as I’m in the lineup I’m happy.”
He’s always had a good attitude and bat to match.